The first slave market in the state of New York was on Wall Street. Yes the place that now holds the majority of Americans in debt slavery has been in the business for quite some time.
1711. Law Appointing a Place for the More Convenient Hiring of Slaves(PDF)
Source: Minutes of the Common Council of the City of New York, vol. II, 458, December 13 , 1711. Be it Ordained by the Mayor Recorder Aldermen and Assistants of the City of New York Convened in Common Council and it is hereby Ordained by the Authority of the same That all Negro and Indian slaves that are lett out to hire within this City do take up their Standing in Order to be hired at the Markett house at the Wall Street Slip untill Such time as they are hired, whereby all Persons may Know where to hire slaves as their Occasions Shall require and also Masters discover when their Slaves are so hired and all the Inhabitants of this City are to take Notice hereof Accordingly.
Apparently the fact that slaves were being rented out by individual owners was seen as a danger to the populace of New York City. Having non-whites loose on the streets was seen as a threat to the status quo. So a slave market was born.
As the number of slaves imported into the city soared, barrel makers, butchers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and tin workers began to purchase young enslaved men in order to teach them their trades. Typically, when a slave owner ran out of work, they hired their slaves out at half the rate of free labor.
Often the slaves themselves were sent out to find work. In a time when fear of a slave uprising was ever-present, the sight of so many enslaved men walking the streets looking to be hired caused alarm. Fearful white citizens began to complain. They demanded a market where slaves could be hired, bought, and sold. Finally, on December 13, 1711, the City Council passed a law “that all Negro and Indian slaves that are let out to hire…be hired at the Market house at the Wall Street Slip…” This market, known as the Meal Market (because grains were sold there), was located at the foot of Wall Street on the East River. It was the city’s first slave market.
So trading on the lives and well being of humans is nothing new to Wall Street. Be it buying and selling humans as a way to gain profit. To buying and selling the labor and fruits of their labor of the 99% is seen as acceptable. All in the name of profit.
Who says there are no African-Americans on Wall Street? You can check in on the former home of the Royal African Trading Company, NYC's once bustling slave market, at the corner of Wall and Walter Streets. In the late 1700's, NYC was second only to Charleston, SC for the busiest slave market and could boast that more than 20% of it's population were slaves. We've progressed a lot since then - today, only about 10% of welfare recipients have been used as slaves in demeaning Workfare programs. Afterward, you can stroll down to the touristy South Street Seaport and have an overpriced dinner at the port where many of NYC's slaves arrived.
One block east of Broadway between Duane and Elk (take the 2 or 3 train to Wall St.) you'll find the African Burial Ground. The bodies of an estimated 20,000 African slaves were buried here until the 1790's. The lot began to be used as a cemetary for Africans when Trinity Church, which had been the cemetary for many of the city's poor, issued a decree forbidding Africans from being buried in their churchyard. Other NYC laws during this time restricted the number of persons who could attend African funerals, and at what times they could be held. The small plot of land left untouched as a historic memorial is but a tiny fraction of the graveyard's size. Many of the buildings currently surrounding the memorial either destroyed or were built on top of the remains of African slaves.
The fact that this travesty to humanity was begun on Wall Street speaks volumes about what is acceptable to those praying to the altar of greed. Anything goes and values like dignity and humanity are to be excluded.