Sunday, June 5, 2011

Re-Establishing Alexandria's NAACP Branch

Though the first Alexandria Branch of the NAACP was established in 1919, it became inactive. In 1933, another application for charter was submitted and accepted. Like the earlier one, the members' names were followed by their address and occupation.

Alexandria Branch Charter Application Cover
Branch Files, Records of the NAACP, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C

This transcribed list of charter members is sorted alphabetically by last name.

First & MiddleLast NameTitleAddressOccupation
Edith L.AllenMrs.612 South Washington StreetTeacher
James J.Allen612 South Washington StreetInsurance Agent
T.N.AustinRev.614 South Washington StreetMinister
Leon C.Baltimore600 South Washington StreetTeacher
WilliamBaton708 Pendleton StreetWaiter
LouiseBeckhamMrs.709 Wolfe StreetHouse wife
Henry C.Brooks725 South Fairfax StreetDecorator
Houstan G.BrooksSunny Side, AlexandriaDecorator
WalterButler613 South Alfred StreetEngineer
C.C.CampbellMrs.636 North Alfred StreetTeacher
Herbert G.Chissell521 South Royal StreetPhysican
HelenCoatesMrs.914 Queen StreetBeauty Culturist
HattieDarnellMiss115 South West StreetDressmaker
GeorgeDarnell115 South West StreetHotel Man
EuniceDiggsMiss218 Wolfe StreetElevator Operator
Oswald D.Durant708 Pendleton StreetPhysican
Helen J.DurantMrs.708 Pendleton StreetCooking Teacher
EarlEdwards608 North Alfred StreetSexton
Wesley D.Elam126 North West StreetPrincipal
Margaret E.EvansMrs.115 South West StreetHairdresser
MiltonFranklin623 South Alfred StreetR.R. Fireman
KatieFranklinMrs.623 South Alfred StreetHousewife
Gertrude C.FrazierMrs.803 South Fairfax StreetProofreader
JamesHenderson710 Pendleton StreetInsurance Agent
W.T.Henry521 North Henry StreetCleaner
Dan S.HollingaAlexandria Chamber of CommerceManager
James T.Holmes803 Gibbon StreetBricklayer
CorinaJacksonMrs.521 North Henry StreetBaker
WashingtonJackson331 North Payne StreetBusiness Man
FairfaxJackson1008 Oronoco StreetStore Keeper
J.W.Jackson521 North Henry StreetBaker
AlbertJohnson814 Duke StreetPhysican
LloydLewis300 North Fayette StreetUndertaker
Edward P.Lovett615 F Street NW, WashingtonLawyer
Susie PennMaddenMrs.128 North West StreetTeacher
JohnMartin523 Gibbon StreetShoe maker
SarahMilesMrs.208 North Payne StreetMaid
Alma P.MurrayMrs.124 North West StreetTeacher
HenryMurray124 North West StreetWaiter
EstherNealMrs.618 North Alfred StreetHouse keeper
ArthurPeelerMrs.1021 Queen StreetHouse wife
F. deLislePikeRev.Route 5, Box 186, SeminaryEpiscopal Minister
JohnRice708 Pendleton StreetWaiter
CecilRice708 Pendleton StreetWaiter
Nancy J.RobertsMiss417 South Alfred StreetHigh School Student
HerbertTancil1316 Prince StreetBarber
CoraTateMrs.616 South Washington StreetHousekeeper
RosierThompson510 South Pitt StreetMail Carrier
AnnaTownesMiss120 North West StreetMatron
SamuelTucker916 Queen StreetReal Estate Dealer
CeceliaTurnerMrs.201 South Payne StreetHousewife
SamuelTurner903 Princess StreetR.R. Fireman
George R.Turner201 South Payne StreetR.R. Fireman
WarrenWareSunny Side, AlexandriaMail Carrier
JamesWebsterRoute 5, Box 1, SeminarySalesman
DavidWhite125 South West StreetR.R. Fireman
CharlesWhiting914 Queen StreetBarber
WilliamWilson327 North Patrick StreetMessenger

Monday, May 30, 2011

Back Just in Time for a Memorable Memorial Day

Didn't intend to go missing for the spring but got too busy with several things -- a course on "Interpreting Material Culture," a couple of Alexandria Historical Society projects, and the day job which started taking up more evening and weekend time.

