James E Piper

James E Piper's 1878's Southern Claim Deposition

James E Piper’s 1878’s Southern Claim Deposition

The life of Mr. Piper and his losses during the Civil War interested me to the point, I had to tell his story.

James E. Piper (Ramsay) and his brother, William Henry Piper (Ramsay) were freed people of colored prior to the Civil War. They registered in Alexandria County in 1846. James was described as a mulatto man, about 26 years old and 5 feet 3 ½ inches tall. He was born free in 1820. His mother, Elizabeth Ann Piper Ramsay, a white woman, confirmed her son was born free.

William Henry Piper (Ramsay) was also registered in 1846. William was born in 1825 and he was a mulatto man, about 22 years old, 5 feet 5 ½ inches tall. His mother, Elizabeth Ann Piper Ramsay, a white woman, said her son was born free.

James and William and their wives lived in Alexandria, Virginia, but the two brothers leased one-hundred acre farm land from Edward Daingerfield and his wife in the West End, about four miles from Alexandria and a half mile from the Episcopal Seminary. They had leased the land for $75 a year and they had a brickyard and a farm. They had farmed the land for a couple of years prior to the Civil War.

Prior to the Union occupying Alexandria, Edward Daingerfield died. The Piper brothers continued their lease contract with Mrs. Daingerfield.

Around late July of 1861, Blenker’s Brigade camped near the farm after the battle at Bull Run. The Union soldiers seized the farm and ran off the Piper’s employee, James Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell was told by the Union’s soldiers that if he returned to the farm, they will shoot him.

The Piper brothers lost all of their crop, lumber, and animals during the Union’s occupation of the farm. Their property was estimated at $1,306.80. Their inventory of their losses were:

39 hogs
1 stack of hay
7 stacks of oats
30 bushels of rye
160 bushels of wheat
150 bushels of potatoes
1 acre of garden stuff
80 barrels of corn
1 horse wagon
Materials of a stable

James’ younger brother, William died in 1864. James and William’s wife, Sarah, put in a claim to the Federal government after the Civil War for the destruction of their property by Union’s soldiers. They estimated their losses to be $1,306.80. The government only reimbursed the Pipers $183.00. In spite of James’ losses, he swore in front of a government representative that he was faithful to the Union.

Through court cases, southern claims records, censuses, freedmen bureau records, vital statistic records, freedmen registrations, and newspaper articles, I have been able to examine the losses and the accomplishments of the Piper family.

James E. Piper (Ramsay) was married to Ann Elizabeth Brown. They had the following children William, Sarah, Anna, and Thomas.

William Henry Piper (Ramsay) was married to Sarah. They had the following children James H, Elizabeth, Alice G., George, and Frederick.

James E. Piper in 1876 lived at one of his properties at Pitt, corner of Oronoco Street. In 1888, James lived at his property at 427 North Pitt Street. By 1899, James was living at another one of his properties at 423 North Pitt Street. James owned more than three properties prior to 1900.

During James’ lifetime, he witnessed three relatives buried at the Freedmen Cemetery. The relatives were Abraham Lincoln Piper, James Piper, and William Piper. Also James was part of the Trustees of the African American schools prior and after the Civil War. He was an active Republican and he represented District 2 in Alexandria. He served as a juror in the in the late 1860s and in the 1870s.

James also experienced other losses. By 1880, his wife Ann had died. Prior to 1876, his sister-in-law, Sarah also died. In 1880, William’s children and their spouses, George N. Piper, Sarah E Piper Fletcher (Carter), and Alice Piper Landreth (William) sued James for their father’s estate.

On the 1880 census, James was 55 years old and was living alone. His official birth year was 1820. It appeared at that point that his children were no longer living in Alexandria. In 1883, the Alexandria Gazette’s article on Roberts Chapel (now Roberts Memorial Methodist Church) mentioned James’ leadership skills saying, “The choir of Roberts chapel is steadily making progress under the leadership of Mr. James Piper.”

James was not located on the 1900 census, and it is assumed that he might have died between 1883 and 1900.

James and his brother, William should have many descendants. Both of them had children and other Piper relatives that once lived in Alexandria. William’s daughter, Elizabeth married Carter Fletcher on May 1, 1879 at Alfred Street Baptist Church. The famous Reverend Samuel W. Madden officiated their wedding. After their marriage, they migrated to Baltimore, Maryland in the 6th Precinct. They lived on Robert Street. Carter and Elizabeth on 1900 census had four children, Harry, Chester, Alice, and Sarah.
James and his brother, William had experienced financial independence before the Civil War, but lost their farm and brickyard business during the Civil War. His brother died without having the chance to regain any of his property back. On the other hand, James witnessed the emancipation of all African Americans even though he lost his financial independence. By the time the Civil War ended, James was 45 years old. And by the time he settled his claim with the government in 1880, he was 60 years old. The lifestyle and financial freedom he once had was never going to be regained. At his age, he could not regain what he once had.

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Reverend George W. Parker


Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA) Tuesday, November 22, 1870

In celebration of the end of the Civil War, this first blog will be on Reverend

George W. Parker. He was the first documented pastor of “Third Baptist Church” in Alexandria, Virginia.

