The African Burial Ground National Monument is located at the corner of Duane and Elk Streets in Lower Manhattan, adjacent to the Ted Weiss Federal Building at 290 Broadway.
In 1991, the remains of more than four hundred 17th and 18th century Africans were discovered during pre-construction work for a federal building in New York City. One of the most significant archeological finds in U.S. history, the burial ground stretched more than five city blocks during the 17th and 18th centuries. It is estimated that nearly 15,000 free and enslaved Africans are buried in the cemetery. The first Africans arrived in New Amsterdam about 1625. Along with European merchants, traders, sailors and farmers, these enslaved workers helped to establish the early colony. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries Africans were an important part of the city’s population, reaching a peak of over twenty percent.
The finding of the burial ground deeply impacted the descendant and broader community and, at the same time renewed awareness in cultural significance and historic preservation. Former President George W. Bush designated the African Burial Ground a National Monument in February 2006.
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