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Plans in Progress for Freedom & Remembrance Memorial Commemorating Those Buried in now-defunct Moffatt Cemetery

This is part two of continuing coverage of Nancy Legins-Costley, the first enslaved person freed by Abraham Lincoln and movement to commemorate her burial site at Moffatt Cemetery.
Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 5:54 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 19, 2022 at 6:13 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Check out the sneak peak above of one of the three official Illinois State Historical Society markers which will be placed at the new Freedom and Remembrance Memorial at what was Moffatt Cemetery in South Peoria.

The group behind the effort are:

  • David Pittman – Peoria area community activist, Peoria Park District advocate, Executive Committee: Peoria Branch NAACP
  • Bob Hoffer – Member: Peoria Historical Society, Peoria County Genealogical Society, National Society Sons of the American Revolution
  • Carl Adams – Journalist, Lincoln Historian, Author: Nance: Trials of the First Slave Freed by Abraham Lincoln
  • Joe Hutchinson – Genealogist, Member: Peoria County Genealogical Society, Officer: Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War
  • Bill Poorman – Writer and media producer, Lincoln enthusiast are still fundraising for the remaining two.
This is one of three markers set to be placed at a new memorial site on SW Adams & Griswold...
This is one of three markers set to be placed at a new memorial site on SW Adams & Griswold Street. This marker is honoring the Veterans who fought in the Civil War representing the Union, the War of 1812, the Spanish-American War and a member of an east coast militia.(Week)

One of the markers will be dedicated to the story of Nancy Legins-Costley and her historic run at her freedom in the Illinois court system. She lend of the legal aid of then-Attorney Abraham Lincoln to fight her case in the Illinois Supreme Court, Bailey v. Cromwell.

The third marker is going to honor the 2,600 Peoria residents whom are still buried there to this day at the now-defunct Moffatt Cemetery. It was last utilized in 1905.

Once all three of the markers are completed, they will be placed near the site of the former cemetery at the intersection of Southwest Adams and Griswold Street.

One of the volunteers, Bill Poorman spoke exclusively to 25 News’ Brett Brooks about the setup and arrangement for the memorial site when it’s set to be completed later this year.

“The plan right now tentatively, is to arrange them in a triangular fashion and then create a nice sort of space around it maybe with some walkways and have a real feature to recognize all the extraordinary stories and people who are on that site today.”

The first marker honoring the Union Vets, one from the War of 1812 and another from the Spanish-American War, will be on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum in time for the 4th of July.

This is part two of continuing coverage of Nancy Legins-Costley, the first enslaved person freed by Abraham Lincoln and movement to commemorate her burial site at Moffatt Cemetery.

The men represented three different conflicts and one, Nathan Ashby, was present at the...
The men represented three different conflicts and one, Nathan Ashby, was present at the original Juneteenth in 1865 in Galveston, Texas. This will be on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum until it is placed at the new memorial at the intersection of SW Adams & Griswold Street in Peoria, Illinois.(Week)

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