ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) - A program honoring the life of John W. Jones will take place at Woodlawn Cemetery at 11:30 AM on Monday, May 30th, Memorial Day.

Jones was a freedom seeker who escaped from Virginia and settled in Elmira. He made history by respectfully burying close to 3,000 confederate soldiers who died in the Elmira Civil War Prison Camp.

As a result of meticulous record keeping, the US government designated the section where the confederate dead were buried a National Cemetery. Mr. Jones was also an abolitionist and agent of the Underground Railroad in Elmira.

He, along with other abolitionists, assisted 800 other fugitives of slavery escape to freedom.

"We are excited to have the acclaimed Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers pay homage to our local hero, John W. Jones. The songs selected by Dr. Baruch Whitehead are a perfect musical compliment to his life's story. This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to see these renowned singers perform and honor the legacy of Mr. Jones.", said Talima Aaron, President of the John W. Jones Museum Board of Trustees.

The John W. Jones Museum located on Davis Street across from the cemetery will be open for people attending the event. Facemasks are required to visit the museum, but not to attend the graveside ceremony.

The program will also feature spirituals sung by the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers.