The Slave Market
The Slave Market (2/15)
pigment print on cotton rag paper
9.5 x 14 inches
Located in the center (both then and now) of St. Augustine sits the Plaza de la Constitution, the first plaza in the country. In the 1600s and 1700s, this plaza was used as a slave market. In 1606, fifty years before Jamestown, the first documented slave birth was recorded in St Augustine. The enslaved were also sold on the steps of the Government House a few hundred yards away. From 1672-1695 they were also used to build Castillo de San Marcos, alongside Spanish mission workers.
St. Augustine was the center of the slave trade in Spanish Colonial Florida, which continued into the 1800s. The British also played a major part in the slave trade during its 20-year occupation (1763-1783) of St. Augustine, with slave ships regularly arriving from the colonies or directly from Africa.