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The Friends of the African Union Church Cemetery was established in 1996 to restore and preserve this historic cemetery owned by the Mt. Salem Union AME Church.

The Friend's primary mission is to preserve and share the rich history of the cemetery with the general public, from children through adults. The cemetery, part of one of the first free black communities in Delaware, includes the burials of five United States Colored Troops who fought bravely during the Civil War. Critical to this mission is to ensure that the site will be intact and accessible for future generations.

Purely by accident the cemetery was rediscovered over twenty years ago by a few adventurous children who discovered a tombstone amidst the marsh phragmites. Oral histories of Delaware City residents recall a time when the erosion of the canal bank caused some of the burials to literally fall into the canal.

The Friends group teaches the heritage of the African-American community in Delaware City, and in particular educates about the contribution of local African-American soldiers to the Union's efforts in the Civil War.

Board of Directors 2018


President: Wes Jones

Vice President: Linda Price

Treasurer: Jeanne Corman

Secretary: Craig O’Donnell

Executive Director: Linda L. Beck

Rev. Elwood Fews
Stan Green, Mayor, Delaware City
Carol Houck, City Manager, Delaware City
Roberta Perkins
Robert Seidle

Advisory Board 2018

Morine Anderson
Tracy Beck, Chair: Membership
Dick Cathcart
Laura Lee, Chair: Programming & Outreach
John McCarthy
Willis Phelps
Kate O’Donnell
David Orr

Gravestone of James Elbert


©2012 The Friends of the African Union Church Cemetery     Site Design: Throop & Associates