Old Slave Mart Museum
Charleston, SC 29401
Monday - Saturday: 9:00a to 5:00p
The Old Slave Mart, located on one of Charleston's few remaining cobblestone streets, is the only building still in existence used as a slave auction gallery in South Carolina.
During the antebellum period, Charleston served as a center of commercial activity for the South's plantation economy, which depended heavily upon slaves as a source of labor.
When sales were held in the shed, slaves stood on auction tables, three feet high and ten feet long, placed lengthwise so slave owners could pass by them during the auction. The building was used for this purpose only a short time before the defeat of the South in the Civil War led to the end of slavery.
Around 1878, the Slave Mart was renovated into a two-story tenement dwelling. In 1938, the property was purchased by Miriam B. Wilson, who turned the site into a museum of African American history, arts and crafts.