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 • Prince George's County
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Sophia Brown Holmes
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Birth: 1821
District Of Columbia, USA
Death: Oct. 10, 1900
District Of Columbia, USA

Born of free parents. Married to Melchoir Holmes. She purchased his freedom. He died at the Battle of Bull Run.

Sophia was a charwoman during the Lincoln administration at the US Treasury. On Oct 10, 1862, Sophia came to clean in the evening starting with Room 2124. Near the Pennsylvania Ave exit, she saw a wooden box. It was filled with greenbacks with some of the bills $1,000 bills. She figured someone was trying to steal the money. She was afraid to tell the guard thinking he would accuse her of trying to steal with money. She didn't want to leave the room with it. So she hid the box behind some furniture and kept cleaning the room until the Secretary of the Treasury Spinner would wander by on one of his evening walks of the building. It was 2 am when Secretary Spinner finally walked by. Spinner immediately sent for officers of the Division of Issue to count the money. There was $200,000 in the box which would have been over $4.5 million dollars in 2012.

While the thief was never found, Sophia received an official commendation from President Lincoln and an executive appointment as a janitress with a salary of $660/year. She was the first African-American woman officially appointed to the US Government service.

Sophia died on the 38th anniversary of her finding the money. 
 
Burial:
National Harmony Memorial Park Cemetery
Hyattsville
Prince George's County
Maryland, USA
 
Created by: PAL
Record added: Sep 13, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 117026867
Sophia <i>Brown</i> Holmes
Cemetery Photo
Added by: lani pottle
 
 
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