Photo Gallery of Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery

Page updated on Feb 14, 2018 at 9:18 AM

The Memorial

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Maps and Aerial Photos

Bird's Eye View   Environs of Washington   City of Alexandria   Freedmen's Upper Center   Freedmen's Left Center  
Bird's Eye View, of Alexandria, VA., 1863 (LC) Environs of Washington, 1864-1866 (NA) Freedmen's Cemetery at lower center City of Alexandria, VA., G.M. Hopkins, 1877, showing Freedmen's Cemetery property labeled "Francis L. Smith." 1927 aerial photograph showing Freedmen's Cemetery at upper center Aerial photograph dating between 1949-1951, looking east, Freedmen's Cemetery at left center (BL)
Freedmen's Center   Freedmen's Lower Left   Freedmen's Lower Left   WW Bridge Construction    
Aerial photograph dating between 1949-1951, looking east, Freedmen's Cemetery at center (BL) Aerial photograph dating between 1949-1951, looking east, Freedmen's Cemetery at lower left (BL) Aerial photograph dating between 1952-1961, looking north, Freedmen's Cemetery at lower left (BL) Woodrow Wilson Bridge under construction, 2006 Freedmen's Cemetery is to the left of dirt area in the lower corner  


Field crew excavating a trench in 2004 Soil stains of graves in a 2004 trench A grave, in a 2004 trench, disturbed by grading during construction of the gas station George Washington University/Alexandria Archaeology Field School students excavating a trench floor GWU/Alexandria Archaeology Field School students excavating a unit through the buried cemetery surface
Outline of the tops of the sides of a hexagonal coffin Oyster shells decorating the surface of a grave Volunteers and field crew excavating near identified and outlined graves Volunteers excavating a buried cemetery surface near the center of the site Rows of graves uncovered along the south side of the cemetery
A public tour of the excavation Field crew recording graves parallel to South Washington Street The tops of the sides of two hexagonal coffins, outlined with string for recording The outlines of two rectangular coffins Broken cinder blocks and gray roofing slate from construction of the gas station pressed into three grave shafts
An in situ coffin lid screw, a drawing showing placement from the Quaker Burying Ground Site and an excerpt from a 19th-century catalog Coffin lid thumb screw Coffin lid thumb screw and 1871 hardware catalog page (AA) A coffin hinge in situ, a drawing of it, and hinges in an 1865 catalog A coffin hinge in situ 
In situ coffin hinge fragments and similar hinges in 1871 catalog Coffin hinges in situ at the shoulders of a hexagonal coffin used for opening the top part to view the deceased A coffin with exposed headboard wood and six bail-type handles, disturbed by gas line Ceramic buttons found in 1999 in a grave disturbed by grading (URS Corp.) 19th-century pearlware, stoneware and whiteware ceramics and clear glass
Piercy slipware earthenware, ca. 1792-1809 (AA) Coal fragments (AA) Oyster shells Three Civil War-period Minnie balls found in cemetery surface soil Metal boot spur
Fragments of a canning jar, dating after 1858, possibly used as a grave decoration A fragment of an unmarked marble gravestone found during excavations Quartz fragments from prehistoric tool making, called debitage Prehistoric stone tools A backhoe filling in an excavated trench after fencing has been placed
City surveyors determining the depth of fill (required to be a minimum of 2 ft.) after excavation was completed        

Historic Photos 

Freed slave at Price Birch & Co. Slave Pen, Alexandria, 1861 (LC) Interior of Price Birch & Co. Slave Pen/Union Jail, Alexandria, VA (LC) Interior of Price Birch & Co. Slave Pen/Union Jail, Alexandria, VA (LC) A Ride for Liberty - The Fugitive Slave, by Eastman Johnson, ca. 1862 (Brooklyn Museum of Art) Freedmen laborers at Quartermaster's Wharf, Alexandria
Contraband School students in Alexandria (N.Y. Public Library) Freedmen erecting part of a stockade surrounding the U.S. military railroad complex, near Duke and Payne Streets U.S. military railroad employees moving rails by the Wilkes Street tunnel, Alexandria, VA, 1863 (LC) Contrabands at Cumberland Landing, VA, 1862 (LC) Freedmen's tent camp outside Richmond, VA, 1865 (LC)
Freedmen's tent camp near Richmond, VA (LC) Band of the 107th Regiment United States Colored Troops 207th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry at Ft. Corcoran, Washington, DC Alexandria Brick Co. wagon by Freedmen's Cemetery (Wedderburn, 1907) U.S. Quartermaster's Wharf at the foot of Montgomery Street, Alexandria, VA
Burial of Union Dead at Fredericksburg, VA, 1864 (LC) Alexandria National Cemetery, 1876 (LC) Pine Headboards in Alexandria National Cemetery, 1876, like those used at Freedmen's Cemetery (LC)    


Typical Old Town sidewalk Typical attached housing near the memorial St. Mary's Cemetery, directly east of the memorial site Typical Old Town sidewalk paving Multi-family housing, north of memorial site
South Washington Street multi-family housing Columbus and Church Streets Columbus Street north from Church Street intersection Architectural detail Typical attached housing
Garden wall        

The Memorial Site

Cemetery rededication ceremony, 1998 Rededication luminaries Rededication luminaries, 1998 Detail of rededication luminary Church Street office building with gas station behind
Dedication ceremony of the historic marker Demolition of Church Street office building, 2007 Church Street adjacent to the northern site boundary Center of the site, facing north Center of the site, facing south
Center of the memorial site, facing east East side of the site, facing northwest Existing elm tree, to remain Western side of the site Urban deck crossing I-495/95 towards site
Eastern boundary of the site Brick sidewalk over the urban deck Brick sidewalk connecting the memorial site to the urban deck East side of the site, facing west Eastern edge of the memorial site adjacent to Washington Street
North edge of the site, adjacent to Church Street Office building foundation, to remain Office building retaining wall, to remain Residual office building entrance, to remain Existing interpretive sign
Site of future interstate exit ramp on the eastern side of the site Sound wall along the southwestern corner of the site Southwestern view of the site before building demolition, 2006 View to the north along Church Street adjacent to the site Washington Street between memorial site and St. Mary's Cemetery, northern view