Lecture: The Slaves Who Built D.C.

Lina Mann, historian, White House Historical Association

Historian Lina Mann tells the stories of enslaved individuals who built the iconic buildings of Washington, D.C., including the White House, U.S. Capitol, Post Office, Patent Office, and many others. By renting enslaved individuals from slave owners in the area, the commissioners for the construction sought to “reap the benefits of labor without bearing any responsibility for the workers’ general wellbeing,” according to Mann. Discover how changes in the city and public opinion led to the decline in slavery in the District in the 1830s. 

About Lisa Mann

Lina Mann is a public historian at the White House Historical Association. Recently, she has spearheaded research into the topic of “Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood." She is currently writing a journal article titled “The White House and the Space Race” for the White House History Journal

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