*&».-«*. BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 3 9999 06660 790 2 mo w £ to * 5 I . e. ^o bo /Sl£ City Document. — JV*o. 7. / PUBLIC CEMETERY. In Common Council, Sept. 6, 1847. Report read, laid upon the table, and ordered to be printed. Attest, JOSHUA SEAVER, Clerk. % » 2 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. CITY OF ROXBURY. City Council, September 6, 1847. The Joint Standing Committee on Burial Grounds, respectfully submit the following REPORT: From the very limited extent of the several Burial * Grounds in Roxbury, and the rapid increase of in- habitants, it has become necessary that a tract of land should be procured, in as nearly a central posi- tion of the City, as is practicable, for a public Cem- etery, and of a sufficient size to meet the prospective requirements of a population which must be vastly augmented within less than thirty years. Confined places of sepulchre, of the character of which now exist, in the midst of a large and dense population, are not only considered deleterious in their effects upon the public health, but incompati- ble with a proper respect for the dead, as well as unpleasant and objectionable appendages to the hab- itations of the living. While modern nations have rivalled those of anti- quity, that were most distinguished for their advance- ment in letters, science and the arts, in intelligence, enterprise and grandeur ; and far surpassed them in the establishment of numerous important institutions for ameliorating the condition, elevating the character, improving the morals and extending the advantages of instruction and refinement to all classes of the people ; and notwithstanding the immense benefits which have been derived from the glorious revela- tions of the Messiah, as contrasted with the infinite- 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT— No. 7. 3 ly various mythologies of antecedent ages, for a more perfect development of the affections of the heart, the guidance of enlightened reason, and a knowledge of the higher duties incumbent upon the faithful dis- ciples of the Sacred Messenger of Omnipotence ; still have they remained far in the rear of Pagan empires, in appropriate manifestations of respect for the memory of deceased relatives and friends, and the names, characters and services of their illus- trious benefactors in peace and war. The ancients not considering it either decorous or reverential to the dead, to deposit their remains in the midst of the living, while a proper regard to sanitory principles, rendered such a custom highly objectionable ; therefore, they were induced to lo- cate their sepulchres beyond the walls of the cities. The cemeteries of the ever memorable city of Thebes, were excavated in the distant mountains ; and that of Memphis, the last regal capital of the Pharaohs of Egypt, was on the borders of lake Me- oris. There expensive catacombs were cut in the solid rock, and richly embellished with sculptures, paintings, and inscriptions, illustrative of the rank and memorable events, in the lives of the individu- als, whose remains were there deposited, after having been embalmed in such a perfect manner as to yet exist in an undecayed condition, after the lapse of more than three thousand years. The chief burial places of Jerusalem were in the valley of Jehoshaphat, and in the sides of the adjacent hills. There the " Potters Field" was located, which was purchased by the priests with the returned " pieces of silver" which the compunctious and re- pentant Judas had received as " the price of blood ;" 4 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. and on the borders of Mount Calvary was the " new sepulchre" of Joseph of Arimathea, in which the body of the crucified Saviour of the World was laid. The Cemetery of Athens was in the Ceramicus, which extended from the gate opposite the Forum to the garden of the academy, and included the residence and school of Plato. Within that spacious area were not only interred the citizens of the most superb city of Greece, but the ashes of every officer, soldier, and mariner, who fell in battle in distant re- gions, were brought back, and there deposited. Pro- cessions, formed by each of the ten tribes to which they belonged, accompanied the funeral car. Ora- tors were appointed to deliver eulogiums, and richly sculptured cenotaphs were erected at the public ex- pense, to commemorate their names and gallant deeds in defence of the rights and honor of their country. The Greeks, instead of desecrating their splendid temples, as we do our churches, by the inhumation of dead bodies within their hallowed walls, allowed no tomb to be made within sight of the magnificent national temple of Apollo at Delos, or even within sight of the island, which had been solemnly dedi- cated to that divinity. The Romans were prohibited, by the twelve ta- bles of the laws, from burying, or burning any per- son upon the funeral pile, within the walls of their cities. The funereal monuments of the most distin- guished civil and military officers and noble and wealthy citizens were reared on the borders of the Appian, Claudian, Flaminian, and the other great highways which connected the Imperial city with distant parts of the empire ; and many of them still remain as imperishable memorials of the veneration 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT— No. 7. 