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Full text of "Historical memoir of the Springfield cemetery, read to the proprietors at their meeting, May 23, 1857"

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CiS l3yS<?,/d,/oO 




HARVARD 
COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 



ilUCAL M KM01 i: 



SPRINGFIELD CEMETERY, 



■ rr.TOItf AT TIUIK WW ■ ■ 



GEORGE BLISS, 



■ 









UI'V . \Y \i. R. U. PBAflUftl . 



■ l ' ; 

■ 



L »' J 

HISTORICAL MEMOIR 



or m 



SPRING-FIELD CEMETERY, 



BEAD TO THE PROPRIETORS AT THEIR MEETING, HAY 28, 1867. 



— BT— 



GEORGE BLISS, 

THEIB PRESIDENT. 






Accompanied by an Address delivered at the Consecration of the Cemetery, 



SEPTEMBER 5, 1841, 



— BT— 



REV. WM. B. 0. PEABODY. 



\m%m* 



SPRINGFIELD, MASS. 
SAMUEL BOWLES AND COMPANY, PRINTERS 

1857, 



US I3*?f, {r ^ S- 



LIZ 15 <-f 




. /o-/°<=> 



• 



HABVA3D COLLEGE LIBHAM 



2<P 



J&s-y 



SPRINGFIELD CEMETERY. 



To the Pbopbibtobs of thb Springfield Cehetebt :— 

The Cemetery established and sustained with varying fortunes 
through a period of sixteen years, has become an institution of 
such absorbing interest and attachment to all our local population, 
that it is deemed proper to embrace the present occasion of your 
annual meeting to submit a brief memoir of its origin, progress 
and present condition. This is peculiarly appropriate now, as all 
the proposed purchases of territory have been made, the whole 
has been paid for, the association is out of debt, with a moderate 
surplus of funds, and the premises are all comparatively in good 
order. 

ORIGIN AND ORGANIZATION. 

On the 4th of October, 1840, an informal meeting of a few 
gentlemen was held for consultation on the subject of a " Enrol 
Cemetery." This resulted in the appointment of committees to 
select and report upon a suitable location, and to prepare a form 
of association. At a meeting on the 28th of March, 1841, upon 
the report of these committees, it was voted to purchase of Mr. 
Alexander Bliss the part of the present premises known as "Mar- 
tha's Dingle,' 9 being about twenty acres. Suitable access to the 
same was provided for, and measures taken for a legal organiza- 
tion. On May 6th, 1841, on the application of fourteen gentle- 
men, a warrant was issued by a magistrate for a legal meeting on 
the 9th. 



At that meeting the present system of organization was per- 
fected — a board of seven trustees provided for and chosen — and 
the Kev. ¥m. B. O. Peabody elected President, an office which 
he continued to hold until his death in 1847. 

To insure success to the enterprise, a subscription was taken up 
for shares in the company, of $10 each, which, on the 1st of 
June, 1841, amounted to $8,070, the subscribers to be at liberty 
to take an interest in lots to be laid out, to the extent of their 
subscriptions. The work of laying out, grading, planting, orna- 
menting and fencing the grounds, was commenced, and has been 
constantly pursued to the present time. The grounds have been 
enlarged by several additions since the first purchase, and they 
now contain about thirty-five acres of land at a total cost of about 
$8,270 51 ; and they are believed to be ample for many genera- 
tions to come. They include a house and lot in Mulberry street, 
adjoining the Cemetery, purchased for $1,700, in 1848, for the 
use of the Superintendent — a part of which has been rented. A 
barn was erected near the house in 1849 for the purposes of the 
company, at a cost of about $600. A receiving tomb was con- 
structed in 1841, and being found too small, an addition of equal 
size has been recently made to it. 

On the 5th day of September, 1841, the Cemetery was duly 
consecrated by religious services, and an appropriate address was 
delivered by the President, the Eev. Mr. Peabody. 

