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Middletown in Frederick County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Enslaved Burial Ground

 
 
The Enslaved Burial Ground Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 23, 2020
1. The Enslaved Burial Ground Marker
Inscription.  
The fenced area within the orchard is believed to be a burial ground for some of the men, women, and children enslaved by the Hite family at Belle Grove. As is typical at many such graveyards, simple uninscribed stones mark the graves. Additional evidence that it was used for the burials of the enslaved includes being on high ground, in an area not used for agriculture, and in sight of the Hites' home so that the enslaved meeting here would be under surveillance. Ground penetrating radar, a non-ground disturbing technology was used to respectfully study this site and detected 14 potential grave shafts. Though no written burial records exist, Hite family records note the following enslaved individuals died while living at Belle Grove. It is possible that this burial ground is larger than what is indicated by the fence, or that there are additional burial sites for the enslaved on the property.

Visitors are welcome to visit this site, but please respect this hallowed ground.

Although it is not possible to identify who is buried here, Hite family records note the following men, women, and children
The Enslaved Burial Ground Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, October 23, 2020
2. The Enslaved Burial Ground Marker
The burial ground is inside the fencing inside the fencing.
as having died while enslaved at Belle Grove. We honor their lives and their memory.


Bob 60 years old in August 1796 • Jane 60 years old in August 1796 • Juda d. February 12, 1793 • Ned b. 1758 • Jemmy b February 2, 1765 • Harry 30 years old in August 1796 • Penny b. March 15, 1770 • Daniel (Blacksmith) b. January 14, 1773 - d. October 24, 1836 • Adam b. July 1, 1775 • Simon b. February 5, 1776 • Eliza (Joana's) b. April 26, 1796 - d. May 23, 1797 • Nancy (Marjory's) b. 1777 • Harry (Abba's) b. December 4, 1787 - d. October 22, 1828 • Truelove's Boy b. May 5, 1788, died a week old • Betty b. August 8, 1784 • Jordan b. July 2, 1786 • Betty (Truelove) b. 1795 • Jonathan (Milly's) b. July 23, 1796 • Howard (Chloe's) b. 1798 - d. December 20, 1834 • George (Sarah's) b. 1798

Thomas (Abba's) b. January 28, 1798 • Joshua b. May 9, 1798 • Miley (Sarah) b. December 9, 1800 • Lucy (Diana's) b. July 6, 1801 • Nelson (Chloe's) b. October 1805 • Betsy (Abba's) b. December 15, 1805 • Becca (Diana) b. May 2, 1806 • Antsep (Nelly's) b. June 30, 1812 • Unknown (Demas) b. January 1813 • Daniel (Phylis') b. 1814 • Maria (Sarah's) b. July 18, 1814 • Unnamed (Nelly's) b. September 10, 1814 • Maria (Susy's) b. May 29, 1824 • Sara Elizabeth (Sally's) b. March 3, 1828 • Jake (Sally's) b. March 20, 1830 - d. 1835
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• Martha (Sally's) b. March 16, 1832 • Louisa (Sally's) b. July 17, 1834 • Jonathan (Judah's) b. February 28, 1836 • Amanda (Maria's) b. January 28, 1847 • Ophelia (Sally's) b. June 21, 1849 • Lea (Sukey's) both dead

The names of these individuals are listed as they are in the Hite family records: with only the first name of the individual, their mother's name in parentheses, the year or date of their birth or other note about their age, and in a few cases, the year or date of their death.

[Captions:]
A ground penetrating radar survey indicated marked and unmarked burials at this site. The color of the boxes represents the level of confidence for each specific burial. Marker stones and other features such as trees and stumps are also depicted (see legend). The survey identified the location of 14 distinct burials, at least eight of which are definitive. Based on the location of these burials with some of the stones, and the presence of similar stones for which burials were not detected, it is likely that there are more graves here than could be detected. The age of the grave, soils, the method of burial (e.g. coffin or shroud), and the size of the body, may make some burials more difficult to detect than others.

A ground penetrating radar transmitter emits a high frequency electromagnetic wave into the
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ground. When this wave encounters an object in the subsurface that has contrasting electromagnetic properties, part of the wave energy is reflected upward where it can be detected by the receiver. The time between transmission and reception indicates the depth of the object.

The ground penetrating radar survey of this burial ground was conducted by Michelle G. Proulx, Reagan A. Cronin, and R Shane McGary, Department of Geology and Earth Science, Department of Physics and Astronomy, James Madison University.

This exhibit is a gift of the descendants of James Cornelius Hite
 
Erected by the descendants of James Cornelius Hite.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCemeteries & Burial SitesColonial Era.
 
Location. 39° 1.323′ N, 78° 18.231′ W. Marker is in Middletown, Virginia, in Frederick County. Marker is on Belle Grove Road (Virginia Route 727) 0.2 miles south of Meadow Mills Road (Virginia Route 624), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 336 Belle Grove Rd, Middletown VA 22645, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Plantation Slavery (within shouting distance of this marker); A Rich Prize (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Hall at Belle Grove (about 400 feet away); In Honor of Joist Hite (1685-1761) (about 500 feet away); Cedar Creek Battlefield and Belle Grove (about 500 feet away); Battle of Cedar Creek 1864 (about 700 feet away); Plantation Office & Store (approx. Ό mile away); Tomb Of An Unknown Soldier (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Middletown.
 
Additional comments.
1. Reason for documenting the mother's name
Prior to the abolition of slavery, whether a person was enslaved or free mirrored the mother's status.
    — Submitted October 24, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

 
Additional keywords. enslaved persons, slave labor, human trafficking, slavery
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 24, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 43 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 24, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Mar. 2, 2021