Richmond Slavery Reconciliation Statue
Richmond’s Legacy – A Shared History
In 1865 the Civil War and slavery ended in America, but these pivotal historic events continue to have a lasting impact on our lives today. No other area in the U.S. has the same unique historical perspective as the Richmond-Petersburg Region, which served as the backdrop for many crucial battles that turned the tide of the war. As the 19th century Capital of the Confederacy and a center of the nation’s slave trade, 21st century Richmond represents America’s shared history more completely than any other region in the country.
The Richmond-Petersburg Region approaches Emancipation and Civil War history as a community by offering a diverse, balanced perspective of the historical events that took place here. This rich cultural heritage provides us with a unique opportunity - as well as a special responsibility - to tell the whole story of Emancipation and the American Civil War from every perspective. And there a many organizations within the Region working to achieve this goal.
The Future of Richmond's Past is comprised of the Region's universities, community leaders, historic attractions, museums, the Slave Trail Commission and area historians. This organization is focused on presenting an honest and balanced historical account of the Civil War and Emancipation while working with civic, commercial, and professional organizations to recognize that a fuller sense of history can make Richmond a better place to live and visit.
The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar Ironworks is an excellent example of the many diverse experiences that await visitors to the Richmond Region. This unique museum tells the story of the Civil War from all perspectives - Union, Confederate and African-American.
Another one-of-a-kind experience is the Slave Trail. By retracing this path along the James River, Richmond offers a contribution to the African American heritage by acknowledging its responsibility as a central component of the slave trade industry and recognizing the hardships, despair and inhumanity experienced by African slaves. The trail ultimately reveals not only the perseverance of individuals, but a faith in one’s own cultural legacy, even when every aspect of home, family and friendship has been destroyed. Along this trail visitors will learn of persecution and greed, of hope and conviction and ultimately - of triumph.
Richmond’s history is America’s history. We invite you to explore and experience all that the Richmond Region has to offer. A diverse and rich history that helped shape a nation. A history shared by all.