Behind the Scene of the article “Standing on Historical Land: James E. Henson, Esq.”

From left to right: James E. Henson Jr., Deardria Henson, Sharon Henson and James E. Henson Sr.

Mr. James E. Henson, Sr., has been a very lucky man. His aunt Eleanor McGuire Massie left him her house at 607 South Pitt Street. James and his wife, Ardene moved in the house in 2007. This house stands on the original spot of the first colored public school, Snowden School for Boys (1870 – 1916).

James was born into a family that has made many historical achievements. His mother’s uncle was the famous Matthew Alexander Henson who was an explorer with Robert Peary to the Arctic and the North Pole. In addition, James’s great-great uncle was Josiah Henson, whose life was depicted in the famous book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

James’ paternal aunt, Alice McGuire married the famous John A. Seaton who was the first African American Alderman in Alexandria. The famous 19th Century preacher, Reverend Samuel W. Madden, married all the McGuire women, Alice, Blanche, Louisa, and Nannie. He was the pastor at Alfred Street Baptist Church.

James E. Henson, Esq., has made his own achievements. He is a retired attorney. He was the first African American lawyer to serve as assistant county solicitor of Howard County and deputy director for the Maryland Commission on Human Relations. He has taught business law at Morgan State University and at Howard Community College in Maryland. Prior to his law career, Mr. Henson served twenty years in the United States Air Force, retiring as a master sergeant.

Mr. Henson was born in Alexandria in 1936. He graduated from Parker-Gray High School in 1954. He is the former president of Alexandria’s Departmental Progressive Club. In addition, he is one of the founders and a former president of the Alumni Association of Parker-Gray School. He was a chairman of the Charles Houston Ad Hoc Naming/Narrative Committee and the Change Agents for Historic Alexandria book project. He coauthor, “African Americans of Alexandria, Virginia: Beacons of Light in the Twentieth Century.” To add on to his family’s achievements James E. Henson, Sr., became the 2019 Living Legend in Alexandria, Virginia.

You can read more about “Standing on Historical Land: James E. Henson, Esq.” in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper date July 1, 2020 on pages 6 and 12 at
http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2020/070120/Alexandria.pdf.

Behind the Scene with – John A. Seaton

Seaton
John A. Seaton – Washington Bee Newspaper – April 2, 1898

John A. Seaton, his father and his siblings were high achievers. Due to the required length of the newspaper article, “John A. Seaton – ‘A Giant of a Man’”, some unknown facts about John A. Seaton was not in the article.

In 1867, John A. Seaton opened up a bank account in 1867 at the U.S. Freedman’s Bank. On his account, he stated he lived in Alexandria, VA. He listed his wife, Virginia, his son, John A., and his siblings George L. Seaton, Lucinda, Laura, Martha and Mary Ann. He made a $200 deposit in his account.

John A. Seaton was a republican Chairperson from the seventh congressional district of Virginia.

John A. Seaton’s third wife, Elizabeth Ann Grant-Seaton, was born in 1849. She and John married in Camden, New Jersey on April 4, 1890. They had been living together in New York. Elizabeth died on May 23, 1929 at the age of 80. She died at the home that John built in Bealeton, Fauquier, Virginia.

Mr. Seaton last job before his death was with the Equitable Life Insurance Company in New York City. He was one of the bodyguards to Equitable Life Insurance’s vaults.

It was stated in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper, on April 13, 1898 that Mr. John A. Seaton died. The article stated, “Mr. B. Wheatley received from Baltimore, MD, a copper casket, six-feet- eight inches in length, in which the body of John Seaton, who died near Bealeton Sunday night, will be interred. By his will Seaton directed that he be buried in a copper coffin. His funeral will take place in Bealeton on Sunday next.”

You can read the entire article on page 12 at http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2018/092618/Alexandria.pdf.

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