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Slave Burials at Old Lapsley/Snow Farm Russell County

Russell County, KY

By Tine Reynolds

Slave Burials Recognized on Memorial Day this Year An unusual type of slave burial was performed at the old Lapsley/Snow Farm in Russell Co. Six slaves at this farm are validated by county death records.


The old slave house (recorded in county records) was located at the corner of the woods below the cemetery.

Those familiar with Civil War and later history say that usually the slaves were buried in a separate cemetery on the farm, not allowed to be part of the family cemetery. But here the slaves were buried with the family.

No doubt that reflects the importance of the slaves during very trying times in the 1820's when the widow Sarah Lane Lapsley had to operate the farm on her own with only the help of a slave or two.

Her husband, son of the farm founder, had died and left her with only a 5-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.

My sister Noyce Lane Bischoff and I can remember being told that the fieldstone rocks in the cemetery marked the graves of slaves.

This Lapsley Family Cemetery includes not only these very historic slave burials, but also burials of other important historical epochs: a Civil War soldier and also a Revolutionary War Patriot, James Lapsley, Sr., founder of the farm (about 1799).

This farm is thought to be the oldest farm still in existence today in Russell Co. to be operated since its founding by the same family.

The farm received a Bicentennial Award and plaque from the State of KY for its age and being owned continuously by the same family. (Also photo of plaque.) --Tine Reynolds


This story was posted on 2014-05-20 04:54:11
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