African Burial Ground Guided Visitation At John Dickinson Plantation Announced

The John Dickinson Plantation is offering the opportunity to visit the African burial ground and engage with guides about the complex history of the site. The burial ground is believed to be the final resting place for enslaved and free Black men, women and children who died on the plantation. The guided visitations will reflect on the historical context and archaeological research surrounding this significant piece of Delaware’s shared history.

Guided visitations will be available on the following days at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.:

Sept. 17, 21, 24, 25 and 28
Oct. 1, 2, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 23, 26 and 29
Nov. 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19 and 20

The 1 ½ hour experience will include an orientation in the visitor center, a tour of the recreated log’d dwelling and a mile round-trip walk to the burial ground, which will include a moment of silence.

Due to limited capacity, reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling 302-739-3277.

For the safety of guests and staff, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs reserves the right to cancel or postpone any event due to due to inclement and/or dangerous weather conditions.

A majority of the activities will take place outdoors. Participants must be prepared for adverse weather conditions and for travel, by foot, over uneven terrain including an unpaved road and an agricultural field. The wearing of appropriate clothing is advised including a hat, closed-toed shoes with good tread such as sneakers or boots, long pants and clothing that accounts for current weather conditions and the presence of insects. Visitors are also advised to bring their own insect repellant and sunscreen.

The burial ground was found on March 9, 2021 on the property of the John Dickinson Plantation located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover. Answers to some of the frequently asked questions about the burial ground are available on the John Dickinson Plantation website. Additional information can be found in the podcast, “African Americans on the John Dickinson Plantation.”

These guided visitations are conducted as part of the division’s mission to share the stories of the lives of the Black families who lived, labored and died on the plantation.

The John Dickinson Plantation is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.

Source: Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs

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