Richmond’s story, like the discovery of the intact remains of the Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Site, is unique.

Over the last twenty years, teams of individuals and groups have worked together to locate the remains of known locations of significance in the telling of Richmond’s enslavement heritage. Through the efforts of the RSTC and other groups throughout the city, these stories and their connections to the everyday life of Richmonders today are being illuminated and unearthed.

Their work has produced a rich timeline of achievements. Though there have been other significant efforts to preserve Richmond’s enslavement history, this timeline notes those actions taken by the City of Richmond and the Richmond Slave Trail Commission.


  • “Healing the Heart of American History Unity Walk (HHAH),” which highlighted the buried history of Richmond’s history of enslavement.


  • Mayor Walter Kenney creates the Unity Walk Commission to support sites marked in the HHAH history walk.


  • The Richmond Slave Trail Commission (RSTC) is established by the Richmond City Council to preserve the history and legacy of slavery in Richmond.


  • Funds are approved and accepted by Richmond City Council to commission a Reconciliation statue.


  • Artist Stephen Broadbent is commissioned to create the Reconciliation Statue in Liverpool, England. Funds are received from City Manager Calvin Jamison to ship the Reconciliation Statue.


  • RST Brochure is designed and distributed, showing the location of 21 sites related to the history of enslaved Africans in Richmond.


  • $5,000 grants from VaDHR (Virginia Department of Historic Resources), $5,000 from ACORN, and $3,500 from RSTC (Richmond Slave Trail Commission) supported the preliminary archaeological investigation of the Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Site revealing mid-19th-century cultural deposits and identifying several key Jail features, including river cobble, paved surface and structural foundation elements.
  • Based on this study, Richmond City Council, the City of Richmond ($100,000) and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources ($50,000) under Governor Tim Kaine fund further archaeological excavation.


  • On land owned and maintained by the Commonwealth of Virginia, under Governor Tim Kaine, the Richmond Slavery Reconciliation Statue and Plaza is unveiled at 15th and E. Main Streets.
  • Richmond City Council marks the unveiling of the statue proclaiming March 30th as the Richmond Day of Reconciliation.
  • Virginia General Assembly votes unanimously to express profound regret for the involuntary servitude of Africans and calls for reconciliation among all Virginians.


  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) agrees to suspend plans to repave a parking lot space on land believed to include an early African Burial Ground.
  • Archaeological excavations of the Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Site reveals the remains of the Jail complex, remarkably intact, along with 16,000 artifacts.
  • The Negro Burial Ground is renamed as the African Burial Ground.
  • Development of the RST Marker Program Signage; Commemorative Site: Lumpkin’s Slave Jail; and the original concept for the Richmond National Slavery Museum.



  • Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Interpretive Site Installation.



  • Installation and unveiling of 21 Richmond Slave Trail Markers along a 2.6-mile trail following the bank of the James River and through Shockoe Bottom in Richmond depict the journey, impact, and role Richmond played in the tragic history of enslaved Africans.
  • Lord Cultural Resources workshops and community meetings establish a concept for the Slave Trail Master Plan in Richmond.
  • With support from Governor Bob McDonnell, Virginia Senate Bill 971 passes, authorizing VCU to transfer the site of the African Burial Ground to the City of Richmond for use specifically as part of the Slave Trail, following the Slave Trail Commission’s work with the city to reclaim it.
  • RSTC and the City of Richmond presents proposal to Governor Bob McDonnell for a Burial Ground, Genealogical Center, Lumpkin’s Jail Pavilion/Slavery Museum. Governor McDonnell places $11 million in his budget toward these efforts.


  • The National Slavery Museum Foundation is established to preserve and interpret authentic sites and artifacts in Richmond to tell the story of the slave trade.
  • Bronze Slave Trail pathway markers installed along the 2.6 mile trail
  • Broad Street Gateway – 14th to 18th Infrastructure Project including ADA access to Burial Ground and Lumpkin’s Jail.


  • Richmond City Council amends initial city budget appropriation of $5 million for the design and construction of the Lumpkin’s Pavilion at the Lumpkin’s Slave Jail archaeological site with an additional $3,050,000 for FY2016. This funding is in addition to the $11 million dedicated by the Commonwealth for Improvements to the Slave Trail and the planning, design, and construction of the Pavilion at Lumpkin’s Slave Jail and a slavery museum.
  • Richmond Speaks conducted.
  • Winfree Cottage stabilization complete.
  • City of Richmond hires SmithGroupJJR team.



  • Project Statement of Purpose Final Report and Addendum