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MARKERS X 




W 



las ;>«! 



Journal of the 
Association for Gravestone Studies 



Markers X 



Journal of 
the Association for 
Gravestone Studies 



Edited hy 
Richard E. Meyer 



Association for Gravestone Studies 
Worcester, Massachusetts 




Copyright ©1993 by 

Association for Gravestone Studies 

30 Elm Street 
Worcester, Massachusetts 01601 



All rights reserved 
Printed in the United States of America 



ISBN: 1-878381-03-02 

ISSN: 0277-8726 
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: Robert Knozvles, 1703, Charlestown, Massachusetts. 
Photograph by Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Page 
A Chronological Survey of the Gravestones Made by Calvm 
Barber of Simsbiiry, Connecticut 

Stephen Petke 1 

The Chinese of Valhalla: Adaptation and Identity in a 
Midwestern American Cemetery 

C. Fred Blake 53 

Fifty Years of Reliability: The Stonecarving Career of 
Charles Lloyd Neale (1800-1866) in Alexandria, Virginia 

David Vance Finnell 91 

The Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville, Kentucky: Mirrors 
of Historical Processes and Theological Diversity 
through 150 Years 

David M. Gradwohl 117 

The Lamson Family Gravestone Carvers of Charlestown and 
Maiden, Massachusetts 

Ralph L. Tucker 151 

The Protestant Cemetery in Florence and Anglo-American 
Attitudes Toward Italy 

James A. Freeman 219 

Contributors 243 

Index 244 



m 



MARKERS: JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION 
FOR GRAVESTONE STUDIES 

EDITORIAL BOARD 

Richard E. Meyer, Editor 
Western Oregon State College 

Theodore Chase Warren Roberts 

Editor, Markers V-IX Indiana University 

Jessie Lie Farber Barbara Rotundo 

Mount Holyoke College State University of New York 

Editor, Markers I at Albany 

Richard Franca viglia James A. Slater 

University of Texas at Arlington University of Connecticut 

David Watters 

University of New Hampshire 

Editor, Markers II-IV 



As an avid reader of Markers since its initial appearance in 1980, I 
have been privileged to witness the evolution of this landmark annual 
publication over its first nine issues. Now, with this, the tenth issue of 
the journal, the responsibilities of editorship have fallen to me, and in 
assuming them I am struck with an awareness both of the enormous 
debt I owe to those who have performed these tasks before me and of the 
many challenges which lie ahead. 

Markers X presents the tone and balance which I hope will characterize 
the journal as it moves into the second decade of its existence - a blending 
of the type of traditional folk carver studies which have built and sus- 
tained the publication's reputation and a series of interpretive articles 
which expand its scope into matters of regionalism, ethnicity and other 
concerns relating directly to a fuller understanding of the role gravemark- 
ers and cemeteries play in the broad spectrum of American culture. 

iv 



In assembling this issue, I have been aided enormously by the tireless 
efforts of an editorial advisory board whose many thoughtful comments 
and suggestions have enhanced greatly the breadth and quality of the 
various articles contained herein. Both I and the individual contributors 
owe them our profoundest gratitude. 

Thanks also are owed to a number of others: to Western Oregon State 
College for its generous indirect financial support of the editor's respon- 
sibilities; to the American Institute of Commemorative Art and to sever- 
al anonymous donors for their direct financial assistance to the journal; 
to Ted Chase, the previous editor of Markers, whose counsel and assis- 
tance to me in this period of transition have been invaluable; to the staff 
members of Oregon Typography and Print Tek West, both of Salem, Ore- 
gon, whose assiduous efforts are in great measure responsible for the 
handsome appearance of the volume you now hold; to the officers, 
board members and general membership of the Association for Grave- 
stone Studies for their many gestures of encouragement and support; 
and, finally, to Lotte Larsen, whose strength and loving presence keep 
the editor sane and happy when the stresses of scholarship threaten to 
engulf him. 

Information concerning the submission of manuscripts for future 
issues of Markers may be obtained upon request from Richard E. Meyer, 
Editor, Markers: Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies, English 
Department, Western Oregon State College, Monmouth, Oregon 97361. 
For information about other AGS publications, membership, and activi- 
ties, write to the Association's Executive Director, Miranda Levin, 30 Elm 
Street, Worcester, Massachusetts 01601, or call (508) 831-7753. 




Fig. 1 Map Illustrating Locations of Documented Barber Gravestones 

vi 



A CHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY OF THE GRAVESTONES MADE BY 
CALVIN BARBER OF SIMSBURY, CONNECTICUT 

Stephen Petke 

Beneath the towering pines and to the sides of the central path of the 
eastern slope of Simsbury's Hop Meadow Burying Yard stand some sixty 
sandstone gravemarkers with remarkably similar decorative character- 
istics. These gravestones, most of which are dated between 1792-1807, 
feature a pear-shaped face with a small, thin, down-turned mouth, thin 
almond-shaped eyes and curved eyebrows and a long, two-lobed nose. 
The face is often encircled with striated wings and wavy headdress. The 
borders are symmetrical s-shaped curves which occasionally merge at 
the finial into an abstract flower bud. The legend is carved chiefly in 
upper- and lower-case block letters with liberal serifs. The capital letters 
AD are fused and followed by a colon. The numbers tend to be quite 
large and full-bellied. 

The maker of these gravestones, Calvin Barber, signed none of them, 
but fortuitously left an extraordinary record of his work in two now des- 
iccated account books currently in the possession of the Simsbury 
Historical Society. Barber's account books are a veritable gold mine of 
information about his life, his business ventures, his carving shop, and, 
especially, the individual stones which he made. It is indeed rare that 
such documentation exists and that it is possible to catalog nearly the 
entire output of a carver by having a record of his work. With Barber's 
account books one can trace changes in style, lettering, materials, costs 
and dispersal of his works. From reading these two volumes it becomes 
clear that Calvin Barber dominated the gravestone carving business in 
Simsbury and adjacent Farmington River Valley towns from 1793 until 
1820. Even allowing for the tremendous increase in the number of grave- 
stones erected after the American Revolution, Barber's output is signifi- 
cant. He placed over 150 stones in Simsbury, ninety in Canton, sixty in 
Granby, fifty in Bloomfield, twenty-five in East Granby and a scattering 
in the Connecticut towns of Avon, Windsor, East and West Hartland, 
Burlington, New Hartford, Winchester, West Hartford, Suffield, Bark- 
hamsted, and the Massachusetts border town of South wick (see Fig. 1). 
In all, at least 425 gravemarkers in this area can be documented or safely 
attributed to Calvin Barber. The volume of his work may easily exceed 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 



this figure: however, the lack of consistent documentation and the lack 
of distinction among much of the gravestone styles in the Farmington 
Valley after 1820 do not allow for conclusive attribution. These obstacles 
notwithstanding, it is certain that Barber was the region's most popular 
carver during the transformation of the craft at the turn of the century. 

When Calvin Barber's father, Daniel, died in 1779 at the age of 46, he 
left a humble estate worth just over 100 pounds. Incompetently man- 
aged by the executors, these assets quickly diminished and the widow, 
Martha (Phelps) Barber, found herself unable to care for her many chil- 
dren. At eight years of age, and against his will, her son, Calvin, was 
apprenticed to his brother-in-law, Jacob Pettibone, to learn the business 
of stonecutting and masonry. Whether or not Calvin Barber learned how 
to carve gravestones from Jacob Pettibone is uncertain. There is limited 
evidence which suggests that Pettibone may have produced grave- 
stones. His inventory included two chisels, two crowbars, one stone 
hammer, and two stone augers, but these would not have been used 
exclusively, if at all, for cutting gravestones. The gravestone carved for 
Pettibone's son, Jacob Wayne Pettibone (Simsbury, 1781), bears some 
resemblance to the early documented works of Calvin Barber and it 
would not have been uncommon for a father in the stonecutting busi- 
ness to memorialize his son with a marker of his own making. 
Pettibone's contemporary, Isaac Sweetland of Windsor and Hartford, 
was clearly active in gravestone making in the 1780s and there are simi- 
larities in the carving styles of Barber and Sweetland (see Figs. 2 and 3). 
Sweetland, incidentally, continued to carve for another forty years until 
his death in 1823 and remains a figure worthy of continued research by 
gravestone scholars. 

Wherever he learned his trade, Calvin Barber learned it well. By 1793 
he had married Rowena Humphrey, daughter of Major Elihu 
Humphrey, and was already established as a competent stone mason 
and gravestone carver. In the same year Calvin received his first military 
appointment, the designation of corporal. Successive appointments over 
the next fifteen years elevated him to the position of lieutenant colonel. 
Calvin's education must have also included academic training, for his 
account books are well-written and meticulously maintained. His train- 
ing would bear abundant fruit. He would serve as Justice of the Peace 
for the county from 1806-1815 and in a legal capacity for the State of 
Connecticut. From rather unassuming beginnings, Calvin Barber would 



Stephen Petke 










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*/' r 



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Fig. 2 Major Elihu Humphrey, 1777, Hopmeadow Cemetery, 

Simsbury. Documented to Isaac Sweetland. Calvin Barber's early 

carving resembles this Sweetland style. 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 



become one of the shrewdest and most prominent businessmen in 
Simsbury in the early nineteenth century.^ 

Gravestone making was rarely an occupation that could support an 
ambitious Yankee. In fact, Calvin Barber's gravestone business supple- 
mented his major occupation as a mason and stonecutter. The residents 
of the Farmington Valley also patronized Calvin Barber for their stoves, 
sinks, mantels, hearths and well caps. He furnished the stone for the 
underpinning, steps and hearth for the Turkey Hills meeting house from 
1796-1802 and provided the stone for the elaborate house of Solomon 
Rockwell of Winchester, now the home of the Winchester Historical 
Society. Later, Barber would build the arches for the Farmington canal 
through Simsbury. 

Calvin Barber obtained the variegated, reddish orange-brown sand- 
stone used to form gravestones from two quarries, one at Hop Brook, 
just south of the present day First Church of Christ in Simsbury, and 
another adjoining his own wooded lot.^ The stone used by Barber can be 
distinguished easily from the redder stone used by the Drake family of 
carvers in the area around Windsor, Connecticut and the browner sand- 
stone quarried in the Portland /Middletown section of the state. The 
color of the stone quarried in Simsbury resembles the sandstone from 
the nearby Longmeadow/ Springfield area of Massachusetts, though the 
former is coarser in texture. At the time Barber began to carve grave- 
stones, the quarry at Hop Brook was owned by John Poyson. Calvin 
bartered his labor in exchange for the use of the quarry: 

Know all men by these presences that I, Calvin Barber of Simsbury do for 
the consideration of twelve pounds [new tenor?] do bind myself to bild a 
chimney to a dwelling hous for Mr. John Pason. Said Pyson to bord said 
Barber and find [timber?] and to deliver materials for said chimney also. 
Said Barber is to under pin said hous to the sills; one side of said hous to 
be hewed stone, the other part of said hous to be ruf and not hewed but of 
plate stone. Said Barber is to furnish said underpinning stone and to 
deHver them in the quarry and said Pyson to dr[aw] them to the hous. 
The above [task] to be finished the first day of January, 1796. 

For which labor I am to have the privilege of a quarry of ston[e] which 1 
am now improving and have bin for the time of two years; said Barber to 
have the benefit of said quarry from the north bounds to the broolc which 
bounds we have this day put up, said quarrys are at the upper and lower 
mills so-called in Hopmeadow in Simsbury. 

(signed) John Poyson 
Calvin Barber 



Stephen Petke 




mi 










0^^;&^-- Miitf^ , 









Fig. 3 Lieutenant Andrew Robe, 1792, Hopmeadow Cemetery, 

Simsbury. Documented to Calvin Barber. This stone illustrates 

similarities and differences in Barber's early work and that of 

Isaac Sweetland. 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 



Dated at Simsbury 
this 16th day of Dec, 1795 
in presence of 
(signed) Theo Woodbridge 
Ebenezer Smith^ 

In 1807 Barber purchased outright the quarry at Hop Brook from 
Jonas Stanbury, a New York land speculator, and continued to own his 
two quarries, valued at $175, until his death in 1846. 

The early sandstone gravestones 

The earliest stones made by Calvin Barber resemble the circle cherub 
style of the Elihu Humphrey stone (Simsbury, 1777, Fig. 2), carved by 
Isaac Sweetland.4 The stone carved by Barber for Lieutenant Andrew 
Robe (Simsbury, 1792, Fig. 3), which was purchased in March, 1793, 
illustrates both the similarities and the differences. The head of the 
cherub on both stones is encircled by short, upswept, striated wings and 
the wavy headdress, and is flanked by two pinwheel rosettes. A drape- 
like pendency appears over the head. The eyes on the Robe stone, how- 
ever, are thinner, as are the eyebrows, and the long nose has two lobes 
instead of three. The border decorations are the familiar s-shaped curves 
merging into a flower stem and bud. In the legend the fused AD is com- 
mon to both, as are the colon and the size and shape of the numerals. The 
connector in the A of the Robe stone, however, is not v-shaped as in the 
stone carved by Sweetland, and the thorn (the symbol Y for the "th" 
sound, as in Ye for the) is not used. Barber rarely used the thorn in his 
lettering. The cost of each stone was two pounds. 

By the mid 1790s Barber had modified his carving, simplifying and 
standardizing the basic design of his "two-pound, five-shilling" grave- 
stone. The marker for Deborah Case (Simsbury, 1796, Fig. 4) shows that 
the mouth has been turned down and that the borders contain a thin, 
undulating abstract vine motif. The numbers are quite large and the 
relief is rather shallow. Occasionally, as in the stone for Asenath 
Humphrey (Simsbury, 1795, Fig. 5), Barber substituted a pair of flowers 
in place of the usual pinwheel rosettes. The borders too could be modi- 
fied, using plain, straight lines, as in the marker for Liberty Phelps 
(Canton, 1796). Barber's stones for children often were simplified even 
more by eliminating much of the epitaph and minimizing the amount of 
carving in the lunette and borders. His earliest documented stone for a 



Stephen Petke 










fyp In Memory of ^ . 

flMrf Deborah "Cafe^,- 
iMWife ofGaplCharfeg 
llCarcJ^-i^- She DlcA i 

fel>m!^A I 79co i 




• . : .• .■4'^ ■-■;: 



I. 'Ji-' U'^ . ; 



Fig. 4 Deborah Case, 1796, Hopmeadow Cemetery, Simsbury. 

Documented to Calvin Barber. Simplified design used by Barber in 

the mid-1790s in his "two pound, five shilling" gravestones. 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 








^^1 




\5i r- M Al H;'( ., 



Fig. 5 Asenath Humphrey, 1795, Hopmeadow Cemetery, Simsbury. 

Documented to Calvin Barber. An occasional Barber design in which 

he replaced his usual pinwheel rosettes with flowers. 

child, that for Love Ensign (Simsbury, 1794, Fig. 6) was cut using the 
streamlined version of Barber's basic gravestone design. The limited 
amount of carving reduced the cost of such a stone to just one pound, 
four shillings. 

Although Calvin Barber had largely standardized his gravestone 
production within the first two years of operation, and the cost of such 
stones was now within the reach of some of the moderately wealthy and 
middle class citizens of the Farmington Valley, the most prominent and 
prosperous of the Valley's populace could still distinguish themselves by 
having erected distinctive gravemarkers cut by Calvin Barber. Carved in 
1797, the gravestone of Colonel Jonathan Humphrey (Simsbury, 1794, 
Fig. 7) stands apart from Barber's more conventional gravestones. While 
the lettering and facial features are readily recognizable as from Barber's 
hand, the central image is transformed by the large, solid, scimitar-like 
wings which arch up powerfully from below the chin. They are support- 
ed by two small pillars (recalling the Biblical Jachin and Boaz) and a 
globe within a box. The headdress is far more elaborate than is usual for 
Barber's work and the intricate scrolled-head tympanum, which was 



Stephen Petke 




III Memoi 
f.ove K|ifi 



She Died /<Vu^U( 
the 2%||^ 



Aged |:(|^6<*rs ^ 



'X^ <9>^y>^^ 



Ml 




Fig. 6 Love Ensign, 1794, Hopmeadow Cemetery, Simsbury. 

Documented to Calvin Barber. Barber's earliest documented stone for 

a child and typical of the streamlined version of his basic design. 



10 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 




Fig. 7 Colonel Jonathan Humphrey, 1794, Hopmeadow Cemetery, 

Simsbiuy. Documented to Calvin Barber. An example of an elaborate 

design carved for a prosperous citizen. 



specifically requested by the deceased's son, completes this decidedly 
fashionable monument. Colonel Jonathan Humphrey was one of the 
leading citizens of Simsbury. He served as a lieutenant on Lake 
Champlain during the French-Indian War and as a colonel at Peekskill, 
New York during the revolution. He commanded a force of 1,149 men, 
three-fourths of which he had mustered in Simsbury. On the domestic 
front, he helped to establish Newgate prison and represented his town in 
the Connecticut General Assembly and as a selectman. He owned a styl- 
ish center-chimney "saltbox" house and some 165 acres of land. Though 
his entire inventory of over 1,000 pounds does not indicate a man of 
great wealth, it is likely that some of his fortune was spent during the 
Revolution or had been conferred to his heirs prior to his death.s A simi- 
larly elaborate scroll pediment gravestone was carved for Matthew 
Adams (Bloomfield, 1776, Fig. 8) and was placed some twenty years 
after his death. 

Calvin Barber merged his scimitar wing and s-shaped curved border 
styles in executing the gravestones for his father, Daniel Barber 



Stephen Petke 



11 



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b-ibsfe^^ 






Jjeath 



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■ r^ ' • , •£» •' 



Fig. 8 Matthew Adams, 1776, St. Andrews Cemetery, Bloomfield. 

Documented to Calvin Barber. Carved and erected in 1797, twenty 

years after Adams' death. 



12 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 








l'-\ \U IVltOfyfORY OF 

Ho Drccl Aru-ff Hic 

{a^lVO I779:fn A 

W/i (• n 7A )x f/i a l[ </ n // 



/..(•)• /, 



ini.'f'- of rljiy^Kf i„,(' 



*-/.. 



Fig. 9 Daniel Barber, 1779, Hopmeadow Cemetery, Simsbury. 

Attributed to Calvin Barber. This stone for Calvin's father is 

bacicdated by some 15 years. 



Stephen Petke 



13 




I 



i Son af 

1 ■ „ ' 

Capt. A^ftron Pinnev 

And Su sail a his We 

Died Augfjsf 4^ 

180^6 

f n t h e 1 7 y ^ ^ r of h is ^ g e 

Parents S.Ypu^:f^f 
Whenthh jou see 

A solemn lesson 

IfBsrn from.me 

JJotdRtbeeh^m 
- ' \Anf/ J^jy o^-^/^^'^^- 
The shi^ft^of "ie^n- 




Fig. 10 Bidwell Piimey, 1806, St. Andrews Cemetery, Bloomfield. 
Attributed to Calvin Barber. Typical of an unomamented style that 
Barber carved and placed only in this yard for two decades beginnin 

in the mid-1790s. 



14 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 




Fig. 11 Michael Moses, 1797, Hopmeadow Cemetery, Simsbury. 

Documented to Calvin Barber. Around 1800, Barber began to simplify 

his carving, progressing toward an unomamented uniformity. 



Stephen Petke 15 



(Simsbury, 1779, Fig. 9) and for Hezekiah Humphrey (Simsbury, 1781). 
These stones, both of which are backdated by roughly 15 years, are more 
deeply cut than many of Calvin's other works, and the attentive carving 
in the lunette sets these two stones apart from Barber's more common 
gravemarkers. 

Beginning in the mid 1790s, Barber also began to furnish gravemark- 
ers from a different sandstone and of a different style for the deceased at 
the St. Andrew's church in a section of North Bloomfield, at the time 
called Scotland. While some of Barber's more elaborate scimitar wing 
style stones were placed here, a majority of sandstone markers cut for 
this congregation by Barber were rectangular grayish-brown grave- 
stones with inscriptions but no ornamental carving (see Fig. 10). The ear- 
liest of these was carved in 1795. In addition to the composition and 
shape of this stone, the lettering that Barber used differs from his typical 
style. The carving is more fluid, many of the letters being italicized or 
delicately slanted. Barber would continue supplying this style of grave- 
stone over the next two decades. In no other Farmington Valley burying 
ground, however, does one find the rectangular grayish brown grave- 
stone with no decoration that Barber carved for the St. Andrew's church. 

Nineteenth century winged-face sandstone gravestones 

Around 1800, Calvin Barber began to further simplify his basic 
design by gradually eliminating the striated lines in his effigies' wings 
and thinning the eyes and eyebrows. The Michael Moses stone 
(Simsbury, 1801, Fig. 11) illustrates the progression toward this unorna- 
mented uniformity. Barber's movement toward greater simplicity was 
no doubt driven by his desire to produce gravestones efficiently rather 
than by his lack of skill or creativity. There are, nonetheless, occasional 
examples of a rare but not unexpected mistake, as, for example, a back- 
ward number 4 in the stone carved for John Cowles (New Hartford, 
1792). 

Amidst the monotony of the mass-produced gravestone, Calvin 
Barber did, at times and for the proper dignitary, furnish a monument of 
considerable artistry, invention and proficiency. Among his sandstone 
masterpieces must be included the monument for Doctor Jonathan Bird 
(Simsbury, 1786, Fig. 12). This stone, carved in 1795, is a remarkably exe- 
cuted sculpture which demonstrates Barber's tremendous facility in 
carving intricate details upon gravestones of sweeping proportions. 



16 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 




Fig. 12 Doctor Jonathan Bird, 1786, Hopmeadow Cemetery, 

Simsbury. Documented to Calvin Barber. One of Barber's 

sandstone masterpieces blending traditional folk imagery with 

newer classical images. 



Stephen Petke 17 



Given the time, motivation, and remuneration (the stone cost six 
pounds), Calvin Barber could create works which rivaled the best prod- 
ucts of the Valley's finest carving tradition. The Bird stone, with its right- 
angled shoulders, features a conventional cherub face with elaborate 
curly headdress surrounded by delicately carved vines. The space 
directly below the tympanum shows a quintet of Masonic symbols: the 
sun, the square and compass, the all-seeing eye, and the crescent moon. 
The inscription, also carved with great care, reads: 

IN MEMORY of Doct. JONATHAN BIRD, who (After exhibiting a strik- 
ing example of Philosophic patience and Fortitude through a distressing 
ilkiess) Departed this Life on the 17th of Deem AD 1786. In the 43 Year of 
his Age. 

FAITH. HOPE. CHARITY. 

Stop Brother and impart a generous sigh, O're one in prime called to 
resign his breath. Since all your social band this Scene must tie, Square all 
your work before the hour of DEATH. 

During the late 1700s and early 1800s a movement toward adaptation 
of neoclassical motifs saw a parallel tendency to abandon many of the 
typical religious symbols and to recognize one's allegiance to earth- 
bound institutions. This period represented a transitional phase as 
gravestone images and carving techniques shifted from expressions of 
folk culture to manifestations of professional training and popular cul- 
ture. The apparent religious images (cherubs, angels, and soul effigies) 
were gradually replaced by neoclassical and secular images (urns, wil- 
lows, columns, and curtains.) In addition to the changes in imagery, this 
period witnessed a change in technology. Instead of the freehand cre- 
ation of designs by individual carvers, gravestone production relied on 
the use of stencils or patterns for designs. The rise in Freemasonry paral- 
leled this transformation in gravestone art. This quasi-religious group 
displayed its loyalty to the fraternal order by placing their symbols on 
selected markers in New England. The Bird stone is an exceptional 
example of the blending of traditional folk imagery and newer worldly 
and popular images. The traditional cherub face is merged with the sun 
and the moon symbolizing light, the square and compass representing 
reason and relationship with God, and the all-seeing eye of a vigilant 
God. The words Faith, Hope, and Charity stand for the three rungs of 



18 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 




i. 






i J. 








Fig. 13 Mary Clark and daughter, 1808, St. Andrews Cemetery, 

Bloomfield. Documented to Calvin Barber. This stone illustrates the 

economy of the carving seen in much of Barber's later work. 

Jacob's ladder.6 

During the latter portion of the new century's first decade, Calvin 
Barber eliminated the rosettes from the lunette of his stones and carved 
very few excess lines or ornamentation. Border decorations disappeared 
and inscriptions became terse. Within a few years Barber would price his 
stones according to the number of characters and begin to charge inter- 
est on accounts past due. The gravestone of Mary Clark and daughter 
(Bloomfield, 1808, Fig. 13) illustrates the continuing sparseness and 
economy of the carving. The drape-like pendency above the face has 
now become the outline of the tympanum. The encircling wings are 
more abstract than ever, and the headdress contains but a few large 
curls. As late as 1819, Barber was still providing gravestones with the 
cherub face motif to those who had no preference for the more current 
styles. 



Neoclassical sandstone gravestones 

The proliferation of the urn-and-willow motif in the last decade of 



Stephen Petke 



19 






Fig. 14 Richard Gay, 1805, Center Cemetery, East Granby. 

Documented to Calvin Barber. An example of the "locket style," one 

of Barber's three um-and-willow designs. 



20 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 



the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century 
engulfed virtually all major New England carvers, among them Calvin 
Barber. After 1810, with few exceptions, the winged-effigy or cherub- 
faced stones (which one associates with the colonial carving tradition) 
were made by Calvin Barber generally for children and wives whose 
older surviving relatives ordered the then-outmoded cherub face motif. 
For the new generation, the neoclassical lines and sentimental urns and 
willows were the fashion of the day. 

Calvin Barber began carving his urn-and-willow motif gravestones 
in 1802, the year in which he rendered the baroque carvings for Moses 
Case (Simsbury 1794) and Job Case (Simsbury 1798). Undoubtedly 
influenced by other Connecticut Valley carvers. Barber cut these grave- 
markers with a tympanum shaped by scrolls and reverse curves. Within 
the lunette, he carved a round urn flanked by two willow trees. As with 
almost all of Barber's urn-and-willow carvings, there are no border dec- 
orations, only a slight grooved outline to frame the legend. The lettering 




iDe at S AM ITE L H.XYS 

Fig. 15 Deacon Samuel Hayes, 1801, Center Cemetery, Granby. 

Documented to Calvin Barber. One of about a dozen markers carved 

in a baroque urn-and-willow style. Barber's most expensive 

sandstone creations. 



Stephen Petke 



21 




'J . 




rIVlr:RobcrtHx)CKhp 



1 He V)ay a pxfc-x's'or ofvitd 

Vteltoion froni lies ^^'ontlh , 
j andoi-goo'd repart^.^,-, '^ 

• cije^ui ni: Lord. 








■.^'':]A*y' 



Fig. 16 Robert Hoskins, 1807, Hopmeadow Cemetery, Simsbury. 
Documented to Calvin Barber. An example of Barber's third um-and- 

willow style. 



22 Gravestones of Calvin Barber 



is characteristic of Barber's cherub-faced creations, with block upper- 
and lower-case letters for the initial inscription, italicized letters for the 
remainder of the epitaph, a fused AD, and full-bellied numerals. 

While a few examples can be found with a single urn or with a lone 
willow, the vast majority of Calvin Barber's neoclassical gravestones 
were carved with both urns and willows in the tympanum. Barber relied 
on a fundamental design for his colonial style carvings, but commonly 
used three repetitive urn-and-willow designs to suit his or his patron's 
taste. The gravestone for Richard Gay (East Granby, 1805, Fig. 14) is one 
of Barber's "locket-style" urn-and willow carvings. The central image, a 
round urn upon a base with an overhanging willow tree or branch, is 
enclosed by a thin oval outline. The Gay stone is embellished with 
baroque volutes which extend to the finials. 

The Deacon Samuel Hays stone (Granby, 1801, Fig. 15) is one of the 
finest examples of Barber's high baroque style of urn-and-willow grave- 
markers. Barber carved about a dozen of these fashionable monuments 
until 1810, when simpler, cleaner designs became more popular. The 
purchasers of Barber's scroll head style of gravestone frequently gave 
him specific carving instructions. Simeon Hays asked that the grave- 
stone for his father, Samuel, be a "scroll head," while Noble Phelps 
requested that the stone for his wife, Fiorina (Simsbury, 1799) be a "scroll 
head with a weeping willow." Because of the more complicated and 
time-consuming carving, these were among Barber's most expensive 
creations, costing around four and one-half pounds. 

A third basic urn-and-willow design utilized by Barber can be seen 
in the stone carved for Robert Hoskins (Simsbury, 1807, Fig. 16). Here the 
round urn is draped by a large willow tree which fills the entire upper 
portion of the lunette. The stones that Barber carved for Luther Holcomb 
(East Granby, 1809) and Hoel Humphrey (Simsbury, 1808) represent less 
elaborate and less expensive versions where the willow tree is far less 
intricately carved or is absent altogether. In the case of the Humphrey 
stone instructions for a gravestone "with an urn on it" were expressly 
given to Calvin Barber. For children. Barber often carved double stones 
such as the markers for Nancy and Candice Holcomb (West Granby, 
1811) and Henry J. and Harriet Holcomb (North Granby, 1815). 

Very few Connecticut Valley burying yards contain gravestones with 
Masonic symbols on them. The Amasa Humphrey stone (Simsbury, 
1799, Fig. 17) deserves attention both for its striking abundance of 



Stephen Petke 



23 




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Fig. 17 Captain Amasa Humphrey, 1799, Hopmeadow Cemetery, 
Simsbury. Documented to Calvin Barber. An expensive stone with an 
elaborate, beautifully executed design that includes an abundance of 

Masonic symbols. 

Masonic symbols and for its consummate execution. Barber's most skill- 
fully carved urn-and-willow motif adorns the tympanum of this monu- 
ment, while the vertical and horizontal borders are cut to represent the 
two pillars of King Solomon's Temple (symbolizing strength and stabili- 
ty) and the tesselated pavement. Within this framework are carved the 
sun symbolizing light, the Bible open to the gospel of St. John, the square 
and compass representing reason and faith, the all-seeing eye symboliz- 
ing watchfulness and the Supreme Being, the moon surrounded by 
seven stars denoting the perfect lodge, the plumb rule designating 
uprightness, and the level representing equality. The profusion of these 
symbols illustrates an emerging emphasis on the commemoration of the 
individual and the importance of his earthly behavior and virtues. It 
epitomizes the burgeoning rationalization of man's relationship to his 
maker, the beginning of a modern world dominated no longer by God, 
but by man. The epitaph recounts that Humphrey "possessed a sound 
mind and judgement, was cheerful, benevolent and agreeable. In life he 



24 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 









Fig. 18 Elisabeth Case, 1808, Dyer Farm Cemetery, Canton. 

Documented to Stephen Harrington, who worked for Calvin Barber. 

Barber's influence is easily recognized in this stone. 



Stephen Petke 



25 




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Fig. 19 Hannah Humphreys, 1808, Dyer Farm Cemetery, Canton. 

Documented to Henry Harrington, a partner in Calvin Barber's 

workshop. The lettering resembles Barber's, but the um-and-willows 

are Harrington's. 



26 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 




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Fig. 20 Selah Dickenson, 1806, Hopmeadow Cemetery, Simsbury. 

Documented to Henry Harrington, who with his brother, Stephen, 

became co-owners with Barber of the Barber workshop. 



Stephen Petke 27 



was beloved and in death lamented." A sheriff for Hartford County and 
a successful businessman who owned two houses and two barns, 
Humphrey possessed an estate valued at nearly 1,500 pounds/ At seven 
pounds, four shillings, his gravestones were the most expensive markers 
purchased in Simsbury before 1805. Related to Humphrey by marriage 
and by the bonds of the fraternal order. Barber was the logical craftsman 
for Humphrey's executors to patronize. 

The Barber Shop 

Throughout the burying grounds of the Farmington Valley, one occa- 
sionally encounters what at first would appear to be one of Barber's vari- 
ations on a familiar theme. Closer examination, however, reveals the 
hand of other craftsmen influenced or trained by the master. The account 
books of Calvin Barber tell us that several of the town's young men were 
employed by him to hew and haul stone from the quarries, and, period- 
ically, to carve or finish a gravestone. Jared Barber worked for Calvin, as 
did Asa and Eden Hays, Zebe Ensign, Friend Noble, James Fletcher and 
Horace Bestor. Randall Tuller began his apprenticeship with Calvin 
Barber in 1802 but found the task too demanding, as a notice in the 
Connecticut Courant recounted: 

Runaway from the subscriber, on the evening of the 5th day of February 
1809, an indented BOY, to the mason and stone cutting business, named 
Randall Tuller, 18 years of age. ..whoever shall return this boy will have 
one cent reward.^ 

Among the first to join Calvin Barber in his stonecutting venture was 
Stephen Harrington (1777-1812). Stephen is mentioned in Barber's jour- 
nal for hewing the stone that would become the gravemarker for Martha 
Pettibone (Simsbury, 1796). He is also credited with completing the 
gravestone for Jerucia Tuller (Simsbury, 1798), although it is uncertain 
whether he collaborated with Barber in its making. Stephen was paid 
$15 for the gravestone for Elizabeth Case (Canton, 1808, Fig. 18).^ The 
influence of Barber is easily recognized in this work: the overall shape 
and design is comparable to Barber's own style, yet the execution is less 
accomplished. 

In 1804, Stephen's brother, Henry (1785-1810), joined the Barber shop 
not only to extract stone but also to fashion gravestones. Henry cut the 
gravestone for Hannah Humphreys (Canton, 1808, Fig. 19), a marker 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 



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Fig. 21 Lucy Wilcox, 1806, North Canton Cemetery, North Canton. 

Documented to Calvin Barber. One of Barber's rectangular sandstone 

markers, of which he made numerous variations from 1810 to 1819. 



Stephen Petke 29 



whose lettering closely resembles Barber's own, but whose image, with 
its diamond-shaped urn and taut willow trees, is Henry's alone. Henry 
Harrington was paid $8 for the marker for Selah Dickenson (Simsbury, 
1806, Fig. 20), with its spherical urn, fluted columns supporting an arch, 
and striped leaves.^" The Harrington brothers would become co-owners, 
with Barber, of the "quarry near to the Grist Mills in Hop Meadow," and 
would help propel the Barber shop into the nineteenth century. The part- 
nership, however, was tragically short-lived. At the young age of 24, 
Henry Harrington suddenly died. A distraught Stephen migrated to 
Ohio and died there, a victim of the War of 1812. 

Sandstone gravestones with no central image 

Gradually, Calvin Barber would shift his carving style by moving 
away from the neoclassical urn-and-willow as the central image on his 
gravestones and toward sUghtly decorated and often undecorated sand- 
stone markers. In 1810, the year in which he carved the rectangular sand- 
stone marker for Lucy Wilcox (North Canton, 1807, Fig. 21), Barber intro- 
duced yet another style of monument to the Farmington Valley. During 
the decade from 1810-1819, Barber offered variations of his rectangular 
sandstone gravestone. For the gravestone of Elisha Wilcox (Simsbury, 
1812), he added scalloped fans at the four corners of the marker. For the 
Susannah Phelps stone (Simsbury, 1815), he carved flower petals in the 
upper corners. For the gravemarker of Mary Case (Canton, 1817), Barber 
engraved the inscription within a low relief circle seemingly held by four 
fan-like projections emanating from the corners of the stone. Smaller and 
simpler stones could be provided for children at about half the cost of 
those for adults. The stone cut for Eliza Prince (Canton, 1817) was one of 
the last rectangular sandstone markers that Barber produced. Other inex- 
pensive stones for children combined the undecorated style with a tablet 
shape or modified bed board shape, such as the stone carved for Wealthy 
Case (Simsbury, 1808). 

Marble gravestones with no central image 

As early as 1796, Calvin Barber was exploring the use of marble as a 
new material for his gravestone carvings. It was in that year that 
Doctor John Bestor asked Barber to carve the diminutive marble mark- 
er for his son, Henry, who had died two years earlier shortly after 
being born. As the demand for the pure white, ethereal quality of 



30 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 




Fig. 22 Dudley Bestor, 1818, Hopmeadow Cemetery, Simsbury. 

Documented to Calvin Barber. An example of Barber's rectangular, 

white marble markers. 



Stephen Petke 



31 




Fig. 23 Caleb, 1816, and Hannah, 1798, Spencer, North Canton 

Cemetery, North Canton. Documented to Calvin Barber. About 1815, 

Barber began using stencils for lettering and numerals. 



32 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 



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Fig. 24 Ruth Griffin, 1810, West Granby Cemetery, West Granby 
Documented to Calvin Barber. One of Barber's finest marble stones. 



Stephen Petke 33 



marble increased. Barber journeyed to West Stockbridge and 
Washington, Massachusetts to obtain new stone for his gravestone 
carvings. The variations that Barber used in his rectangular sandstone 
gravestones he also rendered on marble. Small fan, flower, and shell 
shapes at the corners, chamfered edges, and thinly grooved border out- 
lines can be found with regularity on Barber's rectangular marble 
gravemarkers. Perhaps fittingly, one of the last sparingly decorated rec- 
tangular marble gravestones that Calvin fashioned was the large mark- 
er for another of Doctor Bestor's unfortunate sons. The stone for 
Dudley Bestor (Simsbury, 1813, Fig. 22) marks the grave of a promising 
lad who had just completed his collegiate education. 

Neoclassical marble gravestones 

Marble did not inspire Calvin Barber to create innovative new styles, 
yet he was quite capable of carving on both marble and his own indige- 
nous sandstone. His urn-and-willow marble gravestones were cut in rec- 
tangular, chamfered rectangular, bed board, and classical bed board 
shapes. While many of Barber's works on marble were among his most 
expensive - the cost of importing the stone being a contributing factor - 
Calvin could nonetheless also render a fashionable marble gravestone at 
a modest price. The gravestone for Seymour Case (Simsbury, 1812), with 
its central urn and curved volutes, was one of a pair carved for the chil- 
dren of Amasa Case, Jr.. By limiting the degree of ornate carving in the 
lunette and the legend. Barber could produce such a stone for just $3.50. 

It was not uncommon that double gravestones for husbands and 
wives were ordered. If the wife had died first, and not had a stone erect- 
ed, a double marker was often carved for the couple upon the subse- 
quent death of the husband. Such was the case with Hannah and Caleb 
Spencer (North Canton, 1798 & 1816, Fig. 23). Amos Spencer purchased 
the large double stone for his parents from Calvin Barber for $33.00 
shortly after his father's death. The chamfered lunette is bifurcated with 
an urn and willow tree carved in each half, while the legend is outlined 
by a groove with concave corners from which fan-shaped objects radi- 
ate. By the middle of the century's second decade. Barber had begun to 
employ stencils for some of his lettering, particularly for the names and 
dates of the deceased. 

Many eighteenth and early nineteenth century Connecticut grave- 
stones carved on marble have succumbed to the ravages of New 



34 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 




Fig. 25 Lydia Graham, 1802, North Canton Cemetery, North Canton. 

Documented to Calvm Barber, Because this stone was toppled and 

has rested on the ground face-down, its carving has been better 

preserved than that on many marble stones in New England. 



Stephen Petke 35 



England's weather and pollution, so that a large number are today near- 
ly illegible. Few of Barber's marble gravestones have been spared this 
fate, but those that have survived the past 200 years provide special 
insight into his considerable proficiency in carving on marble. The 
gravestones for Ruth Griffin (West Granby, 1810, Fig. 24) and Lydia 
Graham (North Canton, 1802, Fig. 25), both completed in 1813, represent 
two of Barber's finest marble carvings. The urn and willow cut in the 
tympanum of the Griffin stone is as fine as any Barber executed on sand- 
stone. The inscription, neatly spaced and confidently etched, is framed 
by a delicately beveled outline. 

At $48.00, the gravestone that Calvin Barber made for Freeman 
Graham's wife, Lydia, was the most expensive from the Barber shop 
before 1820, and uncommon circumstances have kept it relatively free 
from deterioration. In the lunette of this stone. Barber carved an unusual 
collection of mortuary symbols: an urn with a peculiar broad-leafed wil- 
low, a scythe, and an hourglass. When searching for this stone, it became 
apparent that this was one of the few markers Barber documented in his 
account book that is no longer standing. When I did find it lying on the 
ground, it seemed ironic to discover that its face-down position had pro- 
tected its carved surface from the elements so that it was in unusually 
good condition. Now split in half from its collapse, this stone is certainly 
worthy of restoration for its importance to Barber's body of work and to 
early Connecticut carving. 

Unsolved mysteries 

The account books of Calvin Barber have allowed me to locate all but 
about a dozen of the stones that he made and recorded. But as much as 
his records provide invaluable documentation of his body of gravestone 
carving, they also present the gravestone scholar with the inevitable 
unsolved mysteries that accompany every historical investigation. 

In 1802, Campbell Humphrey purchased a gravestone for his brother, 
Dudley, for four and one-half pounds. The price would indicate that it 
was one of Barber's large baroque-style urn-and-willow sandstone 
markers. The only Dudley Humphrey that has been found in written 
records as a brother to (Alexander) Campbell Humphrey was the 
Dudley who died in Ohio in 1859. A stone for Dudley Humphrey 
(Norfolk, 1794) is documented in the deceased's estate papers to 
Abraham Codner, who provided a winged cherub marble gravestone in 



36 



Gravestones of Calvin Barber 




Fig. 26 Calvin Barber, 1846, Hopmeadow Cemetery, Simsbury. 
Carver unknown. 



Stephen Petke 37 



1795 for five pounds, two shillings, four pence." For whom did 
Campbell Humphrey buy the expensive gravestone from Calvin Barber, 
and where is that stone? 

In 1799, Farrend Case married Electra Shepard of Blandford, 
Massachusetts. Three years later Case purchased a gravestone from 
Calvin Barber for "Mr. Shepard" for two pounds, five shillings, the usual 
price for one of Barber's standard cherub-faced sandstone monuments. 
Who was the "Mr. Shepard" for whom this stone was acquired and 
where is it located? Family genealogies offer only tantalizing clues.^^ 

The unfortunate Ezra Adams of North Canton, who lost five of his 
children before they reached adolescence, bought three small grave- 
stones from Calvin Barber in 1809 for $4.50 apiece. Could these have 
been the same type of simple, undecorated sandstone markers that are 
found in many Farmington Valley burying yards? The stones for the 
Adams' children are not in the North Canton yard with an $8 stone pur- 
chased that same year for Hannah Adams, 1807. Where are these three 
stones, and for which of the Adams children were they carved?i3 

During the Revolutionary War, David Goodrich of Chatham was 
killed in a violent storm, leaving a wife and a three year old son, David. 
Three dozen years later, the younger David, who had married Hilphah 
Hayes and moved to Granby, purchased an expensive ($30) marble 
gravestone for the father he barely knew. Was this a replacement stone, 
or, perhaps, a cenotaph? It is not in any of the Granby burying yards. If 
the stone has survived, does it lie in some other Connecticut burying 
ground?!* 

Conclusion 

Though the bulk of Calvin Barber's gravestone carvings are unre- 
markable, particularly in comparison to the finest preceding and con- 
temporary works from New England's urban centers, they nevertheless 
represent a considerable volume of the region's mortuary art carved dur- 
ing the first decades of the new nation. Any view of artifacts which 
emphasizes the mere beauty of the objects offers an interpretation of his- 
tory and heritage that fails to acknowledge the entire spectrum of the 
American experience. Without ignoring the contributions made by 
extraordinary Americans, we must recognize that ordinary people are 
makers of history in their own right. Calvin Barber (see Fig. 26) was an 
industrious and shrewd businessman and a conscientious public official. 



38 Gravestones of Calvin Barber 



He was an accomplished stone mason and a skilled and prolific grave- 
stone carver who supplied the residents of the Farmington Valley with 
the materials to erect homes for the living and markers for the dead. The 
hundreds of gravestones that he placed in the burying yards of 
Connecticut's Farmington River towns, complemented by the written 
record of his work, have secured a place in history for Calvin Barber. 



NOTES 

All photographs are by the author. 

1. Estate Inventory of Daniel Barber, Simsbury, 1779, Simsbury District File 216, CSL. 
Estate Inventory of Jacob Pettibone, Granby, 1807, Simsbury District File 1281, 
CSL. Estate Inventory of Isaac Sweetland, Hartford, 1823, Hartford District File 
unnumbered, CSL. Lillian May Wilson, ed.. Barber Genealogy (Haverhill, Mass., 
1909), 138-139. 

2. Estate Inventory of Calvin Barber, Simsbury, 1846, Simsbury District File 212, CSL. 

3. Contract Between Calvin Barber and John Poyson, December 16, 1975, manuscript, 
Simsbury Historical Society. 

4. Estate Inventory of Elihu Humphrey, Simsbury, 1777, Simsbury District File 1566, 
CSL. 

5. Frederick Humphreys, The Humphreys Family in America (New York, 1883), 299. Estate 
Inventory of Jonathan Humphrey, Simsbury, 1794, Simsbury District File 1594, CSL. 

6. Thomas A. Zaniello, "The Keystone of Neoclassicism: Freemasonry and Gravestone 
Iconography," Journal of American Culture 3:4 (1980): 581-594. 

7. Humphreys, 175. Estate Inventory of Amasa Humphrey, Simsbury, 1799, Simsbury 
District File 1530, CSL. 

8. Connecticut Courant (April 12, 1809). 

9. Estate Inventory of Elisabeth Case, Canton, 1808, Simsbury District File 541, CSL. 

10. Estate Inventory of Henry Harrington, Simsbury, 1810, Simsbury District File 1307, 
CSL. 

11. Humphreys, 143. Estate Inventory of Dudley Humphrey, Norfolk, 1794, Norfolk 
District File 384, CSL. 



Stephen Petke 39 



12. Gerald Faulkner Shepard, The Shepard Families of Neiv England (New Haven, Conn., 
1973), III: 133. 

13. Abiel Brown, Genealogical Histon/ With Short Sketches of the Early Settlers of West 
Simsburi/ now Canton, Conn. (Hartford, 1856), 9. 

