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

Now Available –Alexandria’s Freedmen’s Cemetery: A Legacy of Freedom

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.

The book is now available through Amazon at
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 is available through the Alexandria Black History Museum (ABHM) in Alexandria, VA. I will be launching my book signing at ABHM on February 9, 2019. If you live in the area, you might want to buy the book in Alexandria from ABHM. Some of the proceeds will go to the Alexandria Black History Museum.

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Reaching for Success: Judge Joseph C. Waddy

Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “Reaching for Success: Judge Joseph C. Waddy” – dated October 10 – 16, 2019.

Judge Joseph C. Waddy

Joseph C. Waddy was one of the success stories that came out of Parker-Gray School in Alexandria, VA during the early 1920s. He became a Judge in Washington, DC. While he was a Judge, he was instrumental in improving the District of Columbia’s education system. His ruling on education against the District of Columbia for excluding publicly funded education for disable children still stands today.

The Judge’s Summary Judgement of the plaintiffs on August 1, 1972, Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia, 348 F.Supp. 866,871 (D.C. Cir. 1972) changed the way that the District of Columbia provided funding to their disable children. The ruling was coined as the “Waddy Decree.”

Check out the article on “Reaching for Success: Judge Joseph C. Waddy” October 10-16, 2019 in the Alexandria Gazette Packet on page 8 at http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2019/100919/Alexandria.pdf

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A Life Well Lived: Dr. Charles Fremont West

Dr. Charles F. West
1970s

Dr. Charles F. West was a high achiever. Few African Americans who were born in the late 1800s achieved the types of accomplishments as Dr. West. He was a man of many talents who was liked by many.

After returning from the 1924 Olympics in Paris, he made a decision to pursue an academic career in medicine. After completing his undergrad degree, he applied to Howard University Medical School. He graduated in 1928. He practice medicine in Alexandria, Virginia for fifty-years. If you want to know more about Dr. West, please read the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper article dated September 25, 2019 on page 10 at, The Alexandria Gazette Newspaper.

 

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Alexandria, Virginia World War I Veteran – One of the First to Fall: Remembering Private William Thomas

Private William Thomas

Private William Thomas
Alexandria Gazette, Friday, December 27, 1918

Private William Thomas was the first African American and possible the first Alexandrian to die from Alexandria, Virginia during World War I. In death, he was remembered not as an American Negro Veteran but as one of the first  Alexandrian Veterans to die in combat in France.

Mr. William Thomas was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1886. In 1910, William and his wife, Mary Coleman Thomas lived at 710 Gibbon Street. He worked for a fertilizer company in Alexandria. Mr. Thomas enlisted in the United States Army in 1917; he was shipped off to France in 1918. By late 1918, Private Thomas was died; he was killed in action in France.

Unfortunately, little is known about Private Thomas’ parents, but his wife, Mary Coleman Thomas on the other hand has more family history to share. In the 1910 census, William and Mary stated that they had been married for six years. Also they had one child that had died.

Mary died on April 25, 1934. She was 51-years-old; she was listed as a widow to William Thomas. Mary’s parents were John Coleman and Laura Lyles. Mary and her parents were born in Alexandria, Virginia. Based on her death certificate, her last address prior to her death was 614 St. Asaph Street. Mary’s brother, Henry Coleman was the informant on her death certificate and his address was the same as Mary.

Henry Coleman married Grace Massie. Henry died prior to 1970 and Grace died on May 5, 1971. She was a retired government worker. In researching Private William Thomas, I found that Mr. James E. Henson is the nephew of Grace Massie Coleman. Mr. Henson lives in Alexandria.

Private William Thomas would have been forgotten in history if it was not for the

1956 – Mr. Nelson Greene, Sr with the Boy’s Scouts

American Legion. In July 1931, the “First Alexandria Negro American Legion” was named American Legion William Thomas Post No. 129. The National American Legion headquarters’ records show the permanent official charter date for Post No. 129 was October 1932. The first officers of this Post No. 129 voted to name their Post after Private William Thomas. The officers were L.O. Broadneck (Commander); Sherman Majors (First Vice Commander); James McCallant (Second Vice Commander); Richard Hollinger (Adjutant); George Wilson (Finance Officer); William Dixon (Chaplain); and William Tibbs (Sergeant in Arms).

Today, William Thomas Post No. 129 has a low membership. At one time, their members exceed over 200. Mr. Cordell Credit is the Adjutant/historian for this Post.

For Private William Thomas, the African Americans of Alexandria never forgot about your supreme sacrifice – you will always be remembered as the American Legion William Thomas Post No. 129. May you rest in peace!

Update to Private William Thomas’ story can be read in the Alexandria, Virginia Gazette Newspaper at http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2019/090419/Alexandria.pdf.

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Update – Life and Times of the Livery Man

Moses Stevens – 1902 Business Listing

Update to my post on, “Life and Times of the Livery Man.” During the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries when a person was in the business of using their stables, horses, buggies, wagons and carriages for picking up people and delivering goods, they were known in some circles as the “Livery Man”.

For Moses Stevens, he was known in his community as the “Livery Man”. See the 1902 listing of Moses Stevens in the Alexandria City Directory.

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