The Charleston Insider's Guide
September 21, 2017, 6:32 am

Old Slave Mart Museum


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Charleston Insider's Guide > Attractions & Tours > Charleston Museums
> Old Slave Mart Museum

Old Slave Mart Museum
6 Chalmers St.

The south was once a leading producer of cotton, sugar, rice, and indigo and Charleston, being centrally located, became a prosperous port town. In order to sustain their production and distribution of goods early Americans imported black slave labor. The city of Charleston witnessed nearly 70 years of slave trade and sale. Nearly one million American-born slaves were traded from the upper south to the lower south in that time. The imported blacks were initially sold at the Old Exchange Building until a 1856 ordinance that prohibited public sale of slaves forced slave traders to find a new location. The Old Slave Mart was originally a four-building complex and included and four-story brick tenement, a slave jail, a kitchen, and a morgue. The last slave auctions were held here in 1863. In 1939 Miriam B. Nilson purchased the structure and converted to a museum dedicated to African-American Art and Culture. The city of Charleston acquired the Old Slave Mart and is in the process of renovating the site and plans to open the doors to the public in the future.



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