District of Columbia African Americans

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The following resources are useful for researching African Americans in the District of Columbia:


  • Caldwell, A.B., editor. History of the American Negro, Washington, D. C. Edition. Volume 6. Atlanta, Georgia: A.B. Caldwell Publishing Co., 1922. Digital version at Internet Archive. Biographies of many prominent black men and women of Washington, D.C.
  • Brown, Letitia Woods. Free Negroes in the District of Columbia, 1790-1846. - New York: Oxford University Press, 1972. 226 p. (The Urban Live in America Series) E185.D6 B69


Columbian Harmony Cemetery Records, District of Columbia. 1831-1899. By Paul E. Sluby, Sr. for the Harmony Society. Washington, D.C. - [Washington]: Sluby, [197-?] - 357 leaves. F193 S58 FHL Book 975.3/W1 V22s

The Old Methodist Burying Ground, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.: a section of the Mt. Zion Cemetery as distinguished from the adjacent Female Union Band Society Burying Ground section. By Paul E. Sluby, Sr. -: [S,1.}: Sluby, 1975. - 70 p. FF193 S583 FHL Book 975 Al #7

Woodlawn Cemetery, Washington, DC : Brief history and inscriptions / compiled by Paul E. Sluby, Sr.; edited by Stanton L. Wormley. - Washington: Columbian Harmony Society, 1984. 70 leaves F193. S585 1984 FHL Book 975.3 V38s


  • The Bee Full-text of this African-American D.C. newspaper digitized and hosted online by the Library of Congress. Covers 1882-1884.

Slave Records

  • The FamilySearch District of Columbia Court and Emancipation Records, 1820-1863 collection has images of National Archives records from three microfilm publications: Records of the Board of Commissioners for the Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia, 1862-1863; Records of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia relating to slaves, 1851-1863; and United States, Circuit Court (District of Columbia), Habeas Corpus Case Records, 1820-1863.

Online Resources

Avoice: the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Virtual Library Project.

Moorland-Springarn Research Center

U.S., Freedmen's Bureau Records of Field Offices, 1863-1878 ($) index and images


Sherman's Directory and Ready Reference of the Colored Population in the District of Columbia. - Washington: Sherman Directory Company. [1913] 1 v. Micro 54541 L of C