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Genealogical databases, websites, and bibliographies to aid users in the pursuit of their family history and origins. Last Updated: Jun 20, 2024 10:31 AM

Introduction and General Guides

African-American Genealogical Sourcebook Byers, P. K., editor, Gale Research Inc., 1995. VREF 929.1089 AFRI
Part I consists of several essays, including; immigration and migration patterns, traditions and customs, basic genealogical records and those specific to African Americans, examples of what can be found in a record, a bibliography. Part II lists information resources, including libraries, genealogical societies, databases and periodicals. Part III consists of indexes to quickly find sources listed in Part II.

The African-American Family’s Guide to Tracing our Roots Barksdale-Hall, R., Amber Books, 2005. VREF 929.1089 BARK
Aimed at all African Americans who have ever thought of researching their family history, the author helps the reader rethink past events, explore vital health matters, increase awareness of cultural and historical identities, and better understand events that helped to shape family values, beliefs, and attitudes.

Black Genealogy Blockson, C. L., Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1977. VREF 929.1089 BLOC
This book tells how to discover your family roots and trace ancestors back even to a specific African Kingdom. It shows where to start, sources to use, and problems and surprises along the way.

Black Family Research NARA, 2006. VREF 929.1089 WASH
This booklet provides information about Federal records of the post-Civil War era that are rich in documentation for African American family historians seeking to bridge the transitional period from slavery to freedom.

Black Roots Burroughs, T., Simon & Schuster, 2001. VREF 929.1089 BURR
Designed for those who have little or no experience researching their family’s past, this book includes: case histories that posed unique challenges and how they were solved; illustrations and photos of documents and records likely to be encountered; worksheets and forms to keep research in order; a list of traps researchers might fall into.

African American Genealogy Witcher, C. B., Round Tower Books, 2000. VREF 929.1089 WITC
Aimed at beginning and experienced researchers, the book includes an extensive bibliography of sources arranged by ancestor’s place of residence and a list of southern plantation records.

A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering your African-American Ancestors Smith, F. C. and Croom, E. A., Betterway Books, 2003 VREF 929.1089 SMIT
This work covers the basics and beyond including: gathering oral and social history within the family; researching census records; working with Freedmen’s Bureau and other African-American specific sources; analyzing your information; etc. Included are case studies tracing actual families and illustrations of early and recent records.

African American Ancestors – A Beginner’s Guide Thackery, D. T., Ancestry Publishing, 2000 VREF 929.1089 THAC
This concise volume leads the reader to such sources as census schedules, plantation records, and military records. Included are case studies, a thorough bibliography of sources, and a guide to Internet resources.

Black Genesis Rose, J. M. and Eichholz, A., Genealogical Publishing Co., 2003 VREF 929.1089 ROSE
This second edition of a pioneering work is designed to introduce the novice and professional researcher to genealogical research methods and resources. After an introductory section, the largest part is called a Survey of the States, showing the records available in each state.

Finding a Place Called Home Woodtor, D. P., Random House, 1999 VREF 929.1089 WOOD
This book, step-by-step, shows how to find who your family was and where they came from. The book tells how to interview family members; also, how to use census reports, slave schedules, property deeds, and courthouse records. Other areas include the use of the Internet for research and the family reunion movement and other ways to celebrate newly discovered family history.

Finding Your People Jamison, S. L., Perigee Books, 1999 VREF 929.1089 JAMI
This book provides the user with tools needed to identify and overcome the special challenges of African-American research. Areas covered include: locating lineage and pedigree documents, finding slave chronologies, alternate name spellings, interviewing methods, recordkeeping, public vs. alternate records, research sources, family reunions, and using census information.

Afro-American Genealogy 1995 VIDEO VREF 929.1089 CONT
A video recording of a discussion about the process involved in African-American genealogy research.

Finding Oprah’s Roots – Finding your Own Gates, H. L., Jr., Crown Publishers, 2007 VREF 929.1089 GATE
The author, a well-known scholar, shines a searchlight into the dark shadows that have enveloped African-American ancestry. By means of a team of historians and geneticists, and using Oprah and her forebears as his chief example, nameless slaves have had their identities restored through an array of search methods.

Black Genealogy: How to Begin Walker, J. D., The University of Georgia, 1977 VREF 929.1089 WALK
This early guide includes sections on How to Begin (including pedigree charts, family group sheets, oral interviews); General Research Sources (including family and home records, Federal census schedules, military records); and, sources of Black genealogical records (including church, property tax, Freedman’s Bureau and slave owner records.

Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama Taylor, F. K., NewSouth Books, 2008 VREF 929.3761 TAYL
This book provides information and guidance to help locate the resources available for researching African American records in archives, libraries, and county courthouses throughout Alabama. These records are important because of the migration patterns of Alabama’s freedmen, first to urban areas in the state and then to northern cities, a trend that continued throughout the first part of the 20th century.

Tracing your West Indian Ancestors Grannum, G., Public Records Office, 2002 VREF 929.342 GRAN
This volume is relevant to both black and white researchers with family roots in the Caribbean. It includes discussion of the slave trade, slave registers, manumission records, etc. The second half of the volume describes for each territory the historic background and the available records.

Free Born-350 Years of Eastern Shore African American History Adams, W. C. S., Heritage Books, 2007 VREF 929.1089 ADAM
Written as the author conducted research into his Adams/Beckett family, the text provides a fascinating account of the search and provides guidance on how to search for free ancestors. It describes economic, social and legal conditions that governed the lives of free blacks of the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia from the mid-1600s to the end of the 19th century.

Generations Past Lawson, S. M., Library of Congress, 1988 VREF 929.1089 LAWS
This booklet includes a selected list of books in the collections of the Library of Congress compiled primarily for researchers of Afro-American lineages. Included are guidebooks, bibliographies, genealogies, collective biographies, U. S. local histories and directories.

A Bibliography of African American Family History at the Newberry Library Simpson, J. and Rutherford, M., The Newberry Library, 2005 VREF 929.1089 B
This is a selective guide to materials available at the Newberry Library in Chicago. The arrangement is by: General Sources; Special Topics (e.g. census records, slave narratives); Military; Records by State Location.

Black Indian Genealogy Research Walton-Raji, A., Y., Heritage Books, Inc., 1993 VREF 929.1089 WALT
Certain Indians, especially the Five Civilized Tribes, adopted European ways including agriculture and the use of slaves for farming. The author shows where to find and how to use Indian Freedman Records, discusses Black Indians and Tri-Racial groups from the Upper South. A list of surnames is provided as a guide for those who are uncertain in which nation to begin their quest.

Free African Americans in Colonial Virginia

Free African Americans of North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina : from the colonial period to about 1820 : in three volumes Heingg, Paul, Genealogical Publishing Company, 2021 VREF 929.3755 Heinegg 2021 V.1, V.2, V.3
These genealogies, comprising the colonial history of the majority of the free African American families of Virginia and North Carolina, describe the colonial and early national history of their communities in three volumes.

List of free African Americans in the American Revolution : Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and Delaware (followed by the French and Indian War and colonial militias) Heingg, Paul, Genealogical Publishing Company, 2021 VREF 929.3755 Heinegg 2021 
Over 420 African Americans who were born free during the colonial period served in the Revolution from Virginia. Others who descended from free-born colonial families served from North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and Delaware. Other free African Americans served in colonial militias and the French and Indian Wars. Those who were not serving under their own free will are not included in this list.

