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New Orleans in Orleans Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)
 

Tomb of the Unknown Slave

 

—St. Augustine Catholic Church, New Orleans —

 
Tomb of the Unknown Slave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, August 17, 2010
1. Tomb of the Unknown Slave Marker
Inscription.
On this October 30, 2004, we, the faith community of St. Augustine Catholic Church, dedicate this shrine consisting of grave crosses, chains and shackles to the memory of the nameless, faceless turfless Africans who met an untimely death in Faubourg Tremé. The Tomb of the Unknown Slave is commemorated here in this garden plot of St. Augustine Church, the only parish in the United States whose Free People of Color bought two outer rows of pews exclusively for slaves to use for worship. This St. Augustine/Tremé shrine honors all slaves buried throughout the United States and those slaves in particular who lie beneath the ground of Tremé in unmarked, unknown graves. There is no doubt that the campus of St. Augustine Church sits astride the blood, sweat, tears and some of the mortal remains of unknown slaves from Africa and local American Indian slaves who either met with fatal treachery, and were therefore buried quickly and secretly, or were buried hastily and at random because of yellow fever and other plagues. Even now, some Tremé locals have childhood memories of salvage/restoration workers unearthing various human bones, sometimes in concentrated areas such as wells. In other words, the Tomb of the Unknown Slave is a constant reminder that we are walking on Holy Ground. Thus, we cannot consecrate this tomb, because it is already
Tomb of the Unknown Slave memorial - marker is visible on wall at right image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, August 17, 2010
2. Tomb of the Unknown Slave memorial - marker is visible on wall at right
consecrated by many slaves’ inglorious deaths bereft of any acknowledgment, dignity or respect, ultimately glorious by their blood, sweat, tears, faith, prayers and deep worship of our Creator.

Donated by Sylvia Barker of the Danny Barker Estate.
 
Erected 2004 by The Faith Community of St. Augustine Catholic Church.
 
Location. 29° 57.919′ N, 90° 3.971′ W. Marker is in New Orleans, Louisiana, in Orleans Parish. Marker is on Governor Nicholls Street north of St. Claude Avenue.. Touch for map. Marker is in the Tremé district, on the wall of St. Augustine Church off Gov. Nicholls Street. It is south of I-10, two blocks northeast of Louis Armstrong Park, and one block northwest of No. Rampart Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1210 Governor Nicholls Street, New Orleans LA 70116, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Saint Augustine Church, New Orleans (within shouting distance of this marker); Carmelite Chapel of St. Joseph and St. Teresa and the Carmelite Monastery (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Carmelite Monastery (about 600 feet away); St. Aloysius College (approx. 0.2 miles away); Italian Hall
St. Augustine Catholic Church - view from St. Claude Avenue looking southwest image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, August 17, 2010
3. St. Augustine Catholic Church - view from St. Claude Avenue looking southwest
- the Tomb of the Unknown Slave marker is on Gov. Nicholls Street, around the corner, center right.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong (approx. ¼ mile away); Maison Hospitalière (approx. ¼ mile away); Sidney Joseph Bechet (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Orleans.
 
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicChurches, Etc.Native Americans
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 18, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 29, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,225 times since then and 84 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 29, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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