BLOGROLL: Greenwald and Rothman Argue New Orleans should acknowledge its lead role in the slave trade

Erin Greenwald and Joshua Rothman write:

“Concerned that overcrowded, squalid, and disease-ridden slave pens and prisons were a public health threat, the New Orleans City Council in 1829 banned the lodging and public exposure of slaves for sale or hire within what were then city limits, now the French Quarter. That regulation effectively pushed slave pens out into the Faubourg Marigny and what is now the Central Business District. A second regulation forced those pens out even farther on the Uptown side, making them stay above Girod Street.”

“But those regulations had no impact on the trade’s size and scope.”

“Indeed, the trade, which had been a staple of the city’s commerce for decades, thrived and continued to grow. Municipal regulations did not limit auctions, and one could find human beings sold “under the hammer” almost daily, especially at Chartres and St. Louis Streets, near the offices of most of the notaries who legally recorded slave sales. And the city’s taverns, inns, and hotels remained crowded with small-scale and itinerant traders.”

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