Shockoe Bottom African Burial GroundVisit Website
The Shockoe Bottom African Burial Ground is located at 1554 E. Broad street in the historic Shockoe Bottom neighborhood, home of Richmond's original 32-block footprint, laid out by William Mayo at the commission of city founder William Byrd, in 1737. Known only as a "Burial Ground for Negroes" on an 1809 surveyor's map of Richmond, the Shockoe Bottom African Burial Ground was active from 1799 through 1816. It is notable for being Richmond's first municipal cemetery that was open to the burials of Black people, and for being the site of the city gallows where it was long thought that many of the members of the slave revolt of 1800 were hanged, including its principle organizer and strategist, 24-year old enslaved blacksmith Gabriel, known at the time as "General Gabriel", on Oct. 10, 1800. His burial place is unknown. Long lost to view, the 20th century reclamation process was launched on October 10, 2004 with the placement of the historic highway marker "Gabriel's Execution" on the sidewalk overpass between 15th and 16th streets on E. Broad St, by the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality. On December 10, the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project, and project committee, was formed to carry out the reclamation of Richmond's Black History in Shockoe Bottom by starting with the Burial Ground and Gabriel's Rebellion. The Shockoe Bottom African Burying Ground is one of two African Burial Grounds in the city of Richmond. The other is the Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground at 1305 N 5th St., which was opened as the replacement for the Shockoe Bottom African Burial Ground.