The Friends of the

African Union Church Cemetery


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Preservation, Commemoration, Education

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Five federal tombstones mark the USCT veterans' final resting place in Delaware City: James Elbert, Joseph Byard, Lewis Taylor, William Crawford, and Alexander Draper. Byard’s neighbor William Watson, another Polktown USCT veteran, may be interred here. In a nearby cemetery lies fellow soldier Joseph LeCount.

Polktown       Polktown

About the Friends of the African Union Church Cemetery

Right here in Delaware City lies an unheralded bit of American history – a lost cemetery containing the remains of generations of African-Americans from our area. This cemetery is the burial place of 5 members of the US Colored Troops who served bravely served the Union in the Civil War.

The Friends of the African Union Church Cemetery was founded in 1996 by concerned citizens to preserve and teach about this cemetery, owned by the Mt. Salem UAME Church. After two decades, the restored cemetery and memorial plaza opened to the public along the Delaware City Canal Trail.

It is our mission to preserve this place. We tell the story of the mostly forgotten people who lived here, died, and were buried there.

Join us to learn about The African Union Church Cemetery’s restoration and maintenance.

News and Notes...

Bi-Monthly Meeting

The Friends meet every the third Thursday of every other month. We are currently meeting online via ZOOM. If you are interested in attending this remote meeting see the link below.


Check out our Epitaph newsletter for history of the cemetery, its neighborhood, and its people, as well as progress reports about our renovations.

Voices from the Past

Voices from the Past is our wonderful FREE traveling education program designed for schools, community groups, and churches. The program shares the story of the once-forgotten cemetery and the local United States Colored Troops buried there. Living historian and storyteller Willis Phelps brings to life Private James Elbert, who served with the USCT during the Civil War and was nearly executed for desertion only to be found innocent. Accompanied by a facilitator that sets the stage for his presentation, the program is tailored for school children or the general public.


The African Union Church Cemetery