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Markers IX 

Journal of 
the Association for 
Gravestone Studies 

Edited by 
Theodore Chase 

Association for Gravestone Studies 
Worcester, Massachusetts 

Copyright ©1992 by 

Association for Gravestone Studies 

30 Elm Street 
Worcester, Massachusetts 01601 

All rights reserved 
Printed in the United States of America 

IBSN: 1-878381-02-4 
LCN: 81-642903 

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of 

American National Standard for Information Sciences - Permanence of 

Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984. 

Cover photo: Elisabeth Smith, 1771, Williamstoivn, Massachusetts. 

Photograph by Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber. This stone bears the design used for 

the first logo of AGS. For a photo of a mold of the tympanum see page 18. 


Recollections of a Collaboration: A Tribute to the 
Art of Francis Duval 1 

Ivan B. Rigby with Katharine M. Noordsij 

The Mullicken Family Gravestone Carvers of 

Bradford, Massachusetts, 1663-1768 23 

Ralph L. Tucker 

The Green Man as an Emblem on Scottish Tombstones 59 

Betty Willsher 

The Center Church Crypt of New Haven, Connecticut: 

A Photographic Essay 79 

Photographs by Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber 
Text by Gray Williams, Jr. 

Purchase Delay, Pricing Factors, and Attribution Elements 

in Gravestones from the Shop of Ithamar Spauldin 105 

John S. Wilson 

Silent Stones in a Potter's Field: Grave Markers at the 

Almshouse Burial Groimd in Uxbridge, Massachusetts 133 

Ricardo J. Elia 

Thomas Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney in 

Mount Auburn Cemetery, "A Work of Rare Merit" 159 

Lauretta Dimmick 

Acculturation and Transformation of Salt Lake Temple 
Symbols in Mormon Tombstone Art 197 

George H. Schoemaker 

Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 217 

Scott Baird 

The Disappearing Shaker Cemetery 257 

Thomas A. Malloy and Brenda Malloy 

Contributors 275 

Index 278 




Theodore Chase, Editor 

David Watters, Associate Editor 

John L. Brooke James A. Slater 

Jessie Lie Farber Richard F. Welch 

This issue begins with a tribute to Francis Duval, prepared at the sugges- 
tion of the Board of AGS by his long-time associate Ivan Rigby with the aid 
of the latter's niece. There follow nine articles, arranged in roughly chrono- 
logical order, covering a wide range of studies, from the medieval Green Man 
as manifested on Scottish tombstones to Shaker burying grounds of eastern 
United States. 

Again we are grateful to the Harold J. Schaller Scholarship Award of the 
American Institute of Commemorative Art for a grant in aid of this publica- 
tion, and to several anonymous donors. 

Articles appearing in Markers which relate to European subjects are 
annotated and indexed in Historical Abstracts, while those relating to Ameri- 
can subjects are annotated and indexed in America: History and Life. 

This is the fifth, and final, issue of Markers under the editorship of the 
present editor. Stepping down from my role as such to a more personal level, 
I should like to single out for special thanks a few of the many who have 
helped me. First, of course, are the members of the editorial board for their 
unflagging assistance in selecting and editing the articles which have come 
to us. The aid of Carol Davidson in the preparation of copy and layout has 
been vital. Rosalee and Fred Oakley have given essential support both in 
matters of preparation and marketing. Dan and Jessie Farber have provided 
innumerable photographs to embellish many of the articles. Markers VIII, the 
Caulfield volume, is largely attributable in its final form to Jim Slater. And I 
am grateful to the Heffernan Press, Inc., of Worcester, Massachusetts, for the 
highly professional way in which the last three volumes have been produced. 


The Board has appointed Professor Richard E. Meyer of Western Oregon 
State College as the next editor oi Markers. He has been head of the Cemeteries 
and Gravemarkers Section of the American Culture Association, has edited 
Cemeteries and Gravemarkers:Voices of American Culture (Ann Arbor/London, 
1989), has two more books in preparation, and has published papers on a 
variety of subjects, ranging from the English poet George Crabbe to Ameri- 
can outlaw ballads. 

Information about the submission of manuscripts for Markers may be 
obtained from Professor Meyer, English Department, Western Oregon State 
College, Monmouth, Oregon 97361 . For information about other Association 
for Gravestone Studies publications, membership, and activities, write to the 
executive director, Miranda Levin, 30 Elm Street, Worcester, Massachusetts 
01601, or call 508-831-7753. 

Fig. 1 Stephentown, New York, 1843. The black background indicates 
that the photograph was taken of a cast made in our studio. (EAGA 113) 

A Tribute to the Art of Francis Duval 

Ivan B. Rigby 
with Katherine M. Noordsij 

For over twenty years Francis Duval and I dedicated ourselves to preserv- 
ing images of early American gravestone art in photographs and plaster 
casts. Our collection spans the entire period of this art form and includes 
representations of most of its themes and designs. We exhibited our photo- 
graphs and casts in several states and published a book. Early American 
Gravestone Art in Photographs, and a variety of illustrated articles in various 
journals, including the journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies, 
Markers. After Francis died in the spring of 1989 the board of AGS asked if 
I would prepare a retrospective of our work to be published in Markers. My 
niece, Katherine, who was close to both Francis and me during these years, 
has helped me. I am grateful for this opportunity to share the story of our 
work and describe the unique legacy of a talented and dedicated artist, 
Francis Duval. 

What follows is a description of our twenty-year collaboration that took 
us throughout the eastern United States to photograph and make plaster 
casts of the finest examples of early American gravestone art that we could 
find. I have included in this article some of the photographs which were 
published in our book, and these are so designated in the captions. Space 
does not permit reproduction of all of our favorites, but others may be found 
in the book on pages 17 (bottom), 25, 40 (top), 62 (bottom), 71, 72, 79, 80, and 

Karl Erickson, one of the students in my design class at Pratt Institute of 
Art in the late 1960s, introduced me to making casts of gravestones. In the 
Industrial Design Department at Pratt we worked with a soft, reusable, oil- 
based clay to make industrial product models. At the end of the spring 
semester the school discarded that year's clay. Karl had taken some home 
during the summer to make impressions of various relief images such as 
those on coins. He then began experimenting with impressions of grave- 
stones in a local churchyard. When school started in the fall he showed me 

Recollections of Francis Duval 

his work and asked me to help him refine his technique. I began to 
accompany him on trips into the country on Saturdays to find suitable 
gravestones for making impressions. Our first impression is shown in Figure 
1, a rare image of the ark of Noah. The crude edges of the cast show our yet- 
to-be refined technique. * 

The work fascinated me. I had studied sculpture and model making in 
school. During World War II, I was assigned to a unit that made three- 
dimensional models of areas of Paris, Normandy, Sicily, and other strategic 
sites in Europe, using RAF photographs. After World War II, I taught three- 
dimensional industrial design. My own projects included sculptures in 
bronze, plaster, and cloth stretched over three-dimensional shapes. 

I was also interested in primitive art and the art of children. While in 
Europe during the war, I saw examples of African art in Paris and Brussels. 
My first trip to Mexico exposed me to the beauty and richness of pre- 
Columbian sculpture. For years I repeatedly returned to Mexico to study pre- 
Columbian art as well as the later art in the cathedrals and churches. I had 
two exhibits at Pratt of the photographs from Mexico, one of which included 
photographs of the collection of pre-Columbian art from the National Musuem 
of Anthropology in Mexico City. 

Not long after Karl and I began to make impressions of gravestones 
Francis Duval, who had also been my student at Pratt, saw our work and 
asked to accompany us. Francis, a French Canadian from Montreal, was the 
son of an automobile dealer. When growing up, he developed an interest in 
automotive design, which led him to study industrial design at Pratt. After 
his graduation he worked primarily as a photographer for pharmaceutical 
advertising. Francis was very bright and interested in many subjects: 
classical music, French popular music, history, furniture, films, cars, cooking, 
and always cats. He needed to be moving; unlike me, he could not sit quietly 
to read or listen to music. He was driven to work relentlessly; his energy was 
limitless, enabHng him to accomplish an astonishing number of projects and 
satisfy his drive for perfection in all he did. 

* This and all other photographs in this article, except those in Figures 2, 3b, 13, and 14b, 
are published by courtesy of the Museum of American Folk Art and are part of Ivan B. 
Rigb/s gift to the Museum in memory of Francis Y. Duval. 

Ivan B. Rigby 3 

Francis also found the work with photographing and making impressions 
of gravestones fascinating, and thus our creative partnership began. When 
Francis began accompanying us on our trips, he introduced some ideas that 
helped us improve our mold-making technique. To make a mold, we would 
cover the entire stone with clay, a small portion at a time, carefully pressing 
the clay into the depressions in the design. Our thumbs got a workout! But 
the trick was to remove the finished layer of clay from the stone so that the 
edges of the stone would be cleanly captured by the mold and the sheet of clay 
would not break. We also had to find a way to keep the mold intact during 
the trip home, where it could be used for casting. Francis developed a method 
to remove the mold and transport it. To reinforce the clay, he used a sheet of 
metal mesh, known as hardware cloth, slightly larger than the area of the 
stone. He secured the mesh onto the surface of the clay so that it extended 
beyond the edges, and after removing the wire-reinforced clay mold from the 
tombstone, he placed it on a sheet of plywood. He also built wooden racks 
to hold the sheets in the back of the car while we carried them home. Figures 
2a - h show us in the process of making such a mold.* 

One variation he tried with success was to make aluminum foil molds of 
the stones; we used a heavy foil made by Reynolds that held its shape when 
removed from the stone (Figures 3a and b). The resulting cast then has a foil 
surface. When someone from the Reynolds company saw our work, the 
company donated a large roll of this heavy foil for our use. 

We worked when we could on our new interest, and in the early 1970s, 
after I retired from Pratt, we were able to devote our full attention to what 
turned out to be a twenty-year career. Our major objective was to preserve the 
art of these gravestones in photographs. In the graveyards, however, the 
stones were often partially obscured or in distracting settings. The casts were 
therefore primarily a vehicle to enable us to photograph these beautiful 
designs in studio-controlled lighting. But making plaster casts of stones was 
fascinating work, too, capturing their three-dimensional nature and their 

* These unposed photographs were taken in South Hadley in 1977by Jessie Lie (now Jessie 
Lie Farber). 

Recollections of Francis Duval 

a. Francis cleaning the gravestone. 

b. Ivan applying bits of clay. 

c. The tympanum is covered. d. The edges are firm. 

Fig. 2 (a-h) A series of photographs made by Jessie Lie Farber of Francis 

Ivan B. Rigby 

e. Ivan pressing wire mesh into the clay. 

f. Removing the mold. 

g. The mold removed. h. Compared with the carving, 

and me making a mold in a Massachusetts churchyard. 

Recollections of Francis Duval 

Protecting and preserving these sculptures was always very important to 
us. We liked to call graveyards "museums without walls," but these 
museums cannot safeguard the stones from the weather, vandals, or 
lav/nmower blades. Already some of our casts are the only complete, three- 
dimensional images remaining of the original stones, and the number will 
inevitably increase as the originals deteriorate and disappear. Once we were 
able to preserve the stone as well. When we found the stone shown in Figure 
4, another of the rare representations of Noah's Ark, it was already showing 
signs of decay. Sometime later, Francis and I encouraged the Essex Historical 
Society to move the stone into its museum in Essex, where it has been 

The early designs and the lettering on the gravestones were our main 
interest. Our study of the tombstones in Ohio and Pennsylvania is perhaps 
our most significant contribution to the preservation of tombstone art. Their 
handsome lettering and the varity of motifs involving trees are the unusual 
and distinctive features particularly characteristic of these stones (Figures 5, 
6, 7, and 8). 

Our work began with and always involved exploration. We selected 
graveyards which we saw in books and photographs, or that friends had 
recommended. Sometimes we would just drive to a town and ask if the area 
had any old tombstones. Our trusty vehicle was my 1971 Pinto, which we 
loaded with all the equipment we needed for our work: clay, wire mesh, 
brushes, plywood carrying sheets, stacking frames for the molds, cameras, 
tripods, mirrors for reflecting light, film, bug spray, first-aid kit. In general, 
we took exploratory trips that we recorded photographically for later study, 
and then we returned to make final photographs or casts. But geography and 
circumstances sometimes forced us to make our only and final recordings in 
a single visit to a graveyard. 

Our exploration and collecting led us on trips that added up to over 60,000 
miles before we published our book in 1979, and we continued traveling until 
the late 1980s. We covered the New England states, then ranged south 
through Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and North 
Carolina. We also went west through Pennsylvania and New York to Ohio. 
Our collection includes stones from graveyards in all of these states. 

Ivan B. Rigby 

Fig. 3 Logan, Ohio, 1832. a) The original sandstone monument. 

b) Aluminum foil cast of the same stone. Note the pock-marks and other 
marks of vandalism. (EAGA 105) 

Recollections of Francis Duval 

Fig. 4 Essex, Connecticut, 1797. A stone by Eliakim Hayden. A unique 
juxtaposition of the New and Old Testaments. (EAGA 82) 

Ivan B. Rigby 9 

If we were taking an exploratory trip, we would review a graveyard 
quickly for stones with interesting designs or lettering, which we pho- 
tographed for future review. We could photograph throughout the year; 
mold-making was reserved for warmer months so that the clay would stay 
soft. If we were taking final photographs or making molds, the preparation 
process was the same and always time-consuming. Each stone had to be 
prepared: loose debris carefully cleaned from the surface, grass, weeds, and 
other obstructions around the bottom cleared away. We used Kodak Tri-X 
and Panatomic-X film and Hasselblad cameras with a variety of lenses and 
with several backs so that we could take both color and black-and-white 
photographs. Often one of us would photograph, while the other was 
constructing a mold. 

Fig. 5 South Bloomfield, Ohio, 1835. A style of willow, which 

symbolizes human sadness, found in a few central Ohio 

burial grounds. (EAGA 107) 


Recollections of Francis Duval 


Fig. 6 Washington Township, Ohio, 1845. This stone may have been 
carved by John Strickler. (EAG A 114) 

Ivan B. Rigby 11 

We took extraordinary precautions not to damage stones when we made 
molds. We examined the stone for cracks, flaking, or other defects that would 
make the stone vulnerable to the process of covering it with a layer of clay, 
which is then pulled away from the face. If the stone passed the initial tests, 
it had to be carefully cleaned, using only water and soft brushes — no 
chemicals or soap or abrasives. After the mold was finished, we made sure 
that no trace of our work was left. We cleaned the stone again to remove all 
the clay bits from the stone's surface and removed all our of debris from 
around the stones. 

Back in our studio we made the casts and prints that we used in our 
exhibits and publications. This work required a lot of space. Some years ago 
I had bought a carriage house near Pratt. A large, two-story square brick 
building, it had a roomy two-bedroon\ apartment on the second floor with a 
spacious garage on the first floor. This first-floor space became our studio. 
The front, with double swinging garage doors opened onto a Brooklyn street, 
the back opened onto a small ivy-covered courtyard. It was airy, light, and 
roomy, although sometimes uncomfortably cold in the winter. We used it as 
our darkroom and to make and store our molds and casts. And we always 
shared this space with a cat and often more than one, for our neighborhood 
was full of strays which we would domesticate and keep if we could not find 
homes for them. 

We had the photographs professionally developed, but Francis did all the 
printing, using Agfa paper. Our studio contained an enlarger and a dryer; we 
made prints in various sizes, but preferred 9" x 12" and 16" x 20" prints. We 
mounted them on cardbord with our mounting press. We mounted color 
transparencies in 2-1/4" x 2-1/4" glass slide mounts. 

Whenever we made molds, we made large batches of plaster-of-Paris, 
pouring it into the molds in two layers to allow us to embed a wire in the cast 
for hanging the finished piece. When the desired thickness of plaster was 
poured into the mold, the mold and plaster needed to set for several days 
until almost dry and hard before removal. The removed casts were stacked 
with layers of cardboard between; one mold could make more than one cast. 
When we had finished with the mold, we stored it on plywood in a rack. After 
the casts were completely hard, we examined them for any flaws we had 


Recollections of Francis Duval 

Fig. 7 Washington Township, Ohio, 1847. This superb wUlow carving 
stands in a small roadside cemetery in Pickaway County. (EAGA 112) 

Fig. 8 Washington Township, Ohio, 1845. A more formal wUlow design. 

(EAGA 116) 

Ivan B. Rigby 


introduced while making the mold. These we filled with plaster and blended 
with modeling tools to duplicate the texture and shape of the original design. 
We wanted the original to replicate the texture, shape, cracks, and imperfec- 
tions of the existing tombstone. 

Our work was consuming and satisfying. Neither of us could have 
accomphshed what we did alone, but together we had the resources, the 
equipment, the techniques, the time, and the mutual support to make a 
contribution to the preservation and appreciation of early American grave- 
stone art. 

We had our share of adventures looking for graveyards and trudging 
through them to find their treasures. Once, when Francis was helping me 
back out of a side road by a small graveyard, I drove over his foot. On another 
trip, I smelled a flower blooming near a gravestone we were working on, and 
a bee stung me on the nose. A wasps' nest on the back of one beautiful stone 
kept that piece out of our collection. During one of our winter trips we were 
stranded in an out-of-the-way inn for two days until the roads were clear 

Fig. 9 Jonesboro, Tennessee, 1872. A sheaf of wheat on a gravestone near 
my sister Josy's house, in the oldest town in Tennessee. (EAG A 121) 


Recollections of Francis Duval 

Fig. 10 Circleville, Ohio, 1825. A tree with an "art nouveau" look in a 
cemetery in the town where my sister Polly lives. (EAGA 101) 

Fig. 11 Delaware, Ohio, 1903. An enormous memorial, 8 by 10 feet, 

showing a three-dimensional tree in which cardinals, nests with eggs, 

an owl, and a tree lizard can be seen. This we found while exploring the 

area near my sister's house in Ohio. (EAGA 125) 

Ivan B. Rigby 15 

enough to go home. On another occasion, we left the backs of our cameras, 
and thus all the work of the day, in the graveyard. We did not realize we had 
left them until that evening. We returned two days later with little hope of 
finding our film, but it was still there, and our photographs were saved. 

In Maine we found a graveyard close to the Atlantic shore line that was 
half a mile from the battleship Ancon, which housed a military school. This 
was the same flagship that had carried me during World War II from Norfolk 
to Sicily, where we were being sent to support the invasion. 

Our favorite sign was located at the end of a small road into a graveyard; 
it read, "Dead End." An epitaph that Francis liked so much that he wrote a 
note concerning it to the AGS Newsletter (Winter, 1982) was on a horizontal 
stone displaying a skull. The stone, he wrote, "displays a most inventive 
skull design, a kind of Picasso approach two centuries before the fact, and the 
epitaph reads ^ ALL MUST TO DUST.'" 

People enjoyed helping us to find graveyards and carry out our work. 
Friends and relatives invited us to stay with them while we explored the 
range of graveyards in their areas. My sister Polly in Ohio and my sister 
Josephine and sister-in-law Bee in Tennessee fed and housed us many times 
over the years (Figures 9, 10, and 11). Friends in Massachusetts and North 
Carolina also opened their homes for us. Even strangers helped. In one New 
England town, where we were stopped puzzling over the map, a policeman 
led us to the graveyard. To get to a graveyard encircled by a golf course and 
almost impossible to reach in Rumford, Rhode Island, the manager of the 
course lent us a golf cart (Figure 12). In a remote spot in a Connecticut 
graveyard located on a steep hill, a little boy about five years old found us — 
he had to crawl through the underbrush to reach us — and we spent the entire 
day together. After we were done, he invited us home to meet his mother, 
who gave us all tea. 

From the beginning Francis and I wanted to share the richness of the 
gravestone art. Our photographs and casts were created to display the 
texture and design as fully as possible. A technique devised by Dan Farber, 
and shown to us by his wife, Jessie Lie Farber, was to use a mirror to reflect 
sunlight on tombstones that were shaded, or facing away from the light, and 
thereby to extend the length of a photographic day. This technique enabled 


Recollections of Francis Duval 

Fig. 12 Rumford, Rhode Island, 1716. Made by George Allen, 

this fine stone is almost impossible to reach. We are 

fortunate to have made a mold of it. (EAGA 14) 

Ivan B. Rigby 


Fig. 13 Two of the Christmas cards Francis designed. From the collection 

of Jessie Lie Farber. 


Recollections of Francis Duval 

Fig. 14a Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1771. Used as the 
original logo of AGS. (EAGA 45) 

Fig. 14b Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1771. Footstone. 
Photograph by Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber. 

Ivan B. Rigby 19 

US to preserve photographic images of many more gravestones. We made 
casts from gravestones that could not be photographed well and used studio 
lighting to capture the depth and beauty of the carving. And so our articles 
and books contain photographs of the full range of stones we saw. Those with 
black backgrounds were taken of casts in our studio. 

We had many opportunities to share our work with others. Planning, 
writing, and laying out the articles and exhibits consumed Francis's entire 
creative attention. His love of design and his obsessive love of detail ensured 
that each production was in itself a work of art. At the end of this article is a 
list of our publications. We also had exhibits in Ohio, New England, and 
Pennsylvania. These exhibits included our casts as well as photographs, 
adding a three-dimensional representation. 

Early in our collaboration we began meeting others who were also 
interested in gravestones. In 1974, for example, we met Dan Farber in a 
cemetery. Shortly thereafter Dan and his wife Jessie introduced us to the 
Reverend Ralph Tucker, who told us where to find many beautiful stones. In 
1977 these people and others with similar interests decided to structure their 
informal network into a formal organization. Francis and I were fortunate 
to be among this first gathering, arranged by Peter Benes, that resulted in 
formation of the Association for Gravestone Studies, described in the intro- 
duction to the first issue of Markers, the journal which this group published 
in order to document their research findings and encourage the preservation 
of gravestone art. This meeting began a long and valuable association. The 
friends we made in AGS continued to inspire and help us. We enjoyed and 
studied the books by Peter Benes, especially those containing the line 
drawings of details from gravestone carvings. Dan Farber's photographs 
showed us many of the more interesting stones in the region. Francis was 
equally willing to share his findings with his colleagues; he was known for 
his generosity with his time and his wealth of information, even drawing 
maps to lead people to graveyards. The members of the society recall with 
delight and admiration the many elaborate slide presentations and exhibits 
that Francis put together for the Association's annual conference. He origi- 
nated the conference "late night slide show," which often continued into the 
early morning hours. He also enjoyed making Christmas cards from photo- 

20 Recollections of Francis Duval 

graphs of favorite stones, which he sent to his colleagues and friends (Figure 

Francis was much involved in the design and content of the first issue of 
Markers; the logo, a styUzed rendition of a gravestone design (Figure 14), was 
his creation, and he designed the entire layout, setting a high standard for 
future issues. We contributed one article, "Openwork Memorials of North 
Carolina." Although his work on later issues was more limited, he continued 
to work with the editors and contributed many photographs and articles to 
both Markers and the AGS Newsletter. At the time of his death he was 
developing a series of guides to New England's choice graveyards, two 
issues of which have been pubUshed by AGS. 

The generosity and care of the friends we made during this period 
continued to nurture our work. In 1989 Francis fell while trying to catch a cat 
which needed to go to the vet. The fall fractured his hip, and in spite of 
immediate hospitalization, complications from the fall caused his unex- 
pected and untimely death. 

Soon after the death of Francis, Dan and Jessie Lie Farber encouraged me 
to offer our collection of photographs, casts and other work to the Museum 
of American Folk Art in New York City. The Museum gladly accepted our 
offer. The collection will go far toward making the Museum a leading center 
for the study of early American gravestone art. A significant donation of 
gravestone rubbings has been made by Susan H. Kelly and Anne C. Williams. 
Among other holdings are several gravestone molds cast by William McGeer, 
an actual early tombstone, and a major collection of mounted photographs 
from Dan and Jessie Lie Farber. In addition, the 1400 original glass negatives 
made by Harriette Merrifield Forbes of early American gravestones have 
been promised as a future gift from the Farbers. 

An inventory of our collection has been prepared by the Museum. Full 
cataloging of the entire gravestone art collection will be undertaken as soon 
as funds for additional library staff become available. Funds are being sought 
to insure proper preservation and storage for the photographic materials, 
which are kept in the special collections section of the Museum's Hbrary. Our 
books have been incorporated into the library's collection; the casts are 
housed with other Museum properties. A future exhibition under Museum 

Ivan B. Rigby 21 

sponsorship is anticipated. It is gratifying to know that the product of our 
many years of work has found a permanent home, where it will be available 
for study and research by social historians and genealogists as well as those 
in the art world. 

List of Articles Written by Francis Duval and Ivan Rigby 

1. Early American Gravestone Art in Photographs (New York, 1978). 

2. "Grave Portraits: Early New England Gravestone Carvings," Clarion, Spring 1982, 44-49. 

3. "Silent Art of our Past," American Art Revieiv, Vol. 3, No. 6 (Nov.-Dec. 1976) 78-85. 

4. "Stonecutters Art Exhibit: the Recording of an Endangered Art Form, the Gravestone of 
the Past," Monumental News-Review, Nov. 1973, 10-13. 

5. "American Folk Art in Stone," Print, Vol. 28, No. 2 (March-April 1973) 62-67. 

6. "Inscriptions of our Past," Visible Language, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Spring 1974) 136-150. 

7. "Early American Gravestones: The Iconography of Mortality," Lithopinion, Vol. 10, No. 
3, 48-63. 

8. "A Bicentennial Project," Hasselblad, Vol. 1, No. 1, 22-29. 

9. "Sermons in Stone," Photographs illustrating articles in FMR, No. 6 (Nov. 1984) 11 1-138. 

These books and articles are catalogued, shelved, or filed in the library of the Museum of 
American Folk Art. These, plus the other books and articles donated by Ivan B. Rigby, make 
up over sixty percent of the library's holdings. 


The Mullicken Family 

Fig. 1 Hannah Morison, 1716, Newburyport Sawyer Hill Burial Ground. 

An early stone of Robert Mullicken, Sr., with diamond sides 

and an unframed face. 





Ralph L Tucker 

A study of the gravestones produced by the members of the Mullicken 
family of Bradford, Massachusetts, is overdue. In 1899 Sidney Perley said: 

The first gravestone maker that the writer has discovered in this county is 
Robert Mullikin of Bradford, the Scotchman. He was producing them in 
1723, being paid that year thirty shillings for the gravestone of Dr. Daniel 
Bradstreet of Amesbury. Records show that he subsequently for many 
years carried on the business; many specimens of his work being still seen 
in Bradford, Boxford, Newbury, and other places on either side of the 
Merrimac. Large numbers of the small stones erected to the memory of 
children that died of the fatal throat distemper of 1735-7, were from his 

Harriette Forbes, writing in 1927 in the earliest book on American grave- 
stones, quotes two letters to Mr. Robert Mulican of Bradford requesting 
gravestones. She also lists Robert Mulican of Bradford 1688-1765 as a 
stonecutter. This is actually Robert, Jr., whose dates are 1688-1756, and whose 
father and brothers John and Joseph were also stonecutters. She provided no 
further information on the work of the family, however, and had nothing to 
say as to their style of carving.^ 

Dr. Ernest Caulfield in his seminal work on the early stonecutter Lt. John 
Hartshorne mentions in a concluding note that there existed a number of 
stones similar to but distinguishable from Hartshorne' s, and refers to Mrs. 
Forbes's reference to Robert Mulicken. He gives the names and dates of the 
stonecutter members of the family and comments briefly on the style they 
used as being derived from Hartshorne. He says in the article: 

There still remains a vast amount of original source material in Essex 
County to be explored. The gravestones, in particular, require some solid 
down-to-earth research along the lines proposed by Mrs. Forbes over 40 
years ago. A full measure of genuine satisfaction awaits someone at the end 
of this interesting trail.'' 

24 The Mullicken Family 

As I lived in the area where both Hartshorne and Mullicken stones were to 
be found, I took up Caulfield's suggestion. 

About this time there appeared a further article on Hartshorne by Peter 
Benes which enlarged upon the work of Caulfield, although Benes was 
unaware of Caulfield's article. In the course of his study Benes was aware of 
Robert Mullicken and his style and gives some line drawings which illustrate 
Mullicken's dependence on Hartshorne. There is no reference to other 
members of the family or their unique styles. Benes does recognize that there 
were several carvers who carried on the tradition of Hartshorne, which he 
calls the "Merrimack River" style, and he refers to Robert Mullicken, Richard 
Leighton of Rowley, Jonathan and Moses Worster of Harvard, Massachu- 
setts, as well as some still unidentified carvers of the area. In addition he 
traced the style into Connecticut through the Collins and Manning families, 
but the references are fleeting and peripheral.^ 

With the formation of The Association for Gravestone Studies in 1977, Dr. 
James Slater and I were asked to gather information on Lt. John Hartshorne 
for a definitive article which would present a more comprehensive survey of 
his stones and styles and tie together any loose ends regarding this early rural 
carver who was the progenitor of the "Merrimack River" style and who 
carried his style to Eastern Connecticut. As Dr. Slater was active in the study 
of Connecticut stones and as I had been working with Essex County stones, 
we jointly produced the article "The Colonial Gravestone Carvings of John 
Hartshorne."^ In the gathering of this data the relationship between 
Hartshorne and the Mullicken family became evident and much material on 
the MuUicken stones was gathered; which data, however, was not made 
available in the article. Since that time more has been learned about the 
Mullicken family and their stones as well as about other carvers who are in 
the same "Merrimack River" style (Figs.2a and b). 

In order to have a perspective, it should be understood that Lt. John 
Hartshorne of Haverhill was the first to cut gravestones in the area, beginning 
about 1700. In the French and Indian raid upon Haverhill in 1708, John's wife, 
son, and three grandchildren were killed. Shortly after this he moved 
downstream but kept making gravestones for Haverhill until 1716, when his 
stones no longer are found there and those of the Mullicken family appear. 

Ralph L. Tucker 25 

Mullicken stones had been placed as early as 1 714 in Bradford, however. John 
Hartshorne married in 1709 the widow Mary Leighton Spofford in Rowley, 
Massachusetts, and carved there until 1720. While there he taught his new 
brother-in-law Ezekiel Leighton to carve. Upon the death of Mary in 1719, 
John removed to Connecticut, where he carved for another eighteen years 
and left his influence on the styles of several carvers there. Meanwhile in the 
Bradford area the Mullickens continued carving, and at their death the 
Marbles, father and son, continued. The Webster brothers also learned to 
carve there and took the trade to HoUis, New Hampshire, and then further up 
the Merrimack Valley.^ 

In Rowley the same process was at work. Ezekiel's son and grandson 
became stonecutters.'^ Jonathan Worster learned the trade there and took the 
"Merrimack River" style to Littleton and then to Harvard, Massachusetts, 
where the style blossomed and spread all through upper Middlesex County 
(Fig. 2a). 

Robert Mullicken, Sr., 16637-1741 

Robert Mullicken, Sr ., probably came from Glasgow, Scotland, about 1680 
and was perhaps the brother of Hugh of Boston who in 1684 was admitted to 
the Scots' Charitable Society and was a member of the Brattle Street Church.* 
Robert had settled at "Kimball's Pasture" in Bradford, Massachusetts, then a 
part of Rowley, by 1687, having married Rebeckah Savory, the daughter of 
Robert and Mary Sawyer Mitchell Savory, December 15, 1687 in Newbury.^ 
They had nine children, all recorded in the Bradford Vital Records. The oldest 
two, Robert, Jr., and John, and the eighth child, Joseph, were stonecutters. On 
"5 of 7 1697" Rebeckah was admitted to the Bradford church and Robert, Sr., 
on "4 of 4 1699."io Rebeckah died July 9, 1749. Robert died June 1 1, 1741 aged 
seventy-six.ii In his will dated January 9, 1740 he leaves to his son Robert his 
" — loom and tackling for weaving — " among other bequests.^^ xhis is 
significant in that John Hartshorne, the original carver just across the river in 
Haverhill from whom he learned to carve, was also a weaver. 

The Haverhill burial ground is instructive in that, aside from five early 
flush-set homemade stones (1697-1699), practically all the stones are carved 
by Hartshorne up to 1716, when abruptly he is no longer represented, and 
Mullicken stones fill the grounds. From 1716 to 1740 of sixty-five stones there. 


The Mullicken Family 

Merrimack Valley Carvers 

John Hartshorne 



Fig. 2a Chart of Merrimack Valley carving styles. 

Ralph L. Tucker 


Mullicken Family Carvers 

Robert Mullicken, Sr. 

Robert Mullicken, Sr. and Jr. 

Robert Mullicken, Jr. and/or Joseph Mullicken 

Joseph Mullicken 
Fig. 2b Chart of Mullicken carving styles. 


The Mullicken Family 

only nine are carved by other than MulUckens, and these are crudely 

The stones of Robert, Sr., are all very similar. His earliest stones were 
carved about 1714 when he was fifty years old. In the tympanums of the 
earliest stones he placed an oval or round geometric face which was not 
framed or outlined (Fig. 1). A few of these early stones have side borders of 
diamonds formed by lines, or other simple designs. Several stones have 
asterisks scattered about in the tympanum which may be regarded as stars 
(Fig. 3). After 1720 the faces become framed or outlined and the asterisks are 
no longer used. Large disks with rosettes or pie shapes are then found on 
either side of the face (Fig. 4). The frame of the face is connected to the top 
border of the stone, and various devices are inserted under the chin and in the 
corners of the tympanum (Figs. 3 and 4). Of interest is the occasional 
placement of a device resembling a snake on each side and slightly above the 
head (Fig. 5). There are few such stones by Robert, Sr., but Robert, Jr., has over 
twenty such stones. The significance and symbolism of the snake by the 
Mullickens is obscure. 

M i'l:. h; 

Fig. 3 Jacob Tappin, 1717, Newbury. An early stone of Robert 
Mullicken, Sr., with "pie" finials, asterisks and an unframed face. 

Ralph L. Tucker 


Fig. 4 Ann March, 1724, West Newbury Bridge Street Burial Ground. A 

standard stone of Robert, Sr., with pie finials, scroll sides and a framed 

face. Note the price carved at the lower left ("prics-26"). 

For finials he favored "pies," with rosettes and spirals as lesser options 
and also a few experimental varieties. The side borders almost always have 
scrolls, although other designs were tried out but not used with any consis- 
tency (Fig. 6). 

The lettering is all upper-case carved in a careful fashion. Occasionally a 
lower-case letter "t" appears and the word "the" in lower-case (Fig. 4), but 
overall the lettering is well executed in contrast to that of his son Robert, Jr., 
who used a confused mixture of upper- and lower-case lettering. There is a 
unique numeral "8" (Figs. 1 and 4), which has a flat top used by Robert, Sr., 
and not by his sons. All of the Mullickens used a letter "I" with a crossbar in 
its middle. 


The Mullicken Family 

Fig. 5 Sarah Barker, 1726, North Andover. A standard stone by Robert, 

Jr., showing mixed upper- and lower-case lettering, with the unique 

letters "a" and "m" as used only by Robert, Jr. The stone also has the 

"snake" in the tympanum. 

Fig. 7 Hannah Moody, 1719, Newbiu-y. A footstone by Robert, Sr., 
showing the unique coffin found on Mullicken stones by both Roberts 

but rarely by Joseph. 

Ralph L. Tucker 


M 5 fc 7 

Finials and Side Borders 

10 II 


















Flower vine 















Disk vine 





Leaf vine 










Plain vine 





Plain vine 




12 to 15 

Bleeding heart 

12 tc 

Fig. 6 Chart of finials and side borders. 

32 The Mullicken Family 

The footstones done by Robert, Sr., nearly always contain an outlined 
coffin as well as the full name of the interred, both within a frame (Fig. 7). 

There is only one stone of Robert, Sr., which is documented: the 1723 
Daniel Bradstreet stone in Sawyer Hill Burial Ground, Newburyport. The 
Essex Probate files show payment of thirty shillings to Robert, presumably 
for this stone. (Essex Probate references are shown in an appendix.) It is an 
excellent example of a standard type stone in very good condition. Fortu- 
nately the footstone has also survived. It has decorations and a rosette, in 
addition to the full name of the deceased, an outlined coffin, and a frame — 
all in a triangular-topped stone. 

Robert, Sr., carved a number of stones which are found mostly in Bradford 
and nearby towns carrying dates up to 1727, when he ceased to carve in his 
sixty-fifth year. His son Robert, Jr., had learned to carve at about this time and 
took over the carving business. 

Robert Mullicken, Jr., 1688-1756 

Robert, Jr., was born December 9, 1688 in Bradford and was baptized 
"21:5m:1695" at the Bradford Church. Although the data is unclear, it is 
supposed that he married the widow Mary Hartbath, whose daughter Mary 
took on the name of Mullicken. Robert, Jr., and a Mary Mullicken both joined 
the West Parish Church, where on May 1, 1720 beside Mary (Hartbath?) 
Mullicken's name is noted "Trinni Deo Glorica" and on June 26, 1720 beside 
Robert's name is noted "To God be all the Glory." They may be the parents 
of Jonathan MuUicken, the first of the MuUicken clockmakers who worked in 
Bradford and Newburyport and later in Concord and Lexington. Jonathan 
was born about 1710-1715 and married Martha March (Marsh) in 1742M 

While Robert's first marriage data is not certain, he is recorded in the 
Bradford Vital Records as having married at the age of forty-nine Mary Hoyt 
(Hoit) October 4, 1737 at Bradford, where all of their seven children were 
born. By his father's will Robert had received six acres of land at "Dismal 
Hole," "loom and tackling for weaving," as well as other bequests. Robert, 
Jr., died June 16, 1756 aged sixty-seven and is buried in the old Bradford 
Burial Ground, where his gravestone still stands, as does that of Mary his 
widow, who died August 16, 1788 aged seventy-seven. ^^ 

Ralph L. Tucker 33 

He carved over two hundred stones between 1726 and 1747, a period of 
twenty-one years. Several of his stones are dated much earher than 1726, 
however, for persons long dead and whose wooden markers had rotted, or 
who had never had a stone. Such "backdated" stones can confuse those who 
are not careful, and several excellent students of stonecarving have been 
misled into erroneous theories by assuming the stones were made at the date 
on the face of the stone. An example of this is the John Stevens gravestone in 
North Andover, obviously carved by Robert, Sr., which is dated 1662, a year 
or so before Robert, Sr., was bom! 

The gravestones of Robert, Jr., can be easily recognized by his inap- 
propriate mixing of upper-case and lower-case letters. The lower-case letters 
"a,""m,"and "n" are often the key letters to look for as neither Robert, Sr., nor 
brother Joseph used them (Fig. 8). The letter "I" is always upper-case and has 
a crossbar in the middle, a mark of all of the family. This distinguishes them 
from the Leighton family gravestones, which all lack this characteristic. 
Sometimes his lower-case letters are upper-case size and so unusual in 
appearance as to be quite distinctive. 

The tympanum of his usual or standard stone is identical with his father's 
later work and nearly always contains the geometric outlined face with the 
frame connected to the top border, with a disk on either side containing a 
"pie" or rosette and, less frequently, some other circular device. Under the 
chin there is nearly always a device resembling a flower, and at each side of 
the tympanum there are small marks of various forms, which are sure signs 
of a Mullicken stone. He made twenty stones with asterisks like his father, 
but only two are unframed, and all were made in the 1730s. 

There are more than twenty standard stones which have above the head 
on either side a device resembling a snake. These occur scattered in the years 
up to 1742, when both Roberts had ceased carving. The intention and 
meaning is unclear and may well have been a "doodle," but may also have 
had some symbolic meaning at the time. The only other uses of a snake in 
early New England gravestones known to the author are of the snake eating 
his tail, symbolic of endless time, and of the snake in the Adam and Eve 
stones. Both of these designs are few in number and were carved by more 
proficient urban carvers. 


The Mullicken Family 

The finials usually have a spiral, sometimes a "pie," and less frequently 
a rosette or other experimental device — unless the stone has no finial at all. 
The side borders are usually made up of the scroll design, although a vine 
with leaves is common (Fig. 6). These two designs are usual, but there was 
often some experimentation, and other kinds can be found. 

Forty footstones have been located with the usual name, frame, and 
inscribed coffin. There are another four similar footstones with no coffin. In 
most burial grounds it is the footstone that is first broken or discarded, 
although gravestones were always bought and set up in pairs. Of the 516 
headstones in this study, only 108 of their corresponding footstones have 
survived. Only eleven footstones have survived their corresponding head- 

A second type of gravestone carved by Robert, Jr., has in its tympanum a 
skull, full face (Fig. 9). There are only a few of these, and they all are dated 
1736 to 1738 during the diptheria epidemic. Some are lightbulb-shaped with 

r— -.-/^/.i?P^^^|f/'lipp 


Fig. 8 Caleb Hopkinson, 1730, Groveland. A standard stone of Robert 

Mullicken, Jr., with scroll sides, odd lettering ("a," "m," "n"), 

framed face and pies. A probated stone. 

Ralph L. Tucker 


i\:[\i:-\i.y\^ nuiwi-M 

]]0]r/ or r\' c 

r^:/\i-i lmnk:/, ^<^lIf^[!•: 
\v/! [o n'avMi'-..':"!) 




^^•fek . '^ 

Fig. 9 Nathaniel Whittier, 1740, Haverhill. A skull stone by Joseph 

Mullicken showing the use of lower-case "t" and "the" but otherwise 

good upper-case. He later adds wings to this type of stone. 


