Saint Louis in St. Louis, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Sold on the Steps of Justice
Jeﬀerson National Expansion Museum
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.
Location. 38° 37.518′ N, 90° 11.317′ W. Marker is in Saint Louis, Missouri, in St. Louis. Marker is on North 4th Street north of Market Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located on the sidewalk, directly across 4th Street from the Old Saint Louis County Courthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11 N 4th St, Saint Louis MO 63102, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking 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 Western Reach of the Revolution (within shouting distance of this marker); La Rue Missouri (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Charles Rock Road (about 500 feet away); Rue des Granges (about 500 feet away); Basilica of Saint Louis, King (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Saint Louis.
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 Courthouse, was the scene (Submitted on June 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 20, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 58 times since then and 2 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.