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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Possible African-American Cemetery Mapped in Delaware

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

FRANKFORD, DELAWARE—According to a Delaware Public Media report, local citizens alerted county officials to the presence of a possible historic African-American cemetery on 37 acres of private land slated for development in southern Delaware. Archaeologist Ed Otter and his colleagues have so far confirmed traces of 11 burials at the site. One headstone, which is no longer correlated with a specific grave, records the name of C.S. Hall, an African-American veteran of the Civil War. Otter explained that the site will be mapped and preserved. Tim Slavin, director of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, said state officials will also search property records, deeds, church records, and cemetery records to try to identify the people who were buried in the cemetery. It is unclear whether any of those buried at the site had been enslaved. To read about evidence of surgery carried out during a Civil War battle in Virginia, go to “Do No Harm.”

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