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Newport North Common Burying Ground and Braman Cemetery


The North Common Burying Ground (also known as the Old City Cemetery) and the Braman Cemetery line the west side of Farewell Street.  These two sites evolved independently but now appear as one.  They were established to serve the city as the Common Burying Ground became filled and additional burial space was needed. It is believed that Braman has about one thousand burials and North Common, five hundred.  Located in Braman are three fenced sections for Jewish burials dating from the early twentieth century. Braman also contains a number of burials of people who served the country's armed forces.

The Braman Cemetery was incorporated on March 3, 1898 by David B. Braman, Daniel B. Braman, and Robert N. Fell.  The city assumed responsibility for the site when the cemetery was "forfeited" on September 30, 1980.


Important burials in this site include:

Arthur Burton July 23, 1897- September 28, 1918

Private Arthur Burton was the only African-American service member from Rhode Island to be killed in action during World War I. The 372nd Infantry Regiment was attached to the French 157th "Red Hand" Division at the time of his death in combat. His unit was engaged in the Meuse - Argonne Operation which was the last allied offensive prior to the Armistice at 11:00 am on November 11, 1918.

Arthur was born July 23, 1897 in Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island. His parents were Carlton Evelyne Burton (1877 - 1900) and Anne W. (Lewis) Burton (1879 - 1914). His father died on April 30, 1900 when Arthur was a child. On June 9, 1900 he resided at 135 Dodge Street, Providence [Ward 8], Rhode Island, with his mother and maternal grandmother, Lucy Emiline (tbd) Lewis (1844 - Aft. 1900).

His mother later married William Tiggle. They had two sons from their marriage: Alfred Atell Tiggle (1907 - 1991) and Malcolm L. Tiggle (1908 - 1991). On April 27, 1910 Arthur was residing at 83 Battey Street, Providence [Ward 8], Rhode Island, with his Step-father, mother, and two step-brothers. Arthur's mother died August 29, 1914. His closest Burton relative was his paternal aunt, Nellie May Burton (1879 - 1931). She was the wife of Benjamin F. Burton (1876 - 1957) of Newport, Rhode Island.  

Arthur enlisted in the 1st Separate Infantry of the Connecticut National Guard on September 20, 1917. On January 1, 1918 he was assigned to Company K, 372nd Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division (Provisional). He boarded the troopship Susquehanna and departed Newport News, Virginia, for duty in Europe on March 30, 1918. He listed his paternal aunt, Nellie May Burton, 11 Filmore Street, Newport, Rhode Island as his primary next of kin should he be wounded or killed.

Nellie Burton was notified via telegram dated December 4, 1918, that Pvt. Arthur Burton had been killed on September 26, 1918. The date of his death was later listed as September 28, 1918. 

PVT. Arthur Burton's remains departed Antwerp, Belgium, on August 6, 1921 aboard the U.S.A.T. Wheaton. The U.S.A.T. Wheaton arrived at Hoboken, New Jersey, on August 25, 1921. PVT. Burton's remains were shipped to Rhode Island by rail and funeral services were held in Newport for him on September 18, 1921. His uncle, Benjamin Burton applied for a veterans headstone on April 7, 1947. This is the headstone currently in place in Braman cemetery today. 

Thanks to Matt McCoy Commissioner & State Coordinator, Rhode Island World War One Centennial Commission for providing the information.

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