Woodlawn Cemetery in Washington, D.C., is the final resting place of Blanche K. Bruce, an escaped bondsman who served a term as Senator from the state of Mississippi in the 1870s. Blanche K. Bruce (1841-98) was a prominent black leader during the Reconstruction period. After serving as US Senator, he became Registrar of the U.S. Treasury and Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia,as well as sitting on the city's Board of Education and the Board of Howard University. He was a close friend of Frederick Douglass and a member of Washington, D.C.,'s black elite. He was born enslaved in Virginia; his owner moved him several times between that state and Mississippi and Missouri. He escaped from Missouri to freedom in 1862, and fled first to Lawrence, Kansas. After the war he taught school in Kansas and Missouri. The details of his childhood are well documented in his brother's book The New Man. Bruce's escape is documented in his own words as printed in the "Washington Letter" (The Kanasas City Times 1886).
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 4611 Benning Road, S. E., Washington, D. C., N/A, 20017
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: George Dines Woodlawn Cemetery As
Location Type: Site