5 of the people for their eminent men, and of parental and filial affection. The beautiful marble sarcopha- gus of Scipio Africanus, was removed from the majestic mausoleum of that eminent family, by one of the modern pontiffs, and is still to be seen in the Vatican, and has been often copied, as a sepulchral monument, in the cemeteries of Europe and this country. That of Spurzheim, near the gateway of Mount Auburn, is an example. Even the Turks have imitated the example of the Israelites, whose God and religion is so far acknowl- edged as to form the basis of Mahomet's Koran, and have established their cemetery for Constantinople on the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus of Thrace ; and from the universal custom of planting trees at each end of the graves by the surviving relatives, the extensive grove which has thus been formed in the burial-place of Scutari, during the five centuries which have passed since the banner of the crescent was planted upon the Imperial palace of the last of the Csesars, forms one of the most interesting and picturesque features in the scenery of the Ottoman capital, and is a favorite place of visitation by all ranks of the people during the sultry months of sum- mer. During the age of the Patriarchs, groves, hills, Vallies and other umbrageous situations were select- ed as the most appropriate localities for sepulchres. When Sarah died, Abraham purchased " the field of Ephron, in Machpela, with all the trees that were therein and the borders round about, as a burying- place," and there he deposited the remains of his wife, and " there they buried Abraham, Isaac, Re- bekah, and Leah ; " and when Jacob had blessed his 6 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. sons, " he said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people : bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron." Eleazer was buried " in a hill that pertained to Phineas ; " Deb- orah " beneath Bethel under an oak ; " Saul and his sons " under a tree ; " and Menassah and Ammon " in the garden of Uzza." So general was the practice of all nations, both ancient and modern, to exclude cemeteries from cities, that no adverse example was presented in any portion of Europe, until the reign of Pope Gregory the Great, in the sixth century, when he allowed vaults to be constructed under the churches of Rome, and that unfortunate precedent was gradually fol- lowed by all Christian nations, with the addition of permitting inhumations within the enclosures of cathedrals, churches and chapels. At last, after the experience of twelve centuries, the same prudential considerations for the preserva- tion of the public health, and a returning recognition of that pious and respectful regard for the ashes and memory of the dead, which induced the Orientals to locate their cemeteries at a proper distance from their cities, combined with the difficulty of obtaining a suf- ficiently spacious tract of land within the limits of the thronged capital of the French empire, to meet the increasing demand for a place of interment, com- pelled the municipal government to seek an eligible site in the country ; and in 1804 the extensive park of Pere la Chaise was purchased for that purpose. The grounds were laid out by Broguiart, a celebra- ted artist, under the superintendence of Count Chrobrol de Valvie, Prefect of the department of the Seine. 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT— No. 7. 7 Causes adverse to the indulgence of agreeable recollections of departed friends, were combined in such a revolting manner in Paris, as to preclude the indulgence of a disposition to recur to the sad event of their dissolution. The places of inhumation were in confined, foetid and horrible situations, where the rays of the sun scarcely appeared, and in which broad, deep and dark pits were daily opened, into which the dead bodies were thrown that were re- moved from the houses in the night, unaccompanied by any one save the undertakers. The dead were not even enclosed in the meanest coffins, and often stript of all their vestments before the last act of the terrible rite was completed ; while against the high, damp and moss covered walls of the general enclo- sure, were promiscuously piled up the bones of thousands of men, women and children, which had been annually removed from the re-opened vaults to make room for the remains of other unfortunate be- ings, who were doomed to the same horrible exit from the midst of their relatives and