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From the heart of Adams Morgan, walk back to the Civil War era, when slavery was part of life in the District of Columbia, particularly on the large farms dotting its outskirts. Then move into the decades following emancipation, and visit the sites of Washington’s largest African American cemetery and oldest Quaker burying ground.
Peaceful Kalorama Park at the intersections of 19th Street and Columbia and Kalorama Roads was the location of cattle farmer John Little’s manor house. His slaveholding estate included 17 men, women, and children, including three generations of the Prout family. Learn how 20-year-old Hortense Prout plotted her escape from Little’s farm and finally gained her freedom.
Walk from the park—a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site—to Walter C. Pierce Community Park on Adams Mill Road. Here, two unmarked 19th-century cemeteries were almost lost to time, until a group of concerned citizens and Howard University archeologists joined forces over the past 8 years to protect them. Before becoming a burial ground, the area was quarried by Native American Indians; owned by John Quincy Adams and his heirs; and occupied by the Cliffburne Hospital barracks during the Civil War. Afterward, it was the final resting place for more than 8,500 African American and Quaker Washingtonians until the cemeteries closed in 1890.
This walk is led by artist and neighborhood historian Mary Belcher.
This tour is 1 1/2 hours; meet in front of SunTrust Bank at the southwest corner of Columbia Road and 18th St., N.W.
Learn more about how a collaboration between Howard University archeologists and neighborhood volunteers rescued the sites of the two historic Adams Morgan cemeteries before they were lost to time.