James Parks (1843-1929) was an emancipated slave who was prominently buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He is the only person who was buried in this cemetery even though he was born on the property.

Parks was a slave right from his birth. Later he was emancipated and continued to work at the cemetery as a gravedigger. He helped chronographers to locate some of the landmarks and buildings that were very important for the foundation of Arlington National Cemetery: the slave cemetery, roads and other key locations. Parks was both a grave digger and maintenance man for the cemetery working in the U.S. Army for 68 years.

This might be interesting: After Parks' death on August 21, 1929, the Secretary of War Dwight Filley Davis conferred permission for James to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He was buried with full military honors. Today you can find his grave in section 15, grave 2, map grid G 26 near Selfridge Gate (West Gate).

More Info: www.wikipedia.org