Black Archives at the Union Bank Building


Black Archives at the Union Bank Building



219 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, FL 32301






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Completed in 1841, the Union Bank is Florida's oldest surviving bank building. Chartered in 1833 as a planter's bank from which plantation owners could borrow against their land and slave holdings, it served as Florida’s major Territorial Period bank. Crop failures, the Second Seminole War, and unsound banking practices led to the failure of the bank in 1843.

The building reopened in 1868 as the National Freedman's Saving and Trust Company, serving emancipated slaves and refugees until 1874. Relocated to its present site from its original location near the southwest corner of Adams Street and Park Avenue in 1971, the restored building opened in 1984 as a museum. Now operated by Florida A&M University as a satellite facility of the Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum, the collection includes slavery-related artifacts and a rare State of Florida Civil War bond.