E Arnold Modlin Jr* - Norfolk State University
Over the course of sixty years, a site often described as St. Augustine's slave market was represented numerous ways on postcards. Local place promoters for St. Augustine selectively represented the city through postcards of the various tourism spots. These postcards portrayed St. Augustine as uniquely historic and progressive - the "oldest city in the United States" and a city that does not have the racial violence such as lynching that occurred elsewhere in the South. Yet, postcard makers and local promoters were not able to completely control the way that postcard senders and receivers saw or thought about the place as demonstrated by some of the comments that visitors wrote on these postcards. This paper looks at the changing ways that the slave market was portrayed in postcards and the comments and connections tourists made with the same site. Emerging out of this, we see a decades-long conversation over how to frame the slave market into a site of leisure. Never completely able to separate slavery from the market, locals were able to use postcards to reframe slavery as a distant past – and thus St. Augustine as a progressive city – as indicated in the maintenance of the site's designation as "the Old Slave Market".