Gettysburg's Black History Is Subject Of Historical Society's Research Database Project


First Sergeant
Aug 8, 2011
Gettysburg area
Today’s Gettysburg Times newspaper reported on an initiative of the Adams County (PA) Historical Society, along with three other local entities, to launch a new website that will support study and preservation of the history of Gettysburg’s black community. The article is behind a paywall, but here is a summary.

Last Saturday evening, representatives from the ACHS, the Gettysburg Black History Museum Board of Directors, and the Lincoln Cemetery Project Association met with interested members of the public at United Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg to announce work being done by local historian Andrew Dalton and others to create the website and an associated database. Dalton, a senior Gettysburg College history major and staff member at the ACHS, is one of three students working with the College’s information technology department to develop the website and database as interactive research tools. Their goal is to create a place where users can both research family genealogy and also add biographical details and photographs of deceased family members.


One of a series of art pillars installed on Gettysburg's
Long Lane to honor the history of the town's black community

Much of the researchers’ work in developing the database has involved compiling data regarding Lincoln Cemetery, Gettysburg’s historic black cemetery, where 30 members of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) are among those interred. In addition to documenting the cemetery’s more than 200 headstones, they have also been researching 225 individuals buried there in unmarked graves. The news articles, obituaries, marriage certificates, tax records, and other documents they have studied have also provided insights into Gettysburg’s history of racism and segregation.


Historical marker at Gettysburg's Lincoln Cemetery

A website launch date was not announced, but the ACHS plans to provide updates on the project’s progress.

You can read a brief history of Lincoln Cemetery here on The Gettysburg Compiler, the website of Gettysburg College’s Civil War Institute.

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