A major project of the Richmond City Council Slave Trail Commission, the archaeological excavation of the infamous Lumpkin’s Slave Jail, located in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom area, has uncovered the remains of the former compound and period artifacts. The discovery includes the brick foundation, cobblestone courtyard and kitchen area. Via the Richmond […]
A major project of the Richmond City Council Slave Trail Commission, the archaeological excavation of the infamous Lumpkin’s Slave Jail, located in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom area, has uncovered the remains of the former compound and period artifacts. The discovery includes the brick foundation, cobblestone courtyard and kitchen area.
Via the Richmond City Council press release:
Lumpkin’s Slave Jail was the largest slave holding facility in operation in Richmond, Virginia from 1840 until the end of the U.S. Civil War in 1865. During that time, Richmond was home to the largest domestic slave export business in the United States.
Partners in the project include: Richmond City Council Slave Trail Commission, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the Alliance to Conserve Old Richmond Neighborhoods (A.C.O.R.N.) and the Richmond Department of Economic Development.
WHEN Wednesday, December 17, 2008; 10:00-10:30 a.m.
WHERE Located in North West parking lot of Richmond Main Street Train Station
15th & Franklin Streets – bordered by E. Broad Street
In Richmond’s Historic Shockoe Bottom – Right below I-95 to the east
WHO The Honorable Delores L. McQuinn, Vice President, Richmond City Council, and Chairman of the Richmond City Council Slave Trail Commission
Members of Richmond City Council
Members of the Richmond City Council Slave Trail Commission
Kathleen Kilpatrick, Executive Dir., Virginia Department of Historic Resources, David Herring, Dir., Alliance to Conserve Old Richmond Neighborhoods (ACORN)
CONTACT For more information, please contact Steve Skinner,
804.646.6052 (office); 804.937.1386 (home/mobile)
– M O R E –
Owned by Robert Lumpkin, the jail was a place that tens of thousands of African men, women and children were “stored” before being transported to slave owners living in states where slavery was legal. Following Lumpkin’s death shortly after the Civil war, his widow Mary Lumpkin, who was African-American and a former slave, inherited the estate. In 1867, she leased the jail to Reverend Nathaniel Colver, who established a school for freed slaves at the site. Founded by the American Baptist Home Missionary Society and the National Theological Institute, the school grew into what is now Virginia Union University.
Begun on August 4, 2008, the excavation included removing more than 14 feet of soil covering the 12,000 square foot dig site.
The discovery completes more than five years of planning and four and a half months of excavation and archaeological investigation of the site.
The former site of Lumpkin’s Slave Jail is now a city-owned parking lot.
The exact location was identified through the use of an 1835 city survey parcel map of Richmond and compared to the current survey.
Richmond City Council’s Richmond Slave Trail Commission
The Richmond City Council Slave Trail Commission was established by Richmond City Council in 1998 to help promote awareness of the history and legacy of slavery in Richmond.
Projects to date have included:
· Richmond Slavery Reconciliation Statue, erected in 2007 at 15th and E. Main
· Richmond Night Walk established along the Richmond Slave Trail
· The Richmond Slave Trail designated as Historic Landmark
· Lumpkin’s Slave Jail site identified and archaeological research performed