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Historical Highway Marker Dedication: Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground
June 12 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground
The City of Richmond opened the Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground here in 1816 to replace the Burial Ground for Negroes in Shockoe Bottom. The new cemetery, laid out along the northern end of Fifth Street near the city’s poorhouse, began as two adjoining one-acre plots, one for free people of color and one for the enslaved. The grounds expanded greatly over time, eventually spreading down the slopes and into the valley. With an estimated 22,000 interments, it was among the largest cemeteries for free and enslaved African Americans in the U.S. during its era. After closing the cemetery in 1879 due to overcrowding, the city repurposed the site, making the burial ground unrecognizable today.
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