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Wormley Family Genealogical Research Collection

Identifier: 065

Scope and Contents

The collection was organized by the Wormley family before it was transferred to the Library. An index was published and included in the collection. Therefore, it was decided that the collection maintain its original order. However, there are volumes listed in the index that are not present in the collection. Included with the collection are three CD-ROM discs that contain scanned images of the volumes. However, these discs are not complete. Several items are missing from the files of various volumes.

The collection consists of genealogical and historical materials on the Wormley family. Materials include slave data, census records, wills, deeds, interviews, articles, and photographs.


  • Creation: 1784-1984


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Use

No known restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

The Wormley family of Washington, D.C. is one of the most notable African American families in the history of the District of Columbia. Most notable among the family members are, James Wormley, proprietor of the Wormley Hotel, and Stanton L. Wormley, Sr., former interim President of Howard University.

James Wormley was born free in 1819 in Washington, D.C. His parents, Lynch and Mary Wormley, came to the District from Virginia in 1814 and established a carriage business. In 1871, James Wormley established the Wormley Hotel on the corner of 15th and H Streets, NW. This was the site of the “Wormley Agreement,” the name given to the Compromise of 1877 that ended the presidential disputed election of 1876 and, with the selection of Rutherford B. Hayes as President, also ended Reconstruction in the South. Wormley was also instrumental in making sure that Congress provided appropriate funding to the D.C. public schools.

Stanton L. Wormley, Sr. was born in Washington, D.C. in 1909. He attended Howard University and was a member of the ROTC and the Glee Club. Stanton, Sr. also studied in Germany and was the leader of the Virginia State Glee Club. He then became a member of the faculty at Howard University and, in 1965, was eventually named interim President after University President James M. Nabrit, Jr. was appointed U.S. Representative to the United Nations by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

There are many members of note in the Wormley family, as well as those who married into the family. Among these are Francis L. Cardozo, former Secretary of State and state treasurer of South Carolina, and a leader in the public schools of Washington, D.C., including principal of present-day Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.


4.5 Linear feet


Series 1: Miscellaneous Information
Series 2: Individuals and Family Groups
Series 3: Genealogical Information and Charts
Series 4: Photographs
Series 5: Supplemental Volumes

Custodial History

Members of the Wormley family compiled this collection including: Stanton L. Wormley, Sr., Stanton L. Wormley, Jr. and Paul E. Sluby, Sr. Each volume was originally housed in a photo album or binder. The items were transferred to the Library in April 2006.

Related Materials

Copies of the materials in this collection can be found at the Virginia State Library Library of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia and with the Stanton L. Wormley, Jr. family.

Cleveland ( Ohio) Public Library, African-American Family Photograph Collection: The Wormley/Graves Photograph Collection, 1930-1979.

Processing Information

Basic archival processing procedures were applied to the collection when it was processed.

Wormley Family
An inventory of Wormley Family Genealogical Research at DC Public Library
Finding aid prepared by Ryan P. Semmes.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001