"I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids--and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."

 - Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man"

Gum Springs Virginia

Gum Springs, Virginia
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Historic Black communities are a symbolic monument to the perseverance and enduring spirit of the African American people. The state of Virginia, commonly called the "gateway to...

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Property of West Ford

 

*West Ford was willed 160 acres of land adjoining Mount Vernon in 1829, making him the richest black man in Virgina at that time.  He later sold his land and purchased...

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Map of West Ford's Children's Land

Land and Tax County map of Gum Springs.  It shows the actual breakout with homes and streets near the original land given by West Ford to his children: William, Daniel, Jane and Julia....

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Gum Springs  Welcome Marker

Signage  - "Welcome to Gum Springs" on the corner of Fordson Road and Richmond Hwy.

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Gum Springs Marker

Gum Springs Hwy Marker.

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Lodge #298

The Pride of Fairfax Lodge #298 historic building. It has been added to the Virginia Landmarks Register for its role in bringing a sense of community to Fairfax County's oldest African...

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Historic Bethlehem Baptist Church
 
The church was organized abt. 1863 by Samuel K. Taylor, a former slave, who preached in the homes of the African-American residents of Gum Springs. This photo sits...
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Gum Springs Museum and Cultural Center

The Gum Springs Museum and Cultural Center is located on Fordson Road in Gum Springs. Gum Springs was founded by West Ford in 1833. Ron Chase is the president of the museum. 

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Ronald L. Chase

Photo of Ronald L. Chase behind his desk at the Gum Springs Museum, October 2022.  Ron is the Founding Director of  the Gum Springs Historical Society and the Gum Springs Museum....

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Gum Springs Button

Photo of a button designed by Robert Fasick for the Gum Springs Juneteenth and Community Day Celebration on June 18, 2022. The button states it all - Gum Springs Matters.

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Queenie Cox, Gum Springs Activist

Queenie Cox is the president of the New Gum Springs Civic Association and an activist.  She is seen here  protesting the widening of Richmond Hwy to 13 lanes.  (Photo credit...

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No 13 Lanes on Richmond Hwy

Protest about widening Richmond Hwy that leads into Gum Springs into 13 lanes. Community protests.  (Photo Credit Fox 5 DC, 2021)

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Did George Washington Have an Enslaved Son?

The New Yorker posed the paternity of West Ford in an article titled: "Did George Washington Have an Enslaved Son" by Jill Abramson, March 2022. The article discusses Gum Springs...

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Family and Friends at Gum Springs Community Day

Friends and Ford family descendants at Juneteenth and Community Day at Gum Springs June 2022. 

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The Paternity of West Ford
 
Following is a list of responses to several questions posed to the Ford family. This information was gathered...
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