May 6, 2017
“May these headstones bear witness to their lives, of Salley and London, and the hundreds of other buried here who like them were born in slavery and knew no freedom on this earth, for they only knew freedom after crossing the River Jordan.”
– Mark Brown, Executive Director, Belmont Mansion
On Tuesday. May 2nd, together with the Nashville City Cemetery Association, Belmont Mansion Association dedicated headstones for two formerly enslaved residents of Nashville: London & Salley.
London & Salley were enslaved people working on the Acklen estates: London at the city home in downtown Nashville, and Salley at the country estate Belmont Mansion. While records of enslaved people at Belmont Mansion are sparse, we were able to discover London and Salley through the records of the Nashville City Cemetery, where they were buried upon their deaths in 1850 and 1862, respectively. Their modest headstones had been ruined by years of the elements and Belmont Mansion Association was honored to memorialize their lives through the dedication of new headstones.