What is the Slave Auction Block?

(All of these questions were developed in 2017 and answered in 2017 within the context of the process at that time.) 

At the corner of William and Charles Streets is an elevated stone that is known as the Slave Auction Block, or simply the Auction Block (as it was believed to be used for other purposes). It is listed on the City’s walking tour as a point of interest.

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1. What is the Slave Auction Block?
2. Why has the City considered it important?
3. Are we absolutely sure it was used an auction block?
4. Is there more than oral tradition to support the assertion that the slave block was actually used to sell people?
5. Why did slave sales end in 1862, instead of 1865 when the Civil War ended?
6. Has anyone previously asked that the slave auction block be removed?
7. What about memorials to Confederates on National Park Service property on Sunken Road and a plaque on City of Fredericksburg property near Smith Run on Cowan Boulevard?
8. Why is it thought to be important to keep the slave auction block in place?
9. Is it possible to determine if the slave auction block is really in its original location?
10. What are the options for the future of the slave auction block?
11. When did the discussion about the slave auction block’s future begin?