Recent research at two local cemeteries uncovers new facts about early African American settlements in the Valley

African American Cemeteries History Uncovered: Rhinebeck Cemetery’s Section E and Mt. Zion African American Burial Ground in Kingston

The Rhinebeck research was conducted by Vassar College students under the direction of professors Brian McAdoo and Quincy T. Mills. Last year, the Dutchess County Historical Society asked McAdoo, associate professor of earth science, to investigate Revolutionary War veteran Andrew Frazier. Frazier — a “landed” African American — owned a farm in Milan, an unusual circumstance at the time. He and his family were thought to have been buried in a portion of Rhinebeck Cemetery called “Section E.” This half-acre of land, also known as the “Negro Burial Ground,” was siven for the internment of “people of color” by Mary Garrettson, the daughter of a noted abolitionist preacher, in 1853.

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