Plans underway for the Freedom & Remembrance memorial commemorating those buried in the now defunct Moffatt Cemetery


PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) – Check out the preview above of one of three official Illinois State Historical Society markers that will be placed at the new Liberty Memorial and Remembrance at what was Moffatt Cemetery in South Peoria.

The group behind the effort are:

  • David Pitman – Peoria Area Community Activist, Peoria Park District Attorney, Executive Committee: Peoria Branch NAACP
  • Bob Hoffer – Member: Peoria Historical Society, Peoria County Genealogical Society, National Society Sons of the American Revolution
  • carl adams – Journalist, Lincoln historian, author: Nance: Trials of the First Slave Freed by Abraham Lincoln
  • Joe Hutchinson – Genealogist, Member: Peoria County Genealogical Society, Officer: Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War
  • Bill Poorman – Writer and media producer, the Lincoln enthusiast is still fundraising for the other two.
This is one of three markers that will be placed at a new memorial site on SW Adams & Griswold Street. This marker honors veterans who fought in the Civil War representing the Union, the War of 1812, the Spanish American War and a member of an East Coast Militia.(The week)

One of the markers will be dedicated to the story of Nancy Legins-Costley and her historic run for her freedom in the Illinois justice system. She lent the legal assistance of then-lawyer Abraham Lincoln to defend her case in the Supreme Court of Illinois, Bailey versus Cromwell.

The third marker will honor the 2,600 Peoria residents who are still buried there to this day in the now defunct Moffatt Cemetery. It was last used in 1905.

Once the three markers are completed, they will be placed near the site of the old cemetery at the intersection of Southwest Adams and Griswold Street.

One of the volunteers, Bill Poorman, spoke exclusively to 25 News‘ Brett Brooks about the layout and layout of the memorial site when it is due for completion later this year.

“The plan right now, tentatively, is to lay it out in a triangular fashion and then create a nice kind of space around it, maybe with walkways and have some real functionality to recognize all the amazing stories and people on this site today.”

The first marker honoring Union veterans, one from the War of 1812 and another from the Spanish-American War, will go on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum in time for July 4.

This is part two of the continuing coverage of Nancy Legins-Costley, the first enslaved person freed by Abraham Lincoln and the movement to commemorate his burial site at Moffatt Cemetery.

The men represented three different conflicts and one of them, Nathan Ashby, was present at the...
The men represented three different conflicts and one of them, Nathan Ashby, was present at the first Juneteenth in 1865 in Galveston, Texas. This will be on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum until it is placed at the new memorial at the intersection of SW Adams & Griswold Street in Peoria, Illinois.(The week)

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