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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sharpsburg in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Old Slave Block

 
 
Old Slave Block Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 9, 2008
1. Old Slave Block Marker
Inscription.  From 1800 to 1865 this stone was used as a slave auction block. It has been a famous landmark at this original location for over 150 years.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1800.
 
Location. 39° 27.528′ N, 77° 44.771′ W. Marker is in Sharpsburg, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of East Main Street / Shepherdstown Pike (State Highway 34) and North Church Street (State Highway 65), on the right when traveling east on East Main Street / Shepherdstown Pike. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sharpsburg MD 21782, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kretzer Homestead (within shouting distance of this marker); Lutheran Cemetery (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); General Edward Braddock (about 600 feet away); Sharpsburg's Big Spring (about 600 feet away); In Recognition of the Patriotism Shown by All Who Answered Our Country's Call in the World War (about 700 feet away); Korean Conflict Memorial
Old Slave Block Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, April 13, 2011
2. Old Slave Block Marker
Click or scan to see
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(about 700 feet away); Viet Nam Era Memorial (about 700 feet away); Sharpsburg Bluebirds (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sharpsburg.
 
Additional commentary.
1. Interesting Historical Connection
The slave auction block stands just a few hundred yards from the Antietam National Cemetery. The lasting impact of the battle fought at Antietam on September 17, 1862 was the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln on September 22. Lincoln felt he could not issue such an executive order abolishing slavery, even if only applying to the seceded states, without some signal victory on the battlefield. The Battle of Antietam, recorded as the bloodiest day in American History, was the event Lincoln needed. While not immediately applying to the border states, which included Maryland, the proclamation paved the way for the 13th Amendment. Thus in some ways the great battle that occurred around this stone ensure it would never be used as an auction block for people held in bondage.
    — Submitted February 10, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

 
Additional keywords.
Old Slave Block Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 9, 2008
3. Old Slave Block Marker
slavery, human trafficking
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 10, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 6,777 times since then and 1,361 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on February 10, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2. submitted on April 14, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.   3. submitted on February 10, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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May. 17, 2021