Watch CBS News

Holocaust Museum Opens Its First Slavery Exhibit 'Purchased Lives'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A gripping account of the slave trade, its injustices, its pain and impact on enslaved families across the country is the subject of a new exhibit coming to the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

Slave Collar
(Credit: The Historic New Orleans Collection)

"Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade From 1808 to 1865" will open February 10 at the museum located in Skokie. There will be more than 75 original artifacts, slave narratives and oral histories. It also includes a collection of ads known as "Lost Friends,"

"The exhibition is powerful not only for the subject matter, but because of the incredible and rare artifacts that are included," said Arielle Weininger, Chief Curator of Illinois Holocaust Museum who added that "Lost Friends" provides information on slavery that may not be widely known.

Slave Auction
View of an auctioneer with gavel aloft, and three bidders. A male slave is up for auction on the auction block. Behind the auction block stands a female slave wearing a red striped dress and tignon. (Credit: The Historic New Orleans Collection)

"(It) helps the visitor understand that this is not a southern issue," added Weininger. "Its ramifications were felt throughout the country and are still evident today."

Some of the items in the exhibit include a slave collar with bells as well as numerous paintings of slave auctions, auction notices and other artifacts. "Purchased Lives" was originally curated and hosted by the Historic New Orleans Collection.

"The power of this story and the platform it provides for contemporary discussion transcends the geographic borders of New Orleans as a center of the domestic slave trade," said John H. Lawrence, Director of Museum Programs at the Historic New Orleans Collection.

Sale of Estates, Pictures and Slaves in the Rotunda, New Orleans
Interior view of a room with a rotunda ceiling during an auction of slaves, artwork, and goods. (Credit: The Historic New Orleans Collection)

The exhibit runs from February through August 25. Visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum's website for more information and tickets for the event.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.