Snowden School – 1893 Teachers’ Census

Snowden Public Black School for Boys

Shortly after the civil war in 1867, the Freedmen Bureau commissioned George L. Seaton to build two schools for the African Americans in the City of Alexandria.  George, a highly respected African American carpenter built the Snowden School for boys located at Pitt Street between Gibbon and Franklin Streets.  The school was a two-story built frame building with six classrooms.

The first principal of Snowden School was William F. Powell and his assistant teachers were Miss Sarah A. Gray and Miss Carrie Claggett.  Snowden School had a Black Board of Trustees that continued to monitor the Black Education in the City of Alexandria.

Prior to the Snowden School becoming the Black Boys Public School in Alexandria, it was known as the, “Seaton School.”  Once the City of Alexandria took over the School building, the School was named Snowden, after a white educator in Alexandria, but many people referred to the Schoolhouse as the “Seaton Building.”

Alexandria Black Boys School
1893 Snowden School Teachers' Census

Every school year, the State of Virginia required all counties to provide a school census of their teachers.  The 1893 School year for the City of Alexandria School listed the following teachers for Snowden School:

Mr. John F. Parker – 810 North Columbus Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. William H. Madella – 217 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. Patrick H. Lumpkin – 810 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. Norman B. Pinn – 816 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. Richard A. Diggs – 325 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. Ros(z)ier D. Lyles – 405 North Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. Robert B. Thompson, Substitute – 500 block of North Columbus Street

1920 Parker-Gray Class

Front Row Left to Right: Reverend A.W. Adkins, Henry T. White, Laura Dorsey, Rozier D. Lyles and James E. Howard. Back Left Row: Mayme Anderson, Margaret Young, Florence Murray, Harriet E. Thornton, Susie Madden and Sarah D. Gray

Prior to 1920, a group of concerned African American citizens which included Reverend Samuel B. Ross, Samuel Tucker, Henry Taylor, Blanche Parker Taylor and the alumni from the Hallowell and Snowden Schools pressured the City of Alexandria for a new school building.  By 1920, the African American community had a new school located at Alfred and Wythe Streets.  The school was named after two former principals at Snowden and Hallowell Schools, John F. Parker and Sarah A. Gray.

The First Faculty at Parker-Gray School included one principal and ten teachers in 1920. 

Mr. Henry T. White – Principal – taught 7th grade

Reverend Andrew Warren (A.W.) Adkins – taught 4th and 5th grades

Mrs. Mayme Anderson – taught 5th grade

Miss Laura A.  Dorsey – taught 1st grade

Mrs. Sarah D. Gray – taught 3rd grade

Mr. James E. Howard – taught 3rd grade

Mr. Rozier D. Lyles – taught 6th grade

Mrs. Susie Madden – taught 2nd grade

Mrs. Florence Murray – taught 2nd grade

Mrs. Harriet E. Thornton – taught 5th grade

Mrs. Margaret Young – taught 1st grade

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