A notation on a burial card for Section 98 leads to the final resting place of the last documented slave at the Schuyler Flatts.
The article below was published in the Albany Journal on July 31, 1888 and, while the container here is described as a flour barrel, it relates to the same discovery of remains covered in a second article published on August 2 – see Bones In A Sugar Barrel. Any question marks or brackets in the body of the article indicate that the newspaper is illegible in those places.
The Albany Journal, Tuesday, July 31, 1888
Some Of Their Bones Dumped Into A Flour Barrel
Excavations on Beaver Street Disclose the Crumbling Remnants of Dutch Burghers – A Former Graveyard Under Pick and Shovel – Antique Inscriptions on Tombstones
Three skulls and a number of thigh bones, ribs and other of the smaller bones of human skeletons were unearthed Tuesday afternoon in front of the old Jackson corps armory on Beaver street. Together with the space in front of the old armory building and the old public market building site, the [illegible] between Beaver street and the old Dutch church was used as a burial ground by the congregation of that church many years ago. The Dutch church on Beaver street was built in 1805, when the tombstones and the remains of members of the congregation who had been buried in the original Dutch church burying plat at the intersection of State street and Broadway, were taken up and re-interred at the Beaver street house of worship. Continue reading
The greatest percentage of interments records in The Book of Burials are those from the churchyard. Established around 1676 on Beaver Street east of South Pearl, this churchyard was the successor to the burial ground alongside the Dutch Reformed Church at Broadway and State Street. In addition to new burials, it received remains moved from its predecessor. As this graveyard ran out of room, the headstones would be laid flat over the graves and a new six-foot deep layer of earth spread over it. New graves would then be opened in this layer above the older burials, a process repeated at least three times.
In 1806, the Second or Middle Dutch Reformed Church was constructed on the site and, again, the remaining headstones were laid over the graves and covered with earth. Burials here had, by this time, ended with the opening of a municipal cemetery just south of the Capitol and, later, with the establishment of the State Street Burying Grounds which included two large sections for Dutch Reformed interments. Continue reading
Below is a chronological list of burials in the vault of the First Dutch Reformed Church which stood on Broadway at the foot of State Street hill until 1806.
Many of these burials were removed to the Second Dutch Reformed Church where they were placed in a vault beneath the bell tower. Later, some were moved to the Madison Avenue Reformed Church and, eventually, to the Church Grounds (see Albany’s Dutch Stones and Not The Right Stones).
See The Book of Burials master post for further details on the list.