Cemeteries

Cemeteries
The following cemeteries are not all historically African American cemeteries but places where African Americans are buried.
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African American Heritage Park
Duke and Holland Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

    

Located between Duke Street and Holland Lane in Alexandria, Virginia, the Alexandria African American Heritage Park is made up of nine acres, eight of which surround a one acre 19th century African American cemetery. The cemetery has 21 burials sites, six of which have identifying headstones and are in their original locations.
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PICTURES:

L, M/L, M:
African American Heritage Park. M/R, R: Remaining grave markers in the park, (Mary Rome, born February 15, 1858 and died January 15, 1899 and Matilda Gaines, born 1821 and died September 23, 1897 at the age of 76.) 
Pictures taken June 7, 2008.
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SOURCES:

Site Visit
African American Heritage Park. Alexandria, VA. 7 Jun. 2008.
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SUBMITTED: June 15, 2008.
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African Burial Ground National Monument
290 Broadway
Manhattan, New York 10007
212-637-2019

 
 
African Burial Ground National Monument

Link to the Past

The stories of the burial ground teach us how free and enslaved Africans contributed to the physical and spiritual development of Lower Manhattan during the 17th and 18th centuries. In addition, this history reveals how New York played a critical role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Africans were separated from their families and subjected to a voyage across the Atlantic in closely packed ships where disease, abuse and death were common.

The Africans in New York came from diverse areas with different cultures, languages and religions. They combined the traditions from their homelands with new world customs.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, more than one quarter of the labor force was enslaved. These Africans worked on the docks, farmed, provided domestic labor, milled and were involved in other trades that were critical to the development of early New York.

The first eleven enslaved men were brought to the colony of New Amsterdam, today Lower Manhattan, by the Dutch West India Company in 1626. Under the Dutch Company, the enslaved men were able to gain conditional freedom; these men could own property, file grievances, be baptized, and marry. In 1644, they petitioned and successfully won partial freedom. In this act, they received 100 acres of land which was referred to as the Land of the Blacks. Although it put them and their wives at liberty as a reward for their many years of service and granted them land for cultivation, the measure required that the men pay for their freedom each year by providing thirty skepels of maize or wheat, peas or beans, and one fat hog to the Dutch West India Company. Additionally, the men were required to work for wages whenever they were needed. The men would be returned to a life of enslavement if they failed to meet these conditions. Even more disturbing, their children (born or yet to be born) remained enslaved. In 1664, the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam was renamed New York when the British took control of the colony. In New York, laws governing enslaved and free Africans were more restrictive than they had been under Dutch rule. Under this system of disenfranchisement and oppression, by the 1720's, no black families lived in the Land of the Blacks because the British eventually prohibited Africans from owning land. In response to these unjust laws, there was a slave revolt in 1712. In 1741, a rumor of a slave revolt led to the execution of two white men, two white women, and thirty black men.

The New York Manumission Society was founded in 1785 to end slavery, and opened the first African Free School in 1787. Then, in 1794, the New York African Society formed as the first black benevolent association to organize burials as well as provide medical and unemployment insurance. Other organizations in the late 1700s and early 1800s that used the title "African" included the NY African Society, Mother Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, NY African Mutual Relief Society, African Grove Society, Infant African School and NY African Mutual Instruction Society. In 1827, New York became the next to last northern state to abolish slavery.

Men, women, and children from Africa died every day of malnutrition, physical strain, punishment, and diseases such as yellow fever and small pox, in colonial New York. Family members and community members came to the African Burial Ground to bury their love one with dignity and respect, in ceremonies rich with traditions. The burial ground's rediscovery inspired research on the lives and countries of origin of these Africans revealing the diversity of their cultures, and their transformation in the Americas. It is estimated that nearly 15,000 Africans are buried within the 6.6 acre site, which mostly lies hidden beneath present day buildings, streets and sidewalks today.

On February 27, 2006 a portion of the African Burial Ground was established as a National Monument by Presidential Proclamation. A memorial has been constructed on the National Monument site where local, national, and international communities honor and celebrate this sacred and historic area.

Sankofa, a West African Akan symbol represents the site. It tells us that in order to inform the future we must return to our roots to gather wisdom.

