Assisting grassroots efforts to preserve a historical, African American institution of Suffolk, Virginia
Robert M. Phinney (alias Finney), was born enslaved, about 1818, in Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina. In the 1840s, he escaped slavery via the maritime Underground Railroad, and eventually settled in Weeksville, Brooklyn, New York. Weeksville was established shortly after New York abolished slavery in 1827. The community was named after James Weeks, a longshoreman and one of the earliest African American landowners in the area. Weeksville has been featured in recent publications, as longterm efforts to preserve the history of the site are threatened by a lack of funding and other resources.1
Originally added to the East End Cemetery database, FindaGrave, July 31, 2015. We were not informed by the Friends of East End that his burial site had been found in 2017 (we had to be a partner to receive that information). Nevertheless, we are happy that Henry Williams’ grave site has been located within the cemetery.