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Birch Slave Pen

Used for 33 years before the Civil War by slave dealers (1828-1861), the building (a National Historic Landmark) at 1315 Duke Stree, Alexandria, VA, is a symbol of America's internal slave trade to the Deep South. It was thus acquired by the Northern VA Urban League for adaptive reuse. During the Civil War the former Slave Office was used to house contrabands, that is, those enslaved African Americans who fled their places of enslavement and flocked to Union protection from areas surrounding Washington, D.C., in order to obtain freedom. A number of primary sources document use of the property by contrabands -- a Union map, a minister's records of deaths and marriages among contrabands, and a diary and a letter written by women working to help refugees from slavery.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: 1315 Duke Street, Alexandria, Alexandria, 22314

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Director, Northern Virginia Urban League

Location Type: Site

People/Organizations Associated with the site: Contraband