Rediscovery

T
he Archaeological Excavation in Lower Manhattan

The African Burial Ground was uncovered during the pre-construction phase of 290 Broadway. Less than an acre of the 6.6 acre historical cemetery was excavated between 1991 and 1992. However, a research design plan for the study and care of the remains had not yet been established. Efforts of concerned citizens, politicians, anthropologists, scientists and historians, including petitions and a 24-hour vigil, eventually led Congress to halt this excavation. A total of 419 African ancestral remains were removed from the cemetery. The ancestral remains were later transferred to the Cobb Laboratory located at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Reinternment Burial Coffins

On October 4, 2003 419 ancestral remains were reinterred in the African Burial Ground in hand carved mahogany coffins lined with kente cloth from Ghana. The six-day ceremony began September 30, 2003 at Howard University where thousands attended a departure ceremony. The ceremonies continued in six cities: Baltimore, Maryland; Wilmington, Delaware; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey; and New York City. Each participating city commemorated the lives, culture, and invaluable role of Africans as colony builders in the Northeastern United States.
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PICTURES:

Top L, M, R:
Views of memorial.
Bottom L: Views of memorial. M, R: Views of burial plot for reinterred slaves. Pictures taken May 24, 2009.

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SOURCES:

Internet
"African Burial Ground." africanburialground.gov/ABG_Main.htm, Web. 1 May 2010.

Pamphlet
National Park Service, African American Burial Ground National Museum Pamphlet. Print.

Site Visit
African Burial Ground National Monument Tour. Manhattan, NY. 24 May 2009.
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SUBMITTED: May 25, 2009.
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Alexandria National Cemetery
1450 Wilkes Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


                       

Established in 1862, the Alexandria National Cemetery is one of the original National Cemeteries. By 1864, it was nearly full which led to the planning, development and construction of Arlington National Cemetery.

Notables interred in the Alexandria National Cemetery include five
Buffalo Soldiers from the 9th and 10th US Cavalry and the 24th Infantry. Also buried here are four men members of the Quartermaster Corps who were involved in the search for John Wilkes Booth.
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PICTURED:

Entrance to the Alexandria National Cemetery. Pictures taken October 15, 2008.
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SOURCES:

Internet
"Cemeteries - Alexandria National Cemetery, VA." cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/alexandriava.asp, Web. 14 Jun. 2009.

Site Visit
Alexandria National Cemetery Tour. Alexandria, VA. 15 Oct. 2009.
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SUBMITTED: October 16, 2008.
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Allegheny Cemetery
4734 Butler Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
412-622-2000


  
Located in Pittsburgh, PA, Allegheny Cemetery is the resting place for several notable African Americans including: Marcus P. Blakemore, Co-Founder of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; Theodore R. "Ted" Page, Outfielder for Negro League baseball teams the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords; Outfielder for the Negro League Pittsburgh Crawfords, Harold Tinker; Stanley Turrentine, jazz tenor saxophonist and William "Gus" Greenlee, owner of the Negro League Baseball team Pittsburgh Crawfords and owner of Crawford Bar and GrillJoshua "Josh" Gibson considered one of the greatest home run hitters in Negro League and Major League Baseball.
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PICTURES:

L:
History plaques. M: Cemetery entrance front view. R: Cemetery entrance back view. Pictures taken June 19,
2010.

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SOURCES:

Internet
"Allegheny Cemetery." findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=44305, Web. 19 Jun. 2010.

Interview
Davis, Mark. Allegheny Cemetery. Pittsburgh, PA. 19 Jun. 2010.

Site Visit
Cemetery Tour. Allegheny Cemetery. Pittsburgh, PA. 19 Jun. 2010.
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SUBMITTED: November 27, 2010.
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Eden Cemetery Company
1434 Springfield Road
Collingdale, PA 19023
610-583-8737

 
The following information provided by Eden Cemetery:

HISTORIC EDEN CEMETERY COMPANY

AMERICA'S OLDEST AFRICAN-AMERICAN PUBLIC CEMETERY COMPANY
Established 1902

The History of Eden Cemetery

Eden's creation was a cumulative effort. It was the original idea of its founder and organizer, Jerome Bacon. Bacon was a teacher at the Institute for Colored Youth on Bainbridge near Ninth Street, which was later renamed Cheyney State College. In 1900 most African Americans in Philadelphia lived in the SP Ward, an area examined in W.E.B. DuBois' study, The Philadelphia Negro.