Reverend George (Geo) W. Parker had many careers like many progressive African Americans in the 19th century in Alexandria, Virginia. Although the 1870 census stated he was born around 1842, no other documentation has been found at this time to confirm or disapprove his date of birth in 1842 or earlier. Based on the 1870 census, he was 38 years old, which would have correctly put his birthdate around 1842. His occupation was listed as clergyman. Three children were listed in his household: Abraham 15, Isaac 13, and Mary 13. Ann Quander 62 was also in the household, listed as a housekeeper and Oceola Richardson.

One of the earlier documents in the Freedmen Bureau stated that Reverend Geo W. Parker was one of the trustees and founders of “The First Select Colored School” in 1862 along with George Seaton, George W Simms, Charles Watson, Clem Robinson, Anthony S. Perpener, George W Bryant, Hannibal King, George P. Douglas, John Davis, J. McKinney Ware and James Pipe, all African Americans of Alexandria, Virginia. They were all freed people of color prior to the Civil War. Reverend Parker was not only a trustee of “The First Select Colored School” that was on the future site of Beulah Baptist Church, but he was also a teacher along with Reverend Clem Robinson and his wife and Miss Amanda Bowden (Borden). Reverend Parker with the other trustees were involved in several land deeds in 1865 – 1867 that resulted in land acquisition for the “Third Baptist Church”. He was a teacher and a minister for former slaves during the Civil War. The former slaves became the early members of “Third Baptist Church”. He became the pastor at “Third Baptist Church” from 1863 – 1875.

His list of multiple careers included Council member for the Jefferson Township, District 4 in Alexandria, Virginia. He was heavily involved with the Republican Party. Also he was the 1870 Assistant Deputy U.S. Marshal for the U.S. Census in Jefferson Township of Alexandria. The township had a population of 1,256 people.

Beyond Reverend Parker’s careers as a teacher, clergyman, trustee, and Council member, he became a hotel owner of the “Empire House” located on the North side of King Street between Fayette and Payne Streets in 1870. The Hotel was two square blocks from the Railroad depot, present day Alexandria Train Station. An article on November 22, 1870 stated, “The Parker House…Reverend George W. Parker, colored, Councilman from the Fourth Ward, repaired, refitted and refurnished, and under the name of the Parker House, opened for the reception of guests. A thorough inspection of the hotel reveals neatness, cleanliness and convenience in all its various departments, and with the table kept there no one can find fault.” Prior to Reverend Parker’s purchasing the “Empire House”, it was on the market for a decade because of two events, a young woman died in the hotel and because of the Civil War.

In 1875, Reverend George W. Parker died. In his life time, he impacted many people and he helped the disadvantaged African Americans and former slaves. Today, “Third Baptist Church” is located at 917 Princess Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Since 2001, Reverend James V. Jordan has been the minister at “Third Baptist Church”.

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Celebrating 150 years end of the Civil War

Price and Burch Slave Pen – Duke Street, Alexandria, VA


For 2015, I will be doing a series of articles in celebration of the end of the Civil War. Alexandria African Americans contributed a lot to the growth and history of Alexandria, VA. The forgotten historical contributions of many African Americans in Alexandria have been unknown for far too long. Great accomplishments were made in the 19th Century; but by 1900 many accomplishments were pushed back by Jim Crow laws and segregation. For one whole year, my blog will take you back in time to Alexandria in the 19th Century (1800 – 1899). These articles will focus on the contributions that African Americans made in Alexandria including business, politics, churches, occupations, education, and the continuing fight for their civil rights in the 19th Century. I will start posting these articles twice a month starting on January 11, 2015. If you are not following my Blog, please go to my Blog and sign up to receive notices of upcoming blogs at http://www.theotheralexandria.com. Thanks!

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Alexandria African Americans World War I Draft

Isaac Thomas Jackson S. Washington Street

Isaac Thomas Jackson
S. Washington Street

Alexandria African Americans World War I Draft Registrations – Part 8: “I – J

The list below is the African American Alexandrians with the “I -J surnames.