Slavery – General

The British Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade 1650-1775 Bean, R. N., Arno Press, 1975 VREF 326 B
This dissertation provides a basis for the economic study of the British African slave trade. Economic theory is used to explain why slavery was used in America but not in Europe and why Africans were used almost exclusively.

The Slave Trade Thomas, H., Simon & Schuster, 1997 VREF 326 T
Beginning with the first Portuguese slaving expeditions, the author analyzes one of the largest and most elaborate maritime and commercial ventures of history whereby approximately 11 million slaves were transported to the Americas to work on plantations, in mines, or as servants.

The Slave Community Blassingame, J. W., Oxford University Press, 1972 VREF 326 B
Subtitled Plantation Life in the Antebellum South, this work takes a broad interdisciplinary approach to the subject.

Slavery–a Look at History Through Primary Source Documents Wood, F. and M-T., 2006 VREF 326 S
This work contains illustrations of original documents related to slavery, including wills, newspaper notices, advertisements, etc.

Slavery and Freedom Oakes, J., Alfred A. Knopf, 1990 VREF 326 O
The author shows how capitalism influenced the way slavery developed and functioned in America. He describes how the market in slaves was created and grew in relation to the rising demand for consumer goods. Also, how slavery’s expansion threatened the independent southern farmer and how slave resistance began to affect American politics.

Before Freedom Came Campbell, E. D. C. Jr., The Museum of the Confederacy, 1991 VREF 326 B
Published in association with an exhibition at the Museum of the Confederacy, this illustrated book includes essays by a variety of scholars on different aspects of slavery.

Spirits of the Passage Burnside, M., Simon & Schuster Editions, 1997 VREF 326 B
This well-illustrated volume tells the story of the international slave trade, and the people and nations that created it. The book combines profiles, illustrations, anecdotes and narratives.

Slave Patrols Hadden, S. E., Harvard University Press, 2001 VREF 326 H
This book shows the origins, nature, and extent of slave patrols in Virginia and the Carolinas from the late 17th century through the end of the Civil War. The patrols, formed by county courts and state militias, were the closest enforcers of codes governing slaves throughout the South.

The Colonies Nirdquist, M., editor, Modern Curriculum Press, 1994 VREF 326 C
This book in the Voices in African American History series aimed at young readers, tells in brief the story of slavery in the pre-Revolutionary War period.

American Slavery 1619 – 1877 Kolchin, P., Hill and Wang, 1993 VREF 326 K
A synthesis of scholarship on the history of slavery, this book tells how slavery in America was similar and differed from forced labor elsewhere in the Americas and serfdom in Russia. The exploration of the slave experience includes a critique about slave culture and community.

Black Majority Wood, P. H., W. W. Norton & Co., 1974 VREF 326 W
This wide-ranging work of social history explores such areas as the roots of Black English, patterns of white control and patterns of Black resistance.

Slavery in the South Wish, H. ed., Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1964 VREF 326 W
This book contains contemporary accounts from the viewpoints of the Negroes, Northerners, British, and Southern whites. Especially valuable are the acute observations of Frederick Law Olmstead from a 14 month tour of the South in 1852-54.

Slavery in the Americas Klein, H. S., University of Chicago Press, 1967 VREF 326 K
Subtitled A Comparative Study of Virginia and Cuba, this work compares the workings and effects of slavery in two New World colonies. It confirms theories about institutional differences between these areas and explains why Negroes have achieved greater social integration and occupational mobility in Latin America than in the North.

Stolen Childhood –Slave Youth in 19th Century America King, W., Indiana University Press, 1995 VREF 326 K
The author focuses specifically on the wretched lives of millions of enslaved young people who were forced into the workplace at an early age, subjected to arbitrary plantation authority and punishment, and separation from their families.

Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic Clarke, E., Yale University Press, 2005 VREF 975.8733 C
Encompassing the years 1805-1869, the book describes the simultaneous but very different experiences of slave and slave owner. It reveals how the benevolent impulses of the slave owners became ideological supports for deep oppression and how the slaves struggled against that. Through letters, plantation and church records, court documents, slave narratives, archaeological findings, and the memory of the African-American community in Georgia, the author brings to light the long suppressed history of the plantation slaves.

The Impending Crisis of the South Helper, H. R., Collier Books, 1963 VREF 326 H
This reprint of a work published in 1857 argues against the institution of slavery from the standpoint of a poor Southern white who condemned it on economic, not humanitarian grounds.

A Slave Family Kalman, B. and Bishop, A., Crabtree Publishing Co., 2003 VREF 326 K
This booklet for young readers tells the story of slavery through the life of a slave girl in Colonial America.

The Color of Money Jones, J. W. VREF 326 J
This teacher’s guide/activity book is based on a 2005 exhibition of Confederate currency depicting images of slavery. Through paintings based on those images, children are encouraged to learn about the slave experience.

The Road to Harpers Ferry Furnas, J. C., William Sloan Associates, 1959 VREF 326 F
This account of slavery from its earliest years up to the Civil War explains away much of the ugly history of the institution and is strongly anti-Abolitionist in outlook.

Slave Trading in the Old South Bancroft, F., Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1931 VREF 326 B
This study explores the extent of the breeding and selling of slaves, including the channels used, the chief depots, the men who controlled the trade, and the cruelties and profits.

Emancipation in Virginia - For and Against

A Dissertation on Slavery Tucker, S. G., Negro Universities Press, 1970 VREF 326 T
This reprint of a work written by a law professor and judge in 1796 constitutes a proposal for the gradual abolition of slavery in Virginia.

Debate in the Virginia Legislature on Abolition of Slavery Dew, T.R., Negro Universities Press, 1970 VREF 326 D
This reprint of an extended essay written in 1832 by a professor of William and Mary College argues in favor of the institution of slavery and the impracticality of its abolition.

Road from Monticello Robert, J. C., AMS Press, 1970 VREF 326 R
This work is a study of the Virginia slavery debate of 1832, conducted in the aftermath of Nat Turner’s rebellion. The second half of the book consists of selections from the debate.

Slavery Agitation in Virginia 1829 – 1832 Whitfield, T. M., The Johns Hopkins Press, 1930 VREF 326 W
The central subject of this book is the slavery debate in the legislature of 1832 and the decline in later years of anti-slavery feeling with a strong defense of slavery the dominant sentiment.

A Defense of Virginia Dabney, R. L., Negro Universities Press, 1969 VREF 326 D
This reprint of a book written by a Confederate veteran in the aftermath of emancipation seeks to justify the institution of slavery on biblical, ethical, and economic grounds.

The United States Constitution and its Pro-Slavery Compromises Phillips, W., American Anti-Slavery Society, 1856 VRARE 326 P
Consisting of extracts from The Madison Papers and debates in various state conventions, this work is intended to show the compromises whereby slavery was first sanctioned, and appeals therefrom for its elimination.

Slave Narratives

Bullwhip Days Mellon, J., editor, Avon Books, 1988 VREF 326 B
In the mid-1930s, the Federal Writers Project dispatched interviewers to capture the personal memories of the last survivors of American slavery. In their own voices, they tell of the harsh realities of human bondage.

The Refugee – Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada Drew, B., University Press of the Pacific, 1856 (reprinted) VREF 973.7115 D
Written shortly before the Civil War, the book consists of narratives gathered from persons the author met during a tour of the cities and settlements of Canada. The book includes a brief statement by Harriet Tubman.