As the city's population increased, "neighborhood" cemeteries were condemned due to improvements in sanitary and sewage systems. Out of respect for those currently interred and to provide a future resting place for African Americans, Bacon discussed with his contemporaries a plan for a unified African American cemetery. Eden's first president, J. C. Asbury; first manager, Daniel W. Parvis; first treasurer, Martin Lehmann; and first vice president, Charles Jones, agreed with Bacon on a fifty-three acre plot in Collingdale, Pennsylvania. The area was selected because of its proximity to Philadelphia, beautiful landscape, size and availability.

Unknown to Collingdale residents, magistrates agreed to grant a charter to the company, which J. C. Asbury executed. Bacon and the board members agreed with Jacob White, the president of Lebanon Cemetery, located at Passyunk near Ninth Street, to re-inter all remains in Eden in 1903. However, the sudden death of Celestine Cromwell, wife of advisor member, Willis M. Cromwell, in August of 1902, hastened the need for a place of interment for African Americans. Bacon, J.C. Asbury and undertaker, J. T. Seth, convinced all of the board members that Celestine Cromwell should be the first interred in Eden Cemetery.

On August 11, 1902, before the first interment was to take place, some of the white Collingdale residents blocked the entrance to the cemetery, protesting the interment of African Americans in their community. Mrs. Cromwell's body was returned to Philadelphia. The following evening, on August 12, 1902, after dark, Mrs. Cromwell was buried.

In January, 1903, all remains from Labanon Cemetery were interred in Eden. In the spring, the remains from the Stephen Smith Home Cemetery were interred. In 1923, the remains from Olive Cemetery, which was adjacent to the Stephen Smith Home, were also buried in Eden.

Celestine, Lebanon, Home and Olive are the original four sections. Eden Cemetery would later expand to 23 sections. In 1924, the mortgage was satisfied and for many years, annual distribution of stock share dividends were paid to over 200 stockholders. Eden Cemetery is on the Historical Register and is the resting place of hundreds of prominent national and local 'old Philadelphian' African Americans. Today, there are over 85,000 interred. By Benjamin Wilson.

Notable African Americans interned at Eden Cemetery include: Amos Scott - First African American Magistrate for Philadelphia. Jesse Fauset - First African American woman to become a member of First Phi Beta Kappa, author and teacher. Chris J. Perry - Founder of The Philadelphia Tribune, oldest running African American newspaper. William Still and his wife Letitia - Author of "The Underground Railroad". Dr. Caroline Still-Anderson - Philadelphia's First Black female physician and daughter of William and Letitia Still. Dr. Rebecca Cole - female physician. John Taylor - First African American to win an Olympic Gold Medal. Ms. Caroline Lecound - Principal of O.V. Catto School. Francis Harper - Author, lecturer and abolitionist. Mrs. Henrietta S. Bowers-Duterte - One of the first female, African American Undertakers in Pennsylvania. Nellie Bright - Teacher, Ph.D., University of Penn Graduate. Marion Anderson - Renowned Opera Singer. Reverend. Rev. Charles Albert Tindley - One of the founding fathers of American gospel music. Octavius Valentine Catto - educator and civil rights activist.

Unfortunately the cemetery has been vandalized by juveniles who, as reported by Ms. Cockroft, don’t want the cemetery in the predominantly white neighborhood.
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PICTURES:

L:
Entrance to Eden Cemetery. Eden Cemetery Company, 1434 Springfield Road, Collingdale, PA 19023. Contact Ms. Mina Cockroft, Family Services Director, 610-583-8738. M and R: Example of cemetery vandalism.  Pictures taken April 30, 2009.
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SOURCES:

Internet
"Eden Cemetery." findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=44744Web. 20 Apr. 2009.

Interview
Cockroft, Mina. Eden Cemetery. Eden Cemetery Office. Collingdale, PA. April 30, 2009.

Site Visit
Eden Cemetery Tour. Collingdale, PA. 30 Apr. 2009.
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SUBMITTED: April 30, 2009.
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Elmwood Cemetery
600 Martin Luther King Jr Drive
Birmingham, AL 35211-2849
205- 251-3114

Established in 1900 as Elm Leaf Cemetery by a group of fraternal organizations, Elmwood Cemetery is the resting place for Carol Denise McNair, killed in the bombing of the16th Street Baptist Church; Eddie Kendricks, co-founder of the Temptations, and Sun Ra  jazz composer, band leader and philosopher.
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PICTURED:

Elmwood Cemetery. Picture taken August 4, 2009.
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SOURCES:

Internet
"Elmwood Cemetery." findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=22674,  Web. 17 Jul. 2009.