On the 12th day of March, 1845, the trustees voted that it was 
expedient to build a gate-way according to a flan submitted by 
Mr. Peabody, and directed an estimate to be prepared. On the 
26th of March, 1845, such an estimate was presented, and it was 
voted that the building of the gate-way be commenced under the 
superintendence of Messrs. Peabody, Eaton, Q. Dwight, Brewer 
and Elwell. The work was prosecuted through that year, at 
great expense — the exact amount of which cannot well be ascer- 
tained ; and in June, 1846, a vote was passed that Mr. G. Dwight 
go on with the gate-way at an expense not exceeding $300. The 
structure was still unfinished ; and the funds of the company 
being needed for other and more pressing purposes, the work was 



suspended, and it has thus remained to the present time. A con- 
tract has now been made to complete it by the 15th of June next, 
according to the original drawing by Sikes, for $160. From & 
cursory examination, it appears that the whole cost cannot be less 
than f 2000 to $2,250. The trustees propose to cover it with suit- 
able ornamental vines when finished. 

In 1848, an arrangement was made by the trustees with the 
Firtt Parish in Springfield, who held the title of the principal 
part of the old burying grounds on the river, at the foot and each 
side of Elm street, to convey the same to the proprietors of the 
Cemetery, on condition of the careful disinterment of the remains 
of all persons buried there, and the removal of such as should 
not be claimed and removed by their friends, to a portion of the 
Cemetery, Specially and exclusively set apart for them adjoining 
Find Street, and theft re-interment— the old monuments to be 
erected to their appropriate remains. This service was performed 
daring that year, in a manner satisfectory to all parties, and with 
the following results : — 

The number of bodies then removed from the old North Burying 

ground, ---- 1,624 

From the South Burying ground, - 810 

Total, - 2,434 

Thirty of these were removed to other burying grounds; the 
residue were deposited in our Cemetery. Five hundred and 
seventeen old monuments and tablets were also removed. All 
remains having no monuments, and not recognized, were deposited 
together, and a common monument erected, designating tie feet; 
the whole enclosure was surrounded by a hedge, and a monument, 
commemorative of these removals and re-interments, was erected 
near the eastern entrance on Fine street. 

The whole expense attending this removal, was - - $1,625 33 
dto whic£ add amounts paid for sundry private burial lots 

adjoining, not belonging to 1st Parish, ... 420 62 

Total cost of the old grounds, - $2,045 95 



6 

The lands of the old burying grounds were laid out into lots, 
and have now all been sold, and paid for from time to time : — 

Producing in the whole, - - $7,144 79 

Deduct cost and expenses above, - - - • .-.. - 2,045 95 

Net proceeds, • - - $5,098 84 

The whole number of lots in the Cemetery, sold in 16 years — 
up to May 1st, 1857, is 730. The whole number of burials is as 
follows : — 

By sextons of different societies prior to the appointment of the 

Superintendent in 1842, say - - ' - - 12 00 

Removals by the Hartford railroad company, on locating their 

road*— and removals by friends prior to 1848, say - - 227 00 
Removals by the Cemetery company in 1848, from the old 

grounds to their own premises, as before stated, - - 2,404 00 
Original burials by the Superintendent, from November 1842, 

to May 1, 1857, 1,570 00 

Total, 4,213 00 

Of this last number about 170 original burials were upon the 
common ground owned by the Cemetery company, being princi- 
pally paupers and strangers. 

FINANCIAL DEPARTMENT. 

Since June, 1841, there have been received by the treasurer to 
May 1st, 1857:— 

From subscriptions and sales of lots as per annual statements 

annexed, «A? $19,552 65 

From Fairs and a Concert, ..... 2,440 47 

From labor by the Superintendent for sundry owners of lots 

— attending funerals, use of tomb and burials, - - 6,369 71 

From rents, 1,152 38 

From sales of lands of the old burying ground, $7,144 79 

Less paid expenses of removals and cost of 

private lots, 2,045 95 — 5,098 84 

Sundry miscellaneous sources, ..... 100 50 

Total, $34,714 55 



The payments have been as follows : — 

For purchases of lands for the Cemetery from time to time 

as per the annexed schedule marked " B y " - - $8,270 51 

For labor and sundry expenses of laying out, grading, pre- 
paring and ornamenting the grounds, building fences, 
drains, paths, a tomb, gateway, salaries of treasurer and 
other incidental expenses for sixteen years, and includ- 
ing interest, - - 25,037 54 

Leaving a balance in the treasury May 4th, as per treasurer's 

report of that date, of 1,406 50 

Total, $34,714 55 

This is exclusive of receipts and payments on account of 
moneys borrowed. There are no debts outstanding, and no 
claims against the company unpaid. 

