The Friends of the

African Union Church Cemetery


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Our Film Debut

The Friends of the African Union Church Cemetery introduces “Voices Long Forgotten,” commemorating Black history in New Castle County.

The 20-minute video tells the story of Polktown, its restored African Union Church Cemetery, and a particular United States Colored Troops soldier, Pvt. James H. Elbert, who fought in the Civil War. He was among the thousands of free Blacks who enlisted in the USCT and opposed the Confederacy.

The free public showing will be Friday, October 14, 2022 at 7 p.m. at the Delaware City Fire Company, 815 5 th Street, with refreshments and a reception.

The film features Dr. David Orr and historical reënactor Willis Phelps telling the story of Pvt. James Elbert and his free Black village beside the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. An appearance by the Mt. Salem UAME Church choir and amazing photography of the African Union Church Cemetery bring the past into the present.

The Friends of the African Union Church Cemetery is a nonprofit organization. It maintains the historic cemetery at the city-end of the Mike Castle Trail and interprets local history through programs and publications. The video builds on the Friends’ long-running “Voices from the Past” living history program presented to schools and other organizations

“Voices Long Forgotten” was produced in conjunction with Sharon K. Baker of TELEDUCTION, INC. Contact TELEDUCTION at or Funding was provided in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Delaware Humanities as part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.

Our Program

Right now we are not scheduling our program for 2023. As soon as the COVID-19 situation clears up we will be scheduling.

Some of these will be at New Castle County libraries and are open to the public.


The African Union Church Cemetery