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Bristol, Rhode Island: Burial Mound of an Enslaved People Trader

Captain James DeWolf made a fortune in the slavery trade. His custom-built burial mound did not protect his corpse, if that's any consolation.

Woodlawn Ave., Bristol, RI
I-195 exit 2 to Hwy 136 south about 10 miles. Turn right onto Woodlawn Ave. Cemetery is on the left, near telephone pole 24. Burial mound is down a path toward the back.
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Burial mound.

Burial Mound of a Slave Trader

Captain James DeWolf made a fortune in the slave trade. He was notorious for throwing sick-but-still-living slaves into the Atlantic. When he retired, he built a deer park and found it so peaceful that he built his burial mound inside it, twenty feet high. He died the second richest man in the United States (The DeWolf family mansion, Linden Place, is about a mile from the cemetery at 500 Hope St., and is open to the public for a fee).

On May 11, 1842, a Mr. John Dickinson used gunpowder to blow the door off of James DeWolf's crypt and steal James' gold teeth. He netted $6.32 and went to the gallows 13 years later.

The crypt was last used in 1925 when George DeWolf hid out there to avoid creditors.

[William La Civita, 05/15/2013]

Nearby Offbeat Places

The Most Famous Tombstone In New EnglandThe Most Famous Tombstone In New England, Bristol, RI - < 1 mi.
Regular Joe the Potato HeadRegular Joe the Potato Head, Warren, RI - 3 mi.
Potato HeadsPotato Heads, Portsmouth, RI - 5 mi.
In the region:
King Richard's Faire, Carver, MA - 29 mi.

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