friends. Like fearful charnel-houses existed in Rome, and many other European cities, and the humid, dreary, and inappropriate arches formed under the sanctuaries of religion, as well as the usual churchyards of all Christian countries, were but little less forbidding in their appearance and associations ; and consequently, so far from inviting frequent visits of friends to the " narrow houses " of their deceased companions, such was the deplorable array of delapidated monu- ments, nearly obscured by rank and noxious weeds and the lugrubrious aspect of the whole scene, that they were avoided with a kind of horror, approach- ing to a superstitious dread of the apprehended con- 8 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. sequences, of an attempt to identify the position where reposed the ashes of parents or children. To forget that they have thus been separated from the living and consigned to utter oblivion, was the awful alternative that devolved upon the bereaved rela- tives. But the establishment of the rural cemetery of Pere la Chaise, had a powerful influence upon the whole people. Long suppressed sympathies have been resuscitated, devotion has been roused, and a generous interest experienced for the remains of de- parted kindred, and thus rendered often repeated visits to the graves of those who had been loved and revered, sources of sad, yet instructive meditation, of reminiscences that are " pleasant but mournful to the soul." It is in such consecrated grounds, — those umbrageous, picturesque and silent " Gardens of the Dead," that piety is excited, patriotism exalted, and the affections developed in such an emphatic manner, as to invest funereal rites with sanctity, refine the morals of society, dignify humanity, and add lustre to the character of nations. But such a great and novel change in the estab- lished customs of nations, and especially among the luxurious and pleasure-seeking people of the Euro- pean capital, required the potent influence of culti- vated reason, the sanction of imposing example, the embellishments of the arts, — the exciting effects of civil and military processions, — the requiems of "peace-parted souls," the far-resounding beat of the muffled drum, the occasional blasts of the war-trum- pet, the drooping banner of many a stricken field, the pomp of mustered legions bronzed in the smoke of battle, contrasted with the sad drapery of the 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT— No. 7. 9 grief-bowed and heart-stricken members of the mourning household, the thrilling appeals of elo- quence, the munificence of the affluent, and the ex- tended patronage of government, to render the long- required experiment as successful in its moralizing effects, as it was honorable and sublime in conception. Public opinion had not included in the number of essential virtues, a holy respect for the ashes and memory of relatives and friends. All melancholy reflections had been so long uniformly repulsed by the chilling influence of precedent, and whatever might cause reflection upon the instability of human hap- piness and the fragility of existence was studiously excluded from the mind, from the lamentable indif- ference which prevailed in relation to those unavoid- able and unceasing daily calamities, to which all are liable and must ultimately submit ; but could not anticipate their realization by a single prospective glance, in the full enjoyment of health, prosperity and the perpetual festivities of the community by which they were surrounded, from which grief and sorrow were conventionally excluded, as incompati- ble with the spirit and manners of the age. As late therefore as 1812, and after the expiration of eight years, from the foundation of the cemetery only about one hundred monuments had been reared ; but the following year an ardent zeal began to be evinced for venerating the memory of departed friends in the night of the tomb. The commanding site of Pere la Chaise, and the natural advantages which it combined, with the salutary measures and great efforts which were made to render it interest- ing and available for all the purposes for which it had been established, attracted the attention of all 10 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. ranks of the people. A manufactory of every kind of funereal monuments was included within the grounds, which was supplied with granite, marble, free stone and other requisite materials ; the most perfect and admirable models, and workmen of the first talent to execute all orders with promptness and skill in the best manner, as well as bronze and iron palings of various beautiful patterns for protecting the sepulchres from outrage. The porter prepared wreaths and crowns, and daily supplied freshly gathered flowers for relatives and friends to decorate the tombs of the deceased members of their families. In 1814, the number of monuments was increased to five hundred, and in 1827 there