Guinea Graveyard

Historical Significance

In 1806, white slave owner Abel West freed all of his slaves by deed. In his 1816 will, West left these freed slaves two hundred acres in Boston, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The land was given to them and their heirs to live on forever as a place of refuge. They also received "30 barrels of corn & 1,100 weight of pork, all of the flax, wool, & leather that may be in the house at my death."

Prior to their manumission there was probably a slave graveyard on this property. At a later date a cemetery on the property was called "Guinea," most likely a reference to the homeland of the enslaved individuals owned by West. The Guinea Cemetery is probably the oldest known black cemetery on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The slaves freed by Abel West included the following: Adam West, born about 1790; Annis West, born about 1800; Billy West, born about 1787; Bridget West, born about 1778; Fanny West, born about 1803; Frank West, born about 1789; Genny, born about 1785; James West, born about 1801; Mary West, born about 1788; Nancy, born about 1770; Parker West, born March 20, 1795; Saul West, born about 1790; Stran West, born June 1793; and Zipper West, born about 1800. Most likely these individuals were buried in the Guinea Cemetery, on the land they inherited from Abel West. 

Physical Description

Guinea Cemetery lies between Boston and Craddockville.

Geographical and Contact Information

Boston Rd
Painter, Virginia
23420

Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Guinea Graveyard,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed November 19, 2017, http://aahistoricsitesva.org/items/show/185.
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