I drive past the Ripley town square each time I go to visit my mother in law. I never once thought that slaves had been sold there until I came across this while browsing the web.
Memphis Daily Appeal: 1 January 1859
CHANCERY SALE of Slaves and Other Property
Pursuant to a decree of the Chancery Court at Memphis in the October term, 1858, in the case of Wm. F. Campbell Ex’r and complainant against John McNairy Currin and others, defendants, I will, on the public square in the town of Ripley, Lauderdale county, Tennessee, on Wednesday, 29th December next sell at public sale to the highest bidder, upon a credit of four and eight months, the following likely slaves: BOB, aged about 47 years; SUSAN, aged about 34 years; MONROE, aged about 19 years; SARAH, aged about 17 years old; ANN, aged about 15 years old; ANDERSON, about 34 years old; AMERICA, about 13 years old; CHARLES, about 12 years old; SANDY, about 10 years old; BILL, about 1 years old; ISABELLA, about 5 years old; RACHEL, about 21 years old; BILLY, about 31 years old; and ABSOLEM, about 29 years old. [Description of livestock and payment method is omitted.] Sale to commence at 11 o’clock
It gives me just a moment of pause to know that slaves were sold there. Families were separated there when it now is a place where the community congregates for different festivals and events. The next time I pass by there I will stop for a moment to reflect. My children’s relatives could have been sold from that exact spot where my children now play in the water feature.
-Source: Runaway Slave Notices (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tnalhn/runawayslavenotices.htm)