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July 17, 2012

Slave Market

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Apparently the market was deemed to be necessary because when slave masters had little or no work for their slaves, they were sent out to roam around the streets looking for work to hire themselves out to do.  This haphazard arrangement made some of the white residents very nervous.  So they built a centralized place where people looking to hire workers could go.  After a time, the market was viewed as an eyesore and an obstruction of the views of the East River (“the agreeable prospect of the East River”), and was evidently especially offensive to those people traveling back and forth to the Coffee House (the original site where merchants traded stocks, and which eventually became the NYC Stock Exchange).  In 1762, the slave market structure was torn down.

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