Join Lil’ Maceo for an intimate Sunday Brunch at the amazing 1799 Prime Steak & Seafood. Great Music, Great Food, and Wonderful Atmosphere.
1799 Prime Steak & Seafood is rooted in the rich history of the Quander family. Documented from the 1670s, the Quander family is one of the oldest documented African American families that have come from African ancestry to present-day America. Historians have not found records of any other African American family whose ancestry has been consistently kept and published from that date and early period.
In researching the family lineage, records showed that the majority of the Quander family resides in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC. The family can trace their lineage almost 350 years into the 1670s in Colonial Maryland. A branch of the family eventually was placed at Mount Vernon in Virginia as the enslaved servants of President George Washington.
The Quanders originated from the Fanti tribe in Ghana, West Africa. A man by the name of Egya Amkwandoh was kidnapped during the African slave trade in the late 17th century and was apparently transported to the Maryland colony. It is thought that when slave owners asked for his name, the reply “Amkwandoh,” was misinterpreted as “I am Quando.” The next few generations of Quanders went by the name Quando rather than Quander. Other variations used included Quandoe and Kwando. The name became recognized as the present-day pronunciation “Quander” during the early 19th century.
It is believed that Egya Amkwandoh had two sons, who were both taken away from him and split up. One son resided in Maryland and the other son resided in Virginia. The first known records of the “Quando” family existing as free people come from the Maryland side, specifically, the family of Henry Quando. Henry Adams, the enslaver, from Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland, provided for Quando’s freedom in his will on October 13, 1684. Further, the descendants of Quandos/Quanders that currently reside in Virginia are widely believed to be related to George Washington.
As the family ancestry continues to unfold, Nancy Carter Quander and her mother Sukey Bay were among the slaves who worked as spinners and cloth makers at River Farm, one of George Washington’s five farms that constituted the Mount Vernon Plantation and Estate. Nancy began her work at about age 13.
George Washington’s will provided for the manumission and freedom of his 123 enslaved but postponed their release until Martha’s death. George Washington died on December 14, “1799.” Finally, the significance of the naming of 1799 Prime Steak & Seafood is revealed. On the first anniversary of George Washington’s death, Martha Washington elected to sign a deed of manumission, the effect of which released and fully freed Washington’s enslaved on January 1, 1801. On that date, Nancy Carter, who shortly thereafter married Charles Quander, a free Black man, was fully emancipated. Remaining in the Mount Vernon area, Nancy Quander was among the eleven free people reported in the Alexandria Gazette in 1835, as attending the tombstone and landscape at Washington’s grave. To the reporter’s inquiry, the group noted that they were paying their respects and attributed their loyalty to George Washington, whom they claimed to have been like a father.
So, as I pondered the thought of naming the 1799 Steak & Seafood Restaurant, my first thought was thinking of life’s goals and achievements. The longer I pondered on this thought, the memories of my forefathers and their life struggles to ensure a healthy lifestyle for their family occurred to me. In order for my forefathers to achieve a healthy lifestyle, I required the instructions of others to direct their potential pathway. That pathway has led me to establish 1799 Prime Steak & Seafood.
– Jahmond Quander