Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865 Opening Reception and Symposium


February 10, 2017 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Join us for an exclusive evening recognizing the opening of the exhibition, Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865.

Symposium at 6:30 pm with a cocktail reception to follow.

Event Details

Join Dr. Erin Greenwald, curator of Purchased Lives, and historians Dr. Walter Johnson and Dr. Daina Ramey Berry for a symposium that provides historical context for the period when human lives were the primary currency of America’s pre-Civil War economy.

Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865 is an exhibition by The Historic New Orleans Collection and has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

This event is exclusively open to Museum-invited special guests and members at the Hacienda, Austin, Bronze, Spirit of Texas, and Story of Texas society levels.  Members may upgrade their membership level at any time by calling the membership office at (512) 936-4602.

Support for the Bullock Museum's exhibitions and education programs provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

To attend either portion of the event, please RSVP by calling (512) 936-4602.

About the Panel

Daina Ramey Berry is Associate Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies and the Oliver H. Radkey Fellow in American History at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research centers on the history of gender and slavery. She is the author of The Price for their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation (2017) and Swing the Sickle for the Harvest is Ripe: Gender and Slavery in Antebellum Georgia as well as other edited collections and reference volumes. She is an advocate for public history and is completing a digital history project on the domestic slave trade in Texas.

Erin M. Greenwald is curator and historian at The Historic New Orleans Collection. She is curator and project director of the NEH-funded traveling exhibition Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865, which was originally on view at the Historic New Orleans Collection as Purchased Lives: New Orleans and the Domestic Slave Trade, 1808–1865. Greenwald is currently developing New Orleans, the Founding Era, an exhibition opening in 2018 that considers the complicated and often conflicting meanings New Orleans’s development held for individuals and empires during the first half of the 18th century.

Walter Johnson is the Winthrop Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. His work focuses on slavery, capitalism, and imperialism in the nineteenth century. Johnson’s books, Soul by Soul (1999) and River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (2013), are the recipients of numerous awards. His books have used the slave market as a way to think about the fantasies, fears, negotiations, and violence that characterized American slavery along with its role in the American and global economy.

About the Exhibition

Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865 examines the lives of individuals intertwined in the domestic slave trade by exploring slavery’s reach beyond New Orleans and Galveston, beyond Texas, beyond the South, and into the very fabric of America. The exhibition uses first-person testimonies and original artifacts to explore how human beings were forced across the country, fought to resist enslavement, and how human lives became a primary currency of America’s pre-Civil War economy.