The Roving Editor Redpath, J., Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996 VREF 326 R
Subtitled Talks with Slaves in the Southern States, this volume is based on interviews with slaves and slave-holders during the 1850s. Redpath was a NY newspaper reporter who published under a pseudonym in antislavery newspapers.

Don’t Carry Me Back! Narratives by Former Virginia Slaves Duke, M. editor, The Dietz Press, 1995 VREF 326 D
The author has chosen narratives published in the 19th century of 15 former slaves whose lives reflected the experiences of free agent slaves, and urban and rural slaves whose experiences reflect the panorama of slave life in Virginia.

The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography – volume 16 Rawick, G. P., Greenwood Publishing Co, 1972 VREF 326 A
This work consists of the narratives of former slaves prepared by the Federal Writers’ Project of the WPA in the states of Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and Tennessee.

Weevils in the Wheat Perdue, Jr., C. L., Barden, T. E. and Phillips, R. K., editors, University Press of Virginia, 1976 VREF 326 P
Brought together are 159 interviews with ex-slaves that were conducted in 1936 – 1941. The interviews were conducted by black workers as part of the Federal Writers Project, so that reports are free of racial bias that occurred in other states when descendents of the planter aristocracy interviewed former slaves.

A Slave in the White House Taylor, E. D., Palgrave Macmillan, 2012 VREF B JENNINGS
Subtitled Paul Jennings and the Madisons, the book tells the story of an African-American born a slave on James Madison’s Virginia plantation in 1799 who served in the White House during Madison’s administration and penned his reminiscences in later years.

LAVE TESTIMONY Blassingame, J. W., Louisiana State University Press, 1977 VREF 326 S
This volume, the largest collection of annotated and authenticated accounts of slaves published in a single book, gives the stories and views of people from all quarters of the slave community.

Slavery in Virginia and the Region

Into Slavery: Racial Decisions in the Virginia Colony Boskin, J., J. B. Lippincott Company, 1976 VREF 326 B
This volume consists of a narrative and historical essay. The author identifies in part 1 choices regarding slavery that he believes were before the decision makers. Part 2 contains source documents that illustrate the alternatives.

Virginia Slave-Trade Statistics 1698 – 1775 Minchinton, W., King, C. and Waite, P., Virginia State Library, 1984 VREF 326 M
Based on shipping records, this volume lists by dates of arrival vessels with slaves including identities of the ships, their captains and owners, ports of entry, and numbers of slaves aboard.

Foul Means Parent, Jr., A. S., University of North Carolina Press, 2003 VREF 326 P
This book analyzes the role of slavery in Virginia’s social formation from 1660 to 1740. Using class analysis, it contends that a small emerging class of great planters with large lands and political connections brought racial slavery to Virginia and gave America its racial dilemma.

A History of Slavery in Virginia Ballagh, J. C., The Johns Hopkins Press, 1902 VREF 326 B
The chapters of this work cover slave trade and slave populations, development of slavery, and the manumission and emancipation process.

Report of the Colonization Committee Virginia Legislature Document, 1849 VREF 326 V
A committee report favoring the deportation of the free black population to Africa, based on perceived “evils resulting from the presence of free negroes amongst us.”

Slavery and Jeffersonian Virginia McColley, R., University of Illinois Press, 1978 VREF 326 M
The author sets out to destroy certain myths, including that slavery was declining in the late 18th century and would have disappeared except for the later cotton boom; also, the myth that there existed among the Southern ruling class a broad humanitarian desire for emancipation.

Sarah Johnson’s Mount Vernon Casper, S. E., Hill and Wang, 2008 VREF 975.529 C
While George Washington’s will freed his slaves, slavery remained at Mount Vernon. The author tells the story of the African Americans who lived and worked at a national temple, challenging the myths that are cherished about the home of the country’s father.

The Slave Families of Thomas Jefferson – 2 volumes Reed, B. B., Sylvest-Sarah, Inc., 2007 VREF 929.3755 REED
The author has traced and recreated familial connections among the more than six hundred slaves who worked on Jefferson’s many plantations. Family trees clarify family relationships and locations, occupations, and destinies affected by sale, purchase and escape are revealed.

Race and Liberty in the New Nation Wolf, E. S., Louisiana State University Press, 2006 VREF 975.503 W
The author examines emancipation in Virginia from the Revolution to Nat Turner’s rebellion, showing how strong pro-slavery views of race and liberty emerged in that period.

Migrants Against Slavery Schwarz, P. J., University Press of Virginia, 2001 VREF 326 S
The author studies whites who left Virginia to escape living as slave owners or participants in a slave society, fugitive slaves who attempted to liberate themselves, and free African-Americans who left in search of better opportunities. He believes that such migrations intensified the controversy over human bondage.

Black Labor in Virginia1865-1890 Rachleff, P., University of Illinois Press, 1984 VREF 975.5451 R
This book shows that black and white workers could act together and that a working-class reform movement could challenge the status quo.

The Religious Development of the Negro in Virginia Earnest, J. B., Jr., The Michie Company, 1914 VREF 277.3 E
This is a somewhat patronizing work whose principal interest today lies in the mindset of the author as a white Virginian early in the 20th century.

Don’t Grieve After Me Draper, C. S., editor, VFH and Hampton University, 2006 VREF 975.55 D
Subtitled The Black Experience in Virginia 1619 – 2005, this book tells the story of the community through essays and vivid photographs.

African American History and Genealogy The Alexandria Library, 1990 VREF 929.1089 AFRI
This small pamphlet lists materials in the Lloyd House collection of the Alexandria Library of interest to those researching Alexandria roots.

The Negro in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg Tate, T. W., The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1965 VREF 326 T
This research study centers on the impact of slavery on the town’s life, including the actual number of slaves, the distribution of ownership, the work performed, and living conditions. The study also touches on criminal law, runaways, religion, and education.

Tobacco and Slaves Kulikoff, A., University of North Carolina Press, 1986 VREF 975.518 K
Based on archival research in Maryland and Virginia, this work which centers on the period 1680 to 1800 depicts how a largely immigrant society of small planters became the polarized slave and free societies that remained impervious to change until the Civil War.

Slave Counterpoint Morgan, P. D., University of North Carolina Press, 1998 VREF 975.518 M
Centered largely on Virginia and South Carolina, the author has juxtaposed two slave societies to help identify the independent forces that shaped them.

Race Relations in Virginia and Miscegenation in the South 1776 – 1860 Johnston, J. H., University of Massachusetts Press, 1970 VRARE 323.1 J
This volume consists of petitions related directly or indirectly to the Virginia slave code explicated by the author’s detailed discussion. It provides a view of the social and economic arrangement and political and moral issues surrounding slavery.

Medicine and Slavery Savitt, T. L., University of Illinois Press, 1978 VRARE 326 S
Subtitled The Health Care of Blacks in Antebellum Virginia, this work analyzes the diseases that afflicted the black population, both slave and free. One chapter deals with medical differences between the races that were used to justify slavery.

Insurrections, Underground Railroad & Other Escapes From Slavery

The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom Siebert, W. H., Peter Smith, 1968 VREF 973.711 S
This reprint of a book published in 1898 covers the sources for the history of the underground railroad, origins and growth, methods used, underground agents, system routes, abductions of slaves, life of the refugees in Canada, fugitives in the northern states, prosecutions of underground railroad men, the railroad in politics and its ultimate effect.

