Site of Slatter Slave Jail

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.

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 traders and enslavers travelling with their enslaved people, could keep their captives here overnight for a fee of 25 cents. Slatter was one of the leading slave traders, having sold over two thousand people in less than 14 years of trading in Baltimore. Bernard Moore Campbell and his brother Lewis purchased the jail in 1848 when Slatter moved to Alabama. After the Civil War started and the emancipation of slaves in D.C. was imminent, local enslavers used the slave jails to house potential runaways. Tensions mounted at this jail until the occupants revolted, though they were contained by the police. Union troops liberated the captives on July 26, 1863.

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