A Visit to Cherokee Hill Cemetery…..

The following is an accounting of a visit to Cherokee Hill Cemetery in October, 2019, by Dr. Simona Perry and Luciana Spracher, Director, City of Savannah Municipal Archives.

Most graves in Cherokee Hill cemetery are laid out south (headstones) to north (footstones). There are also most likely many more graves in this site than there are markers, since there is so much bare ground Most of the graves with stones are on top of the hill. There is a slope that goes down towards the back of the cemetery (west). On the bottom of that slope are other grave sites, many unmarked and some marked. These graves are laid out west (headstones) to east (footstones). In general marked graves have professionally etched engravings or bronze plaques, but there are some where the names and dates have been hand-etched. According to Ms. Spracher, this hand carving is rather common in other area African American cemeteries.

Christmas Moultrie’s grave site is on the north side of the cemetery in a grove of tall cane grass and bamboo, near to other grave sites. There is a footstone at Moultrie’s grave that says Grandfather. To the immediate east of his grave are those Lucinda Brace (1893-1980) and Estella Ford (1896-1981) with “Loving Sisters” on their markers.

There is a slope that goes down to the back of the cemetery (west). On the bottom of that slope are other grave sites, (footstones). In general, marked graves have professionally etched engravings or bronze plaques, but there are some where the names and dates have been hand-etched. According to Ms. Spracher, hand carvings are also fairly common in other African American area cemeteries.

The book – Life and Labor on Argyle Island: Letters and Documents of a Savannah Rice Plantation 1833-1876 edited by James M. Clifton makes reference to Cherokee Hill Baptist Churchyard and could offer more information.

Author: Marty Barnes

Historian for the Mulberry Grove Foundation. Staff member, Davenport House Museum, Savannah Editor/Proofreader

2 thoughts on “A Visit to Cherokee Hill Cemetery…..”

  1. Thank you so much for mentioning my family, the Cuthbert’s. People tend to leave them out of the Mulberry Grove equation, when they were the ones who actually built Mulberry Grove Plantation. They came from Scotland, Castle Hill, Inverness. They built the planation as sister and brother. Ann Cuthbert and Madalyn Cuthbert were sisters. Madalyn stayed in Scotland. Ann Cuthbert sponsored my ancestor, Thomas Chisolm and his brother (her nephews), and they joined her in Georgia. When the Revolution broke out, they both joined and fought for American Independence. Thomas is my direct ancestor. He was Lt. Col. Thomas Chisolm and fought in Washington’s Continental Line. Thomas was also the first Surveyor General of Georgia after the Revolution. I am DAR and also a Daughter of the Cincinnati.

    Their contribution should be on the bronze marker on the highway as well. I visited the plantation on the Ports Authority property several years ago. They were very nice and took me and my daughter in a four wheel drive vehicle and showed us the ruins of the plantation and where George Washington came up the bluff from the Savannah River to the plantation when Nathaniel Greene lived at the time. This is totally bazaar but he was also buried in my Aunt’s tomb in the cemetery behind the old church on the square. His body has since been moved. So to me Nathaniel Greene totally usurped my family’s property, legacy and history.

    1. The Cuthbert’s are extremely important to Mulberry Grove’s history. They are the reason it is the oldest plantation in Georgia.John Cuthbert established the plantation in 1735 and when he died in 1739, his sister, Ann,became the owner through his will and became the first woman to own and run a planation. Thanks for checking out the blog.

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