Cynthia Frazier


Outstanding, Intermediate, Young Adult, Lois Miner Huey, Juvenile Literature, African American, Slavery, Human Remains, Slave Cemeteries, History, Northeastern States, Archeology, Non-Fiction

Document Type

Book Review


A worker was watching a backhoe dig a trench for a new sewer line when a human skull rolled out of the bucket and hit his shoe. As soon as the coroner determined that the skull was very old and that it wasn’t a part of a crime scene, bioarchaeologists were called in. This was the beginning of the third slave cemetery excavation in the Northern United States. Scientists carefully surveyed the area, found the remains of fourteen people. Through meticulous means, they determined the race, sex, health and age of the people when they died. DNA determined where the people came from, and often the state of the bones and teeth helped decide if they were born in the United States or other countries. Historical records showed the graves originally resided on the Schyler Farm away from the farmhouse and the family cemetery on the grounds. It was found that the skeletons were of African American decent, and were remains of slaves belonging to the Schyler family and buried in the slave cemetery on the farm.