On Monday a new historical marker that indicates the site of a former slave auction block was unveiled on the Camden waterfront.
The site was one of three former slave auction blocks in Camden. Over 800 enslaved Africans were transported from Philadelphia to Federal Street where the marker now stands. Many of these enslaved people were forced to work on farms throughout South Jersey.
The marker was part of an effort by the Camden County Historical Society to remember the history of slavery in the city. Derek Davis, a member of the Camden County Historical Society, said “We are here to bring pride and dignity to those who regularly experienced deprivation.” The marker on Federal Street was the second such marker erected at a Camden slave auction site. The first went up in 2017. The historical society has discovered in total 20 sites in the city connected to slavery and the Underground Railroad.
The unveiling on Monday was celebrated with an “Ancestral Remembrance Ceremony.” The two hour long ceremony included singing, poetry, and a Native American libation ceremony, asking permission from indigenous ancestors to erect the marker.