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November 28, 2020

Historic Black DC Cemetery Headstones Wash up on Potomac River in Virginia

Headstones from a historic Black DC cemetery wound up along the Potomac River in Virginia. The headstones were from Columbian Harmony Cemetery, a historic African American burial ground that was dug up and relocated in 1960 to make way for commercial advancement. 

According to the online article "Columbian Harmony had been the final resting place for a century’s really worth of D.C.’s most illustrious Black citizens. Amongst them: Elizabeth Keckley, confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln Philip Reid, who aided develop the statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol dome and scores of Black Civil War veterans from the Union Army. But it was not just renowned names. Some 37,000 individuals have been laid to relaxation there among 1859 and 1960. "

Many descendants of those blacks buried in the cemetery, and whose stones are now among the discarded stones in Virginia, are hoping to see as many stones as possible rescued and placed in another cemetery, while others hope to erect a national park to memorialize the dead. 

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Drama Queen said...

Stones dont "wash up" on anything. They were thrown there. Dirt and branches may have at one time covered them and the river washed out the shore, removing the dirt and other debris. But you will not ever see a stone "wash up" to the shore.

Unknown said...

I agree. Stone does not float. It can be moved by strong water flow, but I also believe that more than likely, these stones were dumped at this location and thought they would never be noticed. Cemeteries should never be relocated anyway, for any reason.The final resting places of human beings are just as important as any 'urban development'. This is the same nonsense that happened in South Carolina, where a crews of the Confederate submarine Hunley were paved over for a parking lot of a football field. Some of the graves were later located under the field itself.

Build around them. Leave cemeteries alone.