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As Heard On St. Louis on the Air

Campbell House tells the story of Eliza Rone and slavery in the 19th century

Up until about a decade ago, Andy Hahn, executive director of the Campbell House Museum, believed that prominent 19th-century St. Louisans Robert and Virginia Campbell had never enslaved people at the St. Louis mansion that bears their name.

But recent research told a different story. Eliza Rone was enslaved by the Campbells by 1845, six years before their home was constructed — a new detail only revealed by a St. Louis census conducted around that time.

Now, Rone’s story is told in a new museum exhibit, “The Back of the House: Servants and Slavery at Campbell House.”

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Hahn shared Rone’s story and other details about servants and enslaved people at the historic Downtown West St. Louis home.

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