14. LaFayette Wallace Case, ed.. The Goodrich Family in America (Chicago, 1889), 96; 166. 



40 



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Stephen Petke 51 



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52 



The Chinese of Valhalla 




Fig. 1 Jiuh mahn Jung si (Traditional Format). 
Typical of flat stones in original section. 



53 



The Chinese of Valhalla: 
Adaptation and Identity in a Midwestern American Cemetery 

C. Fred Blake 

People from China have lived in St. Louis, Missouri for almost one 
hundred and fifty years, but very little material evidence of their early 
settlement and way of life has remained and very little effort has been 
made to research their past. One of the iew sources that is both accessible 
and rich in evidence is Valhalla, a large suburban cemetery where the 
remains of more than two hundred deceased members of the Chinese 
community are buried. Visitors to this and other cemeteries have long 
been intrigued by what the gravemarkers, inscriptions and engravings 
tell about the people who produced them.i Anthropologists, along with 
scholars from other disciplines, have extended this interest in systematic 
studies aimed at showing how cemeteries express the beliefs, values and 
structures of American communities.^ The Chinese gravestones in Val- 
halla add yet another case study, if not another dimension, to this tradi- 
tion of popular curiosity and scholarly research. The Chinese grave- 
stones allow us to see some of the manifold ways in which members of a 
Chinese community have attempted to make meaningful their lives and 
deaths in the American heartland. This essay focuses on two sets of data: 
first is the arrangement and style of gravemarkers, and second is the 
inscriptions in Chinese and Roman systems of writing. 

Historical Arrangement of Gravestones 

Chinese burials in St. Louis began with the eastward migration of 
Chinese laborers after 1869.3 With the exception of Ching Foo, whose 
remains were embalmed and shipped home in 1873, others who lacked 
sufficient funds were buried without ceremony in unmarked graves. The 
first recorded ceremony was a Christian service conducted for Wong 
You, who died in his Pine Street laundry in the autumn of 1879. His 
remains were interred in a section of the Wesleyan Cemetery located on 
Olive Street Road, six kilometers west of the city limits.^ This and two 
adjacent sections became the site for all subsequent Chinese burials until 
the cemetery was closed in 1924.5 During these fifty years the Chinese 
community asserted increasing autonomy over the disposition of its 
deceased members, first with the help of St. John's M.E. Church, then the 



54 



The Chinese of Valhalla 



"Chouteau Avenue Church for Chinamen," and finally, around the turn 
of the century, the On Leong Tong.^ In 1927, the Wesleyan Cemetery was 
razed in the course of changing land use, and the remains of a hundred 
Chinese were removed for shipment back to native villages in China 7 I 
have found no indication that the Chinese graves in the Wesleyan Ceme- 
tery were marked. ^ 

In 1924, the On Leong Tong purchased a section in Valhalla, a large 
non-sectarian cemetery of lightly wooded hills located in the same vicin- 
ity as the Wesleyan Cemetery. This section is located on a hilltop at the 
northeastern corner of Valhalla. Today it contains thirty-seven square 
and rectangular gravestones laid flat in the earth and sandwiched 
between a host of mostly upright stones of European- Americans. Figure 
1 illustrates the older style of gravestone in this section, whose dates 
range from 1924 to 1954. A second section was later opened for Chinese 
burials in a lower field between the perimeter road and a creek which 
meanders along the southern edge of the cemetery. Unlike the burial plots 
in the first section, those in the lower field were purchased piecemeal on 
the basis of periodic need.^ The lower field contains 143 flat rectangular 
stones laid in twelve rows. They date from 1930 to the present. Figure 2 




Fig. 2 Chyuhn-Sauh Leuhnggung mouh (Modified Format). Typical of flat 
stones in lower field section. 



C. Fred Blake 



55 



illustrates one of these stones, which are all rectangular in shape. 

Along both sides of the lower road there are thirteen upright grave- 
stones with Chinese inscriptions dating from the 1960s. Typical of these 
is the Jue family gravestone depicted in Figure 3. These stones mark the 
beginning of a new phase in the mortuary practices of the Chinese com- 
munity. The upright stones are stylistically heterogeneous and they are 
individually situated in ways that blur the spatial boundaries between 
Chinese graves and those of their European- American neighbors. Above 
the perimeter road in three other sections of the cemetery there are forty- 
six Chinese gravemarkers which date from 1970. All but two of these are 
standing upright, including two rather elaborate catafalques. These 




Fig. 3 Jue Family gravestone. Typical of newer, upright stones 
in various sections. 



56 The Chinese of Valhalla 



graves are situated on increasingly higher ground and in clusters that 
join members of the original Szeyap community from south China with 
the newer immigrants from other parts of central and eastern China. 

The record of Chinese gravemarkers over the past seventy years thus 
reflects a structural shift in the Chinese community. The initial act of 
marking graves with stones or other impervious materials and inscribing 
them in Chinese characters and Roman letters is a de facto claim on per- 
manent residence. 10 The rows of uniform flat stones, which are especially 
dramatic in the oldest section, where they cut a narrow swath through a 
sea of upright markers and monuments belonging to European- Ameri- 
cans, mark the graves of individuals who became all but invisible in 
response to attempts to exclude them from American society." The 
arrangement of these stones reflects only the simple succession of indi- 
vidual deaths and the undifferentiated corporate unity of the On Leong 
Tong. Although this phase has lasted down to the present day, it has been 
truncated by a second phase which continues to gain momentum. 

The second phase, which begins with the upright gravestones of the 
1960s, reflects a new mode of participation in American society. The 
upright stones tend to accommodate the contiguous burial of spouses 
and sometimes their unmarried siblings and children. This reflects the 
widely reported shift from a "bachelor society" to a "family oriented 
society."i2 The upright stones break the previous pattern of uniformity 
by exhibiting a variety of styles, sizes, shapes, materials and decor. These 
differences express an increasing sense of social differentiation and ris- 
ing claims on social status within the Chinese community. But they also 
communicate claims on social status beyond the Chinese community, 
which is evident in the way that the modest increase in stylistic variation 
occurs with the dispersal of gravestones into other parts of the cemetery. 
This dispersal begins in earnest after 1970 and reflects the residential dis- 
persal of members of the living community from the city to the suburbs 
in that decade.i^ The dispersal of gravestones occurs in small clusters of 
friends and in-laws that have formed in reference to being "Chinese" in 
metropolitan St. Louis rather than in reference to being "Chinese" in the 
Old World. 

Fragments of Chinese Literacy 

The only feature that distinguishes the Chinese gravemarkers from 
those of the surrounding European- Americans is the set of inscriptions 



C. Fred Blake 57 



that employ Chinese writing.i^ The Chinese tradition of Hteracy is the 
basis upon which people from China stake their claim to four thousand 
years of continuous cultural history. This tradition was sustained, but 
only tenuously and with great effort, in the rural villages from which 
most of the Valhalla Chinese came. Not all of the earlier immigrants 
were literate by Chinese standards. Most could read and write their 
native script, but with varying degrees of difficulty.^^ For those who set- 
tled in the American heartland, the simple facts of demography prevent- 
ed the concentration and reproduction of Chinese literary skills. More- 
over, these literary skills, which constituted the core of identity and 
success in China, were worth almost nothing in the United States. Thus, 
the advent of an American-born-and-educated generation made the 
effort to sustain the fragments of this literary tradition all but impossible. 
On the other hand, the continuous loss of Chinese literary skills among 
descendants of the older immigrants has been augmented by a continu- 
ous infusion of literary skills into the community by newer immigrants. 
Thus, the literary skill invested in the Chinese gravestone inscriptions in 
Valhalla has remained relatively high. In fact, closer scrutiny might 
show that the literary quality of the Chinese inscriptions, when mea- 
sured against traditional standards, has actually improved with the pas- 
sage of time. This is due to the increased educational and economic lev- 
els of many newer Chinese immigrants. 

The inscriptions in Chinese are ordinarily written by a close friend, 
an in-law, a member of the immediate family, such as a son or grandson, 
or even the deceased himself. The inscription on the large upright grave- 
stone of Yee Wing Kee, according to an appendant phrase, is "written by 
the person in the grave." Self-inscription becomes necessary for those 
who take pride in the tradition of Chinese literacy but who do not 
depend on their American-educated children to provide. Other signa- 
tures, of which there are only a few, claim the credit for "erecting" the 
gravestone, and not necessarily for the elegance of the inscription. These 
bear the signature of a son or "first son," but one is signed, "devoted 
friend," and followed by the name of an African-American woman. The 
inscriptions thus display a range of literary talents within the Chinese 
community. 

The characters inscribed on the gravestones can be divided between 
those that achieve some degree of balance and proportion, which is the 
hallmark of Chinese calligraphy, and those that convey their own sense 



58 



The Chinese of Valhalla 









4 



:^A 




MRS. CHAN S: 



-1975 



Fig. 4 Leuhng Yik-Laahn fuh-yahn mouh (Modem/Western Format). 

of vitality in more unconventional n^odes of the written word.^^ The first 
group can be further divided into the traditional types and styles of cal- 
ligraphy. For instance, in the first group we find an archaic zhuanshu or 
"seal type" inscription on an upright slab of polished black granite. This 
stylized form of print, which developed from the earliest forms of Chi- 
nese writing, marks the grave of Ting Cheuk Lam. Another example 
from this group is Lishii, a square plain form of print first developed by 
clerks of the Han dynasty. Elements of Lishu are found on a catafalque 
belonging to the Chen family. A Lishii style is also in evidence on the 
humble gravestone of Yee Ming, especially where the side strokes in 
each character are elongated {baifen style) to increase the sense of "bal- 
ance." But the vast majority of the Chinese inscriptions in this first group 
employ kaishu, the "regular" block print form that allows increased lati- 
tudes for self-expression. Compare, for instance, the supple characters 
that form Leuhng Yik-Laahn's name in Figure 4 with the turgid, almost 
earthy characters in Cheuhng-Kwing Leih's name in Figure 5 and the 
deliberate and measured characters in Jiuh Fun-Jeuk's name in Figure 11. 
Several inscriptions, for example Eng Hong's inscription in Figure 6, 
employ some of the formulaic elements of songti [Song dynasty type- 
face] to create an increased sense of precision and personal detach- 
ment.i^ Others move in the opposite direction by quickening the motion 
of the brush into a single continuous flow interrupted only by the sue- 



C. Fred Blake 



59 



tf^ 






,££■ CH 



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^ '-SEPT 4, 1886-MaR. S, 1963^:." 



Fig. 5 Cheuhng-Kwing Leih gung mouh (Integrated Format). 



.. '■■ ■, '■ ■ ■ ';^-'t*->/.'cr'v'^,>R •.■-"'V /;■:-< -.'•^' J ■■ . . . 



>Y»£fc^'^rs^:v» 






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t=3 






ENG HONG 



\{K\ 21 1909, SEPT. 23, 1982;{^ '.g 






^1 




Fig. 6 Ngh giing Bak-Hahng mouh (Sinicized Format). 

cession of characters. At this point the style shifts into a more sponta- 
neous "running hand/' or xingshu. The gravestone inscriptions exhibit 
only a few halting attempts at xingshu style. One of these can be seen in 
Figure 7, where the characters that inscribe Pang Lew's name alternate 
between a kind of "walking" knishu and "running" xingshul ^^ 

The second group of Chinese inscriptions includes characters that are 
easy to read but do not adhere to traditional standards of calligraphic 



60 



The Chinese of Valhalla 



writing. Insofar as these characters are cut into stone and mark the 
graves of the next of kin, we must assume that they are invested with a 
high degree of sincerity. This being the case, these inscriptions make the 
fundamental point that "our Chineseness is disclosed in our language — 
no matter how it may be written." There is less concern here with 
appearances ("face-saving") and more concern with the substance of the 




PANG LEW 



ti i\ ii // 4 1 




JAN. 8, 1888 — MAR. 13. 1961 ' 

Fig. 7 Liuh gung Liht-Pihn mouh (Segregated Fonnat). 



^i 



\: 






•^ SENG CHIU 




Fig. 8 King-ngoi dik Fu-chan, Jiuh Sihng (ModemAVestem Fonnat). 



C. Fred Blake 



61 



expression. An especially poignant example of this proposition is the 
inscription on the marker for Seng Chiu seen in Figure 8. Here the sig- 
nificance of the script is in the content of the phrase, king-ngoi dikfu-chan 
[Respected and Loved Father] rather than in the rough and ready hand 
that produced it. This is not only a traditional literary expression, 
embedded in a modern format (to be discussed later), but it is one of the 
rare expressions of affection on the Chinese gravestones in Valhalla. 

Another example is the inscription of Chinese characters found on 
the stone marking the grave of an American woman of African descent 
named Juanita Chin (see Fig. 17). The Chinese inscription transcribes her 
given name, Wahn-ne-douh, and implies with the word niuh-si that she 
was not married to the man whose Romanized surname her gravestone 
bears (to be discussed later). Here again, the significance of the inscrip- 
tion is not in the elegance of the hand that wrote it, but rather in the insis- 
tence that this American woman of African descent have her name not 
just inscribed on a stone, but inscribed in Chinese, and that she thus be 
included in the memory bank of the old community. 

A residual category of literacy might include mistakes in writing the 
character or cutting it into the stone. Common mistakes can be found in 
several characters missing simple strokes. The more glaring mistakes are 
due to misunderstandings between the (European- American) stonecut- 




Fig. 9 Gravestone of Jim Leong. The horizontal Chinese script is 
upside down and backwards. 



62 The Chinese of Valhalla 



ter and his (Chinese- American) customer. Lacking knowledge of Chi- 
nese, the stonecutter depends on his customer to supply a pattern scaled 
to the exact size and shape of the figures to be cut. With pattern in hand, 
the stonecutter exhibits a keen technical ability to cut the minutiae of 
each character, especially when he cuts the Chinese name inscription 
sideways on Yee Ming's gravestone, or upside down and backwards on 
Jim Leong's gravestone (Fig. 9). 

This residual category might also include characters that appear to 
be mistakes but may in fact be intentional manipulations of the iconic 
and literary conventions. For example, a given name on Huie Wing's 
gravestone adds the "heart" radical to the character for "laughing." The 
character is written with the same clarity and self-confidence as is evi- 
dent in the rest of the inscription, but it can not be found in a dictionary. 
This suggests that Huie Wing's given name belongs entirely to the spo- 
ken vernacular. In order to inscribe it, therefore, a special graph has been 
fashioned out of the phonetic and semantic resources of the literary lan- 
guage.i^ Another apparent mistake, when seen in the overall text of the 
stone, turns out to be an intentional act of ritual prophylaxis - or "super- 
stition." In instances where one spouse precedes the other to their com- 
mon resting place, the gravestone is frequently inscribed with both their 
names. This creates a potentially dangerous paradox in which the sur- 
viving spouse is written down as already dead. One set of inscriptions 
on a married couple's gravestone protects the surviving husband by 
manipulating the representational function of the icon. The "grass" rad- 
ical that caps the character for "grave" in the husband's name inscription 
is simply deleted. The incomplete icon - the "sun" radical perched 
above the "earth" radical but minus the "grass" radical - is not a mis- 
take, but rather a graphic expression that "the grass under your feet does 
not grow on my grave!" 

Taken in its entirety, the corpus of Chinese inscriptions expresses a 
four thousand years old tradition of literacy that has been transported 
from towns and villages in China and individually reproduced in Mis- 
souri lime and sandstone, granite, marble and bronze. This work exhibits 
a remarkable variety of conventional types and individual styles, and it 
is the work of ordinary persons - of laundrymen, cooks, and clerks, and 
of engineers, architects, and businessmen, each with a different and 
sometimes shifting cultural experience, orientation, commitment, and 
skill, and each with a sense of pride and efficacy in his work. 



C. Fred Blake 63 



Chinese Inscriptions^o 

There are three basic categories of information encoded on most of 
the gravestones: A name for the deceased, the name of a native place in 
China, and a death date. Most of the names and dates in Chinese script 
are placed in conventional phrases that indicate that this is the grave of so 
'n' so, that he or she was a native of such 'n' such a place, and that he or 
she passed away on the date indicated. This has the effect of structuring 
the string of words and increasing the control over the direction for read- 
ing them. This effect is most apparent in the names that are inscribed on 
a horizontal plane. In the absence of a phrase, a name like Chyuhn Sauh 
Leiihng in Figure 2 may be read from the right side or from the left side 
and it may be read with the given name first, as indicated above or with 
the surname first as Leuhng Sauh Chyuhn?-^ By placing the name in an 
objective phrase, Chyuhn Sauh Leuhng gung mouh [the grave (mouh) of the 
honorable igung) Chuyhn Sauh Leuhng], the name is read in its intended 
direction and syntax. 

The names thus inscribed exhibit four distinct variations based on 
the different permutations of horizontal direction and syntax. These four 
ways of inscribing names may be interpreted as common sense strategies 
for mediating the hermeneutical problems that arise when writing Chi- 
nese in a Western cultural context. These strategies are defined in the 
two-dimensional matrix of Table 1. The "traditional" strategy begins 
with the surname on the right side of the stone as shown in Figures 6 and 
7. A clear majority of names inscribed on the horizontal plane employs 
this strategy. This percentage is much higher on stones dating from the 
first two decades of the Chinese in Valhalla. 

The second strategy "modifies" the tradition by placing the given 
name on the right side, as in Figure 2. This has the effect of placing the 
surname, somewhat unexpectedly, in the middle of the script. It com- 
bines the traditional direction of reading Chinese scripts with the West- 
ern preference for placing the given name in front of the surname. The 
modified script thus fuses a sense of direction which is Chinese with a 
sense of individual preeminence which may be attributed to its Ameri- 
can context. Twenty-eight percent of the names inscribed horizontally 
are modified in this way. The first appearance of a modified name is on a 
stone dating from 1929, and by the 1950s it is almost as popular as the 
traditional inscription. 

The least popular strategy is to "modernize" the inscription by writ- 



64 



The Chinese of Valhalla 



ing the surname on the left side of the stone, as depicted in Figure 4. This 
strategy reverses the direction of the script while giving priority to the 
Chinese surname. That is to say, it preserves the Chinese syntax but 
changes the direction in which it is read. Reversing the direction of the 
script while keeping the syntax Chinese became popular in China as the 
"modern" way to write after 1950. This was a conscious strategy by 
which the Communist Party put into daily praxis its project to save China 
by changing its direction with respect to the Western world. Thus, the 
various configurations of direction and syntax signify not only cultural 
orientations but also political and ideological commitments. 

The fourth strategy is to "Westernize" the name by inscribing the 
given name on the left. If this is a logical alternative, it seems to be unac- 
ceptable in view of the fact that we find no examples on the Chinese 
gravestones in Valhalla. The rule is sufficiently ingrained that even 
names inscribed without the benefit of a phrase, such as Jiuh Fun-Jeuk in 
Figure 11, would not be read as "Jenk-Fun Jiuh." The Chinese inscriptions 
may be "modified" or "modernized," but they may not be "Western- 
ized." In other words, if preeminence is given to the individual name 
then it must take the form of modifying the Chinese syntax while resist- 
ing the directional bias of Western culture; or if the direction is reversed, 
then the syntax must be preserved. These relationships are of consider- 



SCRIPT BEGINS 



with 



on 



SURNAME 



RIGHT SIDE 



Traditional 
62% 



LEFT SIDE 



Modern 

10% 



GIVEN NAME 



Modified 
28% 



Western 

0% 



Table 1 Strategies for Inscribing Chinese Scripts 
on American Gravemarkers 



C. Fred Blake 65 



able importance to persons who seek to retain a coherent identity while 
endeavoring to restructure and adapt their traditions. 

Up until now I have referred to inscriptions of personal names writ- 
ten on a horizontal plane. However, many inscriptions are written verti- 
cally. This includes most of the personal names inscribed on upright 
stones and virtually all the place names and death dates inscribed on 
both upright and flat stones. The inscriptions that are placed on the ver- 
tical plane accommodate only the traditional and the modified forms for 
the simple reason that there is no convention in either culture for reading 
a script from the bottom to the top. However, among the hundreds of 
vertical inscriptions on the Chinese gravemarkers in Valhalla, only two 
modify the traditional syntax by placing the exclusive given name above 
the inclusive surname (see Fig. 16). 

Native place names and death dates are as a rule written vertically on 
the right and left edges respectively of both flat and upright markers.^^ 
Each begins with the larger inclusive unit, the name of the native 
province or the year of death, and each ends with the smaller exclusive 
unit, the name of the natal village or the hour of death. The text of the 
stone thus moves fron\ right to left, from birth to death, and from begin- 
ning to end, with the name in between. The sense of the text as a whole 
is traditional, but a tradition that is not without profound disruptions. 
This process of mediating disturbances in the tradition intensifies as we 
move from the Chinese to the Roman system of writing. 

Roman and Arabic Transcriptions 

Although most of the information in the basic categories is written in 
Chinese characters, many names and dates for the deceased are also 
inscribed in ordinary Roman letters and Arabic numbers. The use of two 
culturally distinct writing systems in the same text creates additional 
disturbances. Of these there are two: one is the occasional inconsistency 
between death dates written in Chinese and dates written in Roman- 
Arabic scripts. These usually indicate differences between the lunar and 
the Gregorian calendars.23 The other disruptions include the pervasive 
differences between personal names. The principal means of mediating 
these differences is transcription, which involves writing Chinese names 
in Roman script. The first task is to mediate the syntax of names, and, 
again, we find that there are four common sense strategies which can be 
defined in the two-dimensional matrix of Table 2.^4 



66 



The Chinese of Valhalla 



ROMAN SCRIPT 



CHINESE SYNTAX 



O CHINESE SYNTAX 

CO 
LU 

CO 

LU 



Sinicization 
40% 



WESTERN SYNTAX 



Segregation 
33% 



X 

o 



WESTERN SYNTAX 



Integration 
21% 



Westernization 
7% 



Table 2 Strategies for Inscribing Name Phrases in 
Chinese and Roman Scripts 



The most popular strategy is to "sinicize" the syntax of the Roman- 
ized name by writing the surname in front of the given name in confor- 
mity with the syntax of the Chinese script below (see Fig. 6). The accom- 
modation of "American culture" in the form of a Roman script is thus 
accomplished in keeping with Chinese rules. However, as we shall see, 
when a name in Chinese like Ngh Bak-Hahng is rendered into a parallel 
Roman script as "Eng Hong," the given name, "Hong," often becomes 
the American surname. 

Next in popularity is to "segregate" the rules that generate the two 
scripts each according to its own cultural convention and sensibility. The 
Chinese name in Figure 10 is written according to Chinese syntax, while 
the name in Roman letters, which in this case happens to be a highly 
modified transcription of the Chinese name, is written according to 
Western syntax. 

A third strategy is to "integrate" the rules of syntax. The Western rule 
is used to write the name in Chinese script and the Chinese rule is used to 
write the same name in Roman script. In Figure 5, Lee Chong Quin's 
gravestone inscription in Roman letters conforms to the Chinese rule of 
placing the surname, "Lee," before the given name, "Chong Quin," while 
the same name in Chinese script, Cheuhng-Kwing Leih is written in a mod- 
ified format with the given name, Cheuhng-Kwing before the surname, 
Leih. This strategy uses the literary resources of the two cultures to create 
a cultural synthesis and thus a sense of congruence. 



C. Fred Blake 



67 



The last and least utilized strategy is to write the Chinese name in 
both scripts according to the Western rule of syntax. That is to say, the 
Romanized name is written according to the convention of Western 
usage, for example "Wee Wo Lee" (where "Lee" is the surname), and the 
name in Chinese script is written in a modified form, for example Waih- 
Woh Leih (where Leih is the surname). ^s This strategy, along with the seg- 
regated scripts (e.g. in Fig. 10), is strongly associated with the tendency 
to inscribe American (given) names above the inscriptions of Chinese 
names. The next logical step is to dispense with the Chinese inscription 
altogether, and this we find on twenty gravestones marked only with 
Romanized names, for example, "George Sunn," "Gim Y. Chiu," and 
"Jack G. Jue" (see Fig. 13). 

Another point of mediation between the two systems of writing sur- 
rounds the inscription of different names on the same stone. Many men 
possess more than one set of Chinese names. These may include a boy- 
hood name, a school name, a nickname, a married name, a business 
name, and a paper name.^^ As several of the figures illustrate, the grave- 
stones frequently inscribe one set of names in Chinese characters and 
another set or combination thereof in Roman letters. However, the given 
name in Roman script is more often an ordinary American name. For 
instance. Figure 10 shows a stone inscribed with the American name 
"Jim But." Below this in parentheses is another name which combines an 




K^ 



JIM BUT 

(THOMAS CHAO) 










DF.C. 1904 ~ NOV. 1973 /^-^ | 



m^'i 



Fig. 10 ]iuh gung Si-Bahtji mouh (Segregated Format). 



68 



The Chinese of Valhalla 



:iai^--»>: . :miiM^t&is.i^^"mm-'^')m^m^ 



in \^ 



«yrSl 



JF.¥ [K 

1871 - 1955 












Fig. 11 /iM/r Fun-Jeuk (Sinicized Format). 



'Mil 




iUEWIK/^S^ 




Fig. 12 Jiuh gung Fun-Jeuk mouh (Traditional Format) 

American given name, "Thomas," with the Chinese surname, "Chao." 
This parenthetical name preserves the Chinese surname in a Western 
syntax along with its sound (Zhao) in the national language. However, 



C. Fred Blake 69 



the name in Chinese characters is inscribed in a traditional format, and 
when it is spoken according to its sound in the native Cantonese vernac- 
ular, Jiuh Sih-Baht, it provides the initial "J" in the surname Jiuh and the 
second word in the given name Baht for the all-American name, "Jim 
But." The conversion of Chinese names from the Chinese script into 
American paper names in Roman script, of Jiuh Baht into Jim But, for 
example, had certain practical advantages. It created a coherent set of 
personal identities in a life world that was torn by cultural differences 
and racial hostility. 

On the other hand, these same conditions, which resulted in sixty 
years of official exclusion from 1882 to 1943, constrained others to 
change their names entirely Many would-be immigrants with no legal 
means for entering the United States purchased their paper names from 
families who enjoyed legal residence. This "slot racket," as it was some- 
times called, consisted of a man with legal residence selling a place in his 
family genealogy to a neighboring villager. The bearers of these illegal 
papers were known as "paper sons;" and as illegal residents of the Unit- 
ed States they were denied any opportunity to acknowledge their true 
paternity for fear of discovery and deportation. Some gravestones in Val- 
halla bear the evidence from this difficult chapter in Chinese-American 
history. These stones have two Chinese surnames. One is the paper sur- 
name in Roman letters and the other is the ancestral surname in Chinese 
characters. The gravestone thus makes it possible for a person to finally 
acknowledge his true ancestry but in so doing also to reveal to the world 
what was once the most closely guarded secret of the Chinese communi- 
ty. The Chinese gravestone inscriptions are significant precisely because 
they preserve, as in no other public record, the complex structure of per- 
sonal identities by which means members of the old-time community 
mediated the sociocultural boundaries and legal restrictions that they 
encountered in their daily struggle to make ends meet. 

The process of Romanizing names to conform to sounds that are 
familiar to American ears, of converting Ngh Hahng into Eng Hong, for 
example, entails other considerations which are clearly expressed on the 
gravestones. For example, the Romanized name tends to avoid configur- 
ing letters in a way that suggests an identity in American culture that is 
provocative or otherwise unwarranted. In Valhalla, the surname Jiuh is 
Romanized nine different ways.^^ These include one surname written 
with the letters "J-e-w" on the flat gravestone in Figure 11. The same 



70 



The Chinese of Valhalla 



grave is marked by an upright stone of later vintage which fuses the sur- 
name with the given name "I-k," thus creating an entirely different 
American surname, "]ewik," for the deceased and his posterity, as 
depicted in Figure 12. 

However, I would hasten to add that this attempt to avoid unwar- 
ranted associations does not cover warranted associations such as 
engravings of the Mosaic Tablets, the Mogen David, the Torah and the 
menorah (candelabrum). These Judaic symbols are found on two 
upright stones marking the graves of Dang Sei-Chih, an immigrant from 
Guangdong, and Dr. Jack G. Jue, a native-born St. Louisan.^s The config- 
uration of symbols on Dr. Jue's gravestone in Figure 13 is one of the most 
elegant religious motifs in the Chinese sections of Valhalla.^' 

These are some of the ways that disruptions in personal identities are 
mediated between the two cultures. One principle of mediation that is 




''if' 






JACK G. JUE PhD. 



Fig. 13 Gravestone of Dr. Jack G. Jue. 
Note Romanized name and use of Judaic symbols. 



r<i 



C. Fred Blake 71 



common to all the inscriptions, however, is the use of Roman letters to 
transcribe, but not to translate, Chinese names.^o 

The Index of Women's Names and the Changing Constructs of 
Female Identity^i 

Chinese women do not possess the multiplicity of given names that 
men traditionally possess. ^2 Instead, they possess a multiplicity of sur- 
names. In the Old World village tradition a married woman is known 
by the surnames of her father and her husband. This tradition is 
expressed on many of the gravestones in Chinese Valhalla. The oldest 
gravestone for a woman, dated 1928, is shown in Figure 1. The inscrip- 
tion reads Jiuh malm Jung si [a Jung married to a Jiuh]. Her inscription 
gives no clue to who she was as an individual person. Jiuh and Jung are 
surnames; mahn [doorway] and si [nativity] are signifiers for the mar- 
ried and maiden names respectively. The maiden name together with 
its signifier, Jung-si, tal<:es the place of her given name. When these 
names are Romanized and converted into paper names they follow the 
spoken version, which deletes the signifier for the married name. The 
Romanized name often follows the Western syntax, as in Figure 4: the 
maiden name "Chan," plus its signifier "See," comes before the married 
name "Leong." The same stone records a Chinese given name, Yihk- 
Laahn [abundant orchids]. However, this name is inscribed on the hus- 
band's gravestone in another section of the cemetery, and thus refers to 
him. What is more, the native place name boldly inscribed across the 
top of the woman's stone typically refers to her husband's village. It is 
interesting that the content of this woman's identity is constructed 
entirely according to Old World village traditions, but it is inscribed in 
a Western and modern format. 

Although most inscriptions identify a woman by the link between 
her maiden and married names, there is, in fact, an emerging tradition of 
genuine given names. The earliest inscription of a given name is on a 
1942 gravestone belonging to a young married woman named "L. 
Mary" (see Fig. 14). However, the given name is an American name and 
it is placed, according to Chinese syntax, after the initial "L," which 
stands for her married and maiden names. These are inscribed below as 
Lahm mahn Leuhng si [a Leuhng married to a Lahm]. 

Most of the earliest inscriptions of given names are found on the 
gravestones belonging to young or unmarried women, and even to 



72 The Chinese of Valhalla 

i ■ 

4' -f^ 



I .:r 



^ 













Fig. 14 Lahm mahm Leuhng si mouh (Sinicized Format) 

female infants. However, marking the graves of unmarried females 
entailed a radical break from the mortuary practice of the Old World vil- 
lagers The grave of little Wohng Guk-Ying / Charlotte Wong, who was 
less than a year old when she passed away in 1945, is the most poignant 
example. She is buried not only in a marked grave, but a grave marked 
with a stone that bears her given names in Chinese and American and, 
even more telling, a grave that has continued to receive the devotion of 
visitors bearing springtime bouquets and white floral crosses for almost 
half a century (the white floral cross can be seen standing in the field of 
flat gravestones to the right and rear of the Jue family gravemarker illus- 
trated in Figure 3.) 

Marking the graves of unmarried females required an additional 
accommodation, that of using a given name in the absence of a married 
name. Marking her grave with her given name suggests that the unmar- 
ried female is recognized as an individual person in the public domain 
of gravestone inscriptions. These fundamental shifts in traditional mor- 
tuary practice created a precedent that has been extended to include the 
gravestone inscriptions of married women. 

The first appearance of a married woman's Chinese name is on a 
Leong family gravestone that dates from 1968 (see Fig. 15). The name, 
"Lee Chung," is written in Roman letters. This is followed by another 
stone dated three years later that gives the woman's name in Chinese 
characters. The inscription begins with her married and maiden names. 



C. Fred Blake 



73 





J. 



LEONG 




T^" FATHER 

TOY 

MAY 17. 1887 
NOV. 8. W65 



vir *" tli^toy^*..- ' ■••'* ' 




MOTHER 

LEE CHUNG 

'AUG. 4., 1897 
DEC. 8, 1968 




Fig. 15 Leong Family gravestone. Illustrates changing patterns of 
denoting names of married women. 

Yuh Chnhn, then her given name, Meih-Wahn, followed by the term for 
wife, fuh-yahn. In the past two decades the use of Chinese characters to 
inscribe woman's given names has become increasingly popular. 

The most recent precedent in this evolving microcosm of name 
inscriptions is found on two gravestones dating from 1986. The name 
inscriptions, which follow a modified vertical format, include only the 
woman's given and maiden names. For example, the gravestone inscrip- 
tion in Figure 16 shows the woman's title Tsou-bi [ancestral deceased 
mother] followed by her given name, Tsui-sieng, and then her maiden 
name. Bung. Significantly, no married name is included in her inscrip- 
tion. Her marital status can be inferred from her title Tsou-bi [ancestral 
mother] and from the inscription of her surviving husband's surname, 
Lee, in bold Roman letters at the bottom of the stone.^^ 



74 



The Chinese of Valhalla 



The changing tradition of inscribing the names of women is still 
encumbered with certain practical problems, however. Survivors of 
deceased women, especially members of a lower generation, may not 
know the given name of their mother or grandmother and others may 
have forgotten the name.^^ Recently, a woman of very respectable age 
passed away. Her surviving relatives including her son could not recall 
her given name. Her gravestone is marked only with surnames, but in 
this case with three different surnames, not the usual two. These include 
her maiden and married names in Chinese script and a paper surname 
in Roman letters. 

The gravestones in Valhalla thus reflect changes in the way women's 
personal identities are publicly constructed. One aspect of this tradition 
that remains invariant is the attachment of relationship terms to the 
woman's name. Whether the name is a coupled surname or includes her 
given name, a relationship term is always part of the married woman's 
name phrase. The two most frequent relationship terms are moh [moth- 
er] and fiih-yahn [married woman or Mrs.]. Two others include a modern 
term, ngoi-jai [beloved wife], and a classical literary term, on-yahn [wife 
of imperial rank]. Several names are followed by the term niuh-si ["mis- 




Fig. 16 Tsou-bi Tsui-sieng Bung si mo (Modified Format) 



C. Fred Blake 



75 



tress" in the positive sense of the word, or Ms.], which is a traditional 
title of respect for a woman whose marital status is otherwise indetermi- 
nate. This term is found on three gravestones belonging to a Chinese, a 
European and an African-American woman. Figure 17 shows the stone 
marking the grave of Juanita Chin, an American woman of African 
descent. The inscription indicates her married name, "Chin," in Roman 
letters and an altogether different construct, Wahn-ne-douh niuh-si [mis- 
tress Wahn-ne-douh], in the Chinese script. The contrasting constructs 
reflect culturally appropriate, if also socially expedient, definitions of a 
relationship that is fraught with a legacy of social stigmas and legal 
sanctions.36 

These are the principal precedents for the inscriptions of women's 
names within the Valhalla population. Although we are looking at a fair- 
ly small sample over a short period of seventy years, we can neverthe- 
less discern a tradition that increasingly identifies women as persons in 
their own right. This begins with the use of American names for the 
American-born and the inclusion of unmarried females, notably female 
infants, in the memory bank of the community. This is followed by the 
use of Chinese names, first in Roman script and then in Chinese script. 
Thus, a process that is encouraged, if not precipitated, by the American 
experience becomes increasingly informed by the symbolic resources of 
Chinese culture. There is even precedent for redefining the semantic 
function of the maiden name. Originally used to dignify an alliance 






WMM 



Jt£-sVi«a! 



"^'S^^ai*^ 






... 



'^:'-y- 



^c\ 



'^/> 



I ' 



1^ - 
■ > 



-r 



■ x^ 



tr J^r 'ir '^' -<, / 



^rT 



UANITA CfilN 







Fig. 17 Wahn-ne-douh niuh-si mouh (Segregated Format) 



76 The Chinese of Valhalla 



between male descent groups, the maiden name may increasingly signi- 
fy a woman's ownership of her own being. 

The Index of men's Names and the Reconstruction of the Old Community 

The casual visitor to the Chinese graves perceives only the rows of 
gravestones laid in order of death dates and the recent extensions of the 
more heterogeneous upright stones into other parts of the cemetery. 
However, most markers inscribe a set of names that have structural sig- 
nificance and that are available in no other public domain. The grave- 
stone inscriptions are crucial in our attempt to study the history of the 
old Chinese community. When the names of persons and places are sys- 
tematically collected and sorted, they generate a structure of references 
to the historical community. These hypothetical structures can be tested, 
modified, and augmented by the results of other research procedures. I 
will limit my remarks to the data from the gravestones that represent the 
older Szeyap community. 

We have already noted how the simple arrangement of the grave- 
stones reflects the overall structure of relationships under the On Leong 
Tong. Within this corporate structure there are three other general points 
of identity that oriented social relationships of the men in the old com- 
munity. These are surname, first given name, and native place. There are 
twenty-two surnames listed on the gravemarkers of the original com- 
munity. However, three of these surnames, Leuhng, Leih, and Jiuh repre- 
sent forty-five percent of the post-mortem population; and from other 
data we know that they provided the demographic basis for organizing 
influence in the old community. 

The names of native places inscribed on the gravemarkers refer to 
fifty-four villages situated in each of four neighboring counties that form 
the western edge of the Canton Delta.^^ The four counties are Hoi-pihng, 
Toi-saan, Hok-saan, and San-wui?^ Among these the largest number of ref- 
erences are to fourteen villages surrounding the market town of Gu-jeng, 
in the center of San-wni county. 

The index of place names correlates closely with the index of sur- 
names. Thus, two of the principal surnames belong to two different vil- 
lages around Gu-jeng, while the large Leih [Lee] group belongs to a rural 
district in Toi-saan. The largest surname group in the cemetery, Leuhng 
[Leong], is almost evenly divided between villages in San-wui county 
and the neighboring county of Hok-saan. In fact, the San-wui and Hok- 



C. Fred Blake 77 



saan county Leongs constituted the two branches of the now defunct 
Jung-haau-tohng, i.e. the Leong Surname Association of St. Louis. ^^ Thus, 
the Leong men of Gu-jeng were strategically situated in the St. Louis Chi- 
nese community. Within the St. Louis community they could draw on 
two networks of social support and political influence, one from 
alliances with other surname groups in their own marketing and mar- 
riage network,^" the other from an alliance based on a surname shared 
with men from a neighboring county. 

When we sort the index of surnames and native places by first given 
names, which we have compiled from the gravestones, we get a more 
focused view of actual descent groups.^i This is based on the cultural 
assumption that the shared first name from the same descent group 
(which is indicated by a surname linked to a particular native place) rep- 
resents the married individual's affiliation with a particular generation of 
collateral kinsmen. In our corpus of first names we find eighteen possible 
cohorts, two of which form significant clusters. The two significant clus- 
ters are associated with the two branches of the Leong surname group in 
St. Louis. The first cluster includes the Leongs from San-wui county. The 
second cluster includes the Leongs from Hok-saaii county. 

We may verify the corporate status of these clusters and place each 
individual in his respective generation by sorting the names according 
to a "poem" which the descent groups possess as a means to name the 
married men in each generation. Each word in the poem provides the 
married men of each generation with a common first name. That is to 
say, when a male member of the descent group is married he takes as his 
first given name a word that is dictated by the sequence of words in a 
poem composed by his ancestors.^^ i ^^s fortunate to elicit several of 
these poems from elders of the community who were still able to recite 
them. However, when I compared the two clusters of "generational 
names" that I compiled from Leong gravestones with the two poems 
that 1 elicited from elders of the two former branches of the Leong Asso- 
ciation, I found an anomaly. "Generational names" compiled from the 
Hoh-chyun market gravestones follow the poem of the Leongs from the 
neighboring county of Hok-saan and not the Leongs from their own 
county of San-wui^^ When I re-sorted the corpus of Leong gravestone 
names on the basis of the different poems, 1 resolved the anomaly in my 
research procedure, but I then encountered two additional anomalies 
located in the historical social structure itself! 



78 The Chinese of Valhalla 



While the San-wui cluster includes the men of the eleventh, or jeuhng 
generation of Gii-jeng market, the Hok-saan cluster includes men with 
married names from five generations of a network extending from Hoh- 
chyun market in San-wui across the county line to Haahp-tuhng market in 
Hok-saan A* The first anomaly is not uncommon: the men whose married 
names linked them to five consecutive generations in the same descent 
group lived and worked together in St. Louis. In fact, we can see from 
the dates inscribed on the gravestones that some members of the older 
generations were actually younger in chronological age than some mem- 
bers of the more recent generations! This anomaly can be explained on 
the basis of differential rates of reproduction in a large and, in this case, 
dispersed descent group.^s 

The second anomaly entails a unique contradiction between the de 
facto and the dejiire native place identity of the Hoh-chyun sub-segment of 
the Leong Surname Association (see Table 3). The Hoh-chyun segment 
resides in San-wui county, but is the senior segment of the more populous 
Hok-saan county descent group.^^ In other words, the identity of the Hok- 
saan Leongs is divided; and it is the Hoh-chyun people who confound the 
distinction between the two descent groups that made up the two legs of 
the Association. In the historical community, this "confusion" was dealt 
with on at least two levels of highly reflexive social action. The first was in 
the origin stories of the Hok-saan Leongs that explained how they became 
known as the "Double Leongs."*^ The second was in the way that persons 
from Hoh-chyun were singled out in the old community as objects of local 
humor.48 In fact, this sense of humor (which was expressed in the form of 
"moron jokes") is evident on the gravestone depicted in Figure 9, where 
the characters are turned upside down and backwards. This at least 
enables the deceased to read his own name, it could be reasoned, which 
then challenges our common sense that gravestone inscriptions are for 
the living, not the dead! Of course, it may only be mere coincidence that 
the native place inscribed along the edge of this gravestone is Bak-miu, a 
village in Hoh-chyun. 

Although we have begun to move our attention from the material 
culture of gravestones to the reflexive folklore of origin myths and local 
humor, it was questions that I posed in the original analysis of the grave- 
stone inscriptions that led to the present insights. The gravestones in 
Valhalla thus provide an important key in our endeavor to reconstruct 
the old Chinese community of St. Louis. 



C. Fred Blake 



79 



LEUHNG-SI JUNG-CHAN JUNG-HAAU-TOHNG 
[Leong Surname Association of St. Louis] 



San-wui 



Hok-saan 



Gu-jeng 
"Single Leong" 



Hoh-chyun Haahp-tuhng 

"Double Leong" 



Table 3 The Regional Structure of the Leong Surname Association 

Conclusion 

Although the scope of my inquiry is confined to the modest grave- 
stones of Chinese Valhalla, we can see a complex process in which the 
symbolic resources of two literate civilizations are inscribed together on 
the same slabs of stone. The process of fusing these horizons of cultural 
meaning entails a variety of cross-cultural strategies aimed at making 
Chinese identities meaningful in the American heartland. The process of 
fusing horizons of cultural meaning occurs in a more or less organized 
and coherent way if not in a uniform way, and certainly not in a way that 
mechanically substitutes one culture for another. There is indicated in 
these stones an unfolding of Chinese traditions in which horizons of 
meaning are preserved, disrupted, modified, reinterpreted, and mod- 
ernized in ways that contradict, resist, recognize, accommodate, and 
enrich the American culture. Whether the patterns we have observed are 
unique to a particular locality or region in the American heartland is left 
open to further comparative research. 

The gravestones and their inscriptions are also ostensive points of 
reference to a world that is embedded in a particular time and place. The 
Valhalla gravestone inscriptions index and store the historical features of 
a past that exists in both subjective and objective forms. For the descen- 
dants of Chinese in St. Louis, the historical features which the grave- 
stones index exist in the subjectivity of scattered anecdotes and faded 



80 The Chinese of Valhalla 



memories. But when we assemble and sort this index we grasp the fea- 
tures of structure and scale in their objective form. As we "flesh out" 
these objective features of structure and scale we encounter anomolies 
that provoke additional questions, probe ever deeper and recall with 
increased cognitive acuity the shadowy remains of a deceased communi- 
ty. In this way, we continue the task of appropriating the past to serve the 
historical needs of the present. 

NOTES 

All photographs are by the author. 

1 . See, for example, "Among the Dead, Bellefontaine Cemetery as It is Seen on Sunday: 
The Beauties and Attractions of the Silent City," St. Louis Post Dispatch (July 8, 1878). 

2. W. Lloyd Warner, The Living and the Dead (New Haven, 1959), 280-320; Frank W. 
Young, "Graveyards and social structure," Rural Sociology 25 (1960): 446-450; James 
Deetz, In Small Things Forgotten: The Archaeologi/ of Early American Life (Garden City, 
New York, 1977); Richard E. Meyer, ed.. Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: Voices of American 
Cidture (Ann Arbor and London, 1989). 

3. Although there were individual Chinese living in St. Louis before the Civil War, the 
Chinese did not become a recognizable aggregate or community until the decade of 
the 1870s. See Lucy M. Cohen, Chinese in the Post-Civil War South: A Peopile without a 
History (Baton Rouge and London, 1984); C. Fred Blake, "The Life and Times of Alia 
Lee: The First Chinese Citizen of St. Louis, Missouri 1857-1880" (unpublished manu- 
script. Department of Anthropology, University of Hawaii). 

4. "The Late Wong You," St. Louis Globe-Deinocrat (Oct. 25, 1879); "A Celestial Funeral," 
St. Louis Globe-Democrat (Oct. 26, 1879). 

5. "The Wesleyan Cemetery Association Journal" (handwritten manuscript in the 
archives of the Centennary Episcopal Church, St. Louis, Missouri). 

