March Program to Mark the 159th Anniversary of the Weeping Time in Savannah

Savannah, Ga., February 28, 2018– The Georgia Historical Society, in partnership with OCEANS Inc. (Organization to Commemorate Enslaved African American Nationals), Journey by Faith Inc., Ivory Bay CDC, and Otis J. Brock III Elementary School, will hold a commemoration of the Weeping Time, the largest slave sale in recorded American history, held in Savannah, Georgia, on March 2-3, 1859.

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Otis J. Brock III Elementary School followed by a procession to the Weeping Time historical marker at the intersection of Augusta Avenue and Dunn Street, where the event will conclude at 10:45 a.m.

The sale took place on March 2-3, 1859, at the Ten Broeck Race Course. Pierce M. Butler sold 429 men, women, and children from his Butler Island and Hampton plantations near Darien, Georgia to satisfy his creditors. It was reported that during the course of the sale, it rained intensely in Savannah. The traumatic event became known as the Weeping Time because, they say, God must have been weeping. The event was reported extensively in the northern press and reaction to the sale deepened the nation’s growing sectional divide in the years immediately preceding the Civil War.

The general public is invited to attend and asked to bring an umbrella, rain or shine, for an important part of the commemoration.

What:      The Weeping Time
When:     Friday, March 2, 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.
Where:    Otis J. Brock III Brock Elementary School, 1804 Stratford Street, Savannah, Georgia

For more information please contact Pattye Meagher, Director of Communications at the Georgia Historical Society, at 912-651-2125, ext. 153.


Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
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