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Woodland Cemetery Historic Preservation

Research and Teaching Resources

Clemson Special Collections and Archives

These collections are related to Cemetery Hill and Woodland Cemetery and are available to research at Special Collections and Archives at Clemson University. Many have been digitized and are available online through Tiger Prints.

Black Heritage in the Upper Piedmont of South Carolina Project Collection The Black Heritage in the Upper Piedmont Project, under the direction of Dr. W.J Megginson in the early 1990s, documented the rich heritage of local African American communities through photographs, oral history interviews, and documentary research.

Board of Trustees Records Since its beginnings in 1888, the Clemson University Board of Trustees is the main governing body for the university. As defined in Thomas Green Clemson’s will, the Board of Trustees consists of seven trustees who select their successors and six trustees who are appointed by the State Legislature. The Board’s main responsibility is to govern through establishment of policies that ensure academic quality and freedom, protect the university’s financial security, and ensure efficient and effective administration through the Board’s selected president and its executive officers. The Board of Trustees controls policy decisions for Woodland Cemetery.

John Caldwell Calhoun Papers The John C. Calhoun Papers consist of agreements, articles, clippings, correspondence, lists, notes, maps, microfilm, photographs, poems, receipts, speeches, statements, a survey book, an autograph draft and a photocopy of the “South Carolina Exposition” and other material relating to Fort Hill Plantation. The Papers include items dating from 1784 to 1980, but the bulk of the material dates from 1802-1850. The Calhoun Papers give insight into Black history at Fort Hill, including the enslaved persons believed to be buried on Cemetery Hill.

Papers of Carrel Cowan-Ricks, 1991-1993 Carrel Cowan-Ricks, a historical archaeologist and anthropologist, held an appointment at Clemson from 1991 to 1993. She conducted archaeological digs in Cemetery Hill to research the burials of enslaved people who lived at Fort Hill Plantation and the burials of African American convicted laborers who built Clemson University. This collection, which is partly digitized, includes the Archaeology Program Files, Cemetery Hill Archaeological Program Files, and her Research Files.

Thomas Green Clemson Papers These papers include journals, correspondence, business records, and legal papers, among others, of the Clemson and Calhoun families. The papers give insight into Black history at Fort Hill, including the enslaved persons, sharecroppers, tenant farmers, and domestic laborers believed to be buried on Cemetery Hill.

Clemson University Historical Images This digital collection features thousands of photographs of the Clemson campus from the 1890s to the 2000s, including photos of Woodland Cemetery, Memorial Stadium to the north of Woodland Cemetery, and the Fort Hill Plantation house.

Faculty Senate Minutes The Faculty Senate Minutes are available online from 1893 to 2013. The Faculty Senate makes recommendations for new policy changes and promotes the welfare of the faculty and its individual members.

Office the President Collections The Presidents' Reports to the Board of Trustees are available online from 1903 to 2015.

The Tiger Newspaper The Tiger is the student-run newspaper for Clemson University and its community. The newspaper is available online from 1907, when it was first published, to 2019.

Woodland Cemetery Stewardship Committee Records The Woodland Cemetery Stewardship Committee was established by Clemson President James F. Barker in 2000 to oversee the maintenance, protection, and preservation of Woodland Cemetery at Clemson University. The collection, which has been digitized, comprises records of the committee concerning their meetings, agendas, correspondence and research, which are all of particular use to anyone conducting research on Cemetery Hill, the University's Woodland Cemetery, or individuals buried there.

Local Libraries, Museums, and Historic Sites

Below is a list of libraries, museums, and historic sites near Clemson University, including Pendleton, Anderson, Greenville, Seneca, and Oconee County. Also included are some research centers and libraries in other areas of South Carolina.


Anderson County Museum

Anderson County Library System

Clemson and Clemson University

Clemson Area African American Museum

Clemson Experimental Forest (includes plantation ruins) at Clemson University

Fort Hill Plantation at Clemson University

Fort Rutledge at Clemson University

Hopewell Plantation at Clemson University

Pickens County Library System


Greenville Public Library

Upcountry History Museum


Ashtabula Plantation in Pendleton

Historic Pendleton Walking Tours

Pendleton Foundation for Black History and Culture

Pendleton Library as a part of Anderson County Public Libraries

Pendleton Historic District National Register Sites

Woodburn Historic House in Pendleton

Seneca and Oconee County

Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum in Seneca

Lunney Museum in Seneca

Museum of the Cherokee of South Carolina

Oconee Station State Historic Site

State of South Carolina

Darlington County Historical Commission and Museum

Native American Studies Center at the University of South Carolina Lancaster

South Carolina Department of Archives and History in Columbia



Digital Projects and Databases

The following list is comprised of digital history projects and databases related to African American history, Native American history, South Carolina history, and historic cemeteries.

African American Cemeteries in Albemarle and Amherst Counties This project, started by Dr. Lynn Rainville, provides information on historic Black funerals, locations of cemeteries, and biographical information about local families in Albemarle and Amherst Counties, Virginia.

