63. John Ferguson (Barber and Activist)

Celebration of the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, April 19, 1866.
Photo courtesy of Georgetown Neighborhood Library Peabody Room

A civil leader and well know barber, John Ferguson, was listed as an officer of the Second Anniversary Emancipation parade in April 13, 1867, issue of the Georgetown Courier.  Along with other community leaders, he led the parade of about 30 African American Georgetown citizens “on horseback with, appropriate sashes and their finely caparisoned[sic].’ Later, in 1873, he was named along with Alfred Pope to the new Board of Colored School Trustees. In 1875, he was a member of the Building Committee for the construction of the new Mt Zion UMC at 1334 29th Street.  In addition to the social gatherings at the various churches, the African American community participated in other social activities that served to strengthen their close-knit neighborhood.  John Ferguson sponsored social gathering at the Heliotrope Circle and the Hawthorne Social Club.  Here African Americans met to learn about and discuss the latest books; talk over issues of the day; and sing, dance, and eat. At grassy lots at 26th and P Streets and 32nd and Q Street, at the Odd Fellow Hall at 28th Street and Dumbarton Avenue, at various churches throughout Georgetown, civic and social groups gathered to picnic and enjoy each other’s company.  The Georgetown Courier for November 20, 1875, included the following list of “Colored Societies”; The Blessed Peter Claver Burial Association for men and women and the Knights of Saint Augustine, which met at Holy Trinity Church; and the Hiram Lodge, the Widows Son Lodge, and the Potomac Union, which met in the Washington (30th) Street Hall.

(Source: Black Georgetown Remembered)