Down a Dark Road: The Antebellum Slave Trade in Chattanooga

Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 2 pm. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to participate in a 90-minute, 1.2 mile walking tour focusing on the antebellum slave trade in Chattanooga on Saturday,  January 23 at 2 pm along the Brown’s Ferry Federal Road Trace on Moccasin Bend National Archeological District.  Look for and follow the “Special Program” signs beginning on Manufacturers Road, west of US 27.

Between 1800 and 1860 southerners sold more than one million enslaved African Americans from the Upper South to the Deep South in one of the largest migrations of people in the history of the United States. This domestic slave trade created millions of dollars in wealth for slave owners, traders, bankers, and even non-slaveholding laborers who worked on the roads and rail lines. By 1850, slavery in America was worth more than one billion dollars – one fifth of the nation’s entire economic output. Chattanooga, with its rail lines and roads like the Browns Ferry Federal Road, lay at this confluence of wealth, power, and broken lives. Join a park ranger at the Browns Ferry Federal Road Trace to walk this historic route and explore the role Chattanooga played in the antebellum domestic slave trade.

As a reminder, please wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the conditions.  Lightweight portable chairs are permitted an don’t forget to bring water.

For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241 or visit the National Military Park’s website at Or contact Michael Wurzel at the Friends of Moccasin Bend office at 423-322-5014 or visit the FOMB website

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