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A History


People have always lived in the interstices between black and white.

My family is descended from slaves and slave owners who lived in Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina. They settled in Washington, D.C. in the nineteenth century. 

In 1835, my grandfather’s grandfather, an eighteen-year-old slave named Herbert Harris, is brought to the District of Columbia. His master dies, and Herbert is able to obtain his freedom through the courts. He builds a prosperous real estate business and marries Ellen Carroll.

Charles M Wilder (1837-1902) born a slave in Sumter, South Carolina, Wilder was a self-educated carpenter who represented Richland County in the Constitutional Convention of 1868. He served as deputy marshal and postmaster. He held many party offices during the Reconstruction and was a Director for several white-controlled businesses. After the Reconstruction, Wilder received several appointments from Governor Wade Hampton.

Herbert Harris I.jpeg

Herbert Harris (center)


Charles M Wilder


Ellen Carroll Harris.jpeg

Ellen Carroll Harris

b. 1826

Charles Wilder.jpeg

Charles M. Wilder


Caroline Wilder Harris.jpeg

Caroline Wilder Harris


Herbert Harris II  1.jpeg

Herbert Harris II


William Harris I_edited.jpg

William Harris


Bertram Young Welsh.jpeg
Minnie Carsten Welsh.jpeg

Minnie Carsten


Alice Myers Harris.jpeg

Alice M Harris


Bertram Welsh

b. 1901

Frank Nell.jpg

Frank Nell


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