Fig. 10 Nathaneil Badger, 1738, Haverhill, A skull stone by Robert, Jr., 
with vine sides, odd lettering and unusual skull. 

36 The Mullicken Family 

round empty eyes, while a few have triangular eyes and noses (Fig. 10). Both 
varieties are departures from the previous style. As he carved his standard 
stones for some time after these skull stones were made, we may consider 
skulls as abberations attributable to the epidemic. 

There are eight stones attributed to Robert, Jr., that can be both doc- 
umented and located. On December 20, 1728 Robert was paid £2.5.0 for 
stones by the estate of John White of Haverhill. It is a standard stone with pie 
circles on either side of the face, a rosette finial and scroll side panels. 

The 1730 Caleb Hopkinson stone in Groveland is another typical stone of 
Robert, Jr., having pie circles and finials, with scroll side panels. Forty 
shillings were paid for this stone (Fig. 8). 

Three stones for the Foster children of Andover are mentioned in a letter 
to Robert dated April 3, 1739.^^ While there is uncertainty as to whether it 
is father or son to whom the letter is addressed, Robert, Sr., was no longer 
carving by this date, and the lettering on the stones is undoubtedly that of 
Robert, Jr. The 1736 David Foster stone is rather crudely carved with pie 
circles, spiral finials and a leafed-vine side panel. Lidea Foster's 1736 stone 
is of the early unframed face variety with asterisks in the tympanum and may 
have been a leftover stone of Robert, Sr., with the unmistakable lettering of 
Robert, Jr., done later. It has rosette circles, pie finials and scroll side panels. 
The 1738 Isaac Foster stone is similar, but with a pie circle, spiral finial, and 
lines for a side border. 

The 1736 Andrew Mitchel stone in Haverhill is also found documented in 
the Essex County probate records. It is a standard stone having pie circles and 
finial, scroll side panels, and "snakes" above the head. 

The 1743 stone of James Head in Bradford is a simplified standard stone 
with rosette circles, spiral finials, and scroll side panels. The footstone is still 
extant and has the full name, coffin, and frame. 

A payment of £3.10.0 was made for the 1746 stone of Jonathan Thurston 
of Bradford. Itis a standard stone withpie circles, spiral finials, and scroll side 
panels. Its footstone is also extant and also has the full name, coffin, and 

While there are thirty-eight payments to the Mullicken family in the Essex 
County probate records, not all specifically mention gravestones, and even 

Ralph L. Tucker 37 

when they do the stones cannot always be located. 

Most of the stones of Robert, Jr., were n-iade between 1726 and 1737, 
although he did carve a few in the 1740s. In 1736, the worst year of the 
epidemic, Robert carved over four times his usual output. As brother Joseph 
began to carve in the rush of the epidemic period, and was quite capable, 
Robert, Jr., apparently turned his efforts to other fields and let his younger 
brother take over the gravestone business. 

John Mullicken, 1690-1737 

John Mullicken, the second child of Robert, Sr., and Rebeckah, was bom 
July 26, 1690 in Bradford. As a youth in 1709 he was one of fifteen men of 
Haverhill given Uberty to build a seat in the west gallery of the meeting house 
there. His home was on an island in the Merrimack River between Bradford 
and Haverhill, where he was a blacksmith. He married Mary Poore Novem- 
ber 15, 1717, and they had four children before she died in 1728 at the age of 
thirty-three. They had joined the Bradford Church in May of 1719. He 
married Sarah Griffin of Newburyport in 1733. She joined the church 
November 4, 1733. John and Sarah had two children. He died intestate in 
Bradford November 10, 1737 aged forty-seven. His inventory lists a smithy 
with tools. He was primarily a blacksmith and may also have been a 
clockmaker as well as a stonecutter, but there is little sure evidence for this.^'' 

The Essex County probate records mention payments to John in four 
places, but only one specifically mentions gravestones. The other payments 
may have been for his blacksmithing. The estate of John Barnard of Salisbury 
makes two payments to John in 1718, one for £2.10.0 and one for £19.0.0. The 
account mentions 'Tome Stones," probably for the first payment, as nineteen 
pounds would be excessive for a pair of stones. John also appears in the estate 
of John Currier of Haverhill in 1722 with a payment of £0.5.6. This is a bit low 
for stones, which usually cost at least one or two pounds. The estate of 
Thomas Symmes of Boxford in 1725 has payments of £0.8.4 and £0.51.2 to 
"Robert and John Mulikin" with no further detail. All three of the above- 
mentioned payments, if they were for stones, are not much help, for we have 
not located any of these stones. A fourth reference is more helpful. In 1732 
the estate of Caleb Hopkinson of Bradford paid John and Robert MuUiken 
£6.13.4 and £0.40.0. The second payment may well have been for the stone 


The MuUicken Family 

which is to be found in the Old Burial Ground in Bradford (Fig. 8). The 
lettering on the stone, however, is that of Robert, Jr., with his distinctive use 
of lower-case letters "a," "m," and "n" amid other letters all in upper-case. 
We must conclude that while John may have worked in the Mullicken 
shop, and while he received payment for at least one stone, we cannot be sure 
that he was primarily a stonecutter, as he may have received the money on 
behalf of his brother. If he was a carver, unlike his father and two brothers 
he had no distinctive style of lettering which would enable us to single out his 

Fig. 11 Mary Barker, 1744, North Andover. 
A "pear" stone by Joseph Mullicken. 

Ralph L. Tucker 39 

Joseph Mullicken, 1703/4-1768 

Joseph, the eighth child of Robert, Sr., and Rebeckah, was born at 
Bradford February 17, 1703/4. He married Phebe Tylor (Tyler) at Bradford 
on June 3, 1736, about the time he started to carve gravestones. He died June 
17, 1768 at the age of sixty-five according to his gravestone in Groveland. He 
died intestate. In various records he is listed as "yeoman, innholder, tavern 
keeper, and ferryman." Phebe died October 13, 1790 aged eighty-two. He is 
listed in the polls of Haverhill in 1 745, but Uved in what is now Groveland on 
Main Street.^^ He was a prolific stonecutter who developed two unique styles 
and left stones up and down the Merrimack River valley as well as on the 
coast. His stones can be found from Portland, Maine, south to Salem, 

In searching the probate records of Essex County, the earliest docu- 
mented stone of Joseph found is that of John Sanders of Haverhill, 1737. It is 
of the same "standard" type that Joseph's father and brother Robert, Jr., 
made. It has pie circles, rosette finials, and leafed vine side panels. 

The probated stones of David Hardy, 1746 Groveland, and Jonathan 
Wallingford, 1748 Groveland, are of a new type that I have designated as a 
"pear" stone (Fig. 11). They have the lightbulb-shaped face of the skull 
stones, with round or oval eyes, a triangular nose, and often a smihng mouth; 
but now they have a round chin, and most notable — wings. Both stones have 
flower finials and vine side panels. None of the earlier "Merrimack River" 
style stones had wings, a fact which separates them from the "high" styles of 
the Boston area urban carvers. We now see rural area carvers beginning to 
be influenced by urban styles. There is no further capitulation to Boston, 
however, for as we study Joseph's developing work we find that he resists 
carving skull-like faces. Instead, he gradually makes the faces more and more 

There are thirty-eight probate references to payments to members of the 
Mullicken family, of which twenty are to Joseph; of these twenty, eleven 
stones have been located which relate to the payments. In addition, a receipt 
to Dameris Hardy (the widow of Capt. Daniel Hardy, who died in 1756) in 
Joseph's handwriting has survived at the Haverhill Public Library. It gives 
an interesting view of funeral customs worth quoting in full: 


The Mullicken Family 

Fig. 12 John Holmon, 1762, West Newbury Batchellor Street Cemetery. 

A "pumpkin" stone of Joseph Mullicken with 

"bleeding-heart" side panels. 

Ralph L. Tucker 


"Mrs Dameris Hardy Bradford march 10 1768 

acouents old tener 

To quart of Rum 10 - 

To quart of Rum 10 - 

To quart of Rum 10 - 

To quart half pint of Rum 14-0 

To paer of grave stones 9 = = 

old tener- 11 =4 = 
Joseph Mulicken " 

The development of Joseph's stone style now arrives at what I call 
"pumpkin-style" faces, which are quite round with circular eyes, inverted 
"V" noses, and horizontal mouths extending from side to side (Fig. 12). The 
stones are formed from his previous pear style. Actually, there is a progres- 
sion from "pear" to "pumpkin" which is so gradual that somewhere in the 

Fig. 13 Hannah Pecker, 1761, Haverhill. A "Cleopatra" stone of 

Joseph Mullicken with "bleeding-heart" side panels, 

and unusual numeral one resembling letter "J." 


The Mullicken Famly 

middle it is a toss-up as to which type of stone it is. The visual effect is 
remarkable. Joseph's stories no longer are grim and somewhat skull-like, but 
are rather pleasant and at times comic. On occasion the wings are dropped 
off, hair added, and a face appears which to the author is reminiscent of 
simulated portraits of Cleopatra (Fig. 13). 

The following eight pumpkin stones are documented as cut by Joseph and 
make clear this new style: 1754, Nathaniel Sanders, Haverhill, with a flower 
f inial and a side panel of the "bleeding heart" variety unique to Joseph; 1 756, 
Daniel Hardy, Groveland, with spiral f inial and bleeding-heart sides; 1756, 
John Pecker, Haverhill, with flower finials and bleeding-heart sides (Fig. 14). 
The footstone for John Pecker survives and significantly omits the coffin 
while retaining the full name.; 1759, Captain James Smith, West Newbury, 
Crane Neck Cemetery, has flower finials and bleeding-heart sides. His 
footstone too has survived, with no coffin, but with decorated sides and top; 
1759, Eleazer Burbank, Groveland, has flower finials, and bleeding-heart 
sides; 1759, Joseph Grelee, Haverhill, Walnut Cemetery, has flower finials 



WiY)')' OF 
\v/i ID \)\A'-f^^<-i^V - 

Fig. 14 John Pecker, 1756, Haverhill. A pumpkin stone of Joseph 
Mullicken showing his unique letters "u" and "J." A probated stone. 

Ralph L. Tucker 


Fig. 15 Betty Johnson, 1756, West Newbury Batchellor Street Cemetery. 
A pumpkin stone with "bonnet" by Joseph Mullicken. 

and bleeding-heart sides with a framed inscription panel and a bottom 
border; the footstone has name, date and carving vaguely resembling wings; 
1761, Nathaniel Allen, Newbury, has the usual flower finial and bleeding- 
heart sides; 1762, James Morss, West Newbury, Bridge Street Cemetery, has 
the same finials and border. 

All of these stones contain the unique letter "U" of Joseph which has a tail 
at the lower right; and five of them have his unique "J" which drops below 
the line and usually appears at the beginning of a name (Fig. 15). One more 
stone that is worth mentioning is that of Andrew Mitchel of Haverhill (1736), 
for which Joseph was paid, but which is lettered by his brother Robert, Jr. 

An additional ten probate payments were made to Joseph, one of which 
was actually paid to his wife Phebe, and another of which specifically 
mentions "gravestones," but none of these stones can be located. 

44 The Mullicken Family 

It should be noted that in looking through probate records one often finds 
a significant period of time between death of the person and the settlement 
of the estate. A two- or three-year delay is common, but a ten- or twelve-year 
delay is not unknown. An example of such a delay appears in the receipt to 
Demeris Hardy mentioned above. 

Of the known documented gravestones of Joseph only three have existing 
f ootstones, none of which have coffins engraved on them. This is in contrast 
to the foots tones made by his father and brother, which up to 1740 practically 
always contain coffins inscribed on them. Of forty-four footstones attributed 
to Joseph, only two contain coffins. There are nine, however, that have wings 
or a wing-Uke device on the footstone (Fig. 16). This can be seen as a move 
away from the earlier use of death symbols such as the crossed bones, hour 
glasses, skulls or picks and shovels which other carvers used with such rehsh. 
It is only at the time of the diptheria epidemic that a death symbol such as a 
skull appears on a headstone of the Mullickens, and then for only a brief 
period. And even the skull is a bit pleasant! 

It should be noted that the person who carved the top and borders of a 
stone was not always the same person who carved the lettering. This is 
especially important in the case of the Mullickens, since we use the lettering 
as one significant way to identify the carvers. It was apparently the custom 
for the carvers, who usually had other occupations, to do their carving in the 
odd months when their farming or other work was at a minimum, and to 
accumulate a store of stones which were lettered when sold. Only in unusual 
cases were special stones made, and usually these were for important 

An exception to this practice occurred in 1736 and 1737 when there was 
a diptheria epidemic and numerous gravestones had to be produced rapidly. 
In 1735 a diptheria epidemic had broken out in Kingston, New Hampshire, 
some fifteen miles north of Haverhill and Bradford, Massachusetts. This 
disease was unfamiliar to the physicians of the time and was called the 
"throat distemper" or "kanker quincy." The disease was confused with 
scarlet fever, which had similar symptoms but which was much less deadly. 
The epidemic progressed north into Maine, and in 1737 south into Essex 
County, Massachusetts, stopping just short of Boston. In Essex County alone 

Ralph L. Tucker 


over 1400 deaths occurred, of which eighty percent were children under ten 
years of age.^^ This created a tremendous demand for gravestones and is 
probably the reason that at this time Joseph was called upon to work in the 
shop as a stonecutter. In a contemporary pamphlet "Awakening Calls to 
Early Piety" is the verse: 

To Newbury O go and see 
To Hampton and Kingston 
To York and Kittery 
Behold what God hath done. ^^ 

With over 200 deaths in the town of Haverhill alone in 1736 and 1737, the 
graveyard there has a large number of Mullicken stones. 

It is at this time that the "skull" stones appear. These are stones having 
in their tympanum a full-face skull with a square jaw; some with round 
empty eyes, and others with triangular eyes and noses — the most death-like 
stones of the Mullicken family. As nearly as can be determined, these stones 
were made by both Robert, Jr., and Joseph. Since John died in 1737, it is 
doubtful that he made any. Less than twenty such stones can be located, most 

Fig. 16 Mirram Whit, 1765, Haverhill. 
A footstone by Joseph Mullicken, with wings. 

46 The Mullicken Family 

Stones of the period being of the standard variety. After 1738 there are no 
more footstones to be found containing coffins (almost universal previously), 
and after 1740 there are no more "skull" stones. It may be surmised that after 
the shock of the epidemic the Mullicken family shied away from the stark 
aspects of death and became more hopeful. Joseph began using wings on his 
stones, giving them a note of hope. The religious "Great Awakening," the 
first movement involving all of the colonies and a generally positive and 
hopeful if perhaps too emotional series of events, came swiftly at this time. 
It was a rejection of the Calvinistic doctrine that one could never be sure that 
salvation was at hand. Instead of probable doom, the new movement assured 
people that salvation could be made certain. At the same time doctrines of 
universal salvation gained ground in a less emotional and more intellectual 
manner. The combination of these doctrines eliminated some of the element 
of fear in the conception of death reflected in the gravestones of the times. 

Joseph began his carving about 1736, following the standard style of his 
father and brother. In the 1737-1740 period of the epidemic he carved, in 
addition to a handful of "skull" stones, a new style of "pear" stones which 
were basically "skull" stones with the addition of wings. The facial charac- 
teristics were modified and the chin was rounded to give the appearance 
more of a face than a skull. Some of these had curly hair, producing almost 
a portrait (Fig. 17). This "pear" type continued through 1750. 

Sometime about 1 745 Joseph began to make his faces rounder, leading to 
his "pumpkin" style. These faces were also winged. Hardly deserving to be 
typed are about a dozen stones of this "pumpkin" style where the wings have 
been omitted, leaving a really unique stone with a draped hairdo (Fig.l3). 
These "Cleopatra" stones appear in the 1750-1761 period. 

Also to be noted on the "pumpkin" stones is a "bonnet" of semicircles, 
which after 1747 is found on over thirty stones (Fig. 15). The earliest one is 
for a man, but the effect must have impressed Joseph as a real bonnet, as all 
the later ones are for women. 

The finials of the stones are usually spirals or "pies" until 1753, when a 
flower becomes used almost exclusively, although some other devices were 
tried. The sides of Joseph's stones up to 1753 picture vines in a variety of 
styles. After 1749 another design unique to Joseph is used which I have 

Ralph L, Tucker 47 

labeled "bleeding-heart," that appears to me as an inverted heart with a stem 
protruding below (see Figs. 12-14). This becomes universal in the years after 
1756 and is his most frequent design. Of his forty-six foots tones that remain, 
nine have a winged device above the name. Forty-four have no coffin. 

Joseph's lettering is easy to identify once key letters are noted. He uses all 
upper-case letters with the exception of a lower-case "t" used incorrectly. In 
the early 1740s he adds a tail to the lower right of the letter "U," and he drops 
the letter "J" below the line when it begins a name. He sometimes also uses 
an unusual numeral "1" with a serif top and bent bottom. With these few 
clues it is usually not difficult to pick out his work (Fig. 15). 

As there are few "pear" and no "pumpkin" stones by anyone except 
Joseph, one can look at these to get an overall feel for his work and lettering. 
The "standard" and "skull" stones attributed to Joseph are few in number, 
and so different in lettering from that of Robert, Jr., that there is really little 
problem in attribution. 

Statistical Summary 

More than 500 headstones (as well as 108 footstones) carved by four men 
in two generations of the Mullicken family form the basis of this article. It 
may be of help to those wishing to pursue the subject further, or to make 
comparison with the work of other carvers of the period, if I were to 
summarize the preceding analysis in statistical detail. This I shall do 1) by 
detailing the several types of design used by the family: "standard," whether 
with or without framed faces; "skull" stones; "pear" stones; "pumpkin" 
stones; footstones; and the few atypical stones; 2) by considering the lettering, 
finials, side and bottom borders of these stones; and then; 3) by summarizing 
the several types according to the individual carvers. A complete chronologi- 
cal list of the stones considered in this article — too long for publication here 
— will be filed with the archives of The Association for Gravestone Studies. 

Following the end notes I have included a chronological list of the thirty- 
eight Mullicken stones for which supporting references have been found at 
the Essex Registry of Probate, thus avoiding the necessity for separate 
footnotes as these stones are discussed in the text. 


The MuUicken Family 

Fig. 17 Anna Rogers, 1747, Newburyport Sawyer Hill Burial Ground. 
A pear stone with hair and vine sides by Joseph Mullicken. 

Ralph L. Tucker 49 

Design Types Used by the Mullicken Family 

260 Standard Stones (1714-1743) 
26 Unframed faces (1714-1720) (Figs. 1 and 3) 

The earliest stones of the Mulhckens have round or oval unframed 
geometric faces or effigies with some framed eyes and mouths. Four 
early ones have diamond side borders, nineteen contain asterisks in 
the tympanum, some have disks on either side of the face containing 
rosettes, spirals, or "pies." Side panels are crude and simple. Most of 
these stones have good upper-case lettering and are by the father. A 
few with mixed lettering are by Robert, Jr. None are by Joseph. 

234 Framed faces (1720-1743) (Figs. 4 and 5) 

The most common "standard" type of stone has a framed face with 
framed eyes and mouth. The face is connected to the top border of the 
tympanum. There are devices below the chin, and also in the corners 
of the tympanum, and disks on either side of the face containing 
"pies," spirals, or rosettes. The early side panels are rather simple but 
later they usually contain a scroll or vine. Lettering in good upper-case 
up to 1727 indicates Robert, Sr.; that in a poor mixture of upper- and 
lower-case is by Robert, Jr. The latter produced most of this variety 
between 1726 and 1749, including about ten which contain asterisks 
dated 1732-1738. These can be distinguished from those of his father 
by date as well as by lettering. Joseph made few of this standard 

16 Skull Stones (1736-1740) (Figs. 9 and 10) 

Produced only during the epidemic, these contain lightbulb-shaped 
heads with square chins, smiling mouths, round eyes, no disks, mixed 
lettering (Robert, Jr.) or upper-case lettering (Joseph). While these are 
skulls, some smiling mouths give the stones an appearance that is not 
at all grim. There are four stones in a second type of this category 
worth noting. They differ in that they have teeth, triangular eyes, 
triangular noses, and disks beside the face, giving them an unusual 
appearance. The particular carver is difficult to determine since 

50 The MuUicken Family 

nearly identical stones of each type can be found with the lettering of 
Robert, Jr., or of Joseph. 

80 Pear Stones (1736-1750) (Figs. 11 andl7) 

Joseph is the one who uses this style, which is similar to the round- 
eyed skull stones but with a rounded chin, sometimes with hair added, 
resulting in a more face-like appearance. The significant addition of 
wings gives a new dimension to the stones. This is a step toward the 
urban Boston style and a step away from the "Merrimack River" rural 
style. A few stones of this variety have scallops on the top of the head, 
giving the appearance of a bonnet. There are also some with curled 
hair, although most are bald. 

128 Pumpkin Stones (1750-1766) (Figs. 12 to 15) 

These stones were developed from the pear stones and are all made by 
Joseph. They have oval to round heads with straight mouths, noses 
that are inverted "V"s, and round eyes. Twenty-nine have bonnets, all 
except the earliest one being for women. Most have wings, although 
nine have been located with hair and no wings. There are some of these 
stones that are difficult to classify, for they combine features of both 
pear and pumpkin styles. As pear stones cease about 1750, and 
pumpkin stones appear about 1745 and continue to 1766, these stones 
can be roughly separated by date. Pumpkin stones have side panels 
of vines in a variety of styles until about 1755, at which time they are 
presented with bleeding-heart vine side panels. 

108 Footstones (Fig. 7 and 16) 

Until 1740 almost all footstones have the full name and an inscribed 
coffin within a frame, with occasional decorations. These were made 
by both Roberts. Joseph generally omits the coffins on his footstones 
and sometimes adds a decoration which resembles a pair of wings. 
Over 100 MuUicken footstones have been located. They are so distinc- 
tive that they can be used to separate the MuUicken family stones from 
the Leighton and other carvers' stones. One should be careful to 

Ralph L. Tucker 51 

examine the f ootstones in any visit to a burial ground, because they can 
contain significant information. 

Atypical Stones (scattered dates) 

There are occasional stones of unusual design, usually small stones for 
children, which fall into the preceding categories, but which are 
unusual in some way. They are few in number and appear to be for the 
most part experimental trials or small inexpensive stones. 

Lettering and Other Aspects 

The lettering on the Mullicken stones is a key to determining which 
member of the family carved a particular stone. On all Mullicken 
stones the letter "I" is always upper-case with a crossbar in the middle, 
and the letters "B" and "D" in upper-case often have extended serifs 
(Fig. 5). All members of the family use the lower-case "t" inappropri- 
ately when upper-case is called for. Robert, Sr., alone uses the numeral 
"8" with a flat top, and he consistently uses upper-case (Fig. 2). Robert, 
Jr., is the only one to use a strange mixture of upper- and lower-case 
within words, sometimes enlarging lower-case to upper-case size, and 
sometimes reducing lower-case even smaller than one might expect. 
He is distinctive in using a variety of lower-case "a,""m," and "n," 
which his father and brother never employ (Fig. 8). Joseph consis- 
tently uses upper-case with a distinctive letter "U" which has a tail on 
its lower right side, a letter "J" which falls below the line, and on 
occasion a numeral one with a curved bottom (Fig. 13). 

Finials (Fig. 6) 

The circular finials of all varieties of Mullicken stones usually contain 
a spiral, a pie, or a star. Robert, Sr., used twice as many pie finials as 
stars or spirals, as well as a few early attempts of a geometric nature. 
Robert, Jr., preferred the spiral, using it twice as often as the star, with 
the pie midway in frequency. Joseph used a variety of circular 
patterns, with spirals and to a lesser extent pies, up to about 1752. By 
that time he had developed a circular pattern which can be interpreted 
as a flower. This he used exclusively after 1755. 

52 The MuUicken Family 

Sides (Fig. 6) 

There are over twenty types of side borders to be found, but they may 
be reduced to two basic types, simple or floral. The early varieties are 
generally simple curved lines, scrolls, or geometric shapes. The later 
borders consist of vines of many types. Robert, Sr., after an early 
period of experimentation always used the scroll design. Robert, Jr., 
used the scroll more frequently than vines. On his smaller stones he 
often used simple lines. Joseph used several types of vine until 1753, 
when he abruptly shifted to the "bleeding-heart" type exclusively. 


Many stones have sunk into the ground so that the bottom border, if 
extant, cannot be seen. Of those that can be observed there is little that 
is of value. Often there is no bottom border. The most common carved 
bottom is a simple straight line or a simplified continuation of the side 

StonesAssigned to Individual Carvers 

71 Stones of Robert Mullicken, Sr. (1663?- 1741) 

1 Standard unframed face 1706 
4 Standard unframed faces, diamond sides 1714-1716 
19 Standard unframed faces, asterisks 1662,1709,1716-1720 

2 Standard framed faces, asterisks 1719 
43 Standard framed faces 1716-1727 
1 Pear face 1721 

1 Solitary footstone no date 
18 footstones (16 with coffin, 2 without); (3 with hour glass) 

John Mullicken (1690-1737) 

His stones cannot be identified 

195 Stones of Robert Mullicken, Jr. (1688-1756) 

2 Standard unframed faces, asterisks 1736-1738 
10 Standard framed faces, asterisks 1732-1737 
166 Standard framed faces 1714, 1726-1738,1747 
7 Skulls 1736-1738 
4 Pear faces 1741-1746 
6 Solitary footstones 1710-1736 
40 footstones with coffin 1710-1743 
4 footstones with no coffin 1735-1746 
21 Standard framed faces with snake above 1714-1742 

Ralph L. Tucker 53 

227 Stones of Joseph Mullicken (1703/4-1768) 

13 Standard framed faces 1719, 1736-17 A9 

9 SkuUs 1737-1740 

75 Pear faces, 2 with bonnets 1725, 1736-1750 

117 Pumpkins, 29 with bonnets 1740, 1750-1766 

9 Pumpkins, wingless 1750-1761 

4 SoUtary footstones no dates 

46 Footstones: 2 with coffins 1725, 1742 

44 with no coffin 1729-1772 

9 wineed 1753-1764 
13 with year noted 

227 Finials: 93 flower, 64 spiral, 37 pie, 33 other 
227 Sides: 108 vines, 71 bleeding-heart, 48 other 


I am grateful to Ann Tucker for the line drawings in Figures 2 and 6, and to Daniel and Jessie 
Lie Farber for all the photographs except those shown in Figures 3, 8, 13, 14 and 16, for which 
I am responsible. 

1. Sidney Perley/'Early Gravestones in Essex Coun\y,"The Essex Antiquarian, 3:177 

2. Harriette Merrifield Forbes, Gravestones of Early New England and the Men Who Made 
Them, (Boston: 1927; rpt. Princeton, NJ.: 1955; New York: 1967), 15,129. Forbesquotes 
Fierce' sFoster Genealogy. In an earlier article she quotes the same letter as from Sketches 
of Andover by "Miss Bailey." "Early New England Gravestones and the Men Who 
Made Them/' Pocumtuck Valley Metnorial Association Proceedings," 7:331 (1925). 

3. Ernest Caulfield, "Connecticut Gravestones XII — John Hartshorn (1650-C.1738) vs. 
Joshua Hempstead (1678-1758)," The Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin, 32:77,78, 
note 1, (July 1967); rpt. Markers VIII, 183-184.. 

4. Peter Benes, "Lt. John Hartshorn: Gravestone Maker of Haverhill and Norwich," 109 
Essex Institute Historical Collections, 152, (No.2, April 1973). 

5. James Slater and Ralph Tucker, 'The Colonial Gravestone Carvings of John Hartshome," 
Puritan Gravestone Art II, (Boston: 1978), 79. 

6. For the death of John Hartshome's wife, son, and grandsons see Haverhill Vital 
Records and "Diary of John Pike," Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, 
(Boston: 1876), 4:121-152. For John's marriage and his wife's death see Rowley 
marriage records, Essex Institute Historical Collections, 6:75 (April 1884). For John's 
removal to Connecticut see Slater and Tucker (note 5). For residence of Mullickens, 
Marbles and Websterssee Bradford Vital Records. For brief articles on the Mullickens 
see The Association for Gravestone Studies Neu)s/e«er 3:2:15 (1979), 4:2:14 (1980), 6:1:5 
(1982), and 8:2:7 (1984). 

54 The Mullicken Family 

7. Stones initialed "EL" in Ipswich show the Leightons as stonecutters. George Brainard 
Blodgette and Amos Everett Jewett, Early Settlers of Rowley Massachusetts, (Rowley: 
1933), 228-230. 

8. James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, (Boston: 
1862), 3:252. Also see Henry Whittemore, Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers of 
America, (Baltimore: 1967), 379. See also Gideon Tibbetts Ridlon, Sr., History of the 
Families Millingas andMillanges, (Lewiston, Me.: 1907). There are errors in this source, 
and it should be used with care. Hugh by wife Elinor had a son Robert bom August 
9, 1681 who is often confused with our Robert. 

9. A. W. Savery, "The Savery Families of America," New England Historic and Genealogical 
Register,4\:385, (Oct.1887). William Mitchell married Nov. 7, 1648 Mary Sawyer, who 
later married Robert Savory. See also the Rolfe manuscript at the Historical Society of 
Old Newbury, Newburyport, Mass. 

10. J. K. Kingsbury, Memorial History of Bradford, Mass. (Haverhill, Mass.: 1883), 35-46. 

1 1 . Gravestone in Bradford burial ground. 

12. Robert Mullicken estate, Essex County Probate file 19090. 

13. This data is from 1978. Vandalism at Haverhill has been severe since. 

14. Kingsbury (note 10). Also information supplied by Terri Mullicken Allen, who is 
preparing a Mullicken genealogy. 

15. See note 12 for estate of Robert. Estate of Robert, Jr. Essex Probate file 19091. 

16. Forbes (note 2), 15. 

17. Bradford Vital Records. Rolfe manuscript (note 9). James E. Conlon, Clockmakers of 
Newburyport and Vicinity, (1937) MS at Haverhill Public Library. 

18. Bradford Vital Records. Essex Probate file 19087. T. M. Allen (note 14). 

19. Ernest Caulfield, A True History of the Terrible Epidemic Vulgarly Called the Throat 
Distemper— 2735-1740, (New Haven, Conn.: 1939). 

20. Caulfield, True History (note 19), 69. 

Ralph L. Tucker 55 


The source for most of this data is the estate files in the Essex Registry of 
Probate. The first numbers given are those of the book and page and the 
second numbers given are the file numbers. In some cases receipts or an 
account which have not been transcribed in the book nevertheless appear in 
the file, and accordingly only the file number is given. In three cases the 
reference is to Forbes's Gravestones of Early New England page 15. The 
references to Benes are to the data in note form collected by Peter Benes but 
with no probate or other references given. The death dates are those on the 
stones, and the probate dates are those in the probate records. 



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The MuUicken Family 

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Map of Scotland showing places mentioned in the text. 


Betty Willsher 

After the Reformation in Scotland in 1560, an edict was issued that burials 
could no longer take place inside churches. A result of this edict was that as 
the seventeenth century ran its course an increasing nunnber of monuments 
were erected in the churchyards. Until about 1800 the stonemasons contin- 
ued to use the same emblems that had traditionally adorned church monu- 
ments inside the churches. Scottish masons who emigrated took with them 
a well-established repertoire. In time adaptations were made to this reper- 
toire, both in Scotland and abroad, partly as a result of changes in religious 
philosophy and partly because changing architectural fashions brought 
innovations. There was an increasing demand for monuments in the eigh- 
teenth century, and the local mason, according to his skill and ingenuity, 
almost always provided a unique stone for each customer. 

The stonemasons became well practised in carving faces: in representations 
of the soul effigy, the Angel of the Resurrection, a portrait of the deceased, the 
death mask, and in a motif which we shall call the "Green Man." 

In Scotland masons treated the effigy rather seriously, striving to ensure 
that its symbolizing of immortality was apparent. The epitaphs make this 
very clear. There are few putti-like cherubs. Most winged soul effigies are 
stern, purposeful, resolute, serious, or confident, although sometimes, prob- 
ably willy-nilly, a likeness to the deceased, such as a wig, crept in. Soul effigies 
tend to be accompanied by such emblems of the Resurrection as stars, hearts, 
pin-wheels, roses and — note well — cornucopias and greenery. 

Representations of the deceased occasionally appear in the form of death 
masks. Death masks of famous people had been made over the centuries, and 
in the nineteenth century the practice of making both life and death masks 
was given impetus as a result of the popular study of phrenology. (There is 
a large collection of these masks at Princeton University.) Death masks 
appear on Scottish eighteenth-century gravestones, sometimes carved on the 
face of the stone and sometimes, to allow for three dimensional sculpture, on 
the shoulder. It is not always easy to distinguish a mask from a portrait. 

The origin of Scottish headstone portraits is to be found in the grand 


The Green Man 

Fig. 1 Greyfriars Burial Ground, Edinburgh. Tympanum detail of 
John Milne mural monument, 1667. 

Fig. 2 Greyfriars Burial Groimd, Edinburgh. Detail from center panel of 
the John Milne mural monument, 1667. 

Betty Willsher 61 

tombs within churches, where the recumbent effigy was succeeded by the 
seated or standing effigy. Portrait stones are to be found in the hundreds, 
especially in southern Scotland. In this region it was customary to present a 
bust portrait of the deceased, sometimes facing the observer and sometimes, 
like the popular shadow portraits, in silhouette. There are also many portraits 
of full figures, some carved in high reUef. At a graveyard in Liddesdale, 
Roxburgh, in a certain light an assembly of local characters of long ago 
appears to be advancing, their hairstyles, wigs, gowns, cuffs, shoes, even 
their buttons and buttonholes, in keeping with those of farmers and crafts- 
men of the period and their families. 

The most unusual and in many ways the most interesting of the motifs 
foimd on Scottish gravemarkers is the Green Man. This takes the form of a 
face or mask, with an evil, ugly or mournful expression, and greenery 
sprouting from some part of the face. In considering the greenery it is 
important to bear in mind the well-documented significance of such symbols 
as the palm frond, the tree of hfe, the leaf, and the cornucopia. 

We have recorded 112 instances of the Green Man on Scottish grave- 
stones. The earliest, and possibly the prototypes, are on seventeenth-century 
mural monuments at Greyfriars, Edinburgh, dating from 1645 to 1686. The 
Green Men on the 1645 monument are small, but there are four prominent 
Green Men on the monument to John Milne, Master Mason to the King. Three 
are shown in Figures 1 and 2. The farther from Edinburgh, the lower the 
incidence of this design. The number peaks in mid-eighteenth century; after 
1800 the use of the motif was discontinued. Although the emblem appeared 
on medieval tombs in England and Europe, until recently I knew of no Green 
Man motif on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century tombs outside Scotland. 
There are no references to Green Men on seventeenth- and eighteenth- 
century tombs in Burgess,^ nor so far as I know in other literature or report 
of any in England. Now I have a recent photograph showing Green Men on 
four sides of a foot-high tomb in Elora, Ontario, Canada, an area that was 
populated by Scottish settlers (Fig. 3). 

As with carvings of the soul effigy, masons aimed at producing a unique 
representation of the Green Man for each customer. The characteristics of 
these strange creatures and the origin and development of the design are 


The Green Man 

Fig. 3 Flora, Ontario, Canada, undated. 

described in Kathleen Basford's book.^ 

According to Basford, the foliate head or Green Man motif originated as 
a Roman emblem in the second half of the first century AD. These earliest 
designs were leaf masks whose faces had a deeply serious, sorrowing 
expression, a penetrating glare, and greenery sprouting from the cheeks, 
chin, or forehead. In succeeding centuries the leaf mask flourished as a 
popular architectural ornament. Basford notes fifth- and sixth-century ex- 
amples from Constantinople and Istanbul. Although a pagan emblem, in the 
Middle Ages the Green Man design became part of the symbolic language of 
the Christian church. The Roman foliate head first appeared in a Christian 
building fortui tously. Masons building a cathedral at Trier in Germany in the 
mid-sixth century AD incorporated into the new fabric carvings found in the 
ruined Hadriatic temple. Thus a precedent was set. From the tenth century 
its form evolved. While often retaining their sad yet sinister quality, the 
carvings became nightmare spectacles like the sylvan demon or tree spirit.^ 
Twelfth-century leaf masks seldom have foliage growing from the face; it 
comes from the nose or mouth. Sometimes instead of the depiction of a 

Betty Willsher 63 

human face, it was that of a cat or other animal (Fig. 4). Examples can be seen 
in Norman cathedrals and churches in France, Germany and Britain as 
decoration on capitals, corbels, roof bosses, fonts, tympana, bench ends and 
misericords (Figs. 5 and 6). The Green Man also appears on Gothic Revival 
buildings of the nineteenth century; there are architectural examples in the 
United States as well as in Europe. As a motif on tomb sculpture, the Green 
Man was used in medieval England, but probably not in medieval Scotland. 
M. D. Anderson identifies the Green Man with the Jack-in-the-Green and 
traces its origin to the many forms of pagan tree worship described in Frazer's 
The Golden Bought The personification of the spirit of the tree apparently lost 
its pagan association, for the Church allowed the foliate mask to become one 
of the few recurrent themes in an inexhaustible variety of designs used by the 
carvers. Anderson cites a work on roof bosses in medieval churches which 
lists over 300 bosses bearing the face of the Green Man peering through a 
screen of leaves which generally, but not always, spring from two stems 
issuing from its mouth. 

Fig. 4 Aberfoyle, Perthshire, 1759, cat type, tongue out. 


The Green Man 

Fig. 5 Wakefield Cathedral, Yorkshire, Misericord, 1480. 

Fig. 6 Beverley Minster, Humberside, Misericord, 1520. 

Betty WUlsher 65 

Basford, on the other hand, distinguishes the Green Man emblem from 
the Jack-in-the-Green, the symbol of regeneration, the origin of which she 
finds far less certain than that of the Green Man. She states, "It is highly 
improbable that the Green Man was a symbol of the renewal of life — the dark 
side of the Green Man was never forgotten." Jack-in-the-Green certainly 
seems to be a more benign character than the Green Man, used as the name 
for pubs in England and the center of trade processions (in Scotland he was 
carried by the Gardeners), and not, Uke the Green Man, as a motif in churches 
and on tombs. However, Basford is undecided about the meaning of the 
emblem on tomb sculpture and concedes that as used on medieval tombs the 
Green Man might possibly have been a life-out-of-death symbol. 

Basford enumerates the characteristics of Green Man carvings. The early 
masks sometimes had beards and moustaches, accompanied by greenery, 
some were associated with cornucopia and some with snakes. From her 
descriptions and illustrations of carvings in cathedrals and churches we have 
the typical face with the lined forehead, a wrinkle of flesh above a bulbous 
nose, glaring unfocussed eyes, and a tongue rudely stuck out (Fig. 5). 

The types of Green Men so far recorded on Scottish tombstones may be 
classified as follows: 

1. Cat-like Green Men; these may have teeth or tusks, and some- 
times the ears are leaf-shaped (Figs. 4 and 9). In categories 2, 3, 
and 4 below, the face may be either human or cat-like. 

2. Green Men with tongues sticking out (Fig. 4). In one case the 
tongue has leaf marks. 

3. 'Teepers," Green Men who stare malignantly from the folds of a 
mort-cloth (Figs. 7 and 10), or the bosom of a soul effigy or 

4. "Screamers," Green Men with mouths opened wide as though 
expressing panic (Fig. 8). 

5. Green Men having hideous humanoid heads with fangs or 
"fierce teeth" (Figs. 9 and 11). 

66 The Green Man 

6. Green Men associated with cornucopia, or with wreaths of 
greenery (Fig. 9). 

7. "Weepers," Green Men with a melancholy expression who some- 
times have beards and/or mustaches that may represent green- 
ery (Figs. 2 and 10). These have some resemblance to the early 
Roman Green Men. 

8. Green Men accompanied by snakes, often found as a repre- 
sentation of death. On one of these, snakes emerge from horns of 
plenty held in the Green Man's mouth, and from the snakes' 
mouths emerge a wreath or garland of greenery (Fig. 12). 

9. Green Men with headgears of foliage (Fig. 13). 

10. Green Men that are trodden upon. At Durisdeer, Dumfriesshire, 
a full length portrait of Marion Poirglas stands on a Green Man 
(Fig. 14), and at Mochrum, Wigtownshire, a naked resurrection 
figure is placed on top of a Green Man. 

11. Masked Green Men. In some examples the shape of the face is 
mask-like; in one example the human chin shows beneath a mask 
of greenery (Fig. 15). 

A curious carving at Menmuir, Angus, is of a Green Man who has leaves 
with stems over his eyes and a horse's bridle over his mouth (Fig. 16). The 
deceased was a miller. Another such portrayal is to be found on a monument 
in Legerwood Church, Berwickshire. 

Most of the examples in the above list of types are taken from stones of the 
first half of the eighteenth century — the period when the Green Man emblem 
was most frequently used. The few earlier stones which have the motif show 
the characteristics of types 1 to 7. At St. Andrews Cathedral a new Visitors' 
Center has recently been opened, and this has made provision for the display 
of some seventeenth-century slabs which had been stored away for decades. 
Among them is a large tablestone top for Elizabeth Honeyman, who died in 
1681, with a splendid Green Man in the center, and smaller ones above and 
below (Fig. 17). There maybe further examples to be discovered, but judging 
from present evidence, the several types do not belong to any particular 
geographical area; they were selected from the available range by the local 

Betty Willsher 


Fig. 7 Tranent, East Lothian, c. 1700, "peeper" (type 3), boy in hammock 
with Green Man in drape. 