6. The On Leong Tong was the corporate expression of the St. Louis Chinese community 
from around the turn of the century until the 1960s. The English-speaking community 
often referred to it as "the Chinese Merchants Association" or "the Chinese Masons." 
The St. Louis On Leong was one branch of the national organization headquartered in 
New York City. The national On Leong Tong was, in turn, part of a loose confederation 
of about thirty competing lodges across North America known as the Chee Kung Tong 
{Zhigongtang), which supported radical political reform in China before 1911. Unlike 
the larger Chinese communities, the St. Louis community appears not to have had a 
United Chinese Benevolent Association of various Jniiguan ("official association") 
based on native places. The St. Louis On Leong Tong undertook many of the tasks that 
huiguan performed in the larger communities, such as dealing with the City Hall and 
providing for burials and the repatriation of remains of deceased members to their 
native places in China. Beneath the St. Louis On Leong Tong were several surname 



C. Fred Blake 81 



associations which provided business credit to their members. At the lowest tier of the 
old St. Louis community were a number of corporate descent groups which owned 
and operated a variety of import and wholesale businesses. 

7. The exhumation was undertaken by the leaders of the On Leong Tong. They removed 
the remains, washed, dried and packed the bones in metal boxes, and shipped them to 
San Francisco, where similar shipments were received from all over the United States. 
From San Francisco the containers of bones were shipped to Hong Kong, where they 
were sent to their respective villages in the rural districts southwest of Guangzhou for 
re-burial: see "Bones of Chinese to be Sent Home/' St. Louis Post Dispatch (Nov. 17, 
1928). 

8. The manner of marking Chinese graves should indicate the temporal nature of the 
Chinese community. Marking a grave with an inscribed stone presumably signifies 
some level of permanence. This must certainly be the inference in face of all the factors 
that can be adduced to account for graves intended as temporary resting places and 
thus unmarked or marked with less durable materials. These factors would include 1) 
the Federal laws that excluded Chinese from citizenship in the United States, 2) the 
stated intentions and customary practice of the Chinese community to deposit the 
bones of its members in the hills surrounding their native villages, 3) the general 
poverty of the community and need to expend its meager resources on the shipment of 
bones back to China rather than on marking its graves with permanent fixtures, and 4) 
the customary idea held by people from south China that exhuming the remains from 
temporary graves and cleaning the bones for re-deposition in burial urns in accord 
with principles of Chinese geomancy is an important act of filial piety, not to mention 
interlineage rivalry and village politics. See Maurice Freedman, Chinese Lineage and 
Society: Fukien and Kwangtimg (London, 1966), 118-154, and Ruble S. Watson, "Remem- 
bering the Dead: Graves and Politics in Southeastern China," in Death Ritual in Late 
Imperial and Modern China, James L. Watson and Evelyn S. Rawski, eds. (Berkeley, 
1988), 203-227. 

9. When the plots in one lot were filled, each member of the On Leong Tong was asked to 
contribute a sum of money for the purchase of the next lot. In this way burial was 
under the control of the Tong and every member was guaranteed a place in the ceme- 
tery on the occasion of his or her death. 

10. The decade of the 1920s, when Chinese burials became continuous and permanent in 
St. Louis, was the pivotal decade for Chinese in the United States. This was the period 
when the weight of forty years of Federal and State legislation to exclude Chinese 
from American society achieved its greatest result in reducing and isolating the Chi- 
nese population. The virtual elimination of the Chinese as a viable population, on the 
other hand, ironically reduced the pressures against them. Many of the men of this 
period had lived and worked in the United States for the better parts of their lives. 
Although many expressed a desire to return to their native villages, they were also 
completely inured to their ways of making ends meet, and could not return to an Old 
World rural economy. The outbreak of the Pacific War in 1941 and the succession of the 
Communist Party in 1949 ended, for many, even the desire to return. The series of 
Congressional acts and Executive orders which began in 1943 to unravel the official 
discrimination against Chinese in the United States provided additional incentives for 



82 The Chinese of Valhalla 



members of the Chinese community to make their graves in Valhalla their permanent 
resting places. 

11. Some members of the Chinese community have voiced the idea that the flat grave- 
stones of previous decades were the result of racial discrimination against the Chinese. 
These voices seem to echo Susan E. Wallace's eloquent description of a Jewish ceme- 
tery at Constantinople, where "the stones lie flat, as though pressing down the restless 
feet of the scattered, wandering, and persecuted race that is even in the sepulchre 
denied the right of an upright memorial" ("Turkish Cemeteries," St. Louis Post Dis- 
patch, April 1, 1888). However, in the absence of explicitly stated rules prescribing how 
Chinese should mark their graves in Valhalla, this interpretation is difficult to validate, 
especially in view of the many flat gravestones also marking the graves of European- 
Americans. The interpretation does have merit, on the other hand, if understood in a 
very broad context that includes 1 ) the economic priorities of a community that is tran- 
sient and, out of necessity, parsimonious; 2) the egalitarian corporate practices of the 
On Leong Tong; 3) Cantonese cultural preferences (see note 8); and 4) subtle and not- 
so-subtle interethnic expectations and mutual understandings in an atmosphere of 
racial hostility. Indeed, the whole cultural complex of Chinese mortuary customs and 
stated intentions to be repatriated to China, alive or dead, must be seen in some immea- 
surable sense as a response to the racist system that excluded Chinese from participa- 
tion in American society In this sense, the practice of marking Chinese graves with flat 
stones prior to 1960 may also be seen as yet one more expression of a survival strategy 
geared to retaining a "low profile" in a hostile environment. The strategy of keeping a 
low profile was manifest in many aspects of ordinary daily life, not the least of which 
included the means of livelihood. Most of the Chinese buried in the older sections of 
Valhalla worked hand laundries or "chopsuey joints," which were among the hum- 
blest of all trades. They lived and worked among the immigrant and transient neigh- 
borhoods within the city limits, where they tended to blend with the other "unmeltable 
ethnics." Their low profile hfestyles are described by Paul C. P. Siu, The Chinese Laun- 
dryman: A Study of Social Isolation, ed. Kuo Wei Tchen (New York and London, 1987). 

12. Rose H. Lee, The Chinese in the United States of America (Hong Kong, 1960), 42; Victor G. 
Nee and Bret DeBary Nee, Longtime Californ': A Documentary Study of an American Chi- 
natown (New York, 1972). 

13. In St. Louis, as in many other American cities, the several hundred members of the 
original Chinese community joined the migration to the suburbs in the late 1960s. This 
move was coupled with the urban renewal in which St. Louis' "Chinatown" on South 
Eighth Street was demolished in order to build the parking structure for the Bush 
Memorial Stadium. Of course, the demolition of "Chinatown" was not the cause as 
much as a symbol of this move to the suburbs, since many Chinese had always lived in 
other parts of the city and not in "Chinatown." The 1960s also witnessed the end of the 
Chinese hand laundries in St. Louis and the move of the second generation into pro- 
fessional occupations. These moves were important parts of a changing kaleidoscope 
of living standards, styles, and material artifacts. In the suburbs they were joined by 
new waves of Chinese from various parts of East Asia to form part of the working 
middle class of metropolitan St. Louis. 

14. Except for the inscriptions of Chinese characters, the Chinese gravemarkers are indis- 



C. Fred Blake 83 



tinguishable from the others in Valhalla. With very few exceptions, there is no trace of 
a Chinese cultural influence on the form, shape or substance of the gravemarkers. The 
minor exceptions include a recess in the lower corner of the Chung family gravestone 
marking the residence of the Chung family guardian earth deity. Also, there is a vague- 
ly expressed regard for Chinese geomancy (fengslmi) evidenced by the way some of the 
more recent graves are nestled in the side of the hill and by what an employee of the 
cemetery refers to as "the Chinese preference for plots on higher ground." 

15. Siu, 157. 

16. I asked two of my friends in St. Louis with very different backgrounds and a different 
set of literary standards to comment on the styUstic aspects of the several thousand 
characters in these inscriptions. One friend is trained in Chinese art history and callig- 
raphy and is an immigrant from Beijing. My other friend was born and reared in St. 
Louis and is the author of several of the Chinese gravestone inscriptions. The com- 
ments of these two friends helped me to draw some general inferences about the qual- 
ity of the writing. 

17. Songti and its modern "imitation," fangsongti, is from a typeface carved on square 
blocks in the Song dynasty. It is not a type of calligraphy and it may be copied with any 
type of writing utensil. See Yu Gingnan, Meishiizi (Beijing, 1980), 12-13. 

18. The fifth type of calligraphy is caoshu, or "grass style." It is a kind of shorthand that 
lends itself to such artistic self-expressions that ordinary people sometimes find it dif- 
ficult to decipher. This type of calligraphy is appropriate on certain types of public 
monuments, for example on monuments to the dead heroes of the revolution in Bei- 
jing. But 1 have not seen credible examples of caoshu on ordinary Chinese-American 
graveniarkers. 

19. The spoken vernaculars of Chinese, which are regionally based, include numerous 
words that are not represented by a particular graph or set thereof in the written lan- 
guage. 

20. I have rendered into italicized Roman letters all the names on the gravestones 
inscribed in Chinese characters. Most of these names belong to speakers of a Yue 
dialect. These are hyphenated and transcribed according to the pronunciation of the 
Guangzhou (Canton city) dialect of the Yue vernacular as described in Zhou Wuji, 
Gwangdonghua Biaozhunyin Zihui (Xianggang, 1988). Zhou uses the International Pho- 
netic Alphabet, which is awkward for the purpose of this essay. I therefore employ the 
system of romanization developed by Parker Po-fei Huang in his Cantonese Dictionary 
(New Haven and London, 1970). In Huang's orthography, the "h" after a vowel places 
the spoken word in the lower register of the Guangzhou tonal system. The reader 
needs to bear in mind several provisos. The first is that the Guangzhou dialect spoken 
in the provincial capital constitutes the dominant speech community of the Yue ver- 
nacular and therefore only roughly approximates the rural dialects of the Szeyap 
region from which the original Chinese community in St. Louis came. Second, exactly 
how to characterize the dialects of the original St. Louis community or of the American 
"Chinatown Chinese" is uncertain. There is a strong sense among some, including my 
friends in the Chinese community, that there has evolved a Chinese dialect that blends 



84 The Chinese of Valhalla 



the native regional distinctions and incorporates the American experience, but this 
notion is challenged by Marjorie K.M. Chan and Douglas W. Lee, "Chinatown Chi- 
nese: A Linguistic and Historical Re-evaluation," Amerasia 8:1 (1981): 111-131. Finally, 
there are increasing numbers of gravestones in Valhalla that mark the graves of per- 
sons from other parts of China with their own vernaculars and dialects. Where in one 
other instance 1 cite inscriptions from the Chaozhou area of eastern Guangdong, 1 use 
the pronunciation and orthography in the Hanyu Fangyin Zihiii (Beijing, 1962). All 
other citations in Chinese conform to the national spoken language (putonghua) and 
the Pinyin system of Romanization. 

21. Chinese tradition lends preference to writing in vertical columns moving from top to 
bottom and right to left. But these columns may also be written from left to right or 
in horizontal rows from either direction. I should point out that many forms of the 
popular culture employ this versatility, from The People's Daily to the throng of signs 
that form the labyrinth of advertisements along Hong Kong's Nathan Road. Howev- 
er, having pointed this out, I do not suggest that gravestones belong to the discourse 
of popular media. Gravemarkers and popular media, although they occasionally 
interact, neverhteless belong to phenomenologically different domains of the Ameri- 
can culture. 

22. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. On a few stones the position of the native 
place name and death date is reversed, while on others (for example Fig.4) the native 
place is inscribed across the top of the stone. In the latter case, the characters for the 
native place name are sometimes inscribed with such bold strokes as to overshadow 
the person's name below. 

23. The Chinese death dates on the gravestones employ one or a combination of the three 
conventional styles of enumeration (including the very informal mazi or "business 
style" numbers on the gravestone in Fig. 17) and one or a combination of several sys- 
tems for reckoning time (Gregorian system variously modified, the lunar system, and 
the sixty-year cosmic cycle). Although most dates in Chinese agree with the dates in 
Roman Arabic script, some do not. A typical example is a death date that reads from 
the top to the bottom of the column: Jung-yu Mahn-gwok sahp-baat-nihn sei-yuht sahp- 
saam-yaht chaii [Passed away in the eighteenth year of the Republic in the fourth month 
thirteenth day at the fourth watch]. The Roman Arabic death date reads "May 21, 
1929." The discrepancy between the dates is in the month and day, and, of course, the 
Chinese date adds the hour of death. The Chinese date signifies a frame of reference in 
which a person's life and death correspond with the ebb and flow of cosmic forces. 

24. The percentages in each cell pertain only to the percentages of gravestones on which 
the name is the same in both Chinese and Roman scripts. These percentages would 
change if we included the gravestones on which the name in Roman script is different 
from the name in Chinese script. My analysis does not hinge, however, on these quan- 
titative differences, but rather on the semantic structure of logical possibilities. 

25. A variation on this format is Seng Chiu's inscription (Fig. 8), in which the Roman script 
follows Western usage (Chiu is the surname), while the Chinese script ]iuh Sihng fol- 
lows a "modern" format, that is, it reads from the left side with the surname first. 



C. Fred Blake 85 



26. The paper name is the name in Roman letters required on legal documents in the Unit- 
ed States. 

27. The nine ways of Romanizing Jiuh on the Valhalla gravestones are "Chao," "Chu," 
"Cheu," "Chew," "Chiu," "Jeu," "Jew," "Jue," and "Jui." 

28. Although there is nothing on his gravestone to indicate that Dr. Jue is "Chinese," it is 
appropriate, I beUeve, to note the fact that he is a descendant of immigrants from 
China and specifically of the Jiuh family from San-umi county in Guangdong province. 

29. Six percent of Chinese gravestones in Valhalla express a Christian affiliation with sim- 
ple engravings of the cross. Eighteen percent of the markers are engraved with floral 
designs. The floral designs provide the most frequent motifs. Although there is a gen- 
eral absence of epitaphs, there are a few that express trite or traditional sentiments 
such as "Rest in Peace," "Our Eternal Love," and "Together Forever." Others express 
the same deep feelings based on a specific relationship: "Our Dear Sister," "Our Boy," 
"Devoted Friend." Although there are no Buddhist-inspired epitaphs or symbols, 
there is one from each of several other religious traditions not mentioned in the text of 
my essay. From the Christian tradition we find the Pond family [Resting secure in the 
bosom of the Lord]. The Chen family catafalque is flanked by a Taoist-inspired cou- 
plet: [May pines and cedars stay green for ten thousand years; and rivers and moun- 
tains bloom for a thousand years]. The Chung family gravestone is engraved with a 
Confucian-inspired couplet: [Let us find joy in the virtue of our ancestors; and let our 
posterity prosper in this land of good fortune]. 

30. Chinese derive surnames from a particular domain of their historical experience 
which is untranslatable except as "surname." Given names, however, come from the 
words of everyday experience. They often are given in pairs, the two members of 
which may stand alone or form a semantic or lexical unit. However, as personal names 
these words are embedded in semantic networks and ontological structures that can 
not be translated without sounding either "exotic" or "awkward." For example, 
among the given names inscribed in Valhalla are Hoh-gzoeng ["a river (of) brightness"], 
Gam-YUm ["a river (with) many branches"], Chan-JiJm ["blazing forth"], Sai-kahn ["a 
world (of) celery"] or ]euluig-bo ["a likeness (of) waves"]. Other names, for example 
Bat-Wiiih ["no benefit"], are difficult to interpret as names that somebody might 
inscribe on a gravestone, although there is a precedent in Chinese village culture for 
so-called "mean names" according to Russell Jones, "Chinese Names," Journal of the 
Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 32:187 (1961), 45. Some names found on the 
gravestones translate easily into semantic categories of English, for example, Cheun- 
lahm ["spring rains"], and others form a single lexeme, for example, Tsui-sieng ["nar- 
cissus"]. But each and every translation of names loses the thick and vital texture of its 
meaning in Chinese and the name in translation becomes a veneer of ethnicity. There 
are Chinese-Americans who have names that are translated from the Chinese. The 
ones I am most familiar with are names like "Narcissus," "Jasmine," "Lotus" and 
"Jade." These names fit the Western semantic categories of feminine names for flowers 
and precious stones. But even these names, in translation, lose their cultural vitality 
and become veneers of ethnicity. In Cantonese, Yuhk [jade] is endowed with the mysti- 
cal power of purity and virtue, and this mystical power is gender neutral. In Valhalla 
there are several inscriptions of men's names which include the word Yuhk. The Amer- 



86 The Chinese of Valhalla 



ican name, "Jade," on the other hand, suggests none of the original mystery and 
becomes associated instead with stereotypes of the "China doll" or "exotic female." 

31. The gravemarkers of women reflect the uneven sex ratio in the Chinese community 
over the past seventy years. The overall sex ratio of males per one hundred females is 
600, which is the national average for Chinese in the 1920 U.S. Census. See Stanford M. 
Lyman, Chinese Americans (New York, 1974), 88. 

32. Ruby Watson, "The Named and the Nameless: Gender and Person in Chinese Society," 
American Ethnologist 13:4 (1986): 619-631. 

33. Chinese village culture offered few comforts in the face of death outside the elaborate 
rituals which expense alone dictated be held only for those who lived long enough to 
complete a circle of life. This attitude was garbed in the values of the folk religion and 
popular Confucianism which demeaned the life of any person that did not live long 
enough to complete the principal filial obligation of reproduction. This obligation was 
completely integrated in the highly structured interdependence between living and 
deceased members of the family. The death of an unmarried child subverted this struc- 
ture of interdependence and thus provided, especially in the case of a female infant, no 
occasion for a public expression of grief. The corpse was disposed of, contrary to that 
of a married adult, in the most efficient and seemingly indifferent manner possible. 
See, for example, the descriptions of J.J.M. de Groot, The Religious System of China, vol. 
3 (Leiden, 1897), 1387-1389, and J. Dyer Ball, Things Chinese (Shanghai, 1925), 404. The 
obvious attention shown to female graves, especially those of female infants, in Chi- 
nese Valhalla is probably due to a shifting mixture of values, amongst which we 
should count the influence of Christianity, the demographic need for women in a bach- 
elor society, and the increasing affluence of the Chinese community. 

34. However, there is another dimension to this inscription which is not related directly to 
the question of gender. The inscriptions which are in negative relief are painted green 
and red. The color green is added to the three characters bi Tsui-sieng [deceased moth- 
er Tsiti-sieng] in order to signify the "yin," i.e. the mortal or finite aspect of individual 
being. These green-colored characters of personal identity are bracketed by the red 
symbols of structure, i. e. the characters for "ancestor," the maiden surname and the 
husband's surname — and indeed the character for the tangible "grave" itself. These 
are painted the color red to signify the "yang," i.e. the immortal or transcendental 
aspect of being — the aspect of being that incorporates the ancestors and their descen- 
dants as members of a family. The inscription for a deceased male on a neighboring 
gravestone is similarly painted. The native place inscriptions on these stones indicate 
ancestral homes in eastern Guangdong. This is a Min-speaking area entirely distinct 
from the Yue-speakers who make up the vast majority of the old-time inhabitants of 
Valhalla (see note 20). Other indications on these gravestones suggest that the 
deceased may be "ethnic Chinese" from Southeast Asia. 

35. Jones (26-27) notes that a woman may be known by her maiden name and its signifier 
"from early in life, and that her children may never discover what her personal names 
are if she does not belong to the 'lower classes'." 

36. The history of marriages between men from China and American women in St. Louis is 



C. Fred Blake 87 



long and complex. Before the Exclusion laws and state miscegenation laws came into 
effect in the 1880s, a number of Chinese immigrants married either native-born or 
European-born American women. After these laws went into effect, including one 
provision in the Federal law that stripped native-born Americans of their citizenship if 
they married a Chinese (Lyman, 109), those who wanted to live together and share 
their lives simply avoided the law and made their own "common law" arrangements. 
These arrangements were sometimes complicated by men who left wives in China, 
where they had been married according to village custom (See Siu, 156-170). The post- 
1960 movement of Chinese into the white-dominated suburban classes has increased 
the pressure on Chinese to disassociate themselves from the Black community, a 
process which James Loewen has described in The Mississippi Chinese: Betioeen Wltite 
and Black (Cambridge, Mass., 1971). These pressures have been most acutely felt in 
"mixed" families of Chinese and African ancestry. 

37. The number of villages represented on the gravestones is inexact due to the combina- 
tion of three factors: 1) our own analytical definitions of "village" are ambiguous; 2) 
native references in the inscriptions to xiang [administrative village], bao [walled vil- 
lage], Clin [natural village], and li [hamlet or neighborhood] are used interchangeably; 
3) actual places which are designated with one of these native terms for "village" occu- 
py various and shifting positions in the hierarchy of modernizing central places. 

38. These four counties share common borders along the western edge of the Canton 
Delta. Hoi-pihng, Toi-saan and San-unii form three counties of the Szeyap (or Four Dis- 
tricts) region, which is based on a distinct dialect and control of the Taahm river 
resource base. See Kil Young Zo, "Emigrant Communities in China, Sze-Yap," Asian 
Profile 5:4 (1977): 313-323. When Hok-saan is included on the basis of geographical 
proximity and cultural affinity, the region is referred to as Ngh-i/ap (Five Districts). 
However, Hok-saan is mostly hills and hollows where it backs up against Szeyap along 
its western and southern borders. Its small mountain streams feed the Taahm river, but 
well south of the county boundary. Thus Hok-saan has no direct share in the Taahm 
river basin, but its northeastern border is formed by the major channel of the West 
River where it enters the incomparably rich agricultural counties of the Canton Delta. 

39. The St. Louis Leong Surname Association was affiliated with the Jung-haau-tohng 
(Zhongxiaotang), headquartered in San Francisco. 

40. The network of Gii-jeng men in St. Louis is also reflected in the conjugal relationships 
that are indicated by the two surnames inscribed on the gravestones of Chinese 
women in Valhalla. Most of the inscriptions on the gravestones of Chinese women in 
Valhalla indicate they came from a village in the Gu-jeng market area and married a 
man from another village in the same area. This conjugal pattern distinguishes the Gu- 
jeng men of Valhalla from their contemporaries in the Chinese community who did not 
reproduce their market-based conjugal network in St. Louis. 

41. By actual descent group I mean a group that records actual genealogical relationships. 
These are distinguished from the much more inclusive groups that recruit members 
simply on the basis of a shared surname. 

42. According to Jones (11), the arrangement of "generational names" in the form of a 



88 The Chinese of Valhalla 



poem began in the Han dynasty as a mnemonic device. In poetic form, each line con- 
sists of five names and each stanza consists of two, four or six lines, hence ten, twenty, 
or thirty generations of names. The four line poem of the Leong descent group from 
San-und county, Gii-jeng market is typical of the ones 1 elicited: Sai dak fong chyuhn sau, 
Douh wihng sihng sin tiing, Jeiihng yihn king i/iihn cheiing, Jung daaih kaai san i/auh. Loose- 
ly translated: [Let our virtue be kept and protected in the four corners of the realm. Let 
the eternal Way govern our ancestral tradition. Let our models of virtue prosper into 
the distant future. And let the greatness of our ancestors begin anew.] The St. Louis 
descendants of this group are currently in the third line of their poem, but with the 
demise of the Leongs as a corporate descent group in St. Louis the poem has become 
increasingly irrelevant and all but forgotten. 

43. These five names make up one line of the Hok-saan Leong's ancestral poem: Jou yihk sai 
cin/uhn fong [Let the virtue of our ancestors be spread far and wide]. 

44. 1 am using market town reference points here instead of the particular villages in order 
to simplify the analysis. Most members of the Leuhng descent group in Hok-saan come 
from the villages of Chiihng-hah and Leidmg-kang, which are one and two kilometers 
west of HaaJip-tuhng market. The Leiding descent group from San-wui, Gu-jeng is from 
the village of Naahm-lohng. 

45. The fact that five generations are represented contemporaneously may be accounted 
for by long-term differential rates of reproduction between segments of the group due 
to difference in command over economic resources. See Hugh D. R. Baker, Chinese 
Family and Kinship (New York, 1979), 56-57. 

46. 1 have not yet been able to obtain much information on this large descent group that 
straddled the county line, but it would appear to be similar to the Kuan lineage of Hoi- 
pihng described in Yuen-fong Woon, Social Organization in South China 1911-1949: The 
Case of the Kuan Lineage in K'ai-p'ing County, Center for Chinese Studies Monograph 48 
(Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1984). 

47. The origin of the "Double Leongs" celebrates the exploits of Ngau Ying, a local culture 
hero whose foolishness and tricks became legendary. Early orphaned, he lives with his 
father's sister, who is married to the Leong family in Hoh-chyiin. When he is hungry, he 
steals the villager's potatoes; when pursued, he abandons the cremated remains of his 
parents in the cleft of a mountain that turns out to have excellent geomancy, the bene- 
fits of which he almost squanders through ignorance. Later he betrays his aboriginal 
(Miao) patrons whom he has taught the benefits of civilization and annihilates them in 
a great holocaust under the assumed name of Leong and in the pay of his royal over- 
lord. Through thievery, accident, and guile, and despite serious blunders, he wins 
fame and fortune and in time gives up his ancestral name, Ngau, to assume the Leong 
surname. Ngau-Leuhng Ying thus mediates and reflects the crucial boundaries of Chi- 
nese identity, the boundaries between man and nature, the civilized and the savage, 
and between different patrilineal descent groups. 

48. The role of the "comic fool" is often assigned to a person or group which mediates a 
critical social boundary. A critical social boundary is a point of interaction that is 
fraught with tension but also serves as the foundation of social order. The group that 



C. Fred Blake 89 



straddles this boundary or point of identification is often the purveyor and the butt of 
so-called "moron jokes" which turn the common sense on its head. In this way, the 
offending-and-offended group, which is one and the same, embodies, represents, and 
reflects the mysteries of (the) social order itself. The quality of community life depends 
on the "good nature" rather than the hostility of the group that offends and is offend- 
ed. See C. Fred Blake, "Racial Victimage in Hawaii: The Role of the Comic in Reducing 
Violence," Planning the Good Life for Hawaii: Proceedings of the 1980 Humanities Confer- 
ence (Honolulu: Hawaii Committee for the Humanities, 1981), 148-153. 



90 



Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 




Fig. 1 Charles Lloyd Neale 



91 



Fifty Years of Reliability: The Stonecarving Career of 
Charles Lloyd Neale (1800-1886) in Alexandria, Virginia. 

David Vance Finnell 

Reliability must have been the retail theme of 1883 in Alexandria, 
Virginia. The city's commercial directory that year characterizes nearly 
half of all local businesses as "reliable," a word the directory always itali- 
cizes. For example, Thomas Devitt's grocery at the intersection of Duke 
and Alfred Streets is "a reliable house"; Fowle & Company, cotton dealers 
on Union Street, is "a reliable concern"; and the drygoods merchant Isaac 
Eichberg at the corner of King and Royal "assures all who may deal with 
him ... perfectly fair and reliable dealing." Not surprisingly, the directory 
says of C.L. Neale & Sons, whose marble yard occupied the southwest 
corner of Duke and Columbus: "These gentlemen ... are reliable persons, 
and will execute with fidelity and dispatch all work entrusted to them."i 

However repetitious the directory may have been in its vocabulary, 
the word "reliable" appears to have suited Neale & Son perfectly. By 
1883 Charles L. Neale had been operating his stonecutting business in 
Alexandria for some forty-five years. The number of gravemarkers bear- 
ing the Neale signature in local church cemeteries was legion. While 
these facts do not prove Neale's reliability, they certainly suggest it. This 
review of Charles L. Neale's work will show that the key to Neale's sus- 
tained business success was a strong, simple carving style that satisfied 
the tastes of his community. 

Charles Lloyd Neale (Fig. 1) was born September 26, 1800 to Charles 
and Mary Mariman Neale of St. Mary's County, Maryland. The family 
belonged to an old and respected Maryland clan that traced its Ameri- 
can roots to Captain James Neale of Walleston Manor, who brought his 
family to Maryland from England in 1660. Charles Lloyd's grandfather 
was James Neale, said to have served in the Revolutionary War as Com- 
missary-General of the Maryland line with the rank of colonel, although 
no official record has been found to confirm this.^ 

In his twenties, Charles L. Neale moved to Washington D.C. Family 
legend has it that Neale worked on the construction of the Capitol build- 
ing, begun in 1793 when President Washington laid its cornerstone. It is 
not clear whether Neale left home already versed in the art of stonecut- 
ting or learned it as he went. In 1829, Neale married a local woman 



92 



Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 



named Ann Johnson. Two children were born to the couple in Washing- 
ton, one of whom, Charles Washington Neale, would become the first of 
three sons to join his father's firm. 

At some point in the mid-1 830s Charles and his family moved across 
the Potomac River to Alexandria, technically part of the District until 
1846. Neale may have come to Alexandria specifically to replace Edward 
Colgate, the town's sole stonecutter, who was present as late as 1834, but 
does not appear in the 1840 census schedule for the District of Colum- 
bia.3 The same census schedule lists Neale's third child, age three, as a 
Virginia native. That would put Neale in Alexandria as early as 1837 
(this, coincidentally, is the date on what appears to be the oldest stone 
signed by Neale, the John De Vaughn marker in Union Methodist Ceme- 
tery). Elliott and Nye's Virginia Directory and Business Register for 1852 
puts Neale's shop at the southwest corner of Fairfax and Prince. In 1870, 
the business relocated to Duke Street next to the residence of Charles' 
son Frank (Fig. 2).'* Here the marble yard would remain until the busi- 
ness closed its doors in 1916, thirty years after Charles L. Neale's death. 

Neale's decision to settle in the old river town of Alexandria was 
something of a gamble. For various economic reasons, the place had not 
been able to sustain its 18th century importance as both a national and 




Fig. 2 Southwest comer of Duke and Columbus Streets, Alexandria, 
Virginia, final site of the Neale marble yard (1870-1916) 



David Vance Finnell 



93 



international mercantile port, losing out gradually to Baltimore to the 
north and Richmond to the south. Commerce had been declining for 
years. Industry, which might have revitalized the tovv^n's economy, was 
virtually nonexistent.^ To make matters worse, the Bank of Alexandria 
had closed its doors in 1834, a local foreshadowing of the national finan- 
cial panic of 1837.^ 

Nevertheless, Alexandria had several things going for it that would 
certainly have attracted Neale. One was the city's distinctly residential 
character. Retail shops, small manufactories, and private dwellings pre- 
dominated. Schools, churches, and civic institutions were plentiful. The 
wealth of structures created, in theory, a demand for artisans to main- 
tain, renovate, and, occasionally, replace existing structures. In the late 
1830s the town experienced a short but intense building boom. Several 
large buildings, including the court house (1838) and Alexandria's cul- 
tural center, the Lyceum (1839), were erected. '^ While no building records 
mention Neale in regard to these major projects, he may well have been 
sub-contracted to handle or assist with the stonework. If not, he could 
reasonably have expected to find employment at other local construction 
sites during this brief period of prosperity. 







Fig. 3 Detail, Benjamin S. King, 1847, Union Methodist Cemetery 



94 



Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 



The second feature that must have appealed to Neale as a specialist 
in gravestone carving was the cultural stability and moral tone of the 
community. To earn a steady income from this kind of carving required a 
clientele that had the means, the opportunity, and the inclination to 
observe the religious and popular rituals of death ... and to observe them 
locally. Deaths among a more transient population or within a town lack- 
ing adequate burying grounds would have discouraged local inter- 
ments. This was not the case in Alexandria, which possessed a perma- 
nent population of roughly eight thousand whites and free blacks.^ At 
the time, the town had one Catholic cemetery, six Protestant cemeteries, 
one black cemetery, one pauper cemetery, and many small family grave- 
yards.9 Each of the cemeteries, Neale must have noted with a profession- 
al eye, had plenty of room for expansion. 

Two hundred and thirteen markers in Alexandria (see Appendix) can 
be attributed to C.L. Neale & Sons: 198 headstones; eight obelisks; five 
monuments; one ledger stone; and one table stone. Ninety percent of the 
markers date from 1860, while only two bear dates before 1850. The 
paucity of early Neale markers is not surprising given the neglect these 
cemeteries suffered in the mid-1 9th century.io Since all but the Catholic 




Fig. 4 Detail, Charles F. Webster, 1873, St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery 



David Vance Finnell 



95 



cemetery were located outside the town boundaries, Alexandria police 
were powerless until after the Civil War to protect the cemeteries from 
vandals or from local farmers whose cattle grazed within the cemetery 
enclosures. An 1853 letter to the town newspaper laments the "ruined 
walls, sunken and trodden graves" that characterized these antebellum 
cemeteries.il The war hastened the degradation: the Federal forces occu- 
pying Alexandria used the cemeteries freely as campsites and corrals. 
Thus, Neale's markers were at considerable risk in these early years, and 
at least a few of them must have been damaged, moved or stolen. 

One of Neale's oldest surviving stones is the Benjamin S. King mark- 
er (Fig. 3), dated 1847, in Methodist Protestant (Union Methodist) Ceme- 
tery. Its broad, flat shape (2' x 5') and the symmetrical anthemion across 
its brow reflect a neo-classical taste already out of vogue when King 
died. It is unique among Neale's signed tombstones. However, the pres- 
ence nearby of similar markers, unsigned and contemporaneous, sug- 
gest that Neale may have produced these too. The King marker provides 
an interesting point of comparison with the Victorian period markers 
that Neale would carve later. 

While Neale never again carved so overt a geometrical pattern, he 













'^m-^^ 






Fig. 5 Detail, Jane P. Cuvillier, 1874, St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery 



96 



Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 



did occasionally use such patterns for purposes of embellishment. For 
example, the Charles F. Webster headstone (Fig. 4), dated 1873, in St. 
Mary's Catholic Cemetery includes a delicately rendered series of 
curved incisions reminiscent of the King design. The symmetrical inci- 
sions enclose a circular tympanum featuring a cut rose, symbolizing 
mortality and human love. This graceful line art serves both a decorative 
and a thematic purpose. It draws the viewer's eye into the partly shaded 
niche, where the rose droops on its stem. The stem, like man's existence, 
has been severed while the rose is still blooming. And because of its 
proximity to the rose, the design takes on the abstract appearance of 




Fig. 6 Detail, Lowe obelisk, 1873, St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery 



David Vance Finnell 



97 



foliage or creeping ivy. This optical illusion serves to extend and accen- 
tuate the floral motif. 

Neale used exactly the same design in 1874 for Jane P. Cuvillier's 
stone (Fig. 5) in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery. As before, a twin series of 
curved lines border a circular tympanum. Here, the tympanum encloses 
that staple of Victorian iconography, the hand of God pointing Heaven- 
ward. The function of the line art is the same - to highlight the tympa- 
num and to accentuate the central motif. The effect, however, is quite dif- 
ferent. While the filigree of the Webster headstone suggests Nature 
locked in earthly time, the same pattern here creates the illusion of celes- 




Fig. 7 Lowe obelisk 



98 



Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 



tial movement - clouds roiling around God's hand, or rays of light ema- 
nating from God's person. 

The icons of the rose and the divine hand interact in one of Neale's 
more ambitious works, the tall obelisk commissioned by Judge Enoch 
Magruder Lowe upon his wife's death in 1873. On the ten-foot-high shaft 
is a downward-turned hand grasping the rope-handle of a flower bas- 
ket. Two rows of rounded shapes represent clouds, from which the hand 
is emerging. These shapes are balanced by a profusion of flowers filling 
the fluted container (Fig. 6). Neale's symbolic depiction of God lifting the 
soul of the departed to heaven is stylized: the clouds are static, the clasp- 
ing hand is veinless, and the plucked flowers sit in two perfect rows. Not 
a breath of movement animates this almost surreal scene. 

Full-sized obelisks like the Lowe monument represent only three 
percent of Neale's total output, even though obelisks occur frequently in 
Alexandria cemeteries. The obelisk's imposing size and high cost 
appealed to Alexandria's status-conscious gentry, who preferred to take 
their trade to the large and prestigious marble firms in Baltimore and 
Washington D.C.i^ Yet the simple beauty of the entire Lowe monument 
(Fig. 7) - its perfect proportions, its crisp tabular inscriptions, its elegant 




Fig. 8 Detail, Lowe obelisk 



David Vance Finnell 



99 



eaves arching over solitary flowers (Fig. 8) - proves Neale's capability 
for handling large commissions. Of Neale's other obelisks, the Wedder- 
burn monument (1859) in Trinity Methodist Cemetery, the Calmes mon- 
ument (1873) in Washington Street Methodist Cemetery, and the Evans 
monument (1875) in Union Methodist Cemetery are noteworthy for 
their stately simplicity. Neale even produced a convincing miniature 
obelisk, seventy-two inches tall, for Kate M. McGuire (1865), a twenty- 
eight-year-old widow (Fig. 9). Though miniature markers were normal- 
ly reserved for children, Kate's parents no doubt still considered her 
their little girl. The inscription on a side panel reads: "Our darling fell 
asleep./ When will the morning come." 




Fig. 9 Kate M. McGuire, 1865, St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery 



100 



Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 



The usual signature of C.L. Neale & Sons was a straightforward 
"Neale" on the plinth or at the lower right-hand corner of the marker's 
face. Neale experimented in the 1850s and 1860s with a cursive style, but 
returned eventually to using plain block letters exclusively. On a few 
occasions the word "fecit" or "maker" was appended (Fig. 10). Neale 
sometimes added his initials, but never his Christian name. Only rarely 
did he indicate "Alex VA" on local stones, saving this formula for monu- 
ments destined for out-of-town locations where his work and place of 
business were less familiar, i^ 

Apart from stonecutting, Neale led an active civic and political life in 
Alexandria. He headed the town's night security patrol in the 1850s, 
served as city councilman in the 1850s and 1860s, and acted as clerk of 
the city market in the 1870s and 1880s.i4 On May 23, 1861, Neale and his 
oldest son voted in favor of secession, even though Neale did not per- 
sonally approve of slavery.^^ The next day a Union regiment entered 
Alexandria. Its commander, twenty-four-year-old Colonel Elmer 
Ellsworth, was shot and killed removing a secessionist flag flying atop a 
hotel on King Street. His assailant, James Jackson, the hotel keeper, was 




. ■^: ^f} rrfr 



A .., ^ 



^ 



a» 




Fig. 10 Early Neale signature. Thomas Buckingham, 1859, Washington 
Street Methodist Cemetery 



David Vance Firtnell 



101 



killed almost immediately by one of Ellsworth's troops.^^ Neale and 
eleven other citizens were chosen to serve on the coroner's jury investi- 
gating Jackson's homicide. They returned the verdict that Jackson had 
died "in defence of his home and private rights," a brave and defiant 
finding, indeed, given the presence of a hostile military force.^'' Neale 
was obviously a man of nerve and passion. 

Perhaps Neale's finest work is the Chatham obelisk (Fig. 11) in Trinity 
Methodist Cemetery. James Chatham, who died in April, 1885 at the age 
of seventy-two, owned the livery stable in town. His livery service was, 
in the words of his obituary, "well known almost throughout the entire 




^i 



^'T-^'.^^jl\ 



■*. ■* 



r>%>??k 



^:-^H>'^^?^i*^^,|5^ 



Fig. 11 James Chatham, 1885, Trinity Methodist Cemetery 



102 



Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 



State," apparently because of the part Chatham played in a serio-comic 
assault on President Andrew Jackson in 1833.18 The story goes that after 
Jackson dismissed Lieutenant Beverley Randolph (of the famous Vir- 
ginia Randolphs) from the U.S. Navy for allegedly embezzling Gover- 
ment funds, Randolph boarded Jackson's ship tied up at Alexandria, 
forced his way into Jackson's cabin, and gave the President's nose a 
painful tug. In the ensuing melee, Chatham and other friends of Ran- 
dolph got the assailant ashore and safely out of town.i^ 

The Chatham monument is a modest marble stone, comprising a 
blunted four-foot-high shaft, a base bearing the Chatham name in block 
letters, and a square plinth. The inscription is spare, and the sentiment, 
running in small cursive script along the base of the shaft, says only: 
"Through much suffering he is at Rest." What is special about the 
Chatham obelisk is its exquisite detail. Perhaps no illusion is more diffi- 
cult to create in representational art than the texture and shading of 
tapestry. The tasseled and embroidered funeral pall that Neale fashioned 
for the upper section of the monument provides a convincing illusion. 
The entire shaft is one piece of marble. The pall, though, appears dis- 
tinct, as if draped over the obelisk. What appear to be innumerable folds 




Fig. 12 Detail, Chatham obelisk 



David Vance Frnnell 



103 



in the shroud are three patterns repeated from one side of the obelisk to 
the next. A lovely garland of small flowers, carved in high relief and sig- 
nifying death overcome, hangs above the inscribed tablet (Fig. 12). 
Beneath the tablet is an wavy abstract design suggesting the head and 
wings of an angel. 

The Chatham obelisk is unlike anything else in Neale's canon. Con- 
sidering Neale's advanced age in 1885, one wonders whether the marker 
may not have been the work of his surviving son, Frank. However, 
Neale's obituary emphasizes the old man's "remarkable vigor" and 
remarks that he had "worked at his trade (stonecarving) up to a short 




Fig. 13 Neale family obelisk, 1862, St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery 



104 Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 



time ago," a fact confirmed by Neale's great-great-grandson, William F. 
King, of Springfield, Virginia.^o There is thus every reason to believe 
Neale had a direct hand in the Chatham carving, the culmination of a 
long and prolific career. 

One other Neale obelisk deserves mentioning, and that is the one in 
St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery commemorating Neale's oldest son, 
Charles Washington Neale, who died in 1862 (Fig. 13). One of the practi- 
cal benefits of an obelisk is the extra space it gives for genealogical data. 
Neale used three sides of the base and one side of the shaft to chronicle 
the names of four other Neale family members, including "Little Willie," 
his infant son who lived only a month. The Neale obelisk is made of 
brownstone, an attractive sandstone native to the Eastern seaboard and 
one that Neale often mentioned in advertisements. Unfortunately, the 
soft and porous nature of brownstone is sadly apparent in this deterio- 
rating marker. 21 

Despite its longevity, C.L. Neale & Sons never monopolized the 
stonecutting trade in Alexandria. Through the mid-to-late nineteenth 
century, a succession of rival stonecarvers set up shop in town, the most 
notable being William Chauncey (1834-1900), who in the 1870s pur- 
chased a marble yard one block away from Neale's.22 Competition con- 
vinced Neale of the importance of advertising. Chataigne's Alexandria 
City Directory for 1881-1882 shows on page 118 a typical Neale advertise- 
ment, in which the firm is said to be "prepared to execute all orders for 
Monumental and Head Stone Work, Steps, Sills and Lintels. Carving and 
Lettering executed in the best manner." The accompanying illustration 
bows to the sentimentalism of the day: a lady and child mourn beneath a 
weeping willow in a well-ordered necropolis. The advertisement also 
contains a major typographic error: instead of "C.L. Neale & Sons," the 
copy reads "S.C. Neale & Sons." Sidney Chapman Neale, apparently no 
relation, was a prominent attorney in town during this time. Such a mis- 
print must have embarrassed both men. Was it a coincidence that the 
firm of C.L. Neale & Sons was not commissioned to make any of the 
markers in the S.C. Neale family plot in St. Paul's Episcopal Cemetery? 

As the advertisement makes clear, Neale's business extended beyond 
the graveyard. He was evidently prepared to undertake a variety of 
commercial and domestic stonecutting jobs. Much of the firm's handi- 
work is surely extant in Old Town Alexandria, a topic worthy of further 
research. We do know that Neale was responsible for the stonework 



David Vance Finnell 



105 



inside the Catholic parish hall (no longer standing) that opened in 1859, 
and that his son Frank was sub-contracted in 1872 to install a mantel of 
"marbleized slate" in the Lambert House at 407 Duke Street.23 

Neale never assayed a truly original design. However, his trade- 
mark was a double column-and-arch design that forms the basis of four 
family monuments in Alexandria: the Harlow tomb (1879), St. Mary's 
Catholic Cemetery; the Hammond tomb (1881), the Presbyterian ceme- 
tery; the Bossart tomb (1881), St. Paul's Episcopal Cemetery; and the 
Downey tomb (1903), St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery. While Neale cer- 
tainly did not create this design, which is not uncommon in other Vir- 




Fig. 14 Harlow family monument, 1879, St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery 



106 Stonecarving of Qiarles Lloyd Neale 



ginia cemeteries and elsewhere, he was the only carver to employ it in 
Alexandria.24 

Neale's double column-and-arch design was suitable for family 
markers, providing ample room for inscription. It consists, from the 
ground up, of a three-tiered base, two fourteen-inch cubes, two two- 
foot-high columns, and an arch. At the apex of the arch is a finial: an urn 
for Protestants; the Latin cross for Catholics. The entire monument is 
nine feet high and, at the base, four feet wide. The earliest example of 
this design, the Harlow family monument (Fig. 14), differs slightly from 
the others in that its base is two-tiered, not three; the capitals of its 
columns are plain, not decorative; and the negative silhouette within the 
monument is rounded, not pointed. 

Aesthetically, these column-and-arch monuments are interesting but 
graceless. The compressed bulk of their columns, carved from cement- 
gray stone, overwhelms the rest of the tomb, and the finials seem too tall 
for their arch supports (in fact, the urn on the Bossart monument has 
snapped off and is now wedged for safekeeping between the columns). 
Yet Neale's column-and-arch motif succeeds nicely when incorporated 
into a better balanced structure. A case in point is the family monument 
in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery marking the grave of Neale himself and 
his wife (Fig. 15). The pedestal supports four unfluted columns, smaller 
than the pair on the nearby Harlow tomb. The naked arch of the Harlow 
monument is here merged into a well-proportioned canopy, steeply 
pitched and domed, providing a secure base for the cross. The overall 
effect is that of a miniature mausoleum, pleasing in scale and style, and 
certainly an improvement on Neale's original design. Presumably, Frank 
Neale oversaw the production of this unsigned tomb after his father's 
death, although Charles himself may have originally carved the monu- 
ment when his wife died in 1874. 