Site Visit
Elmwood Cemetery Tour. Birmingham, AL. 4 Aug. 2009.
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SUBMITTED: August 24, 2009.
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Evergreen Cemetery
Evergreen Road
Richmond, Virginia 23223

  

Evergreen Cemetery established in 1891, was created as a burial place for African Americans that would rival the historic Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. Notable African Americans buried in Evergreen include Maggie Walker, first woman president of a bank.

Directly behind the entrance to the cemetery is a well maintained burial area made up several acres. The largest part of the cemetery, however, is severely overgrown and in need of maintenance. Many if not most of the graves in the cemetery can not be seen due to the extreme overgrowth.

Update March 6, 2016: Currently Evergreen Cemetery is well maintained and in much better condition.
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PICTURES:

L
: Entrance to Evergreen Cemetery. M/L: Close up of the entrance sign. M/R: Maggie Walker's family plot. In the background can be seen the extreme level of overgrowth throughout much of the cemetery. R: Sign at the entrance to Evergreen Road. Pictures taken September 19, 2008.
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SOURCES:

Internet
"Evergreen Cemetery." findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&GRid=9104631&CRid=50175&, Web. 10 Aug. 2008.

Site Visit
Evergreen Cemetery. Richmond, VA. 19 Sept. 2008.
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SUBMITTED: October 7, 2008.
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Freedmen's Cemetery Demolition and Archaeological Investigation
South Washington and Church Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

   
Written on the Freedmen's Cemetery History Marker are the words:

Federal authorities established a cemetery here for newly freed African Americans during the Civil War. In January 1864, the military government of Alexandria confiscated for use as a burring ground an abandoned pasture from a family with confederate sympathies. About 1,700 freed people including infants and black Union Soldiers were interred here before the last recorded burial in January of 1869. Most of the deceased had resided in what is known as today as Old Town and in nearby rural settlements. Despite mid twentieth century construction projects, many burials remain undisturbed. A list of those interred here has also survived.

View the names of people buried in Freedom’s Cemetery, 
freedmenscemetery.org/burials/burials.pdf.

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PICTURES:

L:
Freedmen's Cemetery History Sign. M/L: Project description sign. M/R and R: Freedman's Cemetery. 
Pictures taken June 2, 2008.
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SOURCES:

Internet
"Freedmen's Cemetery." alexandriava.gov/link/redir.pxe?www.freedmenscemetery.org, Web. 2 Jun. 2008.

Pamphlet
The Dedication of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial. Alexandria, VA. Print.

Site Visit
Freedmen's Cemetery. Alexandria, VA. 2 Jun. 2008, July 26, 2014, September 5, 2014 and September 6, 2014.
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SUBMITTED: June 2, 2008.
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Continued next section.           

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Freedmen's Cemetery Demolition and Archaeological Investigation
South Washington and Church Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
           






 
On September 6, 2014, the dedication of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial was held to honor and recognize the lives, struggles and journey to freedom of those memorialized at the Freedmen's Cemetery.
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PICTURES:

Freedmen's Cemetery. Pictures taken July 26, 2014, September 5, 2014 and September 6, 2014.
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SOURCES:

Internet
"Freedmen's Cemetery." alexandriava.gov/link/redir.pxe?www.freedmenscemetery.org, Web. 2 Jun. 2008.

Pamphlet
The Dedication of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial. Alexandria, VA. Print.

Site Visit
Freedmen's Cemetery. Alexandria, VA. 2 Jun. 2008.
Freedmen's Cemetery. Alexandria, VA. 26 Jul. 2014.
Freedmen's Cemetery. Alexandria, VA. 5 Sep. 2014.
Freedmen's Cemetery. Alexandria, VA. 6 Sep. 2014.
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SUBMITTED: September 6, 2014.
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Greenwood Cemetery
Aviation Avenue
(Next to the Airport)
Birmingham, Alabama 35212

Located in this cemetery are three of the four little girls killed on September 15, 1963 while attending church at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama: *Addie Mae Collins, Carole Rosamond Robertson and Cynthia Wesley. Carol Denise McNair is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama.

