Archive for May 10th, 2012

New National Era; short sketches of prominent “Colored Men of Washington” (May 1871)

In this May 1871 front page of The New National Era four prominent Washington, DC “antecedents of Mr. Frederick Douglass” from various industries are afforded short sketches.

These men include lawyer John Mercer Langston, businessmen James Wormley, Sr., cashier of the Freedman’s Savings Bank William J. Wilson, and physician Alexander Thomas Augusta.

A quick note to all the Wikipedia editors out there — Wormley’s personal page here and his hotel’s page here are lacking.

But Wormely is far from forgotten. A new book,  A Free Man of Color and His Hotel, Race, Reconstruction, and the Role of the Federal Government was published earlier this year. As well, Donet D. Graves, a Wormley descendant, has been in town of late speaking on the untold narrative of the role the Wormley family played in the civic, political, cultural, and economic life of Washington, DC.

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