Memory and Engagement with Sacred Ground: the many publics of Mount Vernon's African-American Cemetery

Author(s): Jason Boroughs

Year: 2018

Summary

In 2013, Mount Vernon's archaeology department began a long term research project to locate the graves of enslaved and emancipated individuals interred within the African-American cemetery on the home quarter of George Washington's Mount Vernon estate.  Four years deep, dozens of graves have been reclaimed from new growth forest and the cemetery has taken on new life as a touchstone of memory and an interpretive vehicle for a diverse array of descendants, scholars, and visitors to the historic estate from across the globe.  This paper examines the levels of engagement and horizons of meaning invested by various "publics" through the lens of material offerings left by contemporary visitors and commemorative practices that often materialize in both communal and deeply personal ways on sacred ground.

Cite this Record

Memory and Engagement with Sacred Ground: the many publics of Mount Vernon's African-American Cemetery. Jason Boroughs. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441390)

Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 694