The Negro / African Burial Ground in Savannah was designated in 1763 and was closed in 1850. The burial ground was the only place Black people were legally allowed to be buried. In 1850 the burial ground was redesigned as Whitefield Square and Calhoun Square. The Savannah Municipal Archives only has records of approximately (27) bodies that were removed from the burial ground.
Reverend George Whitefield
1. Whitefield was a wealthy English Anglican cleric, a Founder of the Methodist Church, and an evangelist.
2. 1740’s: Whitefield became the owner of the Providence plantation in South Carolina and became a slaveholder.
3. 1748 - 1750 Whitefield was the primary person who lobbied the Georgia Trustees to overturn its ban on slavery in Georgia.
4. Whitefield viewed the work of slaves as being essential for both the financial prosperity of Georgia and his Bethesda Orphanage in Savannah.
5. 1751 Georgia legalized slavery.
6. The children and adults residing at the Bethesda Orphanage were enslaved people owned by Whitefield.
7. 1770 Whitefield died and bequeathed 50 slaves to Countess Huntingdon. The slaves were never emancipated.
*Source: University of South Carolina, South Carolina Encyclopedia, Inventing George Whitefield: Race, Revivalism, and the Making of a Religious Icon.
John C. Calhoun
1. Calhoun was a South Carolina politician who served as Secretary of War, Secretary of State, Senator of South Carolina, and Vice President.
2. Calhoun was a pro-slavery politician and a slave owner.
3. Calhoun was one of the leading voices inciting terrorism, oppression and genocide against Black and indigenous people in America.
4. History scholars consider Calhoun to be the philosophical architect of the Civil War.
5. 1825 Calhoun opposed the U.S. diplomatic recognition of Haiti.
6. 1827 Calhoun created the nullification theory.
7. Calhoun created the States Rights philosophy.
8. 1830 Calhoun created the Indian Removal Act / The Trail of Tears. 60,000 Native Americans were marched by force from their land to create cotton plantations.
9. 1847 Calhoun supported the annexation of Texas to become a new slave state.
10. 1850 Calhoun opposed abolishing the slave trade in Washington D.C.
11. In 1850 Calhoun opposed admitting California into the Union as a free state.
12. 1850 Calhoun called for the secession of the Southern states from the Union.
*Source: United States Senate
John C. Calhoun’s name and monuments have recently been removed from major institutions including: Yale University (CT), Clemson University (SC), Lake Calhoun (MN), Marion Square (SC).
* In 2015 Dylann Roof, a white supremacist, killed nine Black parishioners inside the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The church is located on Calhoun Street and is around the Corner from Marion Square, which had a statue of John C. Calhoun. The monument was removed in 2020.
* During the Capitol building riot on January 6, 2021, a man entered the building carrying the Confederate flag. He was photographed standing in front of the painting of John C. Calhoun.