ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A little-known site that once was a major slave-trading hub on the East Coast has a unique connection with the new movie "12 Years a Slave," which could spark new interest from visitors and historians.
The site in Alexandria, Va., where slave dealer James H. Birch once operated now houses the Freedom House Museum. Birch was the slave trader who paid kidnappers $250 for a free man from New York and sold him into slavery.
Solomon Northup's story of 12 years in slavery is the basis of the new film from British director Steve McQueen.
Curators say the film could bring new recognition that a rare slave jail site still stands near the Capitol, now as a place to learn about American history. It's been open to visitors for five years.