520 Hancock Street in Gretna

Click on the tomb above for the McDonoghville cemetery photo album

Technically in Gretna, a portion of the cemetery lies in the Whitney neighborhood in Orleans parish. John McDonogh established this burial ground in 1850 for his enslaved Africans. Buried in McDonoghville, he was the first Caucasian laid to rest in this cemetery.

Mr. McDonogh was a wealthy eccentric who died a generous philanthropist. He had moved from Baltimore to New Orleans in 1800, and acquired wealth through his own business interests. In 1818, he lost the election for a seat in the U.S. Congress and left New Orleans proper to settle in McDonoghville, which is in present-day Algiers.

John McDonogh was a holder of enslaved Africans and had educated a handful of his "slaves", granted them manumission, and helped them establish a model community at McDonoghville. His intent was to prepare them for a new life in Liberia, West Africa. In 1842, eighty of his former enslaved Africans left New Orleans for Liberia. The ship was provided by the American Colonization Society.

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