Details for Camptown Cemetery (Atlas Number 5507017617)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507017617

Data

Marker Number 17617
Atlas Number 5507017617
Marker Title Camptown Cemetery
Index Entry Camptown Cemetery
Address
City Brenham
County Washington
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 751743
UTM Northing 3340187
Subject Codes Cemeteries, Graveyards
Marker Year 2013
Designations
Marker Location Mangrum Street, east of Kerr Street
Marker Size 27" x 42" with post
Marker Text This burial ground is the oldest predominantly African American cemetery in Brenham. It dates from the 1860s and historically has been associated with the nearby Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church. After the Civil War former Washington County slaves, many of whom also organized Mount Rose and St. John A. M. E. Churches, relocated to the wooded area of what became known as the Camptown addition. The name is derived from the federal troops who camped here from 1865-68 to keep peace between emancipated blacks and landowners. A surveyed map of the post dated July 1868 shows the cemetery already in use, just north of the Washington County Railroad near Hog Branch. The 17th infantry troops maintained a sense of community with the residents of Camptown, offering their dining hall to host worship on Sundays. Among the estimated 400 burials here may be soldiers who were victims of yellow fever outbreaks in 1866-67. At least 40 former slaves are known to be buried in Camptown cemetery, including several from the Seward Plantation. Caroline Seward (1811-1902) is also buried here, as is Waltman Bynum (1873-81), whose headstone has the oldest marked date. The cemetery is still in use, but activity declined over the years as additional burial options for African Americans (Walker Cemetery, 1895; Home Improvement Community Cemetery, 1900; Willow Grove Cemetery, 1915) became available. In recent years, after the site had become overgrown and neglected, Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church has taken a more active role in the cemetery’s restoration and maintenance. Camptown Cemetery remains hallowed ground and a precious record of the early history of the community.