Richmond Dig Could Reveal More on Slave Trade in Virginia

WVEC (Hampton Roads, Virginia) has an article by Dionne Walker of the Associated Press, Richmond dig could reveal more on slave trade in Virginia, about the excavation of a parking lot in Richmond (VA) that could reveal quite a bit. The site is a former holding pen, jail, school, and a few other companies. Interesting to imagine that there would be that much from the 1860s, but they are talking about having to go eight feet down before getting to the Civil War layer.

Excerpt from the article:

When he died in 1866, Lumpkin left the property to his wife Mary — a former slave who he had purchased. Laird said she was looking for someone to rent the property when, in 1867, she struck a deal with a white minister hoping to establish a school for recently freed blacks.

That school would become Virginia Union University, a private, black college now found halfway across the city.

The school moved about three years later and the building was demolished in the 1870s; an iron company and later a train depot occupied the property, now a parking lot.

“We’re having to get down about 8 feet before we get to the Civil War layer,” said Laird, standing outside two deep pits Tuesday.

Ideally, they hope to find trash pits where Laird said tenants often threw refuse and personal items.

The trail commission, which is compiling a string of Virginia slave history landmarks, hopes to add markers to the site, she said. A replica of the two-story, brick structure believed to have stood there might also be in the works, serving either as a museum or a genealogy center, McQuinn said.

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