Trinity Church Cemetery’s Elusive Black History
Posted on March 5, 2014

Trinity Church Cemetery, a bucolic swatch on the cusp of Harlem, is a deceptively rich canvas of black history. Its once-distinct “Colored Ground” has long vanished over time, yet the grounds still possess a hidden narrative of African-American experience in this city. This tour explores several of the cemetery’s 19th-century waypoints of black historical interest. None are marked. However, the evidence of things not seen forms a poignant and fascinating survey of topics that include the 20th U.S. Colored Regiment, the Colored Orphan Asylum, the Haitian Revolution, the Atlantic Slave Trade, and the New York Manumission Society’s African Free School, to name a few. Explore Manhattan’s only still-admitting cemetery—listed on the National Register of Historic Places—through the lens of its fragmented African-American heritage trail.


Tour Leader: Eric K. Washington

Meet: N.W. corner of Broadway and West 155th Street (in front of Audubon Terrace gates)

Cost of Tour: $15/person.

Metro: Take #1 train to 157th Street Station, then walk two blocks down Broadway; or take C train to 155th Street Station, then walk two blocks west to Broadway.


Eric K. Washington is a local historian, NYC tour guide and author of Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem.