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Nancy & William Syphax - From Slavery to Freedom with Steve Hammond

  • Broadcast in History



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A Denver, Colorado native, Mr. Stephen Hammond is a retired federal employee having spent his entire 40-year career as an earth scientist with the United States Geological Survey. He is now a Scientist Emeritus with the agency.

Steve has now swapped his full-time geology work for genealogy and family history research. It is a hobby he’s had since he was in grade school. His goals are to educate and inspire others to document their own family history. He is a 7th generation member of the Syphax family of Washington, DC; a line that moved by force to New Orleans and then by choice to Denver. He has participated in a variety of National Park Service programs at the Arlington House – the Robert E. Lee Memorial to highlight the lives of his Syphax ancestors and other enslaved Americans on the estate.

He has spoken at the African American Civil War Museum and the historic Decatur House on Lafayette Square both in Washington, DC and has contributed to exhibits at George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. He has been interviewed by numerous organizations including NPR, C-Span, Civil War Times and Arlington (VA) magazines among others, as well as for numerous newspaper articles to provide authoritative family-history information and historical perspective. Steve has a DNA study underway to support genealogical information that is helping to identify ancestral origins and tie the Syphax family directly to Martha Washington.

Music: Sweet Mellow Spice with AK Alexander Productions

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