Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
THIS PAGE HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Hector Davis advertises his auction house

Union or Secession
  • Hector Davis advertises that he "Sells Negroes both publicly and privately"
Richmond commission merchant and slave trader Hector Davis advertised in the city directory for 1858–1859 that he "Sells Negroes both publicly and privately, and pledges his best efforts to obtain the highest market prices."
Related Biographies:
  • Hector Davis (1816–1863)
    Hector Davis
« Return to Slavery in Virginia

Hector Davis advertises that he "Sells Negroes both publicly and privately"

Richmond Business Directory for 1859–'59 (Richmond, Va.: J. W. Randolph, 1858), 54. Collections of the Library of Virginia.

Hector Davis and the other large-scale traders in Virginia routinely advertised in newspapers and city directories. They annually purchased and sold between eight and ten thousand men, women, and children for transportation to markets in the states in the lower South, making it the largest commercial business in the state. In 1859 Davis's Richmond auction house, alone, sold slaves with a market value of more than $2.67 million, more than the value of all of the flour exported from Virginia that year, when Richmond had two of the largest mills in the country, and almost equal to the value of all of the tobacco exported from Virginia to other countries.

Richmond Business Directory for 1859–'59 (Richmond, Va.: J. W. Randolph, 1858), 54. Collections of the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va.
Hector Davis,
Auctioneer and Commission Merchant
For Sale of Negroes,
Franklin Street,
Richmond, VA.
Sells Negroes both publicly and privately, and pledges his best efforts to obtain the highest market prices.
He has a safe and commodious jail, where he will board all Negroes intended for his sales at 30 cents per day.