Charles Lloyd Neale died June 8, 1886. The cause of death was pneu- 
monia brought on, according to Neale's descendants, by his spartan 
habit of taking a cold shower in the marble yard each day. Frank Neale 
died in 1894. Frank's widow, Carrie, remarried, and with her second hus- 
band, John McKenna, a stonecutter, maintained the business until 
McKenna's death in 1916. Even after the firm's name was changed to 
Alexandria Marble Works in 1895, the Neale name continued to appear 
on markers as the firm worked its way through its inventory of "pre- 
signed" Neale stones. 



David Vance Finnell 



107 




Fig. 15 The Charles Lloyd Neale monument, 
St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery 

The author of an unpublished paper on Alexandria tombstones 
observes that Alexandria cemeteries do not show the usual rich variety 
of Victorian sepulchral art - the weeping willows, the sleeping lambs, 
the open books.^s The author implies that the mediocrity of the home- 
town carvers explains this absence of ornamentation.^^ This is unfair to 
Neale and other local stonecutters, who employed an unadorned style 
deliberately. The community's taste in commemorative art, grounded in 
the town's Scottish heritage, was essentially conservative.^^ While Victo- 



108 



Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 



rian iconography is abundantly present in local carving, it is usually on 
a modest scale. 

The restrained nature of local sepulchral art played to Neale's 
strength as a competent, straightforward stonecutter. His carving style, 
even at its most fanciful, bespeaks simplicity and vigor. Admittedly, he 
possessed little of the innate originality and artistic flair of two notable 
nineteenth century stonecarvers in Virginia, J.W. Da vies of Richmond 
and Charles Miller Walsh of Petersburg.^s Yet, as the Lowe and Chatham 





Fig. 16 James H. Neale, the youngest son, who died at age thirty-four 



David Vance Finnell 109 



monuments show, Neale was certainly capable of inspired work. 

Neale's remarkable career spanned half a century. The solid quality 
of his carving and the reliability of his service (touted by the 1883 com- 
mercial directory) allowed Neale to flourish in a competitive market. His 
three sons, Charles, James (Fig. 16), and Frank, added their energy and 
talent to what became a successful and long-lived family business. As a 
public man, Neale enriched Alexandria through his active involvement 
in the political and commercial life of the city. The myriad markers in 
Alexandria bearing the Neale signature are tributes to this skilled crafts- 
man and responsible citizen. 



NOTES 

All photographs are by the author, with the exception of Figures 1 and 16, provided 
through the courtesy of Mr. William F. King, Springfield, VA. 

1. F.L. Brockett and George W. Rock., A Concise History of the city of Alexandria, Virginia, 
from J669-1883 ivith a Directory of Reliable Businesses (Alexandria, Va., 1883), 57-58, 66. 

2. William F. King, interview with author, Alexandria, Va., January 12, 1992. Unless oth- 
erwise noted, all genealogical data in this article come from family notes supplied by 
Mr. King in this interview. 

3. Peter Matthews, "Alexandria (D.C.) Directory 1834 Occupational Listing" (Alexan- 
dria, Va.: Office of Historic Alexandria, 1988), 14. 

4. Deed Book 17, Clerk's Office, Circuit Court, Alexandria, Virginia, 24. Neale's sons 
Francis (Frank) and James were the actual owners of this property. They purchased it 
for $460 on December 2, 1870. 

5. Steven J. Shephard, "Development of a City Site: Alexandria, Virginia, 1750-1850" 
(Paper presented at the Historic Petersburg Conference on Urbanization in Maryland 
and Virginia, March 11-12, 1988), 8, 11, 13. 

6. Ethelyn Cox, Historic Alexandria Virginia Street By Street (Alexandria, 1976), xix. 

7. Cox, vi, xix-xx. 

8. Shephard, 16. 

9. "The Fireside Sentinel: An Historical Journal about Alexandria Published by the 
Lloyd House, Alexandria Library" 1:8 (1987): 60-68. 

10. "The Fireside Sentinel" 1:9 (1987): 79. 



110 Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 



11 . Alexandria Gazette (Sept. 2, 1853). 

12. Many of the grander Victorian monuments in Alexandria's cemeteries came from the 
marble works of William A. Griffith of Washington D.C. and the Gaddes brothers of 
Baltimore. 

13. For example, the graveyard in Sabillasville, Maryland, seventy-five miles to the 
northwest, contains two markers signed "C.L. Neale Alex Va." 

14. Neale obituary, Alexandria Gazette (June 8, 1886). 

15. "The Fireside Sentinal" 3:4 (1989): 44. 

16. E.B. Long, The Civil War Day by Day (Garden City, 1971 ), 77-78. 

17. Edgar Warfield, A Confederate Soldier's Memoirs (Richmond, 1936), 46. 

18. Chatham obituary. The Alexandria Gazette (April 8, 1885). 

19. Jonathan Daniels, The Randolphs of Virginia: America's Foremost Family (New York, 
1972), 263. 

20. Neale obituary. The Alexandria Gazette (June 8, 1886). 

21. Cyril M. Harris, ed.. Dictionary of Architecture and Construction (New York, 1975), 71. 

22. J.H. Chataigne, Chataigne's Alexandria City Directory, 1876-77 (D.C, 1876), 190. 

23. T. Michael Miller, ed.. Pen Portraits of Alexandria, 1739-1900 (Bowie, Md., 1987), 367. 

24. For example, the same design occurs in Riverview Cemetery, Strasburg, Virginia, and 
Mount Hebron Cemetery, Madison, Virginia. 

25. Suzita Myers, "'Remember Me As You Pass By': Style as Evidence in Tombstones of 
Alexandria" (manuscript, Alexandria Public Library, Lloyd House, undated), 12. 

26. Ibid., 4. 

27. Barry Axell Berglund, "Annexation: A Study of the Growth of Alexandria, Virginia" 
(M.A. diss., Oklahoma University, 1974), 3; Shephard, 18. 

28. On Walsh, see Martha Wren Briggs, "Charles Miller Walsh: A Master Carver of Grave- 
stones in Virginia, 1865-1901," Markers 7 (1990): 139-171. 



David Vance Finnell 



111 



APPENDIX 

ALPHABETICAL LISTING OF 

MARKERS IN ALEXANDRIA CEMETERIES^ 

AHRIBUTABLE TO THE NEALE FIRM. 



1883 


Abendschein, John 


Washington Street 


1878 


Addison, Dr. Edmund B. 


Trinity Methodist 


1883 


Anderson, John S. 


St. Mary's 


1887 


Appich, David 


Presbyterian 


1857 


Arnold, Mary 


Methodist Protestant 


1871 


Baggett, Mary Ann 


Presbyterian 


1863 


Barrett, infant 


St. Paul's 


1874 


Bell, Lizzie Tinsley 


Presbyterian 


1890 


Blonheim, Simon 


Home of Peace 


1888 


Bohraus, Jacob 


Bethel 


1881 


Bossart, Mary A. 


St. Paul's 


1865 


Boyer, John 


Washington Street 


1872 


Bradley, Harrison 


Trinity Methodist 


1870 


Brewis, baby 


Trinity Methodist 


1870 


Brewis, Thomas A. 


Trinity Methodist 


1879 


Brown, Abraham 


Home of Peace 


1861 


Browne, Ellen Douglass 


St. Paul's 


1891 


Bryan, Martha 


Presbyterian 


1868 


Bryant, John J. 


Methodist Protestant 


1861 


Buchanan, Robert E. 


Methodist Protestant 


1863 


Buchanan, Robert E., Jr. 


Methodist Protestant 


18?? 


Buckingham, I. 


Washington Street 


1859 


Buckingham, Thomas 


Washington Street 


1866 


Burchell, Edward 


Trinity Methodist 


1868 


Callender, Margaret 


St. Mary's 


1868 


O'Sullivan, Jeremiah 


St. Mary's 


1869 


Carmichael, Sarah L. 


St. Paul's 


1863 


Came, Mary C. 


St. Mary's 


1872 


Came, Richard L. 


St. Mary's 


1885 


Chatham, James 


Trinity Methodist 


1865 


Churchman, John 


Washington Street 


1861 


Clagett, Ann 


St. Paul's 


186? 


Clagett, Richard 


Trinity Methodist 


1874 


Clagett, Sarah 


Trinity Methodist 


1873 


Clames, Joseph 


Washington Street 


1878 


Clark, Alexander 


Methodist Protestant 


1874 


Clark, Caroline 


Methodist Protestant 


1883 


Clifford, George W. 


Washington Street 


1872 


Coffee, Bridget 


St. Mary's 


187? 


Colvin, James R. 


Washington Street 


1865 


Concannon, Catherine 


St. Mary's 



112 



Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 



1880 


Cook, Hortensia H. 


Presbyterian 


1873 


Cook, John D. 


Methodist Protestant 


1876 


Cooney, Joseph 


St. Mary's 


1868 


Corbet, Michael 


St. Mary's 


1876 


CowUng, EHzabeth 


Methodist Protestant 


1871 


Coxen, Mary A. 


St. Mary's 


1865 


Cracken, James M. 


Washington Street 


1883 


Craven, John 


Trinity Methodist 


1884 


Craven, Virginia A. 


Trinity Methodist 


1851 


Cross, Reid 


Trinity Methodist 


1862 


Cuander, JuHa E. 


Presbyterian 


1874 


Cuvilher, Jane P. 


St. Mary's 


1861 


Dade, Mary T. 


Christ Church 


1888 


Davidson, Jane Welborne 


Presbyterian 


1893 


Davis, James T. 


Methodist Protestant 


1872 


Davy, Susan 


Trinity Methodist 


1881 


Demaine, EHzabeth 


Methodist Protestant 


1880 


Dentinger, Bessie C. 


St. Paul's 


1864 


DeVaughn, 


Washington Street 


1863 


De Vaughn, Emma Blake 


Washington Street 


1837 


DeVaughn, John 


Methodist Protestant 


1859 


Diez, Eve Catherine 


St. Paul's 


1884 


Dobie, Mary J. 


Methodist Protestant 


1875 


Dorsey, Mary 


St. Paul's 


1875 


Douglass, J. Edwards 


Presbyterian 


1903 


Downey, John T. (unsigned) 


St. Mary's 


1881 


Dreifus, Caroline 


Home of Peace 


1890 


Duffey, Sarah C. 


Methodist Protestant 


1879 


Dugan, Anthony 


St. Mary's 


1885 


Duke, Elizabeth 


Washington Street 


1868 


Dulany, Getta 


St. Paul's 


1850 


Emerson, Aquilla 


St. Paul's 


1878 


Entwisle, Marvin 


Washington Street 


1861 


Evans, Dr. John 


St. Mary's 


1875 


Evans, John T. 


Methodist Protestant 


1873 


Fadely, Milton W. 


Methodist Protestant 


1854 


Eairall, Grafton 


St. Paul's 


1889 


Fleming, Andrew J. 


Presbyterian 


1888 


Fleming, Catherine 


Presbyterian 


1885 


Fleming, Eliza 


Presbyterian 


1880 


Foote, Mary Marshall 


Christ Church 


1873 


Glover, Laura J. 


Methodist Protestant 


1872 


Gregory, Douglas S. 


Presbyterian 


187? 


Grimes, Joseph 


Methodist Protestant 


1877 


Grimes, Margaret 


Methodist Protestant 


1879 


Grunebaum, Harry 


Home of Peace 


1852 


Gunney, Mary 


St. Mary's 


1872 


Hall, Mary Ann 


St. Paul's 


1887 


Hall, Thomas M. 


St. Paul's 



David Vance Finnell 



113 



1887 


Hammill, Bridget 


St. Mary's 


1890 


Hammill, Henry 


St. Mary's 


1897 


Hammond, J.T. 


Presbyterian 


1881 


Hammond, Nan 


Presbyterian 


1879 


Harlow, Michael 


St. Mary's 


1857 


Harper, Washington M. 


Washington Street 


1877 


Harrish, Elizabeth 


Methodist Protestant 


1864 


Harvey, Grace A. 


Presbyterian 


1882 


Hayes, Patrick E. 


St. Mary's 


1864 


Hellmuth, Louis 


St. Mary's 


1865 


Hoare, Cornelia 


Methodist Protestant 


1894 


Hollenbury, Harriet 


Trinity Methodist 


1862 


Hooe, Eleanor 


Christ Church 


1882 


Hooff, Rebecca 


St. Paul's 


18?? 


Houre, Mary Louisa 


Washington Street 


1864 


House, Ann W. 


Methodist Protestant 


1859 


Huguely, Edgar 


Methodist Protestant 


1865 


Huguely, George F. 


Methodist Protestant 


1876 


Hunter, Margaret 


St. Paul's 


1865 


Hussey, Sibyl D. 


Washington Street 


1872 


Jenkins, William 


St. Mary's 


1860 


Johnson, Ann 


Methodist Protestant 


1879 


Johnson, William A. 


Washington Street 


1865 


Jordan, James W. 


Washington Street 


1879 


Kantman, Hannah 


Home of Peace 


1880 


Kelly, Indianna 


Presbyterian 


1847 


King, Benjamin S. 


Methodist Protestant 


1865 


King, Jane 


St. Mary's 


1874 


King, Mary 


St. Mary's 


1869 


Kinzer, L Louis 


Presbyterian 


1883 


Laws, Neman 


Washington Street 


1878 


Lawson, Robert, Jr. 


Trinity Methodist 


18?? 


Lindheimer, Rudolph 


Home of Peace 


1864 


Lindsey, James 


Methodist Protestant 


1872 


Lowe, Mary Joyce 


St. Mary's 


1864 


Machenheiner, Eliza 


St. Paul's 


1875 


Mason, Capt. Murray 


Christ Church 


1870 


Massey, Mary 


St. Mary's 


1882 


Masterson, Mary A. 


St. Mary's 


1883 


May, John Alvin 


Washington Street 


1880 


McCliesh, George 


Presbyterian 


1865 


McGuire, Kate M. 


St. Mary's 


1882 


McKnight, Mary E. 


Presbyterian 


1884 


McLean, Elizabeth 


St. Mary's 


1874 


McLean, Joseph 


St. Mary's 


1858 


McLean, Martha 


St. Paul's 


1860 


Meagher, Mathew 


St. Mary's 


1862 


Milburn, B.C. 


St. Paul's 


1862 


Milburn, Thirza 


St. Paul's 



114 



Stonecarving of Charles Lloyd Neale 



1887 


Miller, George C. 


Methodist Protestant 


1877 


Mitchell, George W. 


Washington Street 


1860 


Monroe, Joseph 


Methodist Protestant 


1882 


Moore, Charlie T. 


Washington Street 


1874 


Morgan, William 


Trinity Methodist 


1869 


Morrow, Maria 


St. Mary's 


1869 


Murphy, John 


St. Mary's 


1867 


Murtaugh, Bridget 


St. Mary's 


1855 


Nails, John T. 


Washington Street 


1878 


O'Brien, Mathew 


Methodist Protestant 


1858 


O'Connell, Margaret 


St. Mary's 


1877 


O'Sullivan, Dennis 


St. Mary's 


1879 


O'Sullivan, William 


St. Mary's 


1894 


Padgett, John W. 


Washington Street 


1865 


Page, Charles H. 


St. Paul's 


1878 


Page, Emily Handy 


St. Paul's 


1863 


Plain, Catherine A. 


Methodist Protestant 


1875 


Popham, Mary A. 


Christ Church 


1871 


Powell, Selina 


Christ Church 


189? 


Prendergast, James M. 


Washington Street 


1874 


Prettyman, Ann Lucinda 


Methodist Protestant 


1870 


Prettyman, Margaret Virginia 


Presbyterian 


1865 


Price, Sarah Jane 


St. Paul's 


1866 


Price, William 


St. Paul's 


1880 


Richardson, Ellen 


St. Mary's 


1880 


Richardson, Johanna 


St. Mary's 


1879 


Richardson, Margaret M. 


St. Mary's 


1867 


Riordan, James 


St. Mary's 


1885 


Rudd, Amanda M. 


Washington Street 


1866 


Rudd, Anna R. 


Washington Street 


1873 


Rudd, Charles D. 


Washington Street 


1885 


Rudd, Julia E. 


Washington Street 


1864 


Rudd, Sallie 


Washington Street 


1860 


Shakes, John 


Washington Street 


1864 


Sherwood, Charlotte 


Trinity Methodist 


1874 


Sides, William H. 


Presbyterian 


1850 


Simpson, Emma 


Trinity Methodist 


1877 


Simpson, Henry L. 


Trinity Methodist 


1872 


Simpson, Margaret 


Methodist Protestant 


1862 


Simpson, Mary Anne 


Trinity Methodist 


1850 


Snyder, Mathias 


Trinity Methodist 


1884 


Sprouse, Mary F. 


Methodist Protestant 


1871 


Stain, George 


Presbyterian 


1869 


Stain, Mary V. 


Presbyterian 


1854 


Swain, Lizzie 


Presbyterian 


1877 


T , Martha E. 


Washington Street 


1886 


Tartiselle, Ellen 


St. Mary's 


1888 


Taylor, Belle 


Methodist Protestant 


1889 


Taylor, T.A. 


Washington Street 



David Vance Finnell 



115 



1865 
1880 
1876 
1877 
1874 
1869 
1874 
1868 
1858 
1857 
1861 
1873 
1892 
1878 
1859 
1857 
1865 
1864 
188? 
18?? 



Thomas, John A. 
Thompson, John T. 
Thompson, Margaret A. 
Tiger, Lewis 

Tr , Julia F. 

Travis, Janie 
Tyler, John H. 
Washington, E. Clarence 
Washington, Ellie 
Washington, Lanine 
Waters, George A. 
Webster, Charles F. 
Webster, Constance Madella 
Webster, John B. 
Wedderburn, Dr. A.J. 
White, Vachel 
Wickop, Sophia 
Wood, Lewis Bancroft 



_, Elizabeth K. 



St. Mary's 

Methodist Protestant 
Methodist Protestant 
Methodist Protestant 
Washington Street 
Methodist Protestant 
Washington Street 
Trinity Methodist 
Trinity Methodist 
Trinity Methodist 
Trinity Methodist 
St. Mary's 
Washington Street 
St. Mary's 
Trinity Methodist 
St. Mary's 
Trinity Methodist 
Washington Street 
Presbyterian 
Washington Street 



(*) This roster encompasses St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery (1795-96) and the cemeteries 
established on the old Spring Garden Farm southwest of Old Town Alexandria: Christ 
Church Episcopal (1808), Trinity Methodist (1808), St. Paul's Episcopal (1809), 
Presbyterian (1809), Douglass (1827), Methodist Protestant (1836), Washington Street 
Methodist Episcopal Church South or Union (1850), Home of Peace/Jewish (1858), and 
Bethel (1885). 



116 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 



i 




KEY 

JEWISH CEMETERIES 

1-5: Complex inclading 
cemeteries of: 

Adath Israel 
Brith Sholom 
Keneseth Israel 
Anshei Sfard 
Adath Jeshurun 

6: Agudath Achim 

7: Temple Shalom 
section of 
Cave Hill Cem. 

OTHER CEMETERIES 



A: 


Cave Hill Cem. 


B: 


Eastern Cem. 


C: 


St.Louis Cem. 


D: 


St.Michaels Cem 


E: 


Louisville Cem. 


F: 


Calvary Cem. 


Scale: 


mssiasiissg 




Fig. 1 Vicinity map of Louisville, Kentucky, 
showing the locations of principal cemeteries. 



117 



THE JEWISH CEMETERIES OF LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY: 

MIRRORS OF HISTORICAL PROCESSES AND THEOLOGICAL 

DIVERSITY THROUGH 150 YEARS 

David M. Gradwohl 

My scholarly interest in the Jewish cemeteries of Louisville, Ken- 
tucky began with a personal journey to that city some seven years ago. 
At that time, the questions to which I initially sought answers were par- 
ticular ones regarding the social history and genealogy I am organizing 
for my paternal grandmother's lineage, the Hilpp family. That first visit 
provided answers to some questions and, as is inevitable, raised many 
new ones. Even more fascinating are certain apparent universal patterns 
- some admittedly impressionistic - observed in Louisville's extant Jew- 
ish cemeteries which seem to parallel those my wife, Hanna Rosenberg 
Gradwohl, and I are recording in detail in the Jewish cemeteries of 
Lincoln, Nebraska, and Des Moines, lowa.i In essence, the separate 
cemeteries maintained by Louisville's Jewish temples and synagogues 
(see Fig. 1) reflect different historical origins, theological orientations, 
and ritual practices within American Judaism. They mirror the processes 
and intra-group diversity of Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Jews 
throughout a period of 150 years. In this discussion, I start with a per- 
sonal and anecdotal framework and move to a more general and, I hope, 
encompassing perspective regarding Judaic identifications and mortu- 
ary patterns with a particular emphasis on intra-group variations. My 
analytical framework is based upon my disciplinary training in anthro- 
pology and my specialization in archaeology, which includes a specific 
interest in ethnoarchaeology as a link between material culture and the 
non-material aspects of human behavior.^ 

I begin with a photograph of the Hilpp family taken in St. Joseph, 
Missouri in the early 1890s showing my paternal grandmother, Hattie 
Hilpp Gradwohl, and her father, Samuel Hilpp (Fig. 2). I ascertained that 
Samuel Hilpp was born in the United States in 1846. But oral historical 
and archival sources differed as to whether he was born in Louisville, 
Kentucky, or in Madison, Indiana. Furthermore, family informants dif- 
fered as to the names of Samuel's parents, who had immigrated to this 
country from states in what are now the western part of Germany and 
the eastern part of France. 



118 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 




Fig. 2 The Hilpp family, photographed in St. Joseph, Missouri 

in the 1890s. Hattie Hilpp Gradwohl, second from right; 

Samuel Hilpp, third from right. 

Eventually, my quest led to the cemetery of Temple Adath Israel,^ 
Louisville's oldest Jewish congregation and a bastion of Reform Judaism 
in the Ohio River Valley (Fig. 3). To the south of the cemetery's entrance 
is a Victorian-style gatehouse which has served as a residence for the 
cemetery superintendent; to the north is a limestone structure which for- 
merly housed a chapel. Just inside the cemetery, one immediately 
observes a variety of tombstone forms and sizes typical of Reform Jew- 
ish burial grounds throughout the midwestern and eastern United States 
(Fig. 4). Late nineteenth century and early twentieth century gravestone 
styles include vertical tablets, columns, obelisks, compound blocks, fam- 
ily monuments, and individual markers.^ The Adath Israel cemetery 
was originally laid out along the lines of the rural or English landscape 
design, with curving avenues and irregularly-shaped sections (see Fig. 
5). In some respects it resembles Louisville's famous Cave Hill Cemetery, 
although on a smaller scale and with a flatter terrain. ^ The gravestones of 
Samuel Hilpp's parents, Elias Hilpp and Thresa Maas Hilpp, are located 



David M. Gradwohl 



119 




Fig. 3 Entrance to the original Adath Israel Cemetery (now The 

Temple Cemetery), Louisville, Kentucky, The building on the left 

once served as the cemetery superintendent's house; the structure on 

the right was a chapel. 



i 




Fig. 4 General view inside Adath Israel Cemetery. Note variation in 

tombstone style and size; also sculptures in the round, including 

human representations. 



120 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 



(XdA6'-'^M(td Cmi^iieui 




Fig. 5 Nineteenth century plat map of Adas (Adath) Israel Cemetery. 

Adapted from an original in the archives of 

The Temple, Louisville, Kentucky. 



David M. Gradwohl 



121 




Fig. 6 Monuments of Elias Hilpp and Thresa Maas Hilpp 

in Adath Israel Cemetery; shown here with their 

great-great-grandson, the author. 

along the eastern edge of the Adath Israel Cemetery near Preston Street 
(Fig. 6). These monuments fit the pattern my wife and 1 have observed in 
other midwestern nineteenth century Jewish cemeteries. As is typical for 
Reform Jews who came to the United States from Germany and France, 
the Hilpp gravestones bear epitaphs in English only and do not include 
any Judaic symbols. My great-great grandparents' monuments are of 
modest size - probably a reflection of their middling socio-economic sta- 
tus. From archival records, I know that at different times in his life Elias 
Hilpp was a butcher, tanner, and glue manufacturer (apparently no por- 
tion of the animals went to waste!). 

The pursuit of relevant documents pertaining to my family's history 
led to a book by Herman Landau entitled Adath Louisville: The Story of a 
Jewish Community, and to several antecedent archival sources.^ Landau's 
book chronicles the history and breadth of Louisville's Jewish inhabi- 
tants and institutions over time, and thus provides a good general con- 
text for observing and interpreting the city's Jewish cemeteries. Today, 
within Louisville's city population of 289,900 and a greater metropolitan 
population of 906,200, there are some 9,200 Jewish residents.^ Louisville 



122 Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 



boasts a large Jewish Community Center with a variety of educational 
and recreational facilities, the Shalom Tower, which includes housing 
and social services for the elderly along with the offices of the Jewish 
Federation, and the extensive Jewish Hospital and medical complex 
which serve a large non-sectarian population. The Herman Meyer and 
Son Mortuary, on the other hand, provides sectarian final rites of pas- 
sage for Louisville's Jews. 

Between the womb and the tomb, Louisville's Jews have been served 
by a number of congregations. Although Jewish settlers are documented 
for Louisville at least as early as the second decade of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, it was not until the 1830s that a sufficient number of Jews resided 
there to establish a minyan, the minimum of ten Hebrew males over thir- 
teen years of age traditionally required for communal prayers.^ Lewis N. 
Dembitz states that "About 1838, if I am not mistaken, a beginning of 
regular services was made, in some dingy up-stairs room, and some sort 
of ritual bath [mikveh] was dug."^ According to Landau, these religious 
services were held in the upper rooms of Abraham Tandler's boarding 
house, located on Market Street between Second and Third streets.io 
Although petitions for the corporate establishment of a Jewish congrega- 
tion in Louisville may have been filed with the Kentucky legislature as 
early as 1834, it was apparently not until September of 1842 that such a 
charter was issued. ii The history and development of the city's incorpo- 
rated temples and synagogues between the early 1840s and late 1980s 
are displayed in schematic form in Figure 7. 

Louisville's first chartered congregation was Adath Israel ("Congre- 
gation of Israel"). Landau's book lists the name of Elias Hilpp as one of 
the original incorporators of Adath Israel, providing me with a personal 
as well as a scholarly interest in Louisville's history. 12 A second Reform 
congregation, Brith Sholom ("Covenant of Peace"), was founded in 1880 
and continued to 1976 when it merged with Adath Israel into a congre- 
gation known as "The Temple," now housed on Brownsboro Road. The 
signboard at the new building reads "The Temple. Congregation Adath 
Israel Brith Sholom." One group of Reform Jews, however, did not favor 
the merger of Adath Israel and Brith Sholom, so they formed an inde- 
pendent Reform congregation known as Temple Shalom ("Peace Tem- 
ple"), now located on Lowe Road. During the 1870s and 1880s two 
Orthodox Jewish congregations formed, namely the B'nai Jacob Syna- 
gogue ("Sons of Jacob") and the Beth Hamedrash Hagodol Synagogue 



David M. Gradwohl 



123 



The 
Temple 



Temple 
Shalom 



i f 



Brith 
Sholom 



1842 Adath 
Israel 



REFORM 



CONSERVATIVE 



Keneseth 
Israel 




Anshei 
Sfard 




Agudath 
Achim 



ORTHODOX 



Fig. 7 Time chart showing the historical development of Jewish temples 

and synagogues in Louisville, Kentucky between the 

early 1840s and late 1980s. 



124 Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 



("Great House of Study"). In 1926, these two congregations merged into 
the Keneseth Israel Synagogue ("Assembly of Israel"), which today 
maintains a large building complex on Taylors ville Road. In 1893, a sec- 
ond Orthodox congregation, Anshei Sfard Synagogue ("Sephardic 
Men"), formed. A third Orthodox congregation, Agudath Achim 
("Union of Brothers" or "The Brotherhood"), incorporated in 1922 and 
merged with Anshei Sfard in 1971. Today the Anshei Sfard Synagogue is 
located on Dutchman's Lane near the Jewish Community Center and 
Shalom Tower. Conservative Judaism is represented in Louisville by the 
Adath Jeshurun Synagogue ("Congregation of Jeshurun" or "Congrega- 
tion of Jacob"), presently located on Woodbourne Avenue. The incorpo- 
rated name of Adath Jeshurun begins in 1894, although the roots of the 
congregation extend back to 1851 with the establishment of the then- 
Orthodox Beth Israel ("House of Israel") Synagogue. Reflecting the 
country of origin of many of its members, the congregation was known 
for many years as the "Polish Synagogue."i3 

The institutional history of Jews in Louisville reflects the broad his- 
torical, theological and ritual diversity in Judaism within the United 
States. The Adath Israel and Brith Shalom congregations - now repre- 
sented by the Temple and Temple Shalom - were founded primarily by 
Jews from Western Europe (Germany, Austria, Alsace-Lorraine, and 
France). 14 During the early years of these congregations, prayers and ser- 
mons were conducted in German and the minutes of the business meet- 
ings were recorded in the mother tongue.i^ These Western Ashkenazim 
embraced the principles of Reform Judaism which began after the eman- 
cipation of Jews in Europe and was transmitted to the United States by 
rabbinic leaders such as Max Lilienthal, Isaac Mayer Wise, David Ein- 
horn, and Kaufmann Kohler.i^ As specifically codified at the Philadel- 
phia Conference of 1869 and the Pittsburgh Conference of 1885, Reform 
Judaism emphasized the themes of Prophetic Judaism rather than the rit- 
uals mandated by traditional Rabbinic Judaism. Abandoned was the 
absolute obligation to follow kosher dietary laws and to wear religious 
paraphernalia such as the yarmulke (skull cap), tallis (prayer shawl), and 
tefillin (phylacteries). Also rejected was the hope of a return to Zion, that 
is, a homeland in Palestine. To emphasize this point. Rabbi Isaac Mayer 
Wise once proclaimed, "America is our Zion."i^ Reform Jewish practices 
included such things as the integrated seating of men and women dur- 
ing religious services, the use of vernacular languages (in particular. 



David M. Gradwohl 125 



English and German) as well as Hebrew in prayer, and the disavowal of 
the so-called priestly castes - the Kohanim, or high priests, and the 
Levites, or temple attendant priests. Confirmation, a religious rite of pas- 
sage for both girls and boys, replaced the traditional Bar Mitzvah ("Son of 
the Commandment") ritual undertaken by boys on their thirteenth 
birthdays. Organs, other musical instruments, and choirs were used dur- 
ing religious services instead of or in addition to the ritual chanting of 
the traditional cantor. 

On the other hand, the founders of the Orthodox Synagogues - B'nai 
Jacob, Beth Hamedrash Hagodol, Keneseth Israel, Anshei Sfard, and 
Agudath Achim - came primarily from Eastern Europe (Poland, the 
Baltic countries, and Russia). i^ In addition to the languages of their coun- 
tries of origin, most of these people spoke Yiddish, a distinctive dialect of 
Middle High German with the incorporation of some Hebrew words. 
These Eastern Ashkenazim, for the most part, continued the traditional 
practices of Judaism, which include such things as the literal authority of 
the rabbis and Talmudic interpretations, the obligatory kosher or dietary 
laws, the separation of men and women during services, the wearing of 
religious paraphernalia, and continued roles of the Kohanim and Levites in 
religious rituals." Today, the Keneseth Israel Synagogue continues to 
identify with Orthodoxy but is labelled by Landau as "Traditional with 
Mixed Seating."2o Anshei Sfard, contrary to its name, is not a congrega- 
tion whose membership is comprised primarily of Sephardim - that is, 
Jews who trace their origins back to Spain and Portugal and speak Ladi- 
no, a dialect of Spanish mixed with Hebrew. The founders of this congre- 
gation were actually Chasidic ("Pious") Jews from southern Russia and 
preferred certain Sephardic rituals and modes of prayer as opposed to the 
minhagim (customs) of Louisville's existing congregations.^^ Today, how- 
ever, it is my understanding that the Sephardic rituals are essentially 
restricted to a few customs at the High Holy Days. Basically, the Anshei 
Sfard Synagogue follows the Eastern Ashkenazi traditions and is consid- 
ered Louisville's most orthodox synagogue. 

Louisville's Adath Jeshurun Synagogue represents Conservative 
Judaism, a third, middle-of-the-road, "branch" of Judaism which essen- 
tially developed in the United States under the rabbinic leadership of 
Solomon Schechter, Isaac Leeser, and others. Conservative Judaism 
draws from both Orthodox and Reform Judaism.22 Individual adherents 
of Conservative Judaism select differently from traditional and liberal 



126 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 



N 



The Temple 

Cemetery 

(Adath Israel 

& Brith Sholom) 

REFORM 



OPEN AREA 



Keneseth Israel 

Cemetery 
ORTHODOX 




TTTT C U S T LANE 



Fig. 8 Sketch map of Jewish cemeteries at the comer of 
Preston Street and Locust Lane. 



David M. Gradwohl 



127 



practices. Some follow the dietary rules strictly, others do not. Some 
observe the rituals of the priestly castes, others do not. Partly as an 
accommodation to the changing roles of women in western society, the 
rite of Bas Mitzvah ("Daughter of the Commandment") was instituted for 
girls on their thirteenth birthdays. 

The diversity within Louisville's historic Jewish congregations and 
extant temples and synagogues is reflected in the city's separate Jewish 
cemeteries. In establishing settlements throughout the world, each 
group of Jews has traditionally expressed its presence by instituting a 
place of prayer, a religious school, and a cemetery. David de Sola Pool 
underscores this point in discussing the earliest Jewish cemeteries in 
New York City: 




Fig. 9 Sketch map showing cemeteries of Adath Israel and 
Brith Sholom before the 1976 merger. 



128 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 



In Jewish life, to a greater degree than is commonly found elsewhere, the 
establishment of a common consecreated burial ground is a significant sign 
of permanent settlement. In medieval Germany the secular authorities 
would sometimes name and classify Jewish communities by the cemeter- 
ies which they used. The cemetery served as the permanent geographic 
nuclear unit of community organization. At least it was immovable prop- 
erty, while the living Jew, the quarry of many a brutal man hunt, for his 
own protection had to be a movable chattel of the local feudal prince.^^ 



During the 1820s, some Kentucky settlers of Jewish faith, including at 
least one from Louisville, were transported to Cincinnati, Ohio for bur- 
ial.24 In the 1850s, Temple Adath Israel had a burial ground, known as 
the "Hebrew Cemetery," at the corner of Preston and Woodbine. At 
some later date, adjacent to Adath Israel's original cemetery, was a sepa- 




Fig. 10 Sketch map showing cemetery of 'The Temple" after the 
merger of Adath Israel and Brith Sholom m 1976. 



David M. Gradwohl 



129 



rate burial ground for the members of Adath Jeshurun. Those cemeteries 
were destroyed by the construction of the Interstate 65 highway, and the 
burials removed to the present cemeteries of those separate congrega- 
tions.25 During the late nineteenth century, a third burial ground, known 
as the Hebrew Schardein Cemetery, was established on the south side of 
Wathen Lane west of Seventh Street Road. According to Landau, that site 
was destroyed about 1934 by the construction of the Seagram distillery; 
the individuals buried there were re-interred in what is now the ceme- 
tery of Keneseth Israel Synagogue.^^ Early on, then, we see that separate 
cemeteries were maintained for Louisville's Reform, Conservative, and 
Orthodox Jews. That pattern has continued on into the twentieth centu- 
ry. Landau states that "Adath Israel purchased The Temple's present 
cemetery property in 1873 and that general area has become the site of 
all the congregations' cemeteries since then. The other congregations 
bought their land at different times, but by 1920 the pattern was estab- 
lished. "^^ Today in Louisville there are seven Jewish cemeteries: five 
within the mortuary complex at the corner of Preston Street and Locust 
Lane, one to the east across Preston Street, and the other a recently-estab- 
lished section within the Cave Hill Cemetery (see Fig. 1). 




Fig. 11 View within Adath Israel Cemetery; note family monuments, 
bas relief carvings, and sculptures in the round. 



130 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 



The extant cemeteries associated with Louisville's Reform Jews are 
located at the northern end of the Preston Street mortuary complex (see 
Fig. 8). Prior to 1976, the cemeteries of Temple Adath Israel and Temple 
Brith Sholom were separate, each having its own entrance gate opening 
out onto Preston Street (see Fig. 9). After 1976, the two cemeteries were 
merged and the roadways joined with a connecting link to the south of 
Brith Sholom's Frankel Memorial Chapel (see Fig. 10). The reorganiza- 
tion of these two cemeteries provides a spatial paradigm for the merged 
congregation of the living, now known as The Temple. Brith Sholom's 
entry gates were locked, and access to the merged cemeteries is now pro- 
vided via the original entrance to Adath Israel's cemetery. The merger 
was cast in bronze, so to speak, in a new sign near Adath Israel's old 
gatehouse which reads "The Temple Cemetery. Adath Israel Brith 
Sholom." 

Within these Reform cemeteries - as with those we have observed in 
the midwest and on the eastern seaboard - one notes a wide variety of 
monument styles: large obelisks, small tablets, compound block and col- 
umn monuments, horizontal blocks, and vertical blocks, to name a few. 
These styles reflect differences in monumental architecture through 
time, in addition, one assumes, to differences in the wealth and social 




Fig. 12 Davis family mausoleum in Adath Israel Cemetery. 



David M. Gradwohl 



131 



status of the deceased.^s Large family monuments with individual mark- 
ers are common, many of which are elaborately sculpted and often 
embellished with decorative curbs and other ancillary elements (see Fig. 
11). Not uncommon are central monuments which designate two or 
three linked extended families. Mausoleums are also notable features of 
these two Reform Jewish cemeteries, as they are in many Reform ceme- 
teries elsewhere (Fig. 12). These burial structures are generally prohibit- 
ed in Orthodox cemeteries since above-ground disposal of the dead is 
traditionally proscribed. ^^ Many of the monuments in the Adath Israel- 
Brith Sholom cemeteries are ornately carved in high relief, utilize elabo- 
rate sculptures in the round, and even exhibit human images, which are 
generally eschewed in Jewish tradition. To be sure, this was an art form 
gracing many nineteenth century cemeteries, including, of course. Cave 
Hill. As exemplified by the Woloshin monument, however, the practice 
continues up to the present time, where it is combined with the latest of 
twentieth-century gravestone art technology (Fig. 13). 

Typically, the gravestones of Reform Jews contain epitaphs which are 
exclusively in the vernacular, in this case, English. If Hebrew occurs at 



^ 


f^ 


i^PSl -T ' " -«*:<'^- iIiSih'' __^^^^^ 


n 


~^^i,p ^^1 


i J: 


1 \Ooloshia 

V — 


y 




HI 




s 



Fig. 13 Woloshin family monument, Adath Israel Cemetery, showing 

contemporary use of sculpture in the round. Note also the 

photograph, which is not as frequently found in Reform as in 

Conservative and Orthodox Jewish cemeteries. 



132 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 




Fig. 14 Kern family monument and markers, Brith Sholom Cemetery. 

Note use of abbreviated Hebrew phrases and indication of places of 

birth (Germany) and death (Louisville, Ky). 



David M. Gradwohl 



133 




ROt'hRT UJOLFF 

mfly oJOOd SEPT. 30.1954 

30Rn in BRRR RLSPCE,FRRnCE 

DIED in L0UI5yiLLE,KV. U.S.A. 




Fig. 15 Marker of Robert Wolff, Adath Israel Cemetery, showing place of 
birth (Barr, Alsace, France). 

all, it is normally limited to the names of the deceased or to abbreviations 
of traditional phrases. For example, on the monument of Caroline K. 
Lapp and Daniel Kern (Fig. 14), the upper Hebrew epitaph is an abbrevi- 
ation of the phrase meaning "Here lies," or "Here is buried." The lower 
pentagram in Hebrew stands for the phrase which is translated as "May 
his or her soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life." In Reform ceme- 
teries. Judaic symbols (such as the Star of David, menorah or cande- 
labrum, and Lion of Judah) are not common. Notably lacking as well are 
the insignia of the Kohanim or Levites or epigraphic references to the 
priestly castes. The rights, duties, and obligations of the Kohanim and 
Levites were specifically rejected in the Pittsburgh Platform of 1885, the 
principal theological statement of nineteenth century Reform Judaism in 
the United States. A final practice which is often observed in Reform 
cemeteries, including those in Louisville, is a reference to the deceased's 
place of birth. Almost invariably, these birthplaces are in Germany, Aus- 
tria, or France, reflecting the origins of these Western Ashkenazim (see 
Figs. 14 and 15). Typically, such references to the deceased's place of 
birth are lacking in Orthodox cemeteries. 1 suspect this may be explained 
by two factors: first, the force of rabbinic authority in Orthodoxy, which 
tends to result in uniformity; second, the fact that Reform's Pittsburgh 
Platform considered Jews "no longer a nation but a religious communi- 
ty" whose adherents were citizens of the states in which they resided. 



134 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 




Fig. 16 View within Keneseth Israel Cemetery. Note relative uniformity 
in tombstone size and style in addition to Judaic symbols and extensive 

epitaphs in Hebrew. 

Early Reform Jews, in fact, rejected the idea that they were living in a 
Diaspora ("Exile") and aspired to return to Zion, a Homeland in Pales- 
tine. Additionally, it should be noted that the Orthodox Eastern Ashke- 
nazim generally fled Europe because of fanatical pogroms, so it is rea- 
sonable to expect that they might not want to commemorate those 
hateful places on their tombstones. 

The Orthodox cemeteries in the Preston Street mortuary complex are 
separated from the Reform cemeteries by a broad swale and open space 
(see Fig. 8). One cannot drive from The Temple Cemetery to the Kenese- 
th Israel Cemetery without going back out onto Preston Street and re- 
entering the mortuary complex by a separate gate and driveway. This 
geographic separation, I maintain, is a spatial paradigm for the polar dif- 
ferences in theological orientation and ritual observances between 
Reform and Orthodox Judaism. The spatial analogy to living traditions 
is additionally expressed by the fact that the Anshei Sfard Cemetery is 
located farthest away from the Reform cemeteries, although the border 
between the two Orthodox cemeteries is less obvious. The entrance gates 
to Anshei Sfard Cemetery open out onto Locust Lane. 

The monument styles and placement of tombstones within the Ortho- 
dox cemeteries contrast markedly with the patterns discussed for the 
Reform sections (see Fig. 16). There is less diversity in gravestone styles - 



David M. Gradwohl 



135 




Fig. 17 Shavinsky monument, Keneseth Israel Cemetery, showing 

Star of David, two shofars (ram's horns), and bunches of grapes 

representing wine. 



probably reflecting the Orthodox practice of burying the deceased in sim- 
ple shrouds (Tachrichim) and uniformly unadorned wooden coffins.^o 
According to Maurice Lamm, "Jewish tradition recognizes the democra- 
cy of death. It therefore demands that all Jews be buried in the same type 
of garment. Wealthy or poor, all are equal before God, and that which 
determines their reward is not what they wear, but what they are."3i Each 
individual typically has a separate gravestone, as opposed to the family 
monuments and individual markers which are frequent in the Reform 
cemeteries. Recent memorials intermixed with the older ones include 
double horizontal monuments for husband and wife. 

Epitaphs found upon markers within the Orthodox cemeteries are 
normally in Hebrew, or in Hebrew and English, and typically include 
the Hebrew name of the deceased, the Hebrew name of his or her father, 
and the deceased's death date in the Jewish ritual calendar.32 The memo- 
rial inscriptions usually include the abbreviations for "Here Lies" and 
"May his or her soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life." Also con- 
tained in the epitaphs may be honorific adjectives or titles of the 
deceased, in addition to religious holidays associated with death dates. 



136 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 




Fig. 18 Kreitman monument, Keneseth Israel Cemetery, showing 

Hebrew epitaphs and Judaic symbols, including the Ten 

Commandments, two lions of Judah, a Star of David, a menorah, and 

a jahrzeit lamp or Ner Tamid (symbolizing remembrance and 

Everlasting Light). 

Especially on older monuments. Biblical quotations may be incorporated 
into the inscriptions. 

Judaic symbols are also frequent, in particular the Star (or Shield) of 
David, menorah or multi-branched candelabrum, Torah (Scroll of the 
Pentateuch), Lion of Judah, and Ten Commandments. A symbol of light, 
either a lamp or a single candle, is employed often. The lamp may stand 
for the Eternal Light (Ner Tamid), which signifies the eternal presence of 
God, but may also symbolize the light which is traditionally kindled in 
remembrance of a deceased relative's jahrzeit (death anniversary), which, 
as mentioned above, is typically carved on his or her tombstone. On the 
occasion of a relative's jahrzeit, it is traditional for Jews to repeat the Kad- 
dish ("Holy") prayer. A specific visit may be made to the cemetery for 
that purpose, or the prayer may be recited at home in conjunction with 
the lighting of a memorial candle. 

Other motifs may have no specific Judaic connotations. Fruits, vines, 
leaves, and flowers, for example, are part of the general repertoire of 



David M. Gradwohl 



137 




Fig. 19 Green Monument, Keneseth Israel Cemetery, showing 

Hebrew epitaphs, a Star of David, and the symbol of the Kohanim 

hands raised in priestly benediction. Non-Judaic symbols are also 

present. Note as well the use of personal photographs and the pebble 

placed intentionally on top of the monument. 

American gravestone art and can be observed in the cemeteries of most 
religious and secular groups. They are often, in fact, already sculpted on 
the gravestones which monument dealers have on hand to sell to cus- 
tomers as "stock" items. One exception, however, may be the bunches of 
grapes I have observed on the tombstones of Jews in Louisville and else- 
where in the mid western and eastern United States. In these instances, I 
strongly suspect that the grape bunches symbolize the "fruit of the vine" 
which is blessed, in the form of wine, by the Kiddiish ("Sanctification") 
prayer before or during Sabbaths and the holidays. 

It is not unusual to see several Judaic symbols and other motifs on 
the same monument. The Shavinsky monument, for example, exhibits a 
Star of David, two bunches of grapes, and two Shofars or ritual ram's 
horns (Fig. 17). The Shofar is ceremonially sounded at the High Holy 
Days {Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kip-pur, the Day of 
Atonement) and, in some Orthodox congregations, at other times. In 
Biblical days, the Shofar announced the approach of Sabbath, the begin- 
ning of each Hebrew month {Rosh Hodesh or "New Moon") and various 



138 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 




Fig. 20 Monument of Eva Slung, Keneseth Israel Cemetery. Hebrew 

epitaph includes a reference to the deceased's father's role as a Levite, 

or temple attendant priest. 



David M. Gradwohl 



139 




Fig. 21 Grave house of Rabbi Asher Lipman Zarchy (Louisville's 

Orthodox Chief Rabbi) and his wife, Molly Zarchy. Inside this mortuary 

enclosure, the deceased are buried in the ground and marked with 

individual vertical monuments and 

horizontal ledger stones. 

other events. Landau notes that Simon Shavinsky long served the Kene- 
seth Israel congregation as Shamas, that is, the synagogue's sexton and 
caretaker of ritual objects.33 It is possible that the Shofar symbol on Simon 
Shavinsky's monument symbolizes his ceremonial duties at Keneseth 
Israel Synagogue. It is also possible that his family name shares etymo- 
logical roots with the Hebrew term for ram's horn and that the Shofar 
symbol is a "play" on words, following a practice exhibited on tomb- 
stones in European Jewish cemeteries.^* The Kreitman monument also 
exhibits a number of Judaic insignia: two Lions of Judah, the Ten Com- 
mandments, and the Jahrzeit memorial, or everlasting light (Fig. 18). Sam 
Kreitman is symbolized by the Star or Shield of David, which is typical- 
ly associated with males.^s His wife, Fannie Kreitman, is memorialized 
by the candelabrum, which is typically associated with females, the ritu- 
al kindlers of the Sabbath and holiday lights. On other gravestones one 
can observe a distinctive artistic motif consisting of the hands raised in 
priestly benediction which symbolizes the Kohnnim (see Fig. 19). Refer- 
ences to the Kohanim are also made in the epitaphs: for example, the 



140 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 



name of Morris Green (Fig. 19) is rendered "Reb Moshe Bar Shlomo 
Hakohen" (or "Mr. Moses son of Solomon the High Priest")- Although I 
did not observe the insignia of the Levites on gravestones in Louisville, 
references to the Temple Attendant Priests do occur in epitaphs: for 
example, the epitaph of Eva Slung (Fig. 20) records that her father was 
Reb Mordecai Zvi Halevy - Mr. Mordecai Zvi, the Levite or Temple Atten- 
dant Priest. 

Pictures of the deceased printed on porcelain are frequently observed 
in Louisville's Orthodox and Conservative Jewish cemeteries (Figs. 19 
and 20). I have observed this practice elsewhere in Orthodox and Con- 
servative Jewish cemeteries as well as in Christian cemeteries. The use of 
human images is generally discouraged in Orthodox Judaism. Accord- 
ing to Lamm, "Photographs mounted on monuments are not in good 
taste. Some authorities maintain that they are prohibited.^^ In this 
instance, the force of folk tradition seems to outweigh rabbinic proscrip- 
tion. In the Keneseth Israel and Anshe Sfard cemeteries one also notes 
the presence of pebbles placed on monuments (see Fig. 19). This practice 
is not uncommon in Orthodox and Conservative cemeteries throughout 
the mid western and eastern United States. The pebbles function as ritual 
"calling cards," and may be a vestige of the time when funeral atten- 




Fig. 22 View inside Adath Jeshurun Cemetery. Note extensive use of 
shrubs and floral ground covers over the graves. 



David M. Gradwohl 



141 



dants actually filled up the grave pit.^^ Even today, mourners accompa- 
nying Orthodox funeral processions to the cemetery may place ritual 
shovelfuls of soil on top of the coffin. 

A mausoleum-like structure in the middle of the Keneseth Israel 
cemetery (Fig. 21) initially shocked my eye - especially considering that 
the memorial is associated with Asher Lipman Zarchy, identified as the 
"Chief Rabbi" of Louisville's Orthodox Jews. A closer investigation 
through the doors of this structure (unfortunately not within the range 
of my camera's light meter) revealed that Rabbi Zarchy and his wife are 
buried, as per Orthodox tradition, in the ground. This matter is clarified 
by Lamm: "A mausoleum is permissable only if the deceased is buried in 
the earth itself, and the mausoleum is built around the plot of earth. This 
was frequently done for scholars, communal leaders, those who have 
contributed heavily to charity, and people of renown."^^ The Zarchy's 
graves inside the structure are covered with ledger stones and also 
marked by monuments. This burial pattern has been described for ceme- 
teries in Eastern Europe.^' More than mausoleums per se, these struc- 
tures are actually "mortuary houses" within which the deceased are 
inhumed. Other ledger stones are observed in the Louisville cemeteries. 




Fig. 23 Weisberg monument in Adath Jeshunm Cemetery. The bronze 
sculpture depicts the Tree of Life in addition to individual Biblical stories. 



142 



Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 




Fig. 24 View inside Agudath Achim Cemetery. Note relative uniformity 
of tombstone style and size in addition to Judaic symbols and Hebrew 

epitaphs. 

Along the Atlantic seaboard, in the Caribbean, and in Europe, ledger 
stones are associated with Sephardic Jews.^o However, this specific asso- 
ciation is probably not demonstrable in Louisville. 

The fifth cemetery in the Preston Street complex is the Adath Jeshu- 
run Cemetery, where Louisville's Conservative Jews are buried. As 
might be expected, the gravestones reflect both Orthodox and Reform 
patterns: many single, fairly uniform monuments, some family monu- 
ments with Hebrew and English epitaphs, and some gravestones with 
references to the Kohanim. Particularly distinctive in Adath Jeshurun's 
well-manicured cemetery are decorative grave cover plantings, includ- 
ing ivy, begonias, low privet hedges, barberries, and ribbon grass (see 
Fig. 22). Rivaling the diversity of monument styles in the Reform ceme- 
teries are a good many modern stone memorials and bronze sculptures 
which are indeed works of art in their own right (see, for example. Fig. 
23). In addition, the Adath Jeshurun Cemetery includes a cenotaph for 
the individuals who were removed from the Woodbine cemetery during 
the aforementioned highway construction activities. 

Across Preston Street to the east is the cemetery of the former Agu- 
dath Achim Synagogue which merged with Anshei Sfard in 1971 (Fig. 



David M. Gradwohl 



143 






§mm^ 




ifiiisii! 



Mid. 



'iiJf ■>««*» 



»te^^^fiir» 



Fig. 25 Temple Shalom Section in Cave Hill Cemetery. Hanna Rosenberg 
Gradwohl observing flush markers, all of which are bronze. 



24). Today the Anshei Sfard Synagogue maintains the Agudath Achim 
cemetery. This cemetery's monuments and their epitaphs reflect the 
Orthodox Jewish tradition. In essence, one observes a relative uniformi- 
ty of gravestone size and style, the preponderance of single tombstones 
as opposed to family monuments and individual markers, the frequent 
use of Judaic symbols, extensive epitaphs in Hebrew in addition to or 
instead of English, and the presence of photographs. 

Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery is well known for its grand rural 
landscape plan, extensive arboretum and array of decorative shrubs and 
flowers, and impressive monuments of notable citizens.^i Here one can 
study a wide array of innovative monumental art styles and can follow 
the "yellow brick line" to the stone and bronze memorial of Kentucky 
Fried Chicken czar. Colonel Harland Sanders. Less noticeable is Temple 
Shalom's recently-established memorial garden section, in which only 
flat bronze markers are permitted (Fig. 25). Some of the markers exhibit 
Judaic symbols in addition to secular motifs, while others lack any Jew- 
ish insignia at all. Most of the markers contain inscriptions in English 
only, though on some the deceased's name is rendered in Hebrew as well 
as Roman letters. 



144 Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 



What we see in the Jewish cemeteries of Louisville and cities else- 
where throughout the midwestern and eastern United States is the mate- 
rial manifestation of non-material cultural phenomena. Represented 
here are the tangible indicators of individual cognitive beliefs and group 
ideational systems - the kinds of data and specific associations which 
normally elude the archaeologist studying prehistoric or early historic 
time periods. In this case, Louisville's Jewish cemeteries clearly express a 
number of aspects of Judaism as a religion which transcend time and 
space. Through one analytical lens, it is possible to identify recognizable 
group patterns which have been referred to as "ethnicity" and the exis- 
tence of "ethnic groups." I use those terms here cautiously, and in the 
strict sense defined by George DeVos: 

An ethnic group is a self-perceived group of people who hold in common 
a set of traditions not shared by others with whom they are in contact. 
Such traditions typically include "folk" religious beliefs and practices, 
language, a sense of historical continuity, and common ancestry or place 
of origin. The group's actual history often trails off into legend or mythol- 
ogy, which includes some concept of an unbroken biological-genetic con- 
tinuity, sometimes regarded as giving special characteristics to the 
group.*2 

As a social anthropologist, DeVos goes on to explain some of the dimen- 
sions along which ethnicity may be manifested. His words are particu- 
larly meaningful to the ethnoarchaeologist who is looking for the possi- 
ble linkage of cognitive domains with material culture: 

. . . the ethnic identity of a group of people consists of their subjective sym- 
bolic or emblematic use of any aspect of culture, in order to differentiate 
themselves from other groups. These emblems can be imposed from the 
outside or embraced from within. Ethnic features such as language or 
clothing or food can be considered emblems, for they show others who 
one is and to what group one belongs. A Christian, for example, wears a 
cross; a Jew the Star of David .^^ 

Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Jews living in 
Louisville have identified themselves by the creation of various reli- 
gious, educational, recreational, fraternal, medical and philanthropic 
institutions. They also established separate cemeteries for the burial of 
their dead. These cemeteries, as specially consecrated sacred spaces, are 
geographic indicators of ethnicity. Their physical limits are paradigms of 
the /nfer-group boundary-maintaining mechanisms which one notes 



David M. Gradwohl 145 



among the living. In itself, burial in any one of Louisville's Jewish ceme- 
teries is a statement of some Judaic identification or affiliation. Within 
these cemeteries, there are additional Judaic indicators on the grave- 
stones: general religious symbols, specific emblems of the priestly castes, 
and epitaphs in Hebrew. 

Through a second analytical lens, one can ascertain additional and 
perhaps even more significant patterns which are reflective of intra- 
group diversity. For the most part, this aspect of human behavior has 
been ignored or under-estimated in regard to the study of ethnicity. 
Throughout the world, Jews do not constitute a single, monolithic, socio- 
cultural entity. Even in Louisville, there are internal dimensions of diver- 
sity reflected in the different temples and synagogues and their individ- 
ual cemetery areas. The separation of Reform, Conservative, and 
Orthodox cemeteries in the mortuary complex at the corner of Preston 
Street and Locust Lane is a subtle and yet dramatic spatial analog of the 
patterns manifested among the living Jews in Louisville. It is perhaps 
not surprising that death and life reflect each other in these ways when 
one considers some of the Hebrew euphemisms for cemetery: Beth A 
Haim, for instance, translates as "House of Life," and Beth Olam means 
"House of Eternity. "44 

In conclusion, my journey to Louisville resulted in finding out more 
about my great grandfather, Samuel Hilpp, although the archival as well 
as oral historical sources still differ as to his place of birth. En route, 1 
ascertained that Samuel's parents were Elias and Thresa Hilpp, who lie 
buried in the cemetery of Temple Adath Israel, an institution they helped 
to incorporate in 1842. During the following 150 years in Louisville, 
other temples and synagogues were incorporated and other cemeteries 
established. These cemeteries provide an impressive mirror and a tangi- 
ble historical record of the diversity of Louisville's Jews in regard to 
national origins, theological orientations, and ritual practices over the 
course of a century and a half. The revelation of those facts transformed 
my personal quest into part of a more global academic expedition. 



146 Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 



NOTES 

I would like to thank my wife, Hanna Rosenberg Gradwohl, co-principal investigator on 
our Jewish cemetery research project, for her help with the field observations and archival 
work in Louisville. Gratefully acknowledged is information provided by Elizabeth Wein- 
berg (formerly a resident of Madison, Indiana, now of Louisville), Jack Benjamin (adminis- 
trator at The Temple), Jack M. "Sonny" Meyer (President of Herman Meyer and Son Funer- 
al Directors), and Lee Shai Weissbach (Professor of History, University of Louisville). Lance 
M. Foster prepared the final drawings for Figures 1, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Aside from Figure 2, all 
photographs were taken by the author except Figure 6, which was taken by the author's 
wife. 

1. David Mayer Gradwohl and Hanna Rosenberg Gradwohl, "That is the Pillar of 
Rachel's Grave Unto this Day: An Ethnoarchaeological Comparison of Two Jewish 
Cemeteries in Lincoln, Nebraska," in Persistence and Flexibility: Anthropological Perspec- 
tives on the American Jewish Experience, Walter P. Zenner, ed. (Albany, New York, 1988), 
223-259; David M. Gradwohl, "Houses of Life, Abodes of Eternity: A Preliminary Eth- 
noarchaeological Perspective on Six Jewish Cemeteries in Des Moines, Iowa," Paper 
delivered at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Central States Anthropological Society, 
Ames, Iowa, March 24, 1991. 

2. The ethnoarchaeological approach employed in this study follows the precedent of a 
number of authors over the past twenty-five years. In particular, see Richard A. 
Gould, Living Archaeology (Cambridge, England, 1980); Richard A. Gould, Explorations 
in Ethnoarchaeologi/ (Albuquerque, 1978); Richard A. Gould, "Living Archaeology: The 
Ngatatjara of Western Australia," Soutlnoestern Journal of Anthropiologx/ 24:2 (1968): 101- 
122; "Archaeology of the Point S. George Site and Tolowa Prehistory," University of 
California Publications in Anthropwlogi/ 4 (1966). In addition, note William H. Adams, 
Silcott, Washington: Ethnoarchaeology of a Rural American Community (Washington State 
University Laboratory of Anthropology, Reports of Investigations 54, 1977); Lewis 
Binford, Nunamiut Ethnoarchaeology (New York, 1978); John F. Yellen, "Settlement Pat- 
terns of the !Kung: An Archaeological Perspective," in Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers, R.B. 
Lee and I. DeVore, eds. (Cambridge, Mass., 1976), 47-72. In this paper I follow the def- 
inition of ethnoarchaeology as "The study of living societies by archaeologists . . . Eth- 
noarchaeologists document events from two perspectives: the artifacts involved and 
associated behaviors and beliefs" articulated by William L. Rathje and Michael B. 
Schiffer, Archaeology (New York, 1982), 391, 196. As an academician, and also a partic- 
ipant observer in Judaism, I approach the data base from both the "etic" and "emic" 
perspectives: see Marvin Harris, The Rise of Anthropological Theory (New York, 1969), 
574-582, and Marvin Harris, Cultural Materialism: The Struggle for a Science of Culture 
(NewYork, 1980), 32-41. 

3. This temple was originally incorporated under the name Adas Israel. Over the years, 
the name officially changed to Adath Israel. This shift reflects differences in dialect 
and historical usages pertaining to the transliteration of the twenty-second letter in 
the Hebrew alphabet ("sof" or "tof") and the subsequent pronunciation of the letter 
as an English "s," "t," or "th." 

4. Edwin S. Dethlefsen, "The Cemetery and Culture Change: Archaeological Focus and 



David M. Gradwohl 147 



Ethnographic Perspective," in Modern Material Culture: The Arcliaeolog\j of Us, R.A. 
Gould and M.B. Schiffer, eds. (New York, 1981), 137-159; Edwin S. Dethlefsen, "Social 
Commentary from the Cemetery," Natural History 86:6 (1977): 32-39. 

5. See Samuel W. Thomas, Cave Hill Cemeterij: A Pictorial Guide and Its History (Louisville, 
1985). 

6. Herman Landau, Adath Louisville: The Story of Jewish Community (Louisville, 1981). See 
also: Lewis N. Dembitz, "Jewish Beginnings in Kentucky," Publications of the American 
Jewish Historical Society 1 (1893): 99-101; Lewis N. Dembitz, "Kentucky," The Jeivish 
Encyclopedia, VII (New York, 1906), 467-468; Israel T. Naamani, "Louisville," Ency- 
clopaedia Judaica, 11 (New York, 1971), 520-522; Jewish Historical Society, A Histori/ of 
the Jews of Louisville, Kentucky (New Orleans, 1901); Joseph Rauch, "Louisville," The 
Universal Jeivish Encyclopedia, 7 (New York, 1969), 209-210. 

7. Barry Kosmin and Jeffrey Scheckner, "Jewish Population in the United States, 1990," 
American Jewish Yearbook 1991, 91 (Philadelphia, 1991), 212. 

8. Landau, 5-6; Rauch, 209; Dembitz, "Kentucky," 467. 

9. Dembitz, "Jewish Beginnings," 101. 

10. Landau, 20. 

11. Naamani, 521-522; Landau, 19-21. 

12. Landau, 20; in this source the family name is incorrectly spelled as "Hilp." The Jewish 
Historical Society (p. 15) also lists Ehas Hilpp as an incorporator, but spells the family 
name incorrectly as "Hillp." 

13. According to Professor Lee Shai Weissbach (personal communication dated May 27, 
1992), a new Orthodox synagogue has been formed very recently, bringing 
Louisville's Jewish congregations to six in number. The congregation members meet 
in a converted house in the vicinity of the Jewish Community Center. Although the 
new synagogue is called Beth Israel, it is not directly connected to the nineteenth cen- 
tury congregation which also bore that name and which evolved into the present-day 
Conservative Congregation Adath Jeshurun. The new Orthodox synagogue appar- 
ently has not yet established its own cemetery. 

14. cf. Priscilla Fishman, The Jexvs of the United States (New York, 1973); Oscar Handlin, 
Adventure in Freedom: Three Hundred Years of Jewish Life in America (New York, 1954); 
Rufus Learsi, The Jeivs in America: A Historx/ (Cleveland, 1954); Lee J. Levinger, A His- 
ton/ of Jews in the United States (Cincinnati, 1944). 

15. Landau, 2, 20, 27. 

16. Joseph L. Blau, Judaism in America: From Curiosity to Third Faith (Chicago, 1976); Syl- 
van D. Schwartzman, Reform Judaism Then and Noiv (New York, 1971); William B. Sil- 
verman, Basic Reform Judaism (New York, 1970). 



148 Jewish Cemeteries of Louisville 



17. David Philipson, "Personal Contacts with the Founder of the Hebrew Union Col- 
lege," Hebrew Union College Annual 11 (1967): 15. 

18. Landau, 2-3. 

19. Bernard J. Bamberger, The Ston/ of Judaism (New York, 1971), 312-315; 347-350. 

20. Landau, 2. 

21. Ibid.,5\. 

22. Moshe Davis, The Emergence of Conservative Judaism: The Historical School in Nineteenth 
Century America (Philadelphia, 1963); Herbert Parzen, Architects of Conservative 
Judaism (New York, 1964); Marshall Sklare, Conservative Judaism: An American Reli- 
gious Movement (New York, 1972). 

23. Emphasis added. David de Sola Pool, Portraits Etched in Stone: Early Jeivish Settlers 
1682-1831 (New York, 1952), 6-7. 

24. Landau, 16. 

25. Ihid., 16-17. 

26. Ibid., 17. 

27. Rnd., 16. 

28. Richard V. Francaviglia, "The Cemetery as an Evolving Cultural Landscape," Annals 
of the Association of American Geographers 61: 2 (1971): 501-509; see also Dethlefsen, 
"The Cemetery and Culture Change." 

29. Maurice Lamm, The Jewish Waif in Death and Mourning (New York, 1981), 57. 

30. Ibid., 16-17. 

31. Ibid., 7. 

32. Ibid., 188-92; Isaac Klein, A Guide to Jewish Religious Practice (New York, 1979), 295-96; 
Leo Trepp, The Complete Book of Jeivish Observance (New York, 1980), 338-39. 

33. Landau, 12. 

34. Jan Herman, Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (Brno: Council of Jewish Com- 
munities, Czech Socialist Republic, ND [ca. 1980]), Figures 68, 69, and 70; Otto Bocher, 
The Jewish Cemetery of Worms (Worms, Gemany, 1988), Figures 11 and 12. 

35. According to Landau, p. 10, Max Kreitman ran what for many years was the only 
kosher meat market in Louisville. 



David M. Gradwohl 149 

36. Lamm, 191. 

37. Otto Bocher, Der Alten Jiiden Friedhof in Worms (Neuss, Germany, 1976). 

38. Lamm, 57. 

39. Arthur Levy, Judische Gmlvnalkunst in Osteuwpa (Berlin, 1923). 

40. David Davidovich, "Tombstones," Encyclopaedia Judaica, 15 (New York, 1971), 1222- 
23. 

41. Thomas op. cit.; Plants of Distinction: Cave Hill Cemetery, Brochure prepared by Cave 
Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky (ND). 

42. George DeVos, "Ethnic Pluralism: Conflict and Accommodation," in Ethnic Identity: 
Cultural Continuities and Change, George DeVos and Lola Romanucci-Ross, eds. (Palo 
Alto, CaUfornia, 1975), 9. 

43. Ibid., 16. 

44. Meir Ydit, "Cemetery," Encyclopaedia Judaica, 5 (New York, 1971), 272. 



150 



Lamson Family Carvers 




Fig. 1 Mary Rous, 1714, Charlestown 



151 



THE LAMSON FAMILY GRAVESTONE CARVERS 
OF CHARLESTOWN AND MALDEN, MASSACHUSEnS 

Ralph L. Tucker 

OVERVIEW 

The Lamson family of stonecutters who Hved in the Maiden/ 
Charlestown area of Massachusetts was one of the earliest and most 
important producers of colonial gravestones. Of the half dozen stonecut- 
ters in the Boston area who carved something more than lettering on 
gravestones prior to 1700, Joseph Lamson was one of the best and most 
prolific. The family as a whole was not only prolific in their carving, but 
also cut some of the most interesting and beautifull stones to be found in 
all New England. Beginning about 1677 with the work of Joseph Lam- 
son, and continuing up to the 1800s with several members of the fourth 
generation, the Lamsons produced stones that can be found from Nova 
Scotia on the north to Charleston, South Carolina on the south. 

The early stones of Joseph Lamson were rather simple, lacking side 
borders, framing for the inscription, or any embellishment other than 
the stern winged skull, which almost always had eyebrows. Before long, 
however, side borders, frieze, and finial decorations were added, and 
several death-related items such as coffins, hourglasses, and crossbones 
began to appear. By the time of the 1692 Salem witchcraft craze, Joseph 
was using death imps on his stones. The craze may have influenced his 
work, for at that time he abruptly ceased carving imps and only after ten 
years resumed using them. By the early 1700s, elaborate framed inscrip- 
tions, floral and fruit side panels, and drapery above the skulls may be 
found. Faces appeared in the finials, at first rather crudely carved, but by 
1704 very lifelike and rendered in both male and female versions. This 
development would continue, and by 1709 full busts began to appear in 
the finials. As Joseph's sons became skilled, they took over the business 
and developed their own variations on these styles. The third and fourth 
generations added their ideas, so that in time portraits, figures, and, 
finally, trees and urns were carved on stones made by this family. 

JOSEPH LAMSON 

Joseph Lamson was born in 1658 at Ipswich, Massachusetts, his 
father William having come from England in 1634 and married a local 



152 Lamson Family Carvers 



girl, Sarah Ayres of Haverhill.^ When WilHam died in 1659, shortly after 
Joseph's birth, the family of eight children was broken up, and Joseph's 
earliest years were unsettled. When he was two years old his mother 
married Thomas Hartshorne of Reading (whose son John later became 
the first stonecutter of the Merrimack River Valley). The marriage caused 
a dispute over the care of the children who had been put out to other 
families, and over their rights to property. This brought about a court 
action, the details of which are lacking, though judging from later events 
all was eventually settled. 

An early record indicates that Joseph, at the age of seventeen, served 
under Captain Turner on the Connecticut River expedition in March 
1675/6, during King Phillip's War.2 On December 12, 1679, he married 
Elizabeth Mitchell of Charlestown, probably having finished an appren- 
ticeship in stonecutting, as we can date some of his earliest stones to the 
late 1670s. He and Elizabeth had eight children, all born in Maiden. 
Shortly after Elizabeth died on June 10, 1703, Joseph married Hannah 
(Mousal) Welch, the widow of the carver Thomas Welch who lived near- 
by. After Hannah's death in 1713, he married again in 1715, this time to 
Dorothy (Hett) Mousal. There were no children by either of these later 
marriages. 

In 1695, Joseph was made a proprietor and freeholder in Maiden, 
where he was later voted a tithingman and sealer of leather. In 1699, he 
took an appeal for Maiden to the Great and General Court, while in 1701 
he was on a committee to lay out a road and in 1702 on a committee to 
see about the Meeting House. In January, 1720, he became the only sur- 
viving son of William, and was appointed "admr. de Bonis non" of his 
father's estate. The local histories of Maiden and Charlestown during 
this period give frequent references to Joseph and his family. 

It is recorded that Joseph bought property and a house in Maiden in 
1682/3, where he is variously listed as a mariner, cordwainer, and stone- 
cutter. There are a number of references to the property bounds in early 
Maiden mentioning the Lamson shop and property, as well as the prop- 
erty of Thomas Welch and Joseph Whittemore. Of special interest is the 
reference to "... Thomas Welches house, ware mr Lamson now lives ..." 
There are also intriguing references to Quarry Hill on Menotomy Road, 
where the stone on which the Lamsons carved was probably obtained. 
Also of interest is reference to a "wharffe and landing place" by Mr Lam- 
son's shop, from which he probably shipped his work. A reference to 



Ralph L. Tucker 153 



Whittemore's land may be to land owned by a local ship captain and 
stonecutter who probably worked with Lamson. One who is conversant 
with the early history of the town could probably locate these sites.' 
There is some confusion as to whether the Lamson shop was in fact 
located in Charlestown or in Maiden. The residences and shop were 
apparently in Maiden, as noted above, but there are several references in 
probate records to members of the Lamson family as "of Charlestown." 
The dividing line was a narrow creek, and later homes may well have 
been on the Charlestown shore. 

Joseph died August 23, 1722, at the age of 64, in Charlestown, where 
the gravestone carved for him by one of his sons still stands (see Fig. 8). 
In his will, dated July 16, 1722 and proved September 21, 1722, he calls 
himself "stonecutter. "^ He mentions his wife Dorothy, son John, son 
William, son Nathaniel, son Joseph and his children, and son Caleb. His 
inventory totaled £203, the value of the house being £140. 

Of his five sons, Nathaniel and Caleb became stonecutters in their 
father's shop, and son William, who removed to Stratford, Connecticut 
in 1717, may have worked in his father's shop earlier. Lamson stones 
appear in and near Stratford, some identical to the Charlestown stones, 
as well as later ones carved on Connecticut sandstone that probably 
were made by a member of the family there. Joseph's son, Joseph Jr., was 
involved in the invasion of Port Royal in 1710 and survived the sinking 
of the troopship Caesar along with the carver William Custin, but while 
they may have worked at carving together, there is no evidence to that 
effect.5 At least two grandsons and three great-grandsons of Joseph are 
known to have been stonecarvers. We are able to identify eight Lamsons 
who were stonecutters, and there may well have been others. I have been 
unable to locate much information on these later generations aside from 
the usual birth, marriage, and death data. 

BEGINNINGS 

The earliest New England gravemarkers were simple boulders or 
slabs which were only rarely lettered or ornamented. There is also evi- 
dence that wooden gravemarkers were used, and that when they disin- 
tegrated and carved stone markers became available the wood was 
replaced with "proper" gravestones, which were at first upright slabs 
with plain lettering, often crudely executed. The earliest and most com- 
mon carving, aside from mere lettering, is the death's-head, a winged 



154 Lamson Family Carvers 



skull motif which dates from about 1670. For over one hundred years 
this death's-head was omnipresent, and only a few other varieties of 
style are to be found. In rare cases a coat of arms is used^ (Fig. 1), and on 
certain occasions a cherub (or winged face). Only with the coming of the 
tree and urn stones after the American Revolution does the death's -head 
finally become obsolete. 

Examples of Lamson styles can easily be found at the Bell Rock Bur- 
ial Ground in Maiden, the Phipps Street Burial Ground in Charlestown, 
and the Cambridge Burial Ground. These graveyards, which were those 
nearest to the Lamson shop, contain not only Joseph's work but also that 
of the succeeding three Lamson generations. In fact, the overwhelming 
majority of stones in these three burial grounds represent the work of the 
Lamson shop. Using the stones mentioned in the probate records and 
those made for his immediate family, Joseph Lamson's basic styles can 
be definitely determined. Sorting by date, moreover, one can separate 
out the stones Joseph made before the sons were old enough to carve in 
order to determine which can be attributed to him alone. In any case, the 
early stones of the sons are rather crudely cut and only with time become 
comparable with their father's work. 

In the Boston area there are stones dated from 1650 to the 1670s -with 
only lettering, and without borders or other carving. It is difficult to 
attribute authorship to these stones. It is possible that some of these were 
made by the Old Stonecutter (see below), or by Joseph as an apprentice, 
but most are dated before Joseph could have been trained as a carver. On 
the other hand, because a number of the stones could be backdated, 
Joseph may have in fact carved some of them. 

By the late 1670s one can find stones with a browed and winged skull 
- a death's-head - in the tympanum, complemented by crossbones in 
one finial and an hourglass in the other. Some of these are certainly by 
the Old Stonecutter, but others are probably by Lamson working as his 
apprentice. By the 1680s there are over fifty stones of this variety that 
have definite Lamson hallmarks, such as his typical drapery (which will 
be described later). It is probable that Thomas Welch, and possibly 
Joseph Whittemore, also carved such stones. 

Joseph Lamson probably learned his trade from the "Old Stonecut- 
ter" mentioned by Harriette Forbes in her pioneering work. Gravestones 
of Early New England.' The Old Stonecutter has had little study, and we 
know nothing about him aside from his work, which can usually be dif- 



Ralph L. Tucker 155 



ferentiated from that of other early unidentified carvers. He probably 
started carving in the area about 1650 and continued into the 1690s, 
although these dates are difficult to state with certainty. He appears on 
the scene already an unusually competent carver possessing a variety of 
styles. His winged skulls can usually be recognized by their eyebrows, a 
distinctive feature few other carvers used. There is some speculation that 
the Old Stonecutter was located north of the Charles River, as was Lam- 
son, in either Charlestown or Cambridge. Forbes describes Lamson's 
work as "so distinctive that it is possible to distinguish it from that of all 
other workers... "8 Though differences are also apparent, I believe, 
because of certain distinctive similarities in their styles, that Lamson 
apprenticed under the Old Stonecutter.^ 

Similarities between Lamson and the Old Stonecutter 

1. Both used at early dates (1670s-1690s) the dominant element of 
winged skulls with eyebrows that often had hooked ends. Eye- 
brows are very rare on the stones of other carvers. 

2. Both on a few occasions featured winged faces (or cherubs) instead 
of the more common winged skulls (or death's-heads). 

3. Both used, especially in the frieze, secondary death symbols such as 
crossbones, picks and shovels, palls, scythes, hourglasses, coffins, 
or darts of death to an extent greater than that of other contempo- 
rary carvers. 

4. Both were apparently the only carvers who used death imps (small 
naked figures carrying palls, coffins, darts, or hourglasses) on their 
stones. 

5. Both carved faces in the finials. The early faces are nearly identical, 
but Lamson's show a definite development and improvement. Few 
other carvers used such faces, and where they did, they are easily 
differentiated. 

Differences between Lamson and the Old Stonecutter 

1. The Old Stonecutter used a variety of classical Latin phrases on his 
stones, while Lamson used only "memento mori" and "fugit hora," 
these with some regularity. 

2. The Old Stonecutter sometimes carved a skull having a flattened or 
indented top, often with a vertical line through the top of the skull. 
Lamson used a more rounded top for his skulls, and no vertical line. 



156 Lamson Family Carvers 



3. The Old stonecutter sometimes made elaborately shaped stones, 
while Lamson always used a simpler shaped stone with a large cen- 
tral lobe and two smaller side lobes at the top. 

4. The Old Stonecutter regularly utilized a numeral one having two 
spirals extending from its base, while Lamson rarely, if ever, did. 

5. The Old Stonecutter on occasion used a letter " T" of an old-fash- 
ioned style somewhat resembling the capitol letter "E ," a practice 
which Lamson rarely, if ever, employed. 

6. The Old Stonecutter and other contemporary carvers rarely framed 
their inscriptions. While Lamson's earliest stones also lack frames, 
he soon began to use frames regularly, some of which become 
rather elaborate. 

7. The Old Stonecutter often placed square shapes in the rounded 
finials, while Lamson invariably used round shapes in his rounded 
finials (there is a sense of balance here exhibited by Lamson which 
the Old Stonecutter lacked). 

8. Lamson employed many varieties of bottom borders, while the Old 
Stonecutter used few bottom borders. 

9. Lamson frequently used a bordered frieze between the tympanum 
and the inscription, while the Old Stonecutter rarely did. 

10. The Old Stonecutter made several elaborate stones copying printed 
woodcuts of the figures of death and of father time. There exist no 
stones carved by Lamson which can be traced to printed material. 

11. The Old Stonecutter's carved wings often feature horizontal upper 
feathers and vertical lower ones, while Lamson's carved feathers all 
are in the same general direction. 

12. The Old Stonecutter on a few of his earliest stones used wingless 
skulls. Lamson's skulls are all winged. 

DOCUMENTATION OF STONES 

Harriette Forbes was the first to identify Joseph Lamson as a grave- 
stone carver, and she photographed many of his stones as early as 1924. 
She also went through the probate records of the period to identify not 
only Lamson but also other early New England carvers, setting a stan- 
dard of research which stands to this day.i" In order to document the fact 
that Joseph Lamson was indeed the carver of the stones studied, I made 
a further check of the source material. The Massachusetts probate court 
records of Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex counties contain information 



Ralph L. Tucker 157 



about payments to carvers, some specifically for gravestones and others 
for unspecified work. There are, for example, over two hundred known 
references in probate records to payments to members of the Lamson 
family, many of which specify that the payment is for gravestones. 
Unfortunately, few of these are for Joseph because the earliest records 
are not as numerous or as comprehensive as the later ones, and those 
mentioning gravestones before 1715 are rare. Once a carver has been 
identified, however, one can watch for his name in the inventories and 
other records. Sometimes a stone is reported as paid for with no mention 
of the carver: if the stone is later located and identified as the work of a 
given carver, we can build up quite a list of his stones. There is sufficient 
evidence to start us on our search, however, as the following data will 
show: 

1. In 1705, the estate of Samuel Fletcher of Chelmsford paid Joseph 
Lamson £0.24.0, presumably for gravestones. Samuel's stone is still 
extant and is a Lamson type stone.^^ 

2. In 1709, Joseph Lamson was paid £1.8.0 by the estate of Lt. Thomas 
Pratt of Charlestown "for gravestones. "^^ While the headstone, 
unfortunately, has not been located, the footstone is extant and has 
the distinctive Lamson fig in the tympanum, together with Thomas' 
name and rank (Fig. 2). 

3. The 1709 Lt. John Hammond and the 1711 Mrs. Prudence Hammond 
stones in Watertown cost the estate £0.21.0 and £0.13.0 respectively, 
paid to Joseph Lamson.^^ goth of these stones still stand and can be 
used to identify Joseph's style of carving. 

4. The 1718 stone for Richard Kaets, Concord, cost £2.12.0, which was 
paid to Joseph Lamson for "gravestones and carting."!"* 

While there are other references to payments to "Mr. Lamson" in Suf- 
folk, Essex, and Middlesex County Probate Records of a date consistent 
with Joseph's time, some refer to the work of his sons and can be sepa- 
rated out only by the lettering or style. The stones mentioned above, 
however, enable us to identify the style and lettering of Joseph. There is 
a continuity of style between the father and his sons so that when the 
son's stones are identified, the father's stones can be identified as well. 
Additional evidence will be noted later in this essay as we study stones 
made for Lamson family members by carvers within the family. There 
are no known stones signed or initialed by Joseph, although there are 
initialed stones by his sons Nathaniel and Caleb. 



158 



Lamson Family Carvers 




Fig. 2 Thomas Pratt, 1709, Charlestown 



Ralph L. Tucker 159 



OTHER CONTEMPORARY CARVERS 

Other early carvers may well have learned their craft from the Old 
Stonecutter. Forbes states that Thomas Welch was paid for carting stones 
of the Old Stonecutter to the grave and that he was an apprentice to him 
in 1672. Thomas Welch and Joseph Whittemore both were early carvers, 
and are noted in the probate records as stonecutters, but little is known 
of their work.^s Both lived in Maiden near Lamson and were his neigh- 
bors. What little evidence there is suggests that these three were associ- 
ated and worked from the same shop. All three carvers were related by 
marriage to some degree, and, as noted earlier, Lamson later married 
Welch's widow. 

William Mumford, the best of Joseph Lamson's contemporaries and 
the one most apt to be confused with him, used a deeply carved side bor- 
der of fruit like Lamson's but rarely featured eyebrows on his skulls. The 
oval-eyed skulls of Mumford can usually be clearly differentiated from 
the eyebrowed skulls of Lamson. The stones of the other contemporary 
Boston carvers - Nathaniel Emmes, James Foster, WC, W.G., James 
Gilchrist, and J.N. - are all unlike Lamson's in some elements of style 
and can usually be identified. 

DISTRIBUTION OF STONES 

The stones of the Boston carvers are much more frequent south of the 
Charles River, while Lamson's are mostly north of it, leading to the con- 
clusion that there was a de facto geographical division of territory, proba- 
bly caused in part by proximity and modes of transportation. However, 
both Boston and Lamson stones can be found north to the Maine coast 
and Nova Scotia and south to Charleston, South Carolina and the Barba- 
dos, almost certainly because of the relative ease of shipment to these 
sites by boat. The lack of quarries on Long Island and Cape Cod, togeth- 
er with the presence of established shipping trade routes, explains the 
large number of Lamson and Boston stones there. In addition, there are 
instances in which a family, after moving to a new area, would order a 
stone from the home-town "family carver" and have it shipped to the 
new location. Finally, in areas where there was no local carver; or on the 
coast where delivery by boat was relatively simple, gravestones were 
often imported from a distance. These factors aside, it is usually true that 
in the earliest days settlers in interior towns away from water trans- 
portation tended to buy their gravestones from a local carver: the diffi- 



160 



Lamson Family Carvers 




bEPvE U^ES^r BOW. 
DF AIM CAPxTeFv 
WIFE TO-taoMAS 
CAPxTKtv AfiXD 
^a Y\^ AFvS DIED . 
THE 6; OPMA^/ 







Fig. 3 Ann Carter, 1679, Charlestown 

culty of transporting heavy gravestones in areas removed from water 
transportation is thus one reason there were so many early stonecutters 
in the inland rural areas. 



TYPES OF JOSEPH LAMSON STONES 
Downleaf Stones 

The first style which can be definitely determined as that of Joseph 
Lamson I designate as "downleaf" stones (see Fig.3). The distinctive fea- 
ture is that of side borders consisting of twin descending leaves roughly 
resembling bells or inverted tulip blossoms. This style was used from 



Ralph L. Tucker 161 



about 1670 to 1714 and contains a winged, eyebrowed skull in the tym- 
panum. While few have a frieze, as do his later stones, a number feature 
crossbones, Latin phrases, or an hourglass between the tympanum and 
the inscription. Few of these stones have the inscription framed as do his 
later stones. The finials are usually spirals, although Lamson on occasion 
placed a carved face there. More will be said about the style develop- 
ment of these faces shortly in connection with the imp stones. 

In none of his downleaf stones did Lamson use the fancy numeral 
one with coils at its base, as did the Old Stonecutter, and all the lettering 
is in upper-case. We know that both Welch and Lamson carved downleaf 
stones. The probated 1705 Samuel Retcher stone by Lamson in Chelms- 
ford is an example of the style, as is the probated 1697 Mary Rogers 
stone by Welch in Billerica. These two stones are nearly identical and 
lend credence to the theory that Lamson and Welch worked together. 
The downleaf stones are rather small and plain and represent a routine 
product. Over one hundred downleaf stones have been studied, and 
more could probably be located. Many are dated after Welch's death in 
1703, establishing the fact that Lamson was the chief carver of this style. 
There are twenty-four downleaf stones with distinctive Lamson drapery 
in the tympanum, and ten stones with the Lamson style face in the finial, 
which also point to Joseph's authorship. 

Two early stones (Joseph's wife Elizabeth Lamson, 1703, Maiden; and 
daughter Elizabeth Lamson, 1707 Maiden) of this simple downleaf vari- 
ety have winged skulls, disk finials, no inscription frames, and, surpris- 
ingly, no eyebrows, a feature characteristic of Joseph's other work. The 
characteristics of downleaf stones are listed in Appendix 1 . 

Imp Stones 

More elaborate designs were developed as Lamson's skill improved. 
A second style - the imp stones - dates from 1671-1712, although they 
were actually carved in the years 1683-1712, for there are two significant 
time gaps when no such stones were made. The first gap is between the 
first two stones, which are dated 1671 and 1683. As these two stones are 
nearly identical, it is probable that the 1671 stone is backdated and was 
cut in the early 1680s. The second gap is from 1694 to 1701. 1 theorize that 
the two stones dated 1691 and 1692, which have large imps in their 
finials, were felt to be too graphic at the time of the witchcraft craze in 
1692, and that Lamson ceased using imps until 1701, well after the witch 



162 



Lamson Family Carvers 



trials, when he resumed their use. The two 1694 stones may be backdat- 
ed markers that were actually carved in. the early 1700s. 

These stones are some of Lamson's best work. Of the forty-one 
known imp stones, about twenty-five are undoubtedly his, and most of 
the others are presumably his with help in the inscription area from his 
sons. The 1706 Marcy Bucknam stone in Maiden is a poorly carved ver- 
sion of the imp stones which I would attribute to either Nathaniel or 
Caleb, who were just starting out on their own and had not yet acheived 
a high degree of skill. Other possible exceptions are the stone for Elder 
John Stone, 1683, Cambridge, which has the Latin " Memento Te Esse 
Mortalem " cut above the inscription, a feature typical of the Old Stone- 
cutter, as well as three other nearly identical early stones. These are 
probably joint productions of the Old Stonecutter and Lamson when he 
was an apprentice. They have coil leaf sides and are not as well cut as the 




Fig. 4 Jonathan Pierpont, 1709, Wakefield 



Ralph L. Tucker 



163 



later imp stones which are easily identified as Joseph's work. No other 
carvers attempted such work. 

Among the imp stones are five with Nathaniel's initials " NL " cut 
into them, usually in the tympanum. Some attribute these stones to 
Nathaniel,i6 but I am of the opinion that while he probably cut the letter- 
ing on these stones, he didn't have enough skill to have carved the entire 
stone. In this connection, one should note that after 1712, when the sons 
took over the business, there are no more such figures, faces, or imps to 
be found. When Joseph ceased working, the quality of the carving on the 
Lamson stones dropped for several years until the sons' skills gradually 
improved. 

The imps are nude figures engaged in death or burial activity. There 
are twenty-six stones with imps carrying palls (see Fig. 4). This is the ear- 
liest type of imp and is the only one to be used beyond 1706. There are 
also six stones with imps carrying or lowering coffins (see Fig. 5): these 
are restricted to the 1689-1705 time period. Other imp stones show the 
figures supporting hourglasses or carrying darts of death. Contrary to 





■l-ERE U 'E5,>K"PvODy OF 

At^^fiB ""U ^.JEAPvS dec; 
TE;-Or AlKiUST 1 6'^ 2 









rsrji-: 



^^^ M-*^iPi^^ v'f^ 







\\ > 



Fig. 5 William Dickson, 1692, Cambridge 



164 



Lamson Family Carvers 





X ^' 



l^-"' 





BODY OF 

■ZE,CHARL\H 
IlLOMG AGED 5 
r .\RS DECEASED 
aRCH TE 2^^ 
1 6 « B i 



Fig. 6 Zechariah Long, 1688, Charlestown 

initial impressions, the imps, although small on the stones, are life-size 
when measured against the coffins and palls. Two "headpunchers" are 
an exception, as they are "tiny" on top of the skulls where they are found 
(see Fig. 6). None of the imps carry bows, although they do have arrows, 
or more properly, darts of death. They are not chubby, and do not resem- 
ble the putti or cherubs of classical art. Forbes calls them "little 



Ralph L. Tucker 165 



men" who "help the soul on its way to paradise. "^^ She also refers to the 
"darts of death." Allan Ludwig employs a variety of terms - "evil 
demons armed with arrows of death," "imps of the underworld/' "imps 
of death/' "darts of death/' and "demons of New England symbol- 
ism. "i^ Dickran and Ann Tashjian use "messengers of death /' and "man 
in his nakedness/'i^ while Emily Wasserman prefers the descriptive 
"tiny evil demons armed with death's darts. "^o As for these darts or 
arrows that some of the imps carry, the sermons of the day often refer to 
"darts of death" which were a constant threat and reminder to the liv- 
ing.2i There are references to such imps in the testimony of the witchcraft 
case of Elizabeth Morse in Newbury in 1681, where one witness states 
that she "saw the imp o' God into said Morss howse."^^ 

The imps are usually found in a frieze below the tympanum and 
above the inscription, although two stones have them in the tympanum 
itself and another two have them in the finials. Two-thirds of the imps 
are wingless and are usually those that are carrying a pall, while other 
imps are winged. I can discover no clue as to why some are winged and 
some are not. The two "headpuncher" stones with imps in the tympa- 
num are early imp stones - the 1686 Elias Row and 1688 Zechariah Long 
(Fig. 6) stones - both of which are in Charlestown. These two stones are 
nearly identical, and each has two winged imps standing upon the skull 
poking it with darts of death. The tympanum is draped with the Lamson 
drapery, and the finials contain the spiral or coil found on most of the 
downleaf stones. The inscriptions are framed, and the sides have typical 
Lamson lush fruit borders. Apparently these stones were a bit grim even 
for those days, and Lamson never again used the same configuration of 
headpunching imps. 

