The Shockoe Hill Cemetery area is at the northern terminus of Shockoe Hill, which drops precipitously to Bacons Quarter Branch Valley. For many years this formed the northern boundary of Richmond. Away from the commercial and residential development along the James River, the area was well suited for secondary and what were considered undesirable uses. The city acquired most of the Shockoe Cemetery area for the establishment of a poorhouse in 1799, deeded a plot of land for the establishment of a Hebrew cemetery in 1816, and in 1825 surveyed the public land for a municipal cemetery.
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