Extraordinary Photos From History Explained

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Outside the Slave Pens


This is a photo of a group of men standing outside Lynch’s Slave Pens in St. Louis, Missouri in 1852. Bernard M. Lynch was a notorious slave trader who had somehow managed to franchise slave labor and operated in several locations before the civil war. Lynch’s slave pens were actually houses with bar added to the windows to prevent escape, with one of the branches specializing in the sale of slave children. In a delicious twist of fate, Union commanders used Lynch’s slave pens as a prison for Confederates and their sympathizers during the Civil War.