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John W. Cromwell (John Wesley), b. 1846
The First Negro Churches in the District of Columbia
From The Journal of Negro History 7, no. 1 (January 1922), 64-107. Lancaster, Pa.; Washington D. C.: The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Inc., 1922.


In "The First Negro Churches in the District of Columbia," Cromwell offers a detailed history of the African American churches that arose in and around Washington, D.C. during the early nineteenth century. His narrative begins with the story of dissatisfied black members of Methodist and Baptist churches, who formed their own churches because of the treatment they received from the white members of their congregations. As he continues, Cromwell's story becomes one of names and buildings. He lists the important figures in the rise of each church, and he traces the addresses of each church, often from their original locations to their sites in 1922. In addition, he provides a glimpse into the internal political turmoil that each church faced as it began to establish itself in the community. After illustrating the rise of Protestant churches, Cromwell goes on to explore the development of Catholic churches in the Washington area.

Brent Kinser

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