Preservation in Shockoe Bottom

Lumpkin’s Slave Jail archaeologist discusses significance of the area moving forward

By: Charlotte Rene Woods

charlotterenewoods@gmail.com | @charlottewords

An overlook of Lumpkin’s Jail Site as it was excavated by Laird and his team. | Photo by: James River Institute for Archaeology, Inc.

RICHMOND Va — Matt Laird of the James River Institute for Archaeology was commissioned to excavate the site of Lumpkin’s Slave Jail at the City’s historic Shockoe Bottom. At the time, the precise location of the jail was speculative, but Laird and his team researched and uncovered it. By the end of the project, Lumpkin’s Slave Jail had to be reburied for preservation. With the upcoming Mayoral election and the outgoing Mayor’s initiation of memorializing the area, the fate of how the land will be developed is still uncertain. In the following podcast archaeologist Matt Laird talks about his findings and what it could mean as plans for the site go forward.

According to Laird, the brickwork of the jail was still in tact. |Photo by: James River Institute for Archaeology, Inc.