Southwest Quadrant in Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The West End
Alexandria Heritage Trail
By 1815, a variety of tradesmen had established their homes and businesses at West End. Butchers, tanners, millers, carriage maker, tavernkeepers, wheelwrights, blacksmiths, soap and candle makers chose West End for availability of large land parcels outside the town limits and proximity to customers traveling on the thoroughfares. Within the next 100 years, West End residents also engaged in slave dealing, glassmaking, brewing beer, selling dry goods and food, providing water, as well as growing flowers in commercial-scale greenhouses.
"West End--a village joining this city and separated from the Corporation limits by Hooff's Run, is a very
While some families continued in West End for generations, there was a great deal of transiency among tradesmen. Charles Jones advertised: "... he has again commenced business at WEST END Duke Street....Coachmaking... having a number of steady workmen in different Branches, and all kinds of materials for carrying on his business Extensively." Yet Jones left next year and rented his buildings to James Sheehy for his Soap and Candle Manufactory. Sheehy advertised that he kept "a few thousand weight of hogs lard" on hand. —Alexandria Gazette 2/27/1798; 12/21/1811.
From throughout the region, employers came to West End for Hiring Out Day every New Year's Day until the Civil War. African American "...men, women and children, mechanics, fieldhands, dining room servants... eating, drinking, fiddling and dancing; all their own masters, so far as having the privilege of selecting their homes for the next year goes. —Alexandria Gazette, January 14, 1860.
(sidebar) Several archaeological investigations have been conducted
The brick structure at 1707 Duke is the last remaining West End building. Constructed as a home in 1819, it is remembered as the "Bruin Slave Jail" where African Americans were brought before transport to southern markets for resale.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Virginia, The City of Alexandria series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 14, 1755.
Location. 38° 48.192′ N, 77° 3.49′ W. Marker is in Southwest Quadrant in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Jamieson Avenue and Daingerfield Road, on the right when traveling west. Marker is along the walkway beside Hooff's Run just west of the Marriott Residence Inn at 1456 Duke Street.Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hooff's Run Bridge (a few steps from this marker); The Duke Street Tanyard (within shouting distance of this marker); African American Heritage Memorial (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); A National Cemetery System (about 500 feet away); "Pursuers of Booth the Assassin" (about 500 feet away); In Honor of Those Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice (about 600 feet away); Alexandria National Cemetery (about 600 feet away); The Edmonson Sisters (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Southwest Quadrant.
Also see . . . Alexandria Heritage Trail. (Submitted on March 17, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 17, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,015 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on March 17, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.