Williams' Private Jail (Slave Pen)

Title

Williams' Private Jail (Slave Pen)

Description

A private home owned by William H. Williams, the Yellow House was one of two notorious slave holding pens in Washington, DC. The two-story home housed slaves temporarily in the basement; traders removed them to the yard on auction day for the convenience of buyers. A 12 foot high wall (originally wood, then brick) encircled the structure, guarded by ferocious dogs. Pens like this one operated until 1850, when the slave trade was abolished in Washington, DC. Williams sometimes held other prisoners here, as well, on a contract basis.

Source

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. View original.

Date

1850 (Prohibited)

Coverage

Physical Description

Three-story brick building, covered with plaster, painted yellow

Description

A private home owned by William H. Williams, the Yellow House was one of two notorious slave holding pens in Washington, DC. The two-story home housed slaves temporarily in the basement; traders removed them to the yard on auction day for the convenience of buyers. A 12 foot high wall (originally wood, then brick) encircled the structure, guarded by ferocious dogs. Pens like this one operated until 1850, when the slave trade was abolished in Washington, DC. Williams sometimes held other prisoners here, as well, on a contract basis.

Date

1850 (Prohibited)

Coverage

1800-1829

Source

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. View original.