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Exhibition Opening: Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865
  • Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865, the newest exhibition at Illinois Holocaust Museum, personalizes the pain and injustice of the American domestic slave trade. The exhibition illuminates just how widespread the practice of slavery was in American life, as well as its impact on slave families across the country.

    It showcases more than 75 original artifacts, including period paintings and first-person accounts from slave narratives and oral histories. Through interactive displays, Purchased Lives allows visitors to engage directly with the historical record by tracking the shipment of more than 70,000 people to New Orleans. The exhibit also contains a collection of “Lost Friends” ads placed after the Civil War by newly freed people attempting to locate family members. These ads specifically address slave families looking for friends and loved ones in Illinois and were placed up into the early 1900s.

    The exhibition opening will feature a conversation with Erin Greenwald, Curator of Purchased Lives, and Nancy Bercaw, Chair, Division of Political History, National Museum of American History.

    All photographs courtesy of The Historic New Orleans Collection. Exhibition by The Historic New Orleans Collection.

    The Golder Family Foundation supports all Illinois Holocaust Museum special exhibitions.

    Free with Museum admission.

    Community Partners:
    Chicago Urban League
    Jewish Council on Urban Affairs

Exhibition Opening: Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865
  • Location: Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
  • Address: 9603 Woods Dr.
  • February 10, 2019
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center