DID YA KNOW:
There are fifty-six documented businesses related to Richmond’s slave trade located near the James River and primarily scattered throughout Shockoe Creek’s “Bottom ‘’ The sources for this data range from 1852 to 1864 and was published in the Richmond Times Dispatch (02/24/2014). Robert Lumpkin, Silas Omohundro and Bacon Tait were reputed to be the three major slave jail operators in the city, located in the 15th Street Corridor and bound by Broad Street and Cary.
Robert Lumpkin’s Jail is the one most well known to modern Richmond’s citizens due to the on-going archaeological preservation efforts. Its history goes back to 1844 when Robert Lumpkin purchased three lots on a narrow lane, Wall Street (15th St), between Franklin and Broad. There were four brick buildings located on the property. One was used as the proprietor’s residence and office. Another was used as a boarding-house for slave traders. The third served as a bar-room and kitchen. The “old jail” stood in a field some distance away from the others. It was forty-one feet long and two stories in height, with a piazza to both stories on the north side of the building. It was here that men and women were lodged until they were “disposed of” at private or public auction.  One of Lumpkin’s more well-known captives, Anthony Burns, was held for four months prior to his sale to a North Carolina planter.
“A portion of it (Lumpkin’s) was used as a temporary receptacle of political prisoners.” Outspoken citizens were arrested and confined by the Richmond’s Confederate Administration during the Civil War. “A former U.S. Congressman, John Minor Botts spent two months on the second floor of Lumpkin’s slave jail with a view through its barred windows of factories in Shockoe Bottom that would not survive the fire.” Other Unionists that stood their ground and paid the price were Franklin Stearns, Burnham Wardwell, G. W. Frosst and Charles Palmer. In an article on March 3, 1862, the Richmond Dispatch noted among others, the arrest of Rev. A. Bosserman, pastor of the First Independent Christian Church, Mayo Street.
McDaniel’s, another slave jail located in the 15th Street Corridor, was renamed “Castle Godwin” and described as a “secure retreat for Unionists and politically dyspeptic characters from other portions of the state.” The Richmond Dispatch (04/03/1862) lists Rev. Bosserman among Castle Godwin’s prisoners charged with treason.
 Dispatches from the Virginia Newspaper Project @ The Library of Virginia
 Kimball, Gregg D., “American City, Southern Place: A Cultural History of Antebellum Richmond,” University of Georgia Press, 2000, p78
 Corresponding Sec’y Virginia Historical Society, “Richmond:Manufacturing and Trading Center, Including a Historical Sketch of the City” Published by Jones & Cook 1880, Chapter “ Negro Jails and Auction Houses”
 Lankford, Nelson, “Richmond Burning: The Last Days of the Confederate Capitol” Viking Penguin 2002, p245