NYHIST-L Archives

June 1999


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Densmore <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 22 Jun 1999 14:29:17 -0400
TEXT/PLAIN (28 lines)
There's an interesting related site: The John W. Jones House (apparently
undergoing restoration at this time). Jones was a fugitive slave who came
to Elmira and was a very active agent on the underground railroad (it is
claimed that he assisted nearly 800 fugitive slaves) and sexton of the
First Baptist Church in Elmira. During the Civil War, he had the job of
buring the Confederate dead from Elmira Prison, and apparently did a very
consciencious job in seeing that burials were well recorded (to the relief
of relatives who came looking for their dead after the Civil War).

His efforts, and also those of a regiment of (primarily) New York State
colored troops who guarded the prison, are detailed in an article by
Joseph A. Douglass, "The Ironic Role of African Americans in the Elmira,
New York Civil War Prison Camp, 1964-1865," in AFRO-AMERICANS IN NEW YORK
HISTORY AND LIFE, Vol. 23, no. 1 (January 1999), 7-24.

Christopher Densmore
University Archives
University at Buffalo
420 Capen Hall
Box 602200
Buffalo, New York  14260-2200

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