I take great pleasure in congratulating the proprietors upon the 
eminent success which has thus far attended this enterprise — the 
entire prosperity of every department of their business, and the 
flattering prospects for the future. It is the purpose of the Presi- 
dent and trustees to grade and prepare for sale, lots in different 
parts of the Cemetery as there shall be a demand for them, and 
gradually further to improve and ornament the grounds by the 
erection of more permanent fences, and the construction of da- 
rable sewers for temporary, insufficient ones, laid down in former 
years. 

Among the purchases of lands, the proprietors will notice one 
of six and a half acres, called the Peach Orchard, being wholly 
plain land on the south side of the Cemetery. As this was the 
only direction in which it was supposed the grounds could be en- 
larged at any future time, the trustees improved the opportunity 
to secure this tract for future use, in case it should be needed. It 
is not designed to have any part of this lot used for burials for 
many years ; but the trustees intend to plant it with trees and 
shrubbery, from time to time, and to lay it out into drives and 
walks. 

I cannot close this communication without stating that the 
friends of the late Eev. William B. O. Peabody— eminently the 



8 

founder and the constant and steadfast friend of this institution — 
propose to erect by subscription, in some prominent place in the 
Cemetery, a monument to his. memory, which will be alike 
honorable to him, and a just appreciation on their part, of his 
character and services. And I beg leave to suggest, that the pro- 
prietors should, in token of their concurrence in so laudable an 
object, contribute something towards the erection of such a 
monument. 

And in this connection it would be inexcusable not to acknowl- 
edge in grateful terms, the services of George Eaton, Esq., of 
Boston, then a resident of Springfield, who devoted himself with 
untiring assiduity to the laying out, planting and ornamenting of 
the grounds. To the eminent taste and judgment of Mr. Eaton 
and Mr. Peabody are we mainly indebted for the great beauty of 
the drives and winding walks and fountains which elicit the ad- 
miration of all strangers, and constitute this Cemetery the pride 
of our citizens. 

Nor should we omit to place on record for future reference, the 
name of Apollos Marsh, who has been the devoted Superinten- 
dent of the work and grounds from the commencement of the 
undertaking to the present time, -to the entire acceptance of the 
proprietors and their officers. 

Eespectfully submitted, 

GEOEGE BLISS, President. 
May 23, 1857. 



SCHEDULE A. 

Schedule of Annual Beooipts from Babaoriptioni, for Burial Loti and Bala* of Lot". 



For year 


ending May : 


, 1842, 


principally subscriptions, 


$3,457 60 


" 


* 


" 


1813, 


sales, 


880 72 


« 


■ 


« 


1814, 


« 


1,195 59 


» 


" 


« 


1845, 


" 


846 62 


" 


« 


« 


1846, 


« 


1,047 37 


" 


« 


" 


1847, 


" 


1,043 91 


" 


" 


" 


1848, 


" 


780 40 


" 


" 


" 


1849, 


« 


1,566 63 


« 


" 


« 


1850, 


u 


1,215 02 


" 


" 


" 


1851, 


" 


1,004 03 


" 


" 


" 


1852, 


« 


1,009 00 


" 


« 


" 


1853, 


« 


1,198 85 


" 


" 


« 


1854, 


" 


1,138 70 


" 


- 


« 


1855, 


« 


1,087 70 


" 


« 


« 


1856, 


a 


996 50 


" 


u 


" 


1857, 


" 


1,089 00 


Total, 








$19,552 64 




tateme. 


at of Pni 


SCHEDULE B. 





™"£. 


«M.<**U** 


Wismn ,. 


"*"»■ 


MMMW* fa. 














!Ml,Mayl2 


I. Adams, A. Bun. HlUe 


18" 


US 


•1,50 05 


Martha's Dingle. 














Parker anil Sprlngflcll 












tank. lEutntoee it.] 












(So. quantity jiTon.J 






MB 00 








6 




70B E9 










it 


69 87 




loM.Itec.ll 


T. J. Shepird, 




s 


168 00 




1345, July. 






226 00 






H. Stems, (ear) 
Btwdoin, Mills, Slaunw 




BO 




On Smith 11ns of Dirignt lot. 


