Slaves who built Capitol honored

WASHINGTON — African-American slaves sweated in the summer heat and shivered in the winter's cold while helping to build the U.S. Capitol.

Congress took note of their service and sacrifice Wednesday by erecting commemorative plaques inside the Capitol in their honor. Lawmakers said the memorials will ensure that the contributions of slaves in building one of the world's most recognizable buildings are never again forgotten.

"In remembering the slaves who labored here, we give them in death some measure of the dignity they were so cruelly denied in life," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said at the plaques' unveiling.

The plaques read: "This original exterior wall was constructed between 1793 and 1800 of sandstone quarried by laborers, including enslaved African Americans who were an important part of the workforce that built the United States Capitol."

google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iJtSM0q_CCFmnY6aQKq5eRyOmrJQD9GCLPNO0

time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1997258,00.html

Its good that their service and suffering is recognized. I was unaware of this history until I watched the John Adams mini-series. Its shameful that one of our national symbols was built with slave labor.

Excellent, and it's about time!

that is nice that those who helped build the Capitol have been honored.

i wonder how many government buildings were built with slave labor.

[quote="7_Sorrows, post:4, topic:202599"]
that is nice that those who helped build the Capitol have been honored.

i wonder how many government buildings were built with slave labor.

[/quote]

Slaves were rented by the founders to build many government buildings including, but not limited to, the Capitol Building, the White House, and even Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It really is a shame that our founders were speaking of freedom, justice and equality out of one side of their mouths while issuing orders for slaves out the other.

[quote="EmperorNapoleon, post:5, topic:202599"]
Slaves were rented by the founders to build many government buildings including, but not limited to, the Capitol Building, the White House, and even Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It really is a shame that our founders were speaking of freedom, justice and equality out of one side of their mouths while issuing orders for slaves out the other.

[/quote]

will the other government buildings erected by slave labor put up the same plaques to honor those slaves i wonder.
was it solely slave labor or were others there to work along side them?

[quote="7_Sorrows, post:6, topic:202599"]
will the other government buildings erected by slave labor put up the same plaques to honor those slaves i wonder.
was it solely slave labor or were others there to work along side them?

[/quote]

It wasn't solely slave labor. There were also free black men and white laborers. Architectural Historian William Allen from the Office of the Architect of the Capitol wrote a very interesting report on the subject in 2005. It can be read here.

[quote="EmperorNapoleon, post:7, topic:202599"]
It wasn't solely slave labor. There were also free black men and white laborers. Architectural Historian William Allen from the Office of the Architect of the Capitol wrote a very interesting report on the subject in 2005. It can be read here.

[/quote]

thanks for the info.

i am surprised that this is not spoken of more. it sounds like something that would be on American Experience - one of my favorite shows.

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