Stories of Evergreen: Connection
By Ted Maris-Wolf, Evergreen Cemetery Caretaker
Yesterday, AmeriCorps NCCC members took a moment to reflect upon Elizabeth McIntyre’s headstone, which they had just uncovered at Historic Evergreen Cemetery.
Elizabeth McIntyre was born in Jamaica just several weeks after the British Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 took effect, theoretically freeing the island’s enslaved children under the age of six (while creating lengthy “apprenticeships” for those who were older). Was McIntyre one of the very first to become emancipated in Jamaica, or might she have been born free?
After traveling more than 1,000 miles during the course of her 71 years, McIntyre died in Richmond in 1905, at a moment when African Americans in Virginia faced new forms of legal segregation, racial violence, and disenfranchisement.
Though few details of McIntyre’s story are yet known, her remarkable journey reminds us that each marker in Evergreen Cemetery offers a unique window into a shared and interconnected past that can span counties, countries, or even continents.