184S-8. 
















60 


1B5 00 


Straightening North line. 


1B47, Juno 1 






lis 


1,357 00 


Laundry Lot. 


lfcVl.M:,-.ij. 


Rnmrill, 








Straightening Waflt line. 




H. W. Adorns, 


a 


80 


-,,»„, O" 




1848. 








500 


Straightening North But Jine- 




T^^, 




43 


1,700 00 


Multierry st. house bad lot. 


Total, 


as 




SB,370 51 





CONDITIONS CONTAINED IN ALL DEEDS OF LOTS IN 

THE CEMETERY. 

First, That the said lot of land shall not be used for any other purpose 
than as a place of burial for the dead ; and no trees within the lot, or border, 
shall be cut down, trimmed, or destroyed, without the consent of the Trustees 
of the said Corporation. 

Second, That the proprietor of the said lot shall have the right to erect 
stones, monuments or sepulchral structures, and to cultivate trees, shrubs and 
plants in the same. 

Third, The proprietor of the said lot of land shall erect thereon, at his or 
her own expense, a monument of stone, to be provided by said Trustees, with 
the number thereof legibly and permanently marked thereon And if the 
said proprietor shall omit, for thirty days after notice, to erect such monu- 
ment, and mark the number, the Trustees shall have authority to cause the 
same to be done at the expense of the said proprietor. 

Fourth, That if any trees or shrubs situated in said lot of land, shall, by 
means of their roots, branches, or otherwise, become detrimental to the ad- 
jacent lots or avenues, or dangerous or inconvenient to passengers, it shall be 
the duty of the said Trustees for the time being, and they shall have the 
right to enter into the said lot and remove the said trees and shrubs, or such 
parts thereof as are thus detrimental, dangerous, or inconvenient. 

Fifth, That if any monument, or effigy, or any structure whatever, or any 
inscription be placed in or upon the said land, which shall be determined by 
the major part of the said Trustees for the time being, to be offensive or im- 
proper, the said Trustees, or the major part of them, shall have the right, and 
it shall be their duty, to enter upon said land, and remove the said offensive 
or improper object or objects. 

Sixth, No fence shall from time to time, or at any time, be placed or 
erected in or around the said lot, the materials and design of which shall 
not first have been approved by the Trustees, or a committee of them. 

Seventh, No tomb shall be constructed within the bounds of the Ceme- 
tery, except in or upon the lots situated in such parts of the grounds, as shall 
be designated by the Trustees for that purpose ; and no proprietor shall suffer 
the remains of any person to be deposited in a tomb so authorized, for hire. 

Eighth, The Trustees may at any time enter upon said lot to keep the 
same neat, and clear off the grass and weeds therefrom and appropriate the 
said grass and weeds to their own use. 

Ninth, The said lot of land shall be holden subject to the provisions con- 
tained in the By-Laws of the proprietors of said Cemetery, heretofore estab- 
lished, or which may be hereafter established by them. , , 



APPENDIX. 



Address of Rev. W. B. 0. PEABODY at the Consecra- 
tion of the Cemetery, September 5th, 1841. 



We have long been endeavoring to secure a fit resting 
place for our dead. And now, having succeeded in this 
enterprise — having found a place, in every respect, grate- 
ful to our feelings — we are come, — with solemn service, 
on the day of rest — to implore on our place of rest the 
blessing of our God. 

When I saw this great audience just now, winding up 

through the glades of the Cemetery to take their places 

on this ground, I was deeply affected with the thought, 

how soon we shall take our places in the dust below. 

With this deep thought upon our minds — with these hills 

and vaUies around us — in presence of these venerable 

trees and these sparkling waters — with the green earth 

beneath, and God's own bright sky above us — I need not 

ask your attention — I need not labor to bring you to 

solemnity ; for I doubt not that a voice is now saying in 

every heart, "the place whereon thou standest is holy 
ground." 

The feeling which leads us to respect the dead — the same 

feeling which brings us here to-day, is found in every age 

and country ; aye, in every man, who deserves the name 



i 



12 

of man The rough soldier, at the grave of his comrade, 
feels this strong emotion, and becomes a better man for 
the v time; the seaman, as he leans over the side of his 
vessel, to watch the plunge of his shipmate's corpse in the 
waters, becomes more thoughtful than ever he was before. 
And ye yourselves do know, that> in every funeral, where 
the dead lies out before the living, with an air of mysteri- 
ous reserve upon his brow — with an unsearchable depth 
of expression which no living eye can read — he is in- 
vested, for the time, with the stern majesty of death, and 
every heart does willing homage to his power. 

Nor does this reverence cease when the dead are hidden 
from our eyes. It follows them to the grave, and makes 
us regard as sacred the place where we have laid them. 
The burial place is the favorite retreat of the thoughtful; 
it calms all troubled feelings — it is the place where many 
holy lives begin — where the unfortunate are most recon- 
ciled to this world, and the gay most concerned for the 
other. When our friends depart, we hang over these 
places with profound interest, because here it is that we 
lose them. Up to this place we can follow them, through 
all changes, of joy and sorrow, of life and death. But 
" hitherto shalt thou come, and no farther " is written on 
the portal of the tomb. Here is the boundary, beyond 
which they cannot return — beyond which we cannot go. 
No wonder then that* it chains attention; it is like the 
spot in the ocean, where we have seen some gallant ship 
go down. 

And now I say, it is nature — that is — the God of 
nature, who inspires this feeling in the human breast. I 
have heard some men say, that they care not what be- 
comes of their remains when they are gone. It may be 



13 

so — they may say so of themselves if they will. But if 
they say that they care not what becomes of the remains 
of their friends when they are gone, their hearts are not 
in the right place ; I should doubt if they had friends — I 
should know that they did not deserve them. Indiffeiv 
ence to these things is not natural to any good mind or 
heart. Nature says, "Bury me with my fathers." The 
feeling which nature dictates is, " that I may die in mine 
own city, and be buried by the grave of my father and 
my mother." 

It is true the soul is more than the body ; the condition 
of the soul which has gone into eternity is infinitely more 
important than that of the tenement of clay which it 
leaves behind. But whoever truly cares for the one will 
also care for the other. Whoever follows with his heart 
the friend who has gone into eternity, will surely have 
some regard to the place where that friend's remains are 
laid. Why is the body cared for ? Is it not because it 
has been for a time the dwelling of the soul ? This reason 
will be sufficient to keep any one who values the soul 
from treating it with the least disdain. Have you not 
known, how, when a friend departs, every thing that has 
been connected with him becomes consecrated in your 
eyes ? The letters he wrote, the dress he wore, the books 
he read-every thing is a sacred memorial to .the sur- 
viving. Surely then, the mortal frante which the soul has 
once illuminated with light and love — the mortal frame, 
where the soul has beamed from the eye, breathed from 
the lips, and shone like a glory on the brow, — surely the 
remains deserve to be treasured ; and I neither envy nor 
respect the man who can treat them with light regard. 

Do you say that this feeling grows out of refinement ? 



14 

that it springs from cultivation, not from nature ? To this 
I have a reply. The land on which we dwell was pos- 
sessed by a different race two hundred years ago. There 
is reason to believe that their camps were stationed, and 
their council fires burned on a part of this very ground. 
That wild race was never equaled by any civilized people, 
in their attachment to the grave and the memory of their 
fathers. Was this refinement in them? Was it not 
rather a natural feeling, which all their barbarism had 
never been able to extinguish ? 

Let me ask too, what portion of a civilized community 
manifest this feeling in its greatest strength ? Is it the re- 
fined as they are called ? or is it those who are more true 
to nature ? Who are they who make it so dangerous to 
violate the grave ? Let an insult be offered to the tomb, 
and all the roughest elements of the community are up 
in arms. They say that the living can protect them- 
selves ; but they must guard the slumbers of the defence- 
less dead. So far from refinement being the parent of 
these feelings, it rather tends to weaken and destroy them. 
Silver and gold may be refined till they are fit for no use- 
ful purpose, and serve only for ornament and show ; and 
so man may be refined till he becomes cold and heartless 
— till all generous impulses and affections forsake his 
breast forever. 

