Slaves in at least one Northern community fared little better than those in the Deep South, according to a New Hampshire newspaper.
The Portsmouth Herald has detailed the findings of a report put together by archaeologists and scientists after a “Negro Burying Ground” was uncovered in the city in 2003.
At that time, a contractor excavating an area for a sewer manhole came across the base of a coffin. Eventually, eight bodies were found, ranging in age from 7 to 40 and all were Africans or of African descent.
“Some showed evidence of the hard work they performed throughout their short lives, some had poor teeth, some had childhood diseases,” according to the publication.
“This and much more was learned painstaking moment by painstaking moment by a group of archaeologists, dendochronologists, forensic anthropologists, historians and biochemists in the wake of the discovery of remains at what was once the city’s ‘Negro Burying Ground.’”
The eight bodies were among an estimated 200 Africans buried in what was then the outskirts of Portsmouth, once New Hampshire’s most populous city, from 1705 to the 1790s.