Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest operated a slave-trading business at this location during the 1850s. Forrest is notorious for murdering hundreds of African American soldiers after they surrendered and for becoming the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
On August 6, 1854, the Memphis Weekly Appeal announced that Nathan Bedford Forrest and his business partner had established a business for the purpose of buying and selling Negroes. Their Mart is on Adams street, Southside, between Second and Third, the paper explained. It is entirely new, and conditioned with a view to comfort and security. They have agents in every market, on the lookout for good family servants; and they are satisfied that they have facilities which are unequalled, for supplying the wants of all. The highest CASH PRICE will be paid for likely young negroes. Persons wishing to dispose of a servant may rest assured that, if left with us a good home will be secured.