But you ask, if fliis feeling is natural, why has it not 
done more to improve the outward aspect of the grave ? 
I answer, this is the province of taste ; and it does not 
follow, that because the feeling of respect for the dead is 
strong, it shall manifest itself in this way ; though, in com- 
ing days, there is encouragement to hope that it wilL 
The proper taste has been inspired} it is spreading fast 



15 

and far; the time is not distant, when Mount Auburn, 
which for years was almost alone, will be the mother of a 
thousand fair cities of the dead. It is not so now. In 
most parts of our land, the burial place is another name 
for desolation. Its walls, if it has any, are broken down ; 
its monuments are leaning with neglect, not with age — a« 
if they were weary of bearing inscriptions which no one 
comes to read ; there is no relief to the eye but the rank 
grass in summer, and the aster and golden-rod in autumn, 
which nature spreads there as if in shame for the living 
and compassion for the dead. In such places, every one 
feels ashamed of his race ; every one feels that the living 
are unjust and unworthy. Why, the very dog, who has 
been faithful to his master, deserves a more honored 
grave. 

And now let me say, that religion strongly testifies to 
the power of this natural feeling. If I would know what 
will affect the human heart, the Bible is the authority to 
which I go. There we find it written that God deter- 
mined to separate the sons of the patriarchs as a peculiar 
people. They were then wanderers by habit and profes- 
sion; it was necessary that they should give up their 
roving, and settle quietly down in the limits of the 
promised land. And this was done. Hard as it is to 
change the manners of a people, in the case of the He- 
brews this was so thoroughly done, that these hereditary 
wanderers became renowned through all the nations, for 
the depth of m their attachment to their father-land. In the 
captivity, by the rivers of Babylon, when their conquerors 
respectfully desired to hear their far-famed minstrelsy, the 
songs of Zion were so full of recollections of their coun- 
try, that it almost broke their hearts to sing them. They 



16 

hanged their harps on the weeping willows, and could not 
strike them again. Their feeling is expressed by one of 
their prophets, in the words, "Weep not for the dead, 
neither bemoan him ; but weep for him that goeth away : 
for he shall return no more, nor see his native country » 

And how was this great change accomplished ? It was 
done by means of this feeling of respect for the dead. It 
was done by anchoring the affections of the children to 
the graves of their fathers. From the earliest ages, all 
who dwelt near to God took an interest in this subject, 
resolved that the body, which had once been the dwelling 
of the soul, should not, like common dust, be trodden 
under foot of men. When Jacob was dying in Egypt, he 
could not bear the thought of being laid to rest in the 
distance and solitude of a foreign land. Joseph, too, 
bound his children by a promise, that his remains should 
be borne to the sepulchre of his fathers. This feeling 
grew and gained strength among them, till it destroyed all 
inclination to wander — till it was the heart's desire and 
prayer of the dying Hebrew, that his ashes might mingle, 
dust to dust, with his own, his native land. 

We should not have expected to find the true taste in 
times so ancient ; nor should we find it in any except the 
patriarchs and those whose souls were lighted from on 
high. But we do trace, in those early ages, the same taste 
which now begins to prevail among ourselves — the same 
desire to bring trees and flowers, to remove the dreariness 
of the place of death. When Abraham bought the fields 
of Machpelah for a Cemetery, he secured the right to all 
the trees that were in it, and all that grew on its borders. 
The sepulchre of our Saviour, too, was in a garden — a 
place where trees spread their shade above, and flowers 



17 

breathed incense from their little urns below — a place not 
distant from the city, and yet not so near, that the noise 
and business of the living should disturb the silence of the 
grave. Not anticipating that their Master would rise, they 
laid him in a place to which they might come in peace and 
loneliness, to meditate and remember, and where pilgrims 
in after times might resort, to be strengthened and inspired 
by the memory of that great friend of man. 

The religion of Jesus tends to confirm the feeling of 
which I speak. It gives us reason to believe that the de- 
parted are living — gone from this world, indeed, but not 
from* existence, — living in some province of creation, 
where it is not given us to know. If it be so, they must 
look back with deep interest on all the scenes through 
which they traveled in their pilgrimage below. And if, 
from their bright abodes, they look down on their own neg- 
lected graves, must there not be sorrow in heaven ? But 
no! Sorrow can never enter to disturb the untroubled 
calm above. Let me ask rather, will there not be joy in 
heaven if they can see that their resting place is honored ? 
and that memorials are planted there by affectionate hands? 
It will assure them, not merely that they are remembered, 
but that their surviving friends are faithful, both to the 
dead and the living, and that they are preparing to meet 
them in their Father's house on high. 

