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auction block

Also called block. a platform from which an auctioneer sells:
the old courthouse where slaves were sold from the auction block.
put on the auction block, to offer for sale at auction; offer to sell to the highest bidder.
Also, put on the block.
Origin of auction block
1840-50, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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  • They have 'em get up on a auction block, and hire a auctioneer, and sell 'em at so much a head, to the crowd.

    Sweet Cicely Josiah Allen's Wife: Marietta Holley
  • I heerd my mother say they sold slaves on what they called an auction block.

  • Thus the Thirteenth Amendment did not destroy the auction block.

  • Several Negroes were standing on a platform called an auction block.

    Abe Lincoln Gets His Chance Frances Cavanah
  • It was a serious sacrifice; but she had been threatened with the auction block, and she well understood what that meant.

    The Underground Railroad William Still

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