Foxall – McKenney - Cragin – Greenlees – Agnew Family Papers (1804 – 1940)

Foxall – McKenney - Cragin – Greenlees – Agnew Family Papers (1804 – 1940)

In the Peabody Room at Georgetown Neighborhood Library

Foxall – McKenney - Cragin – Greenlees – Agnew Family Papers (1804 – 1940)
Collection No. 68


McKenney materials donated circa 1999 by Mrs. Edith McCartney.
All other materials donated circa 1999 and April 25, 2013 by Mary-Elizabeth Pate, 3119 38th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20016, (202) 966-0914.  Email 


The Foxall – McKenney – Cragin family remained prominent in Georgetown affairs from the end of the 18th century through the 20th
This collection contains Henry Foxall deeds and indentures, dated 1804 – 1819, a survey of the C & O Canal confiscation of Foxall’s Georgetown city house land in 1831, and a rental agreement for “Spring Hill” (Henry Foxall’s country estate) dated 1868.  For additional information on Foxall and a circa 1940s photograph of “Spring Hill,” see Foxall surname vertical file.
From Samuel McKenney are letters dated from the 1840s with photos of both he and his wife.  See also McKenney surname vertical file.
The collection also contains materials from the Cragin family.  Foxall’s granddaughter, Mary McKenney, married Charles H. Gragin (1851-1944)  .  There are photos, letters and genealogical materials relating to the Cragin family as well as a scrapbook of old newspaper clippings that belonged to Mary McKenney Cragin (an example of Victorian weltschmertz).  A late 19th century heavy silk address belonging to Helen Cragin (daughter of Charles) is also housed in this collection.  Helen wears the dress in 1898 and circa 1940 photographs found here.
Additional photographs, documents and ephemera representative of the Greenlees family (Helen Cragin married David Greenlees on November 7, 1900 at St. John’s Church in Georgetown) and the Agnew family (David’s maternal grandparents) are included.


The Foxall – McKenney – Cragin land transactions document the importance of family connections and of keeping family members living in close proximity. 
Henry Foxall (1758 - 1823) established the Columbian Foundry above Georgetown in 1797.  He dabbled in real estate in the city of Georgetown and as well as Washington City.  He owned a summer home on the six acre tract above his foundry called “Spring Hill,” a “town house” on what is now 34th Street, NW just below the C & O Canal, and various other pieces of land in both Georgetown and Washington.
Foxall’s foundry provided guns for the United States government during the War of 1812.  In recognition of American victory, and to show thanks that his property had not been destroyed by the British, Foxall deeded land for Foundry Church in Washington City in 1815.  These lots (8, 9, 10 and 11 in Square 252) were purchased by Foxall from William Dorsey for $800.00. 
As a gift for his daughter Mary Anne, who married Samuel McKinney in 1816, Foxall purchased Lots 41 and 42 in Square 73 (part of “Beall’s Addition” in Georgetown).  On these lots was constructed 3123 Dumbarton Street, NW in 1819.   On the opposite side of Square 73, Foxall bought the western half of lot 48 upon which was constructed 3122 O Street, NW. 
In this same square, Foxall also owned Lot 40 which remained vacant (and in the family) until 1879 when Charles H. Cragin and Mary McKenney Cragin (Samuel and Mary Anne’s daughter) built the house at 3127 Dumbarton Street, NW.
Samuel McKenney acquired Lots 40 and 47 in 1820.  Lot 47 had housed the Lancaster School and Lot 40 is adjacent to the Dumbarton Methodist Church.  The McKenney – Cragin heirs occupied Lot 47 (3126 O Street, NW) until 1915.  For the involvement of both Foxall and McKenney in the Dumbarton Methodist Church, see “Many Witnesses:  A History of Dumbarton United Methodist Church 1772-1990,” edited by Jane Donovan (287.6753  M295).  Both Foxall and McKenney were important members of Dumbarton Methodist Church.
The McKenneys raised eight children on Dumbarton Street, NW.  One of their daughters, Mary, who married Charles H. Cragin, continued to live on Dumbarton and remained active and prosperous in Georgetown affairs well into the 20th century. 


Folder 1

Finding aid, photocopy of portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Foxall, Foxall family tree (Foxall – McKenney – Cragin – Addison – Greenlees – Pate), Foxall house historical information, photocopy of Georgetown plat showing Square 73 with four attached photocopies of houses associated with Foxall and Cragin families. 

Folder 2

1804, February 15
Deed of sale for 1/6 part of a six acre tract of land called “Fox” from John Templeman to Henry Foxall for the amount of 103 “pounds current.”  Witness signatures include Thomas Corcoran and Thomas Peter.  Additional signature of Uriah Forrest.
1823, January 12
Land enclosure authorization for one acre granted by John Threlkeld to Rev. Henry Foxall for half a dollar a year.
1868, March 26
Five year lease for “Spring Hill” from April 1, 1868 to April 1, 1873 from John S. McKinney and Charles S. Cragin to McCarty B.. Melvin

Folder 3

1811, October 17
Deed of sale for west half of Lot 48 in Beall’s Addition (3122 O Street, NW) from William Baker and Isaac Burneston to Daniel Bussard for $300 “lawful money of the United States.”
1811, December 31
Addendum deed to above signed by Edward Johnson, mayor of Baltimore
1819, April 14
Deed of sale for west half of Lot 48 from Daniel Bussard to Henry Foxall for $2,500 “Current money.”  One of the witness signatories is Francis Scott Key, “FS Key – President of the Geo Town Lan[caster] School Society” who wrote, “by order of a resolution of the Trustees of said Society [?] 11th May 1819 and in evidence of their consent and agreement that the wall on their line adjoining the property mentioned in this deed be a party wall forever – Sep. 25, 1819.” 

