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Philip's father Thomas died in 1835 when Philip was about twelve years old. A year later Philip became a student at Colored School no. 2 on Laurens Street. Located in a brand new two-story building, this school, in contrast to the earlier Mulberry… Read More

After the death of his first wife, Rebecca, Peter Guignon married Cornelia Ray sometime in the mid to late 1840s. For years Peter had been struggling to find steady work, trying his hand in "cigars" as well as in hairdressing. This note, in which… Read More

By the early 1860s, Philip White's pharmacy was doing very well and he was becoming quite prosperous. Over the course of several months, Philip placed this ad in the Weekly Anglo African, New York's black newspaper of the period. The ad promoted a… Read More

George Downing lived to a ripe old age. In this photograph, he is seated by a table, surrounded by unidentified female relatives. Paintings and portraits of family members hang on the walls in the background. Read More

The father of Cornelia and Peter Williams Ray, Peter Ray was one of the black community’s most respected members. Born in 1800, he began working in Peter and George Lorillard’s tobacco company as an errand boy in 1811. When he died in 1882, he… Read More

James Hewlett was Elizabeth Marshall's brother and hence my great-great-great-granduncle. His life is shrouded in mystery. But what we do know about him is that he became a play actor and performed the roles of Richard III and Othello among others… Read More

This single page from the Harry Albro Williamson papers at the Schomburg Research Center gave me quite a bit of information about my family's genealogy. My great-great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Hewlett, married a man named Joseph Marshall who… Read More

When Philip White died in February 1891 tributes poured in from all corners of the black community (as well as the white). St. Philip's vestry, of which Philip had been senior warden for many years, paused in its business deliberations to… Read More