The body of an African American woman was discovered in 2011 in Elmhurst, Queens, as part of what was originally thought to be a potential crime scene. It was determined that the woman, who had been buried in a Fisk coffin, died of small pox. Based on historical records, she has been tentatively identified as Martha Peterson, who was born in 1824 and died around 1851. She was buried in the Dutch Lane churchyard, founded in 1828 by the first generation of fully emancipated African Americans in Queens. Records suggest that she may have been taught by escaped slave, minister, educator and abolitionist James W. C. Pennington.
More information to come.