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Call Number/Catalog Number MS 0830
Title Archaeological Survey of the Southwest Quadrant oral history collection, 1992. (MS 0830)
Collection Archaeological Survey of the Southwest Quadrant oral history collection
Object Name Manuscript
Description This collection contains tapes that include interviews with community members from Southwest Washington, D.C. about the history of the neighborhood. Interviewees include Margaret Headley, Daniel Johnson, Jessie Lancaster, and George Tames.
Subjects Southwest (Washington, D.C.)
Southwest (Washington, D.C.)--History.
Southwest Urban Renewal Area (Washington, D.C.)
Admin/Biographical History The oral history component of the Archaeological Survey of the Southwest Quadrant of Washington, D.C. was designed to be used in conjunction with archival research and architectural archaeological surveys as a source of data concerning historic Southwest D.C. Oral history participants were longstanding members of the community in Southwest D.C. The final research project was submitted to the Historic Preservation Division of Washington, D.C.

Southwest is part of Pierre L'Enfant's original city plans and includes some of the oldest buildings in the city, including the Wheat Row block of townhouses, built in 1793, and Fort McNair, which was established in 1791 as "the U.S. Arsenal at Greenleaf Point." Prior to 1847, much of the Virginia portion of the District of Columbia, including the town of Alexandria, was included in Southwest. After the Civil War, the Southwest Waterfront became a neighborhood for the poorer classes of Washingtonians. The neighborhood was divided in half by Fourth Street SW, then known as 4 1/2 Street; Scotch, Irish, German, and eastern European immigrants lived west of 4 1/2 Street, while freed blacks lived to the east. Each half was centered on religious establishments: St. Dominic's Catholic Church and Talmud Torah Congregation on the west, and Friendship Baptist Church on the east. The neighborhood was also the childhood home of two future American musical stars — the first home of Al Jolson, whose father was the cantor of Talmud Torah Congregation, after his family emigrated from what is now Lithuania was on 4 1/2 Street. Marvin Gaye was born in a tenement on First Street.
Archival History Gift of the D.C. Historic Preservation Office, 1998.004. This collection was processed as part of the D.C. Africana Archives Project, a grant initiative of the George Washington University Libraries supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources.
People Headley, Margaret
Johnson, Daniel
Lancaster, Jessie
Tames, George
Extent .5 cubic ft. (1 container)
Level of description Fonds
System of arrangement This collection is arranged in alphabetical order by surname of interviewee.
Finding Aid Finding Aid