Franklin & Armfield Slave Pen

Franklin & Armfield Slave Pen (Illustration) American History African American History Civil Rights Ethics Law and Politics Social Studies Slaves and Slave Owners Famous Historical Events

This image depicts the interior of a slave pen located in Alexandria, not far from the U.S. Capitol. Initially known as Franklin & Armfield, the place was later known as Price Birch & Company. It still stands, but today it is a museum.

A marker, in front of the building, tells us more:

Isaac Franklin and John Armfield leased this brick building with access to the wharves and docks in 1828 as a holding pen for enslaved people being shipped from Northern Virginia to Louisiana. They purchased the building and three lots in 1832.

From this location Armfield bought bondspeople at low prices and shipped them south to his partner Franklin in Natchez Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana, to be sold at higher prices.

By the 1830s, they often sold 1,000 people annually, operating as one of the largest slave-trading companies in the United States until 1836. Slave traders continuously owned the property until 1861.

The Library of Congress tells us about the later owners of this slave-processing business and building which is located on Duke Street in Alexandria:

... the slave dealership purchased in 1858 by Price Birch & Company, originally established by Franklin & Armfield.

All of this took place "just down the road" from the capital of American democracy:  Washington City (later known as Washington, D.C.).

The original photo, depicted by this image, was taken sometime between 1861 and 1869 (according to the Library of Congress).

Click on the image for a substantially larger view.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 05, 2014

Updated Last Revision: Nov 04, 2016

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Library of Congress, where it has these identifying numbers:  "LC-DIG-cwpb-01472 (digital file from original neg. of left half) LC-DIG-cwpb-01471 (digital file from original neg. of right half)."




To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Franklin & Armfield Slave Pen" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 05, 2014. Nov 13, 2018.
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