Virginia Union University (Richmond Theological School for Freedmen)
Once the site of unimaginable cruelty, the former Lumpkin’s Jail became a place of hope after the Civil War, when it held the earliest classes of today’s Virginia Union University. The American Baptist Home Mission Society came to Richmond in 1865, establishing schools for freedmen. In 1899 Richmond Theological Institute merged with Wayland Seminary to create Virginia Union, whose alumni include Richmond’s first African American mayor, Henry Marsh, and the first African American to be elected governor in America, Douglas Wilder. The campus includes the iconic Belgian Friendship Building.
Image: Public Domain; UVA Special Collection