Freedom House Museum

The Office of Historic Alexandria and the Northern Virginia Urban League League are excited to announce a nine month museum collaboration. OHA will be operating the Freedom House Museum through September.

Page updated on Feb 16, 2018 at 9:52 AM

Freedom House Museum

1315 Duke Street

Freedom House exterior (credit, R Kennedy for Visit Alexandria)The Freedom House Museum was once the headquarters and holding pen for the largest domestic slave trading firm in the United States, Franklin and Armfield. Enslaved people were brought from the Chesapeake Bay area and forced to the slave markets in Natchez, Mississippi and New Orleans either by foot or ship. 

The building is currently owned by the Northern Virginia Urban League and together with the Office of Historic Alexandria, we invite you to visit the museum in this historic reminder of slavery.

Visit

February schedule

  • On Saturdays during February, Freedom House Museum will be open from 1-5 p.m. Reserve your February tickets now! Admission is $5 per person. Tickets can be purchased  online, or by cash or check at the door. Space is limited and reservations are recommended. 

March Schedule

  • March 3-4, Saturday and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
  • March 10-11, Saturday and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
  • March 17-18, Saturday and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

March 22 and Beyond

  • Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
  • Check this page or see the Calendar for special programs and tours.

Group Tours

Tours for seven or more should contact 703.746.4739 at least one week in advance to arrange a time to visit. Groups are typically scheduled to visit before or after public hours.

Donate

Make a donation to the Freedom House Museum. On the Northern Virginia Urban League donation form, please specify the fund "NVUL Freedom House" to direct your donation to the Museum.

Volunteer

Volunteer at Freedom House. Help is currently needed with visitor services. Fill out the volunteer application, selecting the second activity, "Give tours of the Black History Museum, Freedom House Museum and African American Heritage Park." 

History

The Franklin and Armfield Slave Pen at 1315 Duke Street was one of the largest slave trading companies in the country and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Freedom House exhibit (credit, VisitAlexandria)The three-story brick building with mansard roof was built as the residence of Robert Young, Brigadier General of the second Militia of the District of Columbia. By 1828, it was leased by Isaac Franklin and John Armfield and used as a "Negro Jail" or slave pen for slaves being shipped from Northern Virginia to Louisiana. Franklin and Armfield were active until 1836, exporting over 3,750 slaves to cotton and sugar plantations in the Deep South. Later, other firms continued trading in slaves here. A sign seen in Civil War period photographs has the name of Price, Birch & Co. During the Civil War the building and its surrounding site were used as a military prison for deserters, the L'Ouverture Hospital for black soldiers and the barrack for contraband-slaves who fled the confederate states and sought refuge with Union troops.

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