In the 1950s, the old Moffatt Cemetery near the corner of Griswold and Adams in Peoria was commercially redeveloped. It was thought that the graves had been moved, but recent research found that not to be true.
Indeed, about 2,600 Peoria citizens remain on the site. That includes everyday Peorians, 52 veterans, and Nance Legins-Costley – the first enslaved person that Abraham Lincoln helped free when he won her case before the Illinois Supreme Court in 1841.
Today, nothing exists to honor these Peorians. The Freedom & Remembrance Memorial will change that. A team of volunteers has secured funding for three Illinois State Historical Markers. The plan is to have the markers installed on the site in the first half of 2023. These honored dead will be
Please see the other sections of our site for more information:
• Find news coverage and updates
• Find out more about Nance Legins-Costley, her fight for freedom, and her connection to Abraham Lincoln
• Find out more about the markers that will be installed and the people and organizations that have made them possible
• To find out more about our volunteer team and to reach us, please see the contact page
Also, enjoy this video, which tells the story of Moffatt Cemetery and the efforts to honor those who rest there still. You’ll notice a slight name change for the project from memorial park to memorial. We did this to better reflect the vision as it has developed.
There’s more to come. Work will continue to install a flag with lighting and walkways. And the hope is that a grander vision will eventually be realized – a true gateway to the city of Peoria, building on our history, looking forward to the future, and rooted in freedom.
Thank you for your interest and support. Onward!