CLEMSON, SC (WSPA) – Clemson University said completed tested has revealed 604 possible unmarked graves which are believed to be those of African Americans in the university’s Woodland Cemetery.
Officials said that completed ground-penetrating radar testing found the unmarked graves throughout much of the cemetery which may pre-date the John C. Calhoun’s plantation.
Calhoun’s Fort Hill Plantation was located on the land from 1830 to 1865.
Clemson officials said the graves are believed to be those of “enslaved people who worked at the plantation and later as sharecroppers and Black laborers, including convicted individuals involved in the construction of Clemson College from 1890 to 1915.”
Work to find the possible graves began in late July. Initially, officials found more than 200 unmarked graves which dated back more than a century.
Later testing revealed additional possible grave sites in the western, northwestern, and northern slopes.
The university said many were also found in an area to the south and southeast which was previously identified as the “Site of Unknown Burials.”
Clemson has also installed additional signs, closed the area to vehicles, and restricted public access hours.