Funeral Performed in Prince George’s for Remains of Probable Slave

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The remains of a possible former slave were discovered during a development project on a former tobacco plantation in Prince George’s County were laid to rest on Saturday. The unknown person was eulogized by Rev. Cynthia Snavely, and the ceremony was attended by “several dozen onlookers.”

Although there was very little information for Snavely to build a eulogy from — according to the Washington Post‘s coverage, the address consisted largely of unanswerable questions about the man’s identity — it’s surprising how much an examination by the Smithsonian Institution revealed. We know that the man was African American, that he had a back injury, that he ate a high-protein diet, and that he smoked a clay pipe. Factoids at best, but still.

In her eulogy Snavely said, “We don’t know this man. But he walked this ground before us. He is one of the ancestors of this place. And as we live here now, he is our ancestor.”

For more, read the articles in the Washington Post and Upper Marlboro Patch.



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