The Friends of the

African Union Church Cemetery


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About Us

The Friends of the African Union Church Cemetery was established in 1996 to restore and preserve this historic cemetery owned by the Mt. Salem Union AME Church.

The Friend's primary mission is to preserve and share the rich history of the cemetery with the general public, from children through adults. The cemetery, part of one of the first free black communities in Delaware, includes the burials of five United States Colored Troops who fought bravely during the Civil War. Critical to this mission is to ensure that the site will be intact and accessible for future generations.

Purely by accident the cemetery was rediscovered over twenty years ago by a few adventurous children who discovered a tombstone amidst the marsh phragmites. Oral histories of Delaware City residents recall a time when the erosion of the canal bank caused some of the burials to literally fall into the canal.

The Friends group teaches the heritage of the African-American community in Delaware City, and in particular educates about the contribution of local African-American soldiers to the Union's efforts in the Civil War.

Board of Directors 2023

President: Craig O'Donnell
Vice President: Roberta Perkins
Treasurer: Jeanne Corman
Secretary: Tracy Beck

Executive Director: Wes Jones

David Baylor, City Manager, City of Delaware City - Ex-Officio
Linda Beck
Karen Brady - Ex-Officio
Paul Johnson, Mayor, City of Delaware City - Ex-Officio
Robert Seidle
Marilyn Whittington
Rev. Marilyn Turner - Ex-Officio


Advisory Board 2023

Dick Cathcart - Emeritus
Laura Lee, Chair: Programming & Outreach
John McCarthy
Kate O’Donnell
David Orr - Emeritus
Willis Phelps
Bradley Skelcher

The African Union Church Cemetery