Old Slave Mart Museum

Charleston
SC

Portrait by Artist to Come

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Opened in 2007, the museum offers a narrative history of slavery in the U.S. The building, formerly Ryan’s Mart, was an actual showroom where slaves were bought and sold.

Eighteenth-century writers seemed uncertain how best to describe Britain’s relation to its many overseas possessions. Only tepidly did they employ the concept of empire since for them it carried uncomfortable baggage from ancient history. The traditional usage suggested that control over distant colonies and expansion into new regions depended on military might. But the notion that Great Britain was a modern-day Rome, dispatching powerful legions to conquer the world, did not sit well with a people who celebrated liberty and rights, the blessings of living under a balanced constitution.

T. H. Breen
The Marketplace of the Revolution (2004)