Georgetown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
You are standing in the heart of a once thriving African American community. At the time of the American Revolution in 1776, one third of Georgetown's population was African American. By the time of the Civil War in the 1860s, many former slaves had set up households and small businesses. Black churches, such as Jerusalem Baptist Church at 26th Street dating from the early 1900s, also flourished. This part of Georgetown was known as Herring Hill, named after the fish caught nearby in Rock Creek, and it thrived well into the 1930s.
At the top of 27th Street is a path that leads to Mt. Zion Cemetery, where a tomb hidden in the hillside was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
Next to the cemetery is Dumbarton House, headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America. This house was First Lady Dolley Madison's first stop when she fled from British burning of the White House in the War of 1812. But she refused to abandon Gilbert Stuart's portrait of George Washington, removed it from its frame, and sent it safely as well as the red velvet draperies from what is known today as the Blue Room.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Architecture • Churches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the DC, Art on Call series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1776.
Location. 38° 54.566′ N, 77° 3.341′ W. Marker is in Georgetown in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is at the intersection of P Street Northwest and 27th Street Northwest on P Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2701 P Street Northwest, Washington DC 20007, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Margaret Peters and Roumania Peters Walker (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dumbarton House (about 400 feet away); Georgetown Refuge (about 500 feet away); Rose Park Recreation Center (about 500 feet away); First Baptist Church, Georgetown (about 700 feet away); Epiphany Catholic Church (about 700 feet away); Mt. Zion United Methodist Church Parsonage (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mt. Zion United Methodist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Georgetown.
Also see . . . Herring Hill, African American Heritage Trail. (Submitted on December 22, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 13, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 185 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 13, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.