Restoring a Legacy .....

Historic Dempsey D. Butler Cemetery located in Camden NJ is a 144 year old African American and Civil War Union Soldier burial site.

Restoration is greatly needed to perserve this landmark and to revive a "forgotten Legacy" in the neighborhood of Centerville.

PLEASE join Friends of Butler Cemetery Association in restoring the Legacy by making a donation through Heart of Camden

OR you may donate building materials to replace hairpin fencing, benches, cemetery markers and walkways.

Thank you for your support!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Join the campaign to restore HISTORIC DEMPSEY D BUTLER CEMETERY located in Camden NJ.

Please help raise funds by making an online donation via the
Heart of Camden
Click on the MAKE A DONATION BUTTON – write "Butler Cemetery" in the purpose field; select METHOD OF PAYMENT
Or you may mail your donation to: Butler Cemetery c/o Heart of Camden, 1742 Ferry Avenue, Camden, NJ 08104.
Butler Cemetery was established ca.1867 by DEMPSEY DANIEL BUTLER, a prominent businessman who amassed wealth as a Real Estate Entrepreneur. In addition to real estate, Mr. Butler owned and operated a General Store on Kaighn Ave in Camden City and Butler Hotel, located in Atlantic City NJ. His legacy includes Philanthropist, Abolitionist, Grand Master for the New Jersey State Chapter of Prince Hall Masons and establisher of UAME Churches. By the time of his death in January 1900, Mr. Butler was noted as the richest African American in the State of New Jersey.
Dempsey Butler was born a "free man" of color in Isle of Wight Va.,1820. He left home at a young age, and settled 1848 in Camden, New Jersey. Although "free" and wealthy, Mr. Butler faced the same challenges as all people of color. One such challenge was the denial to bury his wife Anna Eliza in a Camden City cemetery due to her race; his outrage was further augmented when he learned that "Colored" Camden residents who faithfully served in the Civil War were not allowed burial as well. This led Mr. Butler to purchase a small plot of land located directly behind Camden's then, "all white" Evergreen Cemetery, name it Butler Cemetery, and reinter his wife's remains there. To supplement the burial needs of Camden's "Colored" Residents, particularly USCT Civil War Veterans, Mr. Butler bequeath for five years following his death, free burials in Butler Cemetery to aid those unable to meet the expense.
The cemetery, is a rare green space, located within clear view of neighboring school children and is frequently used as a community park or a place to reflect by elder residents who enjoy the shade of Sycamore, Pine and Ash trees in the spring and summer.
Currently Butler Cemetery provides a final resting place for approximately 236 Camden City residents. Those interred of historical interests are Mr. and Mrs. Dempsey Butler and eight USCT Civil War Veterans.

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