Alexandria slave pen

This Alexandria slave pen was the establishment of Price, Birch & Co., dealers in slaves. The occupation of Alexandria by Union soldiers on May 24, 1861, terminated this business immediately. Many Yankees from the far North, in the South for the first time, had never before seen an African American. The slave pen became a curiosity and tourist attraction for thousands of soldiers who passed through Alexandria during the war. This wartime photograph was taken in August 1863.

Library of Congress