Miss visiting your favorite Historic Alexandria sites? Looking for some fun historic activities to share with your kids at home? Let our staff bring history virtually to you!
Each weekday we will share new stories and content - everything from virtual tours of the sites and museums to fun and educational activities. Click on the these links to see all of the activities that we have shared, dating back to March 23, 2020.
#MakeItMonday enjoy hands-on activities, recipes, and coloring sheets for the whole family .
Take virtual tours of our museums and sites on
Learn more about Alexandria's rich archaeological heritage on
#ThrowbackThursday dives deep into the historic files.
Separate historic fact from fiction on
Today's Activity -- #FactCheckFriday
Ask an Archaeologist
For Preservation Month, join us on #FactCheckFriday with “Ask an Archaeologist” at 11 a.m. on FaceBook Live, on the Alexandria Archaeology or Historic Alexandria Facebook page.
Support the Museums
While our museums might be closed, the Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) staff are working hard from home to continue bringing history to you. These stories and activities remind us how we are connected through our community as we continue to make history today.
If you wish to support OHA by making a monetary gift, we invite you to contribute in one of the following ways:
- Donate online
- By mail: OHA COVID Donations, The Lloyd House, 220 N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Thank you in advance for your support!
Here are just a few of our previous #HistoricALX2U activities. Click on the daily activity link to see all of the activities that we have shared, dating back to March 23, 2020.
On #MakeItMonday enjoy hands-on activities, recipes, and coloring sheets for the whole family. Here is one activity.
April 6, 2020
One of America’s favorite desserts is ice cream but did you know it was also a favorite dessert for our founding fathers and mothers? An expensive and labor-intensive treat, ice cream flavors ranged from vanilla to asparagus. Try your hand at making ice cream and exploring the science that makes it possible. #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome
Take virtual tours of our museums and sites on #TourTuesday. Here is one tour.
Alexandria African American Heritage Park
April 1, 2020
For this #TourTuesday, visit the Alexandria African American Heritage Park. Across Hoof’s Run from the Alexandria National Cemetery, this park was dedicated as a memorial to African American contributions to Alexandria’s history and encompasses the Black Baptist Cemetery established in 1885. Get close to artist Jerome Meadow’s bronze tree installation and see if you can find the names of African American citizens, businesses, and institutions that have made our City what it is today. #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome
Learn more about Alexandria's rich archaeological heritage on #WaterfrontWednesday. Here is one facet of waterfront history.
Freedom House Research: Ship Manifest
April 8, 2020
#Spring2ACTion is one week away! Historic Alexandria is raising funds to preserve the Freedom House Museum. Our staff has been working hard to research the complex history of this property and its role in the domestic slave trade. This work will allow us to interpret the site in a holistic and nuanced manner.
This ship manifest lists the names of 92 enslaved people sold by the firm of Franklin & Armfield in Alexandria to Isaac Franklin in New Orleans aboard the Brig Uncas in 1833. Once in New Orleans, these people were then sold again to farms and plantations throughout the South. From 1828 to 1837, Isaac Franklin and John Armfield operated what quickly became the country's largest slave-trading firm out of their Alexandria offices at 1315 Duke Street. After Franklin & Armfield, the site served as the headquarters for a series of slave-trading businesses until May 1861.
The Uncas, owned by Franklin & Armfield, left Alexandria on October 30th, 1833 and arrived in New Orleans four weeks later on November 29th. Manifests like these were required in accordance with the Act Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves of 1807, which outlawed the international slave trade in the United States. The act required the captain of each ship engaging in the still-legal domestic slave trade to provide a manifest listing the name, sex, age, height, and a racial description of each person being transported along with a statement swearing that the people listed were not imported into the United States after January 1st, 1808. They also provide information about the ship, the captain, and the buyer and seller of the enslaved people onboard.
Historic Alexandria has collected more than 100 ship manifests documenting voyages originating in the Port of Alexandria. Documents like this one reveal the scale of the domestic slave trade and record the names of some of the people affected by it. #HistoricALX2U #WaterfrontWednesday
#ThrowbackThursday dives deep into the historic files. Here is one primary document from an 18th century Alexandrian.
Journal of Nicholas Cresswell
April 2, 2020
Nicholas Cresswell was an English Loyalist living in Alexandria between 1774-1777. Luckily for historians he recorded a journal of his experiences. On October 24, 1774 he wrote, “Everything here is in utmost confusion” as tensions with the British rose prior to the Revolutionary War. Help historians 200 years from now know what it was like in Alexandria in 2020. #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome
Separate historic fact from fiction on #FactCheckFriday. Here's a fact and a fun activity.
April 17, 2020
Florida Water – to drink or to make you smell good? This label is from the late 19th/ early 20th century when E.S. Leadbeater and Sons was in business at the Apothecary. Florida Water had an orange scent and its graphic was inspired by the Fountain of Youth, allegedly found in the Sunshine State. It could be used it in a wide variety of ways – from mouthwash to unisex cologne to room scent. #FactCheckFriday #HistoricALX2U #MuseumFromHome