Announcing “The Alexandria’s Freedmen’s Cemetery: A Legacy of Freedom Book Pre Orders

First, I want to thank all of the descendants for giving me the opportunity to research and connect their family to the Freedmen’s Cemetery. I truly feel that their ancestors have made me a part of their family.

Today, I moved into another step in the process of the book. Amazon and Barns and Noble have started taking pre-orders for my book, “The Alexandria’s Freedmen’s Cemetery: A Legacy of Freedom.” The book will be out in January. Click on this link at amazon for the book description
https://www.amazon.com/Alexandrias-Freedmens-Cemetery-American-Heritage/dp/1467140015/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1542229048&sr=8-2&keywords=Char+McCargo+Bah.

Also the book will be sold in Alexandria in January. I will be launching my book signing at the Alexandria Black History Museum on February 9, 2019. If you live in Alexandria, you might want to buy the book in Alexandria in January, some of the proceeds will go to the Alexandria Black History Museum.

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Alexandria’s Freedmen’s Cemetery: A Legacy of Freedom’s Newsletter

Alexandria’s Freedmen’s Cemetery: A Legacy of Freedom (Book Coming Soon)

Alexandria’s Freedmen’s Cemetery: A Legacy of Freedom’s Newsletter

I am glad to announce that my new book will be out between late December and January of 2019. My book “Alexandria’s Freedmen’s Cemetery: A Legacy of Freedom” has been in the making since 2015. I will be posting future book signings and behind the scene journey of finding descendants of the Freedmen Cemetery that is the backbone to writing this book. So look out for the next newsletter in December 2018.

      

 

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Private Conny Gray – Spanish-American War

25th USCT, Company H During Spanish-American War

Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on Conny Gray dated January 2, 2019.

Conny Gray was born around 1863 to Martha and John Gray. Martha was born in 1820s as a free woman. Some of Martha’s other siblings were, Alfred Gray, William H. Gray, the father to Sarah A. Gray of Parker-Gray School and Selina Gray.

In this research, I found that Sarah A. Gray was the first cousin to Conny Gray. Also it is believed that Conny’s father could have been a slave. As early as 1860, Conny’s mother was the head of the household in the 1860 and 1870 censuses. It is possible that Conny’s father was not a freed person in 1860. Conny name was recorded in one of the censuses as Constance. It seems that Conny did not like the name Constance because during his adult life he used the name Conny.

Conny married a well-known teacher, Sarah Derrick(s) whose family was freed prior to the Civil War. Sarah taught at Hallowell School for girls and later was selected as one of the first teachers of Parker-Gray School in 1920.

After the death of Sarah Derrick(s) Gray, local researchers had mistaken her as the person that Parker-Gray was named after. The school was named after Sarah A. Gray who was single and who never married. She was the first cousin to Conny Gray. What Sarah D. Gray and Sarah A. Gray had in common are that both of them taught at Hallowell School for girls and both of them came from free-people-of-color prior to the Civil War.

After those similarities, Sarah A. Gray stands out. She was once the principal of Hallowell School for girls. She came from a prominent family. Her father owned large amounts of real estate and he was a butcher. On the death of her father, it was written in the newspaper that he was one of the wealthiest Negroes in the United States. He left his wealth to his second wife, his daughter and his nephew.

For Private Conny Gray, his surviving descendants are John Gray, Eleanor Gray-Cheeks and others. They were members of Roberts Chapel (known today as Roberts Memorial United Methodist Church).

You can read Private Conny’s story in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper at
http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2019/010219/Alexandria.pdf.

 

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“Remembering 1022 Pendleton Street’s History”

Corrine Jackson-Lee Dixon at a NACCP meeting. She is on the first roll at the end on the left.

Behind the scene of the Alexandria Gazette’s story on, “Remembering 1022 Pendleton Street’s History,” dated December 12, 2018.

When I was researching John Wesley Jackson, I found some discrepancies in Mr. Jackson’s birth place. On the 1910 census, he was listed as being born in Tennessee. On his first marriage to Ella (Elnora) Dick, he stated that he was born in Mitchell County, NC. Also his 1949 death certificate, state that Mr. Jackson was born in Mitchell, NC.

The research has revealed that Mr. Jackson parents were Delbert Jackson and Savannah Bailey. On John’s World War I registration card, he stated his next of kin was Savannah Oliver who lived in Jackson City, Tennessee.

John Wesley “Baker” Jackson’s daughter, Corrine Jackson was a successful business woman. Her first career was in her father’s bakery as a young child. After graduating from school, she pursued a clerical job in the Federal government. She married her first husband, Emmett Cornelius Lee in Danville, Virginia on January 26, 1946. After having a short career in the Federal Government, she pursue a career in real estate. Just like her father, John W. Jackson, Corrine became very successful business woman in real estate.

After the death of Corrine’s first husband, she married again on April 8, 1972 to Urquhart Oliver Dixon.

Corrine had a lot of tragedy in her family. She outlived her parents, siblings, two husbands and a child. She was very active in her community and was a member of many organizations including the Alexandria Chapter of the NAACP. She enjoyed traveling. Corrine Jackson-Lee Dixon died in 2015, leaving her daughter and grandchildren behind.

You can read more about the house Corinne grew up in titled, “Remembering 1022 Pendleton Street’s History,” in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper dated December 12, 2018 on page 12 at http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2018/121218/Alexandria.pdf.

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Working at the U.S. Navy Torpedo Plant

African American man working in the packing and shelving area in 1950 at the Plant

Behind the scene of the Alexandria Gazette’s story on, “Working at the U.S. Navy Torpedo Plant,” dated November 28, 2018.

The U. S. Navy Torpedo Plant was an integrated work environment during the world wars. In 1920, many African Americans worked at the plant which included the following people:

Spencer Brent born 1900 in Virginia, he lived at 421 Princess Street. Spencer worked at the Torpedo Plant as a helper.

Lewis Williams born 1892 in Virginia, he lived at 936 North Columbus Street. Lewis worked at the Torpedo Plant as a laborer.

Henry Anderson born in Virginia, he lived at 609 North Henry Street. Henry worked at the Torpedo Plant as a laborer.

William H. Bell born 1887 in Virginia, he lived at 414 North Patrick Street. William worked at the Torpedo Plant as a janitor.

Omar Robertson born 1898 in Alabama, he lived at 1109 Queen Street. Omar worked at the Torpedo Plant as a laborer.

Joseph Randolph born 1899 in Richmond, Virginia, he lived at 1216 Princess Street. Joseph worked at the Torpedo Plant as a laborer. He moved to 212 North Payne Street where he died in 1935.

William E. Toliver born 1878 in Virginia, he lived at 1006 Wythe Street. William worked at the Torpedo Plant as a laborer.

Also African American women held important jobs at the Torpedo Plant, they worked in the file room and they held positions as clerk-typist. Many of the records they handled were records that were taken during World War II from Germany.

The United States Navy Torpedo Plant employed many African Americans at their plant. These man and women were the back bone of the Plant. Many African American men supplied the heavy laborer work that was necessary to transport torpedoes to the enemy countries during the war.

You can read the rest of the article in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper dated November 28, 2018 on page 14 at http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2018/112818/Alexandria.pdf.

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