Runaway Slave Advertisements - 4 volumes Windley, L. A., Greenwood Press, 1983 VREF 326 W
Through slave owner advertisements from the 1730s to the 1790s and arranged by state, this work is a portrait of black runaways from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

Advertisements for Runaway Slaves in Virginia, 1801-1820 Meaders, D., Garland Publishing, Inc., 1997 VREF 973.7115 A
This book is made up of extracts from Alexandria and Richmond newspapers offering rewards for the apprehension of runaway slaves. Many articles include vivid descriptions of the fugitives and the milieu of slavery.

Challenging Slavery in the Chesapeake Whitman, T. S., Maryland Historical Society, 2007 VREF 975.518 W
Subtitled Black and White Resistance to Human Bondage, 1775 – 1865, this book discusses the largely white abolition movement that existed up the 1850s and then fell into decline, and the more persistent efforts of free and enslaved Africans toward resistance.

Subversives Harrold, S., Louisiana State University Press, 2003 VREF 975.3
Subtitled Antislavery Community in Washington, D.C., 1828-1865, this volume tells of the efforts of an interracial community of antislavery activists in Washington to challenge slavery in the city.

The Underground Railroad Still, W., Johnson Publishing Company Inc., 1970 VREF 973.711 S
This reprint of a book written in 1871 contains a variety of data including anecdotes, personal letters, newspaper articles, slave advertisements, minutes of anti-slavery meetings, etc.

Underground Railroad in Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia Switala, W. J., Stackpole Books, 2004 VREF 973.711 S
This book examines the system to aid escaped slaves as it operated in three border states. It gives an in-depth treatment of the impact of geography, transportation systems, free blacks, and religious congregations had on the system networks.

Escape on the Pearl Ricks, M. K., William Morrow, 2007 VREF 973.711 R
This account of one of the largest and most audacious slave escapes in history shows how black Americans organized and led clandestine operations and risked their lives to lead their families to freedom.

Anthony Burns – A History Stevens, C. E., Negro Universities Press, 1969 VREF 326 S
This reprint of a work written in 1856 involves an escaped slave whose apprehension and trial in Boston, followed by a return to his master, stirred up anti-slavery sentiment in the pre-Civil War years.

The Pearl Pacheco, J. F., University of North Carolina Press, 2005 VREF 326 P
An account of the 1848 unsuccessful escape attempt by 76 slaves claims that the incident played a pivotal role in publicizing many of the issues surrounding slavery. The author provides insight into the lives of the men and women who sought freedom.

Gabriel’s Rebellion–The Virginia Slave Conspiracies of 1800 & 1802 Egerton, D.R., University of North Carolina Press, 1993 VREF 326 E
According to the author, the disorder of the Revolutionary War era weakened the harsh controls that had previously held slavery in place. Emboldened, some literate slaves planned an armed insurrection to destroy slavery in Virginia. The book challenges the customary understanding of race, class, and politics of the time.

The Town that Started the Civil War Brandt, N., Syracuse University Press, 1990 VREF 973.711 B
This volume discusses Oberlin, Ohio as a major stop on the Underground Railroad and the intervention of student and faculty members to free a fugitive slave in 1858.

Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad Hudson, J. B., McFarland & Company, Inc., 2006 VREF 973.7115 H
This encyclopedia, prepared from primary sources, focuses on the people, ideas, events and places associated with the Underground Railroad. The appendixes include a list of noted sites administered by the National Parks Service.

Let my People Go Buckmaster, H., Harper & Brothers, 1941 VREF 326 B
Subtitled The Story of the Underground Railroad and the Growth of the Abolition Movement, the book shows how the hatred of enslavement began with the first slave and did not wane until the end of slavery.

Underground Railroad National Park Service, 1998 VREF 973.711 U
This handbook prepared by the National Park Service provides a good brief history of the railroad.

Underground Railroad Resources in the United States U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2000 VREF 973.711 T
This guidebook helps to identify places associated with the Underground Railroad that are eligible for National Historic Landmark designation and listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Underground Railroad – Special Resource Study U. S. Dept of the Interior, National Park Service, 1995 VREF 973.711 U
This study document focuses on how to best interpret and commemorate the railroad, with emphasis on the approximate routes taken by slaves escaping to freedom.

Flight to Freedom, the Escape of Enslaved Africans from Bondage in Northern Virginia from 1750 to 1865 Knock, P. I. W., unpublished manuscript, 2004 VREF 973.711 F
An “Inventory of Selected Existing Historical Property Sites”, part of a project for the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. It includes research on anti-slavery and antebellum black communities and a context statement for a multiple property listing on runaway slaves. Emphasis is placed on information connected to recognized public interpretive sites.

Exploring a Common Past – Researching and Interpreting the Underground Railroad
Park History Program, National Park Service, 2000 VREF 973.711 E
The sections of this booklet include material on the historic context and using primary sources. A case study is presented as well as a critical analysis of available sources.

Freedom has a Face – Race, Identity, and Community in Jefferson’s Virginia Daacke, K. von, University of Virginia Press, 2012 VREF 305.896 V
The author reveals that an easy-going social order between blacks and whites existed in Albemarle County for more than two generations after the Revolution.

The Internal Enemy – Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772 – 1832 Taylor, A., W. W. Norton & Company, 2013 VREF 975.503 T
This account of the slaves who sought freedom by escaping to the British during the War of 1812 offers a dramatic instance of the interconnections between slavery and freedom in America.

The Civil War - John Brown's Raid

The Old Man – John Brown at Harper’s Ferry Nelson, T., Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973 VREF 973.711 N
The book presents John Brown’s raid in cinematic detail, presenting Brown, not as a fanatic, but as a great revolutionary and organizer of a brilliant coup that was ultimately successful.

The Secret Six – John Brown and the Abolitionist Movement Scott, O. J., Times Books, 1979 VREF 973.711S
The author argues that Brown and his supporters were senseless fanatics who reveled in dissension and whose mania, ego, and illiteracy were manipulated into a rage that made a martyr of Brown.

The Secret Six Renehan, E. J., Jr., Crown Publishers, 1995 VREF 973.711 R
Subtitled The True Tale of the Men who conspired with John Brown, the book tells about the circle of prosperous Northeasterners who supplied him with money and weapons, then abandoned him to his fate after the raid.

John Brown’s Raid Office of Publications, National Park Service, 1974 VREF 973.711 U
This booklet, intended for use by visitors to Harper’s Ferry, includes a detailed map showing buildings associated with the raid.

Heyward Shepherd – Victim of Violence Andrews, M. P., 1931 VREF 973.711 A
This tract, ostensibly in honor of a Negro killed in the course of John Brown’s raid, was clearly intended to buttress the Southern argument against the abolitionist cause.

The Civil War - African-American Troops

Army Life in a Black Regiment Higginson, T. W., Fields, Osgood & Co., 1870 VREF 973.7415 H
A classic account written by the colonel of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, the first slave regiment mustered into service.

Regiment of Slaves Longacre, E. G., Stackpole Books, 2003 VREF 973.7415 L
This book tells the story of the 4th U. S. Colored Infantry, part of the Army of the James that saw action in the Bermuda Hundred and Richmond-Petersburg campaigns in 1864 and the capture of Wilmington in 1865.

