by Mia Carey
Yarrow Mamout was a Muslim slave who purchased property at 3324 Dent Place on February 8th, 1800, four years after receiving his freedom. Mamout served the Beall family of Maryland and Georgetown for over forty years after arriving in Annapolis, Maryland in 1752. He is thought to have been born in Guinea, West Africa ca. 1736 before being sold into slavery at the tender age of 16. When he in arrived in Maryland, Yarrow was able to read and write in Arabic, which suggests that he may have been a wealthy member of his Fulani tribe. Mamout received his manumission papers on August 22, 1796 as a reward for being a good and faithful servant. By 1803, Mamout had transferred the property deed to his fifteen year old son, Aquilla.
Despite losing his savings twice to insolvent merchants, Mamout amassed a savings of $200 which he then used to purchase shares at the Bank of Georgetown.The interest accrued from these shares allowed Yarrow to live out the rest of his life comfortably. He was known for his skills as a brick-maker and basket-weaver, his experience working on a ship, and his extensive understanding of real estate, finance, and law. Yarrow became well-known in 1819 after Charles Wilson Peale painted his portrait (which now hangs in the Atwater Museum in Philadelphia). When Peale arrived in Georgetown he heard of a man rumored to be 140 years old and sought out Yarrow; during his session he recorded Yarrow’s account of his life in his diary. A second portrait of Yarrow was painted in 1822 by James Alexander Simpson, which now hangs in the Peabody Room of the Georgetown Public Library. According to an obituary circulated by Peale, Yarrow died on January 19, 1823 and is rumored to be buried in the place in which he prayed.
Much of the historical information was developed by James H. Johnston in his book “From Slave Ship to Harvard: Yarrow Mamout and the History of an African American Family.”
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Over sixty District residents joined the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and the DC Office of Planning (OP) for the Our RFP Parcel 42 Public Workshop on Saturday, June 13. Our RFP is Mayor Bowser’s initiative to engage District residents early on in the request for proposals (RFP) process used to redevelop District owned property. Our RFP ensures that the public’s perspective and priorities are incorporated with the District’s goals throughout the entire process. Parcel 42, located at the intersection of 7th and R Streets NW, is the first pilot of the Our RFP process.
At the June 13th workshop, participants had small group discussions about building uses, design, and sustainability. During these discussions, many people expressed interest in unique ground floor uses including incubator space, workforce development services, live/work studios, or office space for District services. When the conversation turned to potential uses of the upper floors of a building on the site, residents discussed a range of ideas, including incorporating affordable housing on the site. During a discussion about the design and sustainability, residents thought a new building on Parcel 42 should be architecturally significant, include green and sustainable best practices, and showcase art within the public realm.
All of this feedback will be analyzed and reviewed by DMPED, which, after receiving additional input at a July follow-up meeting, will develop an RFP to redevelop Parcel 42.
But we still want to hear from you!
Continue to share your thoughts through June 30th about the future of Parcel 42 online at parcel42dc.mindmixer.com or in person at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 317, Washington, DC 20004.
A public follow-up meeting will be held on the evening of July 28th at the Shaw library to discuss how all the feedback should be incorporated into a RFP to redevelop Parcel 42. For more information about the Parcel 42 Our RFP please visit dmped.dc.gov/ourrfp_Parcel42 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently students from Middlebury College’s Food Works internship program stopped by the Office of Planning to learn the latest and greatest on DC’s food systems. These fellows will be spreading out across the city this summer working for gardens, food banks, schools, and non-profit organizations to take action around food issues. Good luck on all your internships and we can’t wait to hear what you accomplish so we can update our food stats here at OP!
Did you know DC has many great food assets? We have…
- 52 farmers markets, 5 open year round
- 52 full-scale grocery stores
- 60 Healthy Corner Stores
- More than 1,800 community garden plots
- 110 school gardens
- 70+ Community-Supported-Agriculture groups delivering in DC
Want to find more food-related things in your neighborhood? Check out dcfoodfinder.org