were three thou- sand, and there had been deposited in all the compart- ments, including that appropriated to those persons who were so poor as not to be able to purchase per- petual graves, one hundred and sixty-six thousand eight hundred bodies. Marshals Messena, Ney, Lefevre, and other re- nowned military chieftains, who were well known to all Europe by their brilliant achievements, there found the term of their glory, but not of their fame ; the companions of their victories were emulous to continue their homage in the eclipse of the sepulchre. Perpetual tombs having been ultimately forbidden in the other public and private burial places in Paris, and the doors of the Pantheon, which had been ded- icated for the reception of the ashes of illustrious men, at last closed against the grand dignataries of a government which no longer existed, the cemetery of Pere la Chaise, became the place of rendezvous for all the great and opulent personages of the city ; for the distinguished in letters, science and the arts ; 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT— No 7. 11 for men celebrated as active participants in remark- able political events or official stations ; with the suc- cessful in the hazardous career of commercial adven- ture, and all the branches of national industry. The spoils of the dead were there collected, families were re-united, all opinions were confounded, and stran- gers from all parts of the earth mingled their ashes with those of the inhabitants of France. Each sig- nalized his piety by monuments proportioned to his pecuniary means. No one was willing to be consid- ered wanting in gratitude, but rather to evince an em- ulous disposition to present memorials of an elevated conception of duty, and a profound respect for his departed kindred. Universal admiration was the natural appendage of good hearts, whose sensibility ceased not to offer a sincere homage to the manes of their friends by embellishing their monuments and crowning them with immortals.* The multitude imitated them by cultivating plants on the graves of their relatives, and bringing wreaths and garlands from a distance to ornament them. To devote a con- nection to oblivion became an opprobrium. In wandering over the grounds of Pere la Chaise, where repose so many persons of all countries in the long sleep of death, may be seen every variety of monument, used among all the nations of the earth, from the pyramid raised by Egyptian pride, to the basket of flowers, under which, the Turk and the Persian await the moment of being awakened to everlasting life. Near each other are beheld the sarcophagus of the Thebans, the stele and cenotaphs of the Greeks, the antique bourn of the Romans, * Peculiar formed chaplets made of flowers. 12 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. the mausoleums of Asia Minor, the columbariums of the ancients, mortuary chapels, the architecture of Athens near that of the Arabs, the cinerary urn, the sable wing of the edifices on the banks of the Nile, the reversed flambeaux, the bird of death, crosses of every form, crowns of oak and myrtle, rose buds, the turf-covered mound at the base of a lofty column, and the humble grave stone, near the marble statue of some illustrious man. Foreigners, who beheld this revolution in the cus- toms and manners of a whole people, were anxious to verify it by visiting Pere la Chaise, and were filled with wonder and admiration on finding in a burial- place, whatever there was in nature which could give satisfaction to the mind, and every thing in the arts which could gratify a refined taste, as well as the most impressive lessons of an exalted appreciation of the dictates of philosophy, religion, morality and patriotism. All extolled it as a phenomenon, and in a few years it not only acquired an European dis- tinction, but became celebrated round the globe. The admirable example thus presented by France, of an ancient Necropolis,* was soon followed in England and other portions of Europe, and in 1831 the cemetery of Mount Auburn was consecrated. The cemetery contains one hundred and ten acres. Within the brief period of sixteen years there have been sold 1402 cemetery lots, in which, more than three thousand persons have been buried, and upwards of five hundred monuments erected, of the most appropriate forms and materials, which ancient and modern artists have devised or employed, from * City of the dead. 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT— No. 7. 