Black Union Soldiers in the Civil War Hargrove, H. B., McFarland & Co., Inc., 1988 VREF 973.7415 H
This volume focuses on the missions, leadership, and actions of large and small units and uncommon valor and military skill of the African-American fighting man.

Black, Copper, and Bright: The District of Columbia’s Black Civil War Regiment Gibbs, C. R., Three Dimensional Publishing, 2002 VREF 973.7415 G
This book tells the story of the First Regiment, United States Colored Troops which was organized in 1863 despite tremendous opposition, the first such unit formally mustered into Federal service.

Diary of a Contraband: The Civil War Passage of a Black Sailor Gould IV, W. B., Stanford University Press, 2002 VREF 973.7415 G
Written by an escaped slave who from 1862 served in the U. S. Navy, the book is distinguished for its reflections on the conduct of the war, the authors military engagements, race relations in the Navy, and African-American expectations after the war.

Thank God my Regiment an African One Weaver, C. P., editor, Louisiana State University Press, 1998 VREF 973.781 D
The Civil War Diary of Colonel Nathan Daniels tells of his service leading the 2nd Louisiana Native Guard Volunteers that played a pioneering role in the history of black troops in the war.

The Forgotten Black Soldiers in White Regiments during the Civil War Moss, J. P., Heritage Books, Inc., 2004 VREF 929.373 MOSS
This booklet, in alphabetic order and also by state, gives the regiment and company of more than 1000 black soldiers identified as serving in white regiments.

Blacks in Blue and Gray Blackerby, H. C., Portals, 1979 VREF 973.7415 B
Including vignettes of African-Americans who fought on both sides, the author admits to his “Southern sympathies” in this interesting but tendentious volume. For example, the author calls Benjamin Butler, a leading champion of African-American troops, a “leading villain.”

104th Infantry Regiment – USCT Gourdin, J. R., Heritage Books, Inc., 1997 VREF 929.3757 GOUR
The 104th Regiment was unique because its enlisted rank was composed entirely of newly freed slaves recruited in 1865 from plantations in the Low Country of South Carolina. Most served under the surname of their former masters and later changed their names. Name transitions are captured from depositions, affidavits, medical records, etc.

A Voice of Thunder – The Civil War Letters of George E. Stephens Yacovone, D., editor, University of Illinois Press, 1997 VREF 973.7415 S
This volume is based on 44 letters written between 1859 and 1864 by the most important African- American war correspondent of his era, a member of the famed 54th Massachusetts Regiment. An accompanying biography situates Stephens within the broad context of 19th century struggles against slavery and discrimination.

Black Southerners in Confederate Armies Segars, J. H. and Barrow, C. K., editors, Pelican Publishing Company, 2001 VREF 973.745 B
Acknowledging that the extent of African-American participation on the side of the Confederacy is difficult to gauge, the editors sought out passages in books and archival records to show that such cases existed.

Virginia’s Black Confederates Eanes, G., E & H Publishing Co., Inc., 2005 VREF 973.745 E
Subtitled Essays and Rosters of Civil War Virginia’s Black Confederates, this volume includes their participation in the 1864 Wilson-Kautz raid and the Appomattox Campaign. A roster is included of black Virginians who served with the Confederacy.

Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia Jordan, E. L., Jr., University Press of Virginia, 1995 VREF 973.745 J
The first section of this book covers Afro-Virginian domestic life and labor and the attitude that slaves and free blacks encountered outside and within the legal system. The second section examines wartime civilian and military roles of Afro-Virginians in a disintegrating society, as body servants and as soldiers and spies serving on both sides.

Other Civil War Era

The Slaves War Ward, A., Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008 VREF 973.711 W
This book is the first narrative history of the Civil War told from the perspective of those whose destiny it decided. Woven together from hundreds of interviews, diaries, letters and memoirs, it tells the story of the war as seen not only from battlefields, capitals and camps, but also slave quarters, kitchens, roadsides, farms, towns and swamps.

Families and Freedom I. Berlin and L. S. Rowland, editors, The New Press, 1997 VREF 973.7 F
Through poignant letters, the story of the remaking of the black family and their transformation from slaves to free people is told.

Freedom’s Unfinished Revolution Friedheim, W., The New Press, 1996 VREF 973.7 F
Intended as a school textbook, this book tells through original documents and text the story of the Civil War and its aftermath as it affected the African-American population.

The Gray and the Black Durden, R. F., Louisiana State University Press, 1972 VREF 326 D
This book deals with the debate that raged during the final months of the Confederacy regarding the freeing and arming its slaves to preserve an independent Southern nation.

Records of the Board of Commissioners for the Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia, 1862-1863 NARA Microfilm, 2004 VREF 326.8 U
This CD reproduces records of the Board of Commissioners that examined petitions for compensation from former slave owners.

Post-Civil War Education

Virginia School Report - Years 1871, 1873, 1884, 1885 Superintendent of Public Instruction, Richmond VRARE 370 V
The annual reports include data tables and discussions relating to the schools of Virginia, including specific discussion of the African-American population. The 1871volume, relating to the situation when public education was first instituted in Virginia, is especially interesting for material (commencing at page 92) relating to the rationale given a white audience for educating the Negro population.

The Fire of Liberty in their Hearts Horst, S. L., The Library of Virginia, 1996 VREF 975.5671 Y
The diary of a young teacher at a Freedmen’s Bureau School in Lynchburg, Va. provides a glimpse into daily life in the post-war South. Coming of age at a time of great social change, he expressed his hopes for and doubts about the freedmen’s ability to fully grasp their freedom.

The Development of Public Schools in Virginia 1607 – 1952 Buck, J. L. B., Virginia State Board of Education, 1952 VRARE 379.755 B
Scattered references to African-American schools can be found at index page 562.

Other Post-Civil War

Under Fire with the Tenth U. S. Cavalry Cashin, H. V. and Others, Arno Press and The NY Times, 1969 VREF 973.894 C
This work is a reprint of a work published in 1899 in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. The first chapters trace Negro participation in America’s wars, from the era of the American Revolution through the Civil War and the Indian campaigns. Principally, the work deals in detail with the “Buffalo Soldiers” who fought alongside the Rough Riders, five of who earned the Medal of Honor.

Black Americans in Congress 1870 – 2007 Brady, R. A. Comm. Chair, U. S. Govt. Printing Office, 2008 VREF 328.73 B
The most comprehensive history available on the 121 African Americans who have served in Congress, from Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi and Representative Joseph Rainey of South Carolina in 1870 to the freshman members of the 110th Congress.

Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company – 3 volumes Neimeyer, D. E., Willow Bend Books, 2000 & 2001 VREF 929.3753 NEIM
The bank was incorporated in Washington to serve freed slaves. These volumes give the information provided by depositors when opening the accounts including: name, date, place of birth, residence, age, complexion, spouse, etc.

Negro Office Holders in Virginia 1865 – 1895 Jackson, L. P., Guide Quality Press, 1945 VRARE 305.896 J
This book discusses the environment in which the first generation of black officeholders served at the Federal, state, county, and municipal levels. Short biographies are provided of these figures.

White and Black – The Outcome of a Visit to the United States Campbell, G., R., Worthington, 1879 VRARE 305.896 C
This account, written by a British MP in the late 1870s, includes much material on the situation in the South after slavery.

