For the past year, the Arlington Historical Society and the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington have collaborated on a project to recover the largely unknown history of the county’s enslaved population and to chronicle their lives. Jessica Kaplan, a coordinator of Memorializing the Enslaved in Arlington and lead researcher, explains the goals of the project and highlights some its finding so far. She describes the lives of some of the enslaved and highlights next steps in memorializing the enslaved with a small plaque near where they lived and toiled.

Jessica Kaplan is a historical researcher and retired archivist with a deep interest in Arlington’s history. She has written several articles for the “Arlington Historical Magazine” including The Bottom: An African-American Enclave Rediscovered, and “I Was a Union Man:” James and Lewis Marcey’s Civil War Experience. She serves on the AHS Board of Directors.

This video is a recording of one in a series of free monthly public events hosted by the Arlington Historical Society on July 13, 2023. The video runs for 1 hour, 12 minutes and 52 seconds.

For more information about the project, visit our webpage which provides links to the findings: Names of the Enslaved in Arlington Uncovered – Arlington Historical Society