Monday, February 19, 2024

State Capitol Launches New Website on Building’s Enslaved Laborers

Feb 19, 2024

The North Carolina State Capitol has launched a new website, “From Naming to Knowing: Uncovering Slavery at the North Carolina State Capitol.” This website names over 130 enslaved workers who built, maintained, and worked in the Capitol building in the 1800s. Most of the men worked on the Capitol’s construction in the 1830s, either as laborers at the construction site or as quarry hands at the nearby State Quarry. The Capitol is dedicated to researching and naming these individuals and telling their stories through this new publicly accessible forum.

The website will share the stories of people like Ned Peck, an enslaved quarryman who worked on the Capitol’s construction by quarrying granite from the state-operated rock quarry in Raleigh. Ned’s enslaver William Peck owned property across from the Capitol’s construction site — and Ned probably lived and worked on this property. Ned’s home would have been visible from the Capitol. Boston Finch was an enslaved general laborer on the Capitol’s construction site. Boston survived through Emancipation at the end of the Civil War and claimed his freedom. In 1870, he lived in Wake County with his family, working as a gardener.

Learn more about Ned, Boston, and the many others whose skill and labor built and maintained the North Carolina State Capitol by visiting

The State Capitol’s mission is to preserve and interpret the history, architecture, and function of the 1840 building and Union Square. It is within the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and located at 1 Edenton St., Raleigh. For additional information please call 984-867-8340 or visit

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.

The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit

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