Fairfax County

African-American Records

1850 Fairfax County and Loudoun County Va. Slave Schedule Duncan, P. B., Willow Bend Books, 2003 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
Transcribed from National Archives records, entries provide the names of slave holders, number of slaves and for each one their age, sex, color (black or mulatto), and other information.

Registrations of Free Negroes Commencing Sept Court 1822 and Register of Free Blacks 1835 Sweig, D., History Section Office of Comprehensive Planning, Fairfax Co., 1977 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
This volume gives the full texts of the court orders releasing the named individuals from slavery, with details as to their appearance and legal status in Virginia.

African-American Civic Organizations

History of the Fairfax County Branch of the NAACP Henderson, E. B., 1965 VRARE 305.896 H
This booklet describes the growth of the local branch from 1915, when it was organized in response to a segregation ordinance of the Falls Church Town Council, until the 1960s when racial barriers began to fall.

Neighbors for a Better Community Gardiner, M. S., 1980 VRARE 307.76 G
This book describes the origins and operations of this Dranesville organization founded “to foster harmony and cooperation between negro and white members.” The organization sought to identify and correct problems in such areas as housing, employment and political rights.

African-American History in Fairfax County

Historic Sites Significant to the Black Community in Fairfax County Afro-American Institute for Historic Preservation, 1983 VREF 975.529 A
Sites identified and discussed in this study include Dr. E. B. Henderson, educator, author and activist; location of the house where the Fairfax NAACP was founded; the building that housed the first black public school in Fairfax; and sites at Gum Springs.

Black Heritage Quilt Squares Identification Black Women United for Action in Fairfax County, 1990 VRARE 975.529 B
This booklet was prepared as a reference to the 25 panels of a quilt based on aspects of African American life in Fairfax under slavery and in freedom.

African American History in Mason District – 2 volumes Zeavin, N. S., Fairfax County History Commission, 2005 VREF 975.529 A
This is a compilation of family and community history, citizen recollections, and memorabilia from the Mason District.

Feasibility Study: Black History Museum The Center for History Now, 1985 VREF 975.529 C
This is a study commissioned by the Fairfax County Park Authority relative to establishing a black history museum at Gum Springs to preserve and interpret African-American life and culture.

Shades of Gray Badil-Abish, H., 2005 VREF 929.2755 FAIR 2005
This highly detailed family history is also a scholarly, highly illuminating history of the African-American community of Fairfax County.

History of Gum Springs, Virginia Burton, J. S., 1986 VREF 975.529 B
Subtitled A Report of a Case Study of Leadership in a Black Enclave, this doctoral dissertation is an in depth study of this community, including educational history and its challenges in the modern age.

Gum Springs: The Triumph of a Black Community Chase, J. T., Fairfax County Board. of Supervisors, 1990 VREF 975.529 C
This work tells how an unpromising area was transformed into a strong, black community with remarkable community institutions.

The History of Gum Springs Members of the Fairfax County History Commission, 1980 VRARE 975.529 C
This is a bound photocopy of a never published manuscript that may contain information not included in the above volumes about this community.

Of Land & Labor Bisbee, M. L., Board of Regents Gunston Hall, 1994 VREF 975.529 B
Subtitled Gunston Hall Plantation Life in the 18th Century, this well illustrated visitors booklet is devoted in large part to slave life on the plantation in the Lorton district of Fairfax.

Unequal Access : The Desegregation of Public Libraries in Northern Virginia Barbuschak, Chris and Suzanne LaPierre, 2021 VREF 975.5291 Barbusc 2021
This report investigates the history of the desegregation of Northern Virginia's public libraries including Fairfax County Public Library.

African-American Churches

History of Pleasant Grove Methodist Church Banks, R. and Lawson, O. R. VRARE 287.6 B
This five page manuscript describes the origins of this church and tells its history from erection of the building in 1896.

Greater Little Zion Baptist Church Celebrates 100 Years 1991 VRARE 286.1755 G
This calendar with accompanying text and photos of ministers and congregants tells the story of this church and its predecessor Mount Zion Baptist which was founded in 1891.

120th Anniversary First Baptist Church VRARE 286.1755 O
This booklet tells the story of this Vienna church that was founded after the Civil War through the backing of a Union veteran who settled in the community.

131st Church Anniversary 1997 VRARE 286.1755 O
This booklet tells the story of the Mount Zoar Baptist Church whose origins date from about 1866.

135th Anniversary --- Mount Calvary Baptist Church 2005 VRARE 286.1755 M
This booklet was prepared to commemorate the founding of the congregation near the Fairfax County Courthouse in 1870.

Second Baptist Church, Clifton Va., 1926 – 1942 Photocopy by B. A. Conley, Fairfax County Public Library, 1987 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
This photocopy of the ledger book of this African-American church contains details of meetings relating to the governance of the congregation. Much interesting social detail is included in the accounts of the proceedings.

African-American Education

A History of Education for Black Students in Fairfax County Prior to 1954 Russell-Porte, Evelyn Darnell, VREF 371.829 R 2000 F
A 315-page dissertation, including tables, which provides a historical account of the educational developments for Black students in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Facts Pertaining to Negro Pupils and Teachers, Fairfax County Schools Fairfax County School Board, June 1963, VRARE 372.9755 F
A mimeographed compilation of data on the African-American students and teachers of Fairfax County prepared in anticipation of requirements to desegregate the schools.

Louise Archer: The Educator and the School Taylor, S. B., 1986 VRARE 372.975 T
This booklet was prepared to commemorate the principal of the Vienna Colored School, renamed in 1950 in her honor.

Selected Phases of Early Public Elementary Schools in Fairfax County Andrus, V. D., 1947 VRARE 379.755 A
This is a typed manuscript of a thesis written for a master’s degree in education. The core of the work is a detailed examination of the elementary schools between 1870 and 1900, including much detail about the African-American segregated school population.

Development of the Public Elementary School System of Fairfax County, From 1927 Through 1942 Burks, H. H., Jr., 1942 VRARE 379.755 B
This thesis submitted for a master’s degree in education contains much information about the segregated elementary schools of the County from 1927 to 1942, pointing out the deficiencies, trends and growth during the period.

Drew-Smith Elementary School Reunion 1997 VRARE 372.9755 D
This commemorative booklet pertains to a segregated school of the Gum Springs community built in 1951 that operated until 1965 when Fairfax schools were desegregated.

Dedication of Drew-Smith Elementary School 1953 VRARE 372.9755 D
This booklet picturing officers, faculty, and students of the segregated school was prepared for the dedication of the school on April 26, 1953.

Centennial Chronicle of Fairfax County Public Schools, Commonwealth of Va., 1870-1970 Hogan, K. S., undated VRARE 379.755 H
The story of the growth of education in the county includes some consideration of the segregated schools in the system.

History of Public Secondary Education in Fairfax County Hinkle, L. J., 1971 VRARE 373.755 H
This doctorate thesis includes a few references to African-American secondary education. Specifically, at p.163 et seq and at p. 200, it is described how the Manassas Industrial School came to serve as the single secondary school in the region until Luther Jackson High School was opened in 1954 and served as a segregated school until integrated in 1965-66.

The Blood of the Lamb – The Manassas Industrial School Howard, D. E., Jr., The Potomac Healthcare Institute, Inc., 2008 VRARE 370.9755 H
In the absence of any other secondary schools available in Northern Virginia during segregation, this school in Prince William County served as a regional school for the surrounding counties with Fairfax County students the single largest group. This book largely consists of recollections of those who attended the school.

