Patrick H. Lumpkins had beaten the odds, he had a disability due to slavery but he excelled after the civil war. Besides being a teacher and a music director, he raised a family. His daughter, Helen Lumpkins Robinson Day, became a well-known teacher, choir director and community activist. In 1950s, Patrick’s son Patrick II was working for Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO).
Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “From Slavery to Principal” February 28, 2019.
I have been researching John F. Parker, the second principal of Snowden School for Boys for a number of years, I found that his accomplishments and his strength to endure hardship and health issues were extremely courageous.
He was born into slavery on his owner’s plantation in Alexandria. After he was emancipated, he worked for several years before becoming a teacher then a principal. Unfortunately for him and his wife, their only child died before his 10th birthday. John had a brother, William Madison Mason Parker who married Mary Hooe. They had several children. Through his brother’s children and grandchild, John’s legacy is known today. His great-nephews and nieces are the Taylor family, Donald, Charlene, John and Alvin; his Dogan family, Bettie and Thelma (Sugar); his Burke family is Frances Burke; he also has many more relatives and great-great nieces and nephews that hold their heads up high because John was such a great man.
First, I want to thank all of the descendants for giving me the opportunity to research and connect their family to the Freedmen’s Cemetery. I truly feel that their ancestors have made me a part of their family.
Also the book is available through the Alexandria Black History Museum (ABHM) in Alexandria, VA. I will be launching my book signing at ABHM on February 9, 2019. If you live in the area, you might want to buy the book in Alexandria from ABHM. Some of the proceeds will go to the Alexandria Black History Museum.