When John H. Murphy, Sr. purchased the Afro-American Newspaper in 1897, the idea of sending a poet to cover a civil war in Spain was probably far from his mind, especially a poet as distinguished as Langston Hughes. His paper, after all, had a…

Austin Woolfolk was one of the first major slave traders in Baltimore, beginning as a 19-year-old in 1816. He was instrumental in turning the trade into a business. Like most traders at that time, he started with informal transactions in taverns and…

Before trading under his own name, Jonathan Means Wilson was associated with a few other slave traders. During the early 1840s, he worked as an agent for Hope Slatter, then switched to Joseph Donovan in the later 1840s. By 1849, he started his own…

A slave jail, located at 224 W. Pratt Street, was completed in 1838 by Hope Hall Slatter at the rear of his mansion. In addition to housing people to be sold from its auction block, the jail was a kind of rooming house with bars on the windows.…

Slave trader James Purvis started operating a slave pen here in 1832, a year after he began operations in Baltimore at Sinner's Hotel. His other business locations were Calvert Street near Baltimore Street and Whitman's Eagle Hotel on W.…

Joseph S. Donovan opened a slave jail here in 1858. It was located at the SW corner of Eutaw and Camden Streets, behind today's Babe Ruth Statue that now stands next to Camden Station. The convenient location next to a train station was an asset…

Joseph S. Donovan started operating his slave pen here at 13 Camden Street in 1846. This location was at the end of a rail line and near the harbor, information that he included in his advertisements as enticements to prospective sellers.…

According to an article titled "Baltimore's Old Slave Markets," in the Baltimore Sun, Sep 13, 1936, Joseph S. Dovovan operated a slave market here around 1840, east side of Light Street, four doors south of Montgomery. However, the…

John Denning moved his operation in 1849 to a pen at this location, 18 S. Frederick Street, which he noted was the house "with trees in front." He always made a point in his ads that he was ready to pay "cash for Negroes," often…

Intelligence offices or agencies were similar to employment agencies, acting as brokers between employees and employers collecting a fee from each. They also acted as brokers for enslavers who didn't want to handle the transactions of selling…

Elijah Sinners's Tammany Hall Hotel was one of the many taverns and hotels where transactions for the sale of people took place. Austin Woolfolk used this location to build up his business until he made enough money to open a slave jail at Pratt…

One of the business addresses for slave trader James Purvis was Whitman's Eagle Hotel on West Pratt Street, between Charles and Light Streets. His two other locations where he acquired and/or sold people were 2 S. Calvert Street and on Harford…

The proprietor of the Indian Queen Hotel, John Gadsby, was at one time the largest holder of enslaved workers in Baltimore City. In 1818, he owned 36 people who worked as waiters.

This was one of many inns where people were purchased or sold. For instance, the following ad was posted August 4, 1817. "10 or 15 Negroes Wanted. From 10 to 25 years of age, for which, if speedy application is made, the most liberal prices will…

This was one of two locations where John N. Denning was operating. He was here at 104 N. Exeter Street in the early 1840s. (Street numbers were changed in 1887, making this 264 N. Exeter today.) His other location was on S. Frederick Street, near…

Many people were sold in the area around Centre market (aka Marsh Market). One section at the north end of the market area was where livestock and people were sold (next to today's Port Discovery). Several slave traders also operated in the area…

Bernard Moore Campbell and his brother Lewis operated a slave pen at this location, 26 Conway Street, from 1844 to 1848, when they purchased the more infamous Slatter jail at Howard and Pratt Streets.

James Bates was one of the traders of people who operated out of Barnum’s City Hotel located on Fayette Street between Calvert & St. Paul Streets. It was common to see advertisements for the sale of people in which interested buyers could meet…

Imagine a horde of Christmas elves attacking a chorus line of Roman legionaries. Now, if you wish to see this fever-dream in person, take a trip to A.T. Jones & Sons on N. Howard Street. They have a warehouse filled with costumes from any period…

Alexander Fruman emigrated to Baltimore from Eastern Europe in 1917 with few possessions. Among them was a handsaw that helped him start a business building wooden windows and doors in 1919, in a shop at the corner of Stiles Street and S. Central…

Like many old family-owned businesses, Lakein’s Jewelers was started by a newly arrived immigrant. 29-year-old Isadore Lakein, his wife Anna, and their son Samuel, arrived in the United States from Russia in 1912. A second son, David, was born in…

Faidley’s is as much about the people as the seafood. Whether gathered around the store’s raw bar at one of the stand-up tables near the busy line of workers making crab cakes, customers are often feel like they’re simply sharing a meal with old…

Budeke's Paint operated in the same storefront on Broadway from 1870 up until 2018. Unfortunately, in the early morning hours of September 7, 2018 a fire broke out on the first floor and grew into a four-alarm blaze that destroyed the stock, a…

In 1914, Luigi DiPasquale, Sr., an Italian immigrant to Baltimore, established a small corner store on Claremont Street stocking groceries and household goods for residents in the developing Highlandtown neighborhood. Over a century later, the…

Founded in 1863 by German immigrants Ludwig Hilgartner and Gottfried Schimpf, Hilgartner Stone has made some of the nation’s finest stonework for over one hundred and fifty years. Of course, the company has made a unique mark on both Baltimore’s…

Like the countless seeds the Meyer Seed Company has sold over the past hundred years, the story of this long-running legacy business starts with water. Before he held a seed bucket or a watering can, the company’s founder, John F. Meyer, worked as a…

Tochterman’s ostensibly sells fishing tackle but owners Tony and Dee Tochterman—the third generation of the Tochterman family to run this Eastern Avenue institution—are part of a hundred year long history of customer service that few other…