Atlanta African American Funeral Programs A digitized collection of African American funeral programs from 1886 to 2019 at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American History and Culture.

African Burial Ground Project website for the African Burial Ground located in New York City, the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for free and enslaved Africans.

Black Cemetery Network The Black Cemetery Network works to connect projects that focus on restoring the forgotten or erased histories of Black cemeteries.

Black Digital History Projects List A freely available directory of online history projects on Black History research, especially research on individuals and families.

BlackPast A digital reference center on African American history and Global African history.

Call My Name Project Recovers, documents, honors, and tells stories about seven generations of people of African descent over more than three centuries from freedom in Africa to activism in America who have contributed to Clemson history.

Collecting, Preserving, and Telling Stories to Save Sewanee Black History Recovers, preserves, and shares more than 160 years of history of African Americans at Sewanee University.

Death and Human History in Athens An interdisciplinary and collaborative project at the University of Georgia that shares the complex history of Athens, Georgia through its historic cemeteries.

Digital Collections at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History Digitized records include colonial land plats, the National Register of Historic Places, will transcripts, military records, and more.

The Green Book of South Carolina Search over 400 cultural sites in South Carolina, including historic cemeteries, from the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission.

The Lowcountry Digital Library Explore research and historic documents of the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and related sites in the Atlantic World.

Native American South Carolina Archive Information on communities, timelines, maps, documents, and educational resources on Native American history in South Carolina.

Native American Studies Archive Information about Native American history and culture with an emphasis on South Carolina and surrounding areas.

Paths to the Burying Ground: Enslavement, Erasure and Memory Research on the Burying Ground recovered on the campus of the University of Richmond.

Richmond Cemeteries: Exploring Richmond, Virginia's historic burial grounds Research and digital tours of cemeteries in central Virginia created by faculty and students at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Sacred Burial Grounds Projects Information on research, preservation, and community efforts regarding burial grounds in Charleston and the South Carolina Low Country provided by the Gullah Society.

Sacred Ground, Sacred History Research and documentation of African American communities and historic cemeteries of the Tidewater region of Virginia and other areas in the South by genealogist and public historian Nadia K. Orton.

The Society of Justice and Equality for the People of Sugar Land and Convict Labor and Leasing Project both recover, document, and share the stories of 95 unnamed convicted laborers, 94 men and one woman, who had been leased by the state of Texas and whose graves were recently recovered on land owned by the Fort Bend Independent School District.

South Carolina Encyclopedia A database of more than 2,000 entries about the people, places, events, achievements, and ideals that contributed to the development of South Carolina.

We Shall Overcome: African American Stories at Oakland Cemetery Take a digital tour of the African American Burial Grounds at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.

Genealogy Resources

The following resources are helpful for researching genealogy and histories of individuals and families.

AfriGeneas: African Ancestored Genealogy Website for African American genealogy and researching African ancestry in the Americas.

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Supports scholarly research, provides resources for historical and genealogical studies, creates networking opportunities, and assists members in documenting their family stories. Research documents on individual and family histories, including the United States census, birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, military records, and more. Subscription required. Freedmen's Bureau Records Available for free, this collection provides digitized documents from the Freedmen's Bureau, created in 1865 to help freedpeople after enslavement with relief programs, land assistance, medical care, and educational support.

FamilySearch Search historical records on individuals and families for free.

Find A Grave Search for individual memorials and cemeteries across the United States.

Fold3 by Ancestry Search military records online.

International African American Museum Center for Family History Research center in Charleston, SC, that focuses on providing African American genealogical research resources and assistance for the public.

Library of Congress Search historical images, city directories, newspapers and more for free online.

Robert Frederick Smith Explore Your Family History Center at the National Museum of African American History and Culture Research guidance, workshops, and virtual sessions for African American genealogy.

The USGenWeb Project Provides free genealogy resources at the county and state level.

Books and Articles

The following list of books and articles cover topics including public history, ground penetrating radar (GPR), historical archaeology, African American history, Native American history, the history of South Carolina, the history of slavery, the history of medicine and death, and cemetery histories.

Balgooy, Max van, and Lonnie G. Bunch. Interpreting African American History and Culture at Museums and Historic Sites. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.

Blakey, Michael L. “African Burial Ground Project: Paradigm for Cooperation?” Museum International 62, no. 1-2 (2010): 61–68.

Brown, Vincent. The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008.

Burg, Steven. “’From Troubled Ground to Common Ground:’ The Locust Grove African-American Cemetery Restoration Project: A Case Study of Service-Learning and Community History.” The Public Historian 30 (May 2008): 51-82.

Conyers, Lawrence B. “Ground-Penetrating Radar Techniques to Discover and Map Historic Graves.” Historical Archaeology 40, no. 3 (2006): 64–73.

Conyers, Lawrence B. Interpreting Ground-Penetrating Radar for Archaeology. London: Routledge, 2016.

Cowan-Ricks, Carrel. “Cemetery Hill Archaeological Project: In Search of John C. Calhoun’s Pre-Emancipation African Americans,” South Carolina Antiquities 24, nos. 1 & 2 (1992): 19-28.

