The Resting Tree: An ancient tree shades slave cemetery

They say an old slave called Uncle Rube resembled Moses as he carried a tiny boy’s lifeless body to his favorite tree, where an open grave waited.

It was March 1798 when little Crippled Dan’s grave became the first in the largest known slave cemetery in the region. More than 210 years later, it lies along the western fringe of Sugar Hollow Park, about 15 yards from orange plastic fencing marking the path of a new road under construction.

Crippled Dan was born five years earlier with feet so deformed he never walked, said local historian V.N. “Bud” Phillips. Dan’s parents were slaves on Robert Preston’s vast Washington County, Va., plantation. They, and dozens of others, took two breaks a day from the fields and gathered under a mighty white oak that came to be known as the Resting Tree. Full Story

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