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Edited by 
Richard E. Meyer 



Markers XV 



Annual Journal of 
the Association for 
Gravestone Studies 



Edited by 
Richard E. Meyer 



Association for Gravestone Studies 
Greenfield, Massachusetts 




Copyright ©1998 by 

Association for Gravestone Studies 

278 Main Street, Suite 207 
Greenfield, Massachusetts 01301 



All rights reserved 
Printed in the United States of America 



ISBN: 1-878381-08-3 
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 illustration: Monument of Acker S. and Palomba Varsano, 

Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus, New Jersey. 

Photograph by David Mayer Gradwohl. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Page 

Benditcha Sea Vuestra Metnoria: 

Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries in the Caribbean 

and Eastern North America 1 

David Mayer Gradwohl 

Scriptural Stones and Bam Mending: 

At the Grave of Herman Melville 30 

Kenneth Speirs 

The Gravestone Carving Traditions of Plymouth 

and Cape Cod 38 

James Blachowicz 

Language and Ethnicity Maintenance: 

Evidence of Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 204 

Eva Eckert 

Aboriginal Australian Burials in Christian Missions 234 

Karolyn K. Wrightson 

The New Deal's Landscape Legacy in Kansas Cemeteries 264 

Cathy Ambler 

Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers in Hong Kong 286 

Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 

The Year's Work in Gravemarker/Cemetery Studies 318 

Richard E. Meyer 

Contributors 337 

Index 340 



111 



MARKERS: ANNUAL JOURNAL OF THE 
ASSOCIATION FOR GRAVESTONE STUDIES 

