Fork of the Road – Negro Trafficking Site – Natchez, Mississippi

forks of the road.jpgFork of the Road – Negro Trafficking Site – Natchez, Mississippi

In the 1850’s Natchez was one of the sites for selling slaves, although they called it Negro Trading.  The story of the trafficking comes at a huge price to those that were taken away from their homes and families, many to never see them again.

At the sight of the Fork of the Road was a low squatty frame building, used during the winter months to house the Negroes who were brought to the location from Kentucky and Virginia by traders who did business, more or less intensively, not only here but throughout the South and especially in the cotton districts.  The house had a triangular piece of ground attached to it which was used as a parade or exhibition grounds.

It was common for the newspapers of the era to have ads such as the one from the Mississippi Free Trader & Natchez Gazette 1-15-1851.  ""Fresh Arrival of Fifty Negroes.  I have just received a lot of Fifty Negroes, direct from Richmond, Virginia.  I have now on hand about One Hundred and twenty Negroes, as likely a lot as I ever saw together, consisting of field hands, house servants, carriage drivers, one first rate weaver, three blacksmiths.  I have made arrangements to receive regular shipments during the season and in the lot that is to arrive in January, there will be a No. 1 carpenter.  Those wishing to purchase will do well to call before doing so elsewhere, as I am determined to sell under the New Orleans prices and no mistake.  JOHN D. JAMES.  I will also sell on liberal terms, the House and Lot in which I now reside; I have also several Waggons and Harness and several Horses for sale. Natchez. December 22 & wtf."

Although the structures are no longer there, you can still see the site; relive some of the history of this phase of Deep South life.