In mid-December, a month after Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones’ proposal to build a baseball stadium and mixed-use development in Shockoe Bottom, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell recommended $11 million in state funding to help memorialize the slave-trading history of Shockoe Bottom.
1800 — Gabriel, an enslaved blacksmith, planned what would have been one of the largest slave rebellions in the United States but was foiled by bad weather and turncoats in his ranks. He was hanged and buried in the area along with about two dozen co-conspirators. Mid-1840s-1865 — Lumpkin's Jail, owned by Robert Lumpkin, operates as a jail for men, women and children before they are sold to plantation owners. The site was also known as "The Devil's Half Acre." 1865 — Union soldiers take Richmond. Lumpkin dies shortly after. 1867 — Lumpkin leaves his estate to Mary Lumpkin. She leases it to the Rev. Nathaniel Colver, an abolitionist minister, who uses the site to set up a school to train black ministers. The school would move and eventually become Virginia Union University. 1995 — The U.S. Corps of Engineers builds a flood wall for the city. 2004 — The torrential remnants of Hurricane Gaston hit Richmond on the anniversary of the violent Aug. 30, 1800, storm that prevented Gabriel from launching the slave uprising. Shockoe Bottom is inundated by water rushing from the north and trapped by the floodwall on the south. 2005 — Richmond Braves propose a baseball stadium in the area to revitalize what Gaston destroyed. 2013 — A stadium is proposed there again, for the Flying Squirrels, with additional plans of building a hotel as well as a slave history and heritage center.