Historic Markers Across Alabama

Slave Transportation to Montgomery, Alabama

Marker ID: AHC 
Location: on Commerce Street near Water Street, Montgomery, AL
County: Montgomery
Coordinates: N 32° 22.871    W 086° 18.790
  32.38118333    -86.31316666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMJP3M


In order to meet the high demand for slaves in Alabama in the early 1800s, slave traders chained African Americans together in coffles and forced them to march hundreds of miles from the upper South to the lower South, including Montgomery. The overland transportation of enslaved people by foot was slow and expensive. By the 1840s, slave traders began to take advantage of two new modes of transportation: the steamboat and the railroad. Steamboats carried slaves from Mobile and New Orleans up the Alabama River to Montgomery. Rail routes constructed with slave labor connected Montgomery's train station to West Point, Georgia, and lines extending to the upper South. hundreds of enslaved people began arriving by rail and by boat each day in Montgomery, turning the city into a principal slave trading center in Alabama. Enslaved people who arrived at the riverfront or at the train station were paraded up Commerce Street to be sold in the city's slave markets.

Erected by the Black Heritage Council, Equal Justice Initiative and the Alabama Historical Commission.

End of Slave Transportation to Montgomery, Alabama