Saturday, August 27, 2011

Slave Market House: Louisville, Georgia

Journey to Louisville (pronounced Lewis-ville), Georgia and you are in for a history lesson. Site of the Georgia state capital during the Yazoo Land Fraud the city was near the center of the antebellum cotton industry. Completely rebuilt in the center of downtown Louisville is a market house where people would sell just about anything, including slaves. It is the only remaining slave-trading site in the state of Georgia, and was the largest slave market in the state for many years.

Originally built between 1795 and 1798, the market used by sheriffs and other officials as well as local folk to sell land and goods. But the dark side of this market is the African-American slave trade that fueled the local economy. When importation of slaves became illegal in 1808 the market in Savannah closed. Smugglers had to move their goods inland for sale, and the market at Louisville was very active in the illegal trade.

The market survived General Sherman's March to the Sea. A bell inside the market was cast for a New Orleans Convent, but never made it there. A pirate ship took it as booty and through an unknown series of events the bell ended up at Louisville. (source: Roadside Georgia)

Map of Louisville--First Planned Capital and Capitol

The commission appointed to choose the location of a new permanent capital city directed that it be built within 20 miles of the trading post called "Galphin’s Old Town" (or "Galphinton"), which was located in present day Jefferson County. The site finally selected was by a slave market located at the intersection of three roads leading to Augusta, Savannah, and Georgetown respectively. The slave market, built in 1758, is still standing. The Legislature directed that the name of the new capital be Louisville in honor of King Louis XVI of France as an expression of thanks for French aid during the Revolutionary War.
Louisville was Georgia’s first planned capital, and the city was to contain the state’s first capitol building built expressly for that purpose. The new state house was completed in 1796. Although there are no known paintings or drawings of this building, it is known that it was a two-story structure of 18th century Georgian architecture, and was made of red brick. Even before moving to the new capital, the Legislature designated Louisville the "permanent seat" of Georgia government. But by the early 1800s, further western expansion caused the Legislature to convene in yet another new "permanent" state capital. (source: Georgia Government State Archives)

37 comments:

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  2. Everything is very clear.It was truly informative.Your website is very useful.Thank you for sharing.

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  3. There is misinformation in this article, presented as coming from state gov. archives. Some, but not all, does indeed come from archives. Let us be careful about what we believe

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  4. I know a woman who is 89 years old and remembers walking 4 1/2 miles each day to get to school. She spoke on the matter of the auction block in Louisville, how the stories were true. Also how they walked while the white kids road on the school bus sometimes spit flying out of the window at them and the occasional beatdown when the driver would stop the bus to let the white kids beat them and then return to the bus heading back to school! She's trying to understand how anyone can say "NO! I'm not voting" her first time voting she says " I felt like a slave because we weren't given a choice! We had to vote for who they said we were going to vote for! I just wanted to share a little history from todays awareness from her!

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  5. I was a young white male in my early teens, we had a lot of family in Georgia (my mother was born there and moved away, thank God). I remember well the day some of my relatives took my parents and me there to see the slave market. While they were laughing and chuckling and making jokes about this site, I remember feeling both sad and angry about the fact that it is, all that time later, still a constant reminder of those "Confederate days" of terror for so many individuals and families. I have never forgotten that experience after 49 years.

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  6. The trading block is a very sad remembrance of humans being sold. I feel that it should be removed. Why would anyone want to see this. It tears my heart apart to think of selling another human and splitting up children from there parents. This is taking history too far back to a very hurtful time. Burn it down!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, this S.J and i must say i understand where your coming from (and btw i am black), but it is history and if we removed everything from our history we would just repeat and we do not want that to happen.

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    2. no the blacks said its our history so it will remain there forever

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  7. i visited louisville,ga. got many pics of rev cementery, market house and 1772 bell. email for free pics---airpwr12@outlook.com

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  8. Ive been there as a kid and even then there was a loathsome atmosphere.

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  9. My mother's family lived in Louisville. The first time we visited was about 1966. You can imagine, coming from Ontario, Canada, this was absolutely mind blowing. Such a lovely little town, with such an ugly past.

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    Replies
    1. You do Realize your a common wealth of Britain ? Canada had slaves and Britain was well into slavery and capturing and transporting slaves to the Us that was under British rule for more than 200 years ?

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  10. its good not helpful but good

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  11. Well i live here in this city, an i must say that most of this information is true. First of all the three roads from the slave market downtown does not go to these three different places. Next, the red brick two story building they are talking about was not the capitol building. Yes the building in this picture does exist and is still here but the original capitol building is where the yazoo land act was burned in front of the now court house. And yes my city Louisville Ga. is home to a terrible past, and yes our small town still does consist of racism but overall it is a very historical and safe place to live.
    If you want to ask me any questions use the initials. S.J.

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    Replies
    1. Hello S.J.

      I would love to speak with you more about Louisville, GA and its rich history! Can you please email me at MyVoteMattersGA@gmail.com? Thank you!

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  12. So, S.J., would your last name be Jones? That was my mother's cousin's name.

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  13. When I was a young boy in the 50s we would drive down to Florida before i75. We drove through the southern cities seeing the reminders of slavery. My father took movies of the slave market, still have them. It’s important that our kids know that this was wrong. But the thinking today is repeating history.

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  14. This slave market the only slave market in America needs to stay as a reminder of what we never want to happen again.

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  15. Funny, it might be better for everyone if we could move passd the memory of a slave market. It is sad but it is long in the past. We have a country where more people than ever before in any other nation are equally respected. The economic progress of all races have improved in the last 50 years in phenomenal ways. That no one looks at this achievement and sees progress is due to a very sick looking back that cannot ever help anyone.

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  16. My ancestors may have been sold here. :-(

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  17. I can set up my new idea from this post. It gives in depth information. Thanks for this valuable information for all,.. Top Real Estate Agents in Clinton Missouri

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  18. I lived in Louisville GA and I can tell you that no one care about it and many a pictures were taken black families would be the first to pose for pictures. Idk why the need to rewrite history. Good or bad it's still history. Sadly it is how America was made.

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  19. The site needs to be decimated. The memory of passing by that site 20 years back still haunts me. The history belongs in the dust of history.

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  20. Being originally from New Haven CT and relocating to Louisville last year I don't understand the fight over this . Yes slaves were sold there but also were goods . What is the difference between this place and the Amistad used for transporting slaves . That ship is sailed as a educational tool .

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  21. My mother's family is also an old Louisville family. When I was about 6, my mother and grandmother used the Market as a tool to teach me the evils of slavery and rascism.
    I received a history lesson that changed the trajectory of my life.
    Every subsequent visit to Louisville reminded me of, and reinforced the evil of racism.
    We cannot erase history. We must USE history as a constant reminder of what NEVER can happen again.
    I am able to understand, to a degree, I am white- how people can see the Market as a horrible abhorant reminder of their ancestor's suffering. Absolutely.

    But I wonder, if the Market had not stood in Louisville in the early 1960's, if I would have had the profound lesson I got.

    A place, with the true story, can change a life. I am grateful to this day for the Market.
    Removing the Market is losing a tangible opportunity to teach people, all people, the ugliness of our history.
    Sadly, we NEED reminders in 2020. We need them badly. Racism has no place in America.





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