The Green Man 

mason and his customer. 

The Green Man emblem often takes a prominent place on the tympanum 
or the main panel of the stone, with the death emblems at the bottom. It may 
be carved above or below a soul effigy; it may be used as a device to hold a 
ribbon on which there are displayed emblems of trade or of mortality. Often 
the Green Man peers from the top center of a cartouche. There are also many 
carvings of small Green Men, used as space-fillers, which at first escape one's 

It is not easy to identify the type of greenery in Green Man carvings unless 
it is the popular sprig of bay leaves carved on the forehead or the acanthus 
leaf. Often the mason has carved undulating lines merely suggesting green- 
ery. The leafy scrolls are stylized and seem to be more akin to the Roman leaf- 
mask foliage than to the naturalistic plant forms that were adopted in 
England in the late thirteenth century. 

Fig. 8 Corstorphine, Edinburgh, 1739, "screamer" (type 4), 
large fierce head. 

Betty Willsher 


Fig. 9 Tranent, East Lothian, c. 1700, cornucopia and fangs (type 5). 

What an astounding thing it is to find these ugly, ancient pagan creatures 
on tombstones in a Presbyterian country with a Calvinistic theology! One 
ponders their existence, especially in view of the strong aversion of the 
church to the emblems of the old faith, and the stripping of all carved and 
painted 'Topish images" from buildings during the Reformation. At a time 
when churches were bare of imagery and all else was severely plain, there 
flourished in the churches of Scotland this galaxy of folk art, its roots 
springing from pagan emblems. A similar incongruity was developing in 
America, where the Puritans and Presbyterians who settled there forbade the 
depiction of the human face and figure — except in their graveyard art. From 
the old established iconography the church permitted what suited its pur- 
pose. The symbols on the stones proclaimed the foremost doctrines, the skulls 
crying, "Memento Mori," the soul effigies promising eternal life to those who 
overcame sin. 


The Green Man 

Fig. 10 Dirleton, East Lothian, 1749, mourner (type 7). 
Note cat type in drape. 

Betty Willsher 


In the repertoire of the masons there were certain motifs which symbol- 
ized the triumph of immortality over death: pairs of torches, the upright one 
flaming, the downward doused; skulls from which spring greenery; snakes 
that spurt foliage from their mouths; snakes with the egg, the seed of life, 
between them. In the Lothians leaf fronds take the place of feathers in the 
wings of the soul effigies, and carvings abound with palm fronds, bay leaves, 
foliage, fruit, and horns of plenty, all symbolizing paradise. According to an 
eighth-century theologian, leaves represented the sins committed by the 
flesh. This interpretation rings true for the emblem on medieval Roman 
Catholic tombs. But I believe that the Green Man was seized upon in post- 
Reformation Scotland as the most useful symbol to represent life after death. 

■■' '■"mm. 
»■: ' 




Fig. 11 Abercom, West Lothian, 1723, humanoid face (type 5). 


The Green Man 

Fig. 12 Polmont, Stirlingshire, undated, cornucopia, 
snakes and wreath (type 8). 

Fig. 13 Kinloss, Morayshire, undated, headgear of greenery (type 9). 

Betty Willsher 


A plausible explanation for the church tolerating the Green Man emblen:\ 
is that it accepted the Green Man as another emblem with dual symbolism — 
the evil face representing sinful flesh, the foliage standing for the renewal of 
life at the Resurrection. This explanation is consistent with the ubiquitous use 
on Scottish tombs of the quotation from Job 19, verse 26, voicing the tenets of 
the Calviiust Presbyterian faith, and found over and over again as an epitaph: 
'Though after my skin worms devour my body, yet in my flesh shall I see my 

Fig. 14 Durisdeer, Dumfriesshire, 1739, portrait figure of 
Marion Poirglas on Green Man (type 10). 


The Green Man 

Fig. 15 Bathgate, West Lothian, Thomas Jervie, 1705, 
masked Green Man (type 11). 

Betty Willsher 


Fig. 16 Menmuir, Angus, 1743, Green Man and bridle. 


In reading various articles about the Green Man since this article was 
submitted, culminating in a television programme on the subject in Novem- 
ber 1990, 1 have been increasingly uneasy about the statements made on the 
subject. However, rather than attempting to revise the article, I have decided 
to reflect the confusion which still exists as to the origins and meaning of the 
Green Man by simply adding this afterword. A recent book by William 
Anderson made, for me, further confusion, albeit in a fascinating and poetic 
way. 5 Certainly the book is useful in the discussion of Roman and Celtic 
origins, but is flawed by Mr. Anderson's mission to make of the Green Man 
a benevolent energy working for the good of the world. In the index there is 
no mention of death or tomb. The dark side of the Green Man is ignored. And 
so it is with great relief that I have just read a scholarly paper by Roy Judge, 
"The Green Man Revisited," in which he sorts out the long line of confusion 
about identity and sources.^ Briefly, this began in 1903 when E. K. Chambers 
referred to the green man of the peasantry "in a Frazerian context of death 
and the resurrection ritual."'^ In 1939 Lady Raglan called the foliate head of 


The Green Man 

the churches a Green Man, and stated that it seemed to have been taken from 
"the figure variously known as the Green Man, Jack-in-the Green, Robin 
Hood, the King of the May, and the Garland (of the May Day celebrations). "^ 

Judge describes three types of Green Men: First, the Green Man of the late 
sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries who cleared the way for pageants 
and processions and was not connected with fertility or spring rites, though 
he was sometimes called the "wild man." The Wild Man was a quite separate 
myth — the personification of sin and the expression of tensions between 
good and evil. 

Secondly, Judge deals with the Green Man on inn signs, "which refer 
either to the wild man or a forester figure with no mythological significance." 
Thirdly, there was the Jack-in-the Green, which did not exist until toward the 
end of the eighteenth century and was not termed the Green Man. 

Fig. 17 St. Andrews Cathedral Museum, Fife, 
Elizabeth Honeyman, 1681. 

Betty Willsher 77 

Subsequently Mary Anderson and C. P. J. Cave were influenced by Lady 
Raglan's article. And in an article in 1949 on "Sir Gawain and the Green 
Knighf John Speirs confirmed the supposition that the Green Man was the 
descendant of the "Vegetation or Nature God whose death and resurrection 
mythologizes the annual death and rebirth of nature."' 

Thus we get a jumble of phenomena and sources, an amalgamation which 
is unfounded, a simplification. I believe now that it would be better to stick 
to the term "foliate head" when referring to the motif in architecture and on 
tombs. Judge writes, "the problem is that the phrase has become over-loaded 
with significance." I have been worried by certain blithe assumptions as to 
what the foliate head stands for, and to whom he is related, and am much 
indebted to Judge for the light he has thrown on the subject. I think, therefore, 
that we have to be very wary of how we interpret the foliate heads of different 
periods, and guard against linking them with the various "Green Men" 
phenomena of other times and places. 


The photograph in Figure 3 is by Harvey Medland of Toronto, Canada, and those in Figures 
5 and 6 were taken by the editor. The rest were taken by the author for The Royal Commission 
on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. 

1. Frederick Burgess, English Churchyard Memorials, (London: 1963, 1979). 

2. Kathleen Basford, The Green Man, (Ipswich, Suffolk: 1978). See also J. S. Richardson, The 
Medieval Stone Carver in Scotland, (Edinburgh: 1964). 

3. See James George Frazer, The Golden Bough: The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings, (New 
York: 1935), 2:33. 

4. M. D. Anderson, History and Imagery in British Churches, (Edinburgh: 1971), 17-18, and 
Frazer (note 3). 

5. W. Anderson, Green Man: The Archetype of Our Oneness with the Earth, (London: 1990). 

6. Roy Judge, "The Green Man Revisited," Colour and Appearance in Folk Lore, ed. John 
Hutchings and Juliette Ward, (London: 1991), 51-55. 

7. E. K. Chambers, The Mediaeval Stage, 2 vols., (London: 1903) 1:185-6. 

8. Lady J. Raglan, "The 'Green Man' in Church Architecture," Folklore, 50 (1939), 45. 

9. J. Speirs, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," Scrutiny, 16 (1949), 277-8. 


Center Church Crypt 

Fig. 1 Exterior of Church. 
Coxirtesy of The First Church of Christ, New Haven. 



Photographs by Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber 
Text by Gray Williams, Jr. 

1. Exterior of Center Church 

In 1812 the First Society of New Haven, Connecticut, having outgrown 
their old meeting house, decided to build a new church. The Society hired 
architect Ithiel Town to design a building in the fashionable neoclassic style 
and picked a location in the middle of New Haven Green. There was just one 
problem. The land was already occupied by the original city burying ground, 
and there were strong objections to obliterating or moving the graves. 

The solution was a compromise. The main floor of the Center Church, 
completed in 1814, was a few feet higher off the ground than plain utility 
demanded. The existing graves and their markers were left in place, and the 
church walls built around them, creating a crypt, about six feet high, under 
the floor. 

2. Interior of crypt. 

There 130 memorials have remained, unmoved and largely undisturbed, 
ever since — a uniquely preserved historical and artistic record. Many of the 
footstones are missing, and some fragments have been propped against the 
walls. But the layout has not been changed, with most of the graves arranged 
in rows, extending roughly north and south. 

The markers here, unlike those in other New England burying grounds, 
have not been affected by pollution, lawnmowers or vandalism. Although 
most of the stones in the crypt are in excellent condition, a few near the uphill 
wall have suffered some damage. Moisture has worked its way under the 
foundation and the concrete floor, softening the base of the stone and 
discoloring it with chemical impurities. The church is now undertaking a 
major renovation to prevent further harm. 

The collection provides a concise survey of the carving styles appearing 
in southern Connecticut graveyards from the late seventeenth century to the 
end of the eighteenth. 


Center Church Crypt 

Fig. 2 Interior of crypt. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 


Fig. 3a Sarah Trowbridge, 1687. 

The earhest stone is that for Sarah Trowbridge, dated 1687. Next to it is 
the second earhest, presumably that of Sarah's daughter, who died in 1690 at 
the age of eleven. Both are just selected fieldstones, inscribed by the same 
semi-professional hand, and probably commissioned as a pair. They are the 
oldest surviving stones in New Haven. 


Center Church Crypt 


Fig. 3 b Sarah Trowbridge, 1690. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 


>-' ^of M'"' 'iruvth wife \jr:y\^ 
^p^'l WoQrlwrU'd who Y-f: > < 

^rt^)l)p? Off 20" j,720t V / 

Fig. 4 Sarah Woodward, 1720. 

In the first half of the eighteenth century many of the stones in southern 
Connecticut were either imported from other colonies or executed by itiner- 
ant carvers in styles developed elsewhere. 

The stone for Sarah Woodward is typical of a group carved in Newport, 
Rhode Island, presumably by a member of the Stevens shop. Some of the 
group are of slate, but others, like this example, are of sandstone. The skulls 
have large, rounded craniums and narrow jaws — anachronistically reminis- 
cent of hghtbulbs. They also include at least an abstract hint of the scriptural 
"crown of righteousness" floating overhead. 


Center Church Crypt 


'^Here Iv ell! I he 
lrj)Bnrly of M'-M^df 

M •' Richard.'RofcxA/elf 
Who dved Deceni 

year of 

Fig. 5 Lydia Rosewell, 1731. 

The carver of Lydia Rosewell's stone can be traced to the central Connecti- 
cut River valley. The border design, the whirligig rosettes on the shoulders, 
and the skull with its concave mandible, all strongly suggest the work of 
Thomas Johnson the first, a member of the notable family of carvers who 
owned one of the famous Portland sandstone quarries across the Connecticut 
River from Middletown. 

The same stylistic features, however, distinguish the stones of the elusive 
carver Gideon Hale, who worked with the Johnsons and faithfully adopted 
Thomas Johnson's style. It is at least possible that this is his work. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 


r;a[kfiil l\nlia. of 


wIioDfr.-fi [ lovJ' 


Fig. 6 Elisabeth Gaskell, 1736. 

The stone for EUsabeth Gaskell, dated 1736, demonstrates the gradual 
transition from death's head to soul effigy. Here the skull image is only 
hinted at, in the shape of the head and in the lightly incised teeth. This is a 
style associated with Thomas Johnson the second, son of the first Thomas 


Center Church Crypt 

Fig. 7a Sarah Whiting, 1769, detail. 

No old Connecticut graveyard would be complete without at least one 
elaborate slate monument imported from the cosmopolitan centers in Mas- 
sachusetts and Rhode Island. Sarah Whiting's stone is apparently from the 
Lamson workshop in Charlestown. The crisply carved surface still has a 
shine to it. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 


Fig. 7b Sarah Whiting, 1769 

Its inscription, like its decoration, is richly detailed: 

In memory of / MRS. SARAH WHITING / late virtuous and faithfull Consort / of 
JOHN WHITING Esquire I Daughter of MR JONATHAN INGERSOLL / ofMilford 
— bom on the 22 of October / 1726 — married on the 7, of November 1751 / the 
painfull Mother of eight Children of / whom Six survive — on the fourth / day of 
July 1769, she finished her vs^earisome / pilgrimage, in joyfull hope and expectation 
/ of a glorious immortality. 

His hand the good man fastens on the Skies, 
and bids earth roll, nor feels her idle whirl. 


Center Church Ciypt 



tJ;^^- ^l^SK^^ 

Fig. 8a John Trowbridge, 1749. 

The crypt contains several stones, dated about the middle of the eigh- 
teenth century, that can be attributed by their distinctive lettering style to 
Williann Holland, who spent most of his career in Middletown and in 
Longmeadow, Massachusetts. His carving style derives from that of the 
Johnsons, but includes some eclectic and innovative devices of his own. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 


Fig. 8b John Trowbridge, 1749, detail. 
The image on this rather small stone is schematized and not altogether 
accurate in details, but quite plainly represents a sundial. It is an unusual but 
apt symbol for the passage of life, reinforced by the familiar motto, "Sic transit 
gloria mundi." 

Center Church Crypt 


_ rkireLycs 

.^5 of M^'? Mary 

yl Wife of 
nJjAvho died A pi . 

B A 


■?' r^ 

Fig. 9 Mary Ailing, 1748. 

The transitional image on this stone — mostly skull, but with a fleshy 
nose — is probably derived from Joseph Johnson, for whom William Holland 
worked in 1748. The lettering style, though, is Holland's own, and the 
elaborate crown of righteousness is also typical of his work. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 


em oT-y oi 
Y^ LeieWiFE of 



«Ji^sPhfcfc»l' - 

Fig. 10a Phebe Ailing, 1751. 


Center Church Crypt 

Fig. 10b Phebe Ailing, 1751, tympanum. 

William Holland is best known for soul effigies of this type, with its 

prominent, pupilled eyes, wavy hair, narrow wings, and spiky crown of 

righteousness. The style was to influence the work of several later carvers, 

not only in the Connecticut River valley but also in southern Connecticut. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 



o^ rv 


■ 0^' 


r, J CapT r^„ 

K?;4!!'A:D.77/;2 in 
" ■• i nT^ 49.'!' jpfrr of ^ . 

i'4j ^ 


Fig. 11a Captain Daniel Trowbridge, 1752. 
In the last half of the eighteenth century the victory of the human-faced 
soul effigy, wearing the crown of righteousness, was complete. This particu- 
lar carver is not known by name, but his work can be found elsewhere in 
southern Connecticut, especially in Woodbridge and Branford. 


Center Church Ciypt 

Fig. lib Captain Daniel Trowbridge, 1758, tympanum. 
Some details of this carver's style suggest the influence of William 
Holland, such as the pupilled eyes and the elaborate crown of righteousness. 
He in turn apparently influenced at least two younger carvers — the two most 
important carvers in New Haven, Michael Baldwin and Thomas Gold. 
Baldwin adopted details of the soul-effigy face, in particular the bulbous nose 
with its prominent septum. Gold later borrowed and refined the unusual, 
highly stylized floral border, including the little heart at the bottom center. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 


Fig. 12 Nathan and Hannah Ailing, 1774 and 1771. 

New Haven n\ay not have had any resident carvers during the first two- 
thirds of the century, but in the later decades it had at least two. The older was 
Michael Baldwin, who lived and worked not far from New Haven Green. He 
appears to have made most of his money in real estate, and his sons became 
illustrious in the church, law, and politics. Carving gravestones may have 
been a sideUne with him, but he pursued it with skill and enthusiasm. 

Baldwin's style owes much to the work of Wilham Holland and the 
anonymous carver of the preceding example. The simple, rather slender 
wings, for example, appear to have been borrowed directly from Holland. 
But among the distinctive and apparently original features of his work is a 
simple crown of righteousness that fits precisely between the wings. 


Center Church Crypt 




to the f Memory 
of -Mif;: Maii/ 

Fig. 13a Mary Hays, 1775, tympanum. 

The other New Haven carver known to us by name was Thomas Gold. 
Like Michael Baldwin, he lived and worked near New Haven Green, and at 
the beginning of his career, in the early 1770s, he may have collaborated with 
his older and better established colleague. 

Many of Gold's early stones are almost indistinguishable from Baldwin's, 
but he simultaneously developed a separate style of his own, of which this is 
a typical example. The broad wings of the soul effigy, flaring outward from 
a central circle below the chin, vaguely suggest a giant bow tie. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 


nrJ.fcrkMnrir^rjrrl r.;r 

-^ n- . .. ■ .. 

Fig. 13b Mary Hays, 1775. 
Also very much his own is the elaborate border of buds and blossoms. 
Water damage has erased one of its typical features — a small heart at the 
bottom center. The basic elements appear to have been borrowed from the 
work of the unknown carver shown earlier (Fig.lla). But Gold refined them 
to an elegant abstraction, which was to be one of the hallmarks of his style 
throughout most of his career. 


Center Church Crypt 

Fig. 14a Margaret Arnold, 1775, tympanum. 

After the Revolutionary War Thomas Gold became the most popular 
carver in New Haven, and in the crypt, as in the other old graveyards in and 
around New Haven, there are more stones by him than by any other. The year 
of Margaret Arnold's death was 1775, but the narrow-faced soul effigy is an 
image that Gold used only from the 1780s on. The stone was evidently 
ordered years after her death, and backdated. 

Margaret Arnold is identified simply as the wife of Benedict Arnold. 
Thaf s right, the Benedict Arnold. She was his first wife, and came of a 
prominent New Haven family, the Mansfields. After bearing three sons, she 
died suddenly at the age of thirty-one. 

The question naturally arises: who arranged for the carving and place- 
ment of her stone, sometime in the 1780s? Arnold himself Hved in Canada for 
most of this period, and never set foot in the country he had betrayed. But 
there is a likely candidate in his spinster sister Hannah, who lived in New 
Haven off and on throughout the decade. She remained deeply loyal to 
brother Benedict and his children, and may even have had this commission 
executed at his behest. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 


In NtfMiK)r\/ '^^ 


<^ ' f 


]r,N'i,i)K:'rAnN()i,i:)A'/(/.''!, - 

10 (!e[).ii1c(i (his 
IaU\fiiiic (c)''"[y7 V 
^U\ the :M'''^■M^)l• 
()1 her ;);~'0. 


\ ) ^\ 

Fig. 14b Margaret Arnold, 1775. 


Center Church Crypt 

CHAl]Nc^^ \ 

c] ^«^r^ 

/,M fiFit 


-411 this Cil\ • V 

l!!t--5 vl 

ti^lents' ^i!!c' ■ '• 

^i'iiled aiii ... 
^>les of civil . ... 
muilcMed the d 


iinolives' t© h. 

and m various relrU 

(he more excellent 

ta^c/ 5^* and, having' 

^ difchar^ed with 
; the duties' of iK 

' ly aiid ^p-xity ' 
' ■ 'ice.cloM' 




.'^his ufeful life \ 
^ imrnorfahtyjtjly •-^4. , 
; ' 7o''f Vear of \\\% age, .; 

\\\$ munftry: 

Dan x'li f» 

'i4/?</ f^^.V P^^ ^ m^ Pm» Shim 

4 ami ik0y *to turn msm-^ 

* ^x tbe Jlamjw *»•»" <l?«^ <****^' 



Fig. 15a Chauncey Whittlesey, 1787. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 


Fig. 15b Chauncey Whittlesey, 1787, detail. 

Most of the stones in the crypt are of the familiar Connecticut sandstone. 
But toward the end of the century Thomas Gold, like other carvers, began to 
experiment with other materials. Marble, for example. One of Gold's 
masterpieces is this probated marble memorial for the Reverend Chauncey 
Whittlesey. Whittlesey was originally a successful businessman, who changed 
his profession later in life, and served as the minister of this church for thirty 
years. On the back of his large and elaborate stone is recorded the death of 
hissecond wife, in 1821. Hers was the last burial in the cemetery. By then, 
all the stones around the church had been removed to the new Grove Street 
Cemetery, a couple of blocks away. 

Nowadays the condition of most nineteenth-century marble gravestones 
is so poor that it is hard to imagine whatever could have persuaded carvers 
to work with it. Stones like this tell us why. Secure from weathering, the 
delicacy of its carving and the silky smoothness of its surface make sandstone 
seem rather crude and drab by comparison. 


Center Church Crypt 


/Etcif. LXVII. 

[ Diicreet, 
igtil and holpitable, 
tpafsioiiate and libera!; 
r her cliaracter , 

"--•Mecl anclitioiial nitre, 
■ ,:rom 

\inaflectecl piety; 
_ifigjiatJon in afllictiotL 
■iiid friifh in lier Redectner. 
'Iiis nieirioria 
._ liKjii arfeiionaie wile 
IS .reciec 

111 ! i *" • if If 

Fig. 16a Katharine Dana, 1795. 

Gray Williams, Jr. 


Fig. 16b Katharine Dana, 1795, detail. 

In the 1790s Gold also executed a few monuments in slate. There are no 
less than four of them in the crypt. The material is so dark that it seems black, 
and the surface is polished to a satiny luster, marred only by a few of the 
scratches to which slate is so susceptible. 

Katharine Dana was the wife of the Reverend James Dana, who succeeded 
Chauncey Whittlesey as minister at the Center Church. Her stone may be the 
finest single work in the crypt, and makes a fitting conclusion to this survey. 
It is one of a small group that Gold carved at the end of his career, in a 
neoclassic style featuring a cinerary urn. 

The image evidently appealed to Gold, and he carved it with remarkable 
vigor and originality. It expresses in sculpture the same spirit of enthusiasm 
and ideaUsm seen in the architecture of the Center Church itself, and aptly 
symbolizes the transition to a new age. 


Ithamar Spauldin 







Q O 

cr o 

o ? 


^ ^ 




o ^ 


('©N 1^ 


(S)« Q 


\i>' -J 



©§ ® 












Fig. 1 Spatial Distribution 



John S. Wilson 


Ithamar Spauldin was a stone and brick mason and gravestone carver 
born in Pepperell, Massachusetts, in 1767. He moved to Concord, Massachu- 
setts, by August, 1794, to Norridgewock, Maine, on September 12, 1800, and 
later to Solon, Maine. Spauldin's account and day book covering the period 
from April 13, 1795, to September 12, 1800, is now in the archives of the 
Concord Library.^ The book has been admirably described by C. R. Jones.^ 
The present article focuses directly upon gravestones produced by Spauldin, 
better to define the extent and variety of his stones. It also employs his 
gravestones to study factors affecting the price of stones and the effects of 
purchase delay ("backdating") upon the stones' temporal distribution. 

Pricing Characteristics of Stones by Spauldin 

The ninety-four currently documented gravestones by the Spauldin shop 
include seventy-six pairs listed in the account book. Four account book stone 
pairs have headstones inscribed "Concord" and a fifth has an "S" quarry 
mark on its back. Other stones confirmed as Spauldin products include three 
more inscribed "Concord," one with both "Concord" and the "S," seven with 
a bisected-arc quarry mark, and four linked to probate payments to him for 
unspecified goods or services. 

All gravestones present four major characteristics which may have af- 
fected price: material, overall shape, size, and amount of surface carving and 
lettering. Each of these characteristics is discussed below. 

Material As the Concord account book is the major source of documentation, 
it is not surprising that most documented stones are in Concord or the 
adjoining towns (Fig. 1). However, a considerable number are in Pepperell 
and other towns to the northwest. This pattern is emphasized when stylis- 

106 Ithamar Spauldin 

tically attributable stones are added (see below), providing strong circum- 
stantial evidence that the earliest identifiable Spauldin work was carved in 
Pepperell, the town of his birth. This spatial evidence is important for both 
the attribution of stones and the analysis of material used. 

Most documented Spauldin products are of a fairly hard medium grey- 
green slate. The color is distinct from stone used by most other carvers in the 
area. While the surface appears to have finished well, this stone may have 
been subject to unpredictable splitting and was therefore somewhat difficult 
to work. The gravestones of Mary Cutter and Joseph Wilson (see Appendix) 
both exhibit possible recutting of areas which sheared during carving; and 
the backs of all stones in this material show a great deal of quarry tooling. 
Spauldin obtained this stone from a rented quarry area at Pin Hill, on the farm 
of Captain Joseph Willard of Harvard, Massachusetts. Many other carvers of 
the day also obtained their material from quarries at Pin Hill. 

Spauldin used another variety of slate for his earliest documented stones: 
a much darker grey material. The backs of these stones show little tooling, 
indicating that it split more easily and predictably. While possibly also from 
Pin Hill, this is more likely from a quarry known to have operated in 
Pepperell during the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century. The exact 
location of the quarry has not been identified. Very few dark slate stones are 
listed in the account book. While these seem to have sold for less than 
equivalent ones in the later material, this may not reflect the price of most 
stones in the darker slate. They were perhaps "remainders," sold at a reduced 
price in Pepperell after Ithamar's move to Concord. 

Shape Most studies of gravestones have concentrated on surface carving to 
identify the work of individual carving shops or to study broader trends.^ 
However, in at least some cases, the tympanum shape may also assist carver 
attribution; and it is possible that shape affected price, especially in the period 
before water-powered stone saws. Spauldin most frequently used a simple 
rounded shoulder (Fig. 2a). As this was the most commonly used form of his 
day, shape proves to be of little use in identifying Spauldin's work, and there 
is no significant price difference between documented stones of differing 

John S. Wilson 


f = footstone 

Fig. 2 Documented Shapes 

Spauldin carved a few stones in various shapes more commonly as- 
sociated with the nineteenth century (Figs. 2d, f, and m). While the infrequent 
use of these forms may be idiosyncratic, it could reflect the beginning of a 
major stylistic transition among carvers. If so, the trend could be worthy of 
broader study similar to those which have been done on the dechne of the 
death's head.* 

While a few gravestones in this period were made to order, carvers 
usually kept a supply of uninscribed stones in their shop. There is no written 
documentation that Spauldin kept such "blank" stones on hand, but analysis 
of the shapes he used for footstones appears to illustrate this practice. 
Footstone and headstone shapes do not match in twenty-six (49%) of the fifty- 
three cases where both remain. On receiving an order for a stone pair, 
Spauldin appears to have used whatever footstones were available from an 
already carved supply. 

108 Ithamar Spauldin 

Size Length and width were major factors affecting price of at least some 
stones during this period.' While length is not accurately measurable for 
gravestones in the ground, width can be readily measured and relates in a 
proportional sense to other dimensions. The width of footstones by the 
Spauldin shop is nearly uniform, further indicating that they were carved 
without regard to characteristics of the headstones and that their contribu- 
tion to price of a stone pair was probably a fairly constant figure. 

Headstones, however, present a very different picture (Fig. 3). There is a 
strong linear correlation in which price of stone pairs increases with head- 
stone width. Most adult stones are twenty to twenty-five inches wide and 
sold for five to ten dollars a pair. With few exceptions, stones for pre- 
adolescent children range between fifteen and twenty inches in width and 
sold for two to five dollars a pair. This overlaps the range for footstones, 
indicating that small stones were quarried and shaped as blanks and then 
used for either head- or footstones. 

Neither adult men's stones, nor those of known upper-class individuals, 
show consistent differences in width or price from stones for adult women or 
men of lower status. This is counter to "common wisdom," but is consistent 
with findings by several other researchers.^ 

The few examples on the fringes of the width-price distribution generally 
differ little from stones of average price for their width, and do not exhibit any 
obvious pattern. In the absence of documentation for many of Spauldin's 
pricing criteria, such as delivery costs and potential "package deals" for 
multiple stones, one can only speculate on the reasons why these generally 
similar stones were sold at such differing prices. Currently undocumented 
differences in purchasers' wealth and social status could also be a factor. 

Lettering and Surface Carving Cost of lettering has been noted by other 
researchers as an obvious factor affecting price of eighteenth- and early 
nineteenth-century gravestones.''' Spauldin charged sixty cents for four lines 
of poetry added to one stone, and one dollar for adding a child's date and age 
at death to another. These two examples do not translate into an obvious 
fixed rate per character or line, perhaps because both were additions to 
already completed stones. Comparison of stone prices with number of lines 

John S. Wilson 


i s 

2 L. 


(N S 









O LL 5 1° 

? ■§ 3 ? -a 

^ O Q < < U3 

^ O Q u. S I- 



Fig. 3 Price of Stone Pairs Relative to Headstone Width 

110 Ithamar Spauldin 

or characters was not undertaken, due to this uncertainty regarding the 
degree these influenced overall stone price. Amount and complexity of 
surface carving may have also affected price, but the largely uniform charac- 
ter of Spauldin's work indicates that the effect was minor except in a few 
stones (see below). In any case, these factors are nearly impossible to 

Stone width relates indirectly to the amount of lettering and surface 
carving. Obviously, a larger stone could have supported a longer inscription, 
but most Spauldin stones have considerable blank space. The number of 
characters on them may not have significantly affected price (with the 
possible exception of an added charge for "poetry"). 

Large stones also provided more carving space in the tympanum. There 
may be a correlation with price of Spauldin stones in the extremes of the size 
range, although this is not readily quantifiable. Most of Spauldin's stones of 
twenty to thirty inches in width do not have appreciably more carving than 
smaller examples, but most stones over thirty inches wide have exceptionally 
ornate surface carving. Conversely, stones under twenty inches wide (all for 
children) often have carving roughly comparable in extent and execution to 
that on foots tones. 

Attribution by Surface Carving Elements 

As with many eastern Massachusetts carvers of the period, Spauldin 
stones exhibit extremely standardized elements in a wide variety of combi- 
nations. Typical elements of Spauldin work have previously been described 
and illustrated by Jones.^ Spauldin used many alternative design elements 
identical in form and execution with those of nearby contemporaries. While 
Figure 4 illustrates the complete documented range of these, the following 
discussion considers only those which firmly identify Spauldin work. 

The tympanum usually bears a slightly oval face with a neck ruff, 
upturned wings, and fairly unexpressive features (Figs. 4a and 5). Hair is 
usually parted, but some early stones in dark slate have a "brush cut." Rare 
alternatives (all contemporary) include a wingless face in a niche or cameo 
(Fig. 6), or an urn (Fig. 7). 

The elements on either side of the central motif in the tympanum are key 

John S. Wilson 



Elements numbered indicate 

number of documented examples 

Beside other element 

Quarry mark 

War death 

All other letters correspond 

with text references 

Fig. 4 Carving Design Elements 


Ithamar Spauldin 

identifying features of Spauldin works. A broad arc in low relief (Fig. 4b) 
predominates, often with distinctive thin and deeply inscribed vines (Fig. 4c). 
Slightly different vines appear without the arc on nine documented stones, 
and a variety of relief versions replace them on several others. A vertical 
incised vine (Fig. 4d) appears exclusively on some small children's stones, 
and relief trees occur on only two large stones. The "fir" bough appears on 
only one urn example. 

The area below the chin on stones having winged faces is usually empty, 
but it rests on apparently distinctive pedestals in seven documented stones 
(Fig. 4e and f). 

Side panels usually bear simple columns, plain or with a wide variety of 
finials. Of these finials, only the urns are uniquely Spauldin work, identical 
to those used in the tympanum of three documented stones. Some adult 
stones, and many children's stones, have no side panels. 

Fig. 5 James and Charlotte Wilson, 1796, Peterborough, N.H. 
(Double-winged face). Stone sold in 1797 for $6. 

John S. Wilson 


Fig. 6 Rebekah Walker, 1795, Ashby, Mass. (Cameo face). 
Stone sold in 1795 for $2. 

The tympanum of footstones is sometimes devoid of ornament, but 
usually bears some form of incised vine much like those on headstones (Fig. 
4g-i). Again, these vines are very similar to, but distinct from, ones used by 
other carvers. 

Spauldin's lettering style is small and well executed, without notable 
idiosyncracies in form. Most stones use upper- and lower-case throughout, 
although some have names or opening phrases in block capitals or italics. The 
most distinctive feature of Spauldin lettering is its placement: lines broadly 
spaced and carefully centered with extensive margins and letters closely 
spaced. The overall effect reminds one of a typewritten page (Fig. 6). 


Ithamar Spauldin 

Readily attributable stones Other than the specific forms of urns, faces, 
wings, and vines, together with the overall placement of lettering, Spauldin 
stones closely resemble the work of many other carvers working nearby at 
that time. However, analysis of these elements as a complex permits 
attribution of forty-five undocumented stones to the Spauldin shop. Of these, 
at least ten must have been purchased considerably after an inscribed death 
date during Ithamar' s childhood. This analysis also confirmed several 
partially documented stones as Spauldin work. Four are related to probate 
payments for unspecified goods, seven have "Concord" inscribed near their 
base, and two have an "S" quarry mark. It also confirmed that two head- 
stones listed in the account book were by another hand, but have Spauldin 
lettering and foots tones (see Appendix). 

Fig. 7 Rachel Hartwell, 1799, Concord, Mass. (Urn). 
Stone sold in 1800 for $6.50. 

John S. Wilson 


Fig. 8 Abijah Mosher, 1791, Pepperell, Mass. (Scroll above winged face). 
Bisected arc quarry mark on back. 

Attributable Stones in Variant Styles The vast majority of attributable 
stones are typical examples of Spauldin work, but a few stones in two variant 
styles share design elements with the documented Spauldin stones and may 
represent much of his early carving activity while living in Pepperell. Each 
stone has at least two elements identical in form and execution with the 
documented stones. The elements unique to these variant styles are shown 
in Figure 4 with a "?". Many of these stones bear a distinctive bisected-arc as 
a quarry mark. This mark does not appear on any stones listed in the account 
book, but is found on several of the more firmly attributable ones. 

116 Ithamar Spauldin 

The Abijah Mosher stone in Pepperell (Fig. 8) has a bisected-arc quarry 
mark and is one of several in the variant closest to the Spauldin shop's 
documented work. Features unique to this variant include a relief vine in the 
side panel and an ornate relief scroll above the central motif. Some stones 
within this variant, including one with the bisected-arc, replace the more 
usual vines with small relief finials on either side of the winged face. The 
lettering on these stones is slightly larger than on documented stones, but its 
form and layout are similar. The winged face and pedestal upon which it 
rests are identical with those on documented Spauldin work. The Aaron 
Bowers stone (Fig. 9) has no quarry mark, but numerous similarities to Abijah 
Mosher's. Its tympanum, illustrating how the boy was "instantly kill'd by a 
stock of boards," is rendered in a lively manner which contrasts sharply with 
the conventional formality found in the bulk of Spauldin's work. 

The stone of Hannah Mosher (Fig. 10) is the only one with the "S" quarry 
mark which is not in typical Spauldin style, but is a good example of several 
in the second variant style. The winged face is identical with those on 
documented stones, but in much higher relief. Further, while the relief vines 
in the tympanum are of the usual form, the lettering is different in both form 
and arrangement. The stone for her father, Abijah, is similar and has a 
bisected-arc quarry mark. This variant is least like the documented stones. 

The stone for Lieutenant Joseph Spauldin, an uncle of Ithamar, is one of 
the more unusual in Pepperell Center (Fig. 11), bearing a sword denoting his 
death at Bunker Hill. This stone also has a bisected-arc quarry mark. The 
winged face is crudely executed in fairly high relief, while the remainder of 
the carving is in exceptionally low relief, and the vines have an especially 
awkward and naive look. The lettering, however, is in typical Spauldin style. 
It might be one of Spauldin's first efforts as an ind.ependent carver. 

While written documentation is lacking, the use of dark slate, overlap of 
design elements and quarry marks with documented works, concentration of 
most variant stones in the area near Pepperell, and less polished execution of 
surface carving lend weight to the hypothesis that the two variant styles were 
produced in stone from a local quarry by Ithamar Spauldin at the beginning 
of his carving career in a shop at Pepperell. They could be the work of a 
"Spauldin master" from whom he borrowed this design repertoire, but the 

John S. Wilson 


..a- .1.1 

Fig. 9 Aaron Bowers, 1791, Pepperell, Mass. (Accident). 
Illustrating the cause of death. 

relatively small number of these stones and their considerable minor differ- 
ences indicates that they are more probably Ithamar's early work. 

The location of Ithamar Spauldin's training remains uncertain, although 
it was probably in the vicinity of Pepperell. His career as a carver seems to 
have ended in Concord, as the handful of documented or attributable stones 
found in Maine are of Harvard slate. He is not known as a carver in Maine, 
either by history or tradition, but is remembered as one of the leaders among 
a group who planted shade trees along the roads of Norridgewock, recreat- 
ing the elm and maple avenues of their old homes in southern New England. 


Ithamar Spauldin 

Some early nineteenth-century gravestones on a very poor quality local 
slate in Norridgewock and Solon graveyards exhibit lettering slightly like 
Spauldin' s, but the urns on them are completely different. Another hand 
probably carved these stones, but an apprenticeship under Spauldin could 
account for the similar lettering. It would be pleasant to surmise that 
Spauldin managed to transmit some of his skill to a young stonecutter in the 
Maine wilderness. 


1 1 .1 n iuili N I (>l hri\ 
J .1 n : h i i^r ol l\ 1' 

1 1 .1 1) n <i h 

Fig. 10 Hannah Mosher, 1784, Pepperell, Mass. 
(Fronds below winged face). "S" quarry mark on back. 

John S. Wilson 


Fig. 11 Lieut. Joseph Spauldin, 1775, Pepperell, Mass. 
(Sword below face). Bisected arc quarry mark on back. 

120 Ithamar Spauldin 

Effects of Purchase Delay on Temporal Distributions 

Delay in purchase of stones by heirs of the deceased (frequently, but 
confusingly, called "backdating") is a factor sometimes neglected, and often 
underemphasized, by some gravestone researchers examining either broad 
stylistic change or changes in motifs and techniques used by an individual 
shop. The 1795-1800 account book provides a rare opportunity to examine 
this phenomenon, through comparing dates of purchase with the dates of 
death on the sixty-eight currently located stones cited in it. 

The only year for which the day book contains a daily record of Spauldin's 
activities is 1795. He sold eleven gravestone pairs in that year, and it appears 
that a maximum of a quarter of his time was spent in quarrying or carving 
stones. The years 1796 and 1797 saw twenty pairs sold each year, the shop's 
greatest annual sales. Working at the same pace, about one-third of his time 
would have been spent on gravestone work in those years. Brick and 
masonry work, and some plastering, appear to have occupied the bulk of 
Spauldin's time. 

Annual sales declined each year after 1797, resulting in a conical dis- 
tribution when plotted (Fig. 12a), possibly truncated at the top because of his 
emigration. Examination of production by other shops in both the early 
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries has also revealed this pattern,^ and 
it appears to be a more accurate representation of production by individual 
shops than the often cited "battleship" shape.^^ 

The explanation for this initial high production by newly opened shops 
and gradual decline thereafter is unclear, and would be a good subject for 
future research. Possible causal factors for some cases, such as an aging 
carver or emigration by customer families, do not apply in this particular 
example. One possible explanation may be the increased competition from 
other shops in the area. No study has yet synthesized the spatial distribution 
of carvers' shops operating in Middlesex County during the 1790s and the 
number of stones attributable to each. However, the number of known 
carvers in that time and place is large and increasing as research continues. 
Speculatively, the very small number of Spauldin stones sold south and east 
of Concord may reflect heavy competition by carvers in those areas, and the 
apparent large production by carvers in and around Groton at this time may 

John S. Wilson 











Fig. 12 Comparison of Sale and Death Dates 


Ithamar Spauldin 

<x> <X> i 



(D < 

^ o 

S ^ o ^ 

CL '^ 

— o 






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Fig. 13 Frequency Distribution of all Stones 

John S. Wilson 123 

account for the lack of Spauldin works in other towns near his original base 
in Pepperell. 

