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Home North Carolina Rowan County City of Salisbury Historical Markers Old English Cemetery

Old English Cemetery

North Church Street, Salisbury, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 40' 10.794", -80° 28' 9.66"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Cornwallis' men buried here in 1781. Granted to city in 1770 by British government. Grave of Gov. John W. Ellis is here."
     The land for what has come to be known as the Old English Cemetery in Salisbury was donated to the city by Thomas Frohock upon his death in 1794 but had been used as a burying ground for years by that time. Over the ensuing decades the cemetery became the final resting place for generations of the leaders of Rowan County. Best known of those individuals was Gov. John Ellis (1820-1861), who died seven months into his term as the state’s chief executive. The cemetery includes a number of unmarked British graves, those likely being the remains of soldiers in Cornwallis’s army who died while in jail in Salisbury. Cornwallis’s camp was situated on the property where the Rowan Public Library now stands and his soldiers used the old town well at the back of the library property.

     The oldest grave in the cemetery is that of Col. Daniel Little who died on December 10, 1775. The cemetery was restored by the Pine Tree Garden Club of Salisbury in the 1960s. The Freedmen’s Cemetery is separated from the Old English Cemetery by a stone wall. In recent years efforts have been mounted to memorialize those buried in the Freedmen’s Cemetery and to repair the monuments in the Old English Cemetery.

James S. Brawley, The Rowan Story, 1753-1953 (1953)
Davyd Foard Hood, The Architecture of Rowan County (1983)
Salisbury Evening Post, September 9, 1966
Salisbury Post, August 18, 2003
Related Themes: North Carolina Cemetery Markers, Cemeteries, NC Graveyards,
Burial Grounds and Graves

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Old English Cemetery Historical Marker Location Map, Salisbury, North Carolina