12. Hunts Point Slave Burial Ground (1909)
Joseph Rodman Drake Park
In Joseph Rodman Drake Park in Bronx’s Hunts Point neighborhood is an enclosed cemetery and recently discovered slave burial ground. When Drake Park was originally created in 1909, an 18th-century cemetery of wealthy slave-owning families like the Hunts and Leggets were preserved. Yet in 2013, students at Public School 48 analyzed census data and maps to identify a potential spot where the remains of 156 Black and Indian slaves in Hunts Point, per the 1790 Census, ended up.
The students and their teacher Justin Czarka founded a black-and-white photograph from 1910 showing several markers resembling headstones, labeled on the back, “Slave burying ground, Hunts Point Road.” The US Department of Agriculture sent scientists to perform soil tests using radar in the cemetery in the summer of 2013, and several areas of the park were determined to have “anthropogenic features” as “likely potential burial sites.” A plaque honoring the burial ground was put up in 2014.