Tales from Historic Mount Nebo SeriesIs an ongoing series of stories about people connected to the historic Mount Nebo African American Episcopal Church, Cemetery, and/or Colored School in Bowie, Maryland.
Previous published articles in this series:
Prosperous White Farmer Claims Self-Defense for Killing Negro Named Thomas Turner
When Society Discovered that Dr. Watkins was a Negro
Dr. Watkins, The Colored Who Defied Housing Segregation Circa 1880
The Flu Shuns Us, Says Health Doctor
Some of those buried in the Mount Nebo African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church cemetery in Bowie, Maryland, outside of Washington, DC, were probably once enslaved. Though they lived at the bottom of the social/economic ladder, memories of them and their final resting places are being restored. “The work of the church’s members to reclaim the cemetery is proof that to many people Black lives matter in death, too,” says Morgan State University Archivist Dr. Ida Jones.
Mount Nebo church members formed the non-profit Friends of Historic Mount Nebo Preservation Corporation (FOHMNPC) and recently hired Dr. Tim Horsley to help them identify unmarked graves that are in the cemetery adjacent to the church. Horsley recently released the report from his high-resolution, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey of the cemetery.
The report says he detected 123 definite or probable burials and provided evidence for a further 122 possible burials. The geophysical archaeologist found an additional 19 tentative burials, “although these geophysical anomalies are more likely caused by other subsurface disturbance,” he says.