Dixwell 10 image

Grove Street Cemetery

You’ve now reached the oldest and first chartered cemetery in the nation, Grove Street Cemetery. As you pass by Grove Street Cemetery, you might consider entering to look at the gravesites of historic African American New Haveners. Though there aren’t many here, a few must be mentioned.

Laid to rest here is William Grimes, an African American man who escaped slavery by hiding in a empty carton barrel on a ship in Georgia and eventually ending up on Long Wharf here in New Haven. Born in 1784, Grimes was one of the first formerly enslaved people to write an autobiography, “Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave,” which was published in 1825. He went to become a renowned barber, right here in New Haven.

You can also find Mary A. Goodman, an African American woman who donated all of her life savings to the Yale Divinity School, to educate African American clergy.

Ebenezer Basset’s final resting place is also here at Grove Street Cemetery. Basset was the first Black person  to graduate from Central Connecticut State University and in 1869, as the United States' Minister Resident to Haiti, he became the first black diplomat in the United States. 

The Amistad Rebellion, which is discussed in our tour of the Hill, is also present here at the cemetery. 53 Mende people were kidnapped from Sierra Leone and brought to the Americas, rising up to take back their freedom, they ended up in New Haven. Winning their case for freedom, many of the men were able to return to Sierra Leone. Six of the Mende men died soon after arriving in New Haven. They are buried here and there is also a marker that pays tribute to them.

Finally, if you walk around the cemetery, you can also find the gravestones of African-American Civil War veterans who are buried here.

A Peoples' History of Dixwell
  1. Dixwell Tour Intro
  2. Hillhouse High School
  3. Directions to Monterey Jazz Club
  4. Monterey Jazz Club
  5. Directions to Hannah Gray Home
  6. Hannah Gray Home
  7. Directions to John Daniels Place
  8. John Daniels Place
  9. Directions to Goffe Street School
  10. Goffe Street School
  11. Directions to Negro YMCA
  12. Negro YMCA
  13. Directions to Masonic Temple
  14. Masonic Temple
  15. Directions to Q House
  16. Q House
  17. Directions to Bristol Street
  18. Bristol Street
  19. Directions to Grove Street Cemetery
  20. Grove Street Cemetery
  21. Directions to Attempt to Make an HBCU in New Haven
  22. Attempt to Create HBCU in New Haven
  23. Directions to Yale Law School
  24. Jane Matilda Bolin and Pauli Murray
  25. Directions to Grace Hopper College
  26. College Renamed
  27. Directions Back to Hillhouse High School
  28. End of Dixwell Tour