13 a plain block of granite, bearing merely a name, to the lofty obelisk, sculptured column, richly embel- lished marble temple and colossal bronze statue. A large portion of the burial lots are surrounded with decorated iron fences, and on the borders of them are cultivated trees, shrubs and flower plants. The land was first enclosed with a wooden fence, but that has been replaced on the whole front, by one of iron, of the most substantial and beautiful kind ever built in the United States, and a granite gate- way, with a porter's lodge and office annexed, of the Egyptian style of architecture, at an expense of $24,000. A superb gothic chapel has just been completed, which cost nearly $30,000. In the pur- chase of the land, laying out the avenues and paths, building a cottage for the superintendent and all other work, there has been expended about $110,000, and there remains in the treasury about $30,000. There has, besides, been paid to the Horticultural Society $20,000. The whole of the funds to meet this large expenditure, except donations to the amount of $7,000, have been derived from the sale of burial lots ; and not more than a quarter of the whole num- ber which can be formed, have been disposed of. All the income derivable from the sale of lots is to be expended upon the cemetery, in the excavation of small lakes, the establishment of fountains, ex- tending the iron fence on the three other sides of the grounds, the erection of a grand cenotaph to Wash- ington, on the summit of the highest hill, in the form of the Chorogic monument, the Temple of the Winds, or some other celebrated Grecian edifice, and exten- sive improvements both for convenience and embel- lishment. 14 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. Since the cemetery of Mount Auburn was com- menced, like rural cemeteries have been established at Salem, Worcester, Springfield, Philadelphia, on Long Island, and in many other parts of the Union. Our Committee are of opinion that the period has arrived when Roxbury should hasten to find a burial- place, that shall be as creditable to the city, as any which have been established in this country, when the limited means at its command, for the accomplish- ment of such a work are taken into consideration, with the present limited amount of population. The Committee, therefore, have made extensive recon- noissences during the past summer, for the purpose of discovering a site that would the most perfectly combine all the requisite qualities in natural features, capabilities of improvement, and a central position, so far as it was possible to do so ; and they confident- ly believe that they have been fortunate by being able to select a tract of land, which not only includes most of the important elements for the fulfilment of those conditions ; but which can be obtained on terms that may be deemed favorable. This site is the Seavern's Farm, which fronts on Canterbury street ; there is also a small tract of about seven acres that is owned by Doctor Warren, which it is desirable should be obtained, and it is believed, ultimately may be, for the purpose of opening an avenue into Walk Hill street. The whole farm contains about eighty -five acres, an outline plan of which, and the adjacent estates in part, accompanies this report, for the purpose of presenting the exact position of the land and its sub -divisions. The Warren lot with a portion of the tract which Includes about fifty-five acres and is defined in the 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT— No. 7. 15 plan, has been selected for the cemetery, The price demanded is three hundred and fifty dollars per acre, for the payment of which, the notes of the city re- deemable in ten years, and bearing an interest of six per cent, will be taken ; the Committee, therefore, recommend that the purchase be immediately made. The remainder of the farm which contains thirty acres, it is considered by several members of the Com- mittee, important to purchase ; but as it includes the dwelling-house, barns and other edifices, the orchard, garden, and the most valuable part of the cultivated land, the price asked is six hundred dollars per acre ; the Committee, therefore, have not been willing to take the responsibility of urging the purchase, but submit the subject to the deliberation and decision of the City Council. By the annexed statement, it will appear, that if the cemetery should contain sixty -two acres, it will form 6,751 burial lots of 300 square feet each, after deducting one quarter of the land for carriage ave- nues and foot-paths. If then, one fourth of the num- ber of lots be sold for fifty dollars, and the remainder at the average price of one hundred dollars, they will produce an income of $590,750, which can be grad- ually appropriated for the erection of an iron fence, a granite gatewa} r , a chapel, a cottage for the super- intendent, and other appropriate and necessary struc- tures, and leave a fund, the interest of which will keep the grounds in the best possible condition for- ever. Although the cost of the land will amount to about twenty-two thousand dollars, the sale of four hundred and forty lots will afford a sum more than suf- ficient to liquidate the debt incurred in its purchase, 16 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. and the income from an annual sale of twenty-seven lots will pay the interest. Should