Ingram, Charley – born August 10, 1874
Irving, Samuel – born April 28, 1891
Jackson, Andrew – born ??
Jackson, Andrew W. – born May 9, 1888
Jackson, Anthony Sylvester – born February 5, 1900
Jackson, Blanton – born 1886
Jackson, Charles – born November 5, 1885
Jackson, Charles Franklin – born October 31, 1897
Jackson, Clinton William – born September 30, 1898
Jackson, Daniel – born March 23, 1882
Jackson, Dennis – born June 12, 1879
Jackson, Dorsey – born December 25, 1881
Jackson, Edgar F – born September 15, 1874
Jackson, Edward – born 1897
Jackson, Fairfax, Jr – born February 17, 1877
Jackson, Frank – born October 12, 1884
Jackson, Frank Edward – born February 21, 1883
Jackson, Henry – born April 18, 1894
Jackson, Isaac – born April 1, 1891
Jackson, Isaac Thomas – born November 3, 1877
Jackson, James – born May 15, 1898
Jackson, James Allen – born August 11, 1895
Jackson, James L – born February 1, 1889
Jackson, James Nathaniel – born March 4, 1881
Jackson, John – born September 29, 1898
Jackson, John Henry – born December 28, 1894
Jackson, John Wesley – born January 15, 1878
Jackson, Lathon – born December 25, 1899
Jackson, Louis P – born May 5, 1888
Jackson, Manuel – born December 25, 1873
Jackson, Nickle – born April 21, 1897
Jackson, Olive W. – born June 28, 1893
Jackson, Ottie – born April 4, 1898
Jackson, Richard Louis – born October 5, 1884
Jackson, Richard W – born July 14, 1897
Jackson, Robert – born August 27, 1877
Jackson, Robert – born April 22, 1873
Jackson, Robert Henry – born June 3, 1890
Jackson, Teed – born May 16, 1881
Jackson, Thomas E – born April 28, 1893
Jackson, Tobe Arthur – born December 19, 1880
Jackson, W. Henry – born 1874
Jackson, W.R. – born March 29, 1895
Jackson, William Dallas – born January 28, 1875
Jackson, William H. – born September 4, 1886
Jackson, William Thomas – born December 16, 1875
James, Scott – born August 18, 1887
Janney, Irvin – born 1900
Jasper, Joseph Norman – born June 15, 1894
Jasper, Romes – born October 7, 1886
Javins, Samuel Arthur – born April 6, 1889
Jefferson, James – born February 16, 1893
Jefferson, John Alexandria – born February 4, 1886
Jenkins, Homer – born August 19, 1895
Jenkins, Lewis – born 1896
Jenkins, Thomas – born October 1, 1897
Jenkins, Abe – born December 24, 1890
Johnson, Albert – born February 9, 1887
Johnson, Arthur – born September 2, 1884
Johnson, Calvin – born ?
Johnson, Charles Henry – born June 14, 1900
Johnson, Charlie – born February 23, 1885
Johnson, Edgar Julian – born September 30, 1882
Johnson, Forrest – born Dec 1899
Johnson, Frank M – born July 20, 1896
Johnson, Fred – born April 1, 1900
Johnson, Harry Albert – born August 18, 1884
Johnson, Harvey – born October 29, 1892
Johnson, Henry – born October 6, 1893
Johnson, Henry – born May 23, 1875
Johnson, Hill – born August 31, 1900
Johnson, Ingersol M – born June 11, 1900
Johnson, James – born March 16, 1894
Johnson, James – born 1896
Johnson, James S – born July 18, 1893
Johnson, John – born May 23, 1885
Johnson, John – born March 30, 1883
Johnson, John Robert – born July 18, 1898
Johnson, Julius – born August 17, 1892
Johnson, Leonard – born January 21, 1894
Johnson, Lewis – born June 11, 1873
Johnson, Luther – born April 7, 1899
Johnson, Nelson – born October 1, 1898
Johnson, Oscar – born January 2, 1889
Johnson, Raymond – born June 1, 1895
Johnson, Samuel – born December 2, 1897
Johnson, Suke Lewis – born 1870
Johnson, Sylvester L – born May 14, 1890
Johnson, Thomas – born August 4, 1897
Johnson, Thomas – born 1887
Johnson, Thomas Edward – November 25, 1879
Johnson, Tom – July 25, 1899
Johnson, Wallace – February 3, 1899
Johnson, Walter – born October 7, 1885
Johnson, William – born March 15, 1894
Johnson, William – born November 6, 1894
Johnson, William – born May 15, 1899
Johnson, William Henry – born May 7, 1878
Jones, Charles – born June 8, 1889
Jones, Charles – born July 3, 1892
Jones, Charles Lewis – born December 10, 1899
Jones, Dewey Majer (Major) – born June 5, 1898
Jones, Ernest – born December 25, 1885
Jones, Frank – born December 6, 1893
Jones, Frank G – born April 26, 1895
Jones, George – born June 10, 1875
Jones, Henry Matthew – born September 20, 1898
Jones, Herbert – born December 25, 1894
Jones, Jacob – born March 20, 1896
Jones, James B. – born October 25, 1888
Jones, James E – born March 10, 1874
Jones, Jessie – born July 23, 1900
Jones, John W – born March 25, 1890
Jones, John – born 1900
Jones, John Francis – born October 18, 1872
Jones, John Henry – born July 5, 1878
Jones, John Lee – born June 14, 1895
Jones, Joseph – born February 19, 1896
Jones, Lewis – born August 23, 1894
Jones, Moses – born September 27, 1895
Jones, Ollie – born September 4, 1892
Jones, P.S. – born June 5, 1885
Jones, Robert – born March 4, 1881
Jones, Robert – born June 10, 1883
Jones, Rufus – born December 28, 1900
Jones, Samuel – born April 3, 1874
Jones, Sidney Albert – born July 7, 1899
Jones, Wash – born October 26, 1892
Jones, William – born March 28. 1884
Jordan, James Harrison – born December 3, 1889

Posted in Black People of Alexandria | Tagged , , | 2 Comments