Lane Street Project: Juneteenth.

This headstone may mark the burial of someone who lived and died in slavery. It stands in a small cemetery in western Wilson County known to have been established for enslaved people and situated adjacent to the cemetery of the slaveowning family.

Though every large slaveholding farm probably had one, I know the exact location of only one cemetery in Wilson County established prior to the Civil War to hold the remains of enslaved people. (Please speak up if you can lead me to more.) Rountree, Odd Fellows, and Vick Cemeteries were not so-called slave cemeteries, but many men and women buried within them were born enslaved.

I call the names of those we know:

Dave Barnes (1861-1913)

Della Hines Barnes (1858-1935)

Smith Bennett (1852-1920)

Mark H. Cotton (ca.1840-1934)

Lucy Hill Dawson (1860-1917)

Rev. Henry W. Farrior (1859-1937)

Prince Mincey (1841-1902)

Rev. John H. Scott (1857-1940)

Hardy Tate (1853-1938)

Rachel Barnes Taylor (1863-1927)

Daniel Vick (ca.1840-1908)

Fannie Blount Vick (ca.1842-1890s)

Samuel H. Vick (1861-1946)



  1. We recently noticed on Find-a-Grave that 21 names have been added to a cemetery that our family maintains. My first thought was that it may have been a case of burials of the enslaved families—if that is the case, there are no visible markers for the enslaved deceased. My second was that so many small family farm gravesites exist that someone has just erroneously added graves from a nearby plot to this one. At this point, I think the latter is the most likely scenario since most of the 21 are Vicks and the known ones are Atkinsons. I plan to do some investigating and will let you know what I discover.

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