Black People of Alexandria

The History of Black families began before the civil war. Those families still have descendants living in Alexandria, Virginia.  This section will cover the history of those families and their descendants.

George L. Seaton

George and Lucinda were freed people of colored in the early 1800.  Lucinda was a former slave of General George Washington.  George and Lucinda had the following children: George Lewis, Adolphus, Thomas, Hannah, Mary Ann, Catherine, Lucinda, Sarah, Martha, Laura and John Andrew.  George, Sr., was a builder and a large real estate holder. 

 In 1865 in Ward 4, George, Sr.’s estate was taxed on the following properties:

George Seaton’s estate paid taxes on two houses and lots on Washington Street for $500 and five houses and lots at Franklin & Washington Streets for $2000.  Also taxes were paid on two houses and lots on Gibbon Street $1000; a house and a lot at St. Asaph and Wolfe Streets for $2500; and a lot at Washington and Gibbon Streets for $600 along with furniture and a clock.

George and Lucinda’s son George Lewis Seaton was the first African-American state legislator.  He was a master carpenter, grocer, and real estate developer, and he was a founder of the Colored Odd Fellows.  He also built an Odd Fellows Hall in the “Bottoms,” that African Americans used as a meeting place.  He was the founder of the Free School Society of Alexandria and built the first two black public schools.  The Schools was called Seaton School for Boys, and later the name changed to Snowden School and the Hallowell School for Girls.

With his brother Adolphus, he built many homes in the Hayti and the Bottoms area and rented them out.

George was a member of Alfred Street Baptist Church.  He fought for the advancement of African Americans in the area of education, politics and financial freedom.  He also operated a grocery store in Hayti and spearheaded the formation of the Colored Building Association and Colored YMCA.  George and his brother John Andrew, a Republican Alderman, were active in the Fourth Ward Radicals.

George, Jr., died in 1881 at his home at 404 South Royal Street.  His family lived in that house until 1927.

You can find more information about George L. Seaton in “The Life and Times of George Lewis Seaton” by Peter Bernstein.  The publication is Alexandria Archaeology Publication Number 121 and you can order it at

8 thoughts on “Black People of Alexandria”

  1. My mother, Bernice Arrington-Evans who just celebrated her 99th Birthday on September 19, 2021, is a “1941” graduate of Parker Gray. She was the valedictorian of her class. I can remember her delightful stories about her Teacher, Reverend Adkins.


    1. Thanks Ethel! One of the reasons why I have not written about Alfred Street Baptist Church is that they have a historian who wrote a book on Alfred Street Baptist Church. I did not want to step into his area. In my first book that I co-authored, I wrote about Reverend Adkins who was a teacher at Parker-Gray School and a minister at Alfred Street. I also wrote about Reverend Dr. John O. Peterson another clergyman at Alfred Street Baptist Church. The name of the book is “African Americans of Alexandria, Virginia: Beacons of Light in the Twentieth Century.


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