The long-forgotten longhand records of Fairfax County's freed slaves, discovered more than three years ago in the attic of the county courthouse, were recently published in a printed volumen that is accessible to scholars and general readers.
The volume, released earlier this week, was prepared under the direction of Donald Sweig, an historian with the county planning office. It contains biographical data on 800 slaves freed between 1822 and 1861. The records are expected to help some black families trace their lineage as well as aid scholars in filling out some of the early chapters in American black history.
The 292-page printed volume, 500 copies of which will be sold for $5 each, was presented this week to the Board of Supervisors by Circuit Court Clerk James Hoofnagle.
Robert L. Secundy, president of the Countywide Black Citizens Association and one of the black leaders at the presentation, said, "We are very pleased with the finished book, the fact that it was produced exactly and will be available at public libraries."
But Secundy said blacks in the county are waiting for other action by the county, including adoption of an affirmative action plan that has been sent to the Board of Supervisors by the county Civil Service Commission.
He also said blacks are hoping that members of their race will be represented in the forthcoming history of county citizens and be among the subjects of portraits of those citizens.