But I am going beyond your patience and my own 
strength ; I will therefore bring the subject directly home 
to ourselves. 

We have made arrangements to leave the burial place 
of our fathers. The opening of that small grave yonder 
was the act by which we bade it farewell. We have done 



18 

it from necessity and not from choice. If I am told that 
there is room there yet, I answer, it is true ; we may bury 
our dead there if we wilL But if we lay our heart's treas- 
ure there to-day, the stranger may be laid at his side to- 
morrow ; and thus they who have been united in life, must 
be separated in death. Surely every heart will confess 
that it ought not so to be. 

The place " where the rude forefathers of the hamlet 
sleep," was originally chosen with true taste and feeling. 
It was so near the village, that the mourner might follow 
his dead on foot, as the mourner should, if God gives him 
strength ; at the same time it was so distant as to leave the 
place in silence and repose. When I came here, twenty 
years since, it was my favorite resort, at morning, at eve- 
ning, and sometimes at midnight hours. It was peaceful 
— it was beautiful — on one side the eye wandered over the 
two spires, which were all that then rose in the village, to 
the high walls of the valley, crowned with the dark pine 
wood. On the other side, it fell upon the bright stream, 
with the green fringe upon its borders, where there was 
seldom even a dashing oar to break the smoothness of the 
tide. But as the village grew, the place was changed. 
The sounds of busy life came near ; the noise of men, on 
the fields and the waters, was brought into painful contrast 
with the stillness of the grave. And now, for years, we 
have heard the quick steps of improvement, as it is called, 
trampling like a war-horse round it, impatient to tread it 
down. When Jerusalem was about to fall, a voice was 
heard at midnight in the temple, saying, * let us depart ;" 
and when I have been, in the dead of night, at the place 
of which I speak, it required little fancy to hear a voice, 
saying to the sleepers, " arise and depart, for this is not 



19 

ycmr rest; the place where the living buy and sell is no 
longer a home for you." 

Suffer me to congratulate you now, on the success which 
has attended this enterprise from its beginning to the pres- 
ent hour. Seven years since I presented this subject to 
all whom my voice could reach. I did so, at the desire of 
a daughter of this village, who was deeply interested in 
its welfare ; but before her purpose could be accomplished, 
she was railed away ; and from necessity she was borne to 
the very place where she could not bear that the remains 
of her friends should lie. Last year, another effort was 
made — by those, whom, if they were not present, I might 
name with the praise which they deserve. The means to 
conduct the enterprise have been liberally supplied by 
those who could have no hope of gain, nor even requital 
for the efforts and sacrifices they made. There were some, 
who would have selected a different place ; but with that 
generosity which it is more common to hear of than to see, 
they gave up their own preferences, and showed that they 
cared for nothing but the general good. Have we not 
reason to hope that this will be secured? Nature has 
made this place beautiful, and the purpose for which it is 
now set apart will make it an attractive and delightful re- 
sort in every state of feeling — to the sorrowful and the 
happy — to- the aged and the young. I am persuaded that 
nothing has been done in this village since its history be- 
gan, which will tend so much to improve and refine it, as 
what you are doing now. Observe that small fountain, 
whose sweet voice you hear! It gathers the streams, 
which formerly ran unseen through the meadow, and lifts 
them up to the eye in graceful silver falls. And in like 
manner this place and this enterprise will assemble streams 



20 

of good taste and feeling which formerly ran to waste, and 
from them produce results which shall be grateful to every 
eye, and inspiring to every heart When the native of 
this town, after long absence, returns to the home of his 
fathers, he will walk the streets, and all whom he meets 
there will be strangers; he will inquire concerning familiar 
dwellings, and the names of their inhabitants will be new ; 
when he meets his old acquaintance, he will find that they 
know not the Joseph of former days. He will be forlorn 
and solitary ardong the living, and will not feel at home 
till he comes to the mansions of the dead. Here he will 
find the guardians and the playmates of former years ; 
here will be all whom he used to reverence and love ; and 
here his heart will overflow with emotions such as no tongue 
can adequately tell. 

Reflect how many tenants will soon be here, to claim 
their freehold in the dust below. One fair and gentle 
child has already come — a fitting herald to take possession 
in the* name of all the dead. Here he has laid himself 
down on a colder pillow than a mother's breast Many 
such will soon be here — morning stars quenched in the 
brightness of their rising— before they have known the 
stains and sorrows of life below. Children, in tender years 
will follow their parents to this place ; the domestic circle 
will be fearfully broken, and thenceforth the wide world 
will be their home. The husband will follow the wife— 
the light and joy of his desolated home; and the wife the 
husband, on whose strong arm she had hoped to lean through 
all her days. The young, sinking under the slow torture 
of wasting disease, will flee away and be at rest in this 
holy ground; the aged, after years of labor and sorrow, 
will depart to this place in peace. The pale marbles will 



21 

rise everywhere around us, telling of the dead, sometimes 
what they were, but still oftener what they ought to 
have been. 

We are here to day to consecrate these grounds. And 
we consecrate them in the name of "Him that liveth, and 
was dead." We consecrate them to the service of our 
heavenly Father — to the influences of his Spirit — to the 
kingdom of his Son. We consecrate them to the sacred 
repose of the dead, and the religious improvement of the 
living; we consecrate them to all kind affections — to 
heavenward hopes — to the tears of love — to the consola- 
tion of grief. We consecrate them to the growth of Chris- 
tian principles — to the power of Christian emotions. 
Heaven has made it a land of streams and fountains, a 
land of vallies and hills ; and now may a stronger and 
deeper interest be given to it than beauty can ever bestow ; 
and may the blessing of God be upon it from the be- 
ginning to the end of the year. 

But when we consecrate this place in the Saviour's 

name, it should remind us of the promises of the gospel 

Many of us have been at his table, to commemorate his 

dying love to-day. When he sat, with his disciples, at the 

last supper, the bread and the wine passed untasted by 

him ; he said that he would not share them again till they 

met in the kingdom of God. So then, happy meetings 

were yet before them, and that parting was not the last 

What a world of bright promise to the faithful do those 

simple words bestow. It spreads out in a thousand forms 

of hope, each one of which is a ray of glory to some 

afflicted heart. The mother for example — the Rachel 

weeping for her children, but not refusing to be comforted, 

because she has surrendered them to her Father and their 
4 



22 

Father, to her God and their God^—she may lift up 
her eyes and look forward to the time when she shall go 
to those who cannot return to her — when they shall be 
the first to meet her at heaven's gate, and with bright and 
glad voices, bid her welcome to their own happy home. 

" 0, when the mother meets on high 
The babe she lost in infancy,— 
Hath she not then, for all her fears, 

The day of woe, the sleepless night, 
For all her sorrows, all her tears, 

An over-payment of delight ? " 

But the hour is wasting; I see by the lengthening 
shadows that the sun is sinking low. I see that some, who, 
when I began to speak, were in the sunshine, are now in 
the evening shade. And some, who are now in the full 
sunshine of prosperity and gladness, will soon be covered 
with the awful shadow of death. We shall soon leave 
this ground — never again thus to assemble, till we meet 
in the dust below. The day is going down ; the darkness 
of night will soon settle on these hills and vales. The 
season is declining; the red leaf is already hung as a 
signal from the tree, and the winds of autumn will soon 
be heard singing their vesper hymn. The year is waning ; 
the trumpet of the winter storms will soon be sounded ; 
they will sweep through these leafless woods, and rush and 
howl over the habitations of death. Let us feel then, for 
it is true, that every fading year — every fall of the leaf— 
every closing day, and every toll of the funeral bell is 
measuring our dead march to the grave. 

Let us prepare then, since, prepared or not, we must go. 
Let us have the only preparation that can avail us in the 
dying hour. Let us * so number our days as to apply our 
hearts unto wisdom. " Let us say to Him who made us, 



23 

u The grave cannot praise thee ; death cannot celebrate 
thee; but the living, the living, he shall praise thee as we 
dothisday." May we so spend our days in his service, 
that in the hour which is not far from any one of us, we 
may look forwarf ^ iopoa Ml of iJnorWi* 7-d 
when the cares of this short life are over, through Him 
who lived, and labored, and died upon the cross to save 
us, may we serve him in nearer presence, and with angels' 
powers on high.