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The Forgotten Burial Slaves -- From Pittsburgh to Down South

Updated on September 6, 2013

Driving through Western PA, looking for inspiration...

Pine Grove, Black Cemetery
Pine Grove, Black Cemetery | Source
Source

6 millions before the Holocaust...

Since 1624, when the first slaves arrived in New Amsterdam, New York after 1664, there have been an estimated 6 million burials that were unaccounted for. People that fell on the hands of traders and were sent to America as Human Cargo. My driving toward Pittsburgh, and my mind tipped me off on this subject. Doing the proper research, I was ashamed myself for the unjust treatment toward our friends' ancestors. Sorry Chris Brown, now I understand that rage. Not even mentioning the other 'Brown.'


HiGHWAYS AND SWAMPS

So where are the cemeteries from that people? Mostly were erected on the corner of the Master's land, with no names but just a simple rock or simple stakes. Afraid and with just a new language, this Slaves did what they could to bury their dead. If you see me driving and feeling the breeze, I felt their pain and lack of freedom. I was driving at 70 miles/hour, but back in 1640, they could only walk to the nearest barn or a Church of their own. I saw an scenery created freely by God. As simple as it could appear, driving away to another state, was in the imagination of a sorcerer, and they wouldn't have come with me for the ride. Seeing cars around them, the uninvited slave would've open the door and run for his life.


A link to 90,000 families that have records of obituaries.

Presently, They have documented over 90,000 African-American family histories through cemetery records and obituaries : www.blackcemeteries.com

Sadly, some have been found, but...

  • Manhattan 1991- Workers excavating land for a Federal building found the first skeletal remains from 400 men, women and children. By October full-scale excavation for the construction of the Foley Square Project had already begun.Before Greenwich Village, there was this undesired quarter near Wall St. The remains were reburied at the site

  • Dallas Texas, Early 1990's-- The remains of at least 1,157 19th Century African Americans and Former slaves were accidentally found on a 1 acre plot, when they were ready to make way for a Highway, said James Davidson, A University of Florida Anthropologist, who led the discovery.

  • Carleston S.C., 2 years ago-- Historians found at least 10 African-American Burial sites within the boundaries of the city, Said Michae trinkley, Director of the Tricora Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to Cemetery preservation. Mostly these sites are covered with landfill and paved over.

  • New Orleans,Mississippi River elbow--This grassy area held no trace of the people buried underneath. Being 20 miles west of New Orleans, there was no way to find a simple sign. marker, less a tombstone. But 300 former slaves buried in two cemeteries, were unearthed. Only a handful of great grand parents knew they ever existed.

The lucky ones that could afford a tombstone

During the Civil war, Many slaves joint the Union Forces, and some had a decent burial.

Two years after that great flood of New Orleans, back in 1927, the Army corps purchased the swamped areas-- about 7,000 acres, and turned into the Bonnet-carre Spillway, to alleviate the pressure of a rising Mississippi, to prevent a new flooding, like in 2005. It's not well known if the Corps Oficials knew about some cemeteries, with no names or landmarks. Around 1975, workers that were cleaning a corner of the spillway, unearthed a chunk of a marble headstone, casket pieces and human remains. The Headstone belonged to Sanders Ray, a former slave that joined the Union Army.

Records told us that he belonged to Company H 10th Colored Heavy artillery unit. He was given a military burial and was the link to find others cemeteries, thanks to Ray's descendants lead. The Corps has decided to erect an informational placard, and plant rows of bushes and live Oak trees. Descendants wanted the Cemetery stay as it was, but applauded the Corp's efforts.

Forgotten human lives under the silt and Centenial mud, should be recognized as the people that really helped to build this country. There are so many unmarked burials that your old neighbor might have heard of, and kept it as a tale... unless you could've made a move and shared it.

Comments

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  • Lord De Cross profile image
    Author

    Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

    I will Davenmidtown. You have 're-opened' files that certain figures want to keep it in the past. Thanks for those tips.

    LORD

  • davenmidtown profile image

    David Stillwell 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

    They are mostly on the east coast... the irish, etc. There is a path that follows where the immigrants landed and how work flowed. Many were killed simply so that they did not have to be paid and their deaths blamed on Cholera. The Indians...between the trail of tears and the small pox blankets, the graves of thousands weep the tears of long over due justice. The railroad and the Chinese slaves is another tragedy of American history... you should check out the poetry on Angel Island. I could go on and on...

