Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia

This graveyard was opened during the Civil War to bury the contrabands (escaped slaves) and freedmen who were fleeing to Alexandria, a Union-occupied city, on the northern boundary of the Confederacy. Around 1,700 African Americans were laid to rest within its grounds.

Though the last recorded burial took place in 1869, African Americans continued to use it for unofficial burials. But its location and purpose were soon all but forgotten by the city. Mention of the cemetery disappeared from...

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