SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The Weeping Time Coalition says it will appeal to the city of Savannah and Chatham County to buy a piece of property that all sides seem to agree was indeed part of the site of the largest slave auction in the South.
In 1859, more than 400 slaves were sold at auction at what was then the fairgrounds in Savannah. It rained for the 3 days of the auction and the period became known as ‘The Weeping Time.’
There’s been controversy and disagreement for more than a year about the boundaries of the property where the large auction took place. The Coalition is still pursuing legal action over approval given to the Salvation Army to build a service center on land that a city survey said was not the auction site.
The Coalition continues to disagree and says while it is pursuing legal action, it is also going to ask local governments to pitch in to buy land that all parties seem to be able to agree was indeed part of the auction site.
“We are asking the city to buy the Bradley Lumber property,” said Reverend Leonard Small of the Coalition. “It is arguably the most important historic site in the entire city.”
“The reason we’re saying this now is we were approached last week that the property may be sold to a private investor, we talked directly to that investor,” Small said.
Small says that investor has changed his mind but would not provide the investor’s name. WSAV also contacted Bradly Lumber for comment about whether the property was or is currently for sale, but did not receive a call back.
Small says another investor may surface so the coalition wants local governments to consider buying the private property now.
The coalition has no details about what it would cost but says that members want to try to make appeals before the city council and city of Savannah within the next few weeks.