Alexandria Library, Special Collections: Guide to African-American Resources: Alexandria


Books   ||   Manuscript Materials   ||   Microfilm   ||   Vertical Files   ||   Internet Resources

Artemel, Janice G.   The Alexandria Slave Pen: The Archaeology of Urban Captivity. Washington, D.C.: Engineering Science, [1987]. Archaeological and historical study of the Franklin and Armfield slave pen, located at 1315 Duke Street. The firm of Franklin and Armfield was one of the major slave-trading companies of the 19th century. 975.5296 Art

Blomberg, Belinda.   Free Black Adaptive Responses to the Antebellum Urban Environment: Neighborhood Formation and Socioeconomic Stratification in Alexandria, Virginia, 1790-1850. Ph.D. Dissertation, American University, 1988. A doctoral thesis identifying the major areas of the city in which free blacks resided and discussing the way they changed over time. 975.5296 Blo

________.   The Formation of Free Black Communities in Nineteenth Century Alexandria, Virginia. Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Archaeology, 1989. A condensed version of the previous item. 975.5296 Blo

Bostick, Matthew E.   What Makes the Man: Armistead Lloyd Boothe and Massive Resistance in Virginia. Honors Thesis, Williams College, 1997. This undergraduate thesis provides a clear overview of the Massive Resistance movement in Virginia and highlights Boothe's role as a proponent of desegregation. 975.5 Bos

Bromberg, Francine W. and Shephard, Steven J.   African American Heritage Park Archaeological Investigations and Preservation Strategy. Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Archaeology, 1992. Describes evidence of burials found in the area of land to be developed into the African American Heritage Park. Includes a historical overview of the area and recommendations for integrating the discoveries into plans for the park. 975.5296 Ale

Cressey, Pamela J.   The Alexandria, Virginia City-Site: Archaeology in an Afro-American Neighborhood, 1830-1910. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Iowa, 1985. Doctoral dissertation examining three lots in the Hayti neighborhood. The site is compared to rural sites in both the North and the South, and compared to other areas of Alexandria. Includes detailed information about the artifacts found in the excavation. 975.5296 Cre

________.   The Archaeology of Free Blacks in Alexandria, Virginia. Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Archaeology, 1985. Overview of information discovered through archaeological excavations in free black neighborhoods. Includes city maps indicating locations of neighborhoods discussed. 975.5296 Cre

________.   A Preliminary Historical Report: The Baptist Cemetery Association of Alexandria, Virginia Located near Holland Lane. Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Archaeology, 1985. Details about land that may have been used as an African-American cemetery. 975.5296 Cre

Deines, Ann.   The Slave Population in 1810 Alexandria, Virginia: A Preservation Plan for Historic Resources. Masters Thesis, George Washington University, 1994. Identifies archaeological resources relating to Alexandria slaves in 1810 and recommends a preservation plan for these resources. With extensive appendices that provide information about the slave population and the sites identified. 305.567 Dei

Dolan, Laurel C.   A History of Negro Education in the Alexandria City Public Schools, 1900-1964. Masters Thesis, American University, 1969. An overview of black education in Alexandria that describes the schools, the pupils and the teachers. Some of the information for the study was obtained through interviews with local residents. 379.755296 Do

Howard, Mark.   An Historical Study of the Desegregation of the Alexandria, Virginia, City Public Schools, 1954-1973. Masters Thesis, George Washington University, 1976. Examines the development of a segregated school system in Alexandria and discusses the course of desegregation after the Brown case. 371.974 How

Jenkins, Virginia.   Block Profile: The North Side of the 200 Block of Wolfe Street and Lot Profile: 209 Wolfe Street (44AX56). Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Archaeology, 1995. Historical details about several houses on Wolfe street, including part of the Hayti community. 975.5296 Jen

Lynch, Anna.   Compendium of Early African Americans in Alexandria, Virginia. 2 vols. Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Archaeology, 1993-1995. The first volume is a name index of African-Americans living in Alexandria in the years 1878-1810. The second volume includes extracts from deeds, wills, censuses and other records that pertain to individual African-American residents. 975.5296 Lyn

McCord, T. B.   Across the Fence but a World Apart: The Coleman Site, 1796-1907. Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Archaeology, 1985. Archaeological investigation of one block which had both black and white residents. The study examines the similarities and differences between the lifestyles of the residents. 975.5296 McC

