Skeleton Uncovered in Georgetown Basement May Be of Famous Former Slave

The Block of Q Street in Georgetown used to be a Presbyterian cemetery in the 1800s. The white cemetery was made into a park, while the black cemetery had homes built on top of it. Allegedly, all of the remains had been removed and exhumed. 

A resident of Georgetown recently found skeletal remains of at least four people in his basement. Workers were excavating the basement for home renovations when they stumbled upon the startling find. Although it was shocking, the residents aren't surprised. 

Archaeologists believe that most of the remaining skeletons in the area are of local slaves. They're working hard to figure out the identity... They have a hunch that one of the skeletons might be of Yarrow Mamout, a famous former slave who became an icon in Washington D.C. 

"He was an educated individual. He read and spoke Arabic. He had been kidnapped in West Africa and brought to Maryland," said Jerry McCoy, a special collections librarian at the DC Public Library.

Mamout was enslaved but then bought his own freedom. He saved his earnings and purchased stock at the Columbia Bank of Georgetown before buying his own property. 

"He was a local legend," McCoy said. 


The archaeologists have a hunch that one of the remains is of Mamout because his property was directly behind the home with the skeletons. "[It] would be an incredible discovery if that was able to be determined through DNA," McCoy said.

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