The city of Alexandria, Virginia has a long and illustrious past, and African-American artisans have been instrumental in its development. During the Civil War, thousands of African-American refugees flocked to Union-controlled territories, including Alexandria and Washington. Many of these freedmen found employment and some even served in the Union Army. Unfortunately, many of them were destitute, malnourished, and in poor health. In response to the death of hundreds of people released in the area, a plot of undeveloped land was seized from a Confederate supporter and used as a cemetery.
This cemetery is now the monument to the cemetery for smugglers and freedmen, open to the public. The city of Alexandria is the owner of many of its major historic sites and is responsible for their preservation, interpretation, and promotion. African-American artisans have left an indelible mark on Alexandria's history. From churches to social and fraternal organizations to businesses, African-American life flourished in the area. We provide a list of additional resources available in and around Alexandria for conducting your own historical research. The legacy of African-American artisans in Alexandria is one that should be celebrated and remembered.
Their contributions to the city's development are invaluable and should be recognized. From churches to businesses to social organizations, African-Americans have left an indelible mark on the city's history. It is important to recognize their contributions and ensure that their legacy is preserved for future generations.