“The African A.M.E. Church of the City of Philadelphia to Barnabas H. Bartol … party of 1st part leases to party of 2nd part of a lot on north side of Queen St. between 4th and 5th….” the same having been used and occupied by the parties of the first part hereto commonly known as the Bethel Church for the purposes of burial.” City of Philadelphia Deed Book JTO 209, 1869 January 1, p. 30.
Bishop Benjamin Tucker Tanner calls attention to the disgrace of Bethel trustees who have let the “consecrated grounds” of the church’s “Old Burial Ground” on Queen Street crumble. The plot is in gross disrepair and has been rented out for $500 a month to a company that dumps rubbish, old hogsheads, barrels and lumber over the graves. Christian Recorder 3 August 1872
In June of 1873, Bartol (the lessee of the plot) sought to be released from his agreement. The Bethel Trustees, led by Theodore Gould, did so on June 6, 1873 for a cash settlement and the erection of a “good fence” around the lot. Minutes of the Bethel Trustees, 6 June 1873
“Sixty years after the purchase of the ground that was long used by Mother Bethel as a burial ground,” the Trustees of Bethel rented the burial ground out on the first of January, 1869 to Barnabas H. Bartol, a sugar refiner, for 10 years at $500 per year; the lot is to be used for the storage of wagons and drays. The Philadelphia Tribune, 3 December 1921