Correction: An earlier version of this column incorrectly stated the surname of Yarrow Mamout. Yarrow is his surname. The column has been updated to reflect this.

Archaeologists look for grave of freed slave in Georgetown

Archaeologists are surveying 3324 Dent Pl. NW in Georgetown, believed to be the burial site of Yarrow Mamout, a prominent African Muslim freeman.

Yarrow became famous after Charles Willson Peale painted his portrait in 1819. A second portrait in 1822 by Georgetown-born artist James Alexander Simpson hangs in the Georgetown Public Library.

Sold into slavery at 16 in Annapolis, Yarrow was freed in 1800 at age 60 and purchased the lot that is being excavated. Yarrow and his family are chronicled in the book “From Slave Ship to Harvard: Yarrow Mamout and the History of an African American Family” by James H. Johnston. He died Jan. 19, 1823, and his obituary suggests that he was buried at the Dent Place address.

In June, archaeologist Ruth Trocolli and the D.C. Historic Preservation Office received permission from the property owner to conduct a thorough investigation of the site. Initial excavation efforts had begun in 2012, after modern structures on the site were demolished. Neighborhood residents advocated for a dig focused on Yarrow.

For information, go to www.yarrow
mamoutarchaeology.weebly.com
.

The Office of Planning will hold fence talks at 10:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. on days when archaeologists are on site (weather permitting). For the schedule, go to www.facebook.com/YarrowMamout
Archaeology
.

District has added 86 wheelchair-accessible cabs

The D.C. Taxicab Commission announced that 86 wheelchair-accessible vehicles have been added to the District’s taxicab fleet after legislation passed last year to improve vehicle services for the disabled.

Under the Taxicab Service Improvement Act, 6 percent of a cab company’s fleet must have been wheelchair accessible by Dec. 31, 2014. Several companies exceeded their minimum requirements.

However, of the 91 cab companies authorized in the District, 20 have not met the requirement. Their renewals were denied July 15, with a two-week period to appeal the decision.

For information, go to dctaxi.dc.gov.

Bowser makes appointments in labor, behavioral health

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) recently appointed Lionel Sims as the director of the Office of Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining. Sims will serve as the principal management advocate in labor negotiations for the Bowser administration. He began his duties July 20.

Previously, Sims served as general counsel to the Child and Family Services Agency and as an assistant attorney general in the Office of the Attorney General, where he advised on employment matters for various District agencies. From 2009 to 2010, he chaired the Traffic Adjudication Appeals Board.

Sims has a J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy Law School and a bachelor in business administration from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Bowser also appointed Tanya Royster as the acting director of the Department of Behavioral Health. She will begin her duties Aug. 2. Previously, Royster served as director of behavioral health for the Franciscan St. James Health System and was a tenured teacher at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Royster graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and completed general and child/adolescent psychiatry residencies at New York University Bellevue Hospital Medical Center.

For information, go to mayor.dc.gov.

— Compiled by Terence McArdle