Lamson later tried placing large, wingless imps in the finials. This 
may be seen on two stones, those for Deacon John Stone of Watertown, 
1691, and William Dickson of Cambridge, 1692 (Fig. 5). On the Water- 
town stone, one of the finial imps holds an imp hourglass and dart of 
death, the other a scythe and dart of death. Each stands in a finial facing 
the other. On the Cambridge stone, each imp holds an hourglass and a 
dart of death, while in the frieze there are two pairs of small winged 
imps carrying coffins. The odd hairdos on these large finial imps have 
sometimes been seen as Indian hairdos, and the darts of death in their 
hands as arrows, leading to speculation that the figures are Indians 
rather than death imps. In this connection, I find it significant that these 



166 Lamson Family Carvers 



two stones were carved just before the time of the Salem witchcraft affair 
and that Lamson never again used large imps in the finial. Only after a 
hiatus of eight years did he resume carving imps, and then with an out- 
burst of twenty-seven more stones featuring this motif. 

The later imp stones all contain the imps within the frieze where, 
because of their smaller size, they appear less threatening. Their activity 
is nonetheless pronouncedly grim as they carry coffins or palls or sup- 
port a centrally placed hourglass. These stones are all well carved, with 
most having richly carved side borders containing vines, pomegranates, 
gourds, pumpkins, and other fruit. Vines and gourds in the tympanum 
are also to be found. Most of the stones have distinctive Lamson-style 
drapery above the skull and use his typical skull shape. They also fea- 
ture framed inscriptions, bottom borders and finely carved faces in the 
finials. These details make it possible to be certain of the carver. 

Six of the forty-one stones present epitaphs below the inscription, 
while another six employ the Biblical quotation " the memory of the just 
IS blessed." This quotation is also found on his stones of other styles and 
is a clue to the carver's identity. 

Three imp stones, all dated 1709, are of special significance - those of 
the Rev. Jonathan Pierpont, Wakefield ; Mary and Hannah Shutt, Copp's 
Hill, Boston; and Pyam and Elizabeth Blower, Cambridge. On these 
stones the faces which Lamson placed in the finials were given upper 
torsos. These are more fully described under the heading of "Finials" 
below. A listing of impstone characteristics may be found in appendix 2. 

Regular Style Stones 

The stones of Joseph Lamson most commonly found are similar to 
the downleaf variety except that the carving is much more fully devel- 
oped and elaborate. They have Lamson's typical death's-head, and a 
leaf-like drapery unlike that of any other carver often adorns the top 
border of the tympanum. The space between the tympanum and the 
inscription is bordered and becomes a formal frieze. The Latin phrases 
memento MORI and hora fugit and a centrally placed hourglass are usu- 
ally found in the frieze, together with various items associated with 
death. The downleaf sides are replaced with well-carved fruit borders of 
pumpkins, pomegranates, and other fruits. Inscriptions are framed, and 
the overall stone is deeply carved and rich in appearance (see Fig. 7). 



Ralph L. Tucker 



167 




Fig. 7 Robert Knowles, 1703, Charlestown 

Other Stones 

There are several early stones dating from 1684 to 1689 that, while 
they have some Lamson traits, also display elements which indicate a 
hand other than his. These are stones obviously made by a carver lack- 
ing the skill displayed by Joseph at the dates involved. On fifteen stones 
of this type that I have studied, the skulls resemble upside-down pears, 
having narrower chins than usual and brows that drop down to form the 



168 Lamson Family Carvers 



nose, which contains a triangle. The lettering is upper-case and the carv- 
ing simple. Four of these stones have "downleaf" sides similar to 
Joseph's earlier work, three feature Lamson-type drapery above the 
skull, and one has a face finial typical of his shop. The stones are too 
early to be the work of his sons, and certainly too crude to be that of 
Joseph himself. My feeling is that, as both Thomas Welch and Joseph 
Whittemore are known to be stonecutters as well as close associates and 
neighbors, these stones should probably be attributed to one of them. 

DESCRIPTION OF JOSEPH LAMSON'S WORK 

Tympanum 

A winged skull with eyebrows is found on the tympanum of nearly 
all of Joseph Lamson's stones. The eyes are round, sometimes just a bit 
oval, but not overly large. Eyebrows sometimes have hooks at their 
extremities on his earliest stones. A few of his skulls lack eyebrows, but 
they are the exception. The line of the eyebrows at the center usually 
continues downward to form a triangular nose. 

The earliest stones have no carving between the skull's nose and 
teeth (see Fig. 3), but in time an arc is used in this location, giving the 
impression of an upper lip (see Fig. 4). (Later, about 1712, when the sons 
are carving, the arc evolves to become bracket-shaped and appears even 
more lip-like: see Fig. 8). Teeth are in two rows and evenly spaced. The 
chin, while squarish, usually has rounded corners. The wings spread to 
each side evenly, with each feather having a central stem. The wing 
feathers are not coined in layers as sometimes found in the work of the 
Old Stonecutter. In early Lamson stones the death's-head fills the 
tympanum, but soon other elements are added, the most distinctive 
being a form of leaf-like drapery bordering the top of the tympanum 
above the skull (see Fig. 3). The same type of drapery is also used at 
times to form a frame for the inscription (see Fig. 4). On a few occasions 
it is even used in the finial. This drapery becomes a distinctive Lamson 
hallmark and is used for several generations by the Lamson shop. 

Vines and leaves sometimes replace the drapery in the tympanum 
above the death's-head (see Fig. 4). This appears to be a transition from 
death items to symbols of life. Another motif in the tympanum consists of 
a single oak or acanthus leaf suspended from the top center, with a daisy- 
like flower hanging down on either side above the skull (see Fig. 9). 



Ralph L. Tucker 



169 




Fig. 8 Joseph Lamson, 1722, Charlestown 

Even at the earhest dates, the winged skull, or death's-head, is at 
times replaced by a winged face (or cherub), but this is rare. The face that 
Joseph commonly used in the finial is later moved to the tympanum and 
wings are added. While the cherub was used infrequently by Joseph, 
later Lamsons made greater use of this motif, until finally, in several 
variations, it becomes relatively common in their work. In the study of 
early New England gravestones, a most significant fact to emerge is the 
shift from a grim presentation of death symbols such as skulls to a more 
general use of lifelike cherubs. 

The Old Stonecutter, William Mumford, and other early carvers also 
occasionally use a winged face on their stones. It was only after 1740, 
however, that the cherub became common. A variety of types of cherubs 
were developed, and several Lamson styles have been identified (see 
Fig. 10 A-H). This addition of winged faces or cherubs is indicative of the 
developing theological opinions arising during the Great Awakening of 
the 1740s. Philippe Aries, in discussing this shift, notes: 



170 



Lamson Family Carvers 









th/v/'Bo.iy.of A^-f 

P'deparr.riruliis'Litc: 



t^^th^w^ 




Fig. 9 Nathaniel Lamson, 1755, Charlestown 

In America it [the death's-head] has a flavor and intensity all its own: peo- 
ple had not forgotten that it represented the immortal soul. This explains 
vvfhy in eighteenth-century New England, where the meaning of death 
was changing and the Puritans were belatedly ceasing to cultivate the 
fear of death, the winged death's-head was transformed into a winged 
angel's head by an almost cinematic process in which the face gradually 
became fuller and gentler.^^ 



There are also a few atypical stones, such as those with coats of arms, 
which can be identified as Joseph Lamson's work. These tend to be 



Ralph L. Tucker 171 



stones for prominent persons and were made to order rather than being 
"stock" stones. The exceptional 1714/5 Mary Rous stone (Fig. 1) in 
Charlestown is an example of such work. 

Frieze 

The area between the tympanum and the inscription on the stones of 
most carvers is devoid of carving, with the exception of an occasional 
line of division. This is true of Lamson's typical earliest work, but by the 
1670s he places crossbones and hourglasses in the area without any bor- 
der, especially on downleaf stones. Later, a centrally placed hourglass 
(see Fig. 3) becomes standard in this area, and is one of the last death 
symbols to eventually disappear. Soon the Latin phrases "memento 
MORI" and "fugit hora" are included in the frieze regularly, together 
with borders that provide a separation between the tympanum and 
inscription (see Fig. 7). The imp stones use this space for the imps, 
coffins, and palls (see Fig. 4), while on other types of stones shovels, 
picks, hourglasses and other death related items are used. After about 
1712, when Joseph ceased carving, vines, leaves, figs, and often a central 
disk or flower are replacements for the more grim implements in the 
frieze. On the less elaborate stones there may be no frieze at all, regard- 
less of the time period. 

Inscription, Lettering, Frame 

The lettering of the stones that Joseph Lamson himself carved and 
lettered is consistently good upper-case and has no idiosyncratic letters 
that enable one easily to identify his work. The Old Stonecutter, for 
example, used an odd numeral one with two scrolls at its base as well as 
an old-fashioned letter " T ". Other carvers often had some equally iden- 
tifying telltale letters. Starting about 1709, however, some of Lamson's 
stones are cut with lower-case lettering, probably indicating that his 
sons, as they gained skill in carving, were given the task of lettering the 
stones. By 1717, when the sons had taken over the business, nearly all 
Lamson stones have upper- and lower-case letters; this at a time when 
few other carvers used lower case in the main inscriptions. It appears 
that Boston carvers did not usually use lower-case lettering until about 
1760.24 This makes the task of identifying these Lamson stones some- 
what easier. 

In a few cases on stones for the clergy Latin is used, usually at some 



172 Lamson Family Carvers 



length, the text having been suppHed by neighboring clergy. While most 
early carvers used the thorn "ye," Joseph was one of the first to use "the" 
in its place consistently, another fact that allows us to differentiate the 
stones of some of the early carvers. 

Generally gravestones were made ahead, and the purchaser would 
select one and then have the essential inscriptional data and sometimes 
an epitaph added. This task was generally given to an apprentice - in the 
case of the Lamson shop, to the sons. Such a case is found in the remark- 
able 1709 Rev. Jonathan Pierpont stone in Wakefield (Fig. 4). This is one 
of the finest stones of the period and was undoubtedly carved by Joseph 
Lamson. If one examines it closely, the initials "NL" will be seen hidden 
in the tympanum. As Nathaniel was still a teen-aged youth in 1709, it is 
probable that he was given the task of doing the lettering, which he exe- 
cuted in lower-case. This also gave him the opportunity and excuse to 
add his initials to the stone. 

Because of this practice in the early shops of leaving the lettering to 
an apprentice (with the result that an otherwise well-carved stone may 
have some rather crude lettering), it is dangerous to lean too heavily 
upon the style of lettering to identify a carver in instances where there 
may have been apprentices. There are also known cases in which a mer- 
chant purchased from a carver some ornamented but unlettered stones 
which were later sold and lettered by a second carver. 

Generally Joseph did not provide an epitaph, though when present it 
is usually found below the inscription: in a significant number of cases, 
however, the quotation from Proverbs 10:7, "The Memory of the Just is 
Blessed," is used and can be a clue to identifying some of his work. 

Lamson was the first to use a frame around the inscription, some- 
thing other carvers seldom did. Not only did he introduce this feature, 
he was imaginative in his variety. Some of his more elaborate frames use 
the drapery found in his tympanum. Others present degrees of elabora- 
tion varying in accordance with the richness of the carving of the border. 
The borders beneath the inscriptions have often sunk below ground and 
thus cannot be seen, but where they are visible they add a balancing 
touch to the overall design. Lamson also appears to have been the first to 
use bottom borders, a feature provided by few other carvers. 

Finials 

In the finials of some of the later downleaf stones, and in many of his 



Ralph L. Tucker 173 



other stones, Joseph Lamson carved a face. The development of this fea- 
ture is most interesting. The earUest faces (1680-1705) are rather crudely 
cut, with stringy hair and odd eyes that are shaped like fish (see Fig. 11- 
A). Some refer to these as "soul effigies," as they are not very lifelike and 
may have been placed on the stone to ameliorate the stark skulls in the 
tympanum and indicate evidence of the soul's presence even in the face 
of death. To me, however, they appear simply as poorly carved faces 
which 1 call "fish-eye faces." Surprisingly, four of these faces have mous- 
taches (see Fig. 11-B), a rather unspiritual aspect, leading me to the con- 
clusion that indeed these faces nre intended to represent human faces. By 
1700, the workmanship improves and the faces approach a more realistic 
appearance. In the period 1704 -1713, the face has either a masculine 
appearance with carefully groomed shoulder-length hair and well 
shaped eyes (see Fig. 11-C), or is feminine, with the hair pulled back (see 
Fig. 11-D). The faces of these two types are on many of the stones of this 
period. There is little effort to individualize them, although as early as 
1704 the finial face on the Rev. Thomas Clark stone in Chelmsford was 
given clerical tabs placed under the chin to indicate his occupation. 

In a further development in 1709, the Pierpont stone has in each finial 
a torso added to the head, showing the figure of the clergyman gowned, 
with preaching tabs, and holding a bible (Fig. 4). That same year, a simi- 
lar stone was made for Captain and Mrs. Blower of Cambridge, with 
busts of a male figure on one finial and a female figure on the other, each 
dressed appropriately, their hands folded in prayer. Also from the same 
year, Mary and Hannah Shutt's double stone in Boston's Copp's Hill Bur- 
ial Ground has a female bust or half figure in each finial. Copp's Hill also 
contains the 1709 John Russell stone, which, although badly broken, pre- 
sents a waist-up figure with hands in prayer. ^s These personalized fig- 
ures show that by this time, if not earlier, the representations are human 
and not soul effigies. The last of these faces appear in 1713, and these 
stones mark the end of Joseph's carving. His sons' carving abilities by 
this time, while improving, were not good enough to produce any faces. 

While faces are often found in Joseph's finials, he also generally 
employed a variety of other devices in this space, usually geometric or 
floral. As mentioned earlier, most of the downleaf stones have a spiral or 
face in the finial. Flower blossoms, curved leaf shapes, differing types of 
disks, and round geometric shapes are found in abundance on his stan- 
dard work. 



174 



Lamson Family Carvers 




1734 Tabitha Morse 
Cambridge 




1771 David Jones 
Newburyport 




1773 Hannah Sheafe 
Portsmouth, NH 



®X® 




^-^^^S^. 



1756 Ephraun Jones 
Concord 




1772 William Johnson 
West Newbury 




1780 Timothy Famum 
North Andover 



Fig. lOA-H Cherubs found on Lamson stones 



Ralph L. Tucker 



175 




^ 



UMJSS^>^^^ 



1791 Sarah Gardner 
Salem 




1794 Katherine Moore 
Charlestown 




1702 Mabel Jenner 
Charlestown 




1702/3 Peter & Mary Tufts 
Maiden 




1709/10 William Wyer 
Charlestown 




1711 Mehetabel Cutler 
Charlestown 



Fig. IIA-D Finial faces found on Lamson stones 



176 Lamson Family Carvers 



Side Borders 

As a frame heightens the appearance of a painting, so a rich border 
enhances the design of a gravestone. Joseph Lamson's earliest stones, 
devoid of inscription frames, finial decorations, and side borders, are 
rather plain. The downleaf stones, having side borders, are more attrac- 
tive, and his imp stones with their deeply carved fruit side borders stand 
out, as the depth of the carving adds a richness, casting shadows as the 
light of the day moves from one side to the other. Generally, the side bor- 
ders will vary in detail and depth in accordance with the other aspects of 
the carving, the more elaborate stones having richer borders. As time 
went on, however, the deeply carved fruit borders, which require a great 
deal of work, were replaced by later generations with simpler leaf 
designs. This may be seen with the second generation of the Lamson 
family, and even more markedly in later generations, to the point where 
borders are no longer used at all. It may be that the early stonecutters 
took more pride in their work, or merely that later generations had to 
produce so many more stones that carving borders became impractical. 

Joseph's "downleaf " sides are easily recognized. Aside from Thomas 
Welch and perhaps Joseph Whittemore, who probably worked with him, 
no other carvers used these sides in such quantity. Lamson-type lush 
fruit sides, however, are also found on the well-carved stones of William 
Mumford especially, and to a degree on the stones of the other Boston 
carvers as well. A border of gourds and leaves less ornate than Joseph's 
fruit border is found in the period 1708-1721 (see Fig. 12). This border of 
the Lamson shop can usually be identified easily, as the gourds often 
resemble Christmas stockings. A circular leaf border (see Fig. 8) is com- 
mon on the stones made by the Lamson family, as well as by most other 
early carvers, and can be found on nearly all of the Boston carvers' 
stones, even the earliest ones. A fig motif appears early and is used in 
borders by the Lamson sons, but probably not often by Joseph. The fig 
continues to be used by the family for another sixty years. 

Strawberry Vine 

An interesting design of the 1697-1717 period is a crudely carved 
strawberry vine, which has been found on twenty-six Lamson stones 
(see Fig. 13). While one would not expect to attribute this crude work to 
a master carver, these carvings are not found after Joseph's death in the 
mature work of his sons. The answer seems to be that this is probably the 



Ralph L. Tucker 



177 





Here Lv^* ^ Bo 6 





Sarticel aj\J IV'K* 
Mavj^ReeJ Died 




Fig. 12 Mary Reed, 1712/3, Marblehead 

early work of Nathaniel or Caleb, and that as they became more profi- 
cient they discarded the berry motif. There are, however, a few with such 
early dates that the stones are either backdated (which is probable) or 
carved by Welch or Whittemore. This carving is usually found on the 
bottom border (seventeen times), where more casual patterns are gener- 
ally found, as well as in the frieze (eight times), in the tympanum (three 
times), and in the side borders (once). 



Footstones 

Gravestones were made in pairs, with the headstone usually bearing 



178 



Lamson Family Carvers 




>:i f 




.«« «- ^-.■^t,. 



Fig. 13 Mary Barrett, 1713, Concord 



the decorative pattern and inscription and the smaller footstone bearing 
simply the name or initials, date, and sometimes simple carving. From 
the early 1 700s, we often find a pair of fig-like devices on a background 
of vertical lines in the tympanum of the footstones of the Lamson shop 
(see Fig. 2). This unique device on their footstones continues in use well 
into the 1780s, and is a hallmark of the family. While the footstone is usu- 
ally the same type (i.e., material) of stone as the headstone, this is not 
always the case. Instances have been found, for example, where a brown 
sandstone footstone is used with a slate headstone. 



Ralph L. Tucker 179 



SECOND GENERATION 

Two of Joseph Lamson's five sons are known to have become carvers, 
Nathaniel (1692-1755) and Caleb (1697-1760). A third son, William, born 
October 25, 1694, may as a young man have worked in his father's shop, 
but we have no evidence for this. In 1717, William removed to Stratford, 
Connecticut, where he married and spent the rest of his life active in the 
community there. While there is no evidence that he was a carver, it is 
probable that his son, William, Jr., at a later date may well have been. 
This will be discussed later in relation to the Lamson stones in Connecti- 
cut and New York. 

Nathaniel Lamson 

Nathaniel was born at Maiden, Massachusetts in 1692 and married 
Dorothy Mousal, his step-mother's daughter, January 13, 1722/3, at 
Medford, Massachusetts. He lived in Charlestown, where all his chil- 
dren were born. He died June 7, 1755, and his stone is in the Phipps 
Street Burial Ground, Charlestown (Fig. 9). There are forty-eight stones 
probated to him from 1713 to 1755, and probate records that document 
Nathaniel as having been paid for stones in the 1713-1715 period indi- 
cate that Joseph had turned over most of the work to his son by this time. 
Fortunately, there are several stones which Nathaniel initialed (see Table 
1): these usually are stones which he made at an early age. 

While Joseph had always used upper-case lettering on his work, 
about 1709 lower-case lettering begins to be found on Lamson stones. 
Though the ornamental carving on these initialed stones is too refined to 
be the work of the teenage Nathaniel, it appears that this lower-case let- 

TABLE 1 
Initialed "NL" Stones 
*=imp stone 
1707 *Samuel Blanchard Andover, MA 

1709 *Pyam & Elizabeth Blower Cambridge, MA 
1709 *Rev. Jonathan Pierpont Wakefield, MA (Fig. 4) 

1709 =^Hannah & Mary Shutt Boston, Copp's Hill, MA 

1710 ''Mercy Oliver Cambridge, MA 

1714/5 Mary Rous Charlestown, MA (Fig. 1) 

1716 Ephraim Beach Stratford, CT 

1716 Thomas Sewell Cambridge, MA 



180 Lamson Family Carvers 



tering represents the work of the son. The five imp stones mentioned 
above are of this category, as is the superb stone for Mary Rous (Fig. 1). 
By 1717, when the sons had taken over the business, all the stones have 
lower-case lettering and none are inscribed with all upper-case letters. 

"Continuous Brow" Stones 

There are sixteen stones dating from 1703 to 1707 which are similar to 
the usual Lamson stones except that the eyebrows in these stones form a 
continuous line above the nose which does not descend to connect with 
it. The stones are all lettered in upper-case. Seven have downleaf sides, 
three have framed inscriptions, and two have drapery above the skull - 
all Lamson traits. On the other hand, the skulls on these stones usually 
have narrow jaws, four exhibit crude lettering, four have an oversized 
numeral three and /or five, and five use a numeral one having two coils 
at the base - all non-Lamson traits. As Welch was dead by this time, I 
attribute the stones to either Whittemore or young Nathaniel. 

"Big 5" stones 

These stones all have distinctive large numerals five and /or three 
with large loops. Of the eleven stones studied (four are of the " Continu- 
ous Brow " variety), five have Lamson drapery, four have Lamson finial 
faces, three have "downleaf" sides, and one has a framed inscription. On 
the other hand, six have the unusual numeral one with coils at the base, 
nine use carets between some words, five have slightly indented skulls, 
and three have abstract side borders unlike the work of Joseph Lamson. 
As the eleven stones date from 1703 to 1707, it would appear that 
Nathaniel Lamson or Joseph Whittemore was the carver - perhaps both. 

"Abstract Side" Stones 

Forty stones dating from 1708 to 1713, as well as the nine "browless" 
stones (see next heading), have side borders with fruit or leaf elements 
which are more abstract than lifelike. Other than this they are much like 
the usual Lamson stones. Fourteen have drapery, eleven have frames, 
ten have a frieze, nine have finial faces, and four have winged faces or 
"cherubs" instead of winged skulls - all Lamson traits. Half of the stones 
are all upper-case, and the rest are lower-case, which sometimes 
includes an old style letter "T" that resembles a curved upper-case letter 
"E," as well as an unusual lower-case letter "F" with a dot or small trian- 



Ralph L. Tucker 181 



gle on it's left side three-quarters of the way up. It was in this time peri- 
od that Joseph was slowing down in his production of stones and that 
the two sons were beginning to be paid for their stones, indicating that 
they were taking over the business. At such a time, some experimenta- 
tion was to be expected. The shift from upper- to lower-case lettering by 
the Lamson brothers is significant, as the other contemporary carvers 
did not make this shift for an additional forty years. It is my opinion that 
Nathaniel Lamson is primarily responsible for these stones. 

"Browless" Stones 

While the basic hallmark of a Lamson stone is the presence of eye- 
brows, there are nine dating from 1705 to 1710 that are browless and yet 
have all the traits of a Lamson work, albeit some marks of a beginng 
carver. The use of a finial face and a framed inscription are found in this 
category. An interesting fact in regard to the lack of eyebrows is that 
Joseph Lamson's first wife's stone and a daughter's stone are in this style. 
I could locate less than twenty browless Lamson stones before 1715, and 
I would attribute the early stones of this type to Nathaniel Lamson. 

Caleb Lamson 

Caleb was born in Maiden, Massachusetts, June 12, 1697, and mar- 
ried Dorothy Hancock, daughter of Samuel, November 24, 1720, at Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts. He lived in Maiden and belonged to the church 
there. He was listed on the muster roll as sergeant in Captain John Cod- 
man's Company of Charlestown. He died February 9, 1760, at the age of 
63, according to his gravestone in Charlestown. Caleb's inventory's 
clearly shows his occupation to be stonecutter, as not only carver's tools, 
but also gravestones are listed. 

Caleb's ten initialed stones (see Table 2) range in date from 1713 to 
1725. It is to be noted that these initialed stones were made when he was 
quite young and eager to be identified as a carver. The 1712/3 Mary 
Reed stone (Fig. 12) at Marblehead, with Caleb's initials carved below 
the skull's chin, is a stone with lower-case lettering and misspelled 
words. Eight other initialed stones are all rather plainly carved and of a 
simple design. He apparently did not add his initials to his father's 
stones as did his brother, probably because his father had ceased carving 
about the time Caleb was able to produce good work. Most likely his 
stones were typical of his work at that time, adding to the evidence that 



182 



Lamson Family Carvers 



1712/3 


Mary Reed 


1716/7 


Joseph Grimes 




"M by Caleb Lamson" 


1717 


Prudence Turner 


1717 


John Mitchell 


1719 


John Rogers 


1720 


Joseph Small 


1720 


Benjamin Alcock 


1721 


Richard & Lydia Webber 


1725 


Margaret Gardner 


1766 [!] 


William Grimes [palimsest] 



TABLE 2 
Initialed "C L" Stones 

Marblehead, MA (Fig. 12) 
Stratford, CT 



Marblehead, MA 
Maiden, MA 
Portsmouth, NH 
Portsmouth, NH 
Portsmouth, NH 
Portsmouth, NH 
Portsmouth, NH 
Lexington, MA (Fig. 15) 



Joseph had turned over the business about 1712. We have probate refer- 
ences to fifty-two stones probated to Caleb from 1 723 to 1 767. 

The 1766 William Grimes stone (Fig. 15) initialed by Caleb Lamson is 
a remarkable example of a "palimpsest" stone, a type of marker which 
has certain characteristics in common with but is in fact very different 
from a backdated stone. "Backdating" was especially practiced in the 
early days: for example, one finds a number of Lamson stones dated 
much earlier than 1712 that have figs carved in the side borders even 
though we know that the second generation Lamsons had only begun to 
use this fig motif about 1712, thereby showing that the stones were 
carved much later than the date on the face of the stone. Palimpsest 
stones, on the other hand, are stones that have had their inscription area 
carved out and then re-lettered at a subsequent date, thus producing an 
old style stone bearing at a later date. The Grimes stone, an obvious 
example of the Lamson style with the initials of Caleb Lamson, is dated 
six years after his death. The carving on the footstone in the style of the 
Park family gives us the evidence of the re-use of this stone by a second 
carver. If one examines the face of the stone carefully, it is possible to find 
traces of the original inscription. 

Styles of 2nd Generation 

About 1712-1713 one can see that there was a shift from the old styles 
to newer ones. Joseph apparently ceased carving as his two sons came of 



Ralph L. Tucker 



183 




Fig. 14 Samuel Livermore, 1719, Watertown 

age, and as the brothers became more proficient they developed unique 
styles different from those of their father. Unfortunately, the work of the 
brothers is so homogeneous that one cannot distinguish a stone of 
Nathaniel from one of Caleb except for the early 1712-1720 period when 
Caleb was beginning to carve and where we find some awkward carving 
and abominable spelling on Lamson stones which I attribute to him (see 
Figs. 12 and 14). The Lamsons of the second generation rarely used the 
downleaf design which their father had employed up to 1711, nor did 
they carve any imp stones, although Nathaniel did letter and add his ini- 
tials to a few of them. The faces in the finials, which had shown a con- 
stant development from as early as 1687, cease to appear. The lush fruit 
side borders, too, abruptly cease. It may be that these elements were 
beyond the carving ability of the sons at this time. In any case, their 
absence indicates that the father is no longer at work. It is at this period 



184 



Lamson Family Carvers 




^^ --^^ 







I lere lies 11 K-^', 
C^'N'v ' Uf_ oi M' ^M]jlalll[ 
-^'-^- Gurnets ^vjiocliecl^ 







01 Ills aec^ 






^ 



! S 



<:. 



mhi 



Fig. 15 William Grimes, 1766, Lexington 



~ _A 



k\yt>.. 



that "abstract" side borders appear, revealing a change of style perhaps 
also linked to a certain lack of skill. The side borders often become slim- 
mer and simplified, and vines and leaves become narrower. Drapery is 
gradually used less frequently. By 1713, the Latin phrases "memento 
MORI" and "fugit hora" are also less frequent. The hourglass, which was 
a stable central element in the frieze, is the last death symbol, aside from 
the skull, to be used, but by 1717 it too is replaced, usually by a central 
disk with leaves or vines. The simple lip mark which had been an arc 
becomes a bracket-shaped line, which is more realistic. 

There is also a continuity in the Lamson work, however. The stan- 
dard three-lobed stone with eyebrowed winged skull and framed 
inscription is still used, although it is increasingly less ornate. The drap- 



Ralph L. Tucker 



185 







s;. -V 



Fig. 16 Samuel Brigham, 1713, Marlboro 



ery which had been used since the 1680s in the tympanum is a frequent 
adornment up to the 1730s and continues, though to a lesser degree, 
until Caleb's death in 1760. A central disk together with vines, figs, or 
leaves, all above the skull or face in the tympanum, gradually replace 
the drapery. The winged eyebrowed skull continues dominant, but 
winged faces become more common after 1713. In the transitional period 
from 1713, when the sons took over, until 1722, when Joseph died, we 
find a few instances where both winged skull and winged face are pre- 
sent on the same stone, one above the other (see Fig. 16 and Table 3). The 
ambivalance in the religious thinking of the day is wonderfully apparent 
in such cases. 

The crudely carved strawberry vines located in various places on the 
stones continue to be found at first, but they completely disappear by 1 71 7. 

Several new elements are introduced. The finials are now filled with 
a variety of circular disks, flowers, or rosettes, and faces no longer 
appear here. A fig which had been occasionally used previously appears 
frequently by 1713 - and is omnipresent by 1720 - in the sides (see Fig. 



186 Lamson Family Carvers 







TABLE 3 




Stones with death's 


-heads and cherubs 


1712/3 


Anna Cooper 




Woburn, MA 


1713 


Samuel Brigham 




Marlborough, MA 


1714 


Hannah Angier 




Cambridge, MA 


1714 


James Allen 




West Tisbury, MA 


1721 


Peter & Marcy Tufts 


Medford, MA 



(Fig. 16) 



9), tympanum, frieze, bottom borders, and on the footstones. This also 
can be seen as a shift from death symbols to symbols of life, nature, and 
abundance. The fig design continues until the 1790s, well after the broth- 
ers' deaths, and it becomes a hallmark of the Lamson family and espe- 
cially of the second generation stones. It is the fig footstone, as well as 
the drapery and eyebrowed skulls, which enables one to identify as 
Lamson stones a variety of later styles (see Fig. 2). 

About 1715, the family began to use a new quarry which had a slate 
diagonally striped in colors of delicate blue, red and green. This slate is 
easily identified and is used by the family for many years along with the 
usual gray variety. On other occasions, one finds a light brown sand- 
stone used by the second and later generations of the family. These 
stones are usually small in size. The 1776 Anthony Gwyn markers in 
Newburyport (Fig. 17) are a grey slate headstone and a light brown 
sandstone footstone with Gwyn's name carved on it. Apparently any 
small stone was good enough for a footstone. These two stones are now 
replaced with reproductions in the burial ground of St. Paul's Church, 
Newburyport, and the original stones are at the Boston Museum of Fine 
Arts, a protective practice which should be increasingly followed before 
the best stones become victims of rampant vandalism or other factors. 
Cherub stones of later generations are often found on this light brown 
sandstone. The source of this sandstone is unknown at present, but it 
may have come from Connecticut, where Nathaniel and Caleb's brother, 
William, lived. William probably acted as agent for the sale of slate Lam- 
son stones made in Charlestown, Massachusetts in the Stratford, Con- 
necticut area and along the nearby coastal areas, where there are many 
such stones. If this is the case, one might expect that he may in turn have 
occasionally shipped Connecticut sandstone to Boston for use there. 

Lower-case lettering is used regularly after 1717, and is excellently 



Ralph L. Tucker 



187 










wiUrin [\u:.'} 




Fig. 17 Anthony Gwyn, 1776, Newburyport, St. Paul's 

carved with justified margins and few instances of letters squeezed in. 
The Lamson brothers used no letters of unusual style which would 
allow us to use lettering as a clue to their work. One can only suggest 
that the presence of unusual letter shapes at this time indicates a non- 
Lamson carver. The two brothers were the earliest carvers to introduce 
and use lower case lettering consistently. The 1709 Pierpont stone (Fig. 4) 
in Wakefield is such an early example. While other carvers did use 
lower-case occasionally for epitaphs below the inscription, it is only 
about 1760 that the Boston carvers used lower case in the inscription 
area. This fact can be used to separate and identify some of the carvers of 
the period. From 1730 to the 1770s there are some instances of the use of 
italics by the Lamsons, especially for the month and for "AD." 

There are three stones with "charlestown" carved at the base or on 
the footstone which are good examples of the Lamson style (see Table 4). 

The development of the side border is steady. As mentioned earlier. 



188 Lamson Family Carvers 



TABLE 4 
Stones with "CHARLESTOWN" carved on them 

1710/1 Capt. John Rainford Bridgeton, Barbados 

"Made in Charlestown" on face 
1721 Dr. John Burchstead Lynn, MA 

"Charlestown 1721" on footstone 
1721 Hon. John Burrill Lynn, MA 

"Charlestown 1722" on footstone 

the downleaf and the fruit borders are no longer used after 1713. Begin- 
ning about 1707, the Lamsons introduced a leaf and gourd border that is 
a simplified variety of the fruit border. The gourds are often sock-shaped 
at first, later becoming fuller and more oval. The leaves can be either 
rounded or pointed (see Fig. 13). By 1713, a leaf and fig or vine and fig 
border becomes dominant and is increasingly well-carved (see Fig. 14). 
On simple stones, a narrower leaf or vine border is used (see Fig. 18). 
Starting in 1721, and continuing for the next sixty years, borders become 
increasingly narrow and less impressive, finally being reduced to simple 
lines and then omitted altogether. The fig side borders continue only to 
about 1 750, when Nathaniel and Caleb were ending their carving years. 

In the tympanum, a suspended acanthus or oak leaf over the head with 
a daisy-like flower on either side may be found (see Fig. 9). This device 
appears about 1710 and is found frequently in the 1740 -1780 time period. 

From 1722 to 1760 there were seven stones carved for members of the 
Lamson family which, while showing some variety, are essentially alike. 
All located in Charlestown, they include those for Joseph and his two 
carver sons, and are in each case clear cut, typical Lamson stones: 

1722. Joseph Lamson the carver (Fig. 8) has an eyebrowed winged 
skull, draped tympanum, circle leaf sides, disk finials, framed 
inscription, and upper- and lower-case lettering. This is a typical 
second generation stone, as indicated by the lettering and by the 
fact that Joseph's sons were the only members of the family carv- 
ing at the time. 

1723. Elizabeth Lamson, daughter of Nathaniel, has an eyebrowed 
winged skull with leaves over the skull, fig and leaf border, disk 
finials, and no frame. The date, together with the figs, mark this as 
a second generation stone. 



Ralph L. Tucker 



189 




•l 



i 



?1 



llorc lyes Brtririr 
rlK! Body 




M': AAP.Ol I 

Vho rlejiarrcrf fliji; 

(:| .jOrf/7;/.pr / \ 4fy;i >i m(Mi '-■ | 

Fig. 18 Aaron Tufts, 1772, Charlestown 

1724. Caleb Lamson, son of carver Caleb, has a draped, eyebrowed 
winged skull, framed inscription, and a fig and leaf border similar 
to the stone of Elizabeth. 

1734. Hannah Lamson, daughter of carver Caleb, has an eyebrowed 
winged skull with leaves over it, a framed inscription, and leaf 
sides. The figs have been omitted. 

1755. Nathaniel Lamson the carver (Fig. 9), has an eyebrowed winged 
skull with two flowers over the skull, a framed inscription, fig 
and leaf sides, and a flower finial. 

1757. Caleb Lamson, a second son of carver Caleb, has a draped, eye- 
browed winged skull, a framed inscription and fig and leaf sides. 

1760. Caleb Lamson the carver has an eyebrowed winged skull with 
leaf and figs over, a framed inscription, and fig and leaf sides. 



190 Lamson Family Carvers 



These seven stones are all typical of the stones of the second and third 
generations and add to the evidence documenting the authorship of the 
Lamson styles. 

There are some excellently carved coats of arms in Charlestown and 
in Boston that may well have been produced by the brothers. These were 
placed at the entrances to underground tombs, and they illustrate a high 
degree of skill. One good example is the Jackson coat of arms in the 
Granary Burial Ground, Boston, which is probated to Nathaniel Lamson 
for £35, plus an additional £10 for other work. The Samuel Jackson estate 
was settled in 1757, two years after Nathaniel's death.27 

Beginning in the 1730s, a marked shift in style is found in the death's- 
head as the skull loses it's eyebrows and the eyes become large and 
round. Such light-bulb shaped skulls (see Fig. 18) are found probated to 
nearly all of the carvers of the time and are nearly identical in all 
respects. Most Boston carvers used such a style, and it was not at first 
recognized that the Lamsons also did such work: however, the fig foot- 
stone associated with some of these headstones makes such attributions 
secure. This type of stone is generally referred to as a "generic" skull, 
whose authorship is uncertain unless there is some identifying clue such 
as probate records, peculiar lettering, or an associated footstone. Fortu- 
nately, these plain and routine stones are not the end of the line, for the 
Lamson family went on to develop some very interesting and significant 
stones in following generations. 

THIRD GENERATION 

Lamson stones dating from the 1740s to the 1780s represent the work 
of the end of the second generation, the third generation of carvers, and 
the beginning of the fourth. 

Joseph Lamson, son of Nathaniel, was born in Charlestown on 
November 11, 1728. He married there Susanna Frothingham^s on Janu- 
ary 18, 1752/3, and in 1789 is listed in the census with daughter Eliza- 
beth. He died April 25, 1789. In the division of his estate is listed a wharf 
on the Mystic River. He had the distinction of owning the site of the Bat- 
tle of Bunker Hill. We know of twenty-seven stones of his which are 
found mentioned in the probate records, being dated from 1743 to 1774. 
There are an additional twenty-one stones mentioned that could have 
been made either by this Joseph or his son Joseph, these being dated 
from 1776 to 1788. As relatively few stones are ever noted in the records. 



Ralph L. Tucker 191 



this number is sufficient to mark him as a productive carver. 

John Lamson, the son of Caleb, was born at Charlestown on June 10, 
1732 and married Frances Webb there on May 10, 1759. His gravestone 
stands in Woburn, where he died January 2, 1776. In probate records he 
is called "stonecutter," ^9 as are his sons Samuel and Caleb. The probate 
references to stones by John are few, there being ony nine, while another 
seven stones of the appropriate dates are noted to "Mr. Lamson," which 
could refer to either John or his cousin Joseph. 

It is difficult to determine the difference between the second and 
third generation Lamson stones. Assuming that carvers could begin to 
carve at the age of fifteen, the third generation's work would start to 
appear about 1743 in the case of Joseph, the son of Nathaniel, and 1747 in 
the case of John, the son of Caleb. As one examines these stones, there 
are few new styles evident, and the lettering provides few clues that 
might enable one to differentiate the various members of the family. As 
Nathaniel died in 1755 and Caleb in 1760, there is an overlap of about 
eighteen years when four Lamsons were carving. This would be a period 
when payments may have been made to Nathaniel or Caleb even if the 
work was by their sons. 

Surveying the evidence, I would surmise that Joseph of the third gen- 
eration became a steady carver who passed the craft on to his son, 
Joseph. John, on the other hand, may have worked part time as a carver, 
probably being more active in his other documented role as a school- 
master, despite the fact that he and his two sons Caleb and Samuel are 
mentioned in some records as "stonecutters." The styles of the third gen- 
eration are largely those of their fathers. There was a general simplifica- 
tion in the carving, with narrower side panels, fewer finials, and less 
ornamentation. 

One new style to emerge, however, was the "Gabriel" variety (see 
Fig. 19 and Appendix 3). These stones contain a bird-like winged head 
blowing a long horn and are found in the 1753-1791 period, indicating 
that at least some of them were carved by the fourth generation. The 
inscription "Arise ye dead" often emerges from the horn, and in one case 
is written in mirrored lettering. The attribution of these stones is based 
on the evidence that one can find the Lamson frond in the tympanum, 
and the fact that all have the numeral one that resembles the letter "J." 
This typical "1=J" is found in many of the fourth generation stones of the 
Lamson family, as well as in the work of other carvers. The lettering is 



192 



Lamson Family Carvers 




n 
I 



W\(.n^() r \ of 



Fig. 19 Jonathan Poole, 1791, Wakefield 



otherwise devoid of unique features. 

In the 1760s and 1770s there was use of a cursive script and also of 
italics in the lettering. There seems to have been much experimentation 
in various forms of lettering, but all was in good taste and not like the 
work of other carvers who sometimes used a different font for each line 
of the inscription. A variety of cherub faces is found, as there were sev- 
eral members of the family carving simultaneously (see Figs. lOA-H). 

FOURTH GENERATION 

Joseph Lamson, son of Joseph of the third generation, was born in 
Charles town February 3, 1760 and was married December 13, 1791 to 
Susanna Frothingham.^o He was a corporal in the Massachusetts Conti- 
nental Army and died in Charlestown September 25, 1808. He is listed as 
a "stonecutter" and owned land on the Mystic River on the canal. His 
inventory lists an estate worth $514.00. There are eight stones probated 
to him, with an additional twenty-one that were made either by him or 
his father. 



Ralph L. Tucker 193 



Caleb Lamson, son of John, was baptized April 27, 1760 and married 
Joanna Rand on February 27, 1794. He died sometime after ISOO.^i I 
could only locate three probated references of stones for which he was 
paid, these being from 1791 to 1794. 

Samuel Lamson, the son of John and brother of Caleb, was baptized 
March 7, 1773 at Charlestown. He married Sally Elliot on July 23, 1811, 
and died in 1818. He is listed as "a victualler and chaise maker" as well 
as a "stonecutter." I could not locate any probate records relating to 
Samuel. 

Probate records credit a David Lamson with payment for the 1799 
stone of Mary Farmer located in the Copp's Hill Burial Ground in 
Boston, but my search of the genealogical and other records leave the 
issue very much in doubt as to who precisely this David Lawson was. 

Finally, there are at least eight probate references to "Mr" Lamson 
that could be for any of the above members of the family. As the estate 
payments were often made a year or two after the funeral, one should be 
guarded in attempting an exact chronology or attribution. 

There are several new marker styles that begin to be seen as the 
fourth generation comes of age. The "figure" stones which appear from 
about 1770 to 1800 bring a completely new approach to the family reper- 
toire of styles. The fig (see Fig. 2) continues to be a hallmark of the shop 
through the 1790s and is usually located in the side borders, especially 
on the footstones, where a balanced pair on a vertically lined back- 
ground is often used together with the name, initial, and /or year. 
Inscription frames continue to be found on many stones, but are increas- 
ingly less ornate. Lower-case lettering is used and is excellently carved, 
with justified margins and with few instances of letters squeezed in. At 
times on the more elaborate stones, characters in italics are employed for 
the place, the month, and for "AD." Lettering is sometimes found in a 
cursive script (see Fig. 20), especially on the figure stones in the 1775- 
1790 period. Often in the 1790s one finds several kinds of lettering on the 
same stone. This tendency led some carvers to an almost vulgar attempt 
to display as many kinds of lettering as possible on a given stone. The 
Lamsons, fortunately, didn't go as far in this direction as did some oth- 
ers. The numeral one in this later period is carved to approximate the let- 
ter J, which falls below the line. This can be a clue to identifying Lamson 
stones, though other carvers also used a similar device. 

Three-lobed stones continue to the 1800s, but square-shouldered 



194 



Lamson Family Carvers 



/ "-r 







o 



''(bv^J(l/'(il] 



(/( e 



. /] /jo r y /-. ^> 










• ii)l''\() ■ y')i('(/ K /Vo/j'.^ ^y.'J'/ /) ^ 



;/ 



( 9^(f^ 



(H 



)or ( 




('(( / 



(/( 



Fig. 20 Sarah Hale, 1785, Newbiuyport, Sawyer Hill 



Ralph L. Tucker 



195 




I 



in Mciikhn/ of 

////:. ^0LL^ 1 1 Auivi:^. 

d ihis Li(V 



\\^ 1 1 



\ o 



\orii 




a 



!"S 



^T^' t'^IP^^^S'- '^''^ ' 



Fig. 21 Polly Hams, 1787, Charlestown 



1% Lamson Family Carvers 



finials begin to appear by the 1770s and soon become dominant (see Fig. 
21). A variety of reverse curves and odd shaped tympanums are also 
used in this period (see Fig. 20). There is on the part of all carvers of this 
period an effort to simplify designs, and with the coming of the fourth 
generation of Lamsons the movement accelerates. Side borders become 
slimmer and simplified, so that by 1780 plain ruled or lined sides are the 
norm. Still later, no side borders at all are used. 

The cherub stones of the fourth generation of Lamsons have several 
different styles of winged faces, one of their most striking developments. 
From 1760-1780 a finely cut face with a pompadour hairdo and outlined 
wings is found (see Fig. 10-D). At first the hairdo and the wing outlines 
are left blank, but later lines are added to define the hair and the wing 
feathers. Often found on a light brown sandstone which the later Lam- 
sons sometimes used, as well as on a black slate, this cherub is consistent 
in style. The long oval face is later shortened and becomes more round 
and rather acorn-shaped, but it is easily recognized as made by the same 
hand. Sometimes the wings are deliberately twisted a bit and, as the 
mouth is usually slightly crooked, 1 call this type "crooked mouth". 
While unlike any previous Lamson cherub, the fig footstone found with 
several of these stones identifies this type as a Lamson variety which can 
be easily recognized. 

