The Richmond Slave Trade: The Economic Backbone of the Old Dominion

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by Jack Trammel Richmond's 15th Street was known as Wall Street in antebellum times, and like its New York counterpart, it was a center of commerce. But the business done here was unspeakable and the scene heart wrenching. With over sixty-nine slave dealers and auction houses, the Wall Street area saw tens of millions of dollars and countless human lives change hands, fueling the southern economy. Local historian and author Jack Trammell traces the history of the city's slave trade, from the origins of African slavery in Virginia to its destruction at the end of the Civil War. Stories of seedy slave speculators and corrupt traders are placed alongside detailed accounts of the economic, political and cultural impact of a system representing the most immense, concentrated human suffering in our nation s history.

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