By the 1820s, Petersburg was developing into a major industrial city. The backbone of the city's workforce was enslaved labor. At this highly visible downtown intersection known as Corling's Corner, local manufacturers, railroad companies, building contractors, and private individuals inspected and rented enslaved people to work for one-year terms in their businesses and homes. Petersburg's tobacco factories were probably the largest users of rented labor. At the end of every year, enslaved men and women were hired under a legal contract that set forth the renter's obligations to the owner. The rental of bondspeople was quite common in the South before the Civil War.
Marker: QA-26, Virginia Department of Historic Resources (2005)