it be considered expedient to purchase the whole farm, the portion which may be appropriated for a cemetery could be better located, if not aug- mented to advantage, and the entrance to it from Canterbury street be more conveniently and symmet- rically arranged, while the remainder of the land, not included in the Cemetery, can be laid out into cottage lots, in such a manner as to render them in- teresting and valuable as places of residence, from the spacious extent of open grounds in their imme- diate vicinity, which will be embellished with forest trees, shrubs and flowering plants, and thus render- ed an important and diversified feature in the sur- rounding landscape. Even if the additional land cannot be obtained for less than six hundred dollars per acre, it is highly probable that in less than five years the house lots can be sold for more than double their cost to the city, if the causes that have so remarkably tended to increase the business, population, and resources of Boston and the surrounding towns during the last ten years should continue. Three cents per square foot would amount to over thirteen hundred dollars per acre ; and it is to be remembered, that all the land in this city must necessarily be enhanced in value, in a ratio equal, at least, to that of the population, com- merce, manufactures, the mechanic arts, and all other branches of industry and trade in the capital of the State. It is also to be borne in mind, that Walk Hill street is not so distant from a large portion of Bos- ton, as are the residences of many of the merchants 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT— No. 7. 17 of New York from their places of business ; and when land can be procured for, from ten to fifty cents a square foot, thus near the principal commercial streets of Boston, when from one to eight dollars per foot must be paid for a house lot, is it not evident that those who wish to build, will go two or three miles from the Squares on Washington street, when they have the facilities of conveyance afforded by rail- roads and omnibuses, where land can be much cheap- er acquired 1 Besides the peninsula which is occu- pied by that city, is so limited in its area, that the period is not far distant, when the whole of it will be required for warehouses and stores, and the res- idences of those who transact their business in them, must necessarily be established on the main land ; and in what direction can they be so conveniently and pleasantly located as in Roxbury, connected as it is by three great avenues, which are not interrupt- ed by either bridges or ferries, and several others can, and will be constructed when required. The natural direction therefore, of the extension of the dwellings of the population, connected with the com- merce of Boston, must be into Roxbury, which will consequently become as much a portion of Boston, as are the several out parishes of the metropolis of England. It is not difficult to anticipate the prospective des- tinies of our great and flourishing maritime empori- um, if we seek instruction from its past history, and the characteristic industry and enterprise of the Yan- kee race, and examine into the existing causes which must have such a favorable influence upon its future aggrandizement. It is only necessary to look upon the map of the United States, suspended upon the 3 18 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. walls of this Hall, and contrast the area of territory, included between the Atlantic Ocean and the bounds of the old thirteen States, from the northern fron- tiers of New York, where it touches the St. Law- rence, to the south western angle of Georgia, on the Appalachicola, with that immense region which ex- tends, from the last named line of demarcation, to the flanks of the Rocky Mountains, to obtain an approx- imate conception of the vast amount of trade which must be maintained, through the medium of steam- boats and railroads, between our northern Atlantic cities, and those which are, or will be founded on Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superi- or, and the Mississippi, Missouri and their numerous far-reaching tributary rivers. These rivers afford a continuous navigation of up- wards of 15,000 miles, and the tract of country which they drain, contains within its limits, 1 ,200,000 square miles, which embraces all the various climates of the temperate zone, and is unequalled in fertility and the diversity of its productions. There are now employed in the valley of the Mis- sissippi, 1,190 steamboats, and 4,000 keel and flat- boats, which employ 60,000 men. The annual ex- ports from the different points on the western waters amount to 262,825,620 dollars; and the return of imports in merchandize and specie is equivalent to the national exports of domestic products ; thus mak- ing the grand aggregate value of the annual com- merce of the navigable waters in the valley of the Mississippi, amount to 432,654,240 dollars ; being nearly double the amount of the whole foreign com- merce of the United States ; and when the lines of intercommunication between St. Louis and Boston, 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT— No. 7. 