  • Lord De Cross profile image
    Author

    Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

    Hi Dave,

    Will have to travel myself to California back in 1849, and see myself amid Irish, Japanese, Indian and our Black fellows. I would be finding lots of hidden secrets; animosity between the races and unheard of shallow graves. You gave me some ideas in here! Thanks!

    LORD

  • davenmidtown profile image

    David Stillwell 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

    Wait until you begin to discover the Irish and old world tombs and graves... much the same as you have written here but include the railroad and other large corporation of the time..... voted up and interesting.

  • Lord De Cross profile image
    Author

    Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

    Thanks for stopping by Tammy sweet thing,

    History in the making as we could say now. There are more sites down south that eventually will be unearthed, by accident, act of nature or pure luck. Thanks again for your support. Yeah, was driving near Altoona PA.

    LORD

  • tammyswallow profile image

    Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

    This is a sad testament to how human beings can be so cruel and treat others like they are disposable. Sometimes humans can be so deplorable. Very interesting hub and video of my old stomping ground.

  • Lord De Cross profile image
    Author

    Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

    Good Morning Eddy,

    I found this topic by accident and did my research. Bobbi was right, people who called themselves christians did this despicable act 'contra natura.' There was no excuse to behave this way, but I guess what they did back in the days, was 'normal.' Washington owned a plantation with slaves, and even Thomas Jefferson fathered kids with a woman of color. Thanks for stopping by Eddy.

    LORD

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

    This is so very interesting lord. I have without a doubt learnt more history from the hubs of others on here. than I have from anywhere else.

    Great Work;take care and enjoy your day.

    Eddy.

  • Lord De Cross profile image
    Author

    Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

    Hi Gypsy Rose,

    These cemeteries were almost clandestine, since there was a big difference between the servant that was born slave and the Master, that was buried right behind the Church. Like Barbara Purvis said it,'they considered themselves Christian,' having denigrated their fellow man. Is sickening just commenting because the sin... or the damage was already done.

    LORD

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    It's a wonder that no one cared enough to consider setting aside a plot of land just for the purpose of slave burials. Land was plentiful and would that really hurt anyone. But no do what you want. What could they possibly have wanted walked about looking for a place to die. It's no wonder that there are many recorded hauntings that involve African-Americans.

  • Lord De Cross profile image
    Author

    Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

    I'm learning to appreciate beauty in your words and your soul Southern Belle friend. Glad to have met a friend like you. Still up and creating... is a love btween us and HP. Have a nice night friend!

    LORD

  • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

    PurvisBobbi44 6 years ago from Florida

    Lord,

    This is so deplorable, inhuman and totally sickening--- I hope the ones who did this suffered before they died.

    And what makes me even more despondent--- I am sure some of these act were performed by people who call themselves Christians.

    I voted up and interesting.

    Lord, I am learning so much from your hubs---and I thought I knew American History--but I am still learning.

    Thanks,

    Bobbi

  • Civil War Bob profile image

    Civil War Bob 6 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

    Lord, a guy from NJ told me insiders know Hoffa made it into SPAM cans, not under the stadium, so I guess his suggestion sunk in! ;)

  • Lord De Cross profile image
    Author

    Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

    Maxoxam41,

    If I tell you that These Slave traders used to push the weak ones into the ocean, on their way to the land of the Free? Insurance would cover for the value of that human being. Only in America? I just got that message from a witch, at another back linking site. No wonder the Bermuda Triangle is so enigmatic..!

    LORD

  • Lord De Cross profile image
    Author

    Joseph De Cross 6 years ago

    You didn't mention Jimmy Hoffa in NJ Bob!, But thanks anyway for your comment! Yesterday drove by your neighborhood, heading to Pittsburgh. Thanks!

    LORD

  • maxoxam41 profile image

    Deforest 6 years ago from USA

    A painful page of our history! We are far from being perfect! Time to time a nice slap to our ego to remind us of who we were/are (?) allows humility!

  • Civil War Bob profile image

    Civil War Bob 6 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

    Did you know that most of the Wonders of the World like the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids, the Colossus of Rhodes and other have the bodies of slaves who built them underneath? It's amazing what people do to people, isn't it. I think that's one reason my great grandfather fought in the Pa. 119th Volunteers. Keep up the good writing.

working

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