Folder 4

1814, March 16
Deed transfer for Lots 8, 9, 10, and 11 in Square 252 from William Dorsey to Henry Foxall in exchange for $800.00.  In 1816 Foxall deeded over these lots located on the southwest corner of 14th and G Street, NW to Foundary Methodist Church in thanks for the sparing of his foundry during the War of 1812.

Folder 5

1831, March 17
Property survey drawn by William Bussard, Surveyor of “Geo Town,” showing Mrs. Foxall’s 34th street property and planned canal company condemnation for a 20’ wide street to be laid out along the canal.

Folder 6

McKinney family correspondence, 1833 – 1843.
1833, July 31
Letter from Samuel McKenney in George Town to Mrs. Mary Ann McKenney in Saratoga Springs, NY.
1836, January 10
Letter from Henry Foxall McKenney in George Town to mother Mrs. McKenney in Millington, MD.
1838, February 14
Letter from William Dean of George Town to Samuel McKenney about McKenney’s  speech calling for retrocession of the District of Columbia west of Rock Creek to Maryland.
1839, December
Letter from unknown McKenney in Baltimore, MD to unknown McKenney.
1843, August 3
Letter from Mary and Henry Foxall McKenney to mother Mrs. McKenney.
Pair of black & white 5” x 7” photographs of individual paintings of Samuel and Mary Ann McKenney done in 1837 by George Cooke.  Photographs donated in 1995 by Jane B. Donovan. 

Folder 7

Personal and genealogical materials related to Charles Hartwell Cragin, Jr. (1851 – 1944).
Four letters addressed to Cragin dated from 1885 to 1908.
Gelatin silver postcard (cropped) of Cragin taken at Atlantic City, NJ on August 30, 1931
1944, November 29
Copy of resolution issued by the Board of Trustees of the Linthicum Institute in tribute to the memory of Charles H. Cragin, Jr.  Addressed to his daughter, Mrs. D. A. Greenlees, 3127 Dumbarton Avenue. NW.
Circa 1940 gelatin silver photograph of Helen Cragin Greenlees (daughter of Charles H. Cragin) sitting in garden of 3127 Dumbarton Avenue, NW.  7.5” x 9.5” photograph taken by “Thornhill, DC.” 
See also Folder 9 CRAGIN for photocopy of 1898 photograph of Helen Cragin wearing the same dress in the same garden. 
See also Dress (artifact).
1937, November 23
Will of Charles H. Cragin.
Misc. Cragin family genealogy notes.
1905, May 4
Application for membership in the Maryland Society of the Colonial Dames of America for Mrs. D. A.  Greenlees.
Typed “Sacred to the Memory” sheet for Margaret Foxall, 2nd wife of Henry Foxall, who died February 10, 1816. 

Folder 8

Two manuscripts presumed to have been written by Helen Cragin Greenlees”
“Georgetown 1791-1871”
“Notes Taken From College Architecture in America” by Charles Z. Klanden & Herbert C. Wise” (dated Evermay Club, April 16, 1936) 

Folder 9

Additional family tree materials donated April 25, 2013.

  • Photo Dr. Charles H. Cragin, husband of Mary McKenney.  Built 3127 O Street, NW. 
  • Photo of Helen H. Cragin with four children taken September 2, 1888 by Mr. Hollerith.
  • Photo of Charles H. Cragin in his office in the Investment Building.
  • Eight page typed report titled “The National Junior Republic” by Elizabeth U. Cragin, March 20, 1908.
  • Three page manuscript report titled “Notes of the George Junior Republic” by Elizabeth U. Cragin, March 20, 1908
  • Photocopy of 1898 photograph of Helen Cragin wearing dress in the garden of 3127 Dumbarton Street, NW. 
  • See also Folder 7 for circa 1940 gelatin silver photograph of the married Helen Cragin Greenlees  posed in same garden and wearing the same dress. 
  • See also Dress (artifact).
  • Undated newspaper clipping announcing wedding of David Alden Greenlees and Helen Hartwell Cragin.  Article was not published in either The Washington Post of The Evening Star.
  • Photo of David Alden Greenlees and Helen Cragin Greenless on wedding trip to Atlantic City, NJ, November 10, 1900.
  • Two White House invitations issued to Mrs. Greenlees for events held on January 24, 1935 and March 16, 1936.  Invitations had been mailed to the Greenlees residence at 3127 Dumbarton Street, NW.
  • Mrs. Thomas G. Addison visiting card upon whose reverse has been written, “With love and best wishes for my sweet little niece Helen Aunt Mollie.”
  • Two cabinet studio photographs of John P. Agnew and Mrs. [Leonora?] Agnew.  Each stamped “David Greenlees.”
  • Subscriptions slip for “The Book of the Agnews. James Agnew, of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., His Race, Ancestry, and Descendants.”

11” x 13.5” scrapbook embossed on cover “Mary McKenney” (daughter of Samuel and May Ann Foxall McKenney).  Mary was the wife of Charles H. Cragin.  Contains pasted newspaper and magazine clippings dating from the mid 19th-century. 

Dress (artifact)

This heavy silk dress measuring 5” tall by 2.5’ wide belonged to Helen Cragin Greenlees.  She wears this dress as documentd in photographs taken in 1898 and circa 1940 (Folders 7 and 9).  The dress is located in the west storage room.  Smaller underlying skirt garments are located in the map flat file marked DRESS in the east storage room.

Prepared by Jerry A. McCoy
July 2015

DC Public Library Special Collections
Peabody Room
Georgetown Neighborhood Library
3260 R St. NW
Washington, DC 20007

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