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AFRICAN CEMETERY AT HIGGS BEACH
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ChapterhouseInc
N 24° 32.851 W 081° 47.130
17R E 420445 N 2715073
Quick Description: Casualties of the slave trade in 1860 were buried nearby.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 6/5/2009 9:46:53 PM
Waymark Code: WM6HC1
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member paintfiction
Views: 36

Long Description:
Near this site lie the remains of 294 African men, women and children who died in Key West in 1860. In the summer of that year the U.S. Navy rescued 1,432 Africans from three American-owned ships engaged in the illegal slave trade. Ships bound for Cuba were intercepted by the U.S. Navy, who brought the freed Africans to Key West where they were provided with clothing, shelter and medical treatment. They had spent weeks in unsanitary and inhumane conditions aboard the slave ships. The U.S. steamships Mohawk, Wyandott and Crusader rescued these individuals from the Wildfire, where 507 were rescued; the William, where 513 were rescued; and the Bogota, where 417 survived. In all, 294 Africans succumbed at Key West to various diseases caused by conditions of their confinement. They were buried in unmarked graves on the present day Higgs Beach where West Martello Tower now stands. By August, more than 1,000 survivors left for Liberia, West Africa, a country founded for former American slaves, where the U.S. government supported them for a time. Hundreds died on the ships before reaching Liberia. Thus, the survivors were returned to their native land, Africa, but not to their original homes on that continent.
Marker Number: F432

Date: 2001

County: Monroe

Marker Type: City

Sponsored or placed by: OLD ISLAND RESTORATION FOUNDATION AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Website: Not listed

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