In 1870 undertaker Francis Gasch refused to conduct a burial because the family of the decease could not afford to pay the exorbitant cost of the funeral. This plight was quite common for newly freed African Americans. Recognizing the need for action Plummer intervened on the behalf of the family and assumed the financial responsibility. Thereafter, in an effort to empower members of his race to establish their own resources he called a meeting on June, 1870, where he proposed a society which the members in attendance named the Bladensburg Burying Association. Funds were raised by collecting membership dues which ensured its members a proper funeral.
The Bladensburg Union Burial Association is a fine example of black enterprise during the period of reconstruction. By utilizing self help methods to propel themselves out of difficult and turbulent time's beneficent societies were able to take care of their own by providing financial resources to its members who paid dues. Through self empowerment the Bladensburg Union Burial Association would go on to respond to its members needs through active community involvement for many years to come by providing for the needs of formerly enslaved, newly freed and future generations.
Wooden pole for Bladensburg Burying Association Banner.