In 1847 Alexandria and the Virginia side of the District of Columbia would be retroceded to the state of Virginia. Businessmen feared that slavery would be outlawed in the District, and that would end the slave trade in Alexandria.
The slave pen complex in Alexandria was co-owned by a number of merchants until 1861. When the Union Army came across the potomac and into Alexandria the slave trading complex and was surrendered to the Union Army.
The Marshall House was the site of some of the first deaths of the Civl War. Hotel Owner James Jackson and Col. Elmer Ellsworth would both die here as the Unoin Army moved in to occupy the city of Alexandria in 1861.