Black History Fact Of The Day – February 2, 2015
The white house was built by 600 people and 400 were African American slaves.
When you see the White House on the evening news, have you ever wondered about the men who built it?
Most were slaves, including the children who mixed clay, sand and water to make the bricks. Imagine what those people would have thought if they could have known that one day, a mixed-race man would become President.
Not all the workers were slaves. Many were immigrants, and some were emancipated African-Americans.
But many were supplied by slave owners from Virginia and Maryland, who received $5 monthly for each slave they loaned to the project.
The slaves who worked on the original White House — it was burned by the British in the War of 1812 — were lucky in one respect: Skilled craftsmen taught many of them how to build cabinets and do elite carpentry.
In “Brick By Brick,” Smith writes that some of those skilled slaves earned extra money for their work, and eventually, were able to use the extra income to buy their freedom.