There is also a winged face referred to as "lowbrow," which is a 
round face with straight eyebrows (see Fig. 10-H). This is a type of stone 
generally attributed to Daniel Hastings (1749-1803) of Newton, but 
beginning in the 1790s we find them with unmistakeable lettering by 
Caleb Lamson or his brother Samuel. The connection of these carvers is 
not clear. The Lamsons may have borrowed the style from Hastings, or 
even have purchased stones from him, which they lettered. The subject 
has need of further study. Another winged face has a pointed hairlock 
(see Fig. 10-F). While none of these are initialed, a sufficient number 
have fig footstones so as to identify them as Lamson stones. With further 
study, the particular Lamson family member who carved each type may 
be discovered. 

A significant development to appear late in the third generation and 
on to the fourth is the "figure" stone [see Appendix 31. These are stones 
with full-length or waist-up figures usually carved on good slate. One 
type has a full-faced woman from waist up with arms folded in front (see 
Fig. 22). Of four such stones (1774-1784) known to the author, the earliest 



Ralph L. Tucker 



197 




// 



/7^) 









Fig. 22 Mary Folsom, 1784, Portsmouth, NH 



198 Lamson Family Carvers 



has a footstone with a Lamson cherub. All four stones are remarkably 
similar. Three have cursive script, three have Lamson fronds, and one 
portrays a child lost in childbirth held in her mother's arms. 

Other "figure" stones are busts or portraits, such as the previously 
mentioned Anthony Gwyn stone in Newburyport (Fig. 17), which has a 
waist-up figure with a three-cornered hat and a staff or sword in hand. On 
its brown sandstone footstone, inscribed with the deceased's name, is a 
Lamson cherub. The 1780 Benjamin Greenleaf stone in Newburyport 
depicts a well-dressed man with a frond on one side and death symbols on 
the other. The 1787 Miss Polly Harris stone in Charlestown (Fig. 21) fea- 
tures a central bust of Polly with the Lamson skeleton with scythe and dart 
of death on one side and a Lamson frond on the other. There are a number 
of such stones which heretofore have not been recognized as Lamson 
stones. On these figure stones, the Lamsons' use of a unique frond to bal- 
ance the design in the tympanum is a significant clue to their work. 

The squat skeleton with an inverted pear-shaped head, round eyes, 
and a narrow toothed jaw is another "figure" of the Lamsons. With 
upward-turned ribs and squat size (e.g.. Fig. 21) as the most easily spot- 
ted clues, the skeleton enables us to identify a number of other stones. 
The Lamson skeleton is variously found with an hourglass, a scythe, or 
other death symbols. There is a renewal of the use of death impedimen- 
ta in the third and fourth generations, all being in secondary positions, 
however. The browless round-eyed "lightbulb" skull of the "generic" 
variety (e.g.. Fig. 18) continues to be found up to the 1780s. As they are 
so common and difficult to attribute, they have received little attention. 
There are five stones (all featuring square finials rather than rounded 
ones) made for members of the Lamson family of the later generations 
that are briefly described here to illustrate the development of styles, 
showing both the tendency to simplify and the introduction of such new 
features as a bust, a simplified cherub, and the later fashion of the tree 
and urn: 
1789. Joseph Lamson the carver, son of Nathaniel, has a bust on top of a 

pedestal in the tympanum with a frond on either side, narrow leaf 

sides, and the numeral one resembling the letter J. There are no 

figs, cherubs, or death's-heads. 
1794. Elizabeth Lamson, daughter of Nathaniel, has a cherub in the 

tympanum with leaves on each side, numeral one = J, and line 

sides. 



Ralph L. Tucker 



199 




\\\C(\ loiulorthau ^rv/^rE^■c>nJ 
I IU',.\r vv^hai; it tV^Nr,? H 

Fig. 23 Nanq/^ Lamson, 1800, Oiarlestown 

1795. Susanna Lamson, consort of Joseph, has a cherub and Hne sides. 

1800. Nancy Lamson, daughter of Caleb, has a large trunked tree, a bro- 
ken bud, urn, and the numeral one = J (Fig. 23). 

1808. Joseph Lamson the fourth generation carver has a large trunked 
tree and urn and the numeral one == J 

Tree and Urn Stones 

Beginning in the 1790s and continuing well into the 1800s, the tree 
and urn became the most popular gravestone design and finally marked 
the end of the death's-head motif. Sometimes the tree or the urn is 
depicted separately, but customarily they are used together. As most 



200 Lamson Family Carvers 



carvers of this period used the tree and urn theme, often in identical 
ways, it is sometimes difficult to identify the particular carver of this 
style. In certain instances, however, through the use of probate records 
or the oddity of a given carver we can identify the maker. Such, fortu- 
nately, is the case with the Lamson stones. Lamson-style tree stones are 
identified by the following process: of 116 stones located in Maiden's Bell 
Rock Burial Ground (which is almost exclusively made up of Lamson 
stones) that have trees alone or both trees and urns (1800-1839), most of 
the trees have markedly thick trunks and a limited number of large 
leaves. The trees are shaped more like elms than willows, lacking 
descending branches, and are quite unlike the trees of other carvers 
found in the Boston area. The urns appear in a variety of shapes, howev- 
er, sometimes resembling loving cups, sometimes Georgian pots, and 
usually more round than long or oval. A significant number of these 
stones also contain Lamson cherubs along with the trees, thereby 
enabling us to identify the Lamson-style tree. Two of these stones (also 
described earlier) are for members of the Lamson family and were pre- 
sumably made by the family shop: 

1800. Nancy Lamson stone in Charlestown, which has the large-trunk- 
ed, branched tree with a broken bud and a slender urn (Fig. 23). 

1808. Joseph Lamson stone in Charlestown, which has a more tradition- 
al willow and a wide urn. 

Two additional stones are significant in our search: 

1801. Norcross stone in Watertown, which has the Lamson cherub and 
the quotation, "The Memory of the Just is Blessed," with two 
thick-trunked trees. The urn could be mistaken for a lamp with a 
flame. 

1809. Tripp stone in the Boylston Street Burial Ground, Boston, which 
has the Lamson cherub on the headstone as well as two thick- 
trunked trees and an urn (Fig. 24). 

A full study of the Lamson urn and willow stones has yet to be made. 
Anyone interested in seeking out the particular stones of the Lamson 
shop would do well to start at the Maiden Bell Rock Burial Ground and 
the Phipps Street Burial Ground in Charlestown, from there broadening 
the search to Watertown and Cambridge. 

LAMSON STONES IN CONNECTICUT AND NEW YORK 

Special attention needs to be paid to Lamson stones in Connecticut 



Ralph L. Tucker 



201 




[cnioryof \M 

M^i</ri('riu()|:y 



iMofnoiy 

iVf,- 



Fig. 24 Elizabeth & Nathan Tripp, 1809, Boston, Boylston St. 

and New York. Typical winged, browed skulls on slate are found in 
coastal Connecticut, with occasional stones of this type in inland areas, 
especially near Stratford, Connecticut. Over two hundred such stones 
have come to my attention, and there are probably many more. Most 
date from 1755-1773, with a few as early as 1716. Lamson slate stones 
were brought from the Lamson shop in Massachusetts when Joseph's 
son William was married in 1716 at Stratford to Elizabeth Burch, for ini- 
tialed stones by both Nathaniel and Caleb are found in Stratford, each 
dated 1716. This William, and his son William, Jr., were thus responsible 
for the profusion of slate stones in an otherwise slateless area. We have 
no evidence, however, that William, Sr. was ever a carver. He died Janu- 
ary 21, 1755 in Stratford, where he was a leading citizen and owner of 
several mills. 



202 



Lamson Family Carvers 







Fig. 25 Elizabeth Merwin, 1749, Milford, CT 



Ralph L. Tucker 203 



On the eastern end of Long Island there are over ninety slate stones 
dated 1715-1759. Most, if not all, of these Long Island stones were also 
probably carved in Charlestown at the Lamson shop, as they are on the 
usual gray-black or striped slate, none of which is found in Connecticut 
or on quarry-less Long Island. The inscription area of the gray slate is 
often coated with a brown film of rust, typical of the slate used by the 
Lamson shop. 

On the other hand, in the western Connecticut area, and on the 
northern side of western Long Island, one finds Lamson stones carved 
on red or brown Connecticut sandstone. These stones have the unmis- 
takable marks of the Lamson shop, but vary from the usual styles in sig- 
nificant detail. The winged, eyebrowed skull, figs, leaf and two-flower 
motifs typical of the Lamson shop are found: on the other hand, some of 
the skulls have extremely narrow jaws, and some side borders have 
well-carved flowers of a type not found in Massachusetts (see Fig. 25). 
There are distinct differences between the sandstone and the slate styles, 
probably owing to the difference in ease of carving in sandstone and in 
slate. There is, however, no mistaking the fact that all are of the Lamson 
style, dating from 1740 to 1769 with a few (possibly backdated) as early 
as 1730. 1 know of sixty-nine Long Island stones and forty-two Connecti- 
cut stones of this type, and there are probably many more. These Lam- 
son stones are found in and around New Milford, Connecticut, and in 
nearby South Salem, New York, just over the Connecticut border, as well 
as on the north shore of western Long Island. Milford, Connecticut has 
thirteen such stones dating 1749-1774. Others are scattered throughout 
the southern part of Connecticut and are dated 1755-1773. 

It appears that these stones may have been carved by William Lam- 
son, Jr., who was born June 3, 1719 in Stratford and married Hannah Jud- 
son. He had lived since 1740 in New Milford, an area where there are 
many such stones, and where there is a probate record of his being paid 
£15.10.11 by the estate of John Curtis, possibly for stones. Ernest 
Caulfield, an authority on Connecticut gravestones, refers to "... such 
excellent stonecutters as . . . William Lamson ..." when writing of carvers 
in the Woodbury and New Milford area.^^ There is also a payment made 
of £1-6-6 to William Lamson mentioned in an article by Meredith M. 
Williams and Gray Williams, Jr.^^ William's date of death is not known. 



204 



Lamson Family Carvers 




Fig. 26 Sarah Long, 1674, Charlestown 



SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION 

The first Joseph Lamson carved in the 1670-1713 period, following 
which his sons Nathaniel and Caleb took over the trade. These sons 
carved until the late 1750s. The third generation began to carve in the 
1740s, when Nathaniel's son, Joseph, and Caleb's son, John, became pro- 
ductive. Since the fourth generation Lamsons were all born after 1760, 
we can attribute stones of the 1740-1760 period to either the second or 
third generations; those of the 1760-1775 period to the third generation 
alone; those of the 1775-1789 period to both third and fourth genera- 
tions; and those of the 1789-1818 period to the fourth generation (see 
Appendix 4). 

While the Lamson shop was basically a family affair, we should 
always be aware that other carvers may have worked in the shop, espe- 
cially Thomas Welch and Joseph Whittemore, who were undoubtedly 



Ralph L. Tucker 205 



associated with the Lamson shop. We also note that WilHam Custin, who 
was a carver, was associated with Joseph Lamson, Jr., one of the Lamson 
brothers. There was also apparently some connection between Daniel 
Hastings and the later Lamsons, as some of their styles are almost iden- 
tical. It is quite possible that they may have apprenticed together. Addi- 
tional study would be required to resolve this matter. 

This article is based on more than 1400 stones of the Lamson shop 
that have been identified, but they are only a fraction of the stones still 
existing. Personal observation and photographs furnish most of the 
information for this study, though some is from notes and correspon- 
dence which sometimes lack all the desired details of the carving. The 
data is extensive enough, however, to furnish a comprehensive picture 
of the family's work. The unique imp stones are the only ones that are 
given full coverage in this study, and I believe I have reported on virtu- 
ally all of them here. 

The superb Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber collection of over four thou- 
sand photographs is an invaluable source of information for all early 
carver's work, including that of the Lamsons. Most of the illustrations in 
this article are provided through the courtesy of the Farbers. 

In concluding, it is worth reemphasizing that the Lamson shop pro- 
duced many more stones than are commented upon here. The data is 
very strong on the stones up to 1 760, dates that were relevant to the first 
and second generations. When the styles of the third and fourth genera- 
tions were recognized, a search for further data was made (up to the 
early 1800s), but this investigation, to date, has been less extensive. A 
summary of all data pertinent to this study may be found in Appendix 6. 
As the data after 1760 is not as thorough as that of earlier periods, it goes 
without saying that this constitutes a worthwhile and potentially fruitful 
area for future investigation. 



206 Lamson Family Carvers 



NOTES 

All photographs in this essay are by Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber, with the exception of Fig- 
ure 1, which is from a glass negative of the Hariette Forbes collection, and Figure 2, which 
is by Ralph Tucker. Figures 10 and 11 are from drawings of Ann Tucker. Figure 12 is a pho- 
tograph by Daniel Farber of a rubbing by Susan Kelly and Ann Williams. 

1 . For genealogical information see the Vital Records of Maiden and Charlestown, Mass- 
achusetts. See also William J. Lamson, Descendants of William Lainson oflpsunch, Mass. 
(New York, 1917), and Thomas Bellows Wyman, The Genealogies and Estates of 
Charlestown (Boston, 1879.) A detailed bibliography is filed at the Association for 
Gravestone Studies Archives in Worcester, Mass. 

2. Samuel Drake, History and Antiquities of Boston (Boston, 1856), 418n: "Capt William 
Turner in 1676 had about 100 men... was received at Marlborough from Capt. 
Reynolds ... Joseph Lamson ..." 

3. See appendix 5. 

4. Essex Probate (Salem), 16:442, 450 ; 17:447,459 ; 85:118. 

5. Theodore Chase and Laurel Gabel, Gravestone Chronicles (Boston, 1990), 53. 

6. See Lloyd Grossman, " Heraldic Design on New England Gravestones," Old Time 
Neio England, 64:2 (1973): 55-60. 

7. Harriette Merrifield Forbes, Gravestones of Early Neiv England and the Men Who Made 
Them (Boston, 1927; rpt. Princeton, NJ, 1955; rpt. New York, 1967; rpt. Barre, VT, 1989). 

8. Ibid., 4^. 

9. The Sarah Long stone (Fig. 26) exhibits some of the distinctive earmarks of the Old 
Stonecutter. Compare this stone with that of her husband, Zechariah (Fig. 6), which 
was undoubtedly carved by Joseph Lamson. 

10. The probate references used herein have been compiled from Forbes' notes, a copy of 
which is available at the archives of the Association for Gravestone Studies. 

11. Middlesex Probate (Cambridge), 11:87; see Forbes, Fig. 43, for illustration. 

12. Middlesex Probate (Cambridge), 12:514. 

13. Middlesex Probate (Cambridge), 13:201; see Allan I. Ludwig, Graven Images (Middle- 
town, Conn., 1966), Plate 172a, and Forbes, Fig. 42, for illustrations. 

14. Middlesex Probate (Cambridge) 17:399; see Forbes, Fig. 44, for illustration. 



Ralph L. Tucker 207 



15. See Forbes, 22. There are seven known references to Thomas Welch in the Middlesex 
Probate records (Cambridge). Those with asterisk specifically mention gravestones. 

1690 William Barrett Cambridge £0.8.6 

1697 *Mary and Thomas Rogers Billerica £0.12.0, M28:106 

1697/8 ^Jonathan Caine Cambridge, £0.12.0, M9:263 

1698/9 *JohnCleasby Charlestown £1.0.0, M9:100 

1702 *DanielGold Charlestown £1.0.0, M10:514 

1704 John Whittemore Charlestown £4.0.1, M6:427 

n.d. Elizabeth Jackson (Mrs John.) Cambridge, £5.0.0 

His inventory of 13 Dec. 1704 (Middlesex 6:505) mentions "working tools, viz Beetle, 
Wedges, forks, rakes, axes, hows, chissils, hammers, planes, gouges, adsz, & other 
tools & old iron - saddle & pillions & 2 old guns £4.18.8." Whittemore is mentioned as 
a stonecutter (Middlesex 18:263), but none of the stones have been located. 

16. See, for example. Chase and Gabel, 43. 

17. Forbes, 24, 42. 

18. Ludwig, 100. 

19. Dickran Tashjian and Ann Tashjian, Memorials for Children of Change (Middletown, 
Conn., 1974), 77. 

20. Emily Wasserman, Gravestone Designs (New York, 1972), 22. 

21. See David E. Stannard, The Puritan Way of Death (New York, 1977), 62, for reference to 
Cotton Mather and "arrows of death." See also contemporary sermons. 

22. Joshua Coffin, A Sketch of the Histori/ of Neiohimj, Newburyport , and West Nezcbun/ 
(Hampton, NH, 1977, reprint), 128. 

23. Philippe Aries, The Hour of Our Death, trans. Helen Weaver (New York, 1981), 328. 

24. Laurel Gabel, "A Compu tor-Aided Analysis of 10,546 Boston- Area Gravestone 
Records." Address at the 1990 Association for Gravestone Studies Conference. A copy 
may be found in the AGS Archives. 

25. See Ludwig, plates 175a & b, for illustrations of the Blower and Russell stones. 

26. Middlesex Probate (Cambridge) 43:187. 

27. Middlesex Probate Vol. 23, General Records, p. 109. 

28. This is the first Susanna Frothingham, b. 1724; Joseph of the fourth generation mar- 
ried another Susanna Frothingham, who was b. 1768. 



208 Lamson Family Carvers 

29. Suffolk probate (Boston) 71:51 of 1783. 

30. This is the second Susanna Frothingham, b. 1768. 

31 . Middlesex Probate (Cambridge) #13530. 

32. Ernest Caulfield, "James Stanclift," Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin, 17:1, (1952) 
:5. In Markers: The Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies 8 (1991), in a revised 
edition of this article, "William Lamson" reads "Nathaniel (?) Lamson" (p. 34). 
Caulfield, in his notes made after initial publication, indicates that he was unsure 
which Lamson was responsible for the Connecticut stones, but was sure it was some 
member of the family. It is my opinion that the original article is correct. 

33. Meredith M. Williams and Gray Williams, Jr., " 'Md. by Thomas Gold': The Grave- 
stones of a New Haven Carver," Markers: The Journal of the Association for Gravestone 
Studies 5 (1988) :56. The article quotes a probate record showing that the David Lattin 
estate of Stratford, Conn, paid £1.6.6 "to William Lamson" for a gravestone. 



Ralph L. Tucker 



209 



APPENDIX 1: DOWNLEAF STONES 
108 Downleaf stones by Joseph Lamson, 1675-1714 



Tympanum 

Death's-heads 

Draped 

Cherubs 

Leaf 
Frieze 

Death symbols 

Strawberry vines 

Imp (Bucknam) 

Other 

No frieze 
Inscriptions 

All upper-case lettering 

Upper- and lower-case lettering 

Base has "The Memory of the Just is Blessed' 

With frame 



Finials 



Coils in finials 

Finial faces 

Fish eyed faces 
Male faces 
Female faces 

Disks 

Other 



Bases 



Leaf and disk 
Strawberry vine 
Leaf 
Headstones having existing footstones 



106 


1675-1714 


23 


1679-1714 


1 


1703 


1 




72 


1675-1713 


3 


1703-1713 


1 


1706 


1 




32 




105 


1675-1714 


3 


1710-1713 


5 


1679-1699 


9 


1680-1714 


86 


1675-1713 


10 


1693-1711 


4 


1693-1703 


3 


1705-1710 


3 


1706-1711 


6 


1703-1714 


6 


1691-1713 


6 


1702-1713 


4 


1691-1714 


3 


1691-1703 


4 


1693-1713 



210 Lamson Family Carvers 

APPENDIX 2: IMPSTONES 

Date of Stones 

Stones dated from 1671 to 1712 

Time gap 1671-1683 due to backdating 
Time gap 1692-1701 due to witchcraft 

Carvers 

Joseph Lamson 25 stones 1671-1706 

Joseph Lamson - "NL" 5 stones 1707-1709 

Lamson shop carvers 15 stones 1706-1712 

Location 

Charlestown 13 stones 1671-1709 

Cambridge 10 stones 1683-1712 

Maiden 3 stones 1692-1706 

Boston, Copp's Hill 2 stones 1709-1712 

Revere 2 stones 1706 

Wakefield 2 stones 1709-1710 

Watertown 2 stones 1691-1709 

Woburn 2 stones 1692-1706 

Andover 1 stone 1707 

Boston, King's Chapel 1 stone 1688 

Chelmsford 1 stone 1704 

Lexington 1 stone 1709 

Medford 1 stone 1701 

Tympanum 

All impstones have winged skulls with eyebrows 

30 Stones with drape over skull 1686-1710 

5 Stones with nothing over skulll 1671-1688 

4 Stones with vine and drape over skull 1702-1709 

5 Stones initialed "NL" 1707-1709 
2 Stones with winged imps in tympanum 1686-1688 
2 Stones with gourds and vine over skull 1709 
2 Stones with hour glass and two winged imps 1686-1688 
2 Double stones 1709-1712 
2 Stones with skulls having coined wings 1671-1684 
1 Stones with birds over skull 1704 
1 Stones with fig and leaves over skull 1710 

1 Stone with vine but no drape 1710 

2 Broken stones 1705-1709 

Frame 

35 Stones with frame 1686-1712 

6 Stones with no frame 1671-1706 



Ralph L. Tucker 211 



Frieze 

36 Stones with all full face imps 1671-1712 

28 "memento MORI" &" MORA fugit" 1689-1712 

26 Stones with imps with pall 1705 
23 Stones with central hour glass 1692-1712 
10 Stones with imps & hour glass 1701-1710 
10 Stones with central pillar 1671-1706 
10 Stones with winged imp 1686-1702 

6 Stones with imps with coffin 

6 Stones with no pillar or hour glass, 1686-1706 
4 Stones with darts 1686-1692 

4 Stones with profile imp 

3 Stones with crossed bones 1694-1703 

2 Stones with plain bones 1701-1702 
1 Broken stone with probable winged imps 1705 
1 "memento te esse mortalem" (in inscription) 1683 
1 Broken stone 1705 
1 Broken stone 1705 

3 Stones with no frieze 1686-1691 

Side 

27 Stones with fruit 1686-1712 

7 Stones with leaf and gourd 1707-1712 
6 Stones with coil leaf 1671-1692 
3 Stones with fruit and gourds 1707-1708 
1 Do wnleaf stone 1706 

Bases 

21 Stones with base borders 1 691 -1 71 2 

14 Stones with probable base borders 1686-1712 

5 Stones with no probable base border 1671-1706 
1 Stone with no base border 1684 

Titles 

26 Men mentioned on stones 

8 Men with no titles 1686-1707 
5 Men with church titles 

2 Rev. and /or Pastor 1704-1709 

2 Deacon 1691-1705 

1 Elder 1683 
11 Men with military titles 

5 Captain 1692-1709 

3 Major 1706-1710 

2 Men with "Major & Esquire" 1 706-1 71 
2 Ensign 1694-1706 
1 Lieutenant 1709 

2 Men with "Mr" 1709-1712 
19 Women mentioned on stones 



212 Lamson Family Carvers 



16 Wife 1671-1712 

9 Mrs 1702-1712 

3 Daughter 1706-1709 

Lettering 

34 Stones with upper-case lettering only 1671-1712 

6 Stones with upper and lower-case lettering 1709-1712 

1 Stone with upper and lower-case lettering in Latin 1704 





Ages 

45 Persons on 41 stones 


19 


Women 7m to 83 years. 


26 


Men 30 to 85 years 


11 


Depth of Stone Setting 

Well set stones 


15 


Sunken to cover base border 


15 


Sunken covering some lettering 



47.4 years average age 
62.4 years average age 



1684-1709 
1671-1712 
1683-1712 



Ralph L. Tucker 



213 



APPENDIX 3: FIGURE STONES 



All are in Mass. except as noteci 







ABBREVIATIONS 




] 


F Frond 




N Noi 


arm holding trumpet 


] 


HG Hourglass 




O One 


' arm holding trumpet 


] 


f Numeral one = 


J 


Sc Script lettering 






Some examples 




Gabriel Stones 
















From trumpet 


1753 


Lambert, Thomas 


Wakefield 


J,N 


Arise ye dead 


1765 


Nichols, Thomas 


Wakefield 


],o 


Arise ye dead 


1775 


Lambert, Elizabeth 


Wakefield 


J,N 


Arise ye dead 


1778 


Nichols, Elizabeth 


Wakefield 


J,o 


Arise ye dead 


1787 


Ford, Samuel 


Woolwich, ME 


J,o 


Know ye the hour 


1790 


Brooks, Noah 


Lincoln 


J,o 


Arise ye dead 


1790 


Cummings, Margaret 


Billerica 


J,o 


Arise ye dead [mirrored] 


1790 


Hinkley, Susanna 


Barnstable 


J,o 


Arise th' dead 


1791 


Pool, Jonathan,Jr. 


Wakefield 


J,N,F 


Think on death 


1799 


Gibbs, John Herpin 


Ansonia, CT 


J,N 


[nothing] 


1799 


Hinkley, Mary 


Barnstable 


J, N, Sc 


Arise ye dead 


1800 


Stimson, Nabby 


Barnstable 


N, italics 


[nothing] 


1804 


Hinkley, Samuel 


Barnstable 


O 


[nothing] 


1806 


Jones, Sylvanus 


W. Barnstable 


O 


[nothing] 


Figure Stones 








1762 


Perkins, Ann 


Newburyport 


Skeleton, scythe, bird, erasure 


1773 


Pearson, Jane 


Byfield 


Skeleton, scythe, HG 


1774 


Nasson, Mary 


York, ME 


Bust, Sc, J 




1775 


Robinson, John 


Portland, ME 


Skeleton, scythe, HG, imp, J 


1776 


Gwyn, Anthony 


Newburyport 


Bust, hat, sword 


1776 


McKean, Sarah 


Ipswich 


Bust, baby, F 




1777 


Knight, Samuel 


Newburyport 


3/4 figure, Sc, J 


1780 


Greenleaf, Benjamin 


Newburyport 


Bust, skull, HG, scythe, F 


1781 


Baldwin, Elizabeth 


Maiden 


Bust, F J 




1782 


Roberts, Thomas 


Newburyport 


Figure, Skeleton, scythe, F, Sc, J 


1783 


Lewis, Stoodly 


Portsmouth, NH 


Bust, F Sc, J 




1784 


Folsom, Mary 


Portsmouth, NH 


Bust, F Sc, J 




1784 


Stacey, Abigail 


Newburyport 


Bust, F Sc 




1787 


Harris, Polly 


Charlestown 


Bust, Skeleton, scythe, dart, F, J 


1789 


Fletcher, Grace 


New Ipswich, NH 


Bust, F J 




1789 


Williams, Sarah 


Revere 


Bust, Skeleton, scythe, dart, F, Sc 


1792 


Chapman, Micah 


Dennis 


Bust, F J 




1801 


Willis, Eliakim 


Maiden 


Bust, J 





214 



Lamson Family Carvers 



APPENDIX 4: GENEALOGICAL CHART AND DATA 

Joseph Lamson 
1658-1722 



Nathaniel 

1692-1755 



WilUam, Sr. 
1694-1755 



Caleb 
1697-1760 



Joseph 
1728-1789 



Joseph 
1760-1808 



David 

carved 1799 



WilUam, Jr. 
1719-1759 



Caleb 

1760-1800+ 



John 

1732-1776 



Samuel 
1773-1818 



The dates in the tables below are approximate but may be helpful despite the variables. 
This table assumes the following: 

1) Joseph ceased carving about 1713 for the reasons given. 

2) Carvers began carving at age fifteen. 

3) A carver's earliest work was lettering. 

4) Carvers carved to the date of death unless otherwise known. 

5) The earliest carved figures are usually crudely carved. 



30+years Joseph 

5 years Joseph, Nathaniel 

1 year Joseph, Nathaniel, Caleb 

30 years Nathaniel, Caleb 

4 years Nathaniel, Caleb, Joseph 

8 years Nathaniel, Caleb, Joseph, John 

5 years Caleb, Joseph, John 
15 years Joseph, John 

1 year Joseph, John, Joseph, Caleb 

12 years Joseph, Joseph, Caleb 

1 year Joseph, Joseph, Caleb, Samuel 

19 years Joseph, Caleb (?), Samuel, David 

10 years Caleb (?), Samuel, David (?) 
Caleb (?), David (?) 



1670S-1707 
1707-1712 
1712-1713 
1713 -1743 
1743 -1747 
1747-1755 
1755-1760 
1760 -1775 
1775-1776 
1776-1788 
1788-1789 
1789-1808 
1808-1818 
1818 up 



Note: The death date of the last Caleb is not known, and only one date of the David's carv- 
ing is known. 



Ralph L. Tucker 215 

APPENDIX 5: LAND RECORDS 

Exerpts from Record Commissioners Reports (Boston) Vol. 3:189-260 

pg. 189 2 Jan 1681 "...to Sergt. Thomas Welch, six Comon & a quarter." "...to Thomas 
Welch, junr, one common and three eights common.." 

pg. 195 Proprietors 1681 #43 Thomas Welch 2 acres 

pg. 196 1685"Thos Welch junr seven acres one half and twenty poles..." 

pg. 197 "Sgt Thomas Welch, twenty one acres, bounded... minde there is within these 
bounds of Welch one quarter of a acre left for a common quarry" 

pg. 198ff "To a Quarry place Cont bounded north East'ly by the County rode to Meno- 
tamies. North East'ly by Richard Lowden & Thomas Carter, Alias the high way 
to Cambridge, west South'ly: by John Mousall West South'ly. Minde Cambridge 
rode is South west'ly." 1685 

pg. 216 "Thomas Welches house, ware mr Lampson now lives, from the door of the said 
house to the street is 18 foot & 1/2" [from pg 262 Survey of Charlestown 1713- 
1714] 

pg. 218 "Jonathan Coves Southwest corner of his lott or pasture near the Quarries 
incroached very much to the damage of the said highway... below the Quarry 
hill... a little below Ralph Mousell's Quarrie... the said Ralph Mousells Quarrie 
pit..." 1714 

pg. 223 Landing place at bottom of Causivay "From Temples fence to Lamsons Shop, for- 
merly Whittemores Land 454 feet." Wliarffe & Landing Place "...lying between 
Lamsons shop & Fosdicks Shop, measuring in the front 33 feet 4 inches, & con- 
tinues said with to low water mark, the North corner of Fosdicks Barn 
encroached near the Wharffe & Lamsons Shop Encroached the front comer." 

pg. 235 "The Quarry... there is about an acre of Land between Hunnewells & Rands:" 
the bounds are given 

pg. 236 "..formerly the Quarry Hill..." Penny Ferry Road "...From Whittermores Land, 
where the house formerly was, just above Lamsons, across to Alfords Fence is 53 
feet." 

pg. 238 6th Range way starts measuring on Menotomy Road "...to the Quarrie Still 
Southerly 79 rods. ..said Quarrie being on Kents Street." "...to Watson's, formerly 
Quarrie Hill..." 

pg. 243 "24th There is a wharffe and landing Place between Mr Fosdicke Shop & Mr 
Lamsons Shop, which runs to low water mark which belongs to the Town." 2 
March 1767 

pg. 256 "...from Mr Lamsons gate to the east corner of Mr Smiths land, opposite, is 125 
feet..." Poivder House Road 

pg. 260 "Dirty Marsh Then we measured the road leading to dirty marsh (so called), 
from Mousalls gate, or Lamsons, through Mr Andrew Kettells land, 47 rods 11 
feet, in a northerly direction..." 



216 Lamson Family Carvers 



APPENDIX 6: DATA ON ALL LAMSON STONES 

This data is mostly from personal observation and many photographs, some of which are 
not easily readable, or which do not include the whole stone. Other data is from notes or 
letters from correspondents. 





Tympanum 


no. of stones 


Death's-heads 




824 


draped 
browless 




273 
94 


Cherub 




221 


with fig footstones 


19 


draped 
Fig in tympanum 
Rower in tympanum 
Bust / figure / Gabriel 
Tree /urn 




9 

80 
78 
35 
25 


Leaf in tympanum 
Coat of arms 




19 
6 


Death's-heads and cherub 


4 


Cherub and Tree & urn 




3 


Strawberry vine 
Other 




3 
6 


No information 


Frieze 


284 


no frieze 




with frieze 


31 


Downleaf stones 


77 


3 
403 


Imp stones 
Death's-head stones 


34 
421 





Cherub & death's-head 


4 


204 


Cherub stone 


24 


19 


Tree & urn stones 





660 




560 



Finial 

22 DEATH SYMBOLS 



15 


Crossbones and hourglass 




3 


Crossbones alone 




2 


Hourglass alone 




2 


Large imps 




158 FACES 






51 


fish faces 


1681 -1704/5 


63 


male faces 


1704-1713 


38 


female faces 


1705 -1717 


2 


male & female faces 


1708 & 1712 


4 


busts 


1709 



Ralph L. Tucker 217 



649 OTHER 




376 


disk 


113 


flower 


110 


coil 


13 


coil leaf 


11 


star 


5 


weeping disk 


8 


leaf alone 


10 


other ( odd, broken, etc) 



196 NOTHING IN FINIAL 
409 DATA NOT AVAILABLE 





Side Border 






Number of stones 


Date used 


Fig and leaf 


176 


1651 -1772 


Leaf 


167 


1688 -1809 


Fruit 


144 


1681 -1766 


Lines 


110 


1742-1803 


Downleaf 


108 


1675-1714 


Leaf and gourd 


106 


1693-1721 


Coil leaf 


70 


1679-1746 


Vine 


38 


1689-1809 


Coil leaf & fig 


18 


1723-1760 


Odd fruit 


16 


1704-1712 


Fat leaf 


10 


1709-1761 


Other 


32 




No information 


475 
TOTAL 1430 


1662-1808 



218 



Protestant Cemetery in Florence 





Fig. 1 Overview of the Protestant Cemetery. 
Anonymous photo, c. 1880. 



219 



THE PROTESTANT CEMETERY IN FLORENCE AND 
ANGLO-AMERICAN AniTUDES TOWARD ITALY 

James A. Freeman 

When Americans or Britons died in Florence during the last century, 
either while travelling or after voluntary exile, their gravemarkers some- 
times eternalized their mixed judgment of the city (and of Italy in gener- 
al). No matter how much northern visitors appreciated the low costs, 
history, art, climate and scenery offered by the queen of Tuscany, they 
rejected the current inhabitants and their burial customs. The Protestant 
Cemetery in Florence symbolizes this curiously binary response to Italy, 
an attraction /aversion reflex notable amongst those who spoke English. 

Florence has always been a mecca for pilgrims eager to improve 
something in their lives, but the earlier stream of aristocratic travellers 
was augmented in the 1800s by a steadily increasing flood of sightseers 
from many social levels. So many newcomers expressed themselves in 
the same way that almost any of them can be quoted to demonstrate 
what most grand tourists felt. Percy Bysshe Shelley's rapturous, "I have 
seldom seen a city so lovely at first sight," echoed the visitors' initial joy. 
Writing to Mary Shelley on August 20, 1818, he painted a word picture of 
what innumerable others had noticed or would notice: 

You see three or four bridges, one apparently supported by Corinthian 
pillars, and the white sails of the boats, relieved by the deep green of the 
forest which comes to the water's edge, and the sloping hills covered with 
bright villas on every side. Domes and steeples rise on all sides, and the 
cleanliness is remarkably great. On the other side there are the foldings of 
the Vale of Arno above, first the hills of olive and vine, then the chestnut 
woods, and then the blue and misty pine forests which invest the aerial 
Apennines that fade in the distance. i 

Once there, Atlantic-based visitors usually revelled in Florentine 
activities. Some, like the enthusiastic Irishwoman Lady Morgan, 
methodically did the sights (the published account of her 1819-20 jour- 
ney fills two substantial volumes). Others, like Shelley when he sat in the 
Cascine Park and composed his "Ode to the West Wind," responded to 
less specific yet still powerful emanations from the city. Its magic 
inspired parents as well as poets: in 1820, William Edward and Frances 
Nightingale named their new-born daughter for the fabled town.^ Visi- 



220 Protestant Cemetery in Florence 



tors used it in ways that ranged from the expected to the idiosyncratic: 
WilHam Dean Howells, like many lesser-known sightseers, sought out 
one street mentioned in George Eliot's Romola (the historical novel of 
Savonarola's time), while Edmund Gosse saw the city's two different 
rivers as private symbols for his father's irreconcilable religious and sci- 
entific aspects.3 

However, behind this adulation lurked a determined stand-offish- 
ness. Balancing one's admiration of things Italian with aversion for the 
country's people became a linguistic formula. For example, a precocious 
fourteen-year old girl wrote in her diary for Tuesday, November 17, 1817, 
"this country with all the charms of climatel,] the fine arts and all the 
richness and beauty of nature bears but weakly a comparison to Eng- 
land. Nature is in perfection[,l but mankind is so degraded by vice that 
people of a better nation tremble at the recital of their dreadful lives." In 
the same tone, a mere four months after praising the majestic Tuscan 
landscape to Mary, Shelley wrote Thomas Love Peacock, "External 
nature in these delightful regions contrasts with and compensates for the 
deformity and degradation of humanity."^ 

This propensity to resist Italian customs also inaugurated behavioral 
formulas. English-speaking tourists who felt indisposed bypassed the 
ancient pharmacy near Santa Maria Novella to patronize the Farmacia 
Inglese on Via Tornabuoni; those who wished to expand their minds 
read at the British Institute Library; those with spiritual yearnings wor- 
shipped at St. James' Episcopalian or St. Mark's Anglican churches. 
Whether in Florence for short or long visits, many strenuously pretend- 
ed to be still at home or among more familiar people. In 1860, George 
Eliot stayed at a Swiss-owned pension while beginning Romola. Return- 
ing the next year with her companion George Lewes, Eliot emphasized 
how little contact they had with residents: he spent his time in the library 
doing background research, and, together, they visited only Mrs. Trol- 
lope or walked at sunset, making sure to avoid "the slow crowds on the 
Lung' Arno." Likewise, the expatriate Brownings remained essentially 
British, praising the movement for Italian unity and choosing burial in 
the city for Elizabeth, but mistrusting their Florentine servants. The testy 
author of Imaginary Conversations, Walter Savage Land or (1775-1864), 
also encouraged Italy's rebellion against the Austrians (he sold his watch 
to finance Garibaldi's campaign in Sicily) and chose to be interred in Flo- 
rence. Having spent two decades in the city, though, Landor took "no 



James A. Freeman 221 



interest whatever in the affairs of the Itahans. I visit none of them: I 
admit none of them within my doors" (he pummeled Itahan workmen 
who displeased him and once threw out his landlord when the poor 
man forgot to remove his hat in Landor's presence). ^ 

The divided reaction of Anglo-Saxon visitors did not go unnoticed. 
Personifying them, L. Villari summed up the dualities that Italians 
sensed: "We pretend to love Italy, they say, yet have no liking for Italians, 
do not care to know them.... Accordingly he [the native] is all the more 
puzzled by the attitude of the travelling English, who unite deep rever- 
ence for the Italy of the past with open indifference to the Italy of today."^ 
Villari's description held true for Britons and the relatively smaller num- 
ber of American visitors. They, too, alternated between reverence and 
revulsion. Mark Twain enjoyed the city while composing Pudd'head Wil- 
son during 1892-93 (the chestnut cake was as good as in Dante's day, and 
he loved "the most dream-like and enchanting sunsets to be found on 
any planet")^; however, he had become so lost during an all-night ram- 
ble on his first trip that he neglected the sights and snorted, "My experi- 
ences of Florence were chiefly unpleasant. I will change the topic." 

Throughout the nineteenth century, then, English and Americans 
strolled on both sides of the Arno, eager to dream in the Medici palace 
but loath to notice some flesh-and-blood contadino selling his vegetables. 
The place they wished to see was the floridly romantic one in Henry 
Holiday's popular painting "Dante and Beatrice." It shows the love- 
struck poet holding his heart when his lady approaches (a moment 
familiar to readers of his Vita Nuova) as well as landmarks along the 
Arno (especially the Ponte Vecchio). Like other auglosassoni in more 
remote countries, Egypt, say, and India, travellers tried to emulate Ali 
Baba in the cave, gazing upon treasures while nervously avoiding any 
touch. They preferred to see the city as a vast museum empty of every- 
one except (as John Ruskin phrased it in the mid-1 870s) "English Trav- 
ellers" studying "Christian Art." Learned aficionadas like Susan and 
Joanna Horner supplied elaborate directions, chronologies and historical 
anecdotes so that even the newcomer might take enriching Walks in Flo- 
rence without the need of a native cicerone.^ 

The Protestant Cemetery at Porta a Pinti (often miscalled the "Eng- 
lish" Cemetery) accepted inhumations between 1828 and 1877 and sym- 
bolizes the cultural bias against Mediterranean custom displayed by the 
very pilgrims who had sought out this eminently southern city. Origi- 



222 Protestant Cemetery in Florence 



nally, the cemetery lay at the city's northern outskirts, a quiet zone, usu- 
ally safe from desecration by Catholic zealots.^ Much of it was built over 
the ruined Ingesuati convent; part of it touched old walls reinforced 
under Michelangelo's direction to defend the city against mercenary 
armies of Germans and Spaniards led by Charles V during the siege of 
1529-30. Thanks to the progressive plans of engineer Carlo Reistammer, 
the ramparts were torn down in the early 1820s and a broad traffic cir- 
cumvallation built around the 8,000 square meter oval. 

By design or accident, this cemetery conformed to the most modern 
European ideas of beauty and utility For roughly a quarter century 
before its opening, theorists had recommended that cemeteries be built 
outside of cities on elevated sites, open to purifying north winds, and 
bordered by ornamental trees, which would sweeten the air, rather than 
by walls.io A photo taken toward the end of the century shows this 
model burial ground, facing the scenic hills Shelley had admired, a per- 
fect locale for dreamless sleep (Fig. D.n It quickly became a goal for vis- 
itors. The travel writer John Stoddard advertised its picturesque charms 
two decades after it closed by stating, "There is a burial-place in Flo- 
rence, dearer by far to all American hearts in its simplicity than even the 
magnificent Santa Croce. It is the Protestant Cemetery''^^ 

Today, however, even before ringing the portiere's bell, the modern 
visitor senses a gap between what the tenants wanted - a calm, green 
knoll from which to look back on the monuments of quattrocento intellect 
- and what they got. Thanks to the ironies of history, that bucolic spot, 
renamed Piazzale Donatello, has become a traffic island which drivers 
notice only because it complicates their straight avenue. Vespas and yel- 
low double-decker buses noisily jockey for position and disregard sleep- 
ers on the hill. Five famous paintings by the Swiss Arnold Bocklin 
emphasize the change. Each "Island of the Dead" (one at New York's 
Metropolitan Museum) was inspired by Porta a Pinti after Bocklin 
buried his infant daughter there in its last year, 1877. The canvases com- 
municate a silent otherworldliness that contrasts to the current tumult. 
Famous as this metropolitan burial ground became, it could not exempt 
itself from the general European pattern described by Philippe Aries: 
"the cemetery had in about 1830 been situated outside the city but was 
encompassed by urban growth and abandoned toward 1870 for a new 
site."" 

Within, too, the Cimitero Protestante seems busy. Even if members of 



James A. Freeman 223 



the Swiss Evangelical Reformed Church, the first and current owners, 
had originally envisioned a simple burial ground like the Old Protestant 
Cemetery in Rome, they ended up with a crowded necropolis superfi- 
cially resembling models in the nearby city (San Miniato, for example). It 
houses 1,409 people from at least sixteen nations. English are the most 
numerous (760) and explain its epithet. But Swiss (433), North Ameri- 
cans (eighty-seven), Italians (eighty-four) and Russians (fifty-four) lie 
with Germans, Hungarians, and Poles. In life, many might have pre- 
ferred the company of their own countrymen; here, they lose their 
national identities and, obedient to Italian concerns about Cathohc or 
non-Catholic, accept new neighbors. 

Two main paths cross at right angles in the center of the oval and 
almost hold the many monuments in a perilous balance. Otherwise, 
there is no obvious visual symmetry. The columnar rond-point erected at 
the paths' crossing by Frederick William IV of Prussia in 1858 does little 
to discipline a viewer's eye. The monarch envisioned a general union of 
Protestant sects and offered protection to the Evangelicals, a necessity 
before the acts of religious toleration went into effect during the early 
1860s. Frederick's project was darkened by two strokes in 1857, and his 
cross-topped pillar, although connoting political order, is literally 
obscured by stately cypresses. Their natural uniformity alone organizes 
the varied human memorials beneath them. 

Crowded though Porta a Pinti may be (like many contemporary 
cemeteries in Italy and elsewhere), three important features distinguish 
it from surrounding camposanti and, indeed, from the majority of burial 
grounds everywhere. It cannot be called a representative resting place 
where a statistically average number of aristocrats and poor sleep 
together. Most graveyards contain native citizens from all social classes, 
some famous, others who saved money all their lives to purchase a plot 
and marker. Genoa's dramatic hillside Staglieno cemetery, for one, shel- 
ters Giuseppe Mazzini and many of his renowned mille, the "thousand" 
who liberated the nation from Austria, as well as a majority of ordinary 
subjects. In Piazzale Donatello, however, many foreign celebrities 
repose. Elizabeth Barrett Browning typifies an elite group that flourished 
away from its native lands. No everyday person inspired Swinburne to 
compose an epitaph such as now appears on the worn stone covering 
Landor's remains. Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861), once the star pupil 
at Thomas Arnold's Rugby School, husband of Florence Nightingale's 



224 



Protestant Cemetery in Florence 



cousin, protege of Emerson, Longfellow, Lowell and Charles Eliot Nor- 
ton, is also interred here. His death, far from Anglo communities, 
prompted Matthew Arnold's "Thyrsis," one of the most notable pastoral 
elegies in English literature. The famous American sculptor Hiram Pow- 
ers (1805-1873), praised for his portrait busts and neo-classical nudes, 
moved to Florence in 1837 and stayed near the source of his glittering 
carrara marble. Close to both these men, in a stately sarcophagus, repos- 
es James Lorimer Graham (1838-1876), the respected editor of Graham's 
Magazine (Fig. 2). He enthusiastically accepted President Grant's 
appointment as Consul General in Florence and, exceeding his charge, 
sought out a wide variety of people to help. He and his wife provided 
quarters in their Villa Orsini on Via Valfonda for Claire Claremont, 
mother of Byron's Allegra; at Christmas, they sold conspicuously non- 
Italian evergreen trees and mistletoe along the Arno to benefit city pau- 
pers. When Graham died at age thirty-eight, Florentines mourned him, 
and Swinburne wrote a moving elegy for his burial.^^ 

The high percentage of notable exiles makes the Protestant Cemetery 
unlike nearby Italian ones for a second reason. Few families repose 
together. Porta a Pinti accepted inhumations for barely half a century, so 




Fig. 2 Memorial to James Lorimer Graham, Jr. (1838-1876). 



