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Brenham in Washington County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Camptown Cemetery

 
 
Camptown Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 8, 2021
1. Camptown Cemetery Marker
Inscription.  

This burial ground is the oldest predominantly African American cemetery in Brenham. It dates from the 1860s and historically has been associated with the nearby Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church. After the Civil War former Washington County slaves, many of whom also organized Mount Rose and St. John A.M.E. Churches, relocated to the wooded area of what became known as the Camptown addition. The name is derived from the federal troops who camped here from 1865-68 to keep peace between emancipated blacks and landowners. A surveyed map of the post dated July 1868 shows the cemetery already in use, just north of the Washington County Railroad near Hog Branch.

The 17th infantry troops maintained a sense of community with the residents of Camptown, offering their dining hall to host worship on Sundays. Among the estimated 400 burials here may be soldiers who were victims of yellow fever outbreaks in 1866-67. At least 40 former slaves are known to be buried in Camptown cemetery, including several from the Seward Plantation. Caroline Seward (1811-1902) is also buried here, as is Waltman Bynum (1873-81), whose headstone has the oldest
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marked date. The cemetery is still in use, but activity declined over the years as additional burial options for African Americans (Walker Cemetery, 1895; Home Improvement Community Cemetery, 1900; Willow Grove Cemetery, 1915) became available. In recent years, after the site had become overgrown and neglected, Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church has taken a more active role in the cemetery’s restoration and maintenance. Camptown Cemetery remains hallowed ground and a precious record of the early history of the community.
 
Erected 2009 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17617.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCemeteries & Burial Sites. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1868.
 
Location. 30° 10.059′ N, 96° 23.222′ W. Marker is in Brenham, Texas, in Washington County. Marker is on Mangrum Street, 0.1 miles east of Kerr Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Brenham TX 77833, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Pickard High School (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church (about 500 feet away); Brenham Fire Department (approx. ¼ mile away); Ross-Carroll House (approx. 0.4 miles
Camptown Cemetery and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 8, 2021
2. Camptown Cemetery and Marker
away); Site of Masonic Academy (approx. half a mile away); Giddings Wilkin House Museum 1843 (approx. half a mile away); Giddings-Wilkin House (approx. half a mile away); Brenham Normal and Industrial College (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brenham.
 
The view of the Camptown Cemetery and marker from the street image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 8, 2021
3. The view of the Camptown Cemetery and marker from the street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 11, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 202 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 11, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 22, 2024