Monday, June 25, 2012

Savannah And The Slave Business

From Savannah Now, "Historian chronicles Savannah's business ties to slavery," by Chuck Mobley, on 27 February 2009 -- Seated comfortably at a table in City Market, historian Barry Sheehy looked past the casual ambiance that now attracts throngs of tourists and instead focused on the area's "dark secret" - its link to the antebellum-era slave trade.

"That upper floor," he said, pointing to a nearby building, "was one of the most active slave markets in the city."

Then known as the Montmollin Building, it housed the operations of slave traders John Montmollin and Alexander Bryan from the mid-1850s until the surrender of Savannah in December 1864. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of slaves were brought up the stairs during those years and then sold, said Sheehy.

It seems incongruous and wrong that "it's just business as usual" here with absolutely no mention or mark of that portion of the past, he said.

"Yes, it's a sad chapter in the city's history," he said. "But how can you not acknowledge it?"

A compelling subject

Sheehy, with a wry smile, said that he never intended to delve so deeply into Savannah's business ties to slavery.

An entrepreneur with business connections in the Northeast and Canada, he's made his home in this area since shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, when he was at the World Trade Center. The Georgia Historical Quarterly, in 2005, published an article he researched and wrote, "Forgotten Battles: Engagements at Monteith Swamp and Shaw's Bridge During the Savannah Campaign in 1864."

Intrigued by that experience, and what he learned about the Civil War history of Savannah, Sheehy got together with photographer Cindy Wallace a couple of years ago, intending to chronicle antebellum and Civil War sites still standing in the city and produce a coffee-table-style book.

They found a wealth of information about that period of the city's history, said Sheehy, but what they uncovered about slavery was so compelling they felt it deserved far more than just a chapter in their book. Instead, they decided to also produce a scholarly article about the peculiar institution and its effect on Savannah.

"We were drawn in," said Sheehy, "drawn in like Joseph Conrad in 'Heart of Darkness.'"

'The heart of the slave trading district'

Using a wealth of sources and advanced computer techniques, Sheehy and Wallace - with help from cartographer David Anderson, graphic designer Scott Newman and editor Katharine Rapkin - have produced a 47-page article titled "Slavery as a Business in Antebellum Savannah, 1855-65."

It's loaded with pictures and graphics and carries a real jolt for anyone who's not aware of slavery's economic power in the city during those 10 years.

"Antebellum Savannah was Georgia's largest slave trading center," the article states. "The slave trade was, by most measures, the largest domestic (non-export) industry in the antebellum city. Yet, there has been surprisingly little examination of the institution and how it operated day to day in Savannah."

Slave Dungeon or Slave Barracoon in Savannah, Georgia (source:

Montmollin and Bryan were part of a business blueprint that spread across much of downtown and included wealthy and influential banks, brokers, attorneys and auctioneers. The City Market area was also home to the Timber Cutter's Bank and other slave brokers. .

Just a couple of blocks away, in a tight coterie just north of Johnson Square, were the slavery-driven businesses along Bay Lane, "the heart of Savannah's slave trading district," wrote Sheehy. This section was then a "busy mini-street crowded with saloons ... and frequented by horse traffic."

Inside Slave Barracoon in Savannah, Georgia (Photo credit:

The slave trade became such an integral part of the city's commerce, wrote Sheehy, that it hung on until the bitter end of the Confederacy.
Many traders "continued to do business even as federal artillery echoed through the streets."

A wealth of information

Sheehy's and Wallace's work, even though it has not yet been finalized, has already won praise. Sheehy appeared before the Chatham County Historic Preservation Commission earlier this month, talked about what he'd found and urged that steps be taken to mark some of those locations.

Savannah historian Hugh Golson was among those in the audience, and he came away quite impressed.

"I was really dazzled by some of the information," Golson said. "I found out that the building across the street from my house was owned by one of the slave traders, and that he died there in the 1870s."

Golson said he was also struck by the economic force that slavery had become, the fact that it was the largest non-import business in the city.

Vaughnette Goode-Walker, the assistant curator of education for the Telfair Museum of Art, is quite familiar with Bay Lane. She's put together a walking tour of that area and knows its nefarious history.

The article goes "deep into this subject," she said. "It brings out what really happened, even at the slave jails."

For Sheehy, at least one physical change should be made to acknowledge the area's history. He would like for the third floor in the old Montmollin Building - where the slaves sales were held - to become a memorial.

