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Stephen E. Hammond holds the tintype photograph of Margaret Syphax (photograph taken by Matthew D'Agostino). Photograph of Margaret Syphax (the author's second great grandmother) courtesy of Roland Jefferson, second cousin to the author and grandson of Martha Joseph Spratlin. The location is likely New Orleans, date unknown.

Stephen E. Hammond
The Syphax Family in the President's Neighborhood

Join us in learning more about White House History right from your own home. Our Facebook Live series, White House History Live, delves into the stories that make up the history of the Executive Mansion.

In this episode of White House History Live, historian Stephen E. Hammond will discuss the Syphax family with White House Historical Association Senior Historian, Dr. Matthew Costello. Mr. Hammond is a descendant of William Syphax, and for nearly fifty years he has researched the Syphax family and its lineage. During the nineteenth century, his third-great-grandmother — Nancy Syphax — was an enslaved resident at Decatur House, which today is part of the Association's campus in Washington, D.C. This conversation will explore Nancy's life, the Decatur House Slave Quarters, and the Syphax story beyond slavery. Mr. Hammond has also contributed to the Association's Slavery in the President's Neighborhood initiative and virtual tour of the Decatur House Slave Quarters, and we are grateful for his willingness to share his family's remarkable story.

This event will be live streamed on the White House Historical Association's Facebook Page starting at 5 pm ET on November 17th.