March 9, 2020
Key West has a lot of history. One of the lesser known historic sites on the island is the African Cemetery at Higgs Beach memorial, located right next to the West Martello Tower.
As history tells it, in the summer of 1860 the US Navy captured several ships heading to Cuba engaged in the illegal trade of slaves. In all, 1,432 slaves were rescued by the US Navy and brought back to Key West where they received medical attention as well as clothing and shelter. Unfortunately, out of that number, 294 of the rescued slaves succumbed to injuries and sicknesses sustained while captured by the slavers.
The deceased were buried in unmarked graves on Higgs Beach where the West Martello Tower stands. A beautiful area was erected next to the West Martello Tower to commemorate those that lost their lives.
For other Key West information…
To see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events.
And for more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.
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