Mark Auslander's recent article in Southern Spaces, "Enslaved Labor and Building the Smithsonian: Reading the Stones," shows that the stones used to build the original Smithsonian (now known as "The Castle") were quarried by slaves. The Washington Post has a story about this here. I guess at this point none of this should surprise me; slavery was so ubiquitous. When I have some more time I want to talk about Mark's work and about his reliance on probate records to trace the lineage of the slaves who worked at the quarry in Maryland. And maybe I'll join that with a little talk about the controversy over Jefferson as a slave owner.
Update: Check out the comments to the Post article; there are over 700 as of 5 pm and a bunch are raising the issue of reparations.
The image is of the Smithsonian Building from the Library of Congress' Making of American website.