Although a detailed study of Spauldin's business transactions would 
require intensive genealogical and historical study, they seem to have been 
largely with residents of Concord and Pepperell, together with their friends 
and relatives in more distant communities (from which the Concord and 
Pepperell customers had emigrated or to which these friends and relatives 
had moved). These distant towns had their own social and business net- 
works, and such networks have been shown to be a major factor in purchase 
patterns for other types of goods and services prior to rail travel. ^^ 

A striking feature of the temporal distribution is the misinterpretation 
which would result from an assumption that death dates reflect purchase 
dates of stones (Fig. 12b). Since Spauldin was born in 1767, it is obvious that 
Spauldin gravestones for the three persons who died before 1785, and 
probably for most or all of the other four who died prior to 1790, must have 
been carved later. However, the many other stones actually purchased after 
1795 but with earlier death dates would not be readily identified as delayed 
purchases, without the account book. Figure 12b, not corrected by the written 
record, is so dramatically distorted by purchase delay that an approximation 
of the true situation could be produced by turning it upside down! While 
65.5% of documented stones from the Spauldin shop were purchased within 
two years of death, only 19.6% were purchased within one year of death. 
Stones purchased more than five years after death comprise 14.2% of all 
documented stones, enough to affect the temporal distribution by lengthen- 
ing its "tail" in Figure 12. This "tail" is even more noticeable when both 
documented and attributed Spauldin stones are plotted together, as has been 
done in most other studies involving temporal distribution (Fig. 13). 

Such "tails" on plots of temporal distribution present major analytical 
problems for several types of gravestone studies, as purchase records are 
seldom available in quantity. This is one of several studies illustrating the 
difficulty they can cause in dating the works of an individual shop.^^ The 
presence of these false "tails" can affect the results of stylistic studies where 
the "style" is the work of a single shop or a small group of shops.^^ A 
potentially false "battleship" shape can be presented when temporal distri- 

124 Ithamar Spauldin 

butions are graphed without controlling for purchase delay. 

In broader studies purchase delay may have less effect on the relative 
dates when style changes become visible, but their absolute dates may be 
inaccurately represented-^"* The degree of distortion caused by purchase 
delay is probably lessened with increased sample size, and there have not 
been enough studies examining purchase delay to attempt statistical formu- 
lae or similar guides for predicting its analytical effect. At present, a 
cautionary rule of thumb may be that most eighteenth- and early nineteenth- 
century stones were probably sold at least one year after the inscribed death 
date and a "tail" of less than ten stones per year should be suspected to consist 
largely of stones purchased more than five years after the death dates. It 
might even be desirable completely to remove stones included in such 
narrow "tails" from any analyses involving temporal patterning, on the 
assumption that removal of the few stones in this group which may not be 
drastically "backdated" causes less distortion than retention of all. 

John S. Wilson 





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130 Ithamar Spauldin 


1 . "Ithamar Spauldin's Book of Accounts & Proceedings from April 13, 1795, Concord." 
Unpublished account book in the Concord, Mass. Public Library, covering the period 
April 13, 1795 to September 12, 1800. 

2. C. R. Jones, Memento Mori: 200 Years of Funerary Art and Customs of Concord, Massachu- 
setts. Concord Antiquarian Society (exhibit pamphlet) 1967; and "Ithamar Spauldin, 
Stonecarver of Concord, Massachusetts," Markers I, 51-55. 

3. One of the best examples of the use of this technique in study of an individual carver 
is James A. Slater and Ralph L. Tucker's article, "The Colonial Gravestone Carvings of 
John Hartshorne," Dublin Seminar for New England FoMife, Annual Proceedings , Boston 
University (Boston: 1978), 79. James Deetz and Edwin S. Dethlefsen's article "Death's 
Head, Cherub, Urn and Willow," Natural History Magazine, 76: (March, 1967), 30-37, 
is probably the best known study of broad design trends, albeit superceded by later 

4. In addition to the above citation, James Deetz further pursued this topic in 1977, In 
Small Things Forgotten (New York: 1977). 

5. As documented in M. M. Stier, "'Wonderfully Lettered and Carved': The Gravestones 
of the Risley Family, 1786-1835," Dartmouth College Library Bidletin, Vol. XXIII (NS) No. 
2 (Hanover, N. H.: 1983). 

6. Ibid. 

7. Stier (cited above) notes this, as does Robert Drinkwater, "A Model of Early New 
England Gravestone Carving Technology," unpublished senior honors thesis. De- 
partment of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts (Amherst: 1972). 

8. See Note 2. 

9. Slater and Tucker (Note 3). The current author has also previously noted this 
phenomenon, "Gravestones of the Chapin Family of Bemardston, Massachusetts: A 
Second Look at the Doppler Effect in Gravestone Seriation," unpublished seminar 
paper. Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, (Amherst: 1972). 

10. First presented in James Deetz and Edwin S. Dethlefson, "The Doppler Effect and 
Archaeology: A Consideration of the Spatial Effects of Seriation," Southwestern Journal 
of Anthropology 21 (1965), 196-7. 

11. Researchers at Old Sturbridge Village have noted this on several occasions: M. 
Stachiw, J. Worrell, D. Simmons, and N. P. Small, "Archaeology from the Ground Up: 
The Bixby House and its Neighborhood," unpublished paper delivered at the Confer- 
ence on New England Archaeology, University of Massachusetts (Amherst: 1987). 

12. Slater and Tucker (Note 3); and Wilson (Note 9). 

13. For example, Deetz and Dethlefsen's article on the "Worcester Style" (Note 10) is 
useful for the concepts presented. However, the author believes that this problem. 

John S. Wilson 131 

together with serious errors in their historical research, severely damages or destroys 
any validity in their seriations. 

14. Deetz and Dethlefsen's initial gravestone study (Note 3) is an example. 

The author wishes to acknowledge the staff of the Concord Public Library, Concord, 
Massachusetts, for permitting access to Ithamar Spauldin's account book and other docu- 
ments concerning Concord's history during his residence. The author also thanks the 
Norridgewock, Maine, Historical Society for their gracious assistance and hospitality on his 
unannounced visit to that town. Numerous members of The Association for Gravestone 
Studies provided assistance in the research, as well as comments on the various drafts of this 
article. In particular: Robert Drinkwater, Laurel Gabel, Dr. James Slater and Rev. Ralph 
Tucker provided important insights on the work as it progressed. Theodore Chase is 
commended for his always patient and polite prodding of the author. The graphics were 
admirably produced by James Clark. The photographs were taken by the author, and 
considerably enhanced by the printing skills of Richard S. Kanaski. 


Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 

Fig. 1 View of Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground, showing 
gravestones in Row 1 before excavation (looking southwest) 



Ricardo J. Ella* 


In early 1982 Massachusetts Department of Public Works surveyors who 
were mapping the proposed right-of-way for the Route 146 highway reloca- 
tion in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, observed what appeared to be several 
unmarked gravestones on a wooded hill next to a gravel pit (Fig. 1).^ The 
discovery of the gravestones created two problems for the DPW. First was 
the identification of the cemetery. One archaeologist thought that the site was 
probably "a small, Quaker family plot." The local Nipmuck Indians, on the 
other hand, believed that the stones marked the site of an Indian burial 
ground, containing the graves of converted (Christian) Indians. 

The second problem was what to do with the site, which was right in the 
middle of the proposed highway relocation. Years of planning and consid- 
erable expense had gone into designing the route of the new highway. The 
state's position was that the graves, and not the highway, would have to be 
moved. Before 1983 the DPW could have simply hired morticians to remove 
the graves and reinter the remains. After 1 983, however, the project fell under 
the auspices of the new Massachusetts Unmarked Burial Law,^ which regu- 
lates the treatment of unmarked graves that are believed to be either Indian 
or more than one hundred years old. 

In an agreement reached under the Unmarked Burial Law the grave site 
would be systematically excavated by professional archaeologists, the skel- 
etal remains would be subjected to a complete osteological examination, and 
the remains would then be reinterred — any Indians, if present, would be 
returned to the Nipmucks for burial in a tribal cemetery, and the non-Indians 
would be buried in a cemetery in Uxbridge. In 1985 the Uxbridge site was 
excavated by the Office of Public Archaeology at Boston University under my 
direction. Analysis of the remains has recently been completed. 

* This paper was presented at the annual conference of The Association for Gravestone 
SUidies in Bristol, Rhode Island, June 23, 1990. 

134 Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 

The first thing we did, before we excavated any graves, was to conduct 
deed research for the property. We quickly learned that the site had been 
purchased by the town of Uxbridge and was used as the location of the town 
almshouse and poor farm between the years 1831-1872. What the DPW 
surveyors had stumbled across, then, was the town's almshouse cemetery, its 
potter's field where paupers were buried. 

The coincidental discovery of gravestones in a highway right-of-way led 
to an extremely rare opportunity to examine life and death at a rural 
nineteenth-century almshouse by studying several converging lines of evi- 
dence that are not often available to the researcher. In addition to historical 
data, we were able to study the site from archaeological and osteological 
perspectives as well. Our research included an intensive examination of 
town, county, state, and federal records pertaining to the poor farm and its 
inmates; the archaeological excavation produced evidence for the spatial 
layout of the almshouse cemetery, for grave markers, coffins, and coffin 
hardware; and the study of the skeletal remains provided data on the actual 
paupers themselves — their gender, age, stature and physical condition. 
Taken together, the excavation of the Uxbridge almshouse cemetery has shed 
light on one of the most under-documented classes of individuals in our 
recent past. 

The excavations at the almshouse cemetery produced a total of thirty-one 
graves (Fig. 2). As I shall describe in detail later, seventeen of the graves had 
stone markers; all of the graves were anonymous with the exception of one, 
which was marked by a traditional inscribed marble headstone. We are all 
familiar with small cemetery plots containing uninscribed gravestones; in 
contrast to the marked graves that commonly occupy our churchyards, 
pubUc cemeteries, and family plots, it is difficult, in the absence of good 
historical or archaeological data, to make much sense of them. Many of them, 
in fact, probably belonged to the various institutions that developed in 
America during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; they included 
almshouses, insane asylums, public hospitals, and penitentiaries. One of the 
benefits of our study was that it allowed us to study the relatively nondescript 
gravestones at one of these sites within its broader social and political context. 

Ricardo J. Elia 


I shall begin this paper by briefly describing what we know about the 
Uxbridge almshouse within the context of nineteenth-century poor relief. I 
shall then describe what our excavations have taught us about the life, death, 
and burial of the Uxbridge paupers. After presenting this background 
information, I shall analyze the simple grave markers at the site and then 
focus on the one inscribed headstone that was found and the clues it offers for 
reconstructing something of the life of the individual who was buried 
beneath it. In this way I hope to be able to strip away some of the anonymity 
from the paupers whose graves were marked only by silent stones. 



^ So-^c^ ^ 

Fig. 2 Plan of Almshouse Burial Ground, Uxbridge, Mass. 

136 Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 


The history of poor relief in this country is characterized by a gradual shift 
away from ad hoc methods of assistance to an institutionalized approach that 
culminated in almshouses, poor farms, and eventually the modern "welfare 
state."^ During the colonial period towns in Massachusetts supported their 
paupers primarily through various forms of "outdoor reUef/' such as grants 
of money, food, or firewood, or in serious cases by boarding indigents with 
local families. Some towns experimented with a private version of the 
almshouse: paupers were auctioned off to the lowest bidder, who would 
feed, clothe, and house his charges for a year at a time. One can only imagine 
the type of living conditions that were created by this approach to poor relief. 

In 1821 Josiah Quincy published a landmark report on the problem of 
caring for the poor in Massachusetts."* Quincy advocated the establishment 
of town almshouses as the most efficient, humane, and cost-effective method 
of managing the state's poor. In the decades following the Quincy Report 
dozens of almshouses were established in Massachusetts. In 1831 Uxbridge 
purchased a 122-acre farm for use as an almshouse and poor farm. By 1835 
thirty-five of Worcester County's fifty-five towns had almshouses, most of 
which were operated as poor farms; by 1860 fifty-two of the county's fifty- 
eight towns had them.^ 

Most towns probably believed, as did Uxbridge, that housing the poor in 
institutions was both humane and economical. An Uxbridge town report of 
1870 describes this point of view:^ 

Many think that our Poor can be supported at less expense if the 
Town owns a Farm, and it is properly managed; some think 
that it deters many from applying for assistance, if we have an 
Almshouse, a place where we can send them. Be that as it may, 
it seems fit, proper and rational, for the Town to have an 
Asylum for the Poor, a place for the Needy and destitute, it is 
a humane and laudable act. 

The basic idea behind the poor farm was that able-bodied paupers should be 
required to contribute to their own support by performing agricultural labor. 
The Uxbridge paupers raised crops, kept cows, pigs, and chickens, and 
engaged in a wide variety of manual tasks, including painting, carpentry. 

Ricardo J. Elia 137 

digging ditches, plumbing, sand quarrying, and the harvesting of cordwood. 

Surviving records for the period 1837-1863 show that the average number 
of paupers living in the Uxbridge almshouse was twelve.^ This number 
ranged from a low of six in 1854 to a high of twenty-five in 1837. Dietary 
estimates for the poor farm, based on annual records of food produced there, 
suggest that the food grown and raised at the Uxbridge poor farm could have 
met the nutritional needs of its residents. This assumes, of course, that the 
paupers were receiving the fruits of their labors — an assumption that cannot 
be demonstrated. Certainly it is known from pioneering reformers like 
Dorothea Dix^ that conditions in nineteenth-century almshouses could be 

The Uxbridge death records list causes of death for twenty-nine of forty- 
six individuals identified as paupers who died between 1831 and 1872. Of the 
twenty-nine reported causes of death, ten are identified as pulmonary 
disease ("consumption," "lung fever," and "lung disease"), five are listed as 
old age, four were accidental (killed in a single fire in 1846), three were from 
alcohol ("intemperance"), two from dropsy, and one each from typhus, 
typhoid fever, cancer, stillbirth, and suicide. 


When an Uxbridge almshouse pauper died, he or she was most likely 
buried not in one of the customary town or church burial grounds, but in a 
small cemetery on a hill in the western part of the poor farm. The Uxbridge 
almshouse burial ground, according to deed reservations, measured 75 x 50 
feet. The cemetery was bounded on the south by a stone wall (present in 
1985), and probably by a wood fence on the other sides. The excavation 
produced a total of thirty-two individuals in thirty-one graves. The graves 
were laid out in six rows, containing between three and ten graves each; the 
head of each corpse was at the west and the feet at the east. Sixteen of the 
thirty-one graves were marked with rough stones of granite, schist, and 
gneiss; a seventeenth grave, that of a black woman named Nancy Adams, 
was marked by a traditional inscribed headstone of marble. No markers were 
found for fourteen graves. 

The grave shafts were dug to an average depth of three feet for the 

138 Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 

children and four feet for the adults. The coffins, all hexagonal in shape 
except for two rectangular examples, were simple affairs — most, in fact, were 
little more than the proverbial plain pine box, although other locally available 
wood (yellow poplar, or tuUp, and chestnut) was also used. There is no 
evidence, documentary or other, that coffins were custom-made for the 
decedent. In fact, it appears that ready-made coffins were frequently used, 
or at least that the decedent's stature was not taken into account when the 
coffin was made; observations of the burial of each skeleton indicate that 
almost half of the coffins were too narrow for the corpse. In these cases the 
shoulders had to be "shrugged" in order to make the corpse fit the coffin. 

Although a few of the coffins exhibited interesting details, such as glass 
view plates and white metal coffin hardware, the rest were put together with 
plain hinges, screws, and tacks, many of which were mass-produced and 
commonly available from mail-order catalogs. No examples of more elabo- 
rate or decorative coffin hardware, such as coffin handles, nameplates, or 
thumbscrews, were found at Uxbridge. 

The thirty-one graves contained the remains of thirty-two individuals — 
twenty-four adults, seven children, and one of unknown age. One grave was 
a double inhumation and contained the skeletons of a young woman of child- 
bearing age and a new-bom child; the two may have died while the woman 
was attempting to give birth. The mortality profile for the Uxbridge skeletal 
series is suggestive of an institutional sample rather than a "normal" sample 
from a natural breeding population. The individuals from Uxbridge seem to 
represent a bimodal distribution of the very young or the very old. Children 
in their first decade of life account for 22% of the Uxbridge series, while adults 
of forty or more years of age represent 48% of the series. The percentage of 
children at Uxbridge is actually low — comparisons with other nineteenth- 
century samples show that non-institutional series generally contain twice as 
many children as was the case in Uxbridge. Likewise, the Uxbridge series and 
other institutional samples show large proportions of elderly individuals. 
Both observations are consistent with the fact, documented by social histori- 
ans, that nineteenth-century almshouses were the principal haven for aban- 
doned or orphaned children and for the destitute elderly. 

Pathological conditions identified during the skeletal analysis included 

Ricardo J. Elia 139 

an arthritis-like condition in eight adults who were over forty years of age; 
this condition is consistent with the aging process. Also found in three adults 
were lesions in the vertebrae which may have resulted from years of strenu- 
ous activity, from short episodes of heavy lifting, or from adult scurvy. Six 
adults exhibited osteitis, or inflammation of the bone, mostly in the legs. 
Fractures were noted on the jaw of one individual, on the foot in two cases, 
and in a single case, on the hip, knee, foot, and finger. Tumors were relatively 
rare, and were found on three individuals. 

One individual, a young man who was 20-25 years of age when he died, 
had been subjected to an autopsy for an unknown reason; his cranium had 
been cut open in such a way that the brain could be examined. The details of 
the cut precisely match the procedures outlined in nineteenth-century au- 
topsy manuals. 

Analysis of the dental work showed a wide variety of conditions, al- 
though in general the dental health of the paupers could be described as 
terrible. Two individuals retained all their adult teeth at the time of death, six 
had lost fewer than seven teeth before death, and fourteen had lost more than 
seven teeth before they died. Five people, all 40-50+ years of age, had lost all 
or nearly all of their teeth. No examples of dental intervention were 
identified — no fillings, crowns, plates, or false teeth. Although the documen- 
tary records indicate that a town physician was paid to provide surgical and 
medical care for the Uxbridge paupers, this care evidently did not extend to 
dentistry, unless we allow for the occasional pulled tooth. 

Identification of Paupers 

Since the burial ground was identified as the almshouse cemetery, an 
attempt was made to identify the specific individuals who were buried at the 
site. No burial records were found, and except for Nancy Adams, whose 
name was carved on her gravestone, all the grave markers were uninscribed, 
and the paupers who occupied the graves remained anonymous. By using 
the archaeological, documentary, and osteological data, it was hoped that 
some, at least, of the Uxbridge paupers might be relieved of their anonymity. 
The attempt to identify the Uxbridge paupers, however, proved to be largely 
unsuccessful because it was not possible to achieve a plausible congruence 

140 Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 

among the various lines of archaeological, documentary, and osteological 

The archaeological excavations produced no evidence either for the 
identity of those buried in the cemetery (except for Nancy Adams) or for the 
chronology of the graves. 

The documentary research identified forty-eight individuals who were 
either paupers or others (e.g., transients) supported by Uxbridge and who 
died during the 1831-1872 period. Of these, two are known to have been 
buried in other towns, and Nancy Adams is known to have been buried in the 
almshouse cemetery. That leaves forty-five paupers who may have been 
buried in the cemetery. Since complete excavation of the site produced only 
thirty-two individuals, thirteen paupers must have been buried elsewhere. 

An attempt was made to match individuals identified in the historical 
records with the Uxbridge graves on the basis of age and sex as identified by 
the osteological analysis. This effort proved to be an exercise in frustration. 
No definite identifications could be made; in most categories, there are either 
too many individuals known from the records or not enough. 

A few possible identifications were made. The historical records identify 
twins, Chauncey and Lydia McClellan, who died of consumption three 
months apart in 1852 at the ages of two and four months, respectively. These 
twins may have been buried in Graves 2 and 11 because they died only three 
months apart, and the two graves, which are side-by-side, contained skel- 
etons of infants aged 0-6 months. 

An attempt was also made to identify the racial affinities of individuals 
who were buried in the cemetery. This effort was only slightly more 
successful. The osteological analysis identified one individual, a 25-30-year- 
old woman, as a probable Black. The historical research identified four adult 
women as black: Nancy Adams, who may have been as old as one hundred; 
Mary Jenks, a twenty-year-old; Sylvia Moore, about ninety years of age; and 
Marietta Scisco, a "free colored" woman who died of typhoid fever at age 
twenty-eight. Of the three. Marietta Scisco (aged twenty-eight) falls within 
the range of 25-30 years determined for Grave 12 on the basis of osteological 

Grave 16, an adult male in excess of fifty years of age, was determined to 

Ricardo J. Elia 141 

be of likely Indian extraction on the basis of the osteology. The only person 
identified as Indian in the records is John Wilber, who was described as an 
illiterate mulatto shoemaker in the federal census of 1860, and also as an 
Indian "boot-bottomer" in the Uxbridge death records. But Wilber died at the 
age of twenty-eight, and so cannot be the individual in Grave 16. No other 
Indians are specified in the records. 

Grave Markers 

I shall now turn to the Uxbridge gravestones. As mentioned above, a total 
of thirty-one graves was excavated in the Uxbridge poor farm burial ground. 
Before the archaeological excavation began only fifteen gravestones were 
visible on the surface. These were thought to represent ten graves in perhaps 
three or four rows. An additional fourteen gravestones were found below the 
ground after the topsoil was removed in order to expose the grave pits. In all, 
twenty-nine stone markers were recovered, consisting of seventeen head- 
stones and twelve foots tones (Fig. 3 a-e). Out of thirty-one total graves, 
arranged in six rows, seventeen graves were found to have stone markers, 
while fourteen graves had no gravestones at all. 

The buried gravestones had been covered by a combination of wind- 
blown sand, topsoil, and leaf mat. Many had probably been dislodged or 
pushed over by the action of roots and trees that had grown up after the 
abandonment of the burial ground. The absence of gravestones for fourteen 
of thirty-one graves may be explained by several possibilities. Some of the 
graves may have been marked, but their stones may have been dislodged or 
removed over the years. Some of the fourteen graves may have had markers 
made of some perishable material such as wood. It should be noted, however, 
that no stains or post molds were recognized at the head end of the top surface 
of the grave pits, such as might have been produced by wooden markers. The 
fact that so many graves (45%) lacked gravestones does suggest that some of 
them, at least, were never marked. 

The stone markers can be divided into three types: (1) modified granite 
stones (Fig. 4), exhibiting quarry drill marks or other evidence of stone working 
(twelve of twenty-nine stones); (2) unmodified stones of granite, gneiss, or 
schist (sixteen of twenty-nine stones) (Fig. 5); and (3) one carved "proper" 


Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 



Grave 1 


Grave 2 



Grave 3 


15 30 60cm 

6 12 24 in. 

Fig. 3a Schematic drawings of recovered markers for Graves 1, 2 and 3. 

Ricardo J. Elia 




\ — "- M- — Grave 4 

— Grave 5 

Grave 6 

15 30 ^eOcm 

6 12 24 in. 

Fig. 3b Schematic drawings of recovered markers for Graves 4, 5 and 6. 

144 Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 

headstone of limestone (the "Nancy Adams" stone. Grave 8). The majority 
of the gravestones (sixteen) were of granite; schist accounted for ten stones; 
two were of gneiss; and one was marble. 

The source of the stones used as grave markers, with the exception of the 
marble headstone, was probably local. Most of the headstones consisted of 
granite stones with drill marks on one or two edges. These stones also 
generally exhibited at least one cortical, or non-quarried, exposed surface, 
indicating that they were spalls, or discards, from the quarrying process. 
Although there is no record of the Uxbridge paupers engaging in small-scale 
granite quarrying on the farm, they did quarry sand and perform other 
manual labor, and granite quarrying was certainly a common activity in this 
part of Worcester County. The unmodified stones of granite, schist, and 
gneiss which were used as grave markers would also have been readily 
available as field stones on the poor farm property. 

The twenty-nine stone markers were, with two exceptions, uninscribed. 
The first exception is Grave 3, a child's grave in Row 1. The headstone for 
Grave 3 is the largest of the stone markers in the burial ground, over four feet 
in height (Fig. 6); the stone is rectangular, and has been roughly hammer- 
dressed. On the surface of the stone, facing the grave, is an inscription that 
appears to represent the Roman numeral "II." The meaning of this symbol 
is uncertain. It may in fact have had nothing to do with commemorating the 

Nancy Adams 

The other exception is particularly noteworthy because it is the only 
example of a traditional, carved headstone at the Uxbridge site (Fig. 7); as 
such, it provides the only certain identity of any of the individuals who 
occupied the graves at the poor farm cemetery, as well as the only certain date 
of death. The marker is also important because it provides a link with certain 
oral recollections that gave rise to the suspicion that the cemetery was an 
Indian burial ground. 

Prior to the archaeological investigations at the site, a number of local 
residents and Nipmuck Indians had voiced their concern that the deeded 
burial site was in fact an Indian burial ground. This conviction was based in 

Ricardo J. Elia 




— Grave 7 

Headstone Base 





Grave 8 




Grave 9 

Grave 10 

15 30 60cm 

6 12 24 in. 


_ u 

Fig. 3c Schematic drawings of recovered markers for 
Graves 7, S, 9 and 10. 


Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 



Grave 1 3 

Grave 15 

Grave 1 8 

15 30 60cm 

6 12 24 in. 

Fig. 3d Schematic drawings of recovered markers for 
Graves 13, 15 and 18. 

Ricardo J. Elia 



Foot stone 

Grave 22 

_ 11 

Grave 23 


Grave 24 

15 30 60cm 

6 12 24 in. 

Grave 27 

Fig. 3e Schematic drawings of recovered markers for 
Graves 22, 23, 24 and 27. 

148 Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 

part on the memory of one Edward Tubias, who recalled seeing on the site the 
gravestone of a black woman named Sarah Adams, who had supposedly 
been buried with the Indians. An affidavit signed by Tubias gives the 
inscription as the following: 

Sarah Adams Born 1640? Died 1685? 

A Fine Pioneer Woman Colored 

When the almshouse burial site was rediscovered, there was no trace of this 
gravestone, and given the complete lack of any other inscribed stones, we 
thought that Mr. Tubias might have been referring in error to another 
cemetery. On the third day of fieldwork, however, an archaeologist remov- 
ing the topsoil south of Grave 7 in Row 2 discovered a marble headstone, 
lying with its inscribed face up, buried only a few centimeters below the 
surface of the ground. Three small fragments of the headstone were found 
nearby, and a sandstone base for the headstone was subsequently discovered 
in situ at the head end of Grave 8. The three joining pieces of the headstone 
contain the following inscription: 



A respectable colored 


was born in Louisiana 

Mar. 31 1766 

[Di]ed in Uxbri[dge] 

[Jjune [ ] 

Our informant had something of a faulty memory — he said Sarah Adams 
instead of Nancy Adams, "a fine pioneer woman, colored" instead of "a 
respectable colored woman," but he was correct about the essential facts. 
This discovery was perplexing, to say the least. Why a traditional (and 
expensive) carved headstone in a pauper burial ground, surrounded by 
anonymous graves? And who would have paid for and erected such a 
monument to a pauper? Attempting to find the answer to these questions 
opened up a fascinating story involving fugitive slaves, abolitionists, and the 
Underground Railroad. 

Ricardo J. Elia 


What do we know about Nancy Adams? The analysis of the skeletal 
remains tells us something of the individual. We know that she was an adult 
female, well over 50-60 years of age. She stood approximately five feet eight 
inches tall, but she had suffered a fracture or severe dislocation in her left hip, 
and she doubtless walked with a serious limp for some time. When she died, 
she was buried in a hexagonal coffin made of pine and yellow poplar. 

Fig. 4 Grave 2 headstone 


Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 

Fig. 5 Grave 7 headstone 

The surviving historical documentation adds more information. Nancy 
Adams's headstone describes her as "a respectable colored woman" who was 
born in Louisiana on March 31, 1766 and died in Uxbridge. We learned more 
information from the historical records. The 1850 federal census lists her as 
an illiterate black woman, living alone and owning no property; her place of 
birth is recorded not as Louisiana but Maryland. The Uxbridge death records 
describe her as "colored — slave/' and state that she died on June 6, 1859. In 
that year, according to the selectmen's records, she was "removed" to the 
almshouse, and the town paid $4.50 for her coffin. A Worcester County 
newspaper obituary notice also records her death on June 6, 1859, and 
describes her as "formerly a slave in Louisiana, about 95."' 

Ricardo J. Elia 151 

The documents and the evidence of the headstone are not in agreement 
on two points. One is Nancy Adams's age when she died in 1859. The census 
records would make her eighty-seven years old, the headstone would put her 
age at ninety-three, the obituary says "about 95," and the death record lists 
her as one hundred years, three months, and six days old when she died. It 
may well be that even Nancy Adams did not know her true age. 

The other discrepancy is the recorded place of birth — identified as Loui- 
siana on the headstone and in the obituary but as Maryland in the federal 
census. A plausible explanation for this discrepancy is that Nancy Adams 
hed to the federal census taker about where she was born in order to hide the 
fact that she was a runaway slave. Louisiana was a slave state in 1850 but 
Maryland was a border state. Under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 runaway 
slaves in northern states were liable to be seized and returned to slavery. It 
is possible that Nancy Adams, like many other ex-slaves living in northern 
states, feared that she would be returned to slavery and so lied to the federal 
census taker about her place of birth. As a native of Maryland, she could claim 
to be a free black rather than an escaped slave. 

In any case, who was responsible for purchasing an inscribed headstone 
for Nancy Adams? Local tradition holds that Nancy Adams was a household 
servant of a local family. According to the former owner of the burial ground 
site, Charles Bergesson, Jr., the property adjoining the cemetery to the south 
was acquired by his father from one Elizabeth Adams, who called his 
attention to the grave of a "very lovely colored lady" who once worked for 
her family. The fact that both Nancy Adams and the former landowner of the 
site were named Adams is intriguing because it suggests that Nancy Adams 
may have adopted the surname of the family she served. Slaves and ex-slaves 
frequently took the surnames of their former masters or patrons. If Nancy 
Adams was an ex-slave who escaped to the north, working as a domestic 
servant in a white household would have been one of the few hvelihoods 
available to her at that time.^o 

Another clue to Nancy Adams's story is contained in the inscription on 
her headstone. The phrase "a respectable colored woman" appears to be a 
formulaic way of referring to members of the local free black community in 
the nineteenth century. In a recent study of black pauper burials and burial 

152 Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 

records in Providence, Rhode Island,^! Coughtry and Coughtry illustrate a 
nineteenth-century "urn and willow" headstone erected to commemorate 
three blacks who worked as servants of a particular family. The inscription 
reads: "In memory of/ three respectable Black/Persons, Phillis, Rose, &/ 
Fanny Chace/ who served Faithfully /in the family of Samuel Chace Esqur." 
This example is noteworthy for several reasons: first, it documents the 
erection of a traditional headstone for free black servants by their patron; 
second, it shows the servants having the same name as that of the family they 
served; and finally, the Samuel Chace mentioned was an important abolition- 
ist who was active in the Underground Railroad. 

The term "respectable" in the context of black funerary inscriptions 
apparently reflects the prevailing racial attitudes of white society in ante- 
bellum northern society; it seems to have been used exclusively by whites to 
refer to blacks who were considered to be of good character. In the Provi- 
dence press, for example, free blacks whose deaths were recorded were 
"invariably described as 'respectable' men and women 'of color'. "^^ The 
memoirs of Elizabeth Buffum Chace, a noted abolitionist and wife of Samuel 
Chace, also refer to free blacks in the same way. She refers to a black 
abolitionist leader, for example, as "a highly respected well-dressed colored 
man," and elsewhere she describes the children of "a respectable colored 
physician of Boston."^^ 

If in fact Nancy Adams was a runaway slave, she probably came to 
Uxbridge via the Underground Railroad. Many slaves fled the South by boat 
out of ports such as New Orleans, Mobile, and Savannah and landed in the 
New England port towns of New Bedford and Fall River, Massachusetts. 
From there they continued northward through Massachusetts, New Hamp- 
shire, and Vermont. Many settled in towns along the way; in 1851, for 
example, New Bedford had a black population of between six and seven 
hundred. Others continued on to freedom in Canada. i"* 

The principal route of the Underground Railroad from New Bedford, Fall 
River, and Providence, Rhode Island, ran overland through the town of 
Valley Falls, Rhode Island, and continued along the route of the New York, 
New Haven and Hartford Railroad through Uxbridge and on to Worcester.^^ 

In Valley Falls runaway slaves were often assisted by Samuel Chace and 

Ricardo J. Elia 


his wife Elizabeth Buffum Chace, who used their house to harbor fugitives 
before sending them to the next "station."i^ Uxbridge was a known stop on 
the Underground Railroad between Valley Falls and Worcester; there the 
house of Effingham L. Capron was used as a "station."i^ 

Fig. 6 Grave 3 headstone 


Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 

Fig. 7 Grave 8 headstone 

Although the facts are inconclusive, there is strong circumstantial evi- 
dence to suggest that Nancy Adams was a fugitive slave, born in Louisiana, 
who escaped to the north and eventually settled in Uxbridge. As a runaway 
slave, she may have landed in New Bedford, Fall River, or Providence, where 
she would have been assisted by abolitionists such as the Chace family. It 
may even be that Samuel and Elizabeth Buffum Chace themselves aided 
Nancy Adams in her flight through Valley Falls, Rhode Island, and on to 
Uxbridge. There she may have become a domestic servant in a local family 
like the three "respectable" black women who served the Chace family. When 
she died a pauper in 1859, someone — perhaps the family she served, or 
perhaps her abolitionist patrons — erected a marble tombstone to com- 
memorate her grave. 

Ricardo J. Elia 155 


Ultimately, and ironically, despite the intensive archaeological, osteo- 
logical, and documentary analysis, the paupers who were buried in the 
almshouse burial ground remain, with the exception of Nancy Adams, 
anonymous. The skeletal analysis tells us what sex they were, their age, how 
many teeth they lost in life, and even some of their physical ailments — but we 
do not know their names. The historical research gives us the names of many 
who received public relief, but they exist not so much as individuals but as 
names appearing on receipts submitted for reimbursement in some civic 
accounting procedure. As a rule, a pauper was relieved of his or her 
anonymity only when someone else claimed payment for some service 
rendered — more often than not for being boarded at the almshouse or for 
being buried. 

This anonymity was the salient fact of a pauper's life and a pauper's death. 
Removal to the poorhouse was a dreaded fate. Apart from the social stigma 
("pauper shame") and generally atrocious living conditions in most 
almshouses, people feared the indignity and anonymity of a pauper's burial 
in a potter's field. Herein lies the "horror of a pauper burial." 

In Uxbridge, as was doubtless true of most towns, the overriding consid- 
eration in managing the town's poor was doubtless economical. Every aspect 
of the Uxbridge almshouse burial ground attests to this fact. In the rest of 
American society it was an era that witnessed the romanticizing of death and 
burial customs - the so-called "beautification of death." This attitude led to 
the creation of landscaped, rural cemeteries and the development of high- 
style mourning rituals that included elaborate funerary costume and highly 
ornamental caskets. The Uxbridge site lies in stark contrast to these develop- 
ments. A simple, remote burial ground; inexpensive, readily available 
coffins; cheap, mass-produced coffin hardware; and uninscribed stone mark- 
ers for some of the graves, while others remained unmarked — all these 
features point to the frugality of poor relief. As in life, so in death, the paupers 
received the bare minimum — a simple, decent Christian burial — this much 
the town would provide, but the expense of an inscribed tombstone was a 
luxury the town would not provide. 

156 Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground 

Most of the inscribed gravestones in our historical cemeteries reflect the 
conscious choice of people who had some control over their ov/n graves — the 
selection of the grave site, for example, the type of stone, or the epitaph on it — 
either by arranging these details before death or by the assistance of family 
members or friends after death. In the poorhouse, the paupers had no control 
over these matters; they were arranged by the superintendent of the poor 
house, who worked within strict fiscal constraints. We know from the 
records that the town paid for several items relating to burials — mostly for 
coffins and digging graves, but occasionally, also for washing the corpse, for 
burial clothes, and for a funeral service. Nowhere in the records is there any 
mention of gravestones; the town evidently did not think them necessary. 

Thus the decision to mark the paupers' graves was essentially a practical 
one. Locally available stones were used — not the expensive slate or marble 
of traditional gravestones. Of the two basic functions of gravestones — to 
mark the grave site, and to commemorate the individual — only the first 
seems to have been operative here. Many of the graves — some 45% — may 
never have been marked at all. Those that were marked, with one exception, 
of course, conveyed no information about the decedent. Thus we are left with 
the grim likelihood that the almshouse gravestones served no other purpose 
than to show where graves had been placed, so that future superintendents 
might not disturb the graves already in place. As Samuel Elliot describes in 
an 1858 novel detailing the horrors of the poorhouse system:!^ 

The whole thing was economically arranged — The grave was made along 

side of others from the poor-house No head stones were furnished for 

their graves. They slumbered in them who were their tenants, forgotten and 
unknowm, till the judgment mom. 


The definitive report on the Uxbridge project is Ricardo J. Elia and Al B. Wesolowsky, 
eds.. Archaeological Excavations at the Uxbridge Almshouse Burial Ground in Uxbridge, 
Massachusetts, Office of Public Archaeology, Boston University Report of Investiga- 
tions No. 76, 1 989 . Chapters in that report treat the historical background, archaeologi- 
cal excavation, and osteological analysis of the skeletal remains. Unless otherwise 
cited, the data presented in this article appear in that volume. Another paper on the 
Uxbridge project is that of Edward L. Bell, "The Historical Archaeology of Mortuary 
Behavior: Coffin Hardware from Uxbridge, Massachusetts," Historical Archaeology, 
Vol. 24, No. 3 (1990), 54-78. 

Ricardo J. Elia 157 

2. Chapter 659 of the Acts of 1983. 

3. For the history of poor relief in Massachusetts and the U. S., see David J. Rothman, The 
Discovery of the Asylum: Social Order and Disorder in the New Republic (2nd edition, 
Boston: 1990), 155-205; Michael B. Katz, Poverty and Policy in American History (New 
York: 1983) and In the Shadow of the Poorhouse: A Social History of VJ elf are in America 
(New York: 1986); Robert W. Kelso, The History of Public Poor Relief in Massachusetts 
1620-1920 (Boston: 1922). 

4. Josiah Quincy, "Report of the Committee on the Pauper Laws of the Commonwealth," 
reprinted in David Rothman, ed.. The Almshouse Experience: Collected Reports (New 
York: 1971), 1-38. 

5. Data extracted from Secretary of the Commonwealth, Abstract of Returns of the 
Overseers of the Poor in Massachusetts, for the years 1831, 1835, and 1860. 

6. Town of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, Records, Town Meetings, etc., Volume 5, 1848-1870. 

7. Abstracts of the Returns of the Overseers of the Poor in Massachusetts (note 5). 

8. For example, see Dorothea L. Dix, "Memorial to the Legislature of Massachusetts," Old 
South Leaflets, Volume VI (Boston: 1843). 

9. U.S. Federal Census, 1850; Uxbridge Deaths, Volume 4, 1854-1894 (Uxbridge, Mass.); 
Massachusetts Spy (Worcester, Mass.), June 22, 1859. 

10. Catherine Clinton, The Other Civil War: American Women in the Nineteenth Century 
(New York: 1984), 32-33. 

1 1 . Jamie Coughtry and Jay Coughtry, "Black Pauper Records: Providence, Rhode Island, 
1777-1831," Rhode Island History Vol. 44, No. 4 (1985), 111. 

12. Ibid., 111-112. See also Angelika Kriiger-Kahloula, "Tributes in Stone and Lapidary 
Lapses: Commemorating Black People in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century 
America," Markers VI, 33-100. 

13. Elizabeth Buffum Chace, "My Anti-Slavery Reminiscences," Two Quaker Sisters (New 
York: 1937). 

14. Wilbur H. Siebert, The Underground Railroad in Massachusetts (Worcester, Mass.: 1936), 

15. Ibid., 8-9. 

16. Elizabeth Buffum Chace (note 13). 

17. Wilbur H. Siebert (note 14), 11. 

18. Samuel Hayes Elliot, New England's Chattels; or. Life in the Northern Poor-House (New 
York: 1858). 


Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

Fig. 1 Thomas Crawford, Amos Binney Monument, marble, 108" h., 

1847-50, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass., 

Male Soul Ascending (niche is 44 1/2" h., figure is 41" h.). 




"A Work of Rare Merit" 

Lauretta Dimmick 

Thomas Crawford (1813? - 1857), one of the first and most important of 
American sculptors, had ambitious plans to create several funerary sculp- 
tures.i Spending his entire career in Rome, he wanted, for example, to create 
a monument to mark the grave of the Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, 
in the venerable Protestant Cemetery, and another to designate the Roman 
house where his mentor, the Danish sculptor, Bertel Thorvaldsen, had lived.^ 
His monument for Boston physician, merchant, and naturalist, Amos Binney, 
was, however, the only one realized in the sculptor's short life (Figs. 1 and 2). 
Begun in Rome shortly after Binney died while on a visit to the Eternal City 
in February 1847, the monument was completed sometime in 1849, and 
shipped soon after to the United States. It was installed in America's first 
garden cemetery. Mount Auburn in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the sum- 
mer of 1850, coinciding with one of the artist's rare visits to the United States. 
The grand white marble Binney monument, one of Crawford's finest neoclas- 
sical works, immediately became — and has always remained — a key attrac- 
tion of the cemetery. 