*Family members sought to have Addie’s coffin moved to a different cemetery, one better maintained than Greenwood Cemetery. When her body was exhumed and the casket opened, it was discovered that her remains were not inside. Both sisters, Sarah Collins Rudolph and Junie Collins (Peavy) Williams said that they do not know what happened to their sister’s body and that they have made efforts to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Addie's body.
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PICTURED:

History Marker in front of cemetery.  Picture taken August 4, 2009.
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SOURCES:

Site Visit
Greenwood Cemetery. Birmingham, AL. 4 Aug. 2009.
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SUBMITTED: August 15, 2009.
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Lincoln Memorial Cemetery
4001 Suitland Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746
301-568-8410

Established in 1929, Lincoln Memorial Cemetery is the resting place of many prominent African Americans including Nannie Helen Burroughs, Len Bias, Dr. Charles Drew, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Van McCoy, Sam Lacey, Mary Church Terrell, Walter Washington, Joseph "Smokey Joe" Williams, Dr. Kelly Miller and Joseph A. Walker Jr.
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PICTURED:

Lincoln Memorial Cemetery Entrance.  Picture taken February 17, 2009.
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SOURCES:

Internet
"Lincoln Memorial Cemetery." findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=81143,   Web. 12 Feb. 2009.

Site Visit
Lincoln Memorial Cemetery Tour. Suitland, MD. 17 Feb. 2009.
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SUBMITTED: February 20, 2009.
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New
Auburn Cemetery, Inc.
2630 Waterview Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-547-0337

    
   
  

Update: On March 18, 2016, I revisited Mt. Auburn Cemetery, formerly known as "The City of the Dead for Colored People", and was amazed by the progress made in maintaining this historic African American cemetery. Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services used state prison inmates to restore the cemetery, in large degree, to its former grandeur.  A rededication ceremony was held in May of 2012.

Inscribed 
on the Mt. Auburn Cemetery History Marker are the words:

"Oldest cemetery for African Americans in Baltimore, founded 1872 by Rev. James Peck, Pastor and Trustees of Sharp Street Methodist Episcopal Church. Dating to 1787 the congregation served the community and was influential in the freedom movement of the 19th century and the civil rights movement of the 20th century. Here rest former slaves, clergy professionals, business owners and thousands of African American families."

Notable African Americans buried here include Joseph Gans, World Lightweight Champion.

This historical cemetery is in great need of care. There appears to be a small group of people that maintain a part of the cemetery. Most of it is severely overgrown.
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PICTURES:

First L:
History Marker. M/L and M/R: Entrance to cemetery.  R: Example overgrowth throughout the cemetery. Pictures taken September 7, 2008.
Second and Third: Mt. Auburn Cemetery after maintenance.

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SOURCES:

Internet
"Mt. Auburn Cemetery." findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=81204, Web. 1 Sep. 2008.

"Baltimore's oldest black cemetery finally restored, with help of inmates." BaltimoreSun.com, http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2012-05-14/news/bs-md-inmate-cemetery-restoration-20120514_1_south-baltimore-mount-auburn-cemetery-inmates, Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

"Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland."  AfricanAmericanCemeteries.comhttp://africanamerican
cemeteries.com/md/md-mtauburn.html
,  Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

Baltimore’s Historic Mount Auburn Cemetery Gets Spruced Up."  BaltimoreCBSLocal.com   http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2012/05/14/baltimores-historic-mount-auburn-cemetery-gets-spruced-up/, Web.  22 Mar. 2016.

Site Visit
Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Baltimore, MD. 18 Mar. 2016
Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Baltimore, MD. 7 Sep. 2008
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SUBMITTED: September 7, 2008. Updated March 26, 2016.
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West Point Monument
Norfolk’s Civil War African American Heritage
West Point Section of Elmwood Cemetery
238 Princess Anne Road
Norfolk, VA 23510
757-441-2653


   
  
Inscribed on the Virginia Civil War Trails History Marker are the words:

West Point Monument   

Norfolk’s Civil War African American Heritage

The memorial before you, the West Point Monument, was built in 1909 as attribute to African American veterans of the Civil War and Spanish-American War. James A. Fuller, a former slave and veteran of the 1st U.S. Colored Calvary, led the effort to erect this monument. Fuller was Norfolk’s first African American councilman, and he successfully lobbied for the establishment of this section of Elmwood, named West Point as a burial ground for Norfolk’s African American citizens. The cornerstone of the Soldiers, Monument was laid by William Fuller in 1908, however, the monument was not completed until 1920. When the monument was finally unveiled, it was the first memorial to African American soldiers in Virginia.

