Auction Block Exhibition

The “Slave Auction Block,” alternatively referred to as the “Slave Block,” the “Auction Block,” or the “Block,” is a deeply difficult object representing an immensely painful period in the history of Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the United States. Once positioned at the corner of William and Charles Streets in downtown Fredericksburg, the Auction Block was moved to the Fredericksburg Area Museum in fall 2020 and opened to the public with an accompanying temporary exhibition soon after. For more on the City of Fredericksburg’s decision to move the Block to its current location, visit the City of Fredericksburg’s “Slave Auction Block” webpage. The Curator of African American History and Special Projects, in partnership with the African American History Committee and the Auction Block Work Group, is currently working on a Concept Plan for an updated exhibition surrounding the Auction Block on the first floor of the FAM.

It is essential that the community of the Fredericksburg Area, especially members of the African American community, have the opportunity to contribute to this updated exhibition. The Curator of African American History and Special Projects has been in conversation with numerous community members to invite feedback on the exhibition, and will continue to collect feedback in the coming months. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the Auction Block Exhibition Concept Plan and providing input or ideas, please email gsims@famva.org.

Fredericksburg Old Slave Block Postcard
Fredericksburg resident Albert Crutchfield
Fredericksburg resident Albert Crutchfield poses next to the Block on this 1931 postcard. The back of the postcard reads, “Albert Crutchfield…was sold from the block about 1859, at which time he was a boy about fifteen years old.”