The Friends of Freedmen's Cemetery


Lucas-Kye-Carr Family and Simms

The following information comes from Alexandria, Virginia Corporation Court Chancery Causes, specifically, Amelia Kye vs. Amelia Lucas, ca. 1887 and from census records.

Amelia Lucas was apparently born in King George County, probably before 1812. She was owned by the "grandmother of Isaac Hall." Amelia's brother, Charles Lucas, was younger, as he was born after the family left King George and perhaps in 1814 or 1815. He was born at the Ravensworth estate in Fairfax County, once owned by the Fitzhughs. Charles's and Amelia's mother was named "Alesey" (variant forms or spellings of this name seem to be fairly common among African American women at this place and time).

Amelia Lucas married a man named Kye and had a son, Elias Kye, about 1843-1844. Elias married Bettie Ann Simms, daughter of William Simms (see below). Amelia, Elias, Betty, and Elias and Betty's children-James, Mary, Charles and Elias-were living together in Fairfax County's Lee District in 1880.

Charles Lucas's first wife was another slave named Laura (although they were probably married without benefit of clergy). Laura was sold, however, in the 1840s, and Charles never saw her again. The couple did, however, have two children before their separation: Harriet Lucas, born about 1844, and Thomas Lucas. Thomas moved from Alexandria to Loudon County about 1881 and was still living there in 1887. Harriet Lucas married Jacob Thomas and had a daughter, Alice.

Charles Lucas was in the household of [Ireland native?] "widow [Jane?] Allison" near Colchester about 1846. He was living "up at the Forest" about 1852-1853. He remarried, to Amelia Carr, ca. late 1855/early 1856. A "mulatto" Charles Lucas appears in the household listing for prosperous Fairfax County farmer John Haislip in the 1860 census. That is likely where he met Amelia Carr.

Amelia Carr was born in or about 1836 in Alexandria (although the 1880 census erroneously suggests her birthdate as 1844-1845). Her master was John Haislip, but she was hired out to Samuel Kinzie before 1852. She was living at "Glover's" about 1852 and was hired out to Samuel N. Garwood in January 1853, working for him until after the spring of 1854. (These places were probably all in Fairfax County, although some may now be within the boundaries of Alexandria.)

By the time they were married, Charles Lucas and Amelia (Carr) Lucas [not to be confused with Amelia (Lucas) Kye] already had a child, Celia, born May 1854 at Samuel N. Garwood's house in Fairfax County. Celia may not have been Charles's daughter, however (an issue in the lawsuit over heirs to the Lucas property in Alexandria, see below).

When Amelia Carr was at Samuel Kinzie's-i.e., before she was hired out to Garwood-she and William Simms (born about the end of 1822 or 1823) had relations. Simms always believed Celia Lucas to be his daughter; he said that others had told him so and that there was a family resemblance. Charles brought up Celia as his own, however. (Simms later had another daughter, Bettie Ann, who married Elias Kye. After the war, Simms was a farmer in Fairfax County).

Charles Lucas was working at "Mr. Dainty's" at the outbreak of the Civil War. After the war, he bought a house on Henry Street, between Cameron and Queen Streets, in Alexandria. He died in 1876.

Celia Lucas had a son, John Lucas, August 12, 1872. Celia died in 1874, and John lived with Amelia (Carr) Lucas thereafter in Alexandria.


Freedmen's Cemetery Historical Site Marker - E 109 Freedmen's Cemetery - Federal authorities established a cemetery here for newly freed African Americans during the Civil War. In January 1864, the military governor of Alexandria confiscated for use as a burying ground an abandoned pasture from a family with Confederate sympathies. About 1,700 freed people, including infants and black Union soldiers, were interred here before the last recorded burial in January 1869. Most of the deceased had resided in what is known as Old Town and in nearby rurual settlements. Despite mid-twentieth-century construction projects, many burials remain undisturbed. A list of those interred here has also survived.

Friends of Freedmenís Cemetery
638 North Alfred Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
E-mail: freedmen@juno.com

Freedmen's Cemetery Logo - This logo was designed by Alexandria Archaeology Assistant City Archaeologist, Dr. Steven Shephard, in 2006. The beautifully executed final drawing was made by Alexandria Archaeology volunteer, Mr. Andrew Flora, who made a few modifications. At the center of the logo is a headboard of the design seen in historic photographs of the Alexandria National Cemetery, established at the north end of Wilkes Street in 1862. These grave markers were supplied by the U.S. Army Quartermaster Department in Alexandria and records state that this department also supplied the headboards and coffins for Freedmens Cemetery. The pine boards were whitewashed and the plot number, and presumably, the name of the deceased, and possibly the date of death, were painted in black on the headboard. The number 1864 in the logo represents the year that the cemetery was established. The black silhouette of the African American woman in the center of the board is meant to represent the people, the Freedmen, who were buried at the cemetery. Civilian men, women and many children were buried here, along with African American soldiers of the United States Colored Troops. The rays radiating from the top of the headboard are meant to represent the light of freedom, as well as the souls of the Freedmen ascending into heaven and their final reward. The F and C are for Freedmen's Cemetery. The surrounding broken chain wreath symbolizes the severed bonds of slavery which resulted from the American Civil War which transformed Alexandria and the nation.

April 29th, 2007