The Shiloh Cemetery

The Shiloh Cemetery holds more burials of syphilis study participants than any other locations.

Constructed in the year of 1870, burials at this cemetery were initially under the permission of Mr. Barnes, the community’s white resident. The property where the cemetery is located was owned by Mr. Barnes, but he permitted Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church to make it as the cemetery of its members. After several years, the property was bought by Mr. Charlie Pollard, and he donated it to the church. Pollard was a participant of Tuskegee Syphilis Study and member of Shiloh Church.

Many of the grave markings were handmade and inscribed by hand. African American cemeteries were usually not landscaped with fancy trees or flowers. It is believed that this is based on a religious belief of acceptance of death as being realistic and that death and pain cannot be relieved by spending large sums of money when families must still live after the death of their loved ones. Many of the early grave sites in Shiloh don’t have markers.

The oldest identified grave site is 1881. Charlie Pollard and many other U.S. Public Healthy Study syphilis participants are buried in the Cemetery. Also, black slaves are buried in the cemetery.

A survey of the cemetery was conducted to identify and document the number of Tuskegee Syphilis Study participants buried in the Shiloh Cemetery.