Old Cahawba, Alabama Page14
Photos/Text courtesy of Steven Hippensteel, AL
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Old Cahawba

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(2009) Enlarge Cahaba slave cemetery-Mealy Starke grave. This elaborate iron fence has a gate plate that reads "Mealy Starke." The one small stone enclosed by the fence is carved with the name "Amelia." "Mealy" was probably Amelia's nickname. According to both the 1870 and 1880 census records, an Amelia Starke did live in Cahawba. She was born in Tennessee during slavery times, and after emancipation lived with her husband Shadrack Starke, a Cahawba farmer. The family of Shadrack and Amelia included at least three girls. The eldest, Laura, was born before emancipation
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(2009) Enlarge Cahaba slave cemetery trail entrance. Cahawba's 'Negro burial ground' was probably created in 1819 to be a slave cemetery. However, African-Americans continued to use this graveyard after emancipation. The last known burial was in 1957. Although the cemetery contains only a few headstones, hundreds of bodies are probably buried here. Cahawba's enslaved population outnumbered slave holders. In 1860, 1920 people lived within town limits: 1200 were Black; 720 were White



(2009) Enlarge Cahaba slave cemetery. Elijah, son of Alice Curtis

(2009) Enlarge Civil War cemetery. C.O. Neil


(2009) Enlarge Civil War cemetery. In Memory of Hiram S. Hanchett: Major Hiram Salon Hanchett was a prisoner at Castle Morgan and organized a failed escape attempt that would have taken him and his fellow prisoners to Selma to attempt a takeover of the arsenal and foundry. Major Hanchett was held in the cellar of the jail in downtown Cahawba and it is believed he was murdered by Union soldiers somewhere in the woods near Cahawba for suspicions of being a spy. Although his body was never recovered and his final resting place unknown, this marker was placed in his memory alongside the men he endured Castle Morgan with

  (2009) Enlarge Civil War cemetery grave markers

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