By the time Crawford received the commemorative commission from 
Binney's widow in 1847, he had been living in Rome for twelve years and had 
already begun making a name for himself. In his early twenties, Crawford 
left his home in New York, where he had been apprenticed as a woodcarver, 
and later worked for the city's leading marble-cutting shop. This firm was co- 
owned and operated by John Frazee, an American-born sculptor who is said 
to have carved the first marble bust in the country, and Robert E. Launitz, a 
Russian immigrant who had studied sculpture in Rome before coming to the 
United States.^ Crawford seems to have been particularly influenced by his 
friendship with Launitz, and it was no doubt the Russian who urged him to 
journey to Rome. In so doing young Crawford joined an international 


Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

Fig. 2 Opposite side of Fig. 1, Mourner (niche is 45" h., figure is 39" h.). 

Lauretta Dimmick 161 

phenomenon, for Rome was mecca for all with artistic aspiration. Artists had 
flocked to the Eternal City for over a hundred years, beginning in the 1760s 
when the influential art theorist, Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1716-1768), 
insisted on the primacy of Rome for the study of art.'* Winckelmann' s 
imperative, coupled with the unparalleled success achieved there by the 
Italian neoclassical sculptor, Antonio Canova (1757-1822), caused the sirens 
of Rome to beckon particularly to sculptors. In 1835 Crawford answered the 
call, becoming the first American sculptor to settle permanently in Rome.^ 

Launitz provided Crawford with a letter of introduction to his own 
Roman mentor, Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), the Danish neoclassical 
sculptor who was, after Canova's death, pre-eminent in Rome.^ Thorvaldsen 
welcomed the young American into his vast studios and provided him with 
materials with which to work. 

After about a year, Crawford established his own studio and eked out a 
living by producing portrait busts and copies of antique statues for visitors 
on the Grand Tour, while contemplating his first major "ideal" composition.^ 
An "ideal," as it was referred to in the period, was a sculpture based upon a 
literary, historical, mythological, or Biblical theme. Such sculpture was the 
three-dimensional equivalent of a painter's history painting, and was like- 
wise considered a sculptor's highest achievement. By 1839 Crawford had 
modeled his Orpheus (Fig. 3), with which he achieved recognition in both 
Roman and American art circles.^ The marble version was acquired by 
subscription for the Boston Athenaeum through the good offices of Crawford's 
early and consistent champion, the future senator and abolitionist, Charles 

Thus began a history of patronage for Crawford in Boston that his native 
New York never equalled. Today, thanks to this legacy, a significant number 
of important Crawford sculptures are to be found in Boston, including Hebe 
and Ganymede (modeled 1841, translated into marble by 1851, Museum of 
Fine Arts), Beethoven (modeled 1853, cast 1854, New England Conservatory 
of Music), James Otis, originally planned for Bigelow Chapel in Mount 
Auburn (modeled 1855-56, translated 1857-58, Sanders Theatre, Memorial 
Hall, Harvard University), and, of course, the Binney tomb in Mount Au- 
burn.' Crawford's link with Boston was further cemented when he married 


Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

New York heiress, Louisa Ward, in 1845. Louisa's older sister was feminist 
and poet Julia Ward Howe (later to be the author of "The Battle Hymn of the 
Republic"), wife of Samuel Gridley Howe, who had spent six years battling 
for Greek independence and later organized and ran the Massachusetts 
School for the Bhnd (Perkins Institution, Boston). 

Fig. 3 Thomas Crawford, Orpheus, marble, 67 1/2" h., 1839-43. 
Photograph courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 

Lauretta Dimmick 


Fig. 4 Attributed to George P.A. Healy, Amos Binney, oil on canvas, 

36 X 23 1/8 inches, before 1848. Photograph courtesy of the 

Museum of Science, Boston. 

Letters which Julia Howe wrote to Louisa Crawford in the summer and 
fall of 1846 reveal that two Bostonians, Dr. and Mrs. Amos Binney, intended 
to visit Rome later that year, for Juha planned to send Louisa "a few little 
miserable presents" with them.^^ Amos Binney (Fig. 4), descended from an 
old, established Massachusetts family, was born in Boston in 1803; he studied 
medicine at Dartmouth College before earning a medical degree at Harvard 
in 1826. The following year he married his cousin, Mary Ann Binney. He 

164 Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

eventually gave up medicine for business, following his father's footsteps 
into real estate and mining operations. Eminently successful, he devoted his 
spare time to promoting the study of natural history. When he served in the 
state House of Representatives in 1837 and 1839-40, he obtained aid for 
geological, botanical, and zoological surveys that were broadly useful.^i He 
had begun collecting shells while still in college and later traveled as far west 
as Cincinnati to study rocks and fossils. Binney's visits to hospitals and 
scientific collections on a trip to Europe in 1824-25 inspired him to form, and 
to serve as president of, the Boston Society of Natural History (forerunner of 
the present Museum of Science). He contributed his assemblage of shells, 
which consisted of over 1500 species and was the most complete collection in 
the country, to that Society in 1840 (they are now in the Museum of Compara- 
tive Zoology at Harvard). As one of the first conchologists in America, he 
wrote a three-volume monograph on his special interest. The Terrestrial Air- 
Breathing Mollusks of the United States, which was published posthumously.^^ 

According to family tradition, one of Binney's goals for his trip abroad in 
1846 was to visit Switzerland in order to check on illustrations which he had 
commissioned for his book.^^ It is recorded that Binney, who was recurrently 
ill, set sail for Europe, like many other ailing Bostonians with the means to do 
so, in the hope that a sea voyage would restore his health. Unfortunately, 
however, the crossing in October of that year did nothing to strengthen him 
and, during the few days he spent at Rouen and Paris, he suffered more. He 
was apparently determined to press on to Rome. He died there in February 

A few poignant details of Binney's death were recorded in a letter Louisa 
Crawford wrote to her sister Julia in Boston on February 18, 1847: 

I have been a good deal saddened these five days past by the sudden death 

of Dr. Binney He was taken ill before he reached Rome having caught 

a violent cold from sleeping in damp sheets at Radicfain [?] and before he 
stepped out of his traveling carriage Pantaleone was sent for — Pantaleone 
began a most active course of bleeding, cupping, leeching and blistering, in 
order to reduce the inflammation, but 'twas all to no purpose as regarded 
saving his life. For after the fever was subdued and he was pronounced 
almost safe, a stupor, the result of extreme exhaustion, crept over him and 
he died after remaining in this state for four days.^* 

Laxiretta Dimmick 165 

Louisa Crawford's letter touchingly reveals the difficult circumstances in 
which Mrs. Binney was left. "It is indeed hard for her to find herself alone in 
this strange place without a friend, excepting those of a week's standing. I 
have done all I can for her and have passed the whole morning in purchasing 
mourning for her." 

Although details concerning Mrs. Binney's commission to Crawford are 
lacking, her actions followed the model of her husband, for Dr. Binney's 
interest in science was nearly equalled by his involvement with the fine arts. 
He was noted for his "elegant and refined taste" and collected engravings, 
sculpture, and paintings.^^ Next to the Society of Natural History, Binney 
favored the Boston Athenaeum, of which he was a proprietor and trustee. ^^ 
He offered the Athenaeum his collection of engravings after Flemish painters 
and periodically lent his paintings by Dutch, French, and Italian artists to its 
annuals.i^ He exhibited other paintings at the Boston Art Association in 
1842.1* Binney was, moreover, particularly noted for his encouragement of 
American artists. He gave lucrative and creative commissions to such 
painters as Daniel Huntington and Emanuel Leutze, requiring only that they 
select a subject written by Americans or from American history.^' Leutze's 
well known painting. The Storming of the Teocalli by Cortez and His Troops 
(1846-49, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut), was one notable 
result. It was thus quite fitting that the commission for Binney's funerary 
monument be given to an aspiring young American artist.^o Binney probably 
knew of Crawford, for the sculptor's Orpheus (Fig. 3) had received a lavish 
reception when it was unveiled at the Boston Athenaeum, and this could not 
have escaped Binney's notice. 

Mary Ann Binney not only commissioned her husband's sepulcher, but 
she established her family's burial lot in Mount Auburn Cemetery as well. 
Immediately after Binney's death in Rome in February 1847, he was tempo- 
rarily interred in the city's venerable Protestant Cemetery, along with such 
notables as Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats.^^ Binney had realized his 
illness was fatal and made his wife promise she would not leave Rome until 
his body had been shipped back to Boston.^^ ^ seems likely that the couple 
discussed a burial at Mount Auburn, the prestigious new cemetery which 
had an additional appeal for Boston Brahmins with a Harvard connection 

166 Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

(Binney had earned his medical degree there in 1826).^ It is worth consider- 
ing that, had Binney known he was to be even temporarily interred in Rome's 
most notable cemetery, he might have wished to remain there; this was a 
tremendous honor and one that would not have gone unnoticed by his social 
circle at home. 

At any rate, when Mrs. Binney returned to Boston in the late winter of 
1847, she purchased half of a notably large double lot in Mount Auburn; the 
other half was bought on the same day by Amos Binney's sister, Mary G. P. 
Binney .24 Binney's widow reburied her husband in the east end of the lot on 
June 9, 1847.25 Later that same month the bodies of Dr. Binney's parents, 
Amos and Hannah Binney, were moved from their previous burial places to 
the Binney lot in Mount Auburn.^^ It is thus clear that Mary Ann Binney was 
eager to follow the "private cult of ancestors enshrined in carefully defined 
family burial lots," which was encouraged at Mount Auburn.^^ 

The earliest record of Crawford's work on Binney's tomb is a comical 
reference Julia made to Louisa in a letter written in April 1848, more than a 
year after the doctor's death. "Everybody asks what Crodie is doing . . . and 
I don't know what to reply - understood he intended to represent Dr. Binney 
riding on an elephant with a baby's cap on his head - epitaph Punch. Excuse 
this nonsense but I have not laughed for a year."28 

Unfortunately, nothing seems to have been recorded detailing Crawford's 
creative process for the tomb. It seems likely that he and Mary Ann Binney 
would have had a number of discussions about what she felt would be an 
appropriate commemoration. Her husband was a model of the Bostonian 
gentry class who, to paraphrase Linden- Ward's characterization of William 
Tudor, had a strong personal sense of mission to improve national and local 
culture, believing it was his duty to utilize his wealth by channeling it into 
voluntary associations meant to create high culture, such as the Society of 
Natural History and the Boston Athenaeum.^' Binney's patronage of Ameri- 
can artists in particular revealed his sense of cultural responsibility. The ideal 
Bostonian was an intellectual and/or philanthropist who diligently worked, 
without fanfare, to further the commercial, industrial, and, above all, the 
cultural eminence of the region. Binney was also a paradigm of ehte 
Bostonians who wished "to leave posterity material evidence [i.e. a funerary 

Lauretta Dimmick 167 

monument] of their social and cultural greatness, of republican political 
principles, and of citizens who distinguished themselves in areas of service 
to society ."^^ It was up to Mary Ann Binney to see this through, and she did 
so admirably. She was herself a beneficent supporter of her region's art and 
culture, and she carried on, for example, her husband's practice of loaning 
paintings to New York and Boston exhibitions.^^ 

The Binney tomb was actually quite different from most of the markers 
that were erected in Mount Auburn during its first two decades of existence. 
While most families erected a single major monument in the center of their 
family lot, most of these were simple obelisks, urns, or rectangular tombs, 
with a minimum of carving.^^ guj Crawford was a much more sophisticated 
and proficient artist than any tombstone carver available in America, and the 
Binney monument reflects his skill and creativity and Mrs. Binney's genteel 

It is composed of white Italian marble, which was of course most plentiful 
in Rome and the material of choice for the neoclassical movement. Marble 
was often employed for monuments in Mount Auburn, despite the fact that 
it was generally known that the stone was not durable, especially in northern 
climates. Nevertheless, its expense, Itahan associations, and very whiteness 
were appealing and signalled both a refined taste and the new sensibility 
toward death. Marble's spotlessness and brightness lent it an optimistic 
symbolic value.^^ It made, moreover, a striking effect in the pastoral setting 
of the cemetery. 

The large rectangular monument, with its stepped pedestal, is nine feet 
tall and over seven feet wide (Figs. 1 and 2). An inverted torch, a classical 
symbol of death, appears suspended from a large peg by knotted fillets at 
each of the four corners. On each of the opposite, major sides a single figure 
appears in a niche. A laurel wreath, another classical motif, rests on the 
cornice above each niche, to denote the virtue of the figure in the recess below. 
The monument is a grand neoclassic statement. Its suggestion of Greek and 
Roman forms would have pleased Mrs. Binney, for elite Bostonians saw 
themselves as citizens of the Athens of America.^'* As elaborate as the Binney 
tomb is, compared to its contemporaries within Mount Auburn, there is still 
a dehberate lack of ostentation, in keeping with the tenets of neoclassicism. 

168 Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

which also suited the traditional lack of conspicuous display of wealth 
characteristic of the Yankee temperament and institutionalized by the trus- 
tees of Mount Aubum.35 -j^g overall sense of simplicity was metaphoric of 
civic merit, a trait Mary Ann Binney would have been glad to advance 
concerning her husband.^^ 

The most flamboyant aspect of the monument is the dramatically ar- 
ranged shroud that drapes over the ends of the tomb, but is flung back to 
reveal figures in the niches. The drapery is a marvelous conceit for, although 
it is composed of stone, it appears to follow fluently the shape of the 
monument below, gracefully revealing its outline. The use of such mantles 
was common on funerary monuments in the nineteenth century, and 
Crawford's early mentor in New York, Launitz, incorporated them on his 
headstones (Fig. 5).^^ It is hkely that Crawford had seen, and perhaps even 
helped to carve, some of these during his years with the Frazee and Launitz 
shop. At any rate, Crawford's Binney tomb was one of the more spectacular 
uses of the motif. 

Crawford later described the monument in a list he compiled of his oeuvre: 
"It is very elaborate, and contains two figures in alto-relievo; one represent- 
ing the Spirit of the deceased ascending in Heaven, the other a female figure 
indicative of Sorrow."^^ 

In representing Binney's soul in ascent (Fig. 1), Crawford used a Christian 
motif common in European funerary sculpture in the late eighteenth and 
early nineteenth centuries. John Flaxman initiated the subject, depicting in 
his Monument to Agnes Cromwell (Fig. 6) what seems to be the living body of 
the deceased in ascent, but is meant to be understood as her soul.^' The theme 
depends on the Christian tradition of blessed souls rising to heaven on 
Judgment Day and suggests that event, whether a Biblical textual reference 
is included or not. Thus the viewer is meant to understand that the scene 
represents the deceased's soul rising to heaven immediately after death. 
Flaxman's Cromwell monument was very well known and, as Nicholas 
Penny has noted, would "prove an extraordinarily influential work, imitated 
by every major British sculptor for the following half-century ."'*° Not only 
the British emulated Flaxman, for Bertel Thorvaldsen used the motif in his 
Memorial for the Baroness Chaudoir (Fig. 7), the plaster model of which 

Lauretta Dimmick 



Fig. 5 Robert Laimitz, outline drawing of a tombstone design, taken 

from Collection of Monuments and Headstones, Designed by 

R.E. Launitz, New York (New York, 1866). 


Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

Crawford probably knew in his Danish mentor's Roman studio. Crawford's 
earlier master, Launitz in New York, also employed the convention on his 
tombstones (Fig. 8) and, again, Crawford may even have helped carve 

•ACAXD TO TBS vmmmt Of 

Jam "MUfiof mm -vnrm 


Fig. 6 John Flaxman, Monument to Agnes Cromwell, marble, 1798. 

Chichester Cathedral. Photograph (taken by Fred H. Crassly and 

Maurice H. Ridgway) courtesy of Conway Library, 

Coiu-tauld Institute of Art, London. 

Lauretta Dimmick 


Fig. 7 Bertel Thorvalden, Baroness Stanislaus Chaudoir tomb, 

marble version unlocated, plaster model, 48 1/4", 1818. 
Photograph courtesy of Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen. 

The sculptor probably suggested using this motif to Mrs. Binney. She 
clearly appreciated its message and undoubtedly took comfort in the belief 
that the patriarch of her family, shown heavenbound, awaited her and their 
family for a reunion in life beyond the grave. The image of the flight of the 
saved soul to heaven was part of New England's Puritan heritage, as 
evidenced by Increase Mather's comment in 1714 that such a vision "should 
make the Behever long for death.'"*^ 


Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 


'■^':^^. -■<'':% W- 

Fig. 8 Robert Laimitz, outline drawing of a tombstone design, 

as in Fig. 5. 

Lauretta Diminick 173 

It is interesting to note that the only overtly Christian symbols on the tomb 
are the ascending soul and the scallop shell badge that appears on the arm of 
the female mourner on the opposite side, thus identifying her as a Christian 
pilgrim. Many of Mount Auburn's early proprietors were Unitarians who 
rejected the use of traditional Christian symbolism on their monuments, for 
fear of making reference to papism.*^ Amos and Mary Ann Binney were 
members of the West Church (Unitarian) and presumably were therefore 
Unitarians.^ If so, this may be another reason why Crawford's use of 
symbols is so largely pagan. 

What is particularly interesting about the customary use of the rising soul 
subject is that it is almost always exclusively used on the tombs of women.^5 
What has not been previously noted is that when sculptors employed the 
motif, they invariably used a virtuoso manipulation of the stone to reveal the 
elegant female form through extremely sheer drapery. This approach, which 
stresses the underlying technique, is in fact a hallmark of nineteenth-century 
marble sculpture. Although Crawford applied the soul-ascent motif to 
Binney, he maintained the convention of outlining the body beneath a 
diaphanous drapery, and thereby achieved a rather novel delineation of the 
masculine form. Binne/s figure is particularly evident in a pencil drawing 
of Crawford's design (Fig. 9)^^ The doctor's left arm, pectoral muscles, waist, 
and navel are all demarcated, as is the juncture of his left leg and groin. His 
left thigh, knee, and calf are all outiined, as are the toes on both feet. 

Crawford's anomalous depiction of Binne/s form was actually a conse- 
quence of a dilemma faced universally by nineteenth-century sculptors. 
Given absolute freedom, Crawford would undoubtedly have shown Binney 
unclothed, following the example of classical sculpture in which nudity 
denoted heroicism. Neoclassical theoreticians recommended representing 
the undraped figure whenever possible, for it was considered nature's most 
noble form. The Victorian public was not, however, quite as sophisticated in 
these matters, and artists continually encountered hostility when portraying 
the nude. Perhaps the most noted example of this is the condemnation 
Horatio Greenough received for his nude image of George Washington, 
originally created for the United States Capitol rotunda. ^'7 Crawford, clearly 
attuned to this problem, was cautious not to offend public morality; his 
heroically nude Orpheus (Fig. 3), for example, demurely sports a fig leaf. His 


Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

Fig. 9 Pencil drawing of Crawford's Male Soul Ascending, 

20 X 16", c. 1850. 

Photograph courtesy of Hirschl and Adler Galleries, Inc., New York. 

Lauretta Dimmick 175 

depiction of Binney represents another solution. The figure is covered to 
satisfy the conservative pubhc (or Binney's widow); the see-through quaUty 
of the drapery, however, provides enough heroicizing anatomy to please 
even the strictest theoretician. Moreover, Crawford must have felt that he 
could not depict the doctor in nineteenth-century costume when represent- 
ing the ascent of his soul to heaven. This would have struck him — and his 
viewers — as absurd. Instead, as a compromise, he opted for the simple gown 
to portray a timeless moment. Below appears the simple inscription "AMOS. 

It seems likely that Crawford was inspired by the actual circumstances, at 
least in part, for the mourning female figure in the other niche, which he 
described as "a female figure indicative of Sorrow," very likely represents the 
widow (Fig. 2).*^ Louisa Crawford's letter, written to her sister shortly after 
Binney's death, reveals the Bostonian's dying wish that his wife take his body 
back home for burial: "Binney recovered his senses for a few moments before 
his death and . . . requested that his body should be transported to America, 
exacting a promise from his wife that she would not leave Rome until his 
remains had left."'*' Given the time needed first to locate a ship willing to 
carry such a cargo, and then for the actual crossing, this was no small matter. 
Louisa's letter continues: "He will be temporarily interred in the quiet resting 
place at Monte Testaccio [Protestant Cemetery in Rome], until they find a 
vessel willing to take charge of the case." Louisa's remarks on Mrs. Binney 
suggest the stoic, neoclassical figure that appears on the monument: "It is a 
sad event for Mrs. Binney although she bears it most heroically, and speaks 
of . . . her husband's death with the utmost composure." 

One who saw Binney's tomb noted the appropriateness of the mourner: 

Dr. Amos Binney, distinguished for his scientific acquirements and liberal 
patronage of the arts . . . left his native city of Boston in search of health . . 
. . But neither the climate of Italy, . . . nor the grateful welcome of artists 
whose works adorned his mansion at home, could stay the wasting disease. 
His decline was rapid, and at length only one remained of the two who had 
traversed the broad ocean. Crawford beautifully tells the mournful story. 
On one side is the ascending spirit, rising from the tomb, and bursting the 
cerements of the grave; on the opposite side is a female figure, completely 
shrouded, bearing an urn containing the sacred ashes. This is not merely an 
allegory: faithful to her trust, she returned with the precious remains, and 
they are deposited under the monument. ^^ 

176 Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

Stylistically, there are myriad sources for Crawford's mourner, including 
the Augustan Ara Pads, which he was able to study in Rome, and Benjamin 
Wesf s painiingoi Agrippina Landingat Brundisium with the Ashes ofGermanicus 
(1767, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven), from which he perhaps 
borrowed the shroud.^^ Undoubtedly, however, the most direct influence 
was Thorvaldsen. Compositionally, Crawford's mourner depends upon the 
female figures in both Thorvaldsen's Christian Charity (Fig. 11) and the 
Countess Josefa Borkowska tomb (Fig. 12). The proportions and posture of 
Crawford's mourner are identical to the figures in the Thorvaldsen works, 
with the minor rearrangement of hands to cover her face and hold the urn, 
which was simply symbolic of death, without specific reference to cremation. 
Crawford's figure, like those of Thorvaldsen, is sensuously revealed beneath 
sheer drapery; this is particularly evident in a drawing of Crawford's design 
(Fig. 10). Not only are her right buttock, calf, and heel outlined but, in a 
remarkable passage in stone (Figs. 13 and 14), the flexed toes of her lifted foot 
distinctly appear beneath the thin gown. This is all the more noteworthy 
because the toes are still evident despite the marble's effacement, discussed 
below. Symbol of marital fidelity, Crawford's mourner is recognized as a 
pilgrim from the shell on her arm, as mentioned above. 

Crawford's representation of the lone, grieving woman obviously ap- 
pealed to the v/idow Binney, for the cult of melancholy had been a major 
feature of New England's flowering material and literary culture during her 
lifetime.52 She undoubtedly identified with a public persona of mourner, for 
there was an elaborate ritual of mourning customs for women of her status 
to follow, including clothing and a prescribed grieving period. Later, when 
Mrs. Binney died in 1884 at the age of seventy-nine, she was interred in the 
Binney family lot she had established, even though she had remarried;^ her 
name - "MARY ANN wife of AMOS BINNEY, M.D." - and dates were 
inscribed on the monument beneath the mourner. 

It is hard to determine precisely when Crawford completed the monu- 
ment. In May 1848 he wrote to his current friend and future rival, Hiram 
Powers (1805-1873), the American sculptor living in Florence. Crawford's 
cordial letter mentioned that in the last eight months he had "been hard at 
work and have not yet finished . . . two niches for Mr. Binney' s tomb," among 

Lauretta Dimmick 


Fig. 10 Pencil drawing of Crawford's Mourner, 20 1/2 x 15 3/4", c. 1850. 
Photograph courtesy of Hirschl and Adler Galleries, Inc., New York. 


Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

Other works.54 Almost a year later, the April 1849 Bulletin of the American Art- 
Union reported: "At Rome . . . Crawford is finishing a monument to Dr. 
Binney, which is intended for Mount Auburn." ^5 

Off 1^ 

»■, ,^- 


Fig. 11 Bertel Thorvaldsen, Christian Charity, Terracotta, 26", 1810. 
Photograph courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

Laxiretta Dimmick 


Fig. 12 Bertel Thorvaldsen, Countess Jozefa Borkowska tomb, marble 

version in Dominican Church, Lvov, plaster model, 30 3/8", 1816. 

Photograph courtesy of Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen. 

If the monument was completed under Crawford's supervision, which 
seems likely, it must have been finished by early April 1849, for in that month 
Crawford, Louisa, and their two daughters sailed to America for a visit.^^ The 
sculpture was probably put on a ship after their departure. It could take 
months for freight to reach American shores, and so it is not surprising that 
in a letter dated January 31, 1850, Crawford mentioned that the monument 
"is now on its way to the United States."^^ As late as May of that year 
Crawford told Sumner that he was still awaiting news that the vessel had 
reached the United States.^^ He would not have to wait much longer; the 
New-York Commercial Advertiser reported on June 4, 1850: "We inform the 
lovers of the fine arts that another admirable work by our gifted countryman, 
Crawford . . . has arrived in this city from Rome. It has been expected for some 
time, but owing to its great size considerable difficulty occurred in finding a 
vessel at Leghorn that would receive it on board."^' The notice advised that 
the monument would soon be shipped to Boston. 


Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

Fig. 13 DetaU of Fig. 2. 

Laiuetta Dinunick 


Fig. 14 Detail of Fig. 2. 

182 Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

Crawford planned to be present when the monument was unveiled in 
Mount Auburn Cemetery. He told his wife in a letter dated July 2, 1850, that 
he had just written Mrs. Binney "requesting her to have all arrangements 
ready at Mt. Auburn as early as the 8th so that I shall only be delayed in Boston 
just long enough to be present while the Sculpture is being placed upon its 
Base."^ Crawford had announced to Mrs. Binney "my intention of leaving 
on the 20th [of July]" for, as his impatient letter continues to his wife, he was 
hoping to depart for Rome from New York on July 25. Crawford should be 
excused for his apparent indifference to the Binney tomb, for his visit to the 
United States had proven to be enormously fortuitous. Soon after arriving, 
he learned by chance of a competition sponsored by the state of Virginia for 
a monument to commemorate George Washington. For years Crawford, Uke 
every American sculptor at the time, had been contemplating a memorial to 
the nation's first president. He had quickly modeled an equestrian group 
based upon his earlier ideas to submit to the committee. In February 1850 
Crawford was awarded the prestigious commission, to be known as the 
Virginia Washington Monument. ^^ He wanted to hurry back to Rome to get 
started on his largest and most important commission to date. It marked the 
beginning of Crawford's rise to eminence as a sculptor of pubUc monuments. 
A few years later, in 1853, he was asked to design a pediment for the new 
senate wing of the United States Capitol. The success he achieved with this 
sculpture (The Progress of Civilization, 1853-61) led to first one and then 
another commission for the new extensions underway at that time, so that, 
had his life not been cut short by cancer, Crawford would almost certainly 
have been the Capitol's official sculptor. ^^ 

Unfortunately there is no record of whether or not Crawford was present 
at the unveiling of the Binney monument in Mount Auburn Cemetery, which 
took place in July 1850.^^ ^ perusal of the Boston Daily Evening Transcript for 
the period in question found no mention of the tomb's inauguration.*'* It is 
distressing to think that the sculptor never saw his only sepulchral sculpture 
in its magnificent setting within Mount Auburn. On a later visit to the United 
States, in 1856, he wrote his wife of his plans to go to Mount Auburn the next 
day but, characteristic of the energetic artist, this was to see about another 
possible commission.*^ j^g ^^g always rushed and seemingly never had time 

Lauretta Dimmick 


to look back; this is the impression his letters give. At any rate, a vintage 
photograph (Fig. 15) gives an idea of the monument's appearance at that 
time, complete with its protective ornate wrought iron fence. 

Fig. 15 Vintage photograph of Binney Monument, c. 1855. 

184 Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

Crawford's only realized funerary monument was assessed by his con- 
temporaries as a "work of rare merit, honorable to the reputation of the 
successful competitor of the Virginia Washington Monument."^^ Located in 
the center of the huge Binney family plot at the summit of a hill just off Fir 
Avenue between Heath and Columbine Paths, the highly visible sepulcher 
immediately became one of the celebrated features of the cemetery, known 
as "the splendid mausoleum of two fronts to Dr. Binney."^^ The neoclassical 
tomb is an iconographic recapitulation of the period with the ascending soul, 
mourning pilgrim, shroud, inverted torches, and laurel wreaths. Interest- 
ingly, the wreath surmounting Binney's soul effigy is partially covered by the 
mantle; this may suggest that death has partly concealed the doctor's virtu- 
ous life. The chaste, classic monument is itself a paradigm of an ideal marker 
for a Brahmin tomb, for it proclaims the individual and captures the "genteel 
tastes, romantic idealism, and intention to fashion a usable republican past 
through forms borrowed from the heights of civilization."^^ It must have 
been particularly satisfying to Mrs. Binney to realize that she had so wisely 
selected Crawford and that he had achieved her artistic goals. Proud 
Bostonians had planned Mount Auburn from the beginning as a sort of 
outdoor art museum, another instance of their position as leader of national 

Although the eloquent tomb is one of the outstanding monuments in 
Mount Auburn Cemetery, it has been ravaged by the harsh, northern climate 
and acid rain. The overall surface of the marble has cracked and eroded. 
Certain areas are more damaged than others; for example, parts of the fingers 
of the mourner's hands (Fig. 16) are broken away. Photographs of the 
monument from the 1940s (Figs. 17 and 18) demonstrate that the worst 
damage is recent.^*' The mourner's urn, for instance, has lost its handle and 
polished si'"face; the shell on her arm is now missing its corrugation; the 
distinct folds of the veil atop her head have disappeared; and the tassel that 
originally hung from the drapery below the urn has vanished. The sandal 
that once appeared beneath the sole of her left foot is missing. Crawford's 
signature — "T. Crawford. Fecit." — which occurs on the pedestal on this side, 
is almost completely eradicated; it can be discerned only in a raking light. 

On the opposite side, where the exposure is southern, even more damage 

Laxiretta Dimmick 


Fig. 16 Detail of Fig. 2. 


Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

Fig. 17 Photograph of Bmney Monument, taken in 1940s. 

Lauretta Dimmick 


has occurred. The thumb and fingers of Binne/s left hand are broken off. A 
recent detail (Fig. 19) reveals that the face, particularly the nose and mouth, 
is nearly lost. Ironically, another nineteenth-century marble monument for 
a Binney family member in a different lot was so battered by the elements that 
it had to be removed in the 1930s.'''i The Amos Binney monument desperately 
needs conservation. The most crucial requirement is to clean, consolidate, 
and seal the marble surface. Once that is achieved, a structure should be 
placed around it to shield it from winter winds and snow and acid rain.'^^ It 
would be well to have a replica made, to record, at the very least, how 
Crawford's only funerary monument appeared at the end of the twentieth 

Fig. 18 Photograph of Binney Monument, taken in 1940s. 


Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

Fig. 19 Detail of Fig. 1. 

Laixxetta Dimmick 189 

As mentioned above, it seems inconceivable tiiat Crawford missed seeing 
his Binney tomb in place either in 1850 or on his third journey home in 1856. 
The 1856 trip was his most triumphant visit to the Uruted States; he was at the 
height of his fame with his Capitol sculptures and the Virginia Washington 
Monument all in progress. Tragically, however, this journey proved to be the 
sculptor's final voyage home, for later that year he was stricken with eye 
cancer. Despite valiant medical attempts to cure him in Rome, Paris, and 
London, Crawford died on October 16, 1857, in his early forties. His body, 
like Binne/s ten years earlier, was taken home by his mourning widow. 
Although there were plans to mark his burial spot with a suitable sculpture, 
in the end it remained unadorned.^^ His unmarked grave in Brooklyn's 
Greenwood Cemetery, without a stone or inscription of any kind to denote 
his meteoric journey from humble origin to world-class artist, thus stands in 
marked contrast to the beautiful white Italian marble marker that he created 
to grace the Binney family lot in Mount Auburn Cemetery. 


For biographical information on Crawford see George Washington Greene, Biographi- 
cal Studies (New York, 1860), 121-154; Thomas Hicks, Thomas Crawford: His Career, 
Character, and Works. A Eulogy . . ., Read Before the Century Club in New York . . . January 
26, 1858 (New York, 1858); Robert L. Gale, Thomas Crawford, American Sadptor 
(Pittsburgh, 1964); and Lauretta Dimmick, "A Catalogue of the Portrait Busts and Ideal 
Works of Thomas Crawford (1813? - 1857), American Sculptor in Rome," Ph.D. diss., 
Univ. of Pittsburgh, 1986. 

According to Crawford's early friend in Rome, George Washington Greene, one of 
Crawford's "cherished hopes [was] . . . erecting, at his own expense, a monument to 
[Shelley, to replace] . . . the simple slab that covers his ashes. 'I have been too busy thus 
far,' he said to his sister... Ijutas soon as this pressureisover, I will put up a monument 
to Shelley and a slab upon the house of Thorvaldsen'" (Greene, Biographical Studies 
[note 1], 151-2). Crawford had plans for at least one, and possibly two, other 
monuments. One was for the Burd family for St. Stephen's Church in Philadelphia. 
Crawford's composition, which he described as "A large design for a Family monu- 
ment, composed of 5 figures" (Crawford to William F. Ritchie, Jan. 31, 1850, as 
published in The Literary World [Mar. 2, 1850] 207) was ultimately rejected and 
Wolgerbon Steinhausen got the commission instead (see Crawford to Charles Sumner, 
May 13, 1849, Crawford Papers, Archives of American Art; Sumner to Crawford, Jan. 
15, 1850; and Henry Kirke Brown Papers, Library of Congress, Feb. 4, 1849). The other 
possible Crawford monument was a work he mentioned to Charles Sumner in 1842 as 
"a large bas-relief commemorative [or, "monumental"?] for Mr. Tiffany of Baltimore 

190 Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

containing seven figures and illustrating Tead us into Life everlasting"' (Crawford to 
Sumner, Jan. 4, 1842. The Crawford letters cited in this note and others are at Houghton 
Library, Harvard University [which has granted permission for publication], unless 
otherwise specified). The Tiffany for whom Crawford had produced other works (i.e. 
copies of Thorvaldsen's Day and Night and a statuette of Cupid in Contemplation, [see 
Dimmick, note 1, 401-05, 366-75]) was probably George Peabody Tiffany (1828-1886), 
the Baltimore cotton manufacturer. When Sumner later cited the work in an article on 
Crawford, he added, "It is understood that this is intended for a monument" (Sumner, 
"Crawford's 'Orpheus'," The United States Magazine and Democratic Review XII [May, 
1843], 454). It is therefore not clear whether this bas-relief was funerary, although 
Crane states it was (Sylvia Crane, White Silence, Greenough, Powers, and Crawford, 
American Sculptors in Nineteenth-Century Italy [ Coral Gables, Florida, 1972], 308). I 
doubt that it was, for Tiffany died in 1886 and his wife, Anne Dickey Thomdike, died 
in 1909; according to James Van Daniker of Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore 
(telephone conversation with author, Feb. 1, 1989), neither of their headstones has a 
bas-relief design. Their three children all lived well into the twentieth century. I am 
grateful to F. P. O'Neill, Reference Librarian of the Maryland Historical Society, for 
assistance with the children's life dates (letter to author, July 17, 1991). 

3. On Frazee see National Portrait Gallery, John Frazee, 1790-1852, Sculptor, exhibition 
catalogue, Smithsonian Institution, (Washington, D.C., 1986). On Launitz see Truman 
H. Bartlett, "Early Settler Memorials: Robert E. Launitz," American Architect and 
Building News XXII (Aug. 6 and Sept. 3, 1887), 59-61 and 107-109. 

4. On Winckelmann see David Irwin, ed., Winckelmann, Writings on Art (London, 1972); 
for his emphasis on Rome see 98. 

5. For more information on the lure of Italy to American artists see Dimmick (note 1 ), 77 
n. 45. For the influence of Italy on Crawford's art, see Lauretta Dimmick, "Veiled 
Memories, or, Thomas Crawford in Rome," The Italian Presence in American Art, 1760- 
1860, Irma B. Jaffa, ed., (Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome, 1989), 176-194. 

6. Crawford to Launitz, June 27, 1837, as published in Robert L. Launitz, "Reminiscences 
of Crawford," The Crayon VI (Jan. 1859) 28. On Thorvaldsen see two 1977 exhibition 
catalogues, Kunsthalle, Cologne: Bertel Thorvaldsen: Untersuchungen, zu seinem Werk 
und zur Kunst seiner Zeit and Bertel Thorvaldsen, Skidpturen, Modelle, Bozzelti, 
Handzeichnungen. For his influence on American artists in particular, see Lauretta 
Dimmick, "Mythic Proportions: Bertel Thorvaldsen's Influence in America," in 
Thorvaldsen, I'Ambiente, ITnflusso, il Mito, Patrick Kragelund and Mogen Nykjaer, eds., 
Analecta Romana Instituti Danici, Supplementum XVIII (Rome, 1991), 169-191. 

7. Cra wfc . d, for example, made busts of Isaac Hull, Matthias Bruen, and Mrs. John James 
Schermerhorn and copied Demosthenes, Homer, and Cicero (see Dimmick [note 1], 156- 
57; 121-25; 195-98; 406-18; 493-95 and 360-64 respectively). 

8. On Orpheus, see Lauretta Dimmick, "Thomas Crawford's Orpheus: the American 
Apollo Belvedere," The American Art Journal XIX (1987) 46-84. 

9. There are other Crawford sculptures in Boston as well, including Charles Sumner bust 
and Venus as Shepherdess at the Museum of Fine Arts; Anacrcon, Adam and Eve, Christian 
Pilgrim, and a plaster bust oijosiah Quincy at the Boston Athenaeum; and a replica of 

Lauretta Dinunick 191 

the Sumner bust at the Massachusetts Historical Society. By extension, in Cambridge, 
are Crawford's George Washington Greene bust, Sappho and Excelsior at the Longfellow 
National Historic Site, and marble and plaster busts (originally there were two 
plasters, one is now lost) oijosiah Quincy at Harvard University. The Museum of Our 
National Heritage owns Crawford's bust of George Washington; the Essex Institute in 
Salem owns his bust of Leuerett Saltonstall; the Worcester Art Museum has his Boy 
Playing Marbles; his bust of James Arnold, a prominent New Bedford business man, is 
at the New Bedford Free Library; and his David and Goliath is in a private collection. 
In addition to these known works, a sizeable number of unlocated statues were once 
owned by Bostonians, including the bust of Charles Brooks, formerly in the Massachu- 
setts State House but now lost, and Cupid in Contemplation, Huntress, Mercury and 
Psyche, Pilgrim David, Shepherdess, Glory to God in the Highest, two copies of a bust of 
Medora, and busts of Sappho, Vestal and Orpheus. 

10. Julia Ward Howe to Louisa Ward Crawford, Aug. 1846. See also Julia's letters to 
Louisa of Sept. 29, 1846, and Nov. 16, [1846] (Crawford letters, note 2). 

11. Biographical information on Binney is taken from Augustus A. Gould, "Memoir" in 
Amos Binney, The Terrestrial Air-Breathing Mollusks of the United States ... 3 vols. 
(Boston, 1851), xi-xxix; Foster W. Russell, Mount Auburn Biographies (Cambridge, 
Mass., c. 1953), 18; and Gmealogy of the Binney Family in the United States, collected by 
Charles J. F. Binney (Albany, 1886). On Binney's father. Col. Amos Binney, who was 
a developer of East Cambridge, see Susan E. Maycock, East Cambridge (revised ed. of 
Report 1: East Cambridge . . . [Cambridge, 1965] Cambridge, 1989). 

12. See note 11. 

13. Mary Binney Wakefield, Amos Binney's great-granddaughter, to author in conversa- 
Hon, Oct. 17, 1988. 

14. Louisa Ward Crawford to Julia Ward Howe, Feb. 18, 1847 (Crawford letters, note 2). 

15. See Gould (note 11), xii, xvi, xxvii-xxix. 

16. Josiah Quincy, The History of the Boston Athenaaim . . . (Cambridge, Mass., 1851), 181 
and 250. 

17. Ibid. 170, for his engravings. On the paintings he lent, see Robert F. Perkins, Jr., and 
William J. Gavin III, comps. and eds.. The Boston Athenaeum, Art Exhibition Index, 1827- 
1874 (Boston, 1980), 182. 

18. James L. Yarnall and William H. Gerdts, The National Museum of American Art's Index 
to American Art Exhibition Catalogues, 6 vols. (Boston, 1986) VI, entries 36927, 62696, 

19. Genealogy (note 11), 131-32. Binney also ordered paintings from Luther Terry and 
Peter Frederick Rothermel (Gould [note 11], xxviii). The resulting paintings were cited 
as Huntington's Henry VIII and Catherine Parr; Terry's / Think from William H. 
Prescott's Ferdinand and Isabella; Noche Trieste by Rothermel from Prescotf s Conquest 
of Mexico; and Leutze's Spaniards Storming a Mexican Teocalli from the same history. 
The fact that Huntington's theme was not American was not explained. The current 

192 Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

whereabouts of these paintings is unknown except for the Leutze. 

20. According to Gould (note 11, xxviii), Binney had given commissions to Crawford, 
Hiram Powers and other unnamed sculptors. In my extensive research of Crawford, 
however, I found no reference to a commission from Binney. Binney intended to visit 
Powers in Florence on his last trip abroad, for John Bartlett, a naturalist from 
Cincinnati, wrote a letter of introduction for Binney to Powers on Oct. 5, 1846. There 
is no record in the Powers archive that Binney ever ordered a work from Powers. I am 
grateful for this information to Richard P. Wunder (letter, Jan. 23, 1989). 

