Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Richmond Slave Trail
After their purchase by slave traders, Madison Washington and the rest of the enslaved African Americans destined for New Orleans poignantly reversed the walk that had once led tens of thousands of Africans trafficked in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The future could promise little more than hardship and suffering in strange and foreign lands. For those aboard the Creole, however, a different future awaited. Shortly after leaving the port at Hampton Roads and setting sail on the high seas, Washington rallied 18 of the other enslaved blacks and planned to take control of the ship. Secretly freeing themselves of their shackles and chains, the men surprised the crew on deck, seized hold of their weapons and demanded the Creole set a course for Nassau, a British-governed port in the Bahamas.
Scholars speculate that Washington was one of the many enslaved people who participated in an extensive communication network
Upon reaching their destination, all of the enslaved people on board the Creole were set free, despite the outcry of American slaveholders, including Robert Lumpkin, who had lost their investment. After a decade of dispute and the issuance of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, assuring that the British would not interfere in similar cases in the future,
Sources: Dr. Philip Schwarz, Virginia Commonwealth University; Steve Shoenherr, Professor Emeritus, USD Department of history; Junius P. Rodriguez, The Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance & Rebellion; Howard Jones, review of George Hendrick & Willene Hendrick, The Creole Mutiny: A Tale of Revolt aboard a Slave Ship
About the Trail
Designed as a walking path, the Richmond Slave Trail chronicles the history of the trade in enslaved Africans from their homeland to Virginia until 1778, and away from Virginia, especially Richmond, to other locations in the Americas until 1865. The trail begins at the Manchester Docks, which, alongside Rocketts Landing on the north side of the river, operated as a major port in the massive downriver slave trade, making Richmond the largest source of enslaved blacks on the east coast of America from 1830 to 1860. While many of the slaves were shipped on to New Orleans and to other Deep South ports, the trail follows the footsteps of those who remained here and crossed the James River, often chained together in a coffle. Once reaching the northern riverbank, the trail then follows a route through the slave markets and auction houses of Richmond, beside the Reconciliation Statue commemorating the international triangular slave trade and on to the site of the notorious Lumpkinís Slave Jail and leading on to Richmondís African Burial Ground, once called the Burial Ground for Negroes, and the First African Baptist Church, a center of African American life in pre-Civil War Richmond. - Richmond Slave Trail Commission – 2011 –
Title image: “After the Sale: Slaves Going South”, 1853, Painted from live by Eyre Crowe, courtesy the Chicago History Museum
Erected 2011 by Richmond Slave Trail Commission. (Marker Number 4.)
Location. 37° 31.392′ N, 77° 25.392′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Brander Street 0.2 miles east of Maury Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Richmond VA 23224, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Tidal James (approx. 0.2 miles away); Despair of Slavery (approx. 0.2 miles away); City Locks River Gauge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rocketts Landing and Wharf / Confederate Navy Yard / Powhatanís Birthplace (approx. 0.2 miles away); Here Stood the Trigg Shipyard (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mechanics of Slavery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Coffer Dams (approx. 0.2 miles away); Great Ship Lock (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
Also see . . . Richmond City Council Slave Trail Commission. (Submitted on April 19, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 19, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,508 times since then and 120 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 19, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.