Beyond This Life

Even in death, African Americans could not count on being shown consideration or dignity. It was not uncommon for African Americans not to have grave markers at all, even if no longer enslaved. 

The African American burial ground of Greens Farms Church lower cemetery is a field of unmarked graves. Two notable exceptions are stone graves, now felled including one for Dorcas Hyde, enslaved by John Hyde (Hide) the church deacon and Lynette (Lyzette) Monroe, wife of Henry Monroe, the first black landowner in Westport. 

In the upper cemetery, close to the church, another exception is Lucy Rowe who died in 1859. Born enslaved, as was her husband, Charles, Mrs. Rowe has a solid gravestone upon which the writing is still clear, if weathered. Mr. Rowe, who does not have a headstone, remained enslaved until 1848 when Emancipation was fully adopted in Connecticut. He was the Greens Farms Church sexton. The Rowes lived in Westport’s Hyde Lane, near what is today Long Lots Elementary School.

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