Exhibited: Suffolk Street Gallery, London, 1854
Current owner: Chicago History Museum
Crowe was struck in Richmond, Virginia, by the scenes after the slave sales, when slaves were ‘marched under escort of their new owners across the town to the railway station, where they took places, and “went South”. They held scanty bundles of clothing, their only possession. These were the scenes which in a very short number of years made one realise the sources of the fiercest of civil wars’ (With Thackeray in America, p. 136).
This painting was exhibited at the Suffolk Street Gallery in London in 1854, and was described by the critic in the Art Journal in June 1864 (‘British Artists: their Style and Character – No. LXXIII – Eyre Crowe’, pp 206) as ‘full of life and bustle, but not of the kind that is pleasant to look upon’.
It appears in the journal American Heritage, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, 1967.