Downs, Jim. Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering During the Civil War and Reconstruction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Engelhart, William. “Equality at the Cemetery Gates: Study of an African American Burial Ground.” Michigan Journal of Race & Law 25, no. 25.1 (2020): 1–20.

Foreman, Richard, and Jas. W Mahoney. The Cherokee Physician: Or Indian Guide to Health, as Given by Richard Foreman, a Cherokee Doctor. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library, 2018.

Hudson, Larry E. To Have and to Hold: Slave Work and Family Life in Antebellum South Carolina. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1997.

Jackson, Antoinette T, and Paul A Shackel. Speaking for the Enslaved: Heritage Interpretation at Antebellum Plantation Sites. Vol. 5. Walnut Creek: Taylor and Francis, 2016.

Lemke, Ashley. “‘Missing Cemeteries’ and Structural Racism: Historical Maps and Endangered African/African American and Hispanic Mortuary Customs in Texas.” Historical Archaeology 54, no. 3 (2020): 605–623.

Megginson, W. J. African American Life in South Carolina's Upper Piedmont, 1780-1900. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2006.

Miles, Tiya. Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

Morgan, Philip D. Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press and Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1998.

Rainville, Lynn. Hidden History: African American Cemeteries in Central Virginia. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2014.

Roediger, David R. “And Die in Dixie: Funerals, Death, & Heaven in the Slave Community 1700-1865.” The Massachusetts Review 22, no. 1 (April 1, 1981): 163–183.

Seeman, Erik R. Death in the New World: Cross-Cultural Encounters, 1492-1800. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

Smith, Suzanne E. To Serve the Living: Funeral Directors and the African American Way of Death. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010.

Smith, Ryan K. Death and Rebirth in a Southern City: Richmond's Historic Cemeteries. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020.

Thomas, Rhondda Robinson. Call My Name, Clemson: Documenting the Black Experience in an American University Community. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2020.

Thomas, Rhondda Robinson. “Call My Name: Using Biographical Storytelling to Reconceptualize the History of African Americans at Clemson University," Biography 42, no. 3 (2019): 624-652.

Thomas, Rhondda Robinson. “Reconstruction, Public Memory, and the Making of Clemson University on John C. Calhoun’s Fort Hill Plantation,” American Literary History 30, no. 3 (2018): 584-607.

Tortora, Daniel J. Carolina in Crisis: Cherokees, Colonists, and Slaves in the American Southeast, 1756-1763. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015.

Wells-Oghoghomeh, Alexis. The Souls of Womenfolk: The Religious Cultures of Enslaved Women in the Lower South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2021.

Wolfe, Brendan. "Unearthing Slavery at the University of Virginia." University of Virginia Magazine, Spring 2013.

Popular Press

The following list includes newspaper articles and other popular press about historic cemeteries across the United States, with an emphasis on historic Black cemeteries.

Coello, Sara. "Mission to restore Lowcountry's historic Black cemeteries begins with Charleston graves," The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC), March 13, 2021.

Johnson, Kirk. "A Counter to Confederate Monuments, Black Cemeteries Tell a Fuller Story of the South," The New York Times (New York City, NY), Sep. 30, 2020.

Kersh, Lilly. "Remembering the lives of Brooklyn Cemetery," The Red & Black, June 17, 2021.

Lepore, Jill. “When Black History Is Unearthed, Who Gets to Speak for the Dead? Efforts to rescue African American burial grounds and remains have exposed deep conflicts over inheritance and representation.” The New Yorker (New York City, NY), Sep. 27, 2021.

McGreevy, Nora. "New Legislation Seeks to Protect the U.S.' Historic Black Cemeteries," Smithsonian Magazine, December 29, 2020.

Ruane, Michael E. "Archaeologists find more graves at lost Williamsburg African American cemetery," The Washington Post (Washington, D. C.), July 16, 2021.

Sharp, John. "Search in Africatown: Researchers to look for graves of former slaves and descendants from the Clotilda," Alabama Local News, December 28, 2020.

Shaw, Gwyneth K. "Testing finds signs of African-American burial ground beneath Chestnut Street property," Penn Today (Philadelphia, PA), Feb. 7, 2019.

Schneider, Gregory S. "A Virginia state senator found headstones on his property. It brought to light a historic injustice in D. C." The Washington Post (Washington, D. C.), Oct. 25, 2020.

Williams, Elliot C. "A Forgotten African American Burial Site Could Be Hidden Beneath a Quiet Georgetown Street," DCist (Washington, D.C.), February 12, 2021.

Popular press about Woodland Cemetery and the African American Burial Ground at Clemson University.

The African American Burial Ground, A. P. Calhoun Family Plot, and Woodland Cemetery Historic Preservation Project
The African American Burial Ground, A. P. Calhoun Family Plot, and Woodland Cemetery Historic Preservation Project | The cemetery is located on Woodland Drive at the intersection of Williamson Road and S. Palmetto Boulevard on the Clemson University campus. The team's offices are located in Suite 220 in Sirrine Hall.