Randolph Cemetery is located in the downtown area of Columbia, South Carolina and is the first cemetery formally established for the city's African-American community. In 1871, nineteen local black legislators and businessmen came together to form an association to establish a respectable place for burial for blacks in Columbia. Prior to this period African-Americans were buried near the river in the local Potter's Field along with poor whites. The group initially purchased three acres of land from a pre-existing white cemetery (Elmwood Cemetery) in 1872. The men named their association and the cemetery in honor of Senator Benjamin Franklin Randolph.