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Artefact of the Month

                   ST. LOUIS HOTEL, POSTCARD                        

This month’s featured artefact is a postcard sent to Mr. J. Orlon Livingston, of Grimsby, on 26 Sept. 1916, from Atlanta, Georgia. It features a coloured photograph of the old St. Louis Hotel in New Orleans, wherein slave auctions of the late 19th century were conducted. The inscription reads:

“The Old Slave Block in the old St. Louis Hotel, New Orleans, La. The coloured woman standing on the block was sold for $1,500.00 on the same block while a little girl.”
History: On the corner of St. Louis and Chartres streets in 1838, the St. Louis hotel opened. It was also called the City Exchange Hotel. Two years later it burned down, but was quickly rebuilt. The main entrance to the hotel led into the exchange, a beautiful domed rotunda where every afternoon between noon and 3 p.m. the auctions were held. Inside of this elegant hotel—the center of Creole society before the Civil War—was located the most infamous of the slave auction blocks.

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