Freedman’s Village – Robert E. Lee Estate in Arlington

There are a lot of anniversaries in May.

In May 1863 the government organized the Freedman’s Village on the grounds of General Robert E. Lee’s home in Arlington, Virginia.

It had “fourteen dwellings, and a church a hospital and a home of the aged and infirm, with streets regularly laid out and named, and a park planted in the centre.” The grounds were laid out and the village was built under the direction of Brigadier General Montgomery C. Meigs, he was named the Quartermaster of the Army in May 1861.

The Village quickly took shape and within a year had more than 3,000 residents, former slaves and their families.

By Decemeber 1865 there were 53 schools, 112 teachers and 5,618 students located at the Freedman’s Village and on government lands in Alexandria, Georgetown and Maryland.

In 1888 the Freedman’s Village was closed. Read more about the Freedman’s Village in GenealogyBank. Look for artilces in the Historical Newspapers and for the many government reports that detailed the progress and ultimate closing in the US Serial Set found in the Historical Documents section.

Tomorrow I will blog about the other May anniversary.



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Written by Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp is the Director of Genealogy Products at GenealogyBank. Tom Kemp is an internationally known librarian and archivist – he is the author of over 35 genealogy books and hundreds of articles about genealogy and family history.

He previously served as the Chair of the National Council of Library & Information Associations (Washington, DC) and as Library Director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

An active genealogist, he has been working on his own family history for 47 years. With the rapidly growing online archives at GenealogyBank – it is a great day for genealogy!

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