Of these, nearly 5,300 were black, though the records make no distinction between slave and free. Overall, about 15% of Bostonians buried in the city during that time were black, though the percentage goes as high as 23% in some years. Over the course of the 18th century, the percentage of blacks buried in these three graveyards dropped, though this was mainly due to an increase in white burials — the number of blacks buried stayed fairly constant:
|The three high peaks are smallpox epidemic years: 1721, 1730, and 1752.|
- What proportion of the city's dead were buried in these three municipal graveyards?
- Did that proportion differ for blacks and whites?
- Does the decrease in the % of black burials indicate a smaller relative population in later decades, or the use of a non-municipal burying ground?
- Is it safe to estimate the racial makeup of the city's population based on these numbers?
- How many surviving gravemarkers commemorate black Bostonians from this period? I know of one (Frank, 1771, Granary) are there more @ Copp's Hill?
- What % of black Bostonians were buried at Copp's Hill vs. Granary vs. King's Chapel?