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In 1808, the US Congress abolished the international slave trade, contributing to a significant increase in the domestic slave trade, or the trafficking of human beings within the boundaries of the United States. During the fifty-seven years that followed, an estimated 2 million men, women, and children were separated from families and forcibly moved by slave traders and owners. He largest numbers were brought from the Upper South to the Lower South via overland and water routes.
New Orleans was the center of this trade, resulting in more than fifty documented sites. More enslaved people were sold here from slave pens, public squares, government buildings, church properties, city taverns, private residences, auction houses, and evan ballrooms of luxury hotels than anywhere else in the US.
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Within a one-block radius of this marker were the New Orleans offices, showrooms, and slave pens of over a dozen slave trading firms, including Franklin, Armfield, and Ballard, Hope Hull Slatter, John Hagan, Joseph Bruin, and others. Their networks, which undergirded the antebellum economy, stretched from Norfolk, Baltimore, Louisville, and Memphis to New Orleans, Natchez,
Galveston, Pensacola, and beyond.