Site of the Purvis Slave Pen

Site where the business of slavery once took place.

While nothing remains to indicate what once transpired here, we pinpoint this location to memorialize the victims of enslavement in America.

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. Pratt Street between Charles and Light Streets. Purvis was nephew and agent to Isaac Franklin, who operated the largest slave trade in the Mid-Atlantic region with his partners John Armfield and Rice Ballard.