Burying Ground

“Knowledge of This Cannot Be Hidden": A Report on the Westham Burying Ground by Dr. Lauranett L. Lee and Shelby M. Driskill was published in December 2019. As part of a one-year study of University of Richmond sponsored research, the report revealed that a site on the southeastern side of Westhampton Lake was once a burying ground for those enslaved by former landowners and that remains were discovered and desecrated by the University multiple times in the early to mid-twentieth century.

Following the publication of the report, a Burying Ground Memorialization Committee was formed and charged with identifying appropriate means to memorialize the burying ground and enslaved people who lived and labored on this land prior to the University’s arrival. Based on that work, the Committee forwarded a final report with three possible designs concepts that reflect lessons learned through meeting with and listening to the descendant community and campus stakeholders. 

UR is now working toward a permanent memorial to honor the enslaved burying ground on the land that became this campus, and we will share Burying Ground memorial updates throughout the process.