21. Louisa Ward Crawford (note 14). 

22. Ibid. 

23. See Blanche Linden-Ward, Silent City on a Hill, Landscapes of Memory and Boston's Mount 
Auburn Cemetery (Columbus, Ohio, 1989), 187-88. 

24. I am grateful to Kathleen Leslie, Archivist of Mount Auburn, for providing me with 
information from the cemetery's records (telephone conversation, July 25, 1991). Ms. 
Leslie noted that the Binney lots were remarkably large. Mary Ann Binney and Mary 
G. P. Binney purchased lots 1390 and 1391 on Nov. 15, 1847, even though the bodies 
of Amos Binney and his parents had been reburied there in June 1847. 

25. Date provided by Leslie (note 24); for location, see Genealogy, (note 11), 133. 

26. Leslie (note 24). 

27. Linden-Ward (note 23), 226 and see also 217 and 228. Mary Ann Binney had her son 
John buried in the lot when he died in 1851 at the age of 20 (Leslie [note 24]). 

28. Julia Ward Howe to Louisa Ward Crawford, April 18, 1848 (Crawford letters, note 2). 

29. Linden-Ward (note 23), 117. 

30. Ibid., 116. 

31. See Yamall and Gerdts (note 18), entry 47322 and Perkins and Gavin (note 17), 182. 
Mrs. Binney commanded a sizeable fortune, estimated at $100,000, see The Rich Men 
of Massachusetts: Containing a Statement of the Reported Wealth of about Two Thousand 
Persons . . . (Boston, 1852), 15. 

32. Judge Joseph Story, for example, erected an obelisk on his lot, and Jacob Bigelow a 
broken column, see Linden- Ward (note 23), 219-221. 

33. Ibid., 217-18 and 328. 

34. Ibid., 225. 

35. Ibid., 327. 

36. Ibid., 114. 

Lauretta Dimmick 193 

37. Launitz later published a book of his tombstone designs. Collection of Monuments and 
Headstones, Designed byR. E. Launitz, New York (New York, 1866). Several of the outline 
drawings include shrouds. 

38. Crawford compiled his list in January 1850 for William F. Ritchie, who was a member 
of the Virginia committee charged with commissioning a monument to George 
Washington for Capitol Square in Richmond (see The Literary World [note 2]). 

39. For a discussion of the rise of this motif in funerary sculpture, see H. W. Janson, 
"Thorvaldsenand England," inBertelThorvaldsen, Untersuchungen . . . (note 6), 107-128. 
Janson noted that this funerary motif was probably originally linked with the concept 
of the human soul advanced by the Swedish visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (Ibid., 
111). There is no evidence to suggest that either Crawford or Binney were 
Swedenborgians but, as Janson further remarked, the motif became so common that 
most people were not even "aware of the Swedenborgian origin of the image." 

40. Nicholas Penny, Church Monuments in Romantic England (New Haven, 1977), 95-97. 
Penny traced some uses of the theme (215, n. 52). In addition to the ones he cited are 
Matthew Cotes W/ayatifsMonutnent to the Fifth Duchess of Rutland 1828, Belvoir Castle, 
Leicestershire; Giovanni Dupre's Tomb ofFiorella Favard, 1877, Villa Favard, Florence 
(for illustrations of these see H. W. Janson, Nineteenth-Century Sculpture [New York, 
1985], Figs 69 and 174); Randolph Rogers,/. W. Waterman Monument, c. 1868,Elmwood 
Cemetery, Detroit (illustrated in William H. Gerdts, American Neoclassic Sadpture 
[New York, 1973] 61). (Rogers repeated his use of the composition at least twace: for 
his monument to Anne Nicolson in Chiseldon, England see Penny, 215 n. 52, and 
another copy was eventually placed upon his own tomb in Rome's Campo Verano 
{Gerdts, 61]); and an unidentified tomb in Pere Lachaise signed 'Teisard Feet. 1839." 

41. See note 37. 

42. Cited in Linden-Ward (note 23), 131. 

43. Ibid., 222. 

44. Binney Genealogy (note 11) and Harold F. Worthley, An Inventory of the Records of the 
Particular (Congregational) Churches of Massachusetts Gathered 1620-1805 (Cambridge, 
1970), 33. 

45. Janson (note 39), 1 1 0. Janson noted that up to the late eighteenth century women rarely 
received their own monuments unless their high social rank demanded it, in which 
case their virtues could be indicated by standard iconographic devices used for males. 
As more women with less distinction were memorialized by the late eighteenth 
century, their tombs began to focus on their soul's resurrection, what Janson called "a 
program of last resort" (Ibid., 110). Thus, the rising soul motif became the perfect 
solution to commemorating any pious - if not distinctive - person. 

46. The drawings illustrated in Figs. 9 and 10 are from an album of thirty-seven drawings 
which Crawford probably assembled as a portfolio of his work; all of the drawings 
were done by professional draftsmen. The album is currently owned by Hirschl and 
Adler Galleries in New York. I am grateful to Susan Menconi for her assistance in this 

194 Crawford's Monument for Amos Binney 

47. Greenough's statue, produced between 1832 and 1841, is in the collection of the 
National Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C, but is on loan 
to the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. On the 
monument and its reception, see Alexander H. Everett, "Horatio Greenough's Statue 
of Washington," The United States Magazine and Democratic Review XTV (June 1844), 
618-21; George C. Hazel ton, Jr., The National Capitol . . . (New York, 1897), 74-79; Wayne 
Craven, "Horatio Greenough's Statue of Washington and Phidias' Olympian Zeus," 
The Art Quarterly XXVI (1963) 429-440; and Nathalia Wright, Horatio Greenough, the 
First American Sculptor (Philadelphia, 1963), 74, 85, 97, 101, 102, 106-10^. 

48. Crawford to Ritchie (note 38). 

49. Louisa Ward Crawford (note 14). 

50. HarmahFamhamLee, Familiar Sketches of Sculpture and Sculptors 2vols. (Boston, 1854) 

51. Crawford would have known West's painting at least as an engraving by Richard 
Earlom (1776), see Helmut von Erffa and Allen Staley, The Paintings of Benjamin YJest 
(New Haven, 1986), 179. 

52. Linden-Ward, (note 23), 131-32. 

53. Mary Ann Binney married George Hay ward after Binne/s death. See Leslie, (note 24). 

54. Crawford to Hiram Powers, May 14, 1848 (Powers Papers, Archives of American Art, 
Roll 1133, frame 180). Crawford also mentioned "a full-length statue" (perhaps the 
Flora, modeled 1847, translated into marble by 1853, Newark Museum), and "a group 
of two figures" (perhaps Apollo and Diana, modeled 1847, translated 1848, Morse 
Gallery of Art, Winter Park, Florida). 

55. "Fine-Art Gossip," Bulletin of the American Art-Union II (April 1849) 21. 

56. Gale (note 1), 67. 

57. Crawford to Ritchie, The Literary World (notes 2 and 38). 

58. Crawford to Charles Sumner, May 24, 1850. 

59. "Monumental Sculpture," New-York Commercial Advertiser, (June 4, 1850), 2. 

60. Crawford to Louisa Ward Crawford, July 2, 1850 (Crawford Papers, Archives of 
American Art). 

61. See note 38 and Lauretta Dimmick, "Thomas Crawford's Virginia Washington Monu- 
ment," American Art Journal, in press. 

62. On Crawford's statue of Freedom that surmounts the Capitol dome, see Lauretta 
Dimmick, 'Thomas Crawford's Freedom: the Central Statue in the Republic," U.S. 
Capitol Historical Society, in press. On his other Capitol commissions, see Hazelton 
(note 47); Glen Brown, History of the United States Capitol 2 vols. (Washington, D.C. 

Lauretta Dimmick 195 

1900); Charles E. Fairman, Works of Art in the United States Capitol Building (Washing- 
ton, D.C., 1913) and Art and Artists of the Capitol of the United States of America 
(Washington, D.C., 1927); I. T. Frary, They Built the Capitol (Richmond, Va., 1940); 
Architect of the Capitol, Compilations of VJorks of Art . . . in the United States Capitol 
(Washington, D.C., 1976 and 1978); and Gale (note 1), 3, 49, 65, 72, 98, 111-112, 118^. 

63. Once Binney's remains arrived home, "funeral services were held ... in Boston He 

was buried at Mt. Auburn Cemetery, in the large lot of that family, in the east end of 
the lot. The beautiful and costly marble cenotaph, made by Crawford, in Rome, by the 
direction of Mrs. Binney, was subsequently placed in the center of the lot, in July 1850" 
(Genealogy [note 11], 133). 

64. I am grateful to Estelle Neas, formerly of the Denver Art Museum, for searching the 

65. Crawford to Louisa Crawford, July 28, 1856, Archives of American Art. He was 
(successfully) pursuing a commission for a sculpture of /flmesOh's for Mount Auburn's 
Bigelow Chapel. 

66. "Monumental Sculpture," Boston Daily Evaiing Transcript, June 5, 1 850, 2. 1 am grateful 
to Colonel Merl Moore for bringing this reference to my attention. 

67. See R. L. Midgley, Sights in Boston and Suburbs, or Guide to the Stranger (Boston, 1856), 
148, and David Pulsifer, Guide to Boston and Vicinity . . . (Boston, 1868), 215. 

68. Linden- Ward (note 23), 321. 

69. Ibid., 342, see also 128, 309 and 311. 

70. I am grateful to Jean Rosenberg, formerly of the staff of Mount Auburn, for providing 
me with prints of the vintage photos of the Binney monument (Figs. 15, 17, and 18). 

71. Henry Dexter's (1806-1876) monument for Emily Binney, the daughter of Amos 
Binney's cousin, Charles, was the first marble statue carved in New England and the 
first work to go into Mount Auburn (1842). The monument was already badly 
damaged by 1860, at which time it was enclosed in a glass case. The weathering 
continued, however, and it was removed from the cemetery in 1934 (see Binney [note 
11], 135) and Wayne Craven, Sculpture in America [New York, 1968, reprinted 1984], 
193-4). For an illustration of Emily's tomb see Frederic A. Sharf, "The Garden 
Cemetery and American Sculpture: Mount Auburn," Art Quarterly XXIV (Spring 
1961), Figs, land 2. 

72. Two prominent New England object conservators, Arthur Beale and Jean-Louis 
Lechevre, have looked at the Binney monument and made this recommendation. 

73. Gale (note 1 ), 1 87 cites the New York Evening Post (Dec. 5, 1 857) as saying that a "suitable 
monument will soon be erected." In fact, however, no marker was ever put up. 


Mormon Tombstone Art 

Fig. 1 Sketch of the Nauvoo Illinois Temple, with starstones 

above pilasters, sunstone capitals, and moonstone base. 

(L.D.S. Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.) 



George H. Schoemaker 

The Russian ethnographer, Sergei Tokarev, states that, "A material object 
cannot interest the ethnographer unless he considers its social existence, its 
relationship to man."i This article will consider tombstone art of Utah in 
terms of its social and cultural contexts. It will examine how tombstone art 
was directly irtQuenced by the iconography of the Nauvoo and Salt Lake 
Temples, temples whose symbols were acculturated from outside cultural 
ir\fluences and transformed within the Mormon cultural context; and it will 
also suggest possible reasons why such acculturation was necessary for 
members of the Mormon culture during its early development. 

The term acculturation is commonly used in two ways. On an individual 
level it can mean the process a person goes through in adapting to a culture 
other than the one in which he or she was raised. This process is similar in 
many respects to what sociologists call resocialization. Acculturation can 
also be applied to entire cultures. In this sense, acculturation refers to the 
massive borrowing of cultural components by one group living in close 
proximity and having prolonged contact with another group. In this article, 
I will use the latter sense of the word. 

To date research in Mormon tombstone studies has dealt primarily with 
descriptive or biographical accounts of stonecarvers, as in the work of Austin 
and Alta Fife, Hal Cannon, and Carol Edison. Other studies have included an 
interpretive framework, or what Clifford Geertz calls "thick description," 
that is, description which explains and attempts interpretation, one which 
searches for the meanings of certain forms of cultural expression. Works 
which have accompUshed this task deal with cross-cultural comparisons, as 
in the work of Keith Cunningham on Zuni, Navajo, and Mormon funerary 
ceremonies in the Southwest; symbolic transformations, as in the work of 
Richard Poulsen; and my work dealing with changes within Mormon culture 
which directly affected stonecarving as an art form.^ The following article 

198 Mormon Tombstone Art 

represents yet another search for meaning within the Mormon cultural 

The sojourn of the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois, during the years 1839- 
1846 represented a transitional period in their history. After their expulsion 
from Missouri by persecuting mobs, Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, led 
his adherents to the banks of the Mississippi River and founded a city called 
Nauvoo, the city beautiful. Of primary importance was the construction of 
the Nauvoo Temple, the envisioned New Jerusalem. A more immediate 
concern, however, was to temper the growing antagonism of outsiders 
towards Latter-day Saints and their unorthodox beliefs and practices. One 
solution to the growing antagonism was to petition for Masonic charters in 
Nauvoo. It was thought by church leadership that such a move might prevent 
the violent Missouri incidents from recurring, for many high ranking govern- 
ment officials in the state were Masons and as such "were bound by oath to 
defend its members."^ 

Masonry was not anathema to most of the leadership of the church. 
Joseph Smith's older brother, Hyrum, became a Mason at Victor, New York, 
in 1827, and Heber C. Kimball, an early Mormon apostle, joined and received 
the first three degrees of Freemasonry at Milnor as early as 1823 during 
Joseph's teenage years."* Indeed, even after the church had been in operation 
for two years, one Mormon historian writes, "By the end of 1832, Joseph 
Smith had welcomed new brethren, along with their influences, into the 
Church. Men such as W.W. Phelps, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and 
Newel K. Whitney . . . had been deeply involved in Masonry. . . before their 
entrance into the Church."^ 

By October 15, 1841, a Masonic lodge was established at Nauvoo and in 
subsequent months was extremely active, recruiting and initiating over two 
hundred candidates. By March 15, 1842, Joseph Smith became a Master 
Mason, and a few months later on May 4, 1842, "Joseph introduced the 
endowment ceremony to his trusted circle of friends in the upper story of his 
red brick store."^ The similarities between the Mormon Temple Endowment 
ceremony and the Masonic ceremony cannot be considered coincidental. 

The Masonic influence on the Mormon church was evident even much 
earher than the Nauvoo period, but did not reach its apex until Joseph Smith 

George H. Schoemaker 


became a Master Mason and had introduced the Temple Endowment. The 
architecture of the early Mormon temples attests to this point. While the 
exteriors of these temples were replete with Masonic symbols, the interiors 
of the Kirkland, Ohio, and Nauvoo temples functioned more or less as 
meetinghouses and sacred space for fundamental ordinances and was not 
equipped to perform the newer, more complex endowment ceremony. Mark 
Hamilton suggests that the definition of temple space had not been fully 
worked out in the Kirkland, Ohio, and the Nauvoo Temples as it would be 
later in the Salt Lake Temple (Fig. 1).^ 

The Masonic influence on Mormon architecture during the Kirkland 
and Nauvoo periods is unmistakable, especially in the area of iconography. 
Symbolic representations include the sunstone, the moonstone, starstones, 
and the all-seeing eye (Fig. 2). The rich significance of the symbols on the 
Nauvoo Temple pales, however, when compared with the Salt Lake Temple. 

Fig. 2 Close-up of sunstone capitaL Nauvoo, Illinois. 


Mormon Tombstone Art 

The Nauvoo temple was completed in 1845, a year after the death of 
Joseph Smith. The minor attempt at assimilation into mid- western American 
culture had failed, and the Saints would be forced to leave Nauvoo and begin 
their trek west. In 1847 the Mormon pioneers arrived at what was eventually 
to be called the Great Salt Lake valley. As they had done on the two previous 
occasions, under the visionary direction of Brigham Young the Latter-day 
Saints began construction of the Salt Lake Temple in 1853 (Fig. 3). 

Fig. 3 The Salt Lake Temple. Salt Lake City, Utah. 

George H. Schoemaker 


Fig. 4 Early drawing of the plans for the Salt Lake City Temple by 
Tniman O. Angell. (L.D.S. Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.) 

Brigham Young appointed Truman D. Angell as the church architect and 
sent him to France and England to study the great architectural edifices. In 
addition to the Masonic influences of the Nauvoo period, other influences 
responsible for the Temple's iconographc scheme probably included Brigham 
Young's interest in astronomy, Truman D. Angell and his formal architec- 
tural training, and Orson Pratt, "a professor of astronomy at the University 
of Nauvoo and later at the University of Deseret (University of Utah)."^ The 
working out of the iconography and its integration into Mormon idealogy 
probably developed largely because of these influences (Figs. 4 and 5). 

202 Mormon Tombstone Art 

Labor on the Salt Lake Temple was donated by official church callings 
extended to those who had the requisite skills. Among the craftsmen were 
stonecutters, either those who worked in the quarries or those who did the 
actual carving and shaping of the temple blocks. It is not surprising that after 
having completed their work allotment many of the stonecutters went into 
the monument business. Carol Edison recently described the work of four 
English stonecarvers who began as workers on the Salt Lake Temple.' In an 
interview which I conducted with Arthur Child, of Springville, Utah, Child 
described how his great-grandfather, Thomas, was employed in the con- 
struction of the Salt Lake Temple. Thomas transported the granite blocks 
from Parley's Canyon to the Salt Lake Temple site. He also worked in the 
quarry and developed an interest in stonecutting. 

The grain became a big deal - it wasn't long 'till you learnt that the grain was 
a lot like - have you ever watched - 1 doubt it, you're - maybe you're too 
young even for this, but when I was a young man they used to have iceboxes 
not fridges not electric regrigerators, and I used to, [pause] it intrigued me 
to watch the iceman go out there and break up the ice, 'cause when he hit 
it in certain areas, he could break very square blocks, very neat sizes. And 
granite, I noticed, and not sandstone incidentally, but granite and marble 
both had this same, ah, consistency that you could control the way it was 
going to break, by very careful planning. They [early stonecutters] must 
have learnt this, [because] they come back and proceeded to use the trade 
they had used in building the temple to start the monument business.-^^ 

Symbols on the Salt Lake Temple included the all-seeing eye of God, a 
dominant icon on many other buildings in Utah such as the Manti and St. 
George Tabernacles (Figs. 6 and 7). 

The all-seeing eye may have represented God's omnipresence, his divine 
protection or the place where God's truth is seen.^i However, because of its 
acculturation into Mormonism, the all-seeing eye also retained "its exoteric 
meaning; that is, members of another culture or subculture to whom the eye 
represents religious or philosophical meaning may, to an extent, understand 
at least the power and importance of the symbol." At the same time, the eye, 
and other acculturated symbols for that matter, would also have an esoteric 
meaning which outsiders would not understand because "they are removed 
socially and psychologically from this particular belief system."^^ Some of 
the most unique nineteenth-century Mormon tombstones I have encoun- 
tered during several months of fieldwork in several regions of Utah have 

George H. Schoemaker 


representations of the all-seeing eye, as for example on a tombstone found in 
Brigham City, Utah (Fig. 8). 

The earthstones, moonstones, and sunstones of the Salt Lake Temple 
represent the Mormon conception of the tri-partite heavenly kingdom.^^ The 
earthstones designate the telestial kingdom or the least glorious kingdom. 
Fifty carved moonstones represent the entire lunar cycle, symbolize the 
terrestrial kingdom, and, it has also been suggested, represent the cycle of 
death and rebirth. i^ The sunstones signify the celestial kingdom, the highest 
attainable kingdom in Mormon cosmology, as well as representing God. The 
satum stones represent Kolob, the resting place of God, and may have been 
borrowed from a contemporary philosopher whom Joseph Smith admired.^^ 
The star configurations represent the heavens. 


Fig.5 Early drawing of the plans for the Salt Lake City Temple by 
Truman O. Angell. (L.D.S. Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.) 


Mormon Tombstone Art 

Fig. 6 Manti Tabernacle plaque, 1879, Manti, Utah. 

Fig. 7 Interior of St. George Tabernacle with all-seeing eye, 1875. 

George H. Schoemaker 


Fig. 8 James Albon stone, 1870, Brigham City, Utah. 

The cloud stones of the Salt Lake Temple were originally supposed to be 
depicted "with a hand, coming from the cloud, holding a trumpet or horn 
similar to the hands of the Nauvoo sun stones .... However, with the shift 
to granite, the stones were simplified and reduced in number."!^ In a sense 
the cloud stones represent the veil between heaven and earth, the veil 
between God (sunstones) and humankind. Allen D. Roberts writes: 


Mormon Tombstone Art 

Two principal ideas conveyed by clouds are: (1) the presence of God who, 
not showing himself fully, meets man or converses with him from a hidden 
medium . . . and (2) the dark veil of ignorance, sin, disbelief and disobedi- 
ence which covers the mind of man. The Salt Lake Temple clouds seem to 
depict both of these meanings.^^ 

Similarly, tombstones in Utah have representations of hands descending 
from clouds, one plucking a rose as in the Annie Christena Jansen stone in 
Brigham City, and another holding a broken chain as in the Patrick Henry 
M^Guire stone in Heber City (Figs. 9 and 10). 

Fig. 9 Annie Christena Janson stone, 1901, Brigham City, Utah. 

George H. Schoemaker 

Fig. 10 Patrick Henry McGuire stone, 1897, Heber City, Utah. 

208 Monnon Tombstone Art 

The handclasp, another prevalent symbol on many Utah edifices, and on 
gravestones as well, represents "the reaching out of God to man and man to 
God; and in a spiritual union, the passing of man into the presence of God. It 
embodies, in essence, the supreme act of brotherhood, especially if one recalls 
the Mormon belief that God is literally a being of substance - flesh and bones 
- who created man in this image."^^ As Poulsen acknowledges, the hand is a 
common motif used on tombstones in North America and extends back to 
medieval Europe. While the handclasp is found in cemeteries across the 
United States and Canada,^' its meaning to nineteenth-century Mormons is 
esoteric and its representation has special significance. Poulsen continues: 

Despite possible origins in and influences by other cultures and organiza- 
tions, the handclasp is used as symbol by Mormons in some exclusive ways 

The handclasp as used in nineteenth-century Mormon folk burial is a 

symbol rich in meaning. Not only is it a symbolic dramatization of the 
essence of Mormon belief, but it also represents the Latter-day Saint ethos: 
the world is predictable and ordered, and man will rise from the grave in 
eventual communion with God.^'^ 

Poulsen also identifies four styles of handclasps, and I might add that there 
are probably more possibilities to be found. 

The handclasp, like the pointing hand, appears in Mormon tombstone art 
in combination with other symbols such as a rose, a broken chain, the sun, a 
star or a (cloud) veil (Figs. 11 and 12). 

Other tombstones in Utah have representations of stars and stars of 
Deseret, or representations of beehives, another predominant nineteenth- 
century Mormon symbol. Allen D. Roberts explains: 

The beehive has best been able to survive as a symbol and, though used 
ubiquitously on signs, stationery, flags, bedsteads, building plaques ... its 
symbolic message has changed from a religious to a secular or popular 


While this article is not a treatise on Salt Lake Temple, I cannot emphasize 
enough the fact that the symbolic representations of the exterior and those 
found on the interior of this building illustrate Mormon cosmology and 
worldview, much as the Cathedral of Chartres provides an encyclopedia for 
medieval Christianity. The Salt Lake Temple is an index of Mormon ideology. 
It represents more than sacred space for the performance of endowment 

George H. Schoemaker 


Fig. 11 Addie M. Swensen stone by Provo Marble Works, 1891, 
at Moroni, Utah. 

ordinances. The building itself is the culmination of nineteenth-century faith, 
labor, and love. It is a beacon to Mormons worldwide, a rallying point for the 
faithful, the axis mundi where heaven and earth meet. Its influence on other 
aspects of material culture, especially stonecarving, has been described 
above. But the question remains as to why Joseph Smith would consciously 
(or even unconsciously) appropriate and legitimize the use of outside sym- 
bols into the Mormon world view? 

210 Mormon Tombstone Art 

There seems little in the writings of Smith to indicate why he took such 
actions. Allen D. Roberts speculates that the symbols functioned as a means 
of unifying a people of diverse backgrounds. Roberts states: 

Diverse backgrounds and varying levels of understanding and commit- 
ment presented a most perplexing problem: how to make persons who had 
migrated to unfamiliar surroundings feel as at ease as possible, to feel a part 
of the whole. One of the most straightforward ways of effecting the desired 
acculturation was to display . . . visual symbols.^^ 

This idea is plausible, but it also has an ambivalent nature. Geertz states that 
"Anything may, of course, play a role in helping society work, painting and 
sculpting included; just as anything may help it tear itself apart."^ Poulsen 
suggests that, "Man's need for and use of symbols is probably the most 
important element that distinguishes him from other animals, and it is 
through the medium of language that symbols are conceived and created ... 
they represent the latent desires, aspirations, and hostilities of a community 
of human beings."^* a language of symbols as a system of signs is one which 
lies at the core of human sensibilities, but one which hinges on context. 
Indeed, in the case of early Mormonism, a language of signs and symbols 
facilitated the continuous restorative efforts on the part of Joseph Smith and 
early church leaders. The appropriation of Masonic signs, tokens, and 
penalties was in keeping with what Jan Shipps calls the restorative move- 
ment of Mormonism. She states, "Mormonism drew for inspiration not only 
on the Old Testament and the New, but also on the American experience in 
general, the experiences of the family of Joseph Smith in particular, and on 
Masonry and certain forms of magic and folk religion as well."^^ xhe Kirtland 
and Nauvoo periods were partly about the definition of the Mormon social 
and cultural identity, as Roberts suggests. But as the Mormons established 
themselves in the Great Basin region, there arose new needs and the creation 
of new contexts for the use of signs and symbols, needs which could 
invariably have an ambivalent result - "vernacular regression."26 while the 
language of symbols acculturated from exoteric groups initially helped to 
assimilate the diverse personalities and backgrounds into Mormon culture, 
Poulsen says that for certain ethnic groups, it subsequently produced "a loss 
of identity as a discrete folk group. "^^ 

George H. Schoemaker 211 

Another possible reason for Joseph Smith's appropriation of popular 
outsider signs in the Mormon world view was the forward-looking nature of 
Mormonism itself. As radical a tenet as it may have been, compared to most 
early American fundamentalist religions, revelation was the cornerstone of 
nineteenth-century Mormonism, especially during the Kirtland and Nauvoo 
periods. Jan Shipps, writing of the organization of the Mormon Church by 
Joseph Smith through the fulfilling of prophecy and revelation explains, 
"One component appropriating Old Testament institutions literally and 
another drawing on the New Testament directly together paved the way for 
the Latter-day Saint church, and . . . this contrapuntal pattern became a part 
of its very foundation."^^ Revelation faciliated the incorporation of what Eric 
Hobsbawn calls "invented tradition." By this he means "a set of practices, 
normally governed by overtly or tacitly accepted rules and a ritual or 
symbolic nature, which seek to inculcate certain values and norms of behav- 
ior by repetition, which automatically implies continuity with the past/'^' 
Mormonism's appropriation of exoteric signs was normally presented to the 
culture in the form of official utterances or revelation. Since Mormonism was 
a restorative movement, the use of ancient systems of signification received 
through official revelations gave the Mormon culture a sense of continuity. 
Hobsbawm explains how this is accomplished: 

An elaborate language of symbolic practice and communication is always 
available. Sometimes new traditions could be readily grafted on old ones, 
sometimes they could be derived by borrowing from the well-supplied 
warehouses of official ritual, symbolism and moral exhortation . . . ^" 

The appropriation of signs and symbols was a means of inventing tradition, 
of creating a mythology and a sense of history, of developing, refining, and 
legitimizing the existence of their culture within nineteenth-century Ameri- 
can culture. 

From the Nauvoo period of 1839-45 to the settlement of the Great Salt Lake 
valley in 1847 and the building of the Salt Lake Temple between 1853 and 
1893, the Latter-day Saints were exposed to influences which they were able 
to incorporate into their continuously transforming world view. Not only 
were there foreign influences from the European converts who immigrated 
with the pioneers to the West, but ideologies and symbols were consciously 


Mormon Tombstone Art 


Fig. 12 Betsy A. Syme stone, by Provo Marble Works, 1889, 
at Moroni, Utah. 

George H. Schoemaker 213 

appropriated, transformed and infused with new conununal meaning. The 
Salt Lake Temple is the culmination of those appropriated transformations. 
While the edifice is a repository of symbols, the building itself is also a symbol 
to many faithful Mormons worldwide. It is reasonable to expect that the Salt 
Lake Temple would be a source of inspiration for stonecarvers of nineteenth- 
century Utah, as indeed it was. The symbols, in addition to the threat of 
constant persecution from outside, served the purpose of establishing cul- 
tural unity and solidarity, and of inventing tradition for the Mormon culture. 


An earlier version of this article was presented at the Cemeteries and Gravestones Section 
of the American Culture Association meetings held in St. Louis, Missouri, April 5-8, 1989. All 
photographs are by the author except where noted and Figure 4, by Matthew K. Heiss. 

1. Sergei A. Tokarev, 'Toward a Methodology for the Ethnographic Study of Material 
Culture," in American Material Ciilhire and Folklife: A Prologue and Dialogue, Simon 
Bronner ed. (Ann Arbor, 1979), 79. 

2. SeeCarol Edison, "TheGTavestonesofFarowan," Folklore Society of UtahNewsletter 17, 
(1983) 1, "Motorcycles, Guitars, and Bucking Broncs: Twentieth-Century Gravestones 
in Southeastern Idaho," in Idaho Folklife: Homesteads to Headstones, Louie W. Attebery, 
ed. (Salt Lake City, 1 985), 184-89, "Custom-Made Gravestones in Early Salt Lake City: 
The Work of Four English Stonecarvers," Utah Historical Quarterly 56: (1988), 310-30; 
Austin E. Fife and Alta Fife, "Gravestone Imagery," in Utah Folk Art, Hal Cannon ed. 
(Provo, 1980), "Western Gravestones," in Exploring Western Americana, Alta Fife ed. 
(Ann Arbor, 1988); Hal Cannon, The Grand Beehive, (Salt Lake City, 1980); Keith 
Cunningham, "Navajo, Morman, Zuni Graves: Navajo, Mormon, Zuni Ways," in 
Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: Voices of American Culture, Richard E. Meyer ed. (Ann 
Arbor, 1989); Richard C. Foulsen, The Pure Experience of Order: Essays on the Symbolic in 
IheFolkMaterial Culture of VJestem America, (Albuquerque, 1982); George H. Schoemaker, 
'The Shift from Artist to Consumer: Changes in Mormon Tombstone Art in Utah," in 
The Old Traditional Way of Life: Essays in Honor of Warren E. Roberts, Robert E. Walls and 
George H. Schoemaker eds. (Bloomington, Ind., 1989), 130-145. 

3. Kenneth W. Godfrey, "Joseph Srruth and the Masons," The Jourtml of the Illinois State 
Historical Society, 64 (1971), 79. 

4. Ibid. 

5. Reed C. Durham, Jr., "Ts There No Help For the Widow's Son?'" Presidential Address 
to the Mormon History Association, April 20, 1974. 

6. The Mormon Temple Endowment ceremony is a ritual comprised of ordinances in 

214 Mormon Tombstone Art 

which individuals undertake certain obligations and covenants w^ith God, learn the 
knowledge required to enter a higher state of existence with God, and learn the sacred 
myths which are associated with these ordinances. For an insightful article, see David 
John Buerger, "The Development of the Mormon Temple Endowment Ceremony," 
Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 20:4 (1987), 33-76. See also History of the Church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, B.H. Roberts, ed., 7 vols. 2nd rev. (Salt Lake City, 
1973), 4:550-53, 570, 589, 594, 608; 5:1-2, 446; and 6:287. 

7. C. Mark Hamilton, "The Salt Lake Temple: A Symbolic Statement of Mormon 
Doctrine," The Mormon People: Their Character and Traditions, Thomas G. Alexander, ed. 
(Provo, 1980), 104. 

8. Ibid., 107. 

9. Edison, 'Tour Stonecarvers" (note 2), 313. 

10. Arthur Child, Interview: Mar. 24, 1987. Springville, Utah, by George H. Schoemaker. 

11. Allen D. Roberts, "Where Are the All-Seeing Eyes? The Origin, Use, and Decline of 
Early Mormon Symbolism," Sunstone 10 (1985) 5: 36-48, see 44. 

12. Poulsen (note 2), 46. 

13. Mormon eschatology teaches that after death the body and spirit are separated until 
the resurrection. Mormon belief in the resurrection is literal, that is, a transformed and 
glorified body and spirit will reunite and live forever. This is the doctrine of immor- 
tality which was made possible to every human being by the crucifixion and resurrec- 
tion of Jesus Christ. After the resurrection. Mormons believe that each individual will 
come before God to be judged according to his/her faith and works during mortal 
existence. Each person receives his/her just reward, which is existence in one of three 
heavenly kingdoms, the Telestial, the Terrestrial, or the highest kingdom where God 
and Christ reigns, the Celestial kingdom. The doctrine of exaltation is to be able to 
dwell in the presence of God and Christ in the Celestial kingdom. One of the major 
rituals in Mormon theology to gain the knowledge necessary to achieve this goal is the 
Mormon temple endowment, and while most Mormon architecture demonstrates a 
paucity of symbolic representation. Mormon temples are replete with representations 
of Mormon cosmology. 

14. Matthew K. Heiss, "The Salt Lake Temple and the Metaphors of Transformation," 
M.A. Thesis. University of Virginia, 99. 

15. Laurel B. Andrews, The Early Temples of the Mormons (Albany, 1978), 119. 

16. Heiss (note 14), 110. 

17. Roberts (note 2), 43. 

18. Poulsen (note 2), 54. For a Canadian example, see also Nancy-Lou Patterson, "United 
Above Though Parted Below: The Hand as Symbol on Nineteenth-Century Southwest 
Ontario Gravestones," Markers VI (1989), 181-206. 

George H. Schoemaker 215 

19. Poulsen (note 2), 54-55. 

20. Ibid., see chapter 6 on "Vernacular Regression," 70-94. 

21. Roberts (note 2), 41. 

22. Ibid., 37. 

23. Clifford Geertz, "Art as a Cultural System," in Local Knowledge: Further Essays in 
Interpretive Anthropology (New York, 1983), 99. 

24. Poulsen (note 2), 71. 

25. Jan Shipps, Mormonism, The Story of a Neiv Religious Tradition (Urbana, 1985), 68. 

26. Poulsen (note 2), 70-94. 

27. Ibid., 75. 

28. Shipps (note 25), 74. 

29. Eric Hobsbawm, 'Introduction: Inventing Traditions," in The Invention of Tradition, 
Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger eds. (Cambridge, 1983), 1. 

30. Ibid., 6. 


Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

Fig. 1 Map of German Texan population. 


Scott Baird 

Gravemarkers and language codes 

Written language on gravemarkers provides unique data for linguistic 
research. Linguistics, as distinguished from specific language research, is the 
study of the nature and structure of human speech. Gravemarker data record 
precise changes in the usage of various languages within definable speech 
communities.^ Part of the uniqueness of the data is that — unlike death 
records written and maintained by educated, clerically trained individuals — 
gravemarker language uniquely reflects societal usage. This distinction 
between individual knowledge of language and societal knowledge of 
language is an important distinction in linguistic research.^ 

In this paper, I shall present ways in which Texas German graveyards 
provide an excellent example of societal knowledge of language.^ Specifi- 
cally, I shall show that for more than 150 years the South Texas German ethnic 
community has accepted and used three language codes: monolingual 
German, monolingual EngUsh, and bilingual German/English. 

Bilingual language codes 

I wish to emphasize the importance of the bilingual code. I do so because 
during the past couple of decades, the study of bilingual codes has become 
as important as the study of monoUngual codes. The justification for that 
emphasis lies in linguists' search for linguistic universals — common struc- 
tures that unite all languages."* 

The research reported here on the Texas German gravemarkers is known 
as sociolinguistic research. It differs from humanistic studies of gravemarker 
language already published. These humanist studies assume the legitimacy 
of existing "languages" — German and English, for example — and applaud 
or decry the movement from one "legitimate" code to the other, while 
behttling the mixed-language code.^ The research will also differ from the 
type of graveyard studies where linguistic techniques are used to answer 

218 Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

historical or cultural problems.^ 

Withii\ the field of sociolinguistics, bilingual codes are isolated for study 
in the discipline known as Creole studies. Creolists study the way bilingual 
codes (Creoles), especially new and temporary bilingual codes, relate to 
established language codes; how the three language codes change through 
time; and how, through time, bilingual codes either tend to merge into one of 
the established codes, or grow into separate and unique "languages."^ 

Language codes and linguistic structure 

From a sociolinguistic viewpoint, the three language codes on Texas 
German gravemarkers differ in all four of the standard substructures of 
language: phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.^ The first three 
substructures are easily identifiable. Since the data are written, not spoken, 
the phonology, or sound system, of the three language codes is studied in the 
writing conventions that one usually associates with English and with 
German.^ Both the syntax, or grammar, and the semantics, or word meaning, 
of the three codes are easily measured by comparison with the conventions 
of standard Enghsh and German.^'' 

The pragmatic substructure of gravemarkers, however, is less obvious 
than the other three substructures. Pragmatics is the study of speech 
interaction. Such interaction can be found, for example, in the established 
pragmatic conventions for greeting people. Exchanging conventional phrases, 
like "Hello"; asking about each other's health; asking about each other's 
family and exchanging complaints about how busy everyone is; all constitute 
a ritualized pragmatic for greetings in English. ^^ But linguistics have not yet 
debated the pragmatic description of gravemarkers.^^ 

In 1987 Annelise Duncan and I presented a preliminary description of the 
pragmatics of gravestone messages.^^ We isolated nine pieces of informa- 
tion, which I have since collapsed into eight;!* (2) the name of the deceased, 
(2) birth date, (3) death date, (4) place of birth, (5) place of death, (6) kinship 
terminology, (7) occupation, and (8) epitaphs. An ideal version of such a 
marker might be : 

Scott Baird 219 


wife of 


bom May 16, 1839, in Braunfels, Germany 

died July 29, 1886, in New Braunfels, Texas 

Devoted school teacher 

She was lovely to us in life; so must she be in death. 


Linguists and theories 

I refer to an "ideal marker" because I have yet to find such a stone. I 
mentioned earlier that linguists differ in their source for language data. The 
concept of an "ideal" — and empirical lack of such an "ideal" — is important 
to that dispute. Until the 1960s linguists based most of their research upon 
an empirical approach — both to data collection and to argumentation. In 
1957 the American linguist, Noam Chomsky, published a doctoral disserta- 
tion in which he questioned such a reliance upon empiricism.i^ -pj^g result has 
been a virtual revolution within the field of linguistics.^^ 

In a famous articulation of his reUance upon introspection and native 
intuition, Chomsky stated: "Linguistic theory is concerned primarily with an 
ideal speaker-Ustener, in a completely homogeneous speech-community, 
who knows its language perfectly and is unaffected by such grammatically 
irrelevant conditions as memory limitations, distractions, shifts of attention 
and interest, and errors (random or characteristic) in applying his knowledge 
of the language in actual performance. "^^ 

About the time Chomsky was convincing linguists they should break 
away from empirical studies, another American hnguist, William Labov, 
injected new Ufe into existing field work approaches.^^ By 1982 Labov had 
succeeded in making a concept known as the principle of accountability a 
working code among those linguists concerned with social input into linguis- 
tic theory. 

The principle of accountability, in simplified terms, requires that re- 
searchers attempt to include ALL occurrences of a linguistic variable in their 
analyses — not just those that tend to confirm their present arguments. In 
Labov's words: ". . . for the section of speech being examined all occurrences 
of a given variant are noted, and where it has been possible to define the 

220 Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

variables as a closed set of variants, all non-occurrences in the relevant 
environments." i' 

Thus I approach the use of gravemarker data with an eclectic method: I 
have a native speaker's intuition that an ideal marker exists; field work will 
seek to uncover such a marker and the range of variation among existing 

Language codes and South Texas Germans 

Details of how the eight pieces of information can indeed be found in both 
nineteenth- and twentieth-century markers in Germany and in South Texas 
can be found in the Baird and Duncan article of 1982.^0 I do not wish to repeat 
those arguments here. Instead I wish to show a selected illustration of how 
these gravemarkers do indicate the switch in ethnic identity by the use of a 
German language code, a South Texas German/EngUsh bilingual code (a 
Creole), and a South Texas English code. 

The present status of available statistics for social science research does 
not allow for more than an illustration. According to the principle of 
accountability, one would need to read and record all information on all 
South Texas German gravemarkers to "prove" the switch of German through 
German/EngHsh to English. That, of course, is impossible. Even with 
enough personnel and enough time, one would not know of all locations.^^ 

In most social sciences, random sampling would provide adequate data. 
But in linguistic research, one must rely upon judgmental sampling — and the 
occasional use of statistics to verify that the researcher's intuition about the 
samples is correct.^^ 

Because we do not have access to all of the data in all of the German 
cemeteries, we do not know what a representative sample for any decade 
might be. We can, of course, compile a statistical profile of a single cemetery, 
but that would give us a sample of only one speech community — not of the 
combined South Texas German community. 

