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Frederick Health reinters remains from former cemetery

By Angela Roberts aroberts@newspost.com |  Oct 25, 2022

Until about a century ago, some of the land where Frederick Health Hospital stands today — along West Seventh Street in downtown Frederick — served as the final resting place of more than 900 people of color.

Greenmount Cemetery, established in the late 1800s, was once one of three graveyards where people of color could be buried in Frederick. But in 1920, the grounds were sold to what is now known as Frederick Health Hospital.

A few years later, hundreds of graves were moved to Fairview Cemetery, a graveyard purchased in 1923 by a committee of local African Americans, according to previous reporting from The Frederick News-Post.

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Veterans Administration denies grave marker for enslaved vet from War of 1812

FREDERICK, Md. — An attempt in Maryland to recognize a patriot who fought the British in the War of 1812 has ignited a modern debate about race and military recognition.

The unmarked grave in question is in the St. John’s Cemetery in Frederick. The Veterans Administration (VA) is denying a formal request for a marker to honor Samuel Neale, who was likely enslaved while serving as a fully armed soldier in the defenses of Washington and Baltimore against British attacks in 1814.

According to a letter from the VA to Lou Giles of the Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland, the request for a marker acknowledging Neale was denied.

“Neale did not have qualifying military service,” the letter states.

Giles says he is dismayed by the response. He provided documentation, including an affidavit from Neale published in Maryland in the 1870s documenting his service. Neale was “on the ground fully armed” outside Washington and Baltimore during British attacks, according to the published account.

He was the aide to a Maryland Militia surgeon who owned him, the records say. Neale was  “equipped as a soldier” on the battlefield to “care for the wounded,” according to the historic statement. He even suffered an accidental gunshot wound when the doctor’s pistol discharged while Neale was unsaddling a horse in Baltimore.

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Historic African American Cemetery Report

The Maryland Historical Trust and Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture recently submitted their report on historic African American cemeteries to the Maryland General Assembly. Developed with the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites, Preservation Maryland, and descendant communities, and based on feedback gathered from the public, this report documents the state of African American cemetery preservation in Maryland and makes recommendations to help safeguard these irreplaceable sites for the future.
To learn more about the project, visit: https://bit.ly/3ECnmmV

Cemetery Preservation Workshops

Preservation Maryland and our program, The Campaign for Historic Trades, are hosting cemetery preservation workshops across the state, where participants learn the basic preservation techniques of caring for a cemetery. The first workshop will take place this Saturday, April 30th in Frederick at Mount Olivet Cemetery. The workshop will be led by Jon Appell of Atlas Preservation and Moss Rudley of the Historic Preservation Training Center.

Tasks taught during the workshops may include cleaning the site, maintaining landscaping, and cleaning markers. Preservation Maryland is currently planning 18 workshops within the next year and will host one workshop in each of the following counties: Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester.

We hope to connect with locals in each county who would be interested in learning more about the preservation process and how to care for Maryland’s history. We especially hope to connect with youth ages 12 and older to help build the next generation of preservationists and historians who can help maintain these sites into the future. These workshops will be approximately 3 to 4 hours where participants will be expected to stand or crouch while completing the preservation work in outside weather.

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Faces of the dead emerge from lost African American graveyard

By Michael E. Ruane
The Washington Post, July 9, 2021

[Renner/Catoctin Furnace Cemetery, Frederick County, MD]

Burial 35 was a young enslaved woman who walked with a limp and was missing a front tooth. She was in her 30s when she died, perhaps in childbirth. Her infant son, who died a few months later, was buried in a tiny coffin on top of her.

When the experts re-created her weary face, they gave her a headscarf, something she might have worn in the grimy Maryland industrial settlement where she lived.

Burial 15 was a teenager who had been laid to rest with care and what may have been sprigs of sassafras. The herniated discs in his back from overwork could not be reflected in his face, and the sculptor gave him a look of innocence.

The two re-created faces, unveiled for the first time last month, represent the culmination of an eight-year study that used genetics and other cutting-edge technology to examine remains of people enslaved in the late 1700s and early 1800s at Catoctin Furnace, a historic iron forge in Frederick County, Md.

Read the full article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2021/07/09/african-american-cemetery-catoctin-enslaved-faces/

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