Slavery on Franklin Street

When looking through the Daily Dispatch, you’ll see a lot of ads referencing Franklin street. A majority of them have to do with slavery. It’s quite interesting the way the purposes and tones of the ads progress from 1860 to 1865. Many of the issues in 1860 and some in early 1861 advertise servants for hire and sale. When you read the ads they are all selling  black slaves and telling referring you to Odd Fellows’ Hall on Franklin Street. Throughout 1862 and 1863 many notices are citing rewards for runaway slaves, referring readers to the houses and businesses on Franklin Street that these runaways belong to. Finally, throughout 1864 and 1865 the ads devolve to simply stating slave auctions that are upcoming and “negroes for sale” on Franklin Street. Franklin Street seems to mainly be a street of business at this time, and one of there biggest businesses seems to be in the slave trade. It is interesting that the ads are more subtle before Richmond and Virginia truly become embroiled in the war–before the Battle of Fort Sumter. then After Virginia Secedes, the advertisements not only become more blunt in the purpose and phrasing, but also that so many adds were placed for the return of runaway slaves–which was probably due to the promise of freedom just one state away. Virginia’s entrance into the war changed many things. The attitude towards the slavery is just one of the big changes that occurred, and can easily been seen through the progression of notices pertaining to slavery on Franklin Street.


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