September 17, 2015

Slave Cemetery at Belle Grove

Behind the Big House
Belle Grove Plantation
Middletown, Virginia

This new sign starts off:
The fenced area within the orchard is believed to be a burial ground for some of Belle Grove’s enslaved African workers. As is typical at many such cemeteries, simple uninscribed stones mark each grave. Slaves at Belle Grove provided agricultural and household labor including as blacksmiths, drivers, cooks, carpenters, and mill operators. It is possible that buried here are one or more of the first 15 slaves at Belle Grove, who were transferred from Montpelier with Nelly Madison’s marriage to Isaac Hite, Jr. in 1783.

On the right side of the marker we see a copy of a deed signed by James Madison, Sr., father of Nellie Madison Hite and her famous brother James Madison, Jr., who became president in 1809. In the document, the senior Madison conveys 15 slaves to Hite in consideration of the "intermarriage which has taken place."

Link: Article on Slavery at Belle Grove


  1. Looks an interesting place with good fences

  2. Fascinating - an ugly part of our history. It's good that all this stuff has been preserved so well.

  3. The slavery is part of our history I am glad is over! Pretty images, I like the last shot of the plantation and flowers. Have a happy weekend!

  4. Very sad but also interesting to explore.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  5. a piece of history that contains so much tragedy.

  6. There is a slave cemetery not too far from us that looks very similar.

  7. Thanks for sharing. It's another place I've heard of but not seen.

  8. That last picture is really pretty with the flowers framing it.

  9. Beautiful photo of Belle Grove! It's always so sad to see the cemeteries like this. Really awesome historic post. I always enjoy everything you share. I am pretty behind with everyone and trying to get caught up! Have a great week!


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