William H. Williams owned the Yellow House, a slave pen described as a three-story brick dwelling, covered with plaster, painted yellow and standing within viewing distance of the Capitol. The precise location of the “Yellow House” is difficult to discern. In 1850, Smithsonian regent Jefferson Davis, remarked of this structure, It is the house by which all must go who wish to reach the building of the Smithsonian Institution. As a result, it would have been located somewhere between 7th and 8th Streets, just south of the Smithsonian Institution grounds.
Proprietor William H. William's firm owned and operated two slave-trading ships, the Tribune and the Uncas. The broadside featured on this page shows images of the Yellow House and other slave pens in Washington and Alexandria. The top of the abolitionist broadside shows two contrasting scenes. The first depicts a reading of the Declaration of Independence under the caption The Land of the Free. The second shows slaves being led past the capitol with the caption The Home of the Oppressed.