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Jump Back in Time Western Expansion & Reform (1829-1859)
Former Slave Quarters of Hermitage Plantation, Savannah, Georgia, 1907
A large African American family standing in front of former slave quarters at a plantation in Savannah, Georgia, in 1907

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The Largest Slave Auction
March 3, 1859

On the first day of the auction, the slaves were brought to a long room called the "Grand Stand." Pierce Butler walked among his people, speaking to them and shaking the hands of his favorite servants. Fierce rains kept many of the potential buyers away and the auction began two hours late.

The auctioneer, Mr. Walsh, stood on a platform and began the sale. The first sold were George and Sue, along with their two boys, George and Harry, for $600 each. Eventually, all 436 people were purchased away from friends and family, and from the only home they had known. All of their hearts broke with the knowledge that they would never see each other again. For many of them, "The Weeping Time" would last a lifetime.

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