Our volunteer team is happy to announce that, as of fall 2022, all of the markers for the Peoria Freedom & Remembrance Memorial have been cast and are here in their future home!
We proudly present the marker dedicated to Nance Legins-Costley, the first enslaved person that Abraham Lincoln helped free when he won her case before the Illinois Supreme Court in 1841.
Here now the marker telling the overall story of Moffatt Cemetery and the 2,600 everyday citizens that rest there still.
And now, in honor, the marker memorializing the 52 veterans who rest still at the site, mostly veterans of the Civil War and one, Nathan Ashby, who was present at the original Juneteenth celebration in Galveston, TX when he was serving as a soldier there.
In total, more than $17,0000 has been raised for the memorial. About one third of that came from individual donations, while the rest came from groups and grants. Fully 40% of the funding came from sources right here in the Peoria area, while the balance came from national granting organizations.
Among the organizations that are making this possible are:
• The Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War
• The Sons of the American Revolution
• The William G. Pomeroy Foundation
• The Abraham Lincoln Association
We also want to thank again the following organizations, who are providing essential and invaluable support and services that will make this vision a reality:
• Roofers Union Local 69 in Peoria – for donating the property to the City of Peoria on which the memorial will be installed
• The City of Peoria, its officials, and its staff for taking ownership of the property and providing necessary legal work
• The Peoria Park District and its staff and board for their help with installing the markers when the time comes
We also want to thank the Peoria Historical Society for providing local fundraising services. There are many, many others to thank, too – more than we can list here right now. We will celebrate everyone in time, but for now, thank you, too!
Just to preview the future of the Freedom & Remembrance Memorial project, we hope to have the markers in the ground in the first half of 2023. If you’d like to help in any way, please reach out.