Table 1 shows a stem-and-leaf display of the three language codes in our 
illustrative photographs. The data are the language codes of thirty-one death 
dates on twenty-three markers. Table 1 is a typical example of the usefulness 
of exploratory statistics. Note that the most photographs, seven, show death 

Scott Baird 


dates in the 1930s; that the German markers occurred mostly from 1870 until 
1900; that the English markers occurred throughout the 110-year period; and 
that the bilingual markers did not appear until 1880 and occurred most 
frequently from 1930 until 1950. 

Clearly, the sampling, judgmental or otherwise, of South Texas German 
language data is itself no easy task. Three of the ten largest cities in the United 
States are in Texas. German language gravemarkers can be found in all three: 
Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. In addition, a heavy concentration of 
private and/ or family cemeteries are scattered throughout a rural area that 
encompasses more than 1500 square miles (Fig. 1). 













































1860: E means death date 1860-1869, English stone. 
G means German stone, B means bilingual stone. 

Table 1 Stem and Leaf Configurations of Illustrative Photographs 
(31 death dates on 23 gravemarkers) 

222 Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

The intense German population settlement of Central and South Texas 
began with immigration in 1820, when Texas was a Mexican state.^ Major 
German immigration continued through the Texas Republic years (1836- 
1845), not slowing down until about 1860. When Texas became the twenty- 
eighth state to join the United States, in 1845, the Germans had settled mostly 
in an area north of San Antonio, which at that time was the only large city in 

According to some estimates, Texans of German descent make up the 
fourth largest ethnic group in the state.^^ Two towns, Fredericksburg and 
New Braunfels, located in the hill country between Austin and San Antonio, 
have been the major focus for these German Texans since the first large-scale 
immigration (Fig. 1). 

The Geographical Names Information System survey of cemeteries in 
Texas lists 138 cemeteries in the four San Antonio area counties that include 
the major German population.^s Few family graveyards are included in the 
survey, and only one or two ranch graveyards are listed. The most compre- 
hensive study of the Texas German graveyards is the one published by Terry 
Jorden.2^ Jorden studied mostly family graveyards in his German work. 
However, he estimates that about forty-five public, church, and fraternal 
German graveyards exist in the four counties that include the major German 
population. This means, then, that roughly one out of three graveyards in 
these four counties has German influence. Jorden was especially attracted to 
that German influence: 

The cultural imprint of these Germans remains clearly discernible in 
modem Texas, and their distinctive architecture, customs, dialects, work 
ethic, and foodways are still much in evidence. Perhaps nowhere is that 
imprint more vivid (and less researched) than in their traditional grave- 
yards. In no other part of the United States, or for that matter of Germany 
itself, have I seen gravemarkers so beautifully expressive of German folk 
culture. Certainly Texas German funerary art far outshines that of the more 
heralded Pennsylvania "Dutch."^^ 

During the past decade my colleague, Annelise Duncan, and I have 
studied Texas German graveyards. We specifically chose those graveyards 
which, in our judgment, best represented the German community. Together 
with our students^^ we have mapped twenty-three cemeteries in the four- 

Scott Baird 223 

county area with the German concentration. In addition we have mapped 
thirteen cemeteries outside the four-county area. Eleven are south and east 
of San Antonio and two are in Houston. I offer here an overview of our work 
to date. 

As a complement to our own linguistic focus, Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber 
have contributed several photographs for inclusion in this article.^' The 
Farber photographs were all taken in New Braunf els. Those familiar with the 
Farber scholarship understand that their interest was in gravemarker sculp- 
ture. The benefit to my own Unguis tic research is that the photographs verify, 
independently, the accuracy of our own linguistic findings. 

Three codes: German, English, and Bilingual 

In 1966 David DeCamp published an article on Jamaican Creole in which 
he argued that a clear distinction between pure "dialect" and pure standard 
British English could not be found: 

Nearly all speakers of English in Jamaica could be arranged in a sort of 
linguistic continuum, ranging from the speech of the most backward 
peasant or labourer all the way to that of a well educated urban professional. 
Each speaker represents not a single point but a span of this continuum, for 
he is usually able to adjust his speech upward or downwards for some 
distance on it.^^ 

This concept of the continuum has become a working hypothesis in Creole 

The application of the concept to gravemarker language in a biUngual 
speech community requires only minor adjustment. Each marker can, for 
example, be a definite point on a continuum — not a span on the continuum. 
The same family members may be involved in the creation of several 
gravemarkers and those markers may differ on a linear scale, but each marker 
is a unique point on the continuum. 

Most important, however, is that a continuum does exist in the South 
Texas German cemeteries. Each marker will range from a conventional 
German language code to a conventional English language code — with a 
multitude of mixtures of the two codes. 

In our article on German gravemarkers, Annelise Duncan and I argue that 

224 Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

the mixture may be as simple as using a comma instead of a period in the 
writing of a death date.^^ German conventions call for a "period"; English 
conventions call for a "comma." 

We also suggest that a pattern exists in the English influence upon the 
German vocabulary. If a marker has only one item in English and other items 
in German, that English item will be the deceased's name. If two items appear 
in English, those two will be the deceased's name and death date. The third 
item will be birth date. Then comes kinship terminology; then death place; 
birth place; and occupation. If only one item remains in German, we predict 
that this item will be the epitaph.^^ 

Illustrations: German language code 

In our original research on German gravemarkers in Texas, Annelise 
Duncan and I relied upon a collection of over one hundred photographs 
Annelise had taken on a research visit to Germany.^^ Because of German laws 
restricting how long a marker may remain in place, she was not able to find 
many nineteenth-century stones. We were, however, able to use the late 
nineteenth- and early twentieth-century markers to establish the pragmatic 
pattern of monolingual German markers. 

In South Texas we have found several Texas German markers with 1860s 
death dates. These markers match the Germany-German language code 
almost exactly. In our black-and-white photograph collection, however, the 
oldest Texas marker that uses the German language code has an 1873 death 
date (Fig. 2). We know only a last name, with only one initial for a first. (The 
use of initials occurs, but infrequently, on the markers in our Germany 
photographs.) We do not know L. Steinmetz's sex. She or he was bom geb: 
in 1802; died gest: in 1873. We know nothing else: place of birth, place of 
death, family relations, or occupation. The marker's epitaph is a common 
expression, albeit in a colloquial form: Hier ruht in Hebbn. 

In 1875 a marker was placed for a married couple, in the same New 
Braunfels graveyard (Fig.3). Again, the language on the marker is similar to 
the language found in Germany at the same time, but this time a more formal 
style is used. Both the woman's name and the man's name are spelled out in 
entirety — all three names in both cases. The woman was born "in" 1801, den 

Scott Baird 


25.Sept.1801; the man in 1803, den 15.July.l803. ^* The woman died in 1875, 
gest. den 6.Feb.l875; the man in 1883, gest. den 31.Juli.l883. Both people were 
bom in Nassau, Germany: the woman was geb. zu Niederhausen Herzogthum 
Nassau; the man was geboren zu Niederhausen Herzogthum Nassau. We assume 
both died in New Braunf els, Texas. We know they were married because they 
both have the same last name, written on the same marker. However, we also 
find the typical German custom of writing the woman's maiden name. She 
was born, geb. in the Reininger family. Above each name is the German 
frozen expression^' Hier ruht. At the bottom of the woman's marker is the 
frozen expression Sanft ruhe ihre Asche; at the bottom of the man's marker is 
a variation of the same frozen expression: Friede seiner Asche. We know of no 
occupation; the marker has no creative epitaph. 

:'-iJf.i I 

Fig. 2 L. Steinmetz (1873), German, New Braunfels. 


Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

Fig. 3 Anna Maria Home (1875) and Johannes Peter Home (1883), 
German, New Braunfels. 

In 1876, three years after the couple's marker was placed in New Braunfels, 
a fifty-year-old man's marker also appeared (Fig.4). The name is given this 
time with one initial and two complete names. Geb. and Gest. are used to 
indicate "birth" and "death," and both dates are given in the expected 
German order: date-month-year. (Note that Juni is spelled with an i, not an 
e.) The frozen expression is more formal: Hier Ruhet, instead of Hier ruht. 
Otherwise the marker is quite simple, linguistically. It contains no geo- 
graphical information, no family ties, no occupation, no creative epitaph. 

Scott Baird 


In the same year, 1876, another man, much younger, was buried in the 
same graveyard (Fig.5). His name is also written out in full (no initials), and 
both birth and death dates are given. This marker has an excellent example 
of a creative epitaph. 

Fig. 4 A. Joseph Schneider (1876), German, New Braunfels. 


Lanugage Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

Fig. 5 Louis Mohrhoff (1876), German, New Braunfels. 

In 1880, in the same New Braunfels graveyard, another couple have a 
marker, again written in the language code we associate with Germany (Fig. 
6). Usually on markers in Germany the word for "bom," gehoren, is not 
written out; instead the abbreviationgeb. is used. The same is true of the word 
for "died," gestorben; here gest. is used. In this example the woman's maiden 
name is preceded by geborne, but her birth date is preceded by the expected 
GEB. The phrase at the bottom of the marker, Und Enkel Emil Foerster, is not 
a creative epitaph, but a reminder of a German custom of burying several 
family members in one grave. In other words, this couple share the grave 
with their grandson, Emil. 

Fig, 6 Emiliechar Foerster (1880) and Eduard Foerster (1889), 
German, New Braunfels. 


Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

Fig. 7 Margarethe Guenther (1906), German, New Braunfels. 

Scott Baird 


In 1906 - twenty years later - in the same New Braunfels graveyard, an 
elaborate marker has been placed for a woman. The language on the marker 
has all the markings of a marker in Germany (Fig.7). The woman's name is 
spelled out, and her maiden name is given. The dates are in German order, 
with German spelling. Geb. and gest. are used to indicate birth and death 
dates and maiden name. The kinship term MUTTER is used. A different 
frozen expression, yet a popular one, is used: RUHE SANFT. 

The photograph in Figure 8 was taken to detail the sculptured hands. The 
language that shows, however, contains another frozen expression and a 
woman's given name spelled out completely. The language follows the 
conventions of written German. 



Fig. 8 Dorethea Klepper (1927), German, New Braunfels. 

232 Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

Illustrations: Bilingual language code 

The most recent bilingual code we have found is on a 1988 stone in the 
Fredericksburg cemetery. The name on the stone is that of "Dora I. Staudt nee 
Leyendecker." Most of the language on this marker is of the English language 
variety, except for the word nee. Nee is used by both German Germans (who 
borrowed the term from the French) and South Texas Germans, to refer to a 
married woman's maiden name. It is an alternate to the word geboren, "born." 
Nee is not a word one expects to find on English language stones in North 
Carolina — or Vermont, or Oregon, for that matter .^^ Nee, however, is still 
quite common on South Texas German gravemarkers. 

Our photographs include one which indicates that in 1886 another 
married woman died and a marker was placed for both her and her husband, 
who died in 1892 (Fig. 9). The marker is simple, with only names, birth dates, 
and death dates. At first glance, the marker looks like one to be found in 
Germany. But a closer look at the dates will show that all four dates, while 
written with German spelling, follow the English pattern of month-date- 
year; not the German pattern of date-month-year. 

One year later, in the same cemetery, another married woman had a 
marker placed in her honor. At first glance, the marker appears to follow 
entirely the conventions of written English (Fig. 10). The frozen expression 
at the top of the cross. Here rests my beloved wife, is a common English one. The 
frozen expression on the base of the cross, though, is a direct translation of 
German: Peace to her ashes is not an English language gravemarker expres- 

Even in 1915, and in 1940 after World War I, the New Braunfels graveyard 
was being filled with markers bearing language codes from two cultures. The 
family marker in Figure 11 is a good example. Both husband and wife have 
full names, but the wife's maiden name is not given. Birth and death dates 
are given in English order, but with a mixture of English and German 
spelling. No kinship terms are given, and no occupation. The frozen 
expression at the top and under the woman's name are in German, as is the 
creative expression under the man's name. 

The bilingual mixture shows more American influence in Figure 12, 
which features a marker erected in 1924 in New Braunfels. The family name 

Scott Baird 



nil : r 4 


Fig. 9 Barbara Mergele (1886), Bilingual, New Braunfels. 

is shared on the marker, the woman's first name is a nickname, and the man's 
name is an abbreviation. All four dates clearly follow the American custom 
of month-date-year. But the kinship terms are mixed: FATHER and 
MOTHER are neatly American; the maiden name, nee WAHL, is distinctly 
German. Meanwhile, the frozen expression. Psalm 4.9, is written in German 
language conventions. 


Language Codes in Texas Gennan Graveyards 

Fig. 10 Mary Magott (1887), Bilingual, New Braunfels. 

Fig. 11 August Reiley (1915) and Marie Reiley (1949), 
Bilingual, New Braunfels. 

Fig. 12 Anna Tonne (1924) and Wm. Tonne (1944), 
Bilingual, New Braunfels. 

A different bilingual blend is present in a church graveyard in Comal 
County, where the woman died in 1931 and the man in 1942 (Fig. 13). Even 
though the non-German custom of attaching ceramic photographs is appar- 
ent, only the birth and death dates are written in EngUsh style. Names, 
kinship terminology, and the creative epitaph are all written using German 
language conventions. 

In another graveyard, Lockhill Selma, which is inside San Antonio, we 
can find the bilingual code on a marker showing another married couple (Fig. 
14). The husband died in 1931 and the wife in 1969. Both first names are 
spelled in English conventions; all four dates are in English order and use 
English spelling and punctuation. On the other hand, kinship terms and the 
shared frozen expression are written in the conventions of the German 
language code. 


Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 




Fig. 13 Anna Schwab (1931) and Valentin Schwab (1942), 
Bilingual, Comal. 

Fig. 14 Henry Hierholzer (1931) and Bertha Hierholzer (1969), 
Bilingual, Lockhill Selma, San Antonio. 

Scott Baird 


While this obvious blending was occurring, a less obvious blending was 
written in 1 933 in the St. Joseph' s graveyard, one of the official city cemeteries 
in San Antonio (Fig. 15). The stone appears to be written entirely in German 
conventions. But a closer look reveals the American influence. By now 
readers might spot the American order in the dates: month-date-year. But 
only those readers conversant in German would note that the word Ruht in 
the first line would not be capitalized in Germany, while the word wunsch in 
the last line would be. Also the word erfuellt would be spelled erfullt. 

The bilingual code continues into 1933 and 1936, in New Braunfels (Fig. 
16). Again, to a novice, the marker appears to be one associated with 
Germany. Henry, however, is clearly an American spelling, and the inclusion 
of the American Sr. only underscores the influence. The spelling of the 
abbreviations in the months is a mixture of the two language codes, but the 
month-date-year order is strictly American. The epitaph used follows the 
conventions of the written German language code. 

Fig. 15 Maria Anna Adam (1933), Bilingual, St. Joseph's, San Antonio. 


Language Codes in Texas Gennan Graveyards 

Fig. 16 Henry Staats (1933) and Sophie Staats (1936), 
Bilingual, New Braunfels. 

Illustrations: English language code 

In 1867 a Methodist minister was buried in New Braunfels (Fig. 17). The 
language on the marker is similar to the language found on English language 
markers in South Texas cemeteries at that time. We know the minister's last 
name, but are then given only two initials. We do not know when he was 
born, but can deduce that since he was thirty-five years old, he was born in 
1832. He was born in "Virginue," died near New Braunfels. We know of no 
family ties. He was a nunister in the Methodist Church, South. His epitaph 
tells us that he was murdered. Rev. Tanzey may or may not have been of 
German descent. He is, however, buried in New Braunfels, and New 
Braunfels in 1867 was definitely a German community. 

Figure 18 features a unique round marker. The entire message is hand- 
chiseled English, with a death date of 1891. The message includes the 
predictable name, death date, birth date, and kinship terminology. 

Scott Baird 


M^ TO J]U] 

' V .' K r wzr: r. 


Fig. 17 Rev. J.K. Tanzey (1867), English, New Braunfels. 

Maria Kewitch, whose marker is the cross closest to us in the photograph 
in Figurel9 has a simple English language message: bom in 1832 and died 
in 1898. The same simple English-language messages are found on the much 
more elaborate markers in Figure 20. The oldest of these markers is the 
nearest one, with a death date of 1919. 

Figure 21 shows an ornate marker, with the same three pieces of in- 
formation: name, death date, birth date. The military marker on the ground, 
however, adds the occupation - at least the military occupation - of Conrad 


Language Codes in Texas Gennan Graveyards 

Fig. 18 Ella Logon (1891), English, New Braunfels. 

Fig. 19 Maria Kewitch (1898), English, New Braunfels. 

Scott Baird 



Fig. 20 Margaret Preiss (1919), English, New Braimfels. 

The photograph of Florence O. Broussard, who died in 1931, shows 
another example of ornate marker and simple message (Fig. 22). Note the 
several stones in the background, all showing the same English code. Note 
also that the name Broussard is of French, not German, origin. Like the Rev. 
Tanzey (Fig. 17), however, Broussard is buried in the Texas German commu- 
nity of New Braunfels. 

The marker shown in Figure 23 is clearly English, but one can still argue 
that it uses a bilingual code. The death date is 1939, and being of German 
heritage is not popular in war-anxious America. The initials in the names do 
show American taste, but Wilhelm is definitely German, as is Olga. Dates (at 
least the three imprinted) are clearly of American style. The kinship terms, 
however, are redundantly bi-cultural: His Beloved Wife followed by Nee 
Kramme. The two epitaphs are both in English spelling. 


Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

Fig. 21 Conrad Wenzel (1925), English, New Braunfels. 

Fig. 22 Florence Broussard (1931), English, New Braunfels. 

Scott Baird 



Fig. 23 Wilhelm Fritz (1939) and Olga Fritz (no date), 
English, New Braunfels. 

Finally, by 1947, a marker can be found in the New Braunfels graveyard 
that appears, even on close inspection, to have only American ethnic influ- 
ence (Fig. 24). The names are spelled in American English, the dates are 
spelled in American English and follow the estabhshed month-date-year 
order, and the frozen expression is totally American. 

These twenty-three examples are only illustrative. They do not represent 
statistically the movement from German code, through bilingual code, to 
English code. But they do illustrate it. 


Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

Not included in our collection of black-and-white photographs are slides 
and etchings that show German language code markers erected within the 
last decade. The three we have recorded are in Fredericksburg. Yet, shown 
in Figure 17, an all-English marker was erected in New Braunfels in 1867. 
(New Braunfels and Fredericksburg are only sixty miles apart.) Much more 
work needs to be done before an historical table can be constructed even on 
rough data. Nonetheless, such a table would obviously show a movement of 
German Texan ethnic identity from basically (but not completely) German 
focus to basically (but not completely) English focus. A bilingual German/ 
English language code was used and is still used to carry the burden of this 


JUNE 19, 1868 
MAR. 2^,1947 


MAR. °. I8_: 

Fig. 24 Carl Werner (1947) and Mina Werner (1952), 
English, New Braunfels. 

Scott Baird 245 

Gravemarkers and Lingviistics: Other Focuses 

The relevance of the German gravemarker to the understanding of 
linguistics and language behavior will become clear only if research contin- 
ues. I am aware of research with five different focuses at present. 

The first focus is on non-Texas German graveyards outside Texas. Texas 
is only one small region of the United States where German graveyards exist. 
Texas is, however, the only southern state with major immigration from a 
diverse mixture of ethnic groups, Germans included.^^ Jorden thinks Texas 
is unique.^* Gilbert thinks Texas has the highest percentage of "native-of- 
native" speakers of German of any state in the United States.^' The linguistic 
relevance of this uniqueness, though, has just begun to be explored.'*^ 

The second, and perhaps most important, focus is on the Texas Spanish 
graveyards. The research I have conducted in the Texas German graveyards 
has easily been surpassed by similar research in Texas Spanish graveyards. 
The data seem to validate the most interesting of all South Texas linguistic 
problems: the creation of a new language. Unlike the gravemarker data on 
other South Texas ethnic languages, the Spanish language cemeteries indi- 
cate only a partial assimilation into English. The Spanish markers seem to 
reveal less of a shift than a maintenance of duality. At present I am treating 
this phenomenon as a sign of stable bilingualism — a diglossic area, in 
linguistic terms.*! 

The third focus is on ethnic graveyards, other than German and Spanish, 
within Texas. My students and I have been conducting language code- 
mixing research in Norwegian, Polish, Czech, French, Italian, Chinese, 
Greek, Hebrew, and Lebanese graveyards. We are finding shifts in ethnic 
identity similar to that of the Germans, with varying ethnic uniqueness. The 
Greeks, for example, use birth and death dates more than other ethnic groups, 
and the Czechs rely less heavily upon a bilingual code.*^ We have not even 
begun research in other Texas ethnic graveyards: Filipino, African American, 
Dutch, Belgian, Ukranians, Khmer, Vietnamese, Wendish, Armenian, Dutch, 
Japanese, Korean, Hungarian, and East Indian. We have located graveyards, 
and we have photographed gravemarkers. But we have not started system- 
atic analysis. Our hypothesis is that all languages will merge into English, in 
the same pattern as the other (non-Spanish) ethnic languages. 


Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

The fourth focus is upon the language usage in monoHngual EngUsh 
graveyards. Terry Jorden indicates that knowledge of the English language 
customs of the southern Anglos, at least, exists: 

As a rule, Texas German epitaphs are longer, more poetic, and more 
informative than those of the southerners [emphasis mine] and Hispanos. 
Maiden names are normally given, and the reader can also leam much 
about the specific current of migration that brought Germans to the Texas 
shores. Many Central European provinces and even villages of birth are 
listed. Such information might best be regarded as symptomatic of a 
profound homesickness never cured, a resistance to l)eing buried in the 
Texas earth without a parting cry admonishing the passerby: "Do not forget 
that I was a German, that these alien plains and hills are no proper resting 
place for me."*^ 

I can give no comment on the length of epitaphs. I have placed epitaph 
analysis low on my priority list, mainly because of the complexity of the 
subject. Our illustrative photographs do, however, bear out Jorden's obser- 
vations. But! have reservations about Jorden's implication that Germans are 
unique in their use of maiden names and in their listing of birth place. In three 
different southern states I find four predictable patterns in regard to married 
women, patterns that hold for over a century. Two of the four patterns 
definitely incorporate the wife's maiden name. I have discussed elsewhere 
the widespread use of birth-place and death-place designations. *'* 

Fig. 25 Wilhelm Mohrhoff (1876), Nonverbal space. New Braunfels. 

Scott Baird 


The fifth focus is upon the statistical incorporation of nonverbal lan- 
guage.*5 Figures 25, 26, and 27 show three types of non-verbal space that 
signal inimense linguistic information. First, the artwork in the nonverbal 
space in the marker in Figure 25 stands in stark contrast with the bare 
nonverbal space in the marker in Figure 15. Second, the obviously missing 
language plaque in the ornate cross of Figure 26 contrasts with the same 
obviously missing language in the bare cross of Figure 27. The once-present 
verbal data is now missing; but the nonverbal data give entirely different 
messages about the deceased. One should be able to quantify this space and 
incorporate that data into meaningful statistical analysis. Finally, Figure 27 
shows the most apparent use of space — the space between markers. This last 
use of space may or may not be accounted for by new methods of statistical 

Fig. 26 Unknown (1900), Nonverbal space. New Braunfels. 


Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

In essence, then, the Texas German graveyards contain much linguistic 
information on the use of German, EngUsh, and bilingual German /English 
language codes over the past 150 years. In addition, that linguistic informa- 
tion leads us into consideration of German gravemarker language use 
outside Texas; into meaningful comparison with the use of the Spanish 
language in Texas graveyards; into analysis of language code-mixing inside 
other Texas ethnic graveyards; into a detailed description of the pragmatics 
of southern Anglo gravemarker customs in English; and finally into experi- 
menting with statistical measuring techniques that combine verbal and 
nonverbal language data. 

Fig. 27 Unknown (1950), Nonverbal space. New Braunfels. 

Scott Baird 249 


I am grateful to Renee Baird, Peter Balbert, Theodore Chase, Richard Cooper, John Donahue, 
Annelise Duncan, Michael Ward and the review board of Markers for giving previous 
versions of this paper careful and helpful readings. I am humbled by and learned much from 
their comments. I apologize for not incorporating all of their suggestions in this final version. 
I am grateful to Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber for the photographs shown in Figures 5, 8, 10, 
18-22, and 25-27. The other photographs are my own. 

1 . For arguments establishing cemeteries as speech communities, see Scott Baird, "Tomb- 
stone Talk: Names as Evidence for South Texas Diglossia." Paper presented at the 
annual meeting of the American Name Society, Washington, D.C., December 27-29, 

2. Linguists disagree on the primary source for language data: whether language exists 
in the minds of individual speakers or in the societies to which individual speakers 
belong. For a recent and thorough discussion of this debate see Trevor Pateman, 
Language in Mind and Language in Society: Studies in linguistic reproduction (Oxford: 

3. At times this type of research is referred to as "sociolinguistics." The term soci- 
olinguistics, however, is misleading. When sociologists use the term, it refers to the 
use of language data to help solve issues in sociological theory. Examples of such 
research can be found in Dell Hymes, ed.. Language in Cidtureand Society (New York: 
1964); Joshua Fishman, R. Cooper and R. Ma, Bilingualism in the Barrio (Bloomington, 
Ind. and The Hague: 1971); John Gumperz, Language in Social Groups (Stanford: 1971) 
Joshua Fishman, Language and Nationalism: Two integrative essays (Rowley, Mass. 
1972); John Gumperz and Dell Hymes, eds.. Directions in Sociolinguistics (New York 
1972); J. B. Pride and J. Holmes, eds., Sociolinguistics (Harmondswirth: 1972); Muriel 
Saville-Troike, The Ethnography of Communication (Oxford: 1982); and Peter Burke and 
Roy Porter, eds.. The Social History of Language (Cambridge: 1987). When linguists use 
the term sociolinguistics, the reverse emphasis is understood. Examples of linguists 
using sociological data to solve problems in linguistic theory are William Labov, 
Sociolinguislic Patterns (Philadelphia: 1972); Roger Shuy, ed. Sociolinguistics, Current 
Trends and Prospects (Georgetown: 1973); Peter Trudgill, ed., Sociolinguistic Patterns in 
British English (London: 1978); D. Sankoff, ed.. Linguistic Variation: Models and Methods 
(New York: 1978); William Labov, Locating Language in Time and Space (New York: 
1980); D. Sankoff, The Social Life of Language (Philadelphia: 1980); Peter Trudgill, 
Sociolingiustics, 2nd edn. (Harmondsworth: 1983); W. Downes, Language and Society 
(London: 1984); J. Milroy and Lesley Milroy, Authority in Language (London: 1985); 
Lesley Milroy, Language and Social Networks, 2nd edn. (Oxford and New York: 1987). 
An introductory text that explains both sociological and linguistic approaches to 
sociolinguistics is R. Wardhaugh, An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (Oxford: 1986). 

4. Linguistsatpresentseem to be divided into three different camps, determined by their 
approach to solving linguistic problems: the humanists, the sociologists, and the 
cognitivists. Generally speaking, the humanists and sociologists use empiricism for 
their problem-solving; the cognitivists use introspection. All three camps agree. 

250 Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

however, on the objective of theoretical linguistics. That objective is to discover what 
is UNIVERSAL among all the languages of the world. For a thought-provoking 
analysis of these three approaches, written from a cognitive camp bias, see Frederick 
J.Newmeyer, The Politics of Linguistics (Chicago: 1986). Various counter-arguments 
to Newmeyer's approach can be found in the collection of articles by Maya Hickmann, 
ed.. Social and Functional Approaches to Language and Thought (Orlando, Fla.: 1987). For 
arguments establishing the importance of all three codes in language contact situa- 
tions, see Karlfried Knapp, Werner Enninger, and Annelie Knapp-Potthoff, Analyzing 
Intercultural Communication (Berlin: 1987). To see how little progress has been made 
in the search for universals, see Bernard Comrie, Language Universals and Linguistic 
Typology (Chicago: 1982; 2nd edn., 1989) or Gyula Decsy, A Select Catalog of Language 
Universals (Bloomington, Ind.: 1988). 

5. I am referring most specifically to the excellent study of Pennsylvania German 
markers by Thomas Graves, 'Tennsylvania German Gravestones: An Introduction," 
Markers V (1986), 60-95. This humanist approach is also the one used by Scott Baird 
and Annelise Duncan in "Tombstone Talk: Variation in a German Dialect," in 
Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Methods in Dialectology, ed. W. 
Werkentyn (Vancouver, Canada: 1984). The popular term in linguistics for such 
studies is "codeswitching." The theoretical basis is that only two codes exist — and 
peopleswitchbackand forth between the two codes. A recentexample of codeswitching 
as a theory can be found in Monica Heller, ed., Codeswitching: Anthropological and 
Sociological Perspectives (Berlin: 1988). 

6. Examples of such studies are Shirley Fischer Arends, The Central Dakota Germans: Their 
History, Language, and Culture (Washington, DC: 1989); and Robert K. Fitts, "Puritans, 
Yankees, and Gravestones: A Linguistic Analysis of New England Gravestone 
Inscriptions," unpub. M.A. thesis. Brown University, 1989. 

7. An excellent introduction to the linguistic study of Creoles can be found in Sarah Grey 
Tomason and Terrence Kaufman, Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics 
(Berkeley and Los Angeles: 1988.) To observe how the field of Creole studies has slowly 
gained prominence, note the scholarship of John E. Reinecke, "Trade jargons and 
Creole dialectsasmarginal languages," Soda/ forces 17(1938) 107-1 18; Uriel Weinreich, 
Languages in Contact (New York: 1953); R. Lowie, "A case of bilingualism," Word 1 
(1945) 249-259; Einar Haugen, Bilingualism in the Americas: A Bibliography and Research 
Guide, Publication of the American Dialect Society, No. 26 (Tuscaloosa, Ala.: 1956); 
John Gumperz, "On the linguistic markers of bilingual communication," Social Issues 
23 (No. 2, April) 48-57; Richard W. Howell and Harold J. Vetter, Language in Beliavior 
(New York: 1976); John R. Rickford, Dimensions of a Creole continuum: History, texts and 
linguistic analysis of Guyanese Creole (Stanford: 1987); and finally, Glenn Gilbert, ed.. 
Pidgin and Creole Languages: Essays in memory of John E. Reinecke (Honolulu: 1987). 

8. For a recent discussion of why and how linguists divide their research into these four 
substructures, see Lesley Milroy, Observing & Analysing Natural Language (Oxford: 

9. For arguments establishing the validity of using written texts for serious linguistic 
research, see Scott Baird, "Tombstone Talk: Predictable Variation Among Non- 
English Dialects." Paper presented at the annual joint meeting of the Modern 

Scott Baird 251 

Language Association and the American Dialect Society, Washington, D.C., Decen\- 
ber 29, 1989. 

10. For semantic differences among various South Texas languages, see Baird, "Predict- 
able Variation," (note 9) and also Scott Baird, 'Trom Territory to Tombstone: Lan- 
guage, Culture and Rites of Passage." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 
Cemeteries and Gravemarkers Section of the American Culture Association, Toronto, 
Canada, March 7-10, 1990. 

1 1 . For a recent discussion of the pragmatics of greetings, see the collection of articles from 
the conference on discourse analysis, held in Finland in 1985, in Kari Sajavaara, ed.. 
Discourse analysis: Openings. Reports from the Department of English, University of 
Jyvaskyla, (Jyvaskyla, Finland: 1987). 

12. Scholars have, of course, discussed the content and effects of the communication 
involving gravemarkers. Any and all articles published in this journal, for example, 
discuss this type of communication. But scholars have not, to the best of my 
knowledge, tried to define the pragmatics of gravemarkers, in the linguistic sense of 
pragmatics. For an excellent summary of the linguistic concept of pragmatics, I 
recommend Anthony Wootton, Dilanmas of Discourse: Controversies about the Sociologi- 
cal Interpretation of Language (London: 1975). Recent books on pragmatic theory are 
those of M. Stubbs, Discourse Analysis (Oxford: 1983); S. Levinson, Pragmatics (Cam- 
bridge: 1983); and Franqois Latraverse, La Pragmatique (Brussels: 1987). 

13. Scott Baird and Annelise Duncan (note 5). 

14. Personal communication with English professor and graveyard scholar Joe Edgette 
has convinced me that biblical passages and predictable phrases like "Rest in Peace" 
should be considered a type of epitaph. Annelise Duncan and 1 had separated the two 
types in our initial attempt to define the pragmatics of gravemarkers. 

15. Noam Chomsky, Syntactic Structures (The Hague: 1957). 

16. See Frederick J. Newmeyer. 1986. "Has there been a 'Chomskyan revolution' in 
linguistics?" Language 62:1 (March, 1986) 1-18. 

17. Noam Chomsky, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (Cambridge, Mass.: 1965). 

18. William Labov, The Social Stratification of English in New York City (Washington, D.C.: 

19. William Labov, "Building on empirical foundations." In W. P. Lehmann and Y. 
Malkiel, eds.. Perspectives onHistorical Linguistics (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: 1982) 

20. Baird and Duncan (note 5). 

21. Kristene West has located 107 cemeteries in Bexar County, which includes San 
Antonio and its rural areas. The Bexar County archives list only 83. Most of West's 
cemeteries were located by using 1977 and 1986 state highway maps. Since West 
completed her study, 1 have located an additional family plot with about thirty 

252 Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 


22. Ironically, Labov's initial work contained a high dependency upon statistics. At 
present, though, both linguists (including Labov) and sociologists are more cautious. 
The reason lies in the distinction between exploratory and confirmatory statistics. The 
best capsule description of the two types I have found is in Lesley Milroy, Observing 
and Analysing, (note 8): 

The various caveats expressed [by Milroy] on the use of statistical techniques by 
sociologists are not as negative as they might seem, since recently the overuse of 
significance testing in social science research generally has come in for some criticism. 
Researchers have noted that many data-handling techniques depend upon assump- 
tions which are hardly ever met in the social and behavioral sciences. Data are often 
dirty, containing errors and gaps, and sociolinguistic data have similar characteristics 
(see McEntegart and Le Page [1982], cited below, for an assessment of the difficulties 
of applying standard statistical techniques in sociolinguistics). The problem has 
arisen in the social sciences because classical statistics were originally developed to 
meet the requirements of the natural sciences and reflect a deductive style of 
hypothesis development which is not suitable to exploring dirty data in the context of 
amorphous and incomplete theories. It was to fill this need that John Tukey (1977) 
developed his exploratory statistics. 

The general purpose of exploratory statistics, as the name suggests, is to help 
investigators take a good look at patterns in data and to search around for ideas about 
the form these patterns take. The techniques are quick and simple to use and learn, 
intuitive and visually appealing, and resistant to errors and flukes. One feature of 
Tuke/s techniques is the degree of insight they give into the data. By displaying 
numbers in a simple and visually revealing way such as, for example, the graph /table 
hybrid known as 'stem and leaf,' it is possible to see obvious patterns quickly and focus 
harder on more puzzling aspects of the data (Ericson and Nosanchuk [1977: 20], cited 
below). Exploratory statistics might reasonably be described as highly systematized 
common sense. 

Having used exploratory techniques to "ransack" the data, the idea is then to generate 
hypotheses which can be tested using confinnatory statistics. These correspond to the 
data-analysis tools of classical statistics described in most statistics textbooks, but are 
commended by Tukey for use only when an explicit hypothesis has been formulated. 
This will emerge from extensive application of a range of exploratory techniques, and 
such a procedure is particularly important prior to using one of the computer packages 
designed for confirmatory statistics (pp. 138-139). (Emphasis Milroy's.) 

Bibliographic data on Milroy's references are: D. McEntegart and R. B. Le Page, "An 
appraisal of the statistical techniques used in the Sociolinguistic Survey of Multilin- 
gual Communities," in S. Romaine, ed., Sociolinguistic Variation in Speech Communities 
(London: 1982) 105-24; J. Tukey, Exploratory Data Analysis (Reading, Mass.: 1977); and 
B. H. Erickson and T. A. Nosanchuk, Uttderstanding Data (Toronto: 1977). In addition, 
Milroy recommends D. Hoaglin, M. Mosteller, and J. Tukey, eds., Understanding 
Robust and Exploratory Data Analysis (New York: 1983); D. Hoaglin, M. Mosteller, and 
J. Tukey, eds.. Exploring Data Tables, Trends and Shapes (New York: 1985); and G. Smith, 
"Sampling linguistic minorities: a technical report on the adult language use survey, 
LMP Working Paper 4 (London: 1984). Alan R. Thomas has recentiy edited the 

Scott Baird 253 

Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Methods in Dialectology (Clevedon 
and Philadelphia: 1988) which has several articles discussing the relationship of 
statistics to linguistic research. Especially helpful are Lawrence M. Davis, "The Limits 
of Chi Square," 225-241; Dennis Girard and Donald Larmouth, "Log-Linear Statistical 
Models: Explaining the E>ynamics of Dialect Diffusion," 251-277; and Michael I. 
Miller, "Ransacking Linguistic Survey Data with a Number Cruncher," 464-480. 

23. This capsule history of German immigration should not lead novices into underes- 
timating the lasting impact the Germans have had upon the character of Texas. My 
own understanding has benefitted from Gilbert Giddings Benjamin, The Germans in 
Texas (New York: 1910); Moritz Tiling, History of the German Element in Texas from 1820- 
1850 (Houston: 1913); Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 
1831 -61 (Austin: 1930); Chester W. Geue and Ethel Harder Geue, A New Land Beckoned: 
German Immigration to Texas, 2844-47 (Waco: 1966); Sam and Bess Woolford, The San 
Antonio Story (San Antonio: 1970). 

24. Terry Jorden, "Chapter 5: The Texas German Graveyard," Texas Graveyards (Austin: 
1983). Also Glenn Gilbert, Linguistic Atlas of Texas German (Austin: 1972). 

25. Cemeteries in Texas (Geographical Names Information Management Branch of Geo- 
graphic Names, Office of Geographic Research, National Mapping Division, U. S. 
Geological Survey, 1987). 

26. Jorden, (note 24). 

27. Ibid, 89. 

28. I am especially indebted to the contributions of Elizabeth Albert, Nicole Baird, Rob 
Devlin, Mike Elliot, Mary Arnold Fox, Cathy McBride, Thom McElroy, Ellen Read, 
Debbie Spurgeon, Linda Taylor, and Kristene West. 

29. I became acquainted with the excellent photography of Daniel Farber when I saw the 
Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber collection, "Portraits in Stone," at the Museum of 
American Folk Art in New York in 1988. Jessie Farber read an earlier version of this 
article and offered the photographs "blind." She did not know who I was or with what 
institution I was affiliated. She did notice, however, that the Farber photographs 
verified my own conclusions. I am grateful for her insightful and helpful contribution 
to this article. 

30. Page 81 of David De Camp, "Social and geographical factors in Jamaican dialects," in 
R. B. Le Page, ed., Creole Language Studies II (London: 1961) 61-84. De Camp later 
clarified his arguments with the mathematical concepts in "Implicational scales and 
sociolinguistic linearity," Linguistics 71 (1971) 30-43. 

31. Baird and Duncan (note 5). 

32. In Baird, "Predictable Variation," (note 9), I argue that this same pattern occurs in 
South Texas mixtures of English with Greek, Chinese, and French. In Baird, "From 
Territory to Tombstone," (note 10), I argue that in monolingual English markers the 
same pattern occurs: if a marker has only one semantic item — that item will be the 
deceased's name; if two, then the name and death date, etc. In the same article, I discuss 

254 Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards 

the aberration involving death and birth places — why these may or may not appear 
at all. 

33. Baird and Duncan (note 5). 

34. By rights this marker should be listed in the "Bilingual Code" examples. The marker 
uses the English spelling July instead of the German Juli. The remainder of the marker 
is written in such flawless German, however, that I wanted to include it here as an 
example of a formal German style — as opposed to the informal style of the previous 

35. Frozen Expression is a linguistic term designating an expression that is always used in 
the same way. Examples would be Rest in Peace; Gone, but not forgotten; Together Forever, 
and so forth. Creative Expression is the term used to designate original phrasing. 

36. I am aware that the English language has also borrowed the term nee from the French. 
In English nee also refers to the maiden name and is most often found in alumni lists 
and wedding announcements. But the use of nee does not extend to its use on English 
language gravemarkers — at least not in South Texas. In fact, Ellen Read was able to 
find its use on only two of almost 500 stones in two Houston German cemeteries. 
Houston is less than 200 miles east of San Antonio. 

37. Craig M. Carver, American Regional Dialects: A word geography (Ann Arbor: 1987) 163, 
225-26. Carver, a cultural geographer, argues that most European and Pacific Basin 
immigration occurred in the northern half of the United States. The south was settied 
almost entirely by Scotch-Irish (creating the southern United States Highlands or 
Mountain Southern dialect) and by English and African Americans (creating together 
the southern United States Lowlands or Coastal Southern dialect). The basic Anglo 
speech in Texas, he argues, is Highlands Southern in the north (Dallas) and Lowlands 
Southern in the east (Houston). 

