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Va. Steps In To Preserve, Protect Slave Burial Ground

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Gov. Bob McDonnell (center) sits with Secretary of Administration Lisa Hicks-Thomas (left) and Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones (right) on Wednesday as he announces a proposal to protect a historic Richmond site.
Michaele White, governor's photographer
Gov. Bob McDonnell (center) sits with Secretary of Administration Lisa Hicks-Thomas (left) and Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones (right) on Wednesday as he announces a proposal to protect a historic Richmond site.

A slave burial ground in Richmond dates back centuries and is believed to lie beneath a section of a parking lot owned by Virginia Commonwealth University. Now Gov. Bob McDonnell is proposing that the state buy the 2.5-acre lot.

A budget amendment would provide $3.3 million for the purchase. The property would then be transferred to the City of Richmond, which would work to preserve and memorialize it.

The initiative is part of a growing effort to confront Virginia's role in the slave trade as the Civil War's sesquicentennial nears.

Del. Delores McQuinn -- who will sponsor legislation to transfer the property -- calls the site an important and integral part of Virginia's history.

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