Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division
Coffle Passing the Capitol
The nation's capital was an important center for the interregional slave trade. Trading houses and slave pens were numerous, and thousands of shackled men and women passed through the streets every year on their way to the Deep South. Abolitionists regularly denounced slave trading in the capital of a nation that professed to be the Land of the Free. Slavery in Washington, D.C., was abolished in 1862.