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Possible Slave Cemetery Found in Florida

Thursday, January 9, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA—Ground-penetrating radar has been used by archaeologist Jeffrey Shanks of the National Park Service to find a Civil War–era cemetery under a country club golf course in northern Florida, according to a WFSU News report. Shanks said he and his team have detected about 40 graves in the cemetery, which is thought to hold the remains of enslaved people who worked on a nearby plantation owned by the Houston family of Savannah, Georgia. “We also have human remains detection dogs that came out, and they alerted in those same areas,” Shanks said. “So that’s just another level of evidence that these are almost certainly graves.” There are no plans to excavate the graves, but historian Jonathan Lammers is looking for possible descendants of those who labored on the Houston family plantation. A memorial or marker may also be placed at the cemetery site. To read about an unmarked cemetery on a Texas plantation that is believed to contain the remains of African-American prisoners forced to work the land after the Civil War, go to "Another Form of Slavery."

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