Last week’s Northeast Times featured the first in a cool three-part series on the history of black communities in the Northeast for Black History Month. There has always been a significant African-American presence in the Northeast. A trip to the Trinity Oxford Church graveyard near Burholme, where there is a cluster of early 17th-century graves marked by the first names of slaves, attests that there were blacks in Northeast Philadelphia very early in its settlement. Read more below.
The practice of burying blacks and whites together was very unusual at the time, but it does indicate the close association between the races in remote regions like far Northeast Philadelphia, which was a thinly populated rural area in the 1700s. There were notices in newspapers of slave sales and runaway slaves in Frankford in the 1740s, and references to African-Americans in official records and in diaries of Frankford residents in the 18th century. [Source, scroll down] We’ll keep you posted about similar articles.