Saluting One of Our Fallen Vietnam Veterans: Raymond Leroy Williams, Sr.

During the Vietnam War, Alexandria had over fifty veterans that lost their lives in combat; Raymond Leroy Williams, Sr was one of them.

Raymond was a 1962 graduate at Parker-Gray High School in Alexandria. He was a popular student who was loved by many. His life was cut short when he received multiple fragmentation wounds on May 13, 1969 in Vietnam.

You can read Raymond L. Williams’s story, titled, “Saluting One of Our Fallen Vietnam Veterans: Raymond Leroy Williams, Sr” is in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper dated May 27, 2020 on page 6 at

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A Family’s Devastation of Influenza Pandemic: Bessie Evans Baltimore Carter

We all have gold mines in our family and; family history is one of our overlooked gold mines.

Lucy Carter-Cross Roy and her daughter, Beatrice “Bee” Cross Taylor

The Baltimore, Carter and Spriggs’ families in Alexandria, Virginia were old family surnames that have been in Alexandria prior and after the Civil War. The Spriggs’ family was in Alexandria prior to the war, the Baltimore family came during the war and the Carter family came after the war. What these families have in common is that they were part of the growing black mid-class. They were the lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers and property owners. These families married into each other’s families and they were members of Roberts Memorial United Methodist Church (Roberts Chapel).

However, their affluence did not prevent them from the flu pandemic. This pandemic impacted rich, mid-class, poor, elderly, adults, children, black, white and everyone else who made up the world population.

Bessie Evans Baltimore Carter was born in Alexandria, Virginia on March 19, 1891. She married Irving (Irvin) Chesterfield Carter. She had two daughters Verma and Lucy. Bessie died during the Influenza Pandemic on December 26, 1918.

Verma Evelyn Carter-Roy

Unknown to Bessie’s daughter Lucy that her mother died during the Influenza Pandemic. Lucy was two-years old and her sister Verma was three-years old when their mother died. However, Lucy was unaware about the rich family history that her family had. She and her sister had many historical gold mines in their family. These historical gold mines died with the death of their parents who did not have the time to share their family history with their children.

A story about Bessie Evans Baltimore Carter titled, “A Family’s Devastation of Influenza Pandemic” is in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper dated May 13, 2020 on page 6 at


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What A Wonderful Childhood: Frances Colbert Clements Terrell

This is my fourth story about African Americans living in the Seminary area. I look forward in writing more articles about African Americans who lived, worked and raised their children in Alexandria.

Before Seminary/West End was incorporated into Alexandria, it was part of Falls Church in Fairfax, Virginia. The African Americans who lived in that area had a unique life compared to the African Americans in the City of Alexandria. Many of their families owned their own property. They were self-contained as far as their own school, their stores, their churches and their culture.

The City of Alexandria was indeed a City but the Seminary community prior to becoming incorporated into Alexandria was considered rural. In all appearances, Seminary was a farming community with livestock.

Frances Colbert Clements Terrell had a wonderful childhood growing up in the Seminary area of Alexandria. You can read more about her childhood life in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper dated April 29, 2020 on page 6 and 7, titled “What A Wonderful Childhood: Frances Colbert Clements Terrell” at

Click to access Alexandria.pdf

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Memories of Long Ago: Margaret V. Campbell Council

Margaret V. Campbell Council – High School Graduating Picture in 1930s

I was privilege in having a conversation with the 78 year-old Leroy Council of Philadelphia who revealed his deep love for his mother, Margaret and the history she shared with him about her life in Alexandria.

His mother, Margaret was born in Alexandria on April 19, 1917. Margaret’s mother came to Alexandria from Orange, Virginia to have her. After she was born, her mother returned to Orange County with her daughter, Margaret.

Margaret’s grandparents, Phillip and Alice Perry Campbell raised her. Out of their great love for their grandchild, Phillip and Alice moved to Alexandria in 1922 so that Margaret could get a better education.

Margaret left Alexandria after the death of her grandparents. She moved to Philadelphia to be with her mother. She came back to Alexandria to get married. She raised her children in Philadelphia but kept her close ties with friends and family in Alexandria. She never missed an opportunity to return to Alexandria to be with family and her childhood friends.

You can read Margaret’s story in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper that was published on March 30th at:

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