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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Downtown in St. Louis, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Sold on the Steps of Justice

Jefferson National Expansion Museum

 
 
Sold on the Steps of Justice Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 11, 2017
1. Sold on the Steps of Justice Marker
Inscription.  
Auctions were once a common site on the stately steps of the Old Courthouse in front of you. The court organized property sales when people went bankrupt or died without a will. Between 1839 and 1862, the court sold more than 500 enslaved men, women, and children here.

Though the issue of slavery divided people, auctions like these were common at courthouses throughout the state. Missouri outlawed slavery in early 1865, just a few months before the Civil War ended.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsWar, US Civil.
 
Location. 38° 37.518′ N, 90° 11.317′ W. Marker is in Downtown in St. Louis, Missouri. Marker is on North 4th Street north of Market Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located on the sidewalk, directly across 4th Street from the Old Saint Louis County Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11 N 4th St, Saint Louis MO 63102, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are
Sold on the Steps of Justice Marker (<i>wide view; Saint Louis County Courthouse in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 11, 2017
2. Sold on the Steps of Justice Marker (wide view; Saint Louis County Courthouse in background)
within walking distance of this marker. International Fur Exchange (within shouting distance of this marker); Dred and Harriet Scott (within shouting distance of this marker); Joseph Pulitzer (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Western Reach of the Revolution (within shouting distance of this marker); Abraham Lincoln Slept Here (within shouting distance of this marker); KMOX (within shouting distance of this marker); American Zinc Building (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
 
Also see . . .
1. Slavery in St. Louis. It was here on these steps that slaves were often sold. St. Louis was the biggest slave market in Missouri. Slave patrols operated throughout the city constantly on the lookout for runaways or unlawful conduct by slaves. Lynch's Slave Pen, owned by Bernard M. Lynch, was located on the south side of Locust Street, east of Fourth Street. Later moved to Fifth Street (now Broadway), somewhere near the corner of Spruce Street. Slaves brought from elsewhere in Missouri were kept here as they awaited auction at the courthouse entrance at 4th Street. (Submitted on June 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Slave Sales. Even the city's "temple of justice," the Old
Old Saint Louis County Courthouse Steps (<i>view from near marker at sunset</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 11, 2017
3. Old Saint Louis County Courthouse Steps (view from near marker at sunset)
Courthouse, was the scene of slave auctions. The Probate Court was located just inside the east door, and slaves were sold at auction along with other property, if their owners had died without a will or declared bankruptcy. In fact, courthouses across the country, including all the cities in Missouri, would have held similar auctions up to the time of the Civil War. (Submitted on June 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Sign (<i>near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 11, 2017
4. Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Sign (near marker)
The Old Saint Louis County Courthouse and grounds, as well as the Gateway Arch and surrounding grounds, are part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and managed by the United States National Park Service.
Gateway Arch at Sunset (<i>view from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 11, 2017
5. Gateway Arch at Sunset (view from near marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 136 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Aug. 7, 2020