Pine Street African American Cemetery

163 Pine St, Kingston, NY
Kingston, Ulster County, New York, 12401 USA
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African-American Cemetery of Kingston on Pine St, sometimes referred to as “The Pine St Cemetery”, was first used perhaps 1658 As the Esopus Stockade was being built by Peter Stuyvesant with the aid of slaves owned by the Dutch, and definitely well in use for slave burials by the early 1700's when the earliest slaves of Kingston died about 60 years of age. First noted in documentation 1695 as the “Colored Cemetery at the end of a dirt path.” The “end of a dirt path” indicates it was well in use by that time. Designated in 1750 by the City of Kingston specifically for African-Americans. This implies it had been used for poor white Dutch and English burials, and likely for indigent Esopus Indian burials in prior years, especially those killed in the 1658 raid on the Stockade. By 1820 Pine St was still a dead-end terminating at the “colored burying ground”, “behind the Henry Houghtaling house at the southwest corner of Pine St” and St James St, with the east side of Pine St being the homestead of Tuenis I Houghtaling. Emancapation of Adult slaves in New York State occurred July 4, 1827, but many slave owners still required the children of their slaves to provide 20 years of service based on a provision of the July 4, 1799 Law freeing the children of slaves. The ground was in use through 1853 when the lot #3 south of the cemetery was purchased by Peter and Amelia Crook, who sold that lot in 1855 to Benjamin VanAiken for a lumber-yard. In 1878, B. VanAiken sold the lot to Anna and Henry W Palen, who at that time also owned the Henry Houghtaling home. They expanded the lumber-yard over top the cemetery, ending the use as a burial ground. It was noted in 1880 that there were 3 or 4 gravestones visible in the old graveyard. Some markers would have been inscribed field-stones and easily over looked at that point, while the majority of grave markers would have been constructed of carved boards or wooden crosses, which easily rotted or may have been burned as scrap. After 1858 African-Americans were buried in the Kingston Mt Zion Cemetery off Wiltwyck Ave. Many African Americans who were freed as slaves and could no longer work were transported to the Ulster Asylum in New Paltz, to eventually be buried in un-marked graves at that site. Summarized from research of the cemetery, “Owned in Life, Owned in Death: The Pine Street African and African-American Burial Ground in Kingston, New York “, by Joseph E. Diamond, PhD, pub. In “Northeast Historical Archaeology”,Vol. 35, 2006, pp 47-62.

GPS Coordinates: 41.92994, -74.01496

  • Added: 17 Feb 2017
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2635162