"If there is any structure in the city crying out for restoration to its original form," he wrote, "surely this is it." (source:Savannah Now)


  1. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. Nevertheless imagine if you added some great
    images or video clips to give your posts more, "pop"! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this site could undeniably be one of the very best in its field. Good blog!
    Review my webpage - read this blog tumblr


  3. Hello very cool site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I
    will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?

    I am satisfied to find a lot of useful information right here within the publish, we want develop extra strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing.

    . . . . .
    Also visit my web-site : บ้านเชียงใหม่

  4. My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from
    PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of
    the costs. But he's tryiong none the less. I've been
    using WordPress on numerous websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.

    I have heard fantastic things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

    Here is my blog post solavei

  5. Hi there all, here every person is sharing such familiarity,
    therefore it's fastidious to read this web site, and I used to pay a visit this website all the time.

    Feel free to surf to my weblog ::

  6. My name is Walker, I have lived in Savannah all my life. I am a African American and a descendant of a slave who fought for my families freedom during the the civil war. Thank you guys for your research. Thank you for pointing out in this article that it happened and that the city needs to acknowledge with markers how slavery played a major roll in its rich history. I would love to meet the researchers if I could to learn more about there research. As a historian I am one of every few African American blacksmiths in the southeast. In my research I am trying to locate others. Many Africans were imported to the south for their skill level. I think Savannah was one of those ports that received some of those blacksmithing
    Africans. I can be reached thru Thank you.

    1. gilly59us:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

      The research for this article is all local (Savannah based) -- The article was published in Savannah Now (the Savannah Morning News_ and it was entitled "Historian chronicles Savannah's business ties to slavery," written by Chuck Mobley, Chuck Mobley is a features reporter who specializes in Savannah History. Personally, I like his style.

      Savannah was just one (among many) of the Atlantic slave importing cities in the USA. If you're looking for the historic record, try the Georgia Historic Society. Slavery, by it's nature was a rich-man's game, as well as a BUSINESS. Both facts (wealth and commerce) usually leaves quite a prolific paper trail. *Savannah oozes intrigue and it is absolutely beautifully picturesque. Good luck with your research!

      --Ron Edwards, US Slave Blog

    2. Hi my great grandmother was a walker and her mother was a slave

      Contact me

  7. Business of slaves this are the very old business to carry the market of slaves to the urban areas for best and affordable slaves.Makes the economy and part of the wodls

  8. Howdy! This blog post couldn't be written much better!

    Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I'll forward this article to him.
    Fairly certain he'll have a very good read.
    I appreciate you for sharing!

    Also visit my site; iTunes - Dean Graziosi

  9. Hi my mom, grandmother, and great grandfather were all walkers and my family that is left hold on to a lot of secrets. Contact me at

  10. omg! can’t imagine how fast time pass, after August, ber months time already and Setempber is the first Christmas season in my place, I really love it! Finance

  11. what you want to use for how to create iq option account, your password, the name of your blog and whether you want the search engines to crawl your blog. Your admin name should not be 'admin' since for too long, iq option account has been forcing users to use 'admin' and a tough to remember password. So the security experts will tell you that you should avoid admin as a username. Make it something you will remember, without being easy for someone else to guess (so your real first name is not a good idea).

  12. If you are shopping for a new fax machine you may need a service contract to go Tucson Tax Service with it. In this article you will learn the ins and the outs of service contracts, read on…

  13. Caregivers often cudgel their brains, trying to figure out whether the medications, being administered to their senior patients, are having any sustainable, positive impact on them. This question often goes unasked and at times, even tactfully evaded, which further aggravates the problems created by improper Chronic Care Management Software and results in many seniors progressing to higher levels of care. Studies, conducted worldwide, confirm that there is a distinct correlation between old age and adverse drug reactions.

  14. You need to take part in a contest for one of the greatest sites on the web. I am going to highly recommend this website! ig captions

  15. Thank you, I’ve just been searching for information about this topic for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the supply? Fathers Day Cards Funny

  16. I just couldn’t depart your site prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard information an individual provide for your visitors? Is gonna be back frequently in order to inspect new posts FB Auto Comment

  17. CFDs are a great way for investors to buy or sell stocks and shares without ever taking ownership of the stock or share. Instead, the investor speculates on the movement in the price of the asset. A CFD has certain advantages over other forms of investing and I will highlight these here. contabilidade macae

  18. Orthodontists are dental specialists that are concerned with the study and treatment of improper bites - known scientifically as malocclusion. These improper bites can be a result of dental or even facial irregularities. These irregular bites are usually a result of heredity which can effect teeth formation and jaw structure while can also be caused by baby teeth being lost too early or overcrowding of the teeth, tooth decay and physical injuries. hr consultant ottawa

  19. The online directory is committed to providing a complete resource for eye care and health. This one stop resource provides listings and contact information for eye doctors in states all across the US including Missouri, Mississippi, Florida, New Jersey, and more. This article will share with you how to handle an eye injury so that there will not be any permanent damage. calgary optical stores

  20. This information is magnificent. I understand and respect your clear-cut points. I am impressed with your writing style and how well you express your thoughts. Best Friend Wishes For Friendship Day

  21. Thank you, I’ve just been searching for information about this topic for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the supply?

