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Remains of man, child returned to Annapolis

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-25 10:43:31-04

ANNAPOLIS — The remains of a man and child were lost from a grave yard behind the Asbury United Methodist Church Annapolis decades ago, and now they are finally home.

Historians believe the remains are from Smith Price and his child. Price was a freed slave, a leader of the community and started the first black church in Annapolis.

Price and some of his family were found in a grave behind the church in the 1980s during construction. The bones were moved and Janice Hayes-Williams has been looking for them.

Hayes-Williams found the remains on a shelf in a museum in Calvert County, and now, decades later, his remains are back in the church he so loved.

"It feels like the period at the end of a sentence and that sentence is 'Our legacy has come in front of us. This is our legacy.'" said Hayes-Williams.

Dr. Julie Schalblitsky is the lead archaeologist for the State Highway Administration, and she will be looking at the remains to see if any DNA can be extracted to verify these are in fact Price and his child's remains. The relevance of this to the community is not lost on Schalblitsky.

"To see people come together in this sort of environment, it brings up, and it wells up inside you, this emotion of humanity and it actually connects you no matter what your skin color is," said Schalblitsky.

White, black, young and old witnessed the return of those who lived in the community and are excited to find out what they can tell us about ourselves from the early 1800s.

"They have now come back to teach us something more about life and each other, and about remembering them," Schalblitsky said.