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Philip Reid - The Slave Who Built The Statue of Freedom In D.C.


When construction of the Capitol began in 1793, Washington, D.C., was little more than a rural landscape with dirt roads and few accommodations beyond a small number of boarding houses. Skilled labor was hard to find or attract to the fledgling city. Enslaved laborers, who were rented from their owners, were involved in almost every stage of construction. Philip Reid may be the single best known enslaved person associated with the Capitol’s construction history. (

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