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Did you know: Alexandria briefly served as a capital of Virginia during the Civil War?

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church during the Civil War (photo via City of Alexandria)

Little fun fact about Alexandria: last week marked the 160th anniversary of Alexandria becoming the capital of Alexandria — kind of.

The Office of Historic Alexandria’s weekly newsletter noted that June 20, 1863, marked the start of Alexandria serving as the capital of “the Restored Government of Virginia.”

Francis Harrison Piermont served as governor, recognizing the abolition of slavery and the creation of West Virginia. The capital had been in Wheeling, but when West Virginia split from Virginia, the capital was moved to Alexandria from 1863-1865 before returning to Richmond after the war’s end.

The full write-up from This Week In Historic Alexandria is below:

On June 20, 1863, Alexandria became the capital of the Restored Government of Virginia with Francis Harrison Pierpont serving as governor.  Under Pierpont, a new Virginia constitution was issued in 1864 recognizing the abolition of slavery and creation of West Virginia. At the start of the Civil War, counties in northwestern Virginia opposed secession.  These counties had advocated for separate statehood long before the war started, but the U.S. Constitution would forbid states from being created with the borders of existing states without approval of that state’s legislature.  However, once the war began, the federal government recognized the City of Wheeling as the capital of the Restored Government, and within two years the new State of West Virginia was approved. At that time the Restored Government of Virginia moved from the new state to a new capital at Alexandria.  When the war ended in 1865, the Virginia state capital moved again to Richmond, which had acted as the capital of the Confederacy during the war years.

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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).

ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.

This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.

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If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!

In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!

We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.

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Submit your own Community Post here.

Family Fun Fall Fest

Mark your calendars and join us for the Family Fun Fall Fest on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 11am – 2pm!

This FREE in-person event will be held at the Shoppes at Foxchase, located at 4641 Duke St, Alexandria, VA

2023 Alexandria Fall Festival

Food trucks, bounce houses, pony rides, magic shows and more at the 2023 Alexandria Fall Festival, an Alexandria Living event presented by The Patterson Group. Join us at River Farm on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


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