But this week, I got back to work on one line of the Hughes family, the people who had been enslaved at Volusia here in Alexandria. David Hughes had married in slavery, had served with the U.S. Colored Infantry, and according to his widow's pension application, had 14 children. His youngest, Lockwood S. Hughes, was born in 1880 in Washington, D.C., just a few years before David died.

I've wondered about the name Lockwood and was also hopeful that it was unusual enough that I might find him more easily. I can't be sure but one possible inspiration for the name may have been Rev. William F. Lockwood who was at the Virginia Theological Seminary in the 1840s. David and Frances lived near the Seminary and were wed there in 1851, although I don't know for certain that they knew Rev. Lockwood.

Locating and tracking Lockwood Hughes was fairly easy. He lived near his mother in Washington County, Pa., after she remarried. Lockwood married Rita Scott and they had three daughters who were still quite young when he died in the early 1920s.

This weekend I spoke with one of those daughters. Florence is in her 90s, still lives in Washington County, has seven children and was gracious enough to talk to a complete stranger who called her up out of the blue. (This isn't something I regularly do. Usually if I'm contacting a descendant, I write a letter and enclose information so they can see I'm sincere and only wish to share their family's history with them. And next week I will send information about David Hughes to this kind lady who spoke with me.) As much as I wanted to know if she had old family photos or the family Bible this transcription came from, I didn't ask. I was most grateful that she is in good health and has a sharp mind.

Family Bible transcription from Civil War pension application #485519, National Archives

With the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War underway, perhaps I felt the history and significance of Memorial Day even more. I had just had a conversation with a woman whose own grandparents had been born into slavery in the 1830s and whose grandfather had served in the Civil War. One hundred and fifty years really isn't that long ago for some families.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Military Monday: Ira Fields, U.S. Colored Infantry

During the Civil War, Ira Fields (or Field, as some records identify him) served with the Unassigned Company A, organized out of Alexandria and also known as the Virgnia Colored Guards, in the U.S. Colored Infantry.

Photo courtesy of the Military & Historical Image Bank.

According to census and death records, Fields was born in Virginia around 1838. After the war, he and his wife Francis lived in the District of Columbia where he worked as a laborer and janitor. Ira Fields died in July 1918 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Section 23.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sports Center Saturday: Alexandria's Trailblazers

Friday night I watched ESPN's Image of the Black Athlete which was presented as the MLK National Town Hall event at Ebenezer Baptist Church. As a big sports fan and a student of African American history, I was happy to hear some discussion on history and the significance of those who overcame racial barriers, making it a little bit easier for those who followed.

Randy Shannon talked about how he kept a photo of Jackie Robinson in civilian clothes in his office because you couldn't tell if Robinson was an athlete or a businessman. Lots of people wouldn't recognize him because he wasn't in his baseball uniform. Marion Jones said it's very important for African American athletes to know the history of people of color in sports and to recognize the challenges they faced.

Some true pioneers in pro sports came out of Alexandria. Earl Lloyd, an Alexandria native and star at Parker-Gray High School, became the first African American to play in the NBA on October 31, 1950. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Parker-Gray basketball team c.1945 with star Earl Lloyd (center of first row).

Leon Day was also born in Alexandria but grew up in Baltimore. He was a stand-out pitcher and hitter in the Negro League in the 1930s and 40s. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995 and died just six days later.

Because of his importance to my college, I also want to recognize Alexandria's Jim Lewis, who grew up in Northern Virginia and has been a head coach for high school, college and WNBA teams. As a freshman at West Virginia University, he was one of four classmates who became the first African American members of the Mountaineer basketball team in the 1964-65 season.

Thank you, gentlemen.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Outside an Alexandria Bank

When I see photos of places and buildings in Alexandria, I'm always drawn to the people in the shot and wonder who they are.