38. Jorden,(note24), 117. 

39. Gilbert, (note 24), 1. 

40. Thomas Graves, personal communication. 

41. Baird, "Names as Evidence for South Texas Diglossia," (note 1), and Baird, "Tomb- 
stone Talk: Multilingualism in San Antonio and Consorts in North Carolina." Paper 
presented at the American Dialect Society summer meeting, Albuquerque, 1980. 

42. I am graceful to Eva Eckert for insight into the Czech usage. While her work in Czech 
cemeteries has just started, we both agree that the smallness of the Texas Czech 
community, compared to the Texas German community, probably accounts for a 
quicker transition from the ethnic language code to the English language code. 

43. Jorden, (note 24), 1 1 7. 

44. Baird, "From Territory to Tombstone," (note 9). 

45. See Mary Richie Key, ed.. The Relationship of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication 

Scott Baird 255 

(Berlin: 1980). 

46. Richard Cooper, a theoretical statistician, and I have just begun joint research on the 
problem. We are comparing the nonverbal / verbal relationships found in two German 
graveyards inside Bexar County. 


The Disappearing Shaker Cemetery 

Fig. 1 The Watervliet Shaker cemetery in New York has uniform stones 
inscribed with only a name, date of death, and age. 


Thomas A. Malloy and Brenda Malloy 

Originating from English Quakers, the Shakers formed a separate sect in 
1747. Their official name was the United Society of the Believers in Christ's 
Second Coming. However, because of members' tendency to tremble or 
shake during religious services they soon acquired the name of Shaking 
Quakers and later were referred to simply as Shakers. By the 1770s Ann Lee, 
or Mother Ann, was considered the leader of the Shakers. In 1774 she led a 
handful of followers from England to upstate New York. Here they devel- 
oped a religious community that was the inception of nineteen Shaker 
communes to be established east of the Mississippi, stretching from Maine to 
Kentucky, which at their height would number six thousand behevers. 

All of the Shaker communities were agrarian based, celibate communes 
that were sub-divided into independent units called families. Within these 
units all work and its benefits were shared equally. As in most communal 
societies, the equality of the membership was a major characteristic, and in 
the case of the Shakers this meant equality of the sexes. This is because Shaker 
religious doctrine taught the duality of God, that is, having both a male and 
a female spirit. Also, because the communes were religious societies, the 
importance of the individual was diminished in relation to his or her 
immortal soul, and life on earth was viewed simply as a passage to eternal 

Death for the Shakers was treated with the same unpretentiousness in 
which they spent their lives. Consequently their funeral services reflected the 
utmost in simplicity. The coffin consisted of plain, unpainted pine boards 
and was plainly lined. At the funeral service hymns were sung and personal 
testimonies to the deceased were made by attending Brethren. Following the 
service the coffin was carried on a bier to the community's cemetery. 

* This paper is based on one presented to the Cemeteries and Gravemarkers Section of the 
American Culture Association in Toronto, Canada, in March 1990. 

258 The Disappearing Shaker Cemetery 

In several ways the Shaker cemetery is a reflection of their tenets. For 
instance, in some communities the Shaker celibate lifestyle is symbolized by 
segregated interment of males and females. More significantiy, since the 
Church did not belie ve in the resurrection of the body, only minimal attention 
was paid to the mortal remains of Believers; as a result their cemeteries 
remain unadorned. Also, because of Shaker egalitarian principles, only on 
very rare occasions would one gravemarker be more distinguishable than 
another. However, the closing of Shaker communities, along with the 
disappearance of Shaker beliefs in egalitarianism, have resulted in major 
alterations to their cemeteries, and now only a handful remain in their 
original state. 

In 1839 four of the Brethren at the New Lebanon community in New York 
were commissioned to commit to writing the most important orders and 
rules of the Society as first developed by Joseph Meacham and Lucy Wright 
and recorded in 1821 . These statutes were codified in 1841 and revised in 1845 
as the Millennial Laws or Gospel Statutes and Ordinances^ and continued 
thereafter to govern the practices and behavior of the several communities. 
Section XVII of the Millennial Laws contains orders concerning the dead: 

1. When the spirit is departing and a person is breathing the last, all 
present should kneel in prayer. 

2. In an hour after the breath has left the body, the corpse may be laid out 
in the fear of God. 

3. A corpse should be dressed in a shirt and winding sheet, a handker- 
chief, and a muffler if necessary, — and for a female add thereto a cap 
and collar. 

4. The laying out, dressing and burial of a corpse is the duty of the Deacons 
and Deaconesses to direct, and the Elders may not take any part therein, 
unless necessity require. It is their duty to lead and direct the funeral. 

5. Children under twelve years of age, are not allowed to attend any 
funerals, save in the family where they live, except on some special 
occasion, and by liberty of the Elders. 

6. Children under twelve years of age are not allowed to join in the 
procession to the grave. 

The original Shaker community at Watervliet, New York, was dissolved 
in 1 938, and much of its land has been taken over by the Albany airport, while 

Thomas A. and Brenda Malloy 259 

some of its buildings have been incorporated into the Ann Lee County Home. 
Remaining intact is the cemetery, which is presently bordered by an old 
Shaker orchard and an athletic stadium with its adjacent parking lot. Since 
1971 the cemetery has been immaculately maintained by the town of Colonie; 
this maintenance has included replacing stones when needed. 

The cemetery was established in 1797 and was reconstructed in 1880, 
when the graves were re-marked with white marble stones from New 
Hampshire. All of the stones are of the same rectangular shape and size and 
each is inscribed with the name, date of death, and age. Because all of the 
stones are similar, the cemetery has an almost military appearance (Fig. 1). As 
suggested above, the fact that one stone is just like another reflects the Shaker 
belief in the egalitarianism of its membership. There is, however, one stone 
that is slightly taller than the rest and provides more information than the 
others. ItisthemarkerofMother AnnLee(Fig.2). She was originally buried 
on land leased by the Watervliet Society which today is one of the runways 
for the Albany airport. In 1835 her remains, along with those of her brother 
and another young man, were moved to the cemetery. Ann Lee's stone reads: 


Ann Lee 

Born In Manchester 


Feb. 29, 1736 

Died in Watervliet, N.Y. 

Sept. 8, 1784 

The Watervliet cemetery has been completely mapped and inventoried, 
and the information was published in 1986 in a booklet by The Shaker 
Heritage Society of Albany, New York. The inventory reveals various pieces 
of information about Shaker life. Like other nineteenth-century American 
communities, Watervliet had its problems with infant mortality. Some of 
those buried in the cemetery lived with the Shakers but never joined the 
Society. A few veterans of the American Revolution later became Shakers. 
The fact that there are some Black Shaker Sisters buried in the cemetery shows 
that there was no exclusion because of race. The Shakers had always opposed 
slavery and welcomed Blacks, as well as former slaveowners, into the 
Society. There were a few Negro members in the northern communities soon 


The Disappearing Shaker Cemetery 


Fig. 2 The stone marking Mother Ann Lee's reinterment at Watervliet 
is slightly taller than the others in the cemetery. 

after they were organized, and in 1813 a Black family, with its own Elder, 
belonged to the South Union, Kentucky, Community .^ The attempt by the 
Shakers to form a Utopian society may have been marred by the revelation of 
numerous suicides. Records of The Shaker Heritage Society show that at least 
six suicides were buried in the Watervliet cemetery: one the result of self- 
inflicted starvation, another incurred by leaping from a building and the 
remaining four the consequence of drowning. 

Thomas A. and Brenda Malloy 261 

A half -hour drive southeast of Albany the Shakers founded their second 
conununity. This was in New Lebanon, near the Massachusetts border. The 
post office established there for the Shakers in 1861 was called Mount 
Lebanon, and thereafter this community became known as the Mount 
Lebanon Shakers.^ By the time this community dissolved in 1947, it had been 
one of the largest Shaker communities in the United States, with a total 
membership that exceeded three thousand people. Today many of Mount 
Lebanon's lands and buildings have been incorporated into a private board- 
ing school and into the holdings of a small religious sect. 

In contrast to Watervliet, which has one cemetery, there are five at Mount 
Lebanon. Here each Shaker family had its own cemetery; at Watervliet each 
family used a separate section of a single cemetery. One of Mount Lebanon's 
cemeteries consists of seventeen stones. They have no visible inscriptions 
and thus provide no testimony to persons who once lived. A second cemetery 
is totally overgrown, and there are no visible markers. This burying ground 
is comparable to one at the former Shaker community of Tyringham in the 
southwestern part of Massachusetts. Here a stone wall surrounds the last 
resting place of ninety-nine Believers. It is engulfed in vegetation, and the 
markers, consisting of one-foot square marble stones that are laid flush with 
the ground, have disappeared below the surface of the soil.'* This plot is on 
private land, and visitation is not permitted by the owners, at least to these 
authors. At a third Mount Lebanon cemetery visitation is also restricted by 
private owners, who on one occasion denied visitation rights even to Shaker 
Eldresses.5 The cemetery, which suffers from neglect, consists of numerous 
individual stones inscribed with initials, age and death date. 

The use of a person's initials only is common in earlier Shaker cemeteries 
and reflects the Society's belief in simplicity, equality and a concern for the 
immortal soul rather than the mortal body. Such use of initials may also be 
seen in the cemetery of the former Shaker community at Groveland in 
western New York. Here the cemetery consists of about twenty stones 
located on the grounds of a state correctional institution. All of the inscrip- 
tions have been worn away except for one stone; this has initials only, 
suggesting that the others were marked in the same manner. Local authori- 
ties on the Groveland community believe that there was a second cemetery. 

262 The Disappearing Shaker Cemetery 

but it cannot be located.^ It has disappeared. 

The minimal importance attached by the Shakers to the mortal body and 
their strong belief in the equality of membership in the Society are reflected 
in two other Shaker cemeteries at Mount Lebanon. In each of these all of the 
individual markers have been replaced by a single marker. One is located in 
a thicket next to a dirt road. The lot is surrounded by a chain-link fence, and 
in the middle of the lot is a polished granite stone comparable to a modest 
cemetery stone. The stone is simply inscribed wdth the word "SHAKERS" 
(Fig. 3). The other cemetery belonged to the Church, North, and Second 
Families. It is located in an unkempt field that surmounts a steep precipice. 
In the center of the field there is a granite obelisk which with its base measures 
about seven feet in height. The inscription reads: 

In Loving Memory 

of Members of the 

Shaker Church 

Who Dedicated Their Lives 

to God and to the Good of 


Passed to Immortality 

At the base is inscribed: 

Erected by the 

Mount Lebanon N.Y. Community 

in the Year 1932 

A few miles east of Mount Lebanon, just over the Massachusetts border, 
is the Hancock Shaker Village. For seventy years, until 1960, Hancock was a 
Shaker community with a total membership of about 550 people. At the 
present time, the Village consists of twenty restored buildings that include a 
huge, round, three-story stone barn. The Village is open to the public and 
receives thousands of visitors each year. 

The Hancock Shakers followed suit with Mount Lebanon in the removal 
of individual stones and their replacement with a common marker. This was 
done at two cemeteries, one of which is on private property and the other on 
the grounds of the Village. The first is known as the Post Cemetery because 
of its proximity to the former Post Road, now Route 20. It is a mirror image 
of the fourth Mount Lebanon cemetery described above. The lot is sur- 

Thomas A. and Brenda Malloy 


rounded by brush, enclosed by a chain-link fence, overgrown with weeds 
and marked by a granite stone containing the word "SHAKERS." 

The cemetery at the Village is enclosed by an iron fence and is bordered 
by cornfields. In the center of the cemetery is a common monument which 
was erected in 1943 to mark the interment of 250 Believers.^ It is of the same 
obelisk shape and bears the same inscription as the monument at Mount 
Lebanon (Fig. 4). Many of the stones that were removed from Hancock ended 
up as flooring for the cellar of a private home. In 1975 some of these stones 
were scheduled to be placed on auction in Lenox, Massachusetts. When the 
Hancock Shaker Museum learned of the auction, it offered to purchase the 
stones; as a result they are now in storage at the Hancock Village.^ A few of 
the other stones removed from Hancock are on display at The Shaker 
Museum in Old Chatham, New York. In both collections the stones are 

Fig. 3 A single granite stone marks one of the graveyards at 

Moimt Lebanon, New York, and is inscribed simply with 

the word "SHAKERS." A similar stone marks a cemetery 

at Hancock, Massachusetts. 


The Disappearing Shaker Cemetery 

Fig. 4 A common monument marks the graveyard at Hancock Shaker 
Village. Similar monuments are located at Moimt Lebanon, 
New York, and at Canterbury and Enfield, New Hampshire. 

engraved with initials, age and date of death. However, at a later time, the 
full name of the deceased was added. This is evidenced by a different style 
of carving for the full name. 

Two Shaker communities were established in New Hampshire. That at 
Canterbury, a twenty-minute drive north of Concord, is still considered an 
active Shaker community and is open to the public. Here the cemetery's 
individual stones were removed; some became water deflectors under drain 
spouts.^ The stones were replaced by a single rectangular block-shaped 
monument with a hipped top. It is simply inscribed with the word "SHAK- 

At the former Shaker community in Enfield, New Hampshire, which is 
north of Canterbury, there are two cemeteries. One, containing 339 graves, 
is that of the Church Family. Originally this cemetery consisted of individual 
markers, but they were replaced by a single monument similar in shape to 
that at Canterbury and, as at Canterbury, inscribed "SHAKERS." Today the 

Thomas A. and Brenda Malloy 265 

cemetery is on the property of a Shaker interpretive center known as the 
Lower Shaker Village. 

Enfield's second cemetery once belonged to the South Family. It contains 
forty-two graves with identical granite headstones, each engraved with a full 
name. However, these are not the original markers. In 1895 the original 
stones of various sizes of slate, marble and granite were removed at the 
direction of the Shaker community. At the same time a stonecutter from the 
town of Enfield was hired to cut the present markers. Supposedly the original 
stones were to be used to line the bottom of a local reservoir. However, some 
were later found in the patio of a private home. At the present time this old 
Shaker burying ground is being maintained by the Enfield Historical Soci- 

Two Shaker communities established in Maine stayed with the policy of 
erecting common markers. Sabbathday Lake, located north of Portland, is the 
smallest of the communities to be established in the Northeast and, Uke 
Canterbury, is still considered an active Shaker community. Also, like 
Canterbury and Hancock, it is open to visitors. Here there are two cemeteries; 
one is that of the Church Family, which is owned by the town of New 
Gloucester, while the other is that of the North Family and is still owned by 
the Shakers. Each cemetery is identified by a single granite marker. The 
Church Family marker is inscribed "SHAKERS" and the North Family, 
"SHAKERS" with the dates "1842-1885." 

In the southernmost portion of Maine is the small town of Alfred. A 
Shaker community existed here until 1931, at which time its land and 
buildings were purchased by the Brothers of Christian Instruction, who now 
operate it as a religious retreat. Adjacent to the community's center is a tree- 
lined country lane. As one passes down the lane there may be seen a 
landscaped clearing to the left marked "Brothers Cemetery." Here marble 
crosses designate the graves of thirty-nine deceased members of the order. 
Blank crosses have been placed presumably to provide for future interment. 
On the same side, about a hundred yards further down the lane, a sign reads 
"Shaker Cemetery." Here the burial lot is bordered by a stone wall with an 
iron gate. Flanking each side of the gate are six of the cemetery's original slate 
stones, with the earliest dated 1791 and the latest 1928. All of the other 

266 The Disappearing Shaker Cemetery 

individual stones have been removed and replaced by a single, polished, 
pink granite cemetery stone. It was erected in 1947, with an inscription that 



Blessed Are the Dead Which Die in the Lord & 

That They May Rest From Their Labours 

And Their Work Do Follow Them. 

According to one of the Brothers from the retreat, when the single stone was 
erected, the individual stones were discarded in the nearby woods. Later 
they were retrieved and used as stepping stones in a walkway. More recently 
they were sent to Sabbathday Lake for storage. 

At two former Shaker communities common monuments have been built 
using the original individual stones. This was done at Enfield, Connecticut, 
where a Shaker community existed from 1790 to 1917. This site is presently 
the location of a state correctional institution. Here the cemetery lot is located 
in an open field and is surrounded by an iron fence. The individual stones on 
the lot have been collected and mortared into a single, rectangular, block- 
shaped monument. A plaque on the monument reads: 

Erected by the 

Society of Shakers 

Enfield, Connecticut 

An Order of 

Celibate Christian Communists 

To Honor the Memory of 

The Members Whose Mortal Remains 

Are Interred in This Lot 


They That Have Done Good Unto the Resurrection of Life 

Whose Abiding Place is Immortality 

In Shirley, Massachusetts, a Shaker community existed between 1793 and 
1908, and like Enfield it is now the site of a state correctional institution. The 
cemetery for this community is situated in a grove of trees and is surrounded 
by a cement-post and iron-rail fence. The lot once consisted of rough slate 
markers inscribed with initials and laid out in separate rows for men and 
women. They were replaced by a common monument in 1927 (Fig. 5). Some 
of the slate markers were used in the base of the monument while others lie 

Thomas A. and Brenda Malloy 


buried beneath the topsoil.^^ A plaque on the monument is an abbreviated 
version of the inscription found at Enfield: 

Erected by the 

United Society of Shakers 

To Honor the Memory 

of the Members 

Interred in This Lot 


Neighboring Shirley, to the east, is the town of Harvard. Here a Shaker 
community existed between 1791 and 1918, and here is the last remaining 
Shaker "lollipop" cemetery. The term, while seeming irreverent to some, was 
in fact used by the Shakers. A lollipop marker consists of a somewhat oval 
shaped, cast-iron medallion on top of a flat iron rod placed in the ground. 
Each has raised lettering that provides a full name, the date of death, and age 
(Figs. 6 and 9). This form of marker was first adopted by the Mount Lebanon 
community in 1873. At that time nearly two hundred of the cast-iron markers 
were ordered from a forge in Albany, New York, and placed at the Church, 
North and Second Families cemetery.^^ They remained here until 1919 when 

m -"^ 







. ...i ^ ^is^-.-v- ■%:: J 




■ ■ 

Fig. 5 A common monument at Shirley, Massachusetts, 
replaced individual slate markers. 


The Disappearing Shaker Cemetery 

Fig. 6 Harvard's cemetery of cast-iron markers. 

they were discarded down a nearby hillside. Eventually they were replaced 
by a single monument, previously described. A few of the discarded iron 
markers were later recovered and can now be seen on display at the Shaker 
Museum in Old Chatham, New York. It should also be noted that such 
markers were once used at a Shaker community in South Union, Kentucky. 

Harvard's cemetery was established in 1799, using slate stones. In 1879 
the community followed Mount Lebanon and replaced the original stones 
with iron markers. ^^ Within the cemetery there are two distinctive grave 
sites. One is that of five Shaker Sisters whose remains were reinterred from 
an earlier burying ground. Their common grave is marked by a single iron 
marker that is lettered with their initials (Fig. 7). Another distinctive grave 
site is that of Hannah Kendal, who was the first female bishop of the Shirley- 
Harvard community. Her grave not only has an iron marker, but it is the only 
grave that also has the original slate stone (Fig. 8), and it is the only one with 
flowers growing on it. 

The last burial in Harvard was in 1923, and at the present time the 

Thomas A. and Brenda Malloy 


n lC'r^'^'1'^-^1 1! !-r t* :. ip 


^ £ ^v 

Fig. 7 Initials mark the mutiple reinterment of five sisters 
at Harvard, Massachusetts. 






1 "^ 



_,. «ai.^ %, 

Fig. 8 The grave of Mother Hannah Kendal at Harvard, Massachusetts, 
is the oidy one marked by both a slate stone and cast-iron. 


The Disappearing Shaker Cemetery 

cemetery consists of ten rows with about thirty graves in each row. Most of 
the grave sites have iron markers (Fig. 9), but there is an intermixture of some 
marble and slate stones. Altogether, there are 333 burials.^^ However, some 
markers, both iron and stone, are missing. In 1941 the cemetery was turned 
over to the town or Harvard on condition that it remain as a Shaker burying 
ground. It was this agreement with the town that probably saved the 
individual markers from being replaced by a common one. Today the 
cemetery remains in an almost idyllic New England setting along a country 
road. It also remains as one of the few intact Shaker cemeteries in the 

Altogether, out of twenty Shaker cemeteries in New York and New 
England, only four can be considered intact with individual markers, and 
three of these have had their original stones replaced by uniform markers. 
Five other cemeteries are either in disarray or missing. The remaining eleven 
have had their individual markers replaced by a common stone or monu- 


Fig. 9 The most recently dated cast-iron marker, November 18, 1878, 
is that of Sister Caroline King at Harvard, Massachusetts. 

Thomas A. and Brenda Malloy 


ment. This replacement is consistent with the Shaker philosophy of egalitari- 
anism, and it was even suggested by some Shakers that a single shrub or 
mound would be suitable enough for a memorial marker.^^ Granted that in 
most cases records have been kept of individual burials. Nevertheless, for 
those who are students of cemetery markers, this process has meant the loss 
of an abundance of original historical artifacts which in themselves are 
original documents. 

Several Shaker cemeteries in the Midwest have suffered the same fate as 
those in the Northeast. For instance, at the former Shaker community of 
Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, a cemetery was established in 1811. It is on the 


Shaker Community 


Markers or Condition 

Setting or Owner 

Watervliet, N.Y. 



ind. stones 

Town of Colonie 

Groveland, N.Y. 



ind. stones 

State correctional 

Mt. Lebanon, N.Y. 



ind. stones 

ind. stones in disarray 

lot owned by Shakers 
private property 


no markers 

private property 


common stone 

private property 


common monument 

Darrow School 

Hancock, Mass. 



common stone 

private property 


common monument 

Shaker Village 

Tyringham, Mass. 



ind. stones overgrown 

private property 

Shirley, Mass. 



common monument 

State correctional 

Harvard, Mass. 



in. iron markers 

Town of Harvard 

Sabbathday Lake, 



common stone 

lot owned by Shakers 


common monument 

Town of New 


Alfred, Me. 



common stone 

monastic retreat 

Canterbury, N.H. 



common monument 

Shaker Village 

Enfield, N.H. 



ind. stones 

Town of Enfield 


common monument 

Lower Shaker 

Enfield, Conn. 



common monument 

State correctional 

272 The Disappearing Shaker Cemetery 

property of the Shakertown Corporation, which is a Shaker interpretive 
center. The graveyard consists of Umestone nnarkers engraved with initials 
only. There are no birthdates or deathdates. Presently there are about ninety 
of these stones; however, at one time there may have been as many as five 
hundred. 1^ 

In 1889, sixty-seven years after its founding, the Shaker community of 
North Union, Ohio, was dissolved. The cemetery for this community 
consisted of initialed, sandstone markers that commemorated 137 inter- 
ments. In keeping with the Shaker practice of celibacy, the men were buried 
on one side of the cemetery and the women on the other. Within a decade 
after North Union had closed, the cemetery was in total disarray. Visitors 
have seen knocked-over and broken stones, uncared for grounds and cattle 
roaming through the lot.^^ By 1912 it was determined that the cemetery 
should be relocated. Land speculation played a major role in the move, and 
today the original cemetery grounds are the front lawn of an elegant estate. 
The remains in each grave in this lot were disinterred and placed in an 
individual wooden box. One source claims that 103 bodies were disinterred, 
while another source states that eighty-seven boxes were filled with indi- 
vidual remains.^8 Either way, both figures fall short of the 137 recorded 
deaths. During the removal process many artifacts were found, including 
according to one observer enough false teeth to fill three milk pails.^^ The 
wooden boxes and their contents were reinterred in a forty-foot square 
common plot at the Warrensville West Cemetery in Shaker Heights, Ohio, 
and left unmarked. Forty years later, through the efforts of the Shaker 
Historical Society of Shaker Heights, the mass grave was relocated. The 
Society had a granite boulder from a one-time Shaker farm moved to the mass 
grave and marked with a plaque. Here it remains as a single monument to 
the mortal remains of the North Union Shakers. 

Probably the greatest travesty conducted against a Shaker cemetery was 
in South Union, Kentucky. Here a Shaker community existed from 1807 until 
1922, when part of its property was purchased by a private owner. The new 
owner tore down the meeting house and, using some of the original materi- 
als, built his own home. The community's cemetery, with its four hundred 
inhabitants, was now situated in his backyard. So he proceeded to remove 

Thomas A. and Brenda Malloy 273 

the limestone markers, grind them up and pour the powder on his fields. 
Then crops were planted and a barn was built on the cemetery.^o And so, this 
Shaker cemetery has literally disappeared from the face of the earth. 


1 . These Millennial La ws, with a brief introduction, appear in Edward Deming Andrews, 
The People Called Shakers (New York: 1963), 243-289. 

2. Ibid., 214 

3. Charles Edson Robinson, A Concise History of the United Society of Believers called Shakers 
(East Canterbury, N.H.: 1893), 41. 

4. Letter dated September 25, 1989, from Robert F. W. Meader, Librarian-Archivist at 
Hancock Shaker Village. 

5. Ibid. 

6. Letter dated September 21, 1989, from Fran Kramer, Pittsfield, N.Y. 

7. John Harlow OtX, Hancock Shaker Village, A Guidebook and History (Shaker Community, 
Inc.: 1976), 110. 

8. Markers I (1980), 146. 

9. Robert R. Horgan, The Shaker Holy Land, A Community Portrait (Harvard, Mass.: 1982), 

10. Letter dated January 31, 1990, from Wendall Hess, Enfield, N.H. 

11. Horgan (note 9), 161. 

12. New Lebanon Record Book, Vol. IV, The Shaker Museum in Old Chatham, NY. 

13. Journal of E. B., Fruitlands Museum, Harvard Mass.. (E. B. could be either Eunice 
Bathrick or Eliza Babbitt). 

14. Harvard Shaker Cemetery Study Project, Boston Area Shaker Study Group, 1987. 

15. Andrews (note 1), 198. 

16. Letter dated October 25, 1989, from James C. Thomas, President, Shakertown at 
Pleasant Hill, Ky. 

274 The Disappearing Shaker Cemetery 

Pleasant Hill, Ky. 

17. Carolyn B. Piercy, Valley of God's Pleasure (New York: 1951), 216-217. 

18. Ibid. 

19. Newspaper article from the collection of The Shaker Historical Society, Shaker 
Heights, Oh. 

20. Letter dated September 16, 1989, from Tommy Hines, Director, Shakertown at South 
Union, Oh. 



Scott Baird is an associate professor of linguistics at Trinity University in San 
Antonio, Texas. Beginning with his 1969 doctoral dissertation on African- 
An\erican English, his research has focused on multiple language use within 
shared time and space. His article on German and English blending of 
language on Texas gravemarkers reports part of his present socio-linguistic 
research that encompasses the thirty-some languages found in the enormous 
language cushion that divides English (Anglo) America from Spanish (Latin) 

Lauretta Dimmick is Gates Foundation Curator of American Art and Cura- 
tor of Painting and Sculpture at The Denver Art Museum. The Andrew 
Mellon and Chester Dale Fellowships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 
New York supported her Ph.D. thesis at the University of Pittsburgh. Study 
at the American Academy in Rome resulted in her fascination with Italy 
which is reflected in the article on Thomas Crawford. She is currently 
preparing a book on the sculpture collection of the Metropolitan Museum of 

Ricardo J. Ella is a Director of the Office of Public Archaeology at Boston 
University, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology 
and Associate Director of the University's Center for Archaeological Studies. 
He holds a Ph.D. from Boston University. He has done fieldwork in Greece 
and Yugoslavia as well as in New England, where he has directed over eighty 
cultural resource management projects since 1976. 

Thomas A. Malloy is a Professor of History at Mount Wachusett Community 
College in Gardner, Massachusetts. His wife, Brenda Malloy, teaches el- 
ementary school in Westminster, Massachusetts. 

Katherine M. Noordsij, who is Ivan Rigby's niece and collaborated with him 
in preparing the tribute to Francis Duval, earned her Bachelors degree from 
Denison University and her Ph.D. from Drew University. She has taught 


English, written articles, been a technical editor, and is now engaged in 
international marketing for AT&T. 

Ivan B. Rigby taught industrial design at Pratt Institute of Art in New York 
for many years. He was one of the founders of AGS and co-author with 
Francis Duval of Early American Gravestone Art in Photographs (1978). 

George H. Schoemaker is a Ph.D. candidate in Folklore and Cultural Studies 
at the Folklore Institute of Indiana University. He has published articles on 
various aspects of Mormon folklore, including folk narrative and material 
culture. He has served as co-editor of the journal Folklore Forum, and is 
currently engaged in dissertation research and field work in Paris on the topic 
of contemporary shadow theatre in France. 

Ralph Tucker is a retired clergyman who has been involved with genealogy 
and then New England gravestones since the early 1960s. He was the first 
president of AGS, and has been active in research on colonial stones that were 
made in Boston and areas north of Boston. He is known especially for his 
work on the Merrimack Valley stonecutters. He is now studying the stones 
of the famed Lamson family and also stones in Maine from the Boston area. 

Gray Williams, Jr., is a trustee of AGS and a freelance writer on subjects 
ranging from health to history. In collaboration with his daughter Meredith, 
he was co-author of the article on the New Haven carver Thomas Gold in 
Markers V. 

Betty Willsher was asked in 1983 by the Royal Commission on the Ancient 
and Historical Monuments of Scotland to survey graveyards in the Scottish 
Lowlands. Since then she has visited 510 churchyards in eight counties there, 
in other counties of Scotland and in some English counties. She has a 
collection of almost 2000 photographs with detailed notes. She has written a 
number of books: Stones: A Guide to Some Remarkable Eighteenth Century 
Gravestones with Doreen Hunter (1978), Understanding Scottish Graveyards 
(1985, reprinted 1988), and Hoiv to Record Scottish Graveyards (1985). Her 


article "Scottish Gravestones and the New England Winged Skull" appeared 
in Markers II. She was awarded the Harriette Merrifield Forbes Award by 
AGS in 1989. 

John S. Wilson began studying gravestones as an undergraduate at the 
University of Massachusetts, from which he received a Bachelors degree in 
1971 and a Masters degree in 1976. He is currently the Regional Historic 
Preservation Officer/Regional Archaeologist for the Northeast Region in the 
Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior. 



Boldface page numbers indicate illustrated gravestones. 

Abercom, West Lothian 71 
Aberfoyle, Perthshire 63 
Adam, Maria Anna 237 
Adams, Nancy 137, 139, 140, 

144, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 

154, 155 
Albon, James 205 
Alfred, Me. 265 
Allen, George 16 
Ailing, Hannah 95 
Ailing, Mary 90 
Ailing, Nathan 95 
Ailing, Phebe 91, 92 
Angell, Truman D. 201, 203 
Arnold, Benedict 98 
Arnold, Margaret 98, 99 
Ashby, Mass. 113 


backdating 33, 98, 120, 124. See 

also purchase delay 
Badger, Nathaneil 35 
Baldwin, Michael 94-96 
Barker, Mary 38 
Barker, Sarah 30 
Batchellor Street Cemetery 40, 43 
Bathgate, West Lothian 74 
Beverley Minster, Humberside 64 
Binney, Amos 158, 163- 

168, 173, 175 
Binney, Mary Ann 163, 165- 

168, 171, 173, 175, 176, 182, 184 
Borkowska, Countess Jozefa 176, 

Bowers, Aaron 116, 117 
Bridge Street Burial Ground 29 
Brigham City, Utah 205, 206 
Broussard, Florence O. 241, 242 

Canterbury, N.H. 264 
Charlestown, Mass. 86 
Chaudoir, Baroness 168, 171 
Chichester Cathedral 170 
Christian Charity 176, 178 
Circleville, Ohio 14 
Collins family 24 
Comal County, Texas 235, 236 
Concord, Mass. 105, 106, 

114, 117, 120, 123 
Corstorphine, Edinburgh 68 
Crawford, Thomas 158-196 
Cromwell, Agnes 168, 170 


Dana, Katharine 102, 103 
death masks 59 
Delaware, Ohio 14 
Dirleton, East Lothian 70 
Dominican Church, Lvov 179 
Durisdeer, Dumfriesshire 73 
Duval, Francis 1-21 

Edinburgh, Scotland 60, 61 
Flora, Ont, Canada 61, 62 
Enfield, N.H. 264, 265, 267 
Essex, Ct. 8 

First Church of Christ, New 

Haven 78 
First Society of New Haven, 

Ct. 79 
Flaxman,John 168, 170 
Foerster, Eduard 229 
Foerster, Emiliechar 229 
Frazee,John 159, 168, 190 


Fritz, Olga 241, 243 
Fritz, Wilhelm 241, 243 

Gaskell, Elisabeth 85 
Gold, Thomas 94, 96- 

98, 101, 103 
Greyfriars Burial Ground 60, 61 
Groveland, Mass. 34, 36 
Guenther, Margarethe 230 


Hale, Gideon 84 
Hancock Shaker Village 262-264 
Hartshorne, Lt. John 23-25, 53 
Hartwell, Rachel 114 
Harvard, Mass. 267, 268-270 
Haverhill, Mass. 35, 41, 42, 45 
Hayden, Eliakim 8 
Hays, Mary 96, 97 
Heber City, Utah 207 
Hierholzer, Bertha 236 
Hierholzer, Henry 236 
Holland, William 88, 90, 92, 

94, 95 
Holmon, John 40 
Honeyman, EUzabeth 66, 76 
Hopkinson, Caleb 34, 36-38 
Home, Anna Maria 226 
Home, Johannes Peter 226 


Jack-in-the-Green 63, 65,76 
Janson, Annie Christena 206 
Jervie, Thomas 74 
Johnson, Betty 43 
Johnson family 88 
Johnson, Joseph 90 
Johnson, Thomas, Jr. 85 
Johnson, Thomas, Sr. 84, 85 
Jonesboro, Tenn. 13 


Kendal, Hannah 268, 269 
Kewitch, Maria 239, 240 
King, Sister Caroline 270 
Kinloss, Morayshire 72 
Klepper, Dorethea 231 


Lamson shop 86 

Launitz, Robert E. 159, 161, 168, 

169, 172, 190, 193 
Lee, Mother Ann 257, 259, 260 
Leighton, Ezekiel 25 
Leighton family 33, 50, 54 
Leighton, Richard 24 
Logan, Ohio 7 
Logon, Ella 240 


Magott, Mary 234 

Male Soul Ascending 158, 174 

Manning family 24 

Manti Tabernacle 204 

Manti, Utah 204 

March, Ann 29 

Masonry 198, 199, 201, 210 

McGuire, Patrick Henry 207 

Menmuir, Angus 75 

Mergele, Barbara 233 

Merrimack River Style 24- 

26, 39, 50 
Milne, John 60 
misericords 63, 64 
Mohrhoff, Louis 228 
Mohrhoff, Wilhelm 246 
Moody, Hannah 30 
Morison, Hannah 22 
Moroni, Utah 209, 212 
Mosher, Abijah 115, 116 
Mosher, Hannah 116, 118 


Mount Auburn Cemetery 159, 

165-167,173, 178, 182, 

184, 189, 195 
Mount Lebanon, N.Y. 261- 

263, 264, 267, 268 
Mourner 160, 177 
Mullicken family 23, 

24, 27, 36, 39, 47, 50 
Mullicken, John 23, 25, 37, 

38, 45, 52 
Mullicken, Joseph 23, 25, 30, 

33, 35, 37-53 
Mullicken, Robert, Jr. 23, 25, 28, 

29, 30, 32-39, 43, 45, 47, 49-52 
Mullicken, Robert, Sr. 22-25, 28- 

30, 32, 33, 36, 37, 39, 49-52 


Nauvoo, 111. 198 

Nauvoo Temple 196-200, 205 

New Braunfels, Texas 224- 

235, 237-244, 246-248 
New Lebanon, N.Y. 261 
Newbury, Mass. 28, 30 
Newburyport, Mass. 22, 48 
Newport, R.I. 83 
North Andover, Mass. 30, 38 


Orpheus 161, 162, 165, 173 

Pecker, Hannah 41, 42 

Pecker, John 42 

Pepperell, Mass. 105, 106, 115- 

119, 123 
Peterborough, N.H. 112 
Poirglas, Marion 66, 73 
Polmont, Stirlingshire 72 
portrait stones 59, 61 
Powers, Hiram 176 
Preiss, Margaret 241 
Provo Marble Works 209, 212 

purchase delay 124. See also 

Quincy, Josiah 136 


Reiley, August 234 
Reiley, Marie 234 
Rogers, Anna 48 
Rosewell, Lydia 84 
Rumford, R.I. 16 

Sabbathday Lake, Me. 265, 266 

Salt Lake City, Utah 200 

Salt Lake Temple 197, 199, 200- 

203, 205, 206, 208, 211, 213 
San Antonio 235-237 
Sawyer Hill Burial Ground 22, 48 
Schneider, A. Joseph 227 
Schwab, Anna 236 
Schwab, Valentin 236 
Shirley, Mass. 266, 267 
Smith, Joseph 198, 200, 203, 209- 

South Bloomfield, Ohio 9 
Spauldin, Ithamar 105-132 
Spauldin, Lt. Joseph 116, 119 
St. Andrews Cathedral Museum, 

Fife 76 
St. George Tabernacle 204 
Staats, Henry 238 
Staats, Sophie 238 
Steinmetz, L. 224, 225 
Stevens shop 83 
Strickler, John 10 
Swenson, Addie M. 209 
Syme, Betsy A. 212 

Tanzey, Rev. J.K. 238, 239, 241 
Tappin, Jacob 28 


Thorvaldsen, Bertel 159, 161, 
168,171, 176, 178, 179,189, 
190, 193 

Tonne, Anna 235 

Tonne, Wm. 235 

Tranent, East Lothian 67, 69 

Trowbridge, Captain 
Daniel 93, 94 

Trowbridge, John 88, 89 

Trowbridge, Sarah (1687) 81 

Trowbridge, Sarah (1690) 82 


Unmarked Burial Law 133 
Uxbridge Almshouse Burial 
Ground 132, 135 


Wakefield Cathedral, 

Yorkshire 64 
Walker, Rebekah 113 
Washington Township, 

Ohio 10, 12 
Watervliet, N.Y. 256, 258-261 
Webster brothers 25 
Wenzel, Conrad 239, 242 
Werner, Carl 243, 244 
Werner, Mina 243, 244 
West Newbury, Mass. 29, 40, 43 
Whit, Mirram 45 
Whiting, Sarah 86, 87 
Whittier, Nathaniel 35 
Whittlesey, Chauncey 100, 

101, 103 
Williamstown, Mass. 18 
Wilson, Charlotte 112 
Wilson, James 112 
Woodward, Sarah 83 
Worster, Jonathan 24, 25 
Worster, Moses 24 


MARKERS I Reprint of 1980 journal, a 
collection of 15 articles on recording and 
care of gravestones, resources for teachers, 
some unusual nr\arkers and carvers Ithamar 
Spauldin of Concord, Mass. and the Con- 
necticut Hook-and-Eye Man. 
182 pages, 100 illustrations 

MARKERS V Pennsylvania German grave- 
stones; Louis Henri Sullivan, Thomas Gold, 
and 7 carvers working in Boston between 
1700-25 who signed stones with flieir initials; 
Canadian gravestones and yards in Ontario 
and Kings County, Nova Scotia. 
240 pages, 155 illustrations 

MARKERS n Signed stones in New England 
and Atlantic coastal states; winged skull sym- 
bolism found in Scotland and New England; 
early symbols discussed from a religious 
perspective and the wider social context; 
Mass. carvers Joseph Barbur, Jr., Stephen 
and Charles Hartshorn, and the carver 
known as "JN"; Portage County, Wise, carv- 
ers from 1850-1900; and a contemporary 
carver of San Angelo, Tex. 
226 pages, 168 illustrations 

MARKERS III Gravestone styles in fron- 
tier towns of Western Massachusetts; the 
emblems and epitaphs on Puritan grave- 
stones; John Hartshorn's carvings in Essex 
County, Mass.; New Hampshire carvers Paul 
Colbum, John Ball, Josiah Coolidge Wheat, 
Coolidge Wheat and Luther Hubbard. 
154 pages, 80 illustrations 

MARKERS IV Delaware children's stones 
of 1840-99; rural southern gravestones; the 
New York and New Jersey carving tradi- 
tions; camposantos of New Mexico; and 
death Italo- American style. 
180 pages, 138 illustrations 

MARKERS VI John Dwight of Shiriey, Mass.; 
the gravestones of Afro- Americans from New 
England to Georgia; a sociological study of 
monuments in the Chicago area; New Mexi- 
can camposantos; the hand as a symbol in 
Southwestern Ontario; a book review of James 
Slater's book. The Colonial Burying Grounds of 
Eastern Connecticut; and an epitaph from andent 
245 pages, 90 illustrations 

MARKERS VII A trilogy on cemetery gates 
and enclosures with excellent illustrations; 
the Boston Historic Burying Grounds Initiative 
reports on three graveyards; unusual monu- 
ments in colonial tidewater Virginia and the tree 
stump stones of the Limestone Belt of Indiana; 
the life and workof Virginia stonecarver Charles 
Miller Walsh and stonecarvers of Monroe 
County, Indiana; Tsimshian Indian monuments 
and Celtic crosses complete the volume. 
281 pages, 158 illustrations 

MARKERS VIII The Papers of Dr. Ernest 
Caulfield on Connecticut Carvers and their 
Work. Fifteen articles edited by James A. 
Slater and three edited by Peter Benes. 
342 pages, 206 illustrations