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

Herbert Harris (center)

1816-1879

Caroline Wilder Harris

1865-1939

Herbert Harris II

1894-1966

Minnie Carsten

1862-1933

Bertram Welsh

b. 1901

Ellen Carroll Harris

b. 1826

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.

William Harris

1854-1928

Alice M Harris

1900-1999

Frank Nell

1896-1918

Charles M. Wilder

1837-1902