Genealogist and Family Historian Steve Hammond discussed his Syphax family lineage and its connections to historic sites, including Mount Vernon with Brenda Parker, African American Interpretation and Special Projects Coordinator.

The images below were used by Steven Hammond during his presentation.

Historic Decatur House

Decatur House, 17 & H, Washington, D.C. [Between 1918 and 1920] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/item/2016819355/.

Historic Decatur House

Petition of Augusta McBlair

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., May 19 1862, Petition of Augusta McBlair – petition number 307, (NARA microfilm publication RG 217.6.5, M520, Roll: 0003, Petitions Filed Under The Act Of April 16, 1862), Records of the Board of Commissioners for the Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia, 1862-63, http://civilwardc.org/texts/petitions/cww.00307.html.

Petition of Augusta McBlair

Settled Treasury Accounts

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., Records of the Board of Commissioners for the Emancipation of Slaves in D.C., NARA, Record Group 217.6.5, Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury, 1775-1978, as part of the "Settled Treasury Accounts" series. Within the National Archives' Archival Description Catalog, see ARC Identifier 4644616 / MLR Number A1 347 (http://arcweb.archives.gov).

Settled Treasury Accounts

Nancy Syphax – Life and Legacy

Hammond, Stephen E., 2020, Nancy Syphax – Life and Legacy: an enslaved resident of the historic Decatur House, White House Historical Association website, https://www.whitehousehistory.org/nancy-syphax-life-and-legacy.

Nancy Syphax – Life and Legacy

Obituary of Lydia Syphax

Daily National Intelligencer, December 5, 1859, Obituary of Lydia Syphax, Alexandria, VA, Volume XLVII, Issue 14769, page 1.

Obituary of Lydia Syphax

How the African-American Syphax Family Traces Its Lineage to Martha Washington

Keyes, Allison, March 9, 2018, How the African-American Syphax Family Traces Its Lineage to Martha Washington, Smithsonian.com, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-african-american-syphax-family-traces-its-lineage-martha-washington-180968439/.

How the African-American Syphax Family Traces Its Lineage to Martha Washington

Manumission of William Syphax

Alexandria Circuit Court records for the town and county of Alexandria, 14 Apr 1831, Manumission of William Syphax, Records of the Alexandria Circuit Court, Reel 59, Deed Book S-2, Office of the Court Clerk, 510 King Street, Alexandria, VA.

Manumission of William Syphax

Price Current of Human Beings

American Anti-Slavery Society, August 1833, Price Current of Human Beings, Anti-slavery reporter (Vol. 1, No. 3, pg 46), from the Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection, Division of Rare & Manuscripts Collections, 2B Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=mayantislavery&cc=mayantislavery&idno=04819804c&view=image&seq=14&size=50.

Price Current of Human Beings

Manumission by William Syphax of four women: Lydia Syphax, Frances Syphax, Sally Syphax and Judy Syphax

Alexandria Circuit Court records for the town and county of Alexandria, 3 May 1827, Manumission by William Syphax of four women: Lydia Syphax, Frances Syphax, Sally Syphax and Judy Syphax, Alexandria Circuit Court records for the town and county of Alexandria, Reel 58, Deed Book Q-2, Office of the Court Clerk, 510 King Street, Alexandria, VA.

Manumission by William Syphax of four women: Lydia Syphax, Frances Syphax, Sally Syphax and Judy Syphax

Emancipation of Maria Syphax and Children

Alexandria Circuit Court records for the town and county of Alexandria, 2 Jun 1845, Emancipation of Maria Syphax and Children, Records of the Alexandria Circuit Court, Reel 65, Deed Book E-3:425, Office of the Court Clerk, 510 King Street, Alexandria, VA.

Emancipation of Maria Syphax and Children

A map of Arlington Estate on the Potomack River

U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service, c 1929, A map of Arlington Estate on the Potomack River, item number ARHO 28, Arlington House-The Robert E. Lee Memorial, National Park Service Museum Management System Paper L 99.4 x W 75 cm, https://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/arho/exb/Slavery/medium/ARHO283_Map-Arlington-Estat.html, accessed May 21, 2020 [note: the annotation and overlay added by Stephen E. Hammond].

A map of Arlington Estate on the Potomack River

S. 321, A bill for the relief of Maria Syphax

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., May 16, 1866, "S. 321, A bill for the relief of Maria Syphax," RG 46, Records of the U. S. Senate, 39th Congress, 1st Session.

S. 321, A bill for the relief of Maria Syphax

Arlington National Cemetery, 1930

Arlington National Cemetery Research Collection, 1930, Low angle aerial photograph of the southern extent of Arlington National Cemetery, the former locations of Freedman’s Village and the 17-acre property of Maria Syphax, Office of the Arlington National Cemetery Historian.

Arlington National Cemetery, 1930

Arlington National Cemetery, 2020

Google Maps. “Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.” Accessed July 15, 2020. Satelitte imagery, https://www.google.com/maps/place/Arlington+National+Cemetery/@38.8773361,-77.0765793,2682m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b7b6effa3a9e4d:0x2e88f076d9242a6d!8m2!3d38.8768684!4d-77.0707857?hl=en&authuser=0

Arlington National Cemetery, 2020

A Community Divided

After George Washington’s death, Mount Vernon’s enslaved community was divided several times over and impacted many families.

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