Monument to Enslaved People Relocated at Nazareth

Posted by Kacie Emmerson

January 20, 2023

A monument honoring enslaved people buried at Nazareth was relocated this week to a more prominent location in the Nazareth Cemetery.

The monument, which features a bronze plaque depicting a family and extended family members, was unveiled on the campus in 2012 during the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth’s Bicentennial year.

The monument is loaded onto a truck bed for transportation.

The project to create the monument was launched after Sisters discovered “unknown people” were buried in the cemetery. Today, the statue lists the names of 28 men, women, and children buried alongside the Sisters.

For a decade, the monument sat along the walkway in front of the cemetery near the Stations of the Cross. In 2022, however, leadership announced plans to construct a memorial plaza near the cemetery’s new entrance and move the monument there. The plaza allows easier access to walk around the monument and view the names, and will also feature seating and a place for reflection.

The monument is carefully placed in the center of the new memorial plaza.

Rock of Ages monument company moved the monument to the new plaza on Wednesday and will return to clean the statue and remove residue. Now that the monument has found a new home, the next stage will be to install the seating and finish landscaping the plaza, which will take place in the coming months.

7 Comments

  1. Rita Davis, SCN

    I love the new location! It honors more extensively the many persons who worked at Nazareth during those early years. May their spirits forgive and continue to bless us all.

    Reply
  2. Monica Boggs

    I was walking near the cemetery last week when I saw the new plaza where the monument is located. It is much more obvious than it was in the previous location. Thanks to all involved in making the decision to create a lovely spot where we can consider the many enslaved human beings who were a vital part of Nazareth’s history.

    Reply
  3. LINDA LANDER

    It is important to honor the men, women, and children who were enslaved at Nazareth and contributed to its growth. I created this video a decade ago from images of the 2012 dedication of the monument in its original location. There are also links to other videos about the monument.

    Link to Video: Memorial to Those Enslaved at Nazareth:
    https://youtu.be/0ozHtiEd0D0

    In July, 2012 the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, in Nazareth Kentucky, dedicated a memorial to the men, women, and children who were enslaved on their property from 1818 to 1865. The memorial symbolizes their important contributions to the development of Nazareth and to those who lived and studied there.

    The monument includes a bronze plaque and relief designed by the renowned Louisville sculptor Ed Hamilton. The plaque is inscribed with the words “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.” The beautiful bronze relief depicts the multigenerational enslaved families who worked on the property. The names of all known slaves are inscribed on the granite monument.

    Most of the enslaved workers were brought by Sisters when they entered the order at the Nazareth motherhouse. Sister Theresa Knabel, SCN, researched baptismal records, hand written letters, and other files to identify the names of all those enslaved. The record keeping practices of the time sometimes resulted in only the first names of the person being recorded, such as Winny or Jason..

    Video of the memorial dedication ceremony is available at the following: https://youtu.be/9A3U3U0XsKw

    A video of sculptor Ed Hamilton’s work on his Lincoln statue in Louisville is available at:
    https://youtu.be/V8bLk0MUtRo

    Reply
  4. Trudy Foster

    Thanks for moving the monument moved to a more accessible location. After reading “Subverise Habits”. I would like to research some of the families mentioned in that book.

    Reply
    • Trudy Foster

      Subversive is the correct spelling of the book’s title. Sorry, in my comment it is misspelled.

      Reply
  5. Tess Browne

    Amen. Alleluia. Thank you to Leadership. The names and dignity restored in 2012 now complete, and the enslaved ancestors included as family in final resting place. ¡Recordar es vivir! To remember is to live! ( to keep alive).
    May we go forward in hope and resolve in dismantling anti-Blackness.

    Reply
  6. Betty Blandford scn

    I am so happy to see the monument moved and “highlighted” for more people to honor those who were enslaved among us. May God lead all who visit here come to deeper understanding of what has been and our desires that we proclaim a new future that will bring to all a since of inclusion and fellowship!

    Reply

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