MEMORIAL DAY MONDAY – MAY 28 – HISTORIC FITZGERALD FAMILY CEMETERY CEREMONY
Commemorate the struggle for freedom and civil rights and early Durham African American pioneers at the Fitzgerald Family Plot of Maplewood Cemetery.
Honor Pauli Murray’s grandfather and Civil War veteran, Robert Fitzgerald, at a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Fitzgerald Family Cemetery. Learn more about the history of Maplewood Cemetery and visit the Pauli Murray-Richard Fitzgerald house at 906 Carroll Street.
MONDAY, MAY 28, 2012
10 a.m. – 12 noon
Open to Everyone
800 Block of Kent Street near Morehead Avenue at Maplewood Cemetery.
This cemetery contains the graves of more than 100 African American citizens of Durham including Civil War Veterans Robert G. Fitzgerald (pictured), Richard B. Fitzgerald and their families.
Both brothers served on behalf of the Union in the Civil War. Robert came to North Carolina to teach newly freed African Americans. Robert and his wife Cornelia Smith Fitzgerald are grandparents to the nationally known lawyer, writer, poet, human rights activist and Episcopal priest, Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray. Pauli Murray wrote eloquently of the family and early Durham history in her 1956 book, Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family. Richard Fitzgerald became very wealthy as one of Durham’s first brickmakers. He operated a kiln next to the cemetery. Many tobacco warehouses and Erwin Cotton Mill in Durham and Central Prison in Raleigh are made of Fitzgerald brick. In addition, Richard Fitzgerald was a founder and the first president of Mechanics and Farmers Bank.