Citizens National Bank, King Street, c. 1921. Courtesy Library of Congress

Is this woman someone whose name I would recognize? Was she friends with people I've researched? What's in her basket?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Confectioners, Cigar Dealers & Dressmakers

From the late 19th-century into the 1950s, Alexandria’s city directories denoted African Americans with a “c” or an asterisk. Richmond’s Directory of Alexandria for 1897-98 used an asterisk for the following individuals in the business listings, indicating that these barbers, grocers and other business people were African American.
Last NameFirst NameAddressBusiness/Occupation
BaltimoreFrank204 North Fayette StCigar Dealer
BellCarrie120 North West StDressmaker
BentleyRichard W.313 North Patrick StCoal & Wood
BotelerHarry B.716 North Henry StCoal & Wood
BottsJoseph718 North Washington StFlorist
BowleySamuel T.439 South Columbus StEating House
BraxtonElla320 North Fairfax StEating House
BrownHenry115 North St. Asaph StDyer & Scourer
BurkeWilhelmina G.207 South Washington StNurse
BushJohn318 South Columbus StTailor
ChapmanLouisa P.821 Queen StDressmaker
ClarkRobert B.716 North Washington StBoot & Shoe Makers & Repairers
ClarkEllen1320 Prince StEating House
Coleman & Davis1005 Wolfe StMilk Dealer
DiggsWilliam312 North Fairfax StBarber
DudleyEdward W.1010 North Columbus StConfectioner
Dulany & Son504 King StBarber
DuttonArthur115 South Union StBarber
FrazierErnest J.622 South Washington StCoal & Wood
GainesRobert220 North Fayette StBoot & Shoe Makers & Repairers
GrayCharles432 South Columbus StBoot & Shoe Makers & Repairers
HammondWilliam M.104 South Washington StBarber
HammondHattie F.624 South Washington StNotions
HillEdmund1012 Wythe StGrocer
HollingerWilliamsStall 3, Market SquareProduce Dealer
HolmesCora L.533 South Columbus StGrocer
JacksonCharles1007 Wolfe StBoot & Shoe Makers & Repairers
JacksonSamuel C.1406 King StBoot & Shoe Makers & Repairers
JacksonCharles F.North Royal St extendedGrocer
JacksonW.N.200 North Payne StGrocer
JenkinsRobert301 South Union StStoves & Tinware
JohnsonAlbert814 Duke StPhysician
JonesJohn510 North Alfred StGun & Locksmith
KeyCharles204 North Fayette StCigar Dealer
KingGeorge T.104 South Peyton StBarber
LawsonJosephus1121 Queen StGrocer
LucasBenjamin F.206 North Fayette StBarber
LumpkinsGustavus810 Queen StBoot & Shoe Makers & Repairers
Madden Bros.913 Duke StTinner
MadellaWilliam H.217 South Alfred StretPhysician
NorrisAbraham L.319 Cameron StBarber
NorrisAbraham L.319 Cameron StBilliards & Pool
NorrisOliverFranklin & S Patrick StsBlacksmiths & Wheelwrights
ParkerCharles L.231 North Henry StBarber
PoindexterJohn A.638 South Columbus StGrocer
RichardsonSandy1210 Cameron StMeat Market
RobinsonMagnus L.606 Gibbon StPublisher
Ross & Thompson1025 King StBarber
ShackelfordAnnafoot of Oronoco StEating House
SpenceGilson1219 Cameron StBoot & Shoe Makers & Repairers
Tancil & Shelton427 King StBarber
TerrellThomasS Washington & Wilkes StsBoot & Shoe Makers & Repairers
The Leader606 Gibbon StNewspapers & Periodicals
ThomasJohn H.1316 Prince StBlacksmiths & Wheelwrights
TriplettArthur H.116 North Royal StBarber
WatsonJames W.123 North Fayette StEating House
WebbStrother W.428 North Patrick StBoot & Shoe Makers & Repairers
WestKate222 1/2 South West StConfectioner
WhitingWilliam H.517 Gibbon StCoal & Wood
WhitingWilliam H.517 Gibbon StGrocer
WrightLucinda111 South Union StEating House