Murphy, Deirdre L. and Sidman, Sarah.   From Slavery to War: The History of 1315 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia. McLean, Virginia: [s.n.], 1988. A brief overview of the occupation of 1315 Duke Street which includes the time during which it served as the headquarters of Franklin and Armfield's slave-trading business. Accompanied by reproductions of maps, photographs, and newspaper articles concerning the slave pen. 975.5296 Mur

Pippenger, Wesley E.   Alexandria, Virginia Death Records 1863-1868 (The Gladwin Record) and 1869-1896. Westminster, Maryland: Family Line Publications, 1995. Abstracts of death records, including the records kept by the Rev. Albert Gladwin. Gladwin was Superintendent of Contrabands and kept details on freedmen who were buried in Alexandria between 1863 and 1868. 929.3 Alexandria Pip

Provine, Dorothy S.   Alexandria County, Virginia: Free Negro Registers, 1797-1861. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1990. Abstracts from registers of free blacks in the City of Alexandria and Arlington County. Each item gives a description of the person who registered and explains how they obtained their free status. Copies of the register for 1797-1841 can be found in the microfiche collection. 929.3 Alexandria Pro

Revis, Sara.   217 North Royal Street (44AX66) 1790-1910: Archival Profile of Site and Area Adjoining. Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Archaeology, 1991. History of a block that bordered on the African-American neighborhood "The Berg" and had a mixture of white, free black, and slave residents. 975.5296 Rev

________.   Contrast in Development: The Merchant's Mansion and a Free African American Neighborhood: Archival Profile of 113-119 South West Street and the Darnell Family. Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Archaeology, 1991. Information from deed books, wills, tax records, maps, and other documents tracing the history of a block on S. West St. that eventually came to be owned by a free black family. 975.5296 Rev

________.   Hannah Jackson: An African American Woman and Freedom: Archival Data Pertaining to 406-408 South Royal Street. Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Archaeology, 1991. Description of the details of several wills transferring property to Hannah Jackson and her relatives. Jackson was a well-known citizen of Hayti. 975.5296 Rev

A Study of Historic Sites in the Metropolitan Washington Regions of Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland Importantly Related to the History of Afro-Americans.   Afro-American Institute for Historic Preservation and Community Development. Washington, D.C.: The Afro-American Institute for Historic Preservation and Community Development, 1978. Photocopy of part of a report which contains information about properties in seven counties in Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland. This excerpt contains only the information on the Alexandria properties. 917.53 Afr

To Witness the Past: African American Archaeology in Alexandria, Virginia: Catalogue of an Exhibition.   Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 1993. Catalog from a 1993 exhibit showing artifacts found in black communities of Alexandria. Each item in the exhibit is described, and there are pictures of many items. Also includes a good overview of Alexandria black history. 975.5296 Ale

Wallace, Alton S.   The Saints of Alfred Street. [S.l.]: A.S. Wallace, 1996. Information on cemeteries in Alexandria that contain African-American graves. Includes details about the burial locations of several prominent members of the Alfred Street Baptist Church. 929.5 Wal


Manuscript Materials
Alexandria City Records Box 19A-19NNN Official records of the City of Alexandria. Box 19FF contains an 1822 document that granted a free African-American woman permission to live in the city.

Armistead Boothe Papers, Box 164-173 Contains information about Boothe's political activity; he was one of the few white legislators who opposed Massive Resistance and supported school integration.

Cassette Collection, Box 232-232E Contains a 1986 interview with Annie B. Rose and a recording of the Departmental Progressive Club's African-American history program in 1979.

Helen Norris Cummings Papers, Box 72-72W Cummings was involved with Alexandria women's clubs and kept files on a wide range of topics, including radicalism, immigration and atheism. See box 72H for her file on the American Negro Labor Congress; Box 72L contains a file labeled Negroes.

Harper's Weekly, images, Box 108: In and About Port Royal, South Carolina: Harper's Weekly, January 11, 1862 Battle at Millikens's Bend: Civil War: Harper's Weekly, July 4, 1863 Slave Pen, Alexandria, Virginia, Harper's Weekly, June 15, 1861

Lancaster Lodge 1890-1910 Records, Box 76-76A Photocopies of correspondence and financial records of the R. H. Lancaster Lodge No. 1370, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows of the State of Virginia, an African-American fraternal organization.

Betty Harrington MacDonald, Alexandria Ship Records, 1732-1861, 1973-1989, Box 218-219B Notes on Alexandria passengers and cargo compiled by MacDonald. Box 218 contains notes about slaves born in Alexandria between 1791 and 1812.

Roberts United Methodist Church Records Box 48 Photocopied records which include Sunday school attendance and information about church members and events recorded by the ministers. The church still holds the original records. Also available on microfilm (Reel 00073).

Smith, Sara G. vs. Richmond & Danville Railroad, Box 239 Testimony from a court case over the effect of the railroads in the Wilkes Street area.

Vertical File, Box 240 and 240A This group of boxes contains account books, letters, pamphlets, and other ephemeral materials that are not part of a larger collection. There are several items that relate to African-Americans, including the following:

Box 240 VF Correspondence
George Washington Parke Custis, 1853 letter identifying bearers as free born
C.C. Bitting, 1865 to Sydney Hayden, Re: post-Civil War Alexandria (photocopy)

Box 240A VF Correspondence
Moses Hepburn, 1846

Box 240 VF Legal Papers
Washington, Alexandria and Georgetown Railroad Co. vs. Catherine Brown, 1868, 1873

Box 240A VF Legal Papers
Emancipation of Slaves of Haywood Foote: Foote, William H., Legal Papers, 1837-1851

Box 240 VF Civil War
Slave Pen, Military Administration, 1864 - Report of investigation of the U.S. Senate Committee on the conduct of the war


Alexandria City Records. These 4 reels contain many items that relate to local African-Americans, including court records, laws, and information about black church facilities. Check the microfilm index under "African-Americans" for specific items. Reel 00580

Free Negro Registers. Our collection includes three separate lists of free blacks in the Alexandria and Arlington areas. The years 1797-1861 are on MICROFICHE, an Alexandria register from 1809 is on Reel 552, and an 1858 register is on Reel 00548.

Gladwin Record of Marriages and Deaths, 1863-68. Reverend Albert Gladwin recorded deaths among former slaves in Alexandria as part of his job as Superintendent of Contrabands and overseer of the Freedman's Cemetery. This is a listing of burials. Reel 00581

People's Advocate. An African-American newspaper published in Alexandria after the Civil War. This reel covers the paper's publication dates of April 1876 through July 1886. Reel 00599

Register of Freedmen, Camp Barker 1862-1864. A list of people at Camp Barker, which was one of the places in Northern Virignia where freed slaves were housed during the Civil War. Reel 00569

Roberts Memorial United Methodist Church Records 1887-1913. Microfilm of the church records available in our manuscript collection. Reel 00073

Wilbur, Julia, Diaries 1844-94. Julia Wilbur was a Quaker from Rochester who came to Alexandria during the Civil War to work with freed slaves. Haverford College holds the originals of her diaries. Reel 00562


Vertical Files
Relevant items from our vertical file collection include:

African-Americans, 1 of 2 and 2 of 2
Alexandria Library
Archaeology, 1 of 3, 2 of 3 and 3 of 3
Biography -- Ford, West
Biography -- Tucker, Samuel W.
Brig "Enterprise"
Cemeteries - African-American thru Oak Hill
Cemeteries - Bethel
Churches - Alfred Street Baptist
Neighborhoods - The Berg
Neighborhoods - Parker Gray
Slavery-Slave Pen
Urban Renewal, Dip Project


Photocopies of photographs from the library's many collections are arranged in binders by subject. Some relevant subjects include the following:

Alfred St.
The Berg
Freedman's Village
Pumps and Fountains
Slave Pen

Useful collections include the Green Glass Slide Collection.


Internet Resources
Alexandria Archaeology Museum
Information about exhibits, new discoveries and volunteering from the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, which is located in the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Especially useful is the Research section, which contains bibliographies, histories, newspaper articles, and a list of Alexandria Archaeology publications. Many of their digs have focused on areas that are important to the black history of Alexandria.

Black History Resource Center
Housed in the former Robinson Library, which served Alexandria's black residents during segregation, the Black History Resource Center provides exhibits and research materials that help educate Alexandrians on local black history. The web site has details on the Center's location, hours, and current schedule of events.

Freedmen's Cemetery
This site, created by the Friends of Freedmen's Cemetery, presents information about the history of the cemetery and details about their efforts to create a memorial park at the site. The site has many useful genealogy links as well, including the Gladwin Record, tax record extracts, and free Negro registrations.


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