Old campus photo


Julia Parker

Born April 18, 1823

Julia Parker was born in 1823 to Milly and Harry Parker in Jefferson County, Virginia (now West Virginia) near Charles Town. The Parker family at that time was held in bondage by John Augustine Washington II on a property known as Blakely. Milly and Harry Parker had a large family of at least nine children. Julia was one of the oldest. In 1841 Julia Parker, along with three of her siblings, Hannah, Edmund, and Betty, were moved to Mount Vernon as a direct result of inheritance within the Washington family. Three years later in January of 1844 Augustine Washington III, the then enslaver of Julia Parker, contracted with Alexandria Theological Seminary (now Virginia Theological Seminary) to rent her services to the Seminary for a period of three months, but documents show that by March 6th of that year she had returned to Blakely. In July, Washington sold Julia Parker to a man known as Judge Douglass. This transaction brought Julia closer to her husband, who is as yet unidentified. It does appear that her husband was also enslaved, but it is unclear by whom. Once the sale was complete, Julia Parker was moved from Blakely back to Alexandria. A vague reference in August 1844 suggests Julia Parker may have been pregnant. At this point no documents have been discovered to indicate what happened in Julia Parker’s life beyond 1845.

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