    Happy Raksha Bandhan 2018

  22. I'm truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It's a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Superb work! National Grandparents Day Quotes

  23. Subsequently, after spending many hours on the internet at past We’ve uncovered anyone that certainly does know what they are discussing thank you very much wonderful blog post tom cruise movies Happy Birthday Meme

  24. This sort of wanting to come to a difference in her or his lifestyle, initial generally Los angeles Excess weight weightloss scheme is a large running in as it reached that strive. weight loss tom cruise movies Happy Birthday Images

  25. both David Cook and David Archuleta are the best in my opinion, they have this unique voice; Happy Halloween Day 2018

  26. Nice post. I learn something harder on various blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to learn to read content using their company writers and use something from their store. I’d prefer to use some together with the content in my weblog whether or not you do not mind. Natually I’ll supply you with a link on your web blog. Thank you sharing.

  27. Thank you for another fantastic article. Where else may just anybody get that type of info in such an ideal manner of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the search for such information.

  28. The internet is really important nowadays and has become an element of our daily lives. You are able to read daily news, update your social status, make purchases, perform banking, book travel plans and so on. You are able to do almost anything through the internet. click here

  29. Hi there, I found your blog by means of Google at the same time as searching for a related matter, your website got here up, it seems to be great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks. john cena movies list happy birthday images for him happy new year 2019

  30. Not often do I encounter a weblog that is both educated and entertaining, and let me tell you, you may have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the issue is something that not sufficient individuals are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my quest for something relating to this.
    Happy New Year Wallpapers
    happy new year 2019 wallpaper for download
    happy new year 2019 wallpaper free download
    happy new year wallpaper 2019
    happy new year wallpaper 2019 download
    happy new year wallpaper hd

  31. You’ll find some fascinating points in time in this post but I do not know if I see all of them center to heart. There’s some validity but I will take hold opinion until I appear into it further. Fantastic post , thanks and we want much more! Added to FeedBurner too john cena net worth happy birthday quotes happy new year 2019 Happy New Year 2019 images Happy New Year 2019 images for love happy new year 2019 quotes about friends happy new year 2019 quotes for friends and family happy new year 2019 quotes for girlfriend

  32. Web Sites are more affordable than ever. They are relatively easy to build and are arguably one of the most desirable merchantcircle marketing tools to have as part of your overall marketing strategy. When best utilized they can you convert more leads to paying customers by way of offering free useful information.

  33. Shen Tong was born in Beijing in the year 1968. From 1986 to 1989,Shen Tong studied at Peking University. He relocated to New York in the year 2000 as he wanted to focus exclusively on business to make an impact. Shen Tong
    started Food-X and FoodFutureCo in the city of New York where he has plenty of known commercial investments that have an impact.
    Apart from being a film buff,Shen Tong is a writer, entrepreneur, angel investor as well as a foodie.Shen Tong is also the founder of Vfinity which develops software tools for web applications, media distribution etc. Shen Tong is pretty famous for his promotion of ‘context media’ essentially because of his speech at a supersession of National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas.
    In the 90’s he began with media-related businesses which include TV production and B&B media production.Shen Tong is a lead investor who provides senior management in investment in bookstore and publishing in Beijing. B&B Media has produced and created various programmes which have been highly circulated and acclaimed. In 1989,Shen Tong
    co-chaired a committee constructed to form a dialogue concerning pro-democracy movement in China.
    Shen Tong
    organised the democracy movement in 1989 that occupied Tiananmen Square while he was at Beijing University. There is an NGO which was formed in the 1990s, run by Shen Tong which focuses on higher education and culture.

  34. i found your blog through a search engine, very interesting.
    I have not checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last handful of posts are really good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend.
    gucci and prada also makes beautifully styled ladies shoes but are expensive.

  35. Hi there, You have done a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this website.
    Top-notch post it is surely. My friend has been awaiting for this content.



Click here to return to the US Slave Home Page