Corling's Corner

Historical Significance

Corling's Corner was a site where enslaved blacks were bought, held in slave pens, and sold. During the antebellum period, slaves were annually "hired out" in December as domestics and laborers. The highly visible downtown intersection, known as Corling's Corner, enabled contractors, manufacturers, and private individuals to inspect and "rent" enslaved people to work for up to a year in their businesses and homes. Petersburg's tobacco industry used mostly hired-slave labor.

A short distance away on W. Tabb Street a whipping post stood in front of the Customs House (now City Hall), until it was abolished in the 1880's by the Radical Republicans. The Radical Republicans were an informal faction within the Republican Party from about 1854 to 1877. The party supported the abolition of slavery and, later, civil rights for newly freed slaves accompanied by reduced rights for former Confederate soldiers. 

Physical Description

In 2005, an historic marker was erected at the site by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Geographical and Contact Information

Southwest corner of intersection between N Sycamore Street (Route 36) and W Bank Street
Petersburg, Virginia
Phone: 804-541-2695

Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Corling's Corner,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed April 21, 2019,

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