19 shall be fully opened, by an extension of the West- ern Rail Road from Buffalo through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to a point opposite that city, the comple- tion of the canal from Chicago to the Illinois river, and the rail road through Vermont, to Lake Cham- plain and Ogdensburgh on the St. Lawrence, Boston will divide with New York a large portion of that immense and ever augmenting commerce. To that great source of our New England pros- perity, is to be added our participation in the exist- ing and increasing trade with the wide spreading lake region of the north west, which presents a coast and line of navigation of more than five thousand miles, and includes a population of nearly seven millions, that will be doubled in less than twenty years ; and nearly the whole of the imports and ex- ports, must be made from and to Boston and New York. But from the facilities which our railroads will soon afford, and which may be appropriately called the Iron Rivers of the north, Boston must be the grand entrepot for an important portion of the products sent to and from the shores of the ocean. There were employed on the great lakes in 1 846, 452 steamers, brigs and schooners, whose aggregate capacity exceeded 100,000 tons. They cost six mil- lions of dolllars, and six thousand persons were em- ployed to navigate them. The arrivals at Buffalo from all the ports above that city, in the same year, were 3,857, and the clearances were about the same, making the total number 7,714, and an aggre- gate of 1,825,914 tons. The exports from Buffalo by the Erie canal, was 15,000,000, and the imports 23,000,000. The value of the commerce on all the lakes was over 100,000,000 of dollars. 20 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. Roxbury, which is destined to be the Westminster of the New England London, should therefore be governed in the adoption of its municipal measures, in such a manner as to take advantage of those devel- opments of prosperity, which will certainly be there realized to an extent, that it might seem extravagant to prognosticate, even to the most intelligent and sanguine, in the general advancement of the whole country, within the next quarter of a century, in population, agriculture, navigation, manufactures, the mechanic arts and wealth, in a manner unprecedent- ed in the annals of nations. In fifty years, Boston and the adjacent towns will contain more than a million of inhabitants, and this city will include at least, one tenth of that number. It therefore, may be confidently assumed, that in no portion of the Union can investments be made in real estate, with such confidence in the advantages which must be derived therefrom, by the increased value of the land, within the next ten or fifteen years, for within the past ten years it has advanced from four to thirteen hundred per cent ; and there are no causes that can be assigned why the same augment- ing enhancement should not continue. Should we not then act in such a manner for the benefit of succeeding generations, as that we shall escape being obnoxious to their censure for a gross dereliction of duty, as have been our predecessors of by-gone years, who conducted the municipal affairs of this ancient town, when sites for Cemeteries, Public Squares, Churches, School Houses, and other purposes, could have been purchased for one-twen- tieth of the sum now required, when time shall have made the like difference between the present price 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT— No. 7. 21 of land, and that which must be given twenty years hence. There can be no danger of erring in our course, for it is only necessary to take a retrospective view of past ages to attain a knowledge of the future, since there, as in a vast mirror, are shadowed forth " coming events," in all their startling palpability and grandeur. Induction and demonstration, aided by arithmetical demonstration, with well authenticated statistical facts are the ample elements for reducing conjectures to certainty, and changing apparent chi- merical predictions into veritable prophecy. With such means should we ever endeavor to rightly di- rect our march, in the research for truth and the verification of fact. Now is the favorable time to act with promptness* decision and energy, for the benefit of the present* and all succeeding generations, and enable all classes of the people to indulge in the outpourings of their sorrows, and a generous expression of their gratitude and veneration for those who were most beloved and honored upon the earth, by assigning to them a rest- ing-place, from all the ills to which man is subjected during the pilgrimage of life, in