James A. Freeman 225 



the linkages are restricted to husbands and wives or parents and chil- 
dren, and these mainly among continental families. Perhaps the non- 
conformists had been prepared psychologically for separation by the 
Protestant emphasis upon direct communication, unmediated by clergy 
or family, between God and individual believers. 

The estrangement that death brings to any survivors here redupli- 
cates itself, however: these sleepers had left our bright world, as every- 
one must, but they departed from Florence, not their familiar London or 
Boston or Basle. According to John Morley and James Stevens Curl, mid- 
century English speakers eased the acceptance of death in their own 
lands with consoling rituals. In Florence, several Hope-and-anchor or 
child-soul-flying-to-heaven statues display this characteristic Victorian 
optimism. Nonetheless, the general impression is of individualism in 
death. Contemporary painters sometimes implied that dying anywhere 
still held much terror. Their canvases remind us how, unlike most deaths 
in Florence, these of foreigners happened among strangers rather than 
kin and must have caused special anxiety.is 

One extraordinary monument in Porta a Pinti, a jarringly medieval 
reaper erected by a fond father and brother for a 17-year old girl, under- 
scores the isolation required because of citizenship or religion. Andrea di 
Mariano Casentini (1853-1870) rests under a scythe-wielding skeleton 
that clashes with the usual mid-nineteenth century emblems of consola- 
tion (Fig. 3). Rather than easing the survivors' grief, it preaches a moral 
more reminiscent of Savonarola and Cotton Mather than John Wesley. 
The skeleton suggests how tenuous was the supposed resignation to 
death, at least among some exiles. 

A final distinctive feature: the memorials of these family-less nota- 
bles may differ from one another, but each resolutely marks the perma- 
nent abode of the deceased. Tenants disregarded the European custom 
(employed as well in New Orleans' Saint Louis cemeteries) of burying 
the dead for a few years and then digging up the remains so they might 
be reinterred in a wall niche (even today, the normal subterranean tenure 
in Venice's island cemetery, San Michele, is a mere ten years). ^^ Rather, 
these varied stones imply a final abode in which the loved one can rest 
forever, free from translation as soon as the fee for below-ground privi- 
lege has been exhausted. Like the English dead in Thomas Gray's coun- 
try churchyard, "Each [is] in his narrow cell forever laid."i'' 

This permanence may be due to the absence of an established church 



226 



Protestant Cemetery in Florence 




Fig. 3 Memorial to Andrea di Mariano Casentini (1853-1870). 

with adjacent open ground (the Evangelical Church's historian Andre 
lists at least six buildings in Florence used for worship during years that 
the cemetery was open). Also, social custom changed, and many sur- 
vivors preferred to let the loved one remain in the city. An earlier habit of 



James A. Freeman 227 



shipping non-Catholic bodies to Livorno became difficult when the Flo- 
rentine Protestant community grew. Because expatriates tried to cling to 
practices of their original lands, while also adjusting to meet local needs, 
the segregation by class, the deemphasis of family, and the habit of eter- 
nal inhumation should not surprise us. 

What might give us pause, however, are the obvious ways that the 
monuments in the Protestant cemetery, which range from simple to 
extravagant, defy most concessions to regional custom. Only one head- 
stone, whose year cannot be read, conforms to a common Italian type. 
Although tall grass now grows from the plot in front of the curved, 
upright slab, it bears, in the fashion of mid-century stones on both sides 
of the Atlantic, a picture of the deceased. The touching epitaph, though, 
appears to be quite Mediterranean. Twenty-three-year old Bianca Bian- 
chini died after less than one month of marriage. Her motto turns upon 
a conceit: "Povera Bianca / U tuo velo minziale / dopo 24 gionii / si cambid in 
drappo fimereo" ("Poor Bianca. Your wedding veil, after twenty four days, 
was changed into a funeral wrapping"). Such sentiment might seem 
more in keeping with the flamboyant Italians than the rational northern- 
ers. True, John Dryden had expressed the same paradox when he wrote 
these lines "Upon the Death of Lord Hastings" in 1649: "Must noble 
Hastings immaturely die, / The honor of his ancient family, / Beauty 
and Learning thus together meet, / To bring a Winding for a Wedding- 
sheet!" But the English author was barely nineteen, and the taste of his 
age admitted metaphysical wit. A parallel conceit occasionally appears 
on English stones. Ainsworth's Magazine for 1842 records an inscription 
"at Kensal Green" that complements that of Bianca: "The coffin must be 
her bridal bed, / The winding sheet must wrap her head." John Morley 
rightly characterizes the verse as "ineptly romantic," and 1 suspect that 
the English sleeper came from a social class below that of most Anglo- 
Florentines, i^ 

The concentrated emotion evident in Bianca's italianate stone seems 
to contrast with the severe factuality commemorating another prema- 
turely dead bride, this one an Englishwoman. William Holman Hunt, 
the Pre-Raphaelite painter, married Fanny Waugh on December 28, 1865. 
He was determined to show her the Holy Land (he had visited it in the 
previous decade), but a cholera epidemic diverted the newly-weds to 
Fiesole. There Fanny died at age thirty-three, soon after giving birth to a 
child also destined to perish. The memorial Hunt designed is a curvilin- 



228 



Protestant Cemetery in Florence 



ear domed coffin resting on foam-like stone which, in turn, sits upon a 
soHd rectangular pediment (Fig. 4). The simple plaque attached to the 
north side of the base, the one facing Elizabeth Barrett Browning's mon- 
ument, reads, "FANNY / the wife of / W. HOLMAN HUNT / died in 
florence Dec. 20. 1866 / in the first year of her marriage." Restraint and a 
hope of salvation mingle - the streamlined coffin has cross-like decora- 
tions at either end that result from an ornamental fillet resembling a true- 
love knot. Hunt's piety apparently furnished him with a security that 
needed no mannerist cleverness to express itself. 

But the same memorial that announces Hunt's resistance to Italy 
("one who sees her young is lost") also communicates another gesture, 
of personal guilt, perhaps, or florid romantic despair. Hunt anxiously 
supervised the carving of this marker (a common ritual for survivors). If 
cemeteries must sum up the deceased, they also materialize fantasies of 
the living. Hunt's life had already been complicated by questions of inti- 
macy. His paintings reveal a preoccupation with sexuality. Timothy 
Hilton notes how "the Shakesperean scenes which fascinate Hunt are 
those in which are displayed a strong sense of sin and sexual guilt." 
Illustrating Measure For Measure in 1860, for instance. Hunt chooses the 




Fig. 4 Memorial to Fanny Waugh Hunt (1833-1866). 



James A. Freeman 



229 




Fig. 5 William Holman Hunt, "Isabella and the Pot of Basil," 1867. 
Courtesy Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington 



230 Protestant Cemetery in Florence 



moment when Isabella reveals to her brother Claudio that she refused to 
sleep with Angelo, the temporary ruler, in exchange for a pardon from 
death for the helpless Claudio. In another instance ("A Street Scene in 
Cairo: The Lantern Maker's Courtship"), Hunt pictured a grinning Arab 
lantern maker who feels the contours of his beloved's face beneath her 
veil. This interest in disovering a hidden lover, here expressed in a play- 
fully erotic way, reappears in his illustration for John Keats' poem 
"Isabella and the Pot of Basil" (Fig. 5). The macabre tale, originally in 
Boccaccio's Decameron, tells how the distraught Isabella learned from her 
lover's ghost that he had been murdered by her snobbish brothers. She 
digs up his head and hides it in a pot of basil, which she visits daily and 
waters with her tears. i^ 

I suggest that Hunt's anxiety about the dark trinity of god-sex-death 
encodes itself in the outwardly simple sarcophagus he chose for Fanny. 
Its rounded end copies the shape of the basil pot, and it may recall those 
many hours that Fanny, sick with her difficult pregnancy, posed in 
scorching heat for sketches of Isabella. A portrait of Fanny finished in 
1868 shows her with a neat bow at her throat - reminiscent of the fillet on 
the sarcophagus. Behind her, a mirror reflects the chandelier, a curved 
urn, and a shallow glass bowl four times. Possibly the painter reused the 
familiar shapes for Fanny's monument because he longed for her to 
return just as, in his painting, the lights and the curved objects on the 
mantel repeat their existence.^o 

Many markers for other English speakers in the Protestant Cemetery 
resisted Italian culture by claiming that the deceased's real life was lived 
far from Florence. Like the English in Victoria, British Columbia, who 
planted old world yew, holly and boxwood trees in Ross Bay Cemetery 
so that the new world pines would not dominate their last home, the 
planners of several stones in Florence wanted to recall those lands the 
dead had left behind, not the one in which they died. Sir David Dumb- 
reek (1805-1876), a professional soldier originally from Scotland, served 
in the Crimea and advertised his military identity by displaying five 
medals, including the K.C.B., on his stone (Fig. 6). Gilbert and Sullivan's 
H.M.S. Pinafore (1878) laughs at the inept Sir Joseph Porter and his 
K.C.B., but Sir David's memorial communicates a patriotic seriousness 
unlike that of a comic "monarch of the sea." Dumbreck's classical 
upright slab and simple iron fence mark off a space appropriate for one 
who respected tradition and clear boundaries. His method of eternaliz- 



James A. Freeman 



231 




Fig. 6 Memorial to Sir David Dumbreck (1805-1876). 



232 Protestant Cemetery in Florence 



ing martial accomplishment reappears in northern monuments. A 
French nurse major ("Infermiere Major") born in the decade of Sir 
David's death, Maman Perdon (1872-1954) lies in the cemetery of St. Vin- 
cent, Paris, and displays twelve medals on her uniform.21 

The marker of another soldier, "LIEUTN GENERAL JOHN FOXE / 
OF NEWCASTLE IRELAND / WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE THE 26 OF 
FEBRUARY 1837 AGED 67," deftly combines southern and northern 
motifs to emphasize his allegiance to the British Isles (Fig. 7). At the cen- 
ter of Foxe's cross is featured a pelican in its piety, found throughout 
Europe as an emblem of sacrificial love. Dante calls Jesus "nostro pelli- 
cano,'"^"^ and recalls the long identification of Christ with the bird that 
reputedly revives its young by lacerating its own breast and feeding 
them with his blood. However, as if to prove the truth of Foxe's pilgrim 
motto ("THE JUST PASSETH THROUGH DEATH UNTO LIFE"), the 
upright and two arms of his almost- Celtic cross echo the shape of the 
three tri-lobed shamrocks pictured on the end pieces. This plant directs 
one's attention, not to Christendom in general, but to Ireland. Shamrocks 
may indicate his belief in the Trinity; still, their most immediate associa- 
tion for a countryman would be geographical, not theological. The Gen- 
eral's family crest at the base adds a further element to this bi-cultural 
cross and creates a new triad of adopted nation / original homeland / 
family that bespeaks a longing for personal significance no matter what 
the immediate region might be. 

A similar urge to pretend that the deceased lay under familiar skies 
may be felt when one stands before the memorial to Theodore Parker 
(1810-1860) (Fig. 8). The famous Boston transcendentalist minister, whom 
his friend Emerson called "our Savonarola" because he spoke so elo- 
quently against the Mexican War and in favor of John Brown, runaway 
slaves and Native Americans, rests under a dignified protrait-and-legend 
marker. John Hart sculpted it shortly after his death and meant to remind 
visitors of Parker's amazing oratorical skills. Across the wide ocean, 
Leonard Wood (1774-1864), another noted preacher, sleeps in the Phillips 
Academy Cemetery, Andover, Massachusetts, facing Harriet Beecher 
Stowe (Fig. 9). Wood's marker, sadly worn now, once displayed a striking 
profile and engraved biography, and shows how traditional was Parker's 
monument (as if to reaffirm Parker's New England identity, a Massachu- 
setts pine was originally planted behind the stone in Florence).^^ 

The two clearest reminders of a distant homeland mark the graves of 



James A. Freeman 



233 




Fig. 7 Memorial to Lieutenant General John Foxe (1770-1837). 



234 



Protestant Cemetery in Florence 




Fig. 8 Memorial to Theodore Parker (1810-1860). 



James A. Freeman 



235 




Fig. 9 Memorial to Rev. Leonard Wood (1774-1864). 
Philips Academy Cemetery, Andover, Mass. 



236 



Protestant Cemetery in Florence 



Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) and Frances Trollope (1780- 
1863). On June 29, 1861, Mrs. Browning died in Robert's arms, having 
just kissed him. Her burial took place on Monday, July 1, at 7 p.m. 
Although she had worshipped with Dissenters during their fifteen-year 
residence in the city, Robert preferred to hear "those only words" which 
began the Anglican service. Thus, the chaplain of the English church 
officiated. Soon afterward, Robert sketched the preliminary design for a 
monument; Lord Frederic Leighton did the detailed plan; Giovannozzi 
sculpted it. Leighton already had an affinity for the Brownings. His sen- 
timental picture of honeymooners who hold hands while the man draws 
might have illustrated his friends' loving relationship. Robert, in turn, 
eased Leighton's worry about creating a fit memorial ("Don't fret; you 
will do everything like yourself in the end, I know").24 

Elizabeth's monument (Fig. 10) blends ancient. Renaissance and 
modern motifs, so that anyone who knew her would have understood 
that her ideals were being translated into stone. The laurel-crowned 
female in the medallion may be any one of three women. Perhaps 
Leighton meant it to portray Elizabeth. When William Wordsworth died 
in 1850, Elizabeth, not the less famous Robert, was put forward to be the 




Fig. 10 Memorial to Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861). 



James A. Freeman 



237 




Fig. 11 Memorial to Frances TroUope (1780-1863). 



238 



Protestant Cemetery in Florence 




Fig. 12 Memorial to the Magoun family. 
Mount Auburn Cemetery, Boston, Mass. 



James A. Freeman 239 



new poet laureate of England. Then again, the woman may be Poetry in 
general or Elizabeth's fictional alter ego, Aurora Leigh, a poet who 
pluckily forged a life and profession for herself. The medallion is brack- 
eted by lilies, symbol of Florence and, in the Brownings' private mythol- 
ogy, of freedom from Britain's cold climate, her harsh father and the 
repressive Austrians. 

One last monument to both a person and a life away from Italy was 
erected by Frances Trollope's dutiful son. Her long career (1780-1863) 
ended on October 6, 1863. Thomas Adolphus Trollope soon after placed 
this touching memorial (Fig. 11). The grieving female kneels in profound 
meditation, praying and perhaps regretting that she must leave the 
world she had enjoyed for so long. During most of Mrs. Trollope's twen- 
ty-year stay in Florence, her salon attracted eminent visitors, eager to 
meet the author of some thirty novels and savor her famous wit (her last 
home, where she staged amateur plays, is still known as Villino Trol- 
lope). We may ask why the ebullient woman should be eternalized by 
such a plorante, but an analogous monument in Boston's Mount Auburn 
Cemetery (Fig. 12) once again shows how formulaic were these sculpt- 
ings. The somber Magoun monument echoes that of Mrs. Trollope and 
demonstrates that Anglo-Saxon tradition sometimes eclipsed individual 
statements.25 

While these voluntary exiles were simultaneously absorbing Italian 
culture in life and rejecting it at death, Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1860 
wrote in The Marble Faun (a novel inspired by the author's own travels in 
Italy), "bad as the world is said to have grown, innocence continues to 
make a paradise around itself, and keep it still unfallen."^^ Whatever a 
modern viewer might feel about the colonialist mentality of the sleepers 
in Florence, 1 should like to think that they would welcome such a 
respectful description, and understanding, of their final resting place. 

NOTES 

Partial support for research was provided by the Graduate School, Uruversity of Massa- 
chusetts, Amherst. In addition, I have profited from the comments of colleagues. Professors 
Gary Aho, Robert Bagg, Paul Mariani, and Meredith B. Raymond, as well as from respon- 
dents to short versions presented to the American Culture Association, Toronto, March, 
1990, the Association for Gravestone Studies, Bristol, RI, June, 1990, and the anonymous 
reviewers for Markers. Professor Sara and Doctor Anna Volterra, who live near Porta a 
Pinti, have done so much for me that Anglo-Saxon words fail to express my profound grat- 
itude. All photographs were taken by the author, with the exception of Fig. 1, which is in 



240 Protestant Cemetery in Florence 



the public domain, and Fig. 5, which is reproduced courtesy of the Delaware Art Museum, 
Wilmington, Delaware. 

1. Quoted in Newman Ivey White, Shellex/ (New York, 1940), 2:31-32. C. P. Brand dis- 
cusses "Italo-mania" in Italy and the English Romantics. The Italianate Fashion in Early 
Nineteenth-Century England (Cambridge, Eng., 1957). Harry W. Rudman continues the 
history of English involvement with Italy through the 1860s in Italian Nationalism and 
English Letters. Figures of the Risorgimento and Victorian Men of Letters (London, 1940). 
John Pemble offers a superb general account of visitors to countries such as Greece 
and Egypt, as well as Italy, in The Mediterranean Passion: Victorians and Edwardians in 
the South (Oxford, 1988). 

2. Lady Morgan, Italy. Being the Substance of a Journal of Her Residence in That Country 
[1819-20], New Edition, 2 vols. (London, 1824). A memorial lapide on a wall in the first 
cloister of Santa Croce opposite the Pazzi chapel honors the birth of Miss Nightingale. 

3. William Dean Howells, Tuscan Cities (Boston and New York, 1894), 15. Edmund 
Gosse, Father and Son (Boston, 1907, Rpt. 1965), 74-75. 

4. Harriet Charlotte Beaujolois Campbell, A Journei/ To Florence in 1817 , ed. G. R. de Beer 
(London, 1951), 126-27. Shelley's letter of December 22, 1818, from Naples, is in Eng- 
lish Romantic Poetry and Prose, ed. Russell Noyes (New York, 1956), 1113. 

5. George Eliot, Letters, ed. Gordon S. Haight (New Haven, Conn., 1954). Pension: 3:294; 
walks, 3:419. "In Memory of Walter Savage Landor" may be found in Swinburne's 
Poems and Ballads. First Series (London, 1889), 153-55. C.P Brand captures the spirit of 
this contradictory man, offering the anecdotes cited and then reminding us, "Yet there 
was always something Italian which attracted the exiles: with Landor it was the litera- 
ture": Italy and the English Romantics, 12. 

6. L. Villari, "Italians and English," The National Review 9 (November 1883): 371. 

7. Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins, ed. Sidney E. Berger 
(New York, 1980), 1-2. The second quotation is from The Innocents Abroad (New York, 
1911), 167. 

8. See John Ruskin, The "Works, eds. E. T Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, vol. 23 (Lon- 
don, 1906), which contains Val D'Arno (1874), The Aesthetic and Mathematic Schools of 
Florence (1874), and Mornings in Florence: Being Simple Studies of Christian Art for Eng- 
lish Travellers (1875-77). Susan and Joanna Horner, Walks in Florence, 2 vols. (London, 
1873). 

9. In his 1 877 Notice Historique sur le Cimetiere de I'Eglise Evangelique Reformee de Florence a 
Porta Pinti, Gustave Dalgas recounts an incident from the cemetery's early days when 
vandals, "inspires par le fanatisme," climbed the walls and ruined flowers, hedges, 
and monuments. The "profanation" was not repeated, and Dalgas notes the general 
benevolence of the populace and the government. The Notice is reprinted as an 
appendix in Tony Andre, L'Eglise Evangelique Reformee de Florence depuis son Origine 
jusqu'a nos Jours (Rorence, 1899), 283-308. Profanation: 287. 



James A. Freeman 241 



10. Richard A. Etlin, The Architecture of Death. The Transformation of the Cemetery in Eigh- 
teenth-Centiir\j Paris (Cambridge, Mass, 1987), 300. 

11. The old photo also adorns the title page of a small guide by Luigi Santini, // Cimitero 
Protestante detto «degli Inglesi» in Firenze (Firenze, 1981). 

12. John Stoddard, Lectures, vol. 8 (Boston, 1903), 78. Modern Italians also respond to the 
cemetery's spell. See Franco Forini's poem, "Camposanto degli Inglesi," in The New 
Italian Poetry, 1945 to the Presoit. A Bilingual Anthology, ed. and trans. Lawrence R. 
Smith (Berkeley, Cal., 1981), 46-49. 

13. Philip Aries, Westejit Attitudes Toward Death: From the Middle Ages to the Present, trans. 
Patricia M. Ranum (Baltimore, 1974), 97. 

14. Clara Louise Dentler conveniently summarizes biographical information for Graham 
and others in Famous Foreigners in Florence, 1400-1900 (Firenze, 1964). Graham: 101- 
102, 300. A more complete study is Giuliana Artom Treves, Anglo-Fiorentini di cento 
annifa (Firenze, 1953). 

15. John Morley, Death, Heaven and the Victorians (London, 1971). James Stevens Curl, The 
Victorian Celebration of Death (London, 1972). Several paintings illustrate the themes of 
terror and loss. Arthur Hughes' "Home From the Sea" (1863) shows a young sailor 
weeping in an English cemetery, obviously returned too late to have comforted the 
departed. Thomas Charles Farrer's "Gone! Gone!" (1860) portrays a forlorn woman, 
perhaps pregnant, against a seascape, hinting that her lover/ husband will not return. 
In "Vail of Rest" (1858), John Everett Millais depicts nuns burying their dead, but he 
disconcerts the viewer by having one nun stare directly out of the canvas. In Henry 
Alexander Bowler's "The Doubt. Will These Bare Bones Live Again?" (1858), a young 
woman leans on a gravemarker and ponders newly unearthed bones. 

16. Conversation with Fr Vittorino Meneghin, Prior, Franciscan Convent, San Michele, 
Venice, June, 1989. 

17. Thomas Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard," in The Norton Anthology of 
English Literature, ed. M.H. Abrams, et al, 5th Ed. (New York, 1986), I: 2480-2483. 

18. John Dryden, "Upon the Death of Lord Hastings," in Vie Works of ]ohn Dryden, ed. 
Edward Niles Hooker and H.T. Swedenberg, Jr (Berkeley, Cal., 1961), 1: 3-6. The Ken- 
sal Green epitaph is quoted in Morley, 43. 

19. Timothy Hilton, The Pre-Raphaelites (New York, 1974), 86. There are two versions of 
"Isabella and the Pot of Basil," both painted in 1867, one at Laing, Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne, the other at the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington. Roland Elzea intelligently 
discusses the latter version in The Samuel and Mari/ R. Bancroft, Jr. and Related Pre- 
Raphaelite Collections (Wilmington, Del.: Delaware Art Museum, 1984), 66-68. Hunt's 
fascination with grieving is also evident in his 1849 engraving, "Of My Lady in 
Death," reproduced in John NicoU, The Pre-Raphaelites (London, 1970), 38. 

20. Collection of Paul A'Court Bergne. Reproduced in Mary Bennett, William Holman 



242 Protestant Cemetery in Florence 



Hunt: An Exhibition by the Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool, 1969), plate 76. Hunt lament- 
ed to a fellow artist on November 19, 1867, that he had no likeness of Fanny: "I wish 
so much you had done one of my dear wife." A few lines later. Hunt mentions "sweet 
'Isabella' mourning over her pot of basil," a significant juxtaposition. See A Pre- 
Raphaelite Friendship. The Correspondence of William Holman Hunt and John Lucas Tupper, 
eds. James H. Coombs, et al. (Ann Arbor, Mich., 1986), 79. 

21 . John Adams supplied the data on Ross Bay at the American Culture Association con- 
vention, St. Louis, 1989. The prototype for Porter was a land-locked bookseller named 
W. H. Smith whom Disraeli appointed First Lord of the Admiralty at the time of Sir 
David's death. Judi Culbertson and Tom Randall picture Maman Perdon's memorial 
in Permanent Parisians. An Illustrated Guide to the Cemeteries of Paris (Chelsea, VT., 
1986), 138. [Editor's Note: The practice of depicting medals on gravemarkers is an 
important (and ongoing) French funerary tradition: monuments bearing such decora- 
tion are frequently found in cemeteries throughout the country.] 

22. Dante, Paradiso 25. 113. Near Foxe's marker lies Clara Mathilde Westznthius nee Sal- 
vetti (1802-1863). Her elaborate memorial, a compendium of symbols such as the 
reversed tedae, burning heart, phoenix, and cross-holding, upwardly-pointing 
woman, also displays on its front a similar pelican. 

23. John Weiss describes Parker's memorial in Life and Correspondence of Theodore Parker, 2 
vols. (New York, 1864), 2:441-42. The Savonarola epithet appears in Henry Steele 
Commager, Theodore Parker (Boston, 1936), ix. 

24. Leonee and Richard Ormond reproduce the plan in Lord Leighton (New Haven and 
London, 1975), plates 98, 99, 100. Leighton's "The Painter's Honeymoon" is in the 
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Mrs. Russell Barrington prints Browning's letter, dated 
August 30, 1863, in The Life, Letters and Work of Frederic Leighton, 2 vols. (New York, 
1906), 2:65. 

25. Helen Heineman, Mrs. Trollope: The Triumphant Feminine in the Nineteenth Century 
(Athens, Ohio, 1979), 297, quotes the mock epitaph which fun-loving Frances com- 
posed and might have preferred to have inscribed on her monument: 

I Mrs. Trollope 

Made these vols, roll up; 

And when Heaven shall take my soul up 

My works will fill a big hole up. 

26. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun (New York, 1958), 321. 



243 



Contributors 

C. Fred Blake is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University 
of Hawaii. He has conducted and published ethnographic studies in 
rural Hong Kong and Among Chinese Americans in Honolulu and in 
the midwestern United States. 

David Vance Finnell has degrees in American history and English liter- 
ature from Washington & Lee University and the University of Texas at 
San Antonio. Currently an English teacher at Flint High School in Oak- 
ton, Virginia, he taught English at the United States Military Academy, 
West Point, New York, from 1982-1986. His articles have appeared in Civil 
War and Blue mid Gray magazines. 

James A. Freeman is Professor of English at the University of Massachu- 
setts /Amherst. Author and editor of works on British poet John Milton, 
he has also written about subjects ranging from the Biblical Samson to 
Donald Duck. He is currently completing a book on the subject of Amer- 
ican radio from 1928-1955. 

David M. Gradwohl, Professor of Anthropology at Iowa State Universi- 
ty, lists as his principal research interest the relationship of ethnicity and 
material culture. His published books and articles have dealt with the 
prehistory, archaeology, and ethnoarchaeology of the Prairies and Plains. 
A past president of the Plains Anthropological Society, he is currently a 
member of the Board of Editors of the National Association for Ethnic 
Studies. 

Stephen Petke holds degrees in business administration and American 
Studies from Connecticut State University and Trinity College. A life- 
long resident of Connecticut, he has concentrated his research on the 
colonial gravestones of the Farmington Valley. 

Ralph L. Tucker is a retired clergyman who has been involved with 
genealogical research and the study of New England gravestones since 
the early 1960s. He was the first president of the Association for Grave- 
stone Studies, and in 1992 was recipient of the organization's Harriette 
M. Forbes Award. His article on the Mullicken Family gravestone 
carvers of Bradford, Massachusetts appeared in Markers IX. 



244 



Index 



Boldface page numbers indicate illustrations 



Adams, Ezra 37 

Adams, Hannah 37 

Adams, Matthew 10, 11 

Adath Jeshurun Synagogue and Cemetery 

(Louisville, KY) 116, 124, 125, 126, 140, 

142 
Agudath Achim Congregation and 

Cemetery (Louisville, KY) 116, 124, 

125, 142, 143 
Ainsworth's Magazine 227 
Alcock, Benjamin 182 
Alexandria Marble Works 106 
Alexandria, VA 91-115 
Allen, James 186 
Angier, Hannah 186 
Anshei Sfard Synagogue and Cemetery 

(Louisville, KY) 116, 124, 125, 126, 

134-142 
Aries, Phillipe 169-170, 222 
Ayres, Sarah 152 

Barber, Calvin 1-51,36 

Barber, Daniel 2, 12, 15 

Barber, Jared 27 

Barber, Martha (Phelps) 2 

Barrett, Mary 178 

Beach, Ephraim 179 

Bell Rock Burial Ground (Maiden, MA) 

154, 200 
Bestor, Dudley 30,33 
Bestor, Henry 29 
Bestor, Horace 27 
Bestor, John 29 
Beth Hamedrash Hagodol Synagogue 

(Louisville, KY) 122, 125 
Beth Israel ("Polish") Synagogue 

(Louisville, KY) 124 
Bianchini, Bianca 227 
Bird, Jonathan 15-17,16 
Blanchard, Samuel 179 
Blower, Pyam and Elizabeth 166, 173, 179 
B'nai Jacob Synagogue (Louisville, KY) 

122, 125 
Boston Museum of Fine Arts 186 
Bocklin, Arnold 222 



Boylston Street Burial Ground (Boston, 

MA) 200 
Brigham, Samuel 185, 186 
Brith Shalom Congregation and Cemetery 

(Louisville, KY) 116, 122, 124, 126-128, 

130 
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett 220, 223, 228, 

236, 236-239 
Browning, Robert 220, 236 
Bucknam, Marcy 162 
Burchstead, John 188 
BurrilLJohn 188 
But, Jim 67,67 

Cambridge Burial Ground (Cambridge, 

MA) 154 
Canton Delta (China) 76-78, 87 
Carter, Ann 160 
Case, Amasa, Jr. 33 
Case, Deborah 6, 7 
Case, Elizabeth 24,27 
Case, Farrend 37 
Case, Job 20 
Case, Mary 29 
Case, Moses 20 
Case, Seymour 33 
Case, Wealthy 29 

Casentini, Andrea di Mariano 225, 226 
Caulfield, Ernest 203 
Cave Hill Cemetery (Louisville, KY) 116, 

118, 143, 143 
Charlestown, MA 151-217 
Chataigne's Alexandria City Directory 104 
Chatham, James 101-104,101-102 
Chauncey, William 104 
Chen Family 85 

Cheuhng-Kzving Leih gung mouh 58, 59, 66 
Chin,Juanita 61,75,75 
Chiu, Seng 60, 61, 84 
Chyuhn-Sauh Leuhng giing mouh 54, 63 
Chung Family 85 

Cimetiere St. Vincent (Paris, France) 232 
Claremont, Claire 224 
Clark, Mary 18,18 
Clark, Thomas 173 



245 



C.L Neale & Sons Marble Yard 91-115, 92 

Clough, Arthur Hugh 223-224 

Codner, Abraham 35 

Colgate, Edward 92 

Connecticut Couraitt 27 

Cooper, Anna 186 

Copps Hill Burial Ground (Boston, MA) 

173, 193 
Cowles, John 15 
Curl, James Stevens 225 
Custin, William 153, 204-205 
Cuvillier, Jane P. 95, 97 

DangSei-Chih 70 
Da vies, J- W. 108 
Des Moines, I A 117 
de sola Pool, David 127-128 
De Vaughn, John 92 
Dickenson, Selah 26, 29 
Dickson, William 163, 165 
Dryden, John 227 
Dumbeck, David 230,231 

Eliot, George 220 
Ellsworth, Elmer 100 
Ensign, Love 8, 9 
Ensign, Zebe 27 

Farber, Daniel and Jessie Lie 205 
Farmer, Mary 193 
Farmington Valley vi, 1-51 
Fletcher, James 27 
Fletcher, Samuel 157, 161 
Florence, Italy 219-242 
Folsom, Mary 197 
Foo, Ching 53 

Forbes, Harriette 154, 156, 159, 164 
Foxe,John 232,233 
Freemasonry (Masonic Orders) 17 
Frederick William IV of Prussia 223 

Gardner, Margaret 182 

Gay Richard 19,22 

Goodrich, David 37 

Gosse, Edmund 220 

Gradwohl, Hanna Rosenberg 117 

Gradwohl, Hattie Hilpp 117,118 

Graham, Freeman 35 

Graham, James Lorimer 224, 224 



Graham, Lydia 34, 35 

Granary Burial Ground (Boston, MA) 190 

Gray, Thomas 225 

Green, Morris 137,140 

Greenleaf, Benjamin 198 

Griffin, Ruth 32, 35 

Grimes, Joseph 182 

Grimes, William 182,184 

Gwyn, Anthony 186,187,198 

Hale, Sarah 194 

Hammond, John and Prudence 157 

Harlow Family monument 105, 106 

Harrington, Henry 27-29 

Harrington, Stephen 27-29 

Harris, Polly 195, 198 

Hart, John 232 

Hartshorne, John 152 

Hartshorne, Thomas 152 

Hastings, Daniel 196, 205 

Hawthorne, Nathaniel 239 

Hayes, Hilphah 37 

Hays, Asa 27 

Hays, Eden 27 

Hays, Samuel 20,22 

Hays, Simeon 22 

Herman Meyer and Son Mortuary 

(Louisville, KY) 122 
Hilpp, Elias and Theresa Maas 118-122, 

121, 145 
Hilpp, Samuel 117, 118, 145 
Hilton, Timothy 228 
Holcomb, Henry J. and Harriet 22 
Holcomb, Luther 22 
Holcomb, Nancy and Candice 22 
Holiday, Henry 221 
Hong, Eng 58, 59, 66 
Hop Brook Quarry (Simsbury, CT) 4-6 
Hop Meadow Burying Yard 

(Simsbury,CT) 1 
Horner, Susan and Joanna 221 
Hoskins, Robert 21,22 
Howells, William Dean 220 
Humphrey, Amasa 22, 23, 27 
Humphrey, Asenath 6, 8 
Humphrey, Campbell 35 
Humphrey, Dudley 35 
Humphrey, Elihu 2, 3, 6 
Humphrey, Hezekiah 15 



246 



Humphrey, Hoel 22 
Humphrey, Jonathan 8, 10 
Humphrey, Rowena 2 
Humphreys, Hannah 25, 27 
Hunt, Fanny Waugh 227-230, 228 
Hunt, William Holman 227-230 

"Isabella and the Pot of Basil" 229, 230 

Jackson, Andrew 102 
Jackson, James 100 
Jackson, Samuel 190 
Jewik Family 68, 70 
Jiiih Fun-Jeuk 58, 64, 68 
Jiuh mahn Jung si 52, 71 
Jue,JackG. 67,70,70 
Jue, Paul and Lum Shee 55, 55 

Kaets, Richard 157 

Kee, Yee Wing 57 

Keneseth Israel Synagogue and Cemetery 

(Louisville, KY) 116, 124, 125, 126, 134, 

134-142 
Kensal Green Cemetery (London, 

England) 227 
Kern, Daniel 132, 133 
King, Bemjamin S. 93, 95 
King, William F. 104 
Knowles, Robert 167 
Kreitman, Sam and Fannie 136, 139-140 

Lady Morgan 219 

Lahm mahn Leiihng si mouh 71, 72 

Lam, Ting Cheuk 58 

Lamson, Caleb (1697-1760) 153,162, 

177-179,181-190,201,204 
Lamson, Caleb (d. 1724) 189 
Lamson, Caleb (d. 1757) 189 
Lamson, Caleb (1760-1800+) 191-200 
Lamson, David 193 
Lamson, Dorothy Hancock 181 
Lamson, Dorothy Mousal (wife of Joseph) 

152 
Lamson, Dorothy Mousal (wife of 

Nathaniel) 179 
Lamson, Elizabeth (d. 1707) 161 
Lamson, Elizabeth (d. 1723) 188 
Lamson, Elizabeth (d. 1794) 198 
Lamson, Elizabeth Burch 201 



Lamson, Elizabeth Mitchell (d. 1703) 

152, 161 
Lamson family 151-217 
Lamson, Frances Webb 191 
Lamson, Hannah 189 
Lamson, Hannah Judson 203 
Lamson, Hannah Welch 152 
Lamson, John 191-192,204 
Lamson, Joseph (1658-1722) 151-178, 169, 

179-180, 182, 185, 188, 204 
Lamson, Joseph (1728-1789) 190-192, 198, 

204 
Lamson, Joseph (1760-1808) 190, 191-200 
Lamson, Joseph, Jr. 153, 205 
Lamson, Nancy 199, 199, 200 
Lamson, Nathaniel 153, 162-163, 170, 172, 

177, 179-181, 183-190, 201, 204 
Lamson, Sally Elliot 193 
Lamson, Samuel 191-193 
Lamson, Susanna Frothingham (b. 1724) 

190, 199 
Lamson, Susanna Frothingham (b. 1768) 

192 
Lamson, William (d. 1659) 151 
Lamson, William (1694-1755) 153, 179, 

186, 201 
Lamson, William, Jr. 179, 201-203 
Landau, Herman 121-122 
Landor, Walter Savage 220-221,223 
Lapp, Caroline 132, 133 
Leighton, Frederic 236 
Leong, Jim 61, 62 
Leong, Lee Chung 72, 73 
Leong Surname Association 77-78 
Leuhng Yik-Laahn fuh-yahn mouh 58, 58, 71 
Lew, Pang 59,60 
Lewes, George 220 
Lincoln, NE 117 
Livermore, Samuel 183 
Long Island, NY 203 
Long, Sarah 204 
Long, Zechariah 164, 165 
Louisville, KY 116, 117-149 
Lowe, Enoch Magruder 96-98, 98 
Ludwig, Allan 165 

Magoun family monument 238, 239 
Maiden, MA 151-217 
Mazzini, Giuseppe 223 



247 



McGuire, Kate M. 99,99 

McKenna, John 106 

Merwin, Elizabeth 202 

Ming,Yee 58,62 

Mitchell John 182 

Morley, John 225, 227 

Moses, Michael 14, 15 

Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, 

MA) 239 
Mumford, WiUiam 159, 169, 176 

Neale, Ann Johnson 92 

Neale, Carrie 106 

Neale, Charles and Mary 91 

Neale, Charles Lloyd 90,91-115,107 

Neale, Charles Washington 92, 103, 104 

Neale Family monument 106, 107 

Neale, Frank 92, 103, 106 

Neale, James H. 108,109 

Neale, Sidney Chapman 104 

New Milford, CT 203 

Nightingale, William Edward and Frances 

219 
Noble, Friend 27 
Norcoss stone 200 

"Old Stonecutter" 154-156, 159, 168, 171 
Oliver, Mercy 179 
On Leong Tong 54-56 

"Palimpsest" stones 182 

Parker, Theodore 232, 234 

Peacock, Thomas Love 220 

Perdon, Maman 232 

Pettibone, Jacob 2 

Pettibone, Jacob Wayne 2 

Pettibone, Martha 27 

Phelps, Fiorina 22 

Phelps, Liberty 6 

Phelps, Noble 22 

Phelps, Susannah 29 

Phillips Academy Cemetery (Andover, 

MA) 232 
Phipps Street Burial Ground 

(Charlestown, MA) 154, 179, 200 
Pierpont, Jonathan 162, 166, 172, 173, 179, 

187 
Pond Family 85 
Poole, Jonathan 192 



Powers, Hiram 224 
Poyson, John 4 
Pratt, Thomas 157,158 
Prince, Eliza 29 

Protestant Cemetery (Florence, Italy) 218, 
219-242 

Quarry Hill (Maiden, MA) 152 

Rainford, John 188 

Rand, Joanna 193 

Randolph, Beverley 102 

Reed, Mary 177,181,182 

Robe, Andrew 5, 6 

Rogers, John 182 

Rogers, Mary 161 

Ross Bay Cemetery (Victoria, British 

Columbia) 230 
Rous, Mary 150, 171, 179 
Row, Elias 165 
Ruskin, John 221 
Russell, John 173 

San Michele Cemetery (Venice, Italy) 225 

Sewell, Thomas 1 79 

Shavinsky, Simon 135, 139 

Shelley, Mary 219 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe 219, 220 

Shepard, Electra 37 

Shutt, Mary and Hannah 166, 173, 179 

Simsbury, CT vi, 1-51 

Simsbury Historical Society 1 

Slung, Eva 138, 140 

Small, Joseph 182 

South Salem, NY 203 

Spencer, Hannah and Caleb 31, 33 

St. Andrew's Church (North Bloomfield, 

CT) 15 
St. Louis Cemeteries (New Orleans, LA) 

225 
St. Louis, MO 52-89 
St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery (Alexandria, 

VA) 96-97, 104, 105 
St. Paul's Church (Newburyport, 

MA) 186 
Staglieno Cemetery (Genoa, Italy) 223 
Stanbury, Jonas 6 
Stratford, CT 153,201 
Stoddard, John 222 



248 



Stone, John (d. 1683) 162 
Stone, John (d. 1691) 165 
Sweetland, Isaac 2, 6 

Tashjian, Dickran and Ann 165 
Temple Adath Israel and Adath Israel 

[Temple] Cemetery (Louisville, KY) 

116, 118, 119, 120, 122, 124, 126-129, 

130, 145 
Temple Shalom (Louisville, KY) 122, 143, 

143 
"The Temple" /The Temple Cemetery 

(Louisville, KY) 116, 122, 126, 128, 130 
Trinity Methodist Cemetery (Alexandria, 

VA) 101-104 
Tripp, Elizabeth and Nathan 200, 201 
Trollope, Frances 220, 236, 237 
Trollope, Thomas Adolphus 239 
Tsou-bi Tsui-sieng Bung si mo 73, 74, 86 
Tufts, Aaron 189 
Tufts, Peter and Marcy 186 
Tuller, Jerucia 27 
Tuller, Randall 27 
Turner, Prudence 182 
Twain, Mark 221 

Union Methodist (Methodist Protestant) 
Cemetery (Alexandria, VA) 92, 95 

Valhalla Cemetery (St. Louis, MO) 52-89 

Villari,L. 221 

Virginia Director}/ and Business Register 92 

Walsh, Charles Miller 108 

Wasserman, Emily 165 

Webber, Richard and Lydia 182 

Webster, Charles F. 94, 96 

Welch, Thomas 152-153, 154, 159-161, 168, 

176,177,180,204 
Wesleyan Cemetery (St.Louis, MO) 53-54 
Whittemore, Joseph 152, 154, 159, 168, 

176,177,180,204 
Wilcox, Elisha 29 
Wilcox, Lucy 28, 29 
Williams, Meredith M. and Gray 203 
Wing, Huie 62 
Wise, Rabbi Isaac Mayer 124 
Wolmg Cuk-Ying 72 
Woloshin monument 131, 131 



Wood, Leonard 232,235 

You, Wong 53 

Zarchy, Rabbi Asher Lipman 139, 141 



AGS JOURNALS 



MARKERS I Reprint of 1980 journal. Col- 
lection of 15 articles on topics such as 
recording and care of gravestones, 
resources for teachers, some unusual 
markers, and carvers Ithamar Spauldin of 
Concord, Mass. and the Connecticut 
Hook-and-Eye Man. 
182 pages, 100 illustrations 

MARKERS II Signed stones in New Eng- 
land and Atlantic coastal states; winged 
skull symbol in Scotland and New Eng- 
land; early symbols in religious and wider 
social perspective; Mass. carvers Joseph 
Barbur, Jr., Stephen and Charles 
Hartshorn, and carver known as "JN"; 
Portage County, Wise, carvers 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 Mass.; emblems and 
epitaphs on Puritan gravestones; John 
Hartshorn's carvings in Essex County, 
Mass.; and New Hampshire carvers Paul 
Colburn, John Ball, Josiah Coolidge 
Wheat, Coolidge Wheat, and Luther Hub- 
bard. 
154 pages, 80 illustrations 

MARKERS IV Delaware children's stones 
of 1840-1899; rural southern gravemarkers; 
New York and New Jersey carving tradi- 
tions; cmnposantos of New Mexico; and 
death Italo- American style. 
180 pages, 138 illustrations 

MARKERS V Pennsylvania German 
gravestones; mausoleum designs of Louis 
Henri Sullivan; Thomas Gold and 7 Boston 
carvers of 1700-1725 who signed stones 
with their initials; and Canadian grave- 
stones and yards in Ontario and Kings 
County, Nova Scotia. 
240 pages, 158 illustrations 



MARKERS VI Carver John Dwight of 
Shirley, Mass.; gravestones of Afro-Ameri- 
cans from New England to Georgia; socio- 
logical study of Chicago-area monuments; 
more on New Mexico camposantos; hand 
symbolism in Southwestern Ontario; an 
epitaph from ancient Turkey; and a review 
essay on James Slater's The Colonial Bury- 
ing Grounds of Eastern Connecticut. 
245 pages, 90 illustrations 

MARKERS VII A trilogy on cemetery 
gates and plot enclosures; the Boston His- 
toric Burying Grounds Initiative; unusual 
monuments in colonial tidewater Virginia; 
tree stones in Southern Indiana's Lime- 
stone Belt; life and work of Virginia carver 
Charles Miller Walsh; carvers of Monroe 
County, Ind.; Celtic crosses; and monu- 
ments of the Tsimshian Indians of Western 
Canada. 
281 pages, 158 illustrations 

MARKERS VIII A collection of the pio- 
neering studies of Dr, Ernest Caulfield on 
Connecticut carvers and their work: fifteen 
essays edited by James A. Slater and three 
edited by Peter Benes. 
342 pages, 206 illustrations 

MARKERS IX A tribute to the art of Fran- 
cis Duval; the Mullicken Family carvers of 
Bradford, Mass.; the Green Man on Scot- 
tish markers; photo-essay on the Center 
Church Crypt, New Haven, Conn.; more 
on Ithamar Spauldin and his shop; the 
Almshouse Burial Ground, Uxbridge, 
Mass.; Thomas Crawford's monument for 
Amos Binney; Salt Lake City Temple sym- 
bols on Mormon tombstones; language 
codes in Texas German cemeteries; and the 
disappearing Shaker cemetery. 
281 pages, 176 illustrations