Public School Distribution of Pupil Membership by Race VRARE 379.755 F
These are miscellaneous data tables dating from the 1970s giving in detail the racial composition of the county schools.

James Lee Elementary School, 1969 VRARE BIO HENDERSON
This item is a transcript of a June 1969 interview with Dr and Mrs. B. B. Henderson about the schooling provided in the area before desegregation.

Official Fairfax Records

Note: The volumes listed below do not relate specifically to African-Americans, but include many in the record populations. Generally similar information can be found for other Virginia jurisdictions in the Virginia Room collection.

Fairfax County in 1860: A Collective Biography - 7 volumes Sprouse, E. M., 1996 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
Drawn essentially from the US census of 1860 with additions from newspaper accounts and other sources, these alphabetically-arranged volumes include much detailed information about free black families in the county at the start of the Civil War.

Fairfax County, VA 1820 Federal Population Census McMillion, L. C. and Wall, J. K., compilers, undated VREF 929.3755 FAIR|
This transcription includes many residents identified F/C (Free Colored) and enumerates by owner the number of their slaves by age and sex.

Virginia 1870 Census Index – County of Fairfax Precision Indexing, 1989 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
The index primarily lists heads of household but includes all males from 50 years old and females from 70.

Abstracts of Claims for Civil War Losses, Fairfax Co., VA - 3 volumes VREF 929.3755 FAIR
Depositions made to the Southern Claims Commission for losses incurred during the war include many situations involving the African-American population.

Fairfax County, Virginia Death Register 1853-1896 Frain, E. R., Willow Bend Books, 2002 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
With respect to deaths during slavery, deaths are organized under deaths of the owners to permit identification of family groups. Non-slave deaths are listed alphabetically by name of decedents, and identify people by race with many other details.

Fairfax County Will Books A & B 1742 – 1767 Johnson, J. W., 1982 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
The abstract entries include many references to slave holdings and their disposition after death.

Fairfax County, Virginia Will Book Abstracts1742 – 1745 Bontempo, L. S., The Antient Press, 2002 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
Many and perhaps most of the wills involve the disposition of slaves.

Fairfax County, Virginia Orders 1768-1769 Sparacio, R. and S., The Antient Press, undated VREF 929.3755 FAIR
The legal proceedings of the court includes many race related issues including the illegal out of wedlock births of mulattos and the concealment of slaves for tax evasion purposes.

Fairfax County, Virginia 1749 Court Order Book Hamrick, C. & V., New Papyrus Publishing Co., 2003 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
See entry above.

Will Abstracts of Fairfax County, Virginia 1767 – 1801 – 3volumes Sparacio, R. and S., 1986 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
Numerous wills include bequests of slave holdings. The reader is struck by the solicitude of the testators toward their heirs and the callous disposition of their slaves.

Abstracts of Wills and Inventories, Fairfax Co. 1742 – 1801 King, J. E. S., Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
This small volume names legatees and provides other information including a few references to slave holdings.

Index to Fairfax County Wills and Fiduciary Records 1742 – 1855- 2 volumes Ring, C., Willow Bend Books, 1995 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
This alphabetical index includes many entries that concern the disposition of slaves. Microfilmed copies of the records are available in the Virginia Room.

Index of Marriages and Deaths Recorded in the Fairfax Journal 1973-1987 Passuth, F., indexer, Fairfax County Public Library, 2002 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
This is an alphabetically arranged index of anniversary, birth, engagement, marriage, and death announcements in the county newspaper.

Index to Fairfax County Marriages 1853 – 1933 Ring, C. K. and Scott, C., R., Willow Bend Books, 1997 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
This index to the county marriage register covers more than 6500 chronologically arranged entries, showing names as they appear on the license. Many of the entries are marked /c denoting that people were colored.

Fairfax County Marriage License Index 1934 – 1957 – 2 volumes, VREF 929.3755 FAIR
One volume is alphabetized by the name of grooms, the other by the name of the bride. License dates and clerk numbers are provided, but nothing is shown as to race.

Fairfax County Marriage Index: GROOMS 1853 – 1957, VREF 929.3755 FAIR
Arranged alphabetically by name of groom, this volume shows the dates of marriage and names of the brides. No racial information is given.

Other Fairfax County

Upper Truro Parish Church Register: 1867 – 1943 - 2 volumes VREF 929.3755 FAIR
This photocopy of the church record of a white congregation includes a small number of former slaves who appear in the burial records.

Families of Pohick Church Truro Parish, Fairfax County, VA Liddle, C. A., Jr., Gateway Press, Inc., 1991 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
The book contains a compilation of all persons whose names were entered in the church registers between 1875 and 1959. While a predominantly white church, there were also a number of African-American congregants.

Brothers and Cousins Johnson, W. P., II, Iberian Publishing Company, 1995 VREF 929.3755 FAIR
While most of this volume is devoted to the names and military service details of county residents who fought in the Confederate army, a small section is devoted to those who fought in the Union army, including some whose race may be inferred from being in a “colored” military unit.

Clifton: Brigadoon in Virginia Netherton, N., Clifton Betterment Assn., 2007 VRARE 975.529N
The principal interest for African-American researchers is the information on page 16 concerning William Beckwith, the last in a line of a family that came to the area in colonial times. After his death in 1863, his 16 slaves were freed and he left to them 200 acres at Devereux Station.

History in Action – Marah Christian Counseling Vienna Community Center, 2009 VREF 929.3755
This commemorative booklet dedicated to the founder of a Christian ministry in Vienna includes many family histories and individual biographies of African-Americans in the area.

Coates House History Matters, 2006 VRARE 720.9755 H
This binder includes documentation prepared for the Coates House in Chantilly before it was razed. The house was constructed circa 1935 in the Dutch Colonial Revival Style for Leslie Coates, an African-American soldier and farmer whose family farmed in the area since the 1870s. The Coates family was prominent as landowners in the African-American community and in the Chantilly Baptist Church.

Memories of Ravensworth Dove, D., 1994 VRARE 975.529 D
This is a transcript of an oral interview with a man born in 1911 that grew up on an estate just to the west of present day Prosperity Avenue and Little River Turnpike. The interview includes several references to African Americans in the area.

Molder of Men – Portrait of a “Grand Old Man” Henderson, J. H. M. and B. F. Henderson, Vantage Press, 1985 VRARE B HENDERSON
Written by his son and daughter-in-law, this biography of Edwin Bancroft Henderson tells of his important role in physical education and as a leading activist in the Falls Church NAACP.

Guide My Feet Mann, D. H., LegacyOne, 2009 VREF B MANN
The first pages of this memoir by an African-American woman concerns her youth in the Mount Pleasant community of Fairfax County.

Transcript of a Tape Recorded Interview with Dr. Edwin Bancroft Henderson, 1962 VRARE BIO HENDERSON
This is a wide-ranging interview about African-American life and localities early in the 20 century.

Transcript of a Tape Recording Interview with Dr. E. B. Henderson WMAL Radio, 1966 VRARE BIO HENDERSON
In this wide-ranging interview, Henderson talks about such matters as segregation in public facilities, sports and civil rights, voting, racial discrimination during the Wilson administration, etc.

The Life of Edwin Bancroft Henderson and his Professional Contributions to Physical Education Coursey, L. N., 1971 VRARE B
This is a facsimile of a dissertation for a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Ohio State University, emphasizing Henderson’s role as the first male African-American teacher of physical education.

