Finding Aid to the Bladensburg Union Burial Association records, 1874โ€“1978, bulk 1920โ€“1970, in the Anacostia Community Museum Archives
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
ACMA.06-025
Creators:
Bladensburg Union Burial Association
Dates:
1874โ€“1978
bulk 1920-1970
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3.64 linear feet
4 boxes
Repository:
The collection, which dates from 1874 to 1978 and measures 3.64 linear feet, documents the history of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association. The records include the Association's constitution, by-laws, treasurer reports, receipts, and correspondence.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The collection is arranged into four main categories: Administration, Finances, Correspondence and Writings. Material in each folder is arranged in chronological order by date.
Series Description
1. Administration: The series contains constitution amendments, by-laws, applications, forms, roll calls, minutes and business related to the operation of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association.
2. Finances: The series contains materials related to funding the organization, to include treasurer reports, financial notebooks and expense receipts, which document membership dues and taxes.
3. Correspondence: The series consists primarily of correspondence generated by members of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association.
4. Writings: The series contains writings by Union members to include: the history of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association, bible verses, poetry and writings which are miscellaneous in nature.

Biography of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association
Biography of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association
In 1870 undertaker Francis Gasch refused to conduct a burial because the family of the decease could not afford to pay the exorbitant cost of the funeral. This plight was quite common for newly freed African Americans. Recognizing the need for action
Henry Vinton Plummer
intervened on the behalf of the family and assumed the financial responsibility. Thereafter, in an effort to empower members of his race to establish their own resources he called a meeting where he proposed a society which the members in attendance named the Bladensburg Burying Association. Funds were raised by collecting membership dues which ensured its members a proper funeral.
The
Bladensburg Union Burial Association
is a fine example of black enterprise during the period of reconstruction. By utilizing self help methods to propel themselves out of difficult and turbulent time's beneficent societies were able to take care of their own by providing financial resources to its members who paid dues. Through self empowerment the Bladensburg Union Burial Association would go on to respond to its members needs through active community involvement for many years to come by providing for the needs of formerly enslaved, newly freed and future generations.

Biography of Henry Vinton Plummer
Biography of Henry Vinton Plummer
The Bladensburg Union Burial Association's founder, Mr.
Henry Vinton Plummer
was a man of integrity and remarkable character. He was the eldest son of Adam Francis Plummer and Emily Saunders who were enslaved in Maryland on separate plantations for twenty two years. Plummer was one of eighteen children born from this union into slavery on July 31, 1844 on Sarah Ogle Hilleary's Three Sisters Plantation in Lanham, Maryland. He escaped slavery in 1862 by running away to the District of Columbia to join the Union Navy during the Civil War, where he served as chaplain for the Union forces before being honorably discharged in 1865. After being honorably discharged Plummer enrolled in Wayland Seminary, which provided education and training for Freedmen to enter into the Baptist ministry. Upon the completion of his theological studies he became the Pastor of the St. Paul Baptist Church in Bladensburg, Maryland, which was founded by his sister Sarah Miranda Plummer on October 19, 1866. Plummer married July Lomax of Virginia in 1867 and their marriage produced nine children. In 1884, Plummer was appointed as the first black chaplain in the 9th Calvary, which was one of the Buffalo Soldiers units of the Regular Army. Amidst controversy, Plummer was accused of conduct unbecoming an officer and dishonorably discharged from his post in Fort Robinson, Nebraska by a military court in 1894. In 2005, Plummer's descendants successfully petitioned the Army Board for Correction of Military Records to eradicate his dishonorable discharge.

Administration
Processing Information note
The records were processed in January 2008 by Tonijala D. Penn. Finding aid encoded by Jennifer Morris, 2015.
Author
Tonijala D. Penn
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The Bladensburg Union Burial Association records were donated to the Anacostia Community Museum on October 14, 2004 by Reverend L. Jerome Fowler.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
The Bladensburg Union Burial Association records, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Reverend L. Jerome Fowler.
Conditions Governing Access note
The collection is open for unrestricted research. Use requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use note
The Bladensburg Union Burial Association records are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.

Related Materials
This collection contains artifacts catalogued in
.
Some Plummer family papers are located within the
at Anacostia Community Museum Archives.
The Adam Francis Plummer Diary is within ACM's Oject collection.
Plummer, Nellie Arnold.
, 1997.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
African American churches Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Membership lists Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American clergy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American clergy -- History Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Funeral rites and ceremonies Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Papers Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bladensburg (Md.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Receipts (financial records) Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Plummer, Nellie Arnold, 1860-ca. 1920 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Plummer, Henry Vinton, 1844-1905 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
1901 Fort Place, SE
Washington, D.C. 20020
ACMArchives@si.edu
http://www.anacostia.si.edu/Collections/ArchiveCollection