African American News and Genealogy

This site was developed to provide you with news that relates to African American Genealogy, History and News. Please feel free to forward this link to others. I hope you enjoy this site and good luck with your research! Cheers, Kenyatta D. Berry Managing Director

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Richmond dig could reveal more on slave trade in Virginia

By DIONNE WALKER Associated Press Writer April 4, 2006 RICHMOND, Va. -- Archaeologists are digging up a parking lot believed to be the former site of a slave holding pen whose artifacts could expose new facets of Richmond's slave past. Researchers with the James River Institute for Archaeology will spend this week digging into a 90-by-90-foot patch of land behind the restored Main Street train station in Shockoe Bottom, one of the oldest sections of this former capital of the Confederacy. The dig beneath an elevated section of Interstate 95 is seeking remnants of Lumpkin's Jail, named after a slave trader. The jail later became a school for freed blacks. Tuesday, Ziploc bags full of iron pieces, broken bottles and pottery jags lined the sides of the pits. Below, workers tussled with gravel, sewage pipes and old bricks. The dig, if successful, could lead to a full-scale excavation of the area, said senior researcher Matt Laird. Success, he explained, is measured by the discovery of either the 19th century jail's building foundation or a layer of soil from that era--both likely rich in the type of pottery, animal bones and household goods archaeologists treasure. Such items would be turned over to the city for possible inclusion in a museum, he said. The initial dig is funded by the city and grants orchestrated by the Richmond Slave Trail Commission, said its chairwoman Delores McQuinn. "This is the capital of the Confederacy," she said. "(But) it's more sides to the history of the city. "We want this story to be told." Full Story:,0,5276441.story?coll=dp-headlines-virginia


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