Author Archives: kmattern93

Royall-y Ever After

  If there is one word that can be used to describe Anne Royall (Range 26, Site 194), it would likely be “eccentric.” As Senate Doorkeeper Isaac Basett put it, Royall was “homely in person, poor in purse, and vulgar … Continue reading

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Marion Barry

  Civil Rights pioneer. “Mayor for life.” These are just two of Marion Barry’s notable achievements. On March 6, 1936, Marion Barry, Jr. (Range 20, Site 191) was born to Mattie Carr and Marion Barry, Sr. in Itta Bena, Mississippi. … Continue reading

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The Pearl

Introduction Our blog posts over the last several weeks have focused on African-Americans interred at Congressional Cemetery. As promised, this week’s blog entry focuses on The Pearl. While relatives of Ann and Lucy Bell are directly involved in the events … Continue reading

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African American Women at Congressional Cemetery Part 2

Betsy Jane Fairfax (Range 86, Site 315) Betsy Jane Fairfax was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Fairfax was born into slavery and served the Swingle family for 80 years. She traveled with the Reed family, who were related to the … Continue reading

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The Howard Family

Several members of the Howard family are buried at Congressional Cemetery, in the area near the small pond known as the “doggy day spa.” All of these graves remain unmarked, but by sharing the information we have about the family, … Continue reading

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African American Women at Congressional Cemetery

Exploring African American history is challenging for historians. This is, in part, because African American history contains many instances of difficult history including slavery, discrimination, prejudice, and segregation. Additionally, there is little surviving written documentation about African Americans, especially in … Continue reading

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Alain Leroy Locke (1885-1954)

  Alain Locke was born September 13, 1885 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Pliny Ismael Locke and Mary Hawkins Locke. Pliny Locke obtained a law degree from Howard University and worked as a mail clerk in Philadelphia, while Mary Hawkins Locke … Continue reading

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Veterans at Congressional Cemetery

On November 11, 1919 “Armistice Day” was first observed to commemorate the first anniversary of the end of the first World War. In 1926, the United States Congress called for annual observance of the end of World War I and … Continue reading

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National Day of Service and Remembrance

In 2009, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act made September 11 an official, federally recognized holiday. Since then, Americans across the country have been volunteering with various organizations for the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. The … Continue reading

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The Public Vault

  In the middle of the cemetery, there is a vault like no other vault in a U.S. cemetery. This vault is called the “Public Vault,” and, unlike receiving vaults at other cemeteries, its construction was fully funded by Congress … Continue reading

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