History & Culture
The African Burial Ground National Monument is the first National Monument dedicated to Africans of early New York and Americans of African descent. It is the newest National Monument in New York City, joining the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Castle Clinton National Monument.
The African Burial Ground National Monument's story is both old and new; It began use in the 17th or 18th century, but was only rediscovered in the past 20 years. Our story is both the story of the Africans whose holy place this was, but also the story of the modern day New Yorkers who fought to honor these ancestors. One such ancestor is Christopher Moore, a descendant of Groot Manuel--one of the first 11 enslaved Africans in New York City--who has written extensively on our history. Read a short history of our site by Christopher Moore at this link.
Extensive reports were written about these men and women and our history; if you would like you may read a report now.
Learn more about the history of the National Park Service
Learn more about the sites that make up the National Park Service
National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.
The African Burial Ground became a National Historic Landmark in 1993. Learn more about National Historic Landmarks
Learn more about the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
The Antiquities Act is the first law to establish that archeological sites on public lands are important public resources. It obligates federal agencies that manage the public lands to preserve for present and future generations the historic, scientific, commemorative, and cultural values of the archeological and historic sites and structures on these lands. It authorizes the President to protect landmarks, structures, and objects of historic or scientific interest by designating them as National Monuments.
Learn more about the Antiquities Act of 1906
On February 27, 2006, through Presidential Proclamation, President George W. Bush named the African Burial Ground a National Monument.
Did You Know?
Lost to history due to landfill and development, the African Burial Ground was rediscovered in 1991 during the construction of a Federal office building. Approximately 15,000 free and enslaved Africans were buried in the five or six acre burial ground that dates from the 17th century. More...