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African American Cemeteries Forum

Knoxville, TN Fourth United Presbyterian Cemetery

This historic cemetery’s roster includes the graves of many prominent people who helped shape Knoxville’s history. These include Dr. Henry Morgan Green, for whom Green School was named, James and Ethel Beck and Laura Cansler, the founder of the first black school in Knoxville. Two of the most important graves belong to slaves held by President Andrew with him. On August 8th, when Andrew Johnson Johnson. It is believed that Elizabeth “Lizzie” Johnson Forbes and her brother Samuel went to Washington freed his slaves, the day became known as Emancipation Day in Tennessee.

For decades the First United Presbyterian Church Cemetery has struggled to survive against the hardships of confusion over ownership, vandalism, erosion, and the ravages of time and weather. Now the First and Fourth United Presbyterian Churches have united. Thus far, a small group of people with a vested interest has carried the burden of preservation alone, but this small historic treasure needs help in order to remain a sacred burial site with rich educational opportunities. We are applying for grants and have recently acquired a site plan to create a cemetary park on this important location.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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