Oral History Interviews with Mr. William A. West - 4 volumes Fairfax County History Commission, 1965, 1970 and 1974 VRARE B WEST
These interviews were conducted with an African-American resident of Vienna who was aged 100 when the last interview was conducted in 1974.

Loudoun County

Life in Black and White Stevenson, B. E., Oxford University Press, 1996 VREF 975.528 S
This work subtitled Family and Community in the Slave South provides a panoramic portrait of life in and around Loudoun County, weaving the personal stories of planters and slaves, of free blacks and poor whites, into a portrait of southern society.

Loudoun County’s African American Communities – A Tour Map and Guide Lee, D. A., The Black History Commission of the Friends of the Balch Library, 2004 VREF 975.528 L
This well-illustrated pamphlet serves as a guide for touring sites, communities and institutions in Loudoun.

IN THE WATCHFIRES Thompson, E. E., published as above, 2005 VREF 975.528 T
This book commemorates the 1890 founding of the Loudoun County Emancipation Association that tried through annual celebrations and other means to obtain economic equity and educational advancement.

This booklet was prepared in connection with an exhibit focusing on the religious and fraternal ties that bind and strengthen the community. The many photographs include African American churches in Loudoun and objects associated with worship there.

“Let Our Rejoicing Rise” The Loudoun Museum, 1998 VREF 326.8 L
This booklet was prepared in connection with an exhibition focusing on the Loudoun County Emancipation Association, which from 1890 to 1970 celebrated emancipation through an annual community celebration.

The Essence of a People The Black History Committee of the Friends of the Balch Library, 2001 VREF 975.528 E
This volume provides portraits of African Americans who made significant contributions to their Loudoun County community.

The Essence of a People II published as above, 2002 VREF 975.528 E
A companion to the volume above, this volume focuses on those who achieved success against great odds regardless of the situation of the community.

Share With UsWaterford, Virginia’s African-American Heritage Souders, J. and B., Waterford Foundation, Inc., 2002 VREF 975.528 S
This booklet provides guidance for a tour of an unusual town that was a blend of North and South and was designated in 1970 as a National Historic Landmark.

A Rock in a Weary Land, A Shelter in a Time of Storm Souders, B. C. and J. M., Waterford Foundation, Inc., 2003 VREF 975.528 S
This book tells the story of this small black rural community from their arrival in the mid-1700s to the gradual exodus in the latter half of the 20th century.

The Log House at Mirror Ridge McCoy, M. and Sadowski, C., 2006 VREF 975.528 M
This is a research report related to a house in eastern Loudoun County that was long rumored to have been a station on the Underground Railway. While the researchers could not develop evidence to prove or disprove an Underground Railroad connection, much was learned to support the possibility of runaway slave activity in the area.

Alexandria County

Alexandria County, Virginia Free Negro Registers 1797-1861 Provine, D. S., Heritage Books, 1990 VREF 929.3755 ARLI
See District of Columbia below for explanation about such registers.

African Americans of Alexandria Virginia: Beacons of Light in the Twentieth Century Bah, C. M., Brown-Henderson, G., and Henson, J. E., History Press, 2013 VREF 920 B
Arranged by their areas of involvement, the book provides biographical information for residents who distinguished themselves in the following spheres: the arts; business; community activism; justice and law; medicine; military; religion; science; and sports.

Prince William County

Yesterday’s Schools Phinney, L. W., 1993 VRARE 370.9755 P
Subtitled Public Elementary Education in Prince William County 1869-1969, this volume at page 39 includes a chapter on the segregated system that continued until the 1966-67 school year.

District of Columbia

District of Columbia Free Negro Registers 1821-1861 - 2 volumes Provine, D. S., Heritage Books, 1996 VREF 929.3753 PROV
In the slaveholding South, African-Americans who were not slaves had to prove to local authorities how they came to be free and then obtain a “certificate of freedom” which they were required to carry. These volumes contain the wording of manumissions and certificates of freedom together with footnotes for many with information from other sources.

Compensated Emancipation in the District of Columbia Provine, D. S., Heritage Books, 2008 VREF 929.3753 PROV
This book contains abstracts of petitions submitted by ex-slaveholders seeking monetary compensation for their slaves freed by the DC emancipation act of 1862. There were approximately 1,140 petitions relating to about 3,400 African-Americans.

District of Columbia Slave Book Microfilm
This microfilm record lists slaves incarcerated in DC from April 1848 to April 1862.

District of Columbia Runaway and Fugitive Slave Cases 1848-1863 Hynson, J. M., Willow Bend Books, 1999 VREF 929.3753 HYNS 1999
The fugitive slave law required that the alleged owner of a fugitive slave prove ownership before a federal commissioner. This book with extracts from the DC circuit court records includes the names of slaves, the claimants, and the date of court action.

African-American Historic Places

Note: The following volumes are in the general reference collection of the City of Fairfax Regional Library, not in the collection of the Virginia Room.

African American Historic Places Savage, B. L., editor, The Preservation Press, 1994 REF 917.3 A
Drawn from the records of the National Register of Historic Places, this book includes more than 800 places in 42 states and two U. S. territories that have played a role in black American history. Included are essays on the African American experience, including migration, the role of women, the Harlem renaissance and the civil Rights Movement.

Historic Landmarks of Black America Cantor, G., Gale Research Inc., 1991 REF 917.3 C
According to the author, in researching the landmarks listed, an America was found that is unknown to most Americans. Names that were only dimly recognized were fleshed out, given substance, fitted into the flow of Americana.

A Guidebook to Virginia's African American Historical Markers, 2019 VREF 975.5 Guidebo 2019
A list and transcription of Virginia state historical markers placed throughout the Commonwealth.


Free Blacks in Norfolk, Virginia 1790 – 1860, Bogger, T. L., University Press of Virginia, 1997 VREF 929.3755 NORF
This book involves a free black community that emerged in Norfolk around 1800, discussing the active roles played by blacks in creating the community and contradicting images of free blacks at the mercy of whites. It tells how and why, from 1805, the community experienced a steady decline in status that continued through the antebellum period.

Free Blacks and Mulattos in South Carolina – 1850 Census Motes, M. P., Clearfield, 2000 VREF 929.3757 FREE
The book, derived from the 1850 Federal Census, names 8,160 free blacks and mulattos with their age, sex, occupation, color, place of birth, household/dwelling #, and county.

Facts & Fabrications – Unraveling the History of Quilts & Slavery Brackman, B., C&T Publishing, 2006 VREF 746.46 B
This book offers today’s quilt makers an alternative framework to weave an accurate history of slavery into their quilts. Twenty blocks represent chapters in the story from Africa to Reconstruction. The patterns are symbolic only, and have no connection to slave-made quilts.

Virginia Negro Soldiers and Seamen in the American Revolution Reprint from The Journal of Negro History, July 1942 VREF 973.3455 J
Based on a variety of sources, the article discusses the approximately 500 free Negroes and a smaller number of slaves who participated in the war, including 150 who are named with their counties.

Carry Me Back Ludlow, S. N., Honocan Press, 2000 VREF B Nickens Family
This is the story of a multiracial family whose ancestry is black, white and Native American. The author shares memories of triumph and achievement as well as sufferings from prejudice and discrimination. Colorism is explored among blacks and whites, with the author telling how she came to reject color bias.

Fairfax County seal