Slaves Burying Ground




Dear Friends:


The Oysterponds Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of our community. We seek to understand where we have been and where we are going. Essential to that role is a quest for accuracy, and sensitivity to the impact of that history on our society.


One of the properties that OHS cares for is known as Slaves Burying Ground on Narrow River Road in Orient. An informational plaque was placed at the site several years ago. For some time, there has been a question about the accuracy of the information – is anyone buried there, if so, who, how many people, the relationship among them. More importantly, concerns have been expressed that the plaque ignored the cruel realities of slavery and slave ownership.


We have a duty as an historical society to get it right. We have an obligation as a community to be aware of our history, to know how it has shaped our culture, for good and bad. Today our entire nation is being challenged to comprehend the enduring, insidious effects that centuries of slavery and centuries of ongoing oppression of African Americans have imposed. We are struggling to understand the lingering racism and discrimination growing out of our history that affects all of us in one way or another. We are striving to overcome it. We must try to get it right.


As an organization, as a society, we need to better understand the truth of Slaves Burying Ground and the entire history of slavery in Oysterponds. We need to research whether this is a resting place, for whom, and their place in our community. We must tell the truth about the slavery that did exist here and the people who lived under that horrific practice.


Our next step is to begin a careful study of that chapter of our history and find ways to tell the important story of the lives shaped by slavery. We need to find a permanent place in our collection for evidence of that era. It is our job to remember and tell the truth.


The old plaque has been removed and stored. When we better understand Slaves Burying Ground, a new, accurate, aware plaque will be installed.



Oysterponds Historical Society



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