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Man Gives Thoughts On Slave Cemetery Found On Family's Former Plantation

Graves were recently found.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- An unmarked slave cemetery found in Pulaski County is connected to an old Little Rock family. The Quapaw Indian tribe found the graves recently and say the property is part of the former Thibault plantation.

Frank Thibault, who lives in Benton, has been documenting his family's history for years and never knew a slave cemetery existed on the plantation until now.

"The original owners of the plantation were my great-great-grandparents," Thibault said.

The graves are on Thibault Road, near the Little Rock Port Authority and they were found by the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma during a recent purchase.

"This just came up and it was on family's property," Thibault said.

He tells us though a lot of information exists about his family's geneaology, the same can not be said about the slaves.

"I wish we had the names of the slaves. The slave census of 1850 and 1860 just gives gender and age," Thibault said.

In year's past, Thibault has helped volunteers with the Preservation of African American Cemeteries and looks forward to hopefully working with them on the most recent discovery.

He says he hasn't thought much about the fact his family once owned slaves since the discovery.

"History is history," Thibault said. "It's not something you can erase because you don't like it. If that's what happened, that's what happened."

Now Thibault wants to move forward and help document what could have been history lost.

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