Work continues on my book, tentatively titled, “A Walking Guide to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia: Featuring Over 275 Historical Markers.” To get folks interested, I’ve been posting the occasional note about a marker.
(Note: FOAA volunteers have completed the verification of text for two and a half chapters. Major thanks for their great effort.)
Sunday was devoted to working on finishing up transcribing the text of markers at the Alexandria African-American Heritage Park. I put off doing the “Bronze Trees” because of the tedious nature of the wording. It's well worth the eye strain. There's some amazing information with these beautiful markers. They look at three areas - Civic, Education and Religion.
I picked out Union Town School 1863 and googled it. A book came up titled, “Special report of the commissioner of education on the condition and improvement of public schools in the District of Columbia; submitted to the ... to the House, with additions, June 13, 1870,” (Long names back then too!) by the United States Department of Education.
One chapter focuses on “Colored Schools of Alexandria.” Fascinating reading, as they provide the location of the school, as well as some details. On man, Alfred H. Parry, born into slavery, educated himself and went on to teach children. There’s a lot to read, if you have the time.
Anyway, the City did a great job with this park, especially the commemorative markers. Their artistic approach takes this type of the thing to the next level, to say nothing of the amount of research done.