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USDA: Van Cortlandt Park was once a graveyard for early settlers

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The United State Department of Agriculture has confirmed that Van Cortlandt Park was once a graveyard for early settlers.

Soil scientists from the USDA performed a scan of the grounds in the park to try to find and locate the burial sites, and say they found soil disturbances that would indicate burial sites.

Kingsbridge Historical Society's President Nick Dembowski say this might show proof that slaves existed in the Bronx.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about slavery in America, people tend to think it was only in the south,” Dembowski said. “But there were enslaved people living and working in this park going back to 1698.”

Officials from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation say they're open to commemorating the site with signage and are collaborating with the Kingsbridge Historical Society.

 

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