African Americans escaping slavery found refuge in Alexandria after Union troops occupied the city in 1861. The Rev. Clement “Clem” Robinson established the First Select Colored School in 1862. Hundreds of students registered for day and evening classes and for courses at the associated Beulah Normal and Theological Institute. In Oct. 1863, Robinson organized Beulah Baptist Church, the first African American church founded in Alexandria after Union occupation. The congregation constructed its brick sanctuary here on the edge of the African American neighborhood known as The Bottoms. The school then moved to this site, and education remained central to Beulah’s mission.
Marker: E-139, Virginia Department of Historic Resources (2015)