Richmond Spotlight

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Hanover County

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James River Rafting

The only urban setting with Class III and IV rapids

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Getting Around - Padding
Visitors Guide - Padding

Richmond Slave Trail

The Richmond Slave Trail is a walking trail that chronicles the history of the trade of enslaved Africans from Africa to Virginia until 1775, and away from Virginia, especially Richmond, to other locations in the Americas until 1865.

It begins at Manchester Docks, a major port in the massive downriver Slave Trade that made Richmond the largest source of enslaved Africans on the east coast of America from 1830 to 1860. The trail then follows a route through the former slave markets of Richmond, beside the Reconciliation Statue commemorating the international triangular slave trade, past Lumpkin's Slave Jail and the Negro Burial Ground to the site of First African Baptist Church, a center of African-American life in pre-Civil War Richmond. For information on tours contact the Elegba Folklore Society.

Click on map for larger image.

Slave Trail Map

Richmond Slave Trail sites are listed below.

 

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Auction Houses

  • 15th and Cary Streets, Richmond, VA 23224
  • Phone: (804) 646-7955
  • Visit Website

The auction houses in Shockoe Bottom frequently sold human "goods" along with corn, coffee and other commodities. Slave commerce was concentrated in the roughly 30-block area bounded by Broad, 15th and 19th Streets and the river. Davenport & Co., located at…more »

Creole Revolt

  • Manchester Docks, Richmond, VA 23224
  • Phone: (804) 646-7955
  • Visit Website

In 1841, the Creole left the port of Richmond en route to New Orleans with Madison Washington and 100 other enslaved Africans, shipped by Robert Lumpkin and other Richmond traders. Once on the high seas Washington led a mutiny and set a course for Nassau, in…more »

Crossing the Atlantic

  • Manchester Docks, Richmond, VA 23224
  • Phone: (804) 646-7955
  • Visit Website

Before 1776, many enslaved Africans were brought up the James River to work in Virginia tobacco and wheat fields. Virginia outlawed importation of Africans from abroad in 1778. Several decades later, these Manchester Docks and Rocketts' Landing became ports…more »

Despair of Slavery

  • Manchester Docks, Richmond, VA 23224
  • Phone: (804) 646-7955
  • Visit Website

"We were handcuffed in pairs, with iron staples and bolts, with a short chain about a foot long uniting the handcuffs and their wearers in pairs. In this manner we were chained alternately by the right and left hand; and the poor man to whom I was thus ironed…more »

First African Baptist Church

  • 2700 Hanes Avenue, Richmond, VA 23222
  • Phone: (804) 646-7955
  • Visit Website

The First African Baptist Church was founded in 1841, after white members of First Baptist Church sold the building to its 1,708 African American members, both free and enslaved for $6,500. The church became a center for Christian worship and an anchor for…more »

Henry Box Brown

  • 15th and Dock Streets, Richmond, VA 23224
  • Phone: (804) 646-7955
  • Visit Website

In 1849, in order to escape slavery, Henry Brown shipped himself to the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia. more »

James River and Kanawha Canal

  • Dock Street, Richmond, VA 23224
  • Phone: (804) 646-7955
  • Visit Website

First proposed by John Marshall in 1812 to connect Tidewater Virginia with the Ohio River, the canal required for its construction the back-breaking effort of thousands of laborers. After many of the original white Irish laborers died of hypothermia, they were…more »

Lumpkin's Jail

  • East Franklin and 15th Streets, Richmond, VA 23219
  • Phone: (804) 646-7955
  • Visit Website

Lumpkin's Jail was owned by Robert Lumpkin, whose compound included lodging for slave traders, a slave holding facility, an auction house and a residence for his family. Enslaved Africans held for auction at Lumpkin's Jail referred to it as "the Devil's Half…more »

Mayo's Bridge

  • South 14th Street, Richmond, VA 23224
  • Phone: (804) 646-7955
  • Visit Website

John Mayo built his first toll bridge here in 1788 to connect Richmond and Manchester. Africans being sold south from the 19th century markets in Shockoe Bottom, north of the river, would walk in coffles or be transported in carts across the bridge. more »

Mechanics of Slavery

  • Manchester Docks, Richmond, VA 23224
  • Phone: (804) 646-7955
  • Visit Website

Upon reaching Virginia, enslaved Africans were forced to walk along the riverbanks and into nearby towns for further sale. The Slave Trade path along the James River's southern shore reflects the transition African's had to make between their homeland and the…more »

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