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Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project

Contact Us

Burial Ground

Sacred Ground Project
  • The services of a social justice oriented attorney, preferably with real estate and contract and even nonprofit expertise - pro-bono and progressive
  • Volunteers with time during library business hours and experience in research and writing to assist with application for archeological review from VA Dept. of Historic Resources

If you are interested in helping with an event or donating money to the project, we would love to hear from you. Please contact our committee chair to discuss what you can do:

SGHRP c/o The Defenders
P.O. Box 23202   Richmond, VA 23223
804.644.5834 phone / 804.332-5225 fax

Please support the work of the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project. Your contributions support educational and outreach efforts like reclaiming the "Burial Ground for Negroes", the annual program to commemorate the Burial Ground and Gabriel's Rebellion, development of partnerships with educational and cultural organizations and institutions that expand our knowledge and understand of Richmond's history as it continues today and into the future.


We are available to make presentations on a variety of topics. If you would like to schedule a speaker for your meeting or event, please call (804) 644-5834 or e-mail

  • The Story of Gabriel
  • Gabriel's Rebellion: Resistance in an Age of Rhetoric
  • Resistance and Reconciliation
  • The Significance of Richmond's "Burial Ground for Negroes"


  • Follow the Journey of Gabriel's Rebellion
  • Richmond's "Burial Ground For Negroes"


  • The Story of Gabriel
  • Learn More About Gabriel
  • Nat Turner: A Commemoration


The SGHRP is developing a list of burial ground projects cuurently underway throughout Virginia and other localities. As we learn more about them collectively, we hope to strengthen the efforts of each.

Founded in 1876, Little Ark Baptist Church and Cemetary in King George - During World War II, President Roosevelt condemned much of the Dahlgren community to make way for the Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center. In addition to displacing generations of families of former slaves, he decided he needed to build a railroad to transport equipment and supplies to support his war effort. In 1942, the US Government, Department of the Navy TOOK this land with the cemetery already well established and put the railroad tracks right through it! The remains of members of the church and their families have been disinterred and re interred throughout the cemetery leaving no one family together in what is supposed to be the final resting place. All remains were removed --except one.  A "Rails to Trails" hiking and cycling project is planned for the path of the railroad route, which sounds like a good re-use of the site, but has opposition from adjacent private landowners as well as Little Ark Baptist Church.  The opportunity for doing the right thing - re-routing the trail out of respect for past damage and the still extant cemetery - is being missed.

Rutledge "Slave" Cemetery in Hanover County an example of respectful cooperation between property owner, developer and decendents of those buried.

SGHRP c/o The Defenders * PO Box 23202 * Richmond * VA * 23223

Visit the historical marker honoring the life and struggle of Gabriel, slave rebellion leader, located on the sidewalk overlooking the endangered "Burial Ground for Negroes" at 1554 E. Broad Street, in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom Historic District.