The Civil War soldier depicted on the West Point Monument is Norfolk native Sergeant William H. Carney of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment. While his parents were born slaves, they secured their freedom and left Norfolk with their son for New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1855. Carney enlisted in the 54th Massachusetts 1862, and fought with his regiment during the July 18 1863, attack on Fort Wagner, South Carolina. When the color bearers were shot down in the failed assault, Carney, despite being severely wounded, managed to save the U.S. flag from capture. “When they saw me bringing in the colors,” Carney recollected, “they cheered me, and I was able to tell them that the old flag never touched the ground.” Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor for his extraordinary bravery under fire. He was the first of sixteen African American soldiers to receive the Medal of Honor during the Civil War. Sgt. Carney’s stone figure solemnly stands today as a tribute to the 100 African American veterans at rest in West Point Cemetery.

Carney was one of about 200,000 African American soldiers and sailors to serve the Union during the Civil War. The Union could not avoid using African Americans to aid its war effort. Each former slave serving with a weapon or as a laborer lessened the South’s ability to maintain its economy and fight the larger Federal army. Consequently, Congress passed the Militia Act of July 17, 1862, authorizing President Lincoln to organize African Americans “for any military or naval service for which they may have been found competent.” This act coupled with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, opened the door to African Americans not only seeking their freedom, but also helping to release those still held in bondage. As one former slave wrote: “This was the biggest thing that ever happened in my life, I felt like a man with a uniform on and a gun in my hand. I felt freedom in my bones.”

“Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, U.S., let him get an eagle upon his button and a musket on his shoulder… and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship in the United States.” - Frederick Douglass.
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PICTURES:

L:
West Point Monument. M/L, M/R, R.
Bottom L, M/L, M/R:
Plaques. R: Virginia Civil War Trail Sign. 
Pictures taken March 6, 2010.
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SOURCES:

Site Visit
West Point Cemetery. Norfolk, VA. 6 Mar. 2010.
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SUBMITTED: March 28, 2010.
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Woodland Cemetery
2300 Magnolia Road
Richmond, VA 23223
804-643-4702


Established 1916. As far back as the early 1900's, Woodland Cemetery was known as a prestigious place of interment for African Americans. In her book, Here I Lay My Burdens Down: A history of Black cemeteries in Richmond, Virginia, Veronica Davis reported that in the early 1900's a cemetery plot in Woodland sold for $15.00 to $250.00, a large sum of money in the early 1900's.

Buried in Woodland are many of Richmond's black elite including John Jasper, Founder, first Reverend of Sixth Mt. Zion Baptist Church, philosopher, and orator. He was authorized by the United States Freedman's Bureau, along with several other black ministers to legalize slave marriages. (Before the Civil War, slave marriages were not recognized as being legal.) Also buried in Woodland is Arthur Ashe Jr. - tennis great and many doctors, dentists, bank officers, church leaders and Mary Elizabeth Bowsera female African American spy for the Union.

Woodland cemetery is maintained by Isaiah Entzminger and a small staff. With the exception of a very small number of donations made by friends of the cemetery, Mr. Entzminger personally pays for the upkeep of the cemetery.
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PICTURED:
 
Woodland Cemetery, 2300 Magnolia Road, Richmond, VA 23223. Contact Mr. Isaiah Entzminger, 804-643-4702.  Picture taken September 19, 2008.
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SOURCES:

Internet
"Woodland Cemetery." findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&GRid=1662&CRid=641499&, Web. 12 Feb. 2009.

Lectures
Entzminger, Isaiah. Woodland Cemetery. Richmond, VA. 19 Sept. 2008. Discussion.

Books
Davis, Veronica A. "Here I lay My Burdens Down." Richmond: Dietz, 2003. Print.

Site Visit
Woodland Cemetery Tour. Norfolk, VA.19 Sept. 2008.
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SUBMITTED: October 1, 2008.
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All pictures taken by Percy White and are the property of FindFamilyRoots.com unless otherwise indicated.

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