the quiet and holy shade of a rural cemetery. So universal is the inherent desire of an earthly immortality, that every human being is anxious to be remembered here, and to have his name perpetu- ated through all time. To pass from among the liv- ing, without the probability of the spot where one is laid being known, or the name ever again repeated ; to be forgotten forever, are reflections bordering up- on that which the thought of utter annihilation would produce in the mind of the dying, whether virtuous 22 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. or vicious, rich or poor, debased or exalted, young or old. It is not sufficient that the Son of God has as- sured us that the soul is immortal ; but there is an unobliterable sentiment, a deep and strong solicitude that our brief and eventful life should be eternally perpetuated among the living ; and is it not as much a duty in a parent, child or friend to aid in the at- tempt to meet that demand upon their sympathies, and their conscience, as it is productive of moral, re- ligious and patriotic influences ? The scarred and rigid features of the aged Indian chieftain, are light- ed up with a smile of pride and ambition, in the be- lief that each passing warrior of his tribe will drop a pebble upon his grave. The expiring mariner is consoled by the assurance that funereal rites will be observed, as his lifeless body is plunged into " the ocean, and slowly sinks into the abyss of waters. The soldier's last moments of life, are cheered by the reflection that he shall be buried with military honors. Such is human nature ; and why should we not follow the dictates of the heart, and act from the im- pressive teachings of the soul, which are derived from a source far higher and more holy than man can comprehend ; yet he doubts not they are as im- perative upon him, as the precepts and injunctions recorded in the sacred scriptures, for they have been written upon the tablets of the mind, and inscribed upon the sanctuary of the heart, by the hand of the Almighty. The pyramids of Gizeh, many of the splendid architectural structures of Athens, the triumphal arches of Rome, the column of Austerlitz in Paris, the obelisk of Bunker Hill, and the collossal statue of 1847.] CITY DOCUMENT— No. 7. 23 Washington in the capital of this republic, are but so many majestic monuments to commemorate the names and services of the distinguished patriots, of the ages and nations in which they were reared ; and may be as appropriately considered funereal, as the rudest head-stone that designates the humble grave of " some village Hampden," or that where " some mute, inglorious Milton rests, " in the rustic church- yard of his native hamlet. Let us then emulate the enlightened and pious, the good and great, the affectionate and generous, the kind and magnanimous of all other nations and ages, that were most distinguished for their advance- ment in civilization, and enable our fellow citizens to pay all possible respect and honor to the remains of those whom they loved and revered when living. H. A. S. DEARBORN, Chairman. City of Roxbury, Sept. 6, 1847. STATEMENT OF THE INCOME THAT MAY BE DERIVED FROM THE SALE OF CEM- ETERY AND COTTAGE LOTS. There are 43,560 square feet in an acre. In 62 acres there are ... . 2,700,720 sq. ft. Deduct 1-4 for avenues and paths 675,180 " Leaving for burial lots 2,025,540 " Lots 15 by 20 contain 300 square feet each, = 6,- 751 lots. A quarter of the number, viz. 1,687 be- ing sold at fifty dollars each, will yield 84,350 dolls. The remaining 5,064 lots being sold at an average price of one hundred dollars each, will yield 506,400 24 PUBLIC CEMETERY. [Sept. dollars, making the total amount for all the lots 590,750 dollars. Cost of 62 acres of land at 350 dls. per acre, is 21,700 dolls. Interest on the cost of the land 1302 dolls. The annual sale of 27 lots will pay the interest of the cost of the land. The sale of 440 lots, at fifty dollars each, will pay the cost of the land. COTTAGE LOTS. Thirty acres will make One Hundred and Twen- ty Cottage Lots, of a quarter of an acre each, and every lot will contain 10,890 square feet, which, at three cents per foot, will yield $326 70. If 120 lots are sold, at three cents per foot, they will yield $39,204 Cost of the thirty acres at $600 00 . . 18,000 Profits on the purchase $21,204 If half of the lots are sold in six years, at an aver- age price of 10 cts. per foot, they will yield $65,940. If the other half of the lots are sold in twenty years, at 20 cts. they will yield ... $ 131,880 Add 60 lots sold at 10 cts. per foot . . 65,940 Total income in twenty years . . $ 197,820 But if all the lots are sold within five years, at five cents per foot, the income will be . $65,340 Deduct the cost 18,000 Profit on the purchase $47,340 But it may be found best not to sell more than ten or fifteen acres in house lots, and probably none ; as all the land should be included in a Cemetery.