Mar 31, 2024

Only ONE execution in the U.S. for slave trading....The man was arrested 164 years ago this Fall.

The Tombs, NYC, Opened in 1838

Slave trader Nathaniel Gordon was hanged in the Tombs prison in New York in 1862. It was the only time an American was executed for violating the law against slave trading. Gordon begged President Abraham Lincoln to pardon him, but he did not.

 There is an excellent site detailing that execution HERE. It's where the graphic below originated.

Under a 1820 federal law making slave trade a capital crime of piracy, Capt. Gordon and his two mates were formally arrested Oct. 3, 1860, when their ship, the Erie, docked in NY. It had been brought there under armed escort of the USS Mohican, part of the African Slave Trade Patrol. The African Squadron, as the Navy and Marine task force was also known, originally came into being to deal with Barbary pirates. But its mission was expanded – by a decree of President Washington, by an Act of Congress and by a treaty with Britain – to include combating the slave trade.


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