Slavery and Emancipation
Slavery had existed in America for nearly 200 years by the time of the Civil War. Prior to the war, Richmond was the nation’s center for the export of slaves to other areas of the country. Thousands of African Americans passed through Richmond throughout the early to mid 19th century. The end of the Civil War marked the end of slavery in America forever - and the path to freedom burned right through Richmond.
To explore the emancipation of Richmond’s African-American population, begin with the Manchester Slave Trail, a memorial to enslaved people. Now, as it was 150 years ago, this walk is an emotionally powerful experience. Follow in the footsteps of enslaved Africans as they walked down the path along the James River, past Lumpkins Jail to the slave auction houses of Richmond. Trace the route Abraham Lincoln followed when he entered the city just days before his death at the close of the war where thousands of former slaves gathered to catch a glimpse of the man who gave them their freedom.