The Negro Burial Grounds



detail from the De Witt map of 1790The only reference to this place is on an engraving of a city map made by State Surveyor General Simeon De Witt and dated 1790. The same map shows the first municipal cemetery located a few hundred feet to the south. That cemetery was divided by churches and included some family plots - but none for the city's Afro Albanian minority that numbered almost 600 people at that time.

Although subsequent maps in our Graphics Archive reveal that the plot was never gridded-out for development, the location was not marked as a burial place on any subsequent historical cartography. Its location appears to have been on the edge of the ridge overlooking the Foxes Creek Ravine.

The Washington Park cemetery opened during the early 1800s and did include a plot reserved for to "Colored" people. Those graves were among the stones removed to Albany Rural Cemetery and re-set in a separate part of Albany Rural as the African Methodist Episcopal Church plot.In 1866, a listing was made of the relocated graves.

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posted: 12/1/03; last revised 3/22/04