Slave Auction Block

Auction block 001a.jpg

Title

Slave Auction Block

Subject

Slavery

Description

This early drawing of the Atlanta store shows the slave auction block at the corner. A lamppost stood beside the auction block. The site was at the corner of Greensboro Avenue and University Boulevard, approximately where a pole-mounted clock now stands in front of the 10-story bank building.

In 1988, Max Heine, a writer for The Tuscaloosa News, interviewed Maude Whatley, 80. "All my early childhood, it was there," she recalled, "It just sat there. It was years before we knew what it was. We never knew till some of our elders explained it to us." Miss Whatley's grandfather was a slave.

The drawing was in a booklet about the city published in the late 1800s by the Tuskaloosa Coal, Iron & Land Co.

The late Marvin Harper, head of the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society at that time, said the picture is the only one he knew of that portrayed the auction block.

Both Harper and Whatley said they believed the block was removed when the Atlanta building, which house a general mercantile store at the current site of the bank building, burned and was replaced by a bank building. That would have been prior to 1930, when First National Bank merged with Merchants Bank and Trust Co. and moved into its building.

Neither Harper nor Miss Whatley said they knew where the block was taken.

Source

Tuscaloosa News Archive

Publisher

The Tuscaloosa News

Contributor

Betty Slowe (Description)

Type

Drawing

Identifier

571

Coverage

Tuscaloosa (AL)

Original Format

Drawing

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