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Moses Viney Burial Site at Vale Cemetery

Resting within the boundaries of the African-American Ancestral Burial Ground at Vale Cemetery is local legend Moses Viney. In 1840, Viney fled enslavement in Talbot County, Maryland, to seek freedom in the North. His journey with two other runaways brought him across the Choptank River to Delaware,[1] from Philadelphia to New York City, up the Hudson River to Troy, and finally, on to his adopted home of Schenectady, New York. Most notably, Viney was given aid and direction by Underground Railroad affiliates at the Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.[2] After reaching relative safety within Schenectady's borders, Viney came under the employment of Union College President Eliphalet Nott. Through Nott's support, Viney sought asylum in Canada, while local officials successfully negotiated his emancipation. As a result of these combined efforts, Moses Viney was granted his right to freedom, and lived to become a beloved figure by college affiliates and the resident community.


[1]. Site and escape recognized by the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

[2]. Site and association recognized by the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: Vale Cemetery, 907 State St, Schenectady, Scenectady, 12307

Contact Information: 518-346-0423 (main phone)

National Park Unit: No

Ownership: Bernard McEvoy

Location Type: Site

Freedom Seekers: Moses Viney

UGRR Operatives: Eliphalet Nott