Franklin & Armfield
Isaac Franklin and John Armfield were among the first to apply modern business methods to slave trading. Based in Alexandria, the partners formed a network of agents who scoured cities and towns throughout Virginia and Maryland for slaves to purchase, particularly men and women between the ages of 12 and 25. The people they purchased were then transported to Alexandria and held in jail before being sent to the markets in Natchez, Mississippi, and New Orleans. Franklin and Armfield's jail in Alexandria consisted of multiple buildings together on one property surrounded by a high wall. The three-story brick house that fronted Duke Street served as Armfield's dwelling house. Behind that stood a yard, a kitchen building, and a tailor's shop where the enslaved were given two sets of clothing.
Having achieved great wealth through the selling of thousands of men, women, and children, Franklin and Armfield retired from the trade. Franklin invested his profits in plantations in Tennessee and Louisiana. Armfield moved to Beersheba Springs, Tennessee, founded a resort, and became a benefactor of Sewanee: The University of the South. Both established themselves as socially prominent members of their local societies.