Posts Tagged ‘neighborhoods’

“Brooklyn Neighborhoods Map” from Wikimedia Commons

New-York Historical Society

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library

African-American History, Brooklyn Historical Society

Corina Knoll and Morgan Jenkins. “Weeksville, Haven for Free African Americans  Before the Civil Waar, Is Fighting for Survival,” The New York Times, May 10, 2019

Weeksville Heritage Center  is a “multidisciplinary museum dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century African American community of Weeksville, Brooklyn – one of America’s many free black communities.”

Judith Wellman. Brooklyn’s Promised Land: The Free Black Community of Weeksville, New York.  New York: New Yor University Press, 2014

David Quigley. Second Founding: New York City, Reconstruction and the Making of American Democracy.  New York: Hill and Wang, 2004

Diana diZerega Wall, Nan A. Rothschild and Cynthia Copeland. “Seneca Village and Little Africa: Two African American Communities in Antebellum New York City,”  Historical Archaeology, Vol. 42, No. 1,  (2008), pp. 97-107 (11)



Read Full Post »

“Norfolk and Western Ry. Co. Coal Yards, at Lamberts Point, Norfolk, Va.”

Harry Minium. “What’s in a name? Lamberts Point, Norfolk,” The Virginian-Pilot, pilotonline.com, June 27, 2008
“It is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and is home to some of Norfolk’s most high-profile institutions. … The area remained a rural part of Norfolk County until 1886, when Norfolk & Western Railway built the coal piers to replace a smaller pier downtown. Housing developed nearby for the coal pier workers, and some of those homes remain today.”


Norfolk Public Library: Pages from Norfolk’s Past: Lamberts Point
“By 1900, Norfolk was the leading coal exporting port on the East Coast – the industry continued to grow even through the Great Depression.”


Lambert’s Point: A Historical Geography
“The residents of Lambert’s Point are diverse; college students, retirees (primarily African American) and a spattering of blue-collar workers. The population today numbers over 3,000.
“This neighborhood is constantly changing. Over the years it has evolved from primarily African-American single-family homes to the inclusion of a large number of college students. The combination is not always harmonious.”


Natasha Geiling. ‘This is a matter of life and death’: A Virginia community choking on coal dust pleads for help,” ThinkProgress.org, 15 March 2018

Read Full Post »

“Although Lincolnsville was primarily a residential community, there were a number of key black-owned businesses and organizations that provided for the commercial and social needs of its inhabitants. Locals and immigrants were the mainstay of the Lincolnsville community, especially those who were employed at the shipyard or were professionals such as teachers, lawyers, and physicians. …  In the late 1950s, Portsmouth’s’ city council hose the community as it first urban renewal project. Residents were prohibited from improving their residences. Instead the city chose to level this community that functioned as a city within a city with its own professional, trade, and working classes.”

Cassandra Newby-Alexander, Mae Breckenridge-Haywood, and the African American Historical Society of Portsmouth. Portsmouth, Virginia (Black America Series). Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2003, page 51.
Note: The text above and the map to the right appeared on the same page.


Note: A color version of this map was posted November 18, 2019.


Read Full Post »

Atlas of the City of Norfolk and Vicinity Including the City of Portsmouth
From the Official Records, Private Plan and Actual Surveys
Published by  G.M. Hopkins, C.E.
320 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA
Plate 13

Many thanks to Gregg Grunow,*
Manager of Library Systems and Support Services, Portsmouth Public Library and his staff for locating this map.

*Gregg recently became Director of Culpeper County Public Library.

Lincolnsville was the first community set aside for blacks in 1890 in an area that would later be annexed to Portsmouth. It would be the forerunner to Truxtun, a federally funded black community for the Norfolk Naval Shipyard workers. … The community was about 30 acres in size and ran north of North Street; west of Washington Street, Green Street and the Gas House; south of Emmett Street; and east of Fort Lane and Cedar Grove Cemetery.”

Cassandra Newby-Alexander, Mae Breckenridge-Haywood, and the African American Historical Society of Portsmouth. Portsmouth, Virginia (Black America Series). Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2003, page 51


Note: A black-and-white version of this map will be published November 25, 2019.


Read Full Post »

“Baltimore Neighborhoods Map” from Wikimedia Commons

“New and Enlarged Map of Baltimore City: Including Waverly, Hampden, All the Parks, and a Miniature Map of the State” [This is a very large file — Leslie]

Descendants of free and enslaved African Americans lived in the maritime neighborhoods that have since become tourist destinations. Genealogists, local historians, and scholars are preserving community history.

• Enoch Pratt Free Library, Maryland Department 

Reginald F. Lewis Maryland Museum of African American History & Culture

• Maryland Historical Society

• Historical and Architectural Preservation: Upper Fell’s Point

• BAAHGS-Baltimore Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society

Read Full Post »

Map used with the authors’ permission.

“Soon after the organization of [the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands], treasury agents and military commanders transferred to its land division all abandoned and confiscated land property not needed for strictly military purposes. Abandoned lands were those described as those whose owners were voluntarily absent. Confiscated property was that which had been condemned and sold by decree of federal courts and to which title was thus vested in the United States. To both kinds of property the bureau acquired all the rights of ownership except the right of sale…
“Only two-tenths of one percent of the land in the insurrectionary states was ever held by the bureau. It would have been impossible to give even one acre to each family of freedmen…Shortly after the organization of the bureau, former owners began to apply to it for restoration of their property….Unless owners gave compensation for labor expended, all negroes and refugees cultivating land were to retain possession until crops were secured.”
Paul Skeels Peirce. The Freedmen’s Bureau: A Chapter in the History of Reconstruction. Iowa City: University of Iowa, 1904, pages 129-130

Affidavits, depositions, and questionnaires sometimes included the former slaveowner’s name and the location of the property on which the formerly enslaved person was born or had lived. (Sometimes a document named a nearby slaveowner or neighboring farm). This information could possibly advance the researcher’s line of inquiry.

An enhanced base map — “Map shewing the position of Government Farms, 2nd Dist. Negro Affairs, Dep’t of Va and N. Ca” — shows the location of government farms for freedmen in Princess Anne County, Virginia. It highlights the relationship between the farms and the emergence of African American communities in the locality now known as Virginia Beach. The authors’ monograph gives details about families, churches, lodges, and schools. It also includes illustrations, photographs, and maps.
Edna Hawkins-Hendrix and Dr. Joanne Harris Lucas. History of African-American Communities in Princess Anne County/Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach: Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission, 2017, page 7.

Added on July 8, 2019:
Please note that the authors’ research continues. Meanwhile, you might be interested in Our Heritage: Black History, Princess Anne County,Virginia Beach, Virginia: A Pictorial History by Edna Hawkins-Hendrix. Published in 1998, it’s online at Internet Archive.

Read Full Post »

Norfolk’s Growth


Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It was established as a town in 1682, became a borough in 1736, and was incorporated as a city in 1845. Norfolk grew by annexation from 1887 through 1959.

Click on the map to the right or on Finding Aid: List of Norfolk & Portsmouth City Annexations (accessed December 2, 2018) for a larger image and a timeline that describe the city’s growth through annexation.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: