FANDOM


   In a small town west of Jackson, Mississippi, is a graveyard that holds over thirteen hundred slave owners who were persecuted and sentenced to death after the Civil War. Mississippi has a long history of both slave ownership and allocating reparations to family members whose ancestors were slaves. The war ended in 1865 with the victor being the Union and as a result current slave owners were arrested in the following two to nine months. The charges varied from unlawful imprisonment to rape and murder.  Law enforcement and the President at the time Abraham Lincoln wrote into law "that all citizens must report current and past slave owners to local authorities so that they may be held accountable for their crimes." Many slave owners tried to flee the area in fear that their neighbors would turn them in; only five were successful.

   Sentencing and executions were held in the beginning of April 1866. Black men and women were freed and given citizenship in 1865 which allowed them the opportunity to attend the sentencing and executions of their former owners. Thirteen hundred slave owners were buried at the Civil Freedom cemetery between the years of 1866 and 1885; their grave stones only showing their date of birth and date of death.  Upon entrance to the cemetery, a six foot tall statue of Harriet Tubman stands tall; Governor Michael Randall stated, "The statue is a tribute to the resilience of black men, women, and children." President Lindsay Garner said in a 2002 interview that the Civil Freedom cemetery "is an important reminder that racism and slave labor will not be tolerated in this country and is punishable by death."