36. 2512 East Place

2512 East Place
Photo by Bob Rives

Chamberlain School for Colored

Georgetown allotted no money for African American Schools in 1862 and only $70 the following year. In 1864 an Act of Congress provide 10% of school funds be set aside for the education of “colored children” in Georgetown and Washington. The Chamberlain School was named for Eliza A. Chamberlain. Chamberlain arrived in Georgetown in the autumn of 1864 and began teaching at what was then called the Mount Zion Freedman’s School, educating newly liberated slaves. The space in which she taught was called “dark, damp and ill-ventilated” and infected her with tuberculosis. In 1866, Chamberlain School for the Colored was built, the only school building listed for African Americans as late as 1877 in the Annual Report of DC Public Schools. According to the Georgetown Courier, March 23, 1867 the overcrowded school had more than 400 students. In 1867, after the freedman schools were graded, Eliza Chamberlain was made principal of several schools, teaching as many as 50 students of all ages in her classroom. She died in 1870 from tuberculosis.

Source: Nothing More Powerful: Who DC Schools Are Named For