Located at 6 Chalmers Street in Charleston, the Old Slave Mart Museum is said to be the only remaining structure utilized as an auction of enslaved persons of African descent in South Carolina. The building was originally part of a complex that contained a brick-gated yard; a kitchen; a four-story brick barracoon, or jail; and a dead house, or cemetery. The museum is dedicated in detailing Charleston’s involvement in the interstate slave trade of the United States from 1856 to 1863.
In 1807, a federal law prohibiting the importation of slaves into the United States was passed; it went into effect on March 3, 1808, the earliest date permitted by the Constitution. Because it stated that no new slaves were allowed to be brought into America, numerous states began to practice domestic trading. South Carolina would be one of those states and Charleston would be its leading city. It is in Charleston where Gadsden’s Wharf once stood, the disembarkation point of approximately 40% of all Blacks who would be enslaved in the United States.