Browse Items (32 total)

In the early 1940s the Army acquired the historic African American Community of Woodlawn. This land was located close to the present day Ft. Belvoir Elementary School. Woodlawn was a thriving African American Community of single-family homes, a…

Fairfax County, VA In 1760 An Interpretive Historical Map indicates that there were 24 enslaved people held by the McCarty Family. These people likely lived at Mount Air, but perhaps also at times resided at nearby Cedar Grove, another McCarty…

From approximately 1888 to 1900, Collingwood Beach was an African American resort, a getaway for church groups and fraternal organizations from the District of Columbia. A white steamboat Captain L.J. Woolen purchased the property in 1888 and built…

In 1760, French’s Farm was the second largest community of enslaved people in Fairfax County with 60 enslaved people living on this property. They were, at times, leased to work on neighboring farms.

In 1786, the property was combined with others…

In 1935 at least two juries were established in Fairfax County with African American members. This was significant because Blacks were usually excluded from serving on juries in Virginia. Press reports indicated that these were the first African…

Harrison Dodge was the longest serving Superintendent of the Mount Vernon Estate (1885-1937). He recounts the history of George Washington’s Mount Vernon including his personal recollections. This includes a chapter IX “The Old Negroes” where he…

History of the Historic African American Community from 1833-1990

When he was eleven years old, George Washington inherited ten human beings. His own life has been well chronicled, but the lives of the people he owned--the people who supported his plantation and were buried in unmarked graves there--have…

When George Washington was elected president, he reluctantly left his beloved Mount Vernon to serve in Philadelphia, the temporary seat of the nation’s capital. In setting up his household he took Tobias Lear, his celebrated secretary and eight…

At the time of George Washington's death in 1799, more than 300 enslaved men, women, and children lived on his Mount Vernon plantation. Lives Bound Together provides fresh research on
this important topic, with brief biographies of 19 enslaved…

Doctoral project submitted to the faculty of George Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University. Dr. Judith Saunders was a descendent of West Ford and grew up in Gum Springs.

Illustrated history of 16 destroyed historic homes in and around Alexandria, Virginia including the plantations of Spring Bank, Mount Eagle, West Grove where enslaved people were held.

The first comprehensive account of those who served in bondage at Mount Vernon. Drawing on years of research in a wide range of sources, Thompson brings to life the lives of Washington’s slaves while illuminating the radical change in his views on…

As a child in 1950s segregated Gum Springs, Virginia, Gregory Howard Williams grew up believing he was White. But when the family business failed and his parents’ marriage fell apart, Williams discovered that his dark-skinned father, who had been…

A Collective biography of the Quander Family told through stories from its nearly 300 year documented history in the U.S. The Quander family has significant history in Maryland, Pennsylvania, DC and Virginia. All branches are discussed in the book.…

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When President Washington died in 1799, the enslaved population at Mount Vernon numbered 317. Of the 317 enslaved, 123 belonged to George Washington, 153 were owned by the estate of Martha, 41 were rented from local neighbors. Washington's will freed…

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During the Depression, in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to help unemployed men, ages 18 to 25. CCC men created state parks, improved soil conservation, conducted reforestation…

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West Ford purchased a 214-acre farm in this area in 1833. He was formerly enslaved by the Washington Family and worked as a carpenter and estate manager. He subdivided his property among his children. Others moved into the neighborhood and the land…

Located in the historic Drew-Smith Elementary School, the museum houses photographs and documents more than 100 years old which tell the story of the founding and growth of the Gum Springs community.

The Antebellum Free Black community here was formed by people formerly enslaved on the Mount Vernon Estate. The community continued to grow after the Civil War with the construction of a church, cemetery, school and Odd Fellows hall. The African…

In 1846, Chalkley Gillingham and his business partners purchased the 2,000-acre Woodlawn plantation property from Washington Family heirs. They relocated from their homes in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York in order to establish a free labor…

Woodlawn Mansion was built in 1805 and was a wedding present from George Washington to his step-granddaughter Nelly Custis and his nephew Lawrence Lewis. More than 90 individuals were enslaved on the plantation, which is now owned by the National…

Originally called the Accotink school, the name was quickly changed to the Woodlawn Colored School. It was built in the “Woodlawn Crossroads” community on what is now Fort Belvoir. The current Fort Belvoir Elementary School sits very near the…

A one-room school on three quarters of an acre of land. W.T. White, one of the first teachers also served as the school’s principal. The school is mentioned in Fairfax County School Board minutes regarding transportation to high schools outside the…
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