Pledge Form and Making a Contribution
Video of Governor Hassan Signing Ceremony
Posthumously Free Enslaved Portsmouth Men
NEA, African Burying Ground Recognition
Slave bill gets hearing in New Hampshire House
Project Introduction Booklet
NH Chronicle Segment (Video)
Many in our community have asked how Portsmouth's African Burying Ground could have been forgotten. During the 1700s when the Burying Ground was actively used, the area that is now Chestnut Street was the undeveloped outskirts of town. Over time, as Portsmouth grew during the late 1700s and throughout the 1800s, the African Burying Ground was paved over and built over and many forgot of its existence. Today, we recognize this important place as the only known African Burying Ground in all of New England that dates to this era.
The Portsmouth City Council appointed the African Burying Ground Committee and asked the group to determine how best to honor those buried on Chestnut Street. The Committee – comprised of representatives from the Seacoast African American Cultural Center, Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Inc. and the Portsmouth community – worked diligently to carry out that charge.
The African Burying Ground Committee, with the help and support of the community, the City Council, archaeological professionals and a nationally-known design team, completed the design for the African Burying Ground Memorial Park, We Stand in Honor of Those Forgotten. The intent is to mark with dignity the location of this sacred place – not with headstones like the City’s other places of burial – but by creating a public place of reverence on this block of urban downtown street, in perpetuity, so that we will never again forget those buried beneath.
The City established the African Burying Ground Trust Fund to serve as a repository for funds contributed for construction and long-term maintenance of the park. Work is now underway to raise the $1.2 million needed for the project, with the City of Portsmouth stepping forward as lead donor by appropriating $250,000 in project funding.
If you would like to know more about the project and how you can support the creation of the African Burying Ground Memorial Park, We Stand in Honor of Those Forgotten
, please write to info@AfricanBuryingGroundNH.org