Former Slaves Buried in Hilliard

Somewhere in Hilliard the bodies of former slaves are buried. In 1823 Smith Slaughter, a slave owner from Virginia died. In his will, Slaughter ordered that his 16 slaves be set free. This was before the Civil War and owning slaves was legal in Virginia. It was never legal in Ohio. Slaughter also owned land in the Hilliard area on which the former slaves could be free to live. According to Slaughter's will, the slaves were given $100, a wagon, four horses, and 200 acres of Slaughter's farmland in Hilliard. Slaves named Jack, Dick, Coll, Luc, Agness, Nancy, Matilda, Jenny, and Jenny's daughters were among the names of the 16 slaves set free.

The freed slaves lived on the land for years and eventually died there too. Years later, the families of the free slaves sold the land. Where is this land?  It is now known as Norwich Street, Hamilton Road and Scioto-Darby Road. Somewhere in that area was a cemetery for the former slaves. But where exactly is it? No one really knows for sure.  The graves were unmarked.

Adapted by Cheryl Mione