Red Hill remembers enslaved persons

Published 4:27 pm Friday, June 11, 2021

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On Saturday, June 5, a large crowd turned out for Patrick Henry’s Red Hill dedication of the Quarter Place Cemetery.

The dedication was held in remembrance of the enslaved population of Red Hill and their descendants.

According to Chief Executive Officer of Red Hill Hope Marstin there are 147 graves in the cemetery, of which 40 of those burials have been identified.

Marstin said it is uncertain as to how old the cemetery is, but it is possible the cemetery was used as early as the 1770s to 1937.

“The latest burial we have identified was in 1937,” Marstin said, “However, we know that Red Hill was a working plantation from the 1770s (before Patrick Henry’s ownership) until 1865 when the Civil War ended, and enslaved people were emancipated. From 1865-1945 there were still free blacks living on the property as sharecroppers.”

In addition to the dedication, officials at Red Hill are seeking to collect oral histories of anyone who had ancestors at Red Hill or knowledge of anyone who did.

“Without understanding what life was like for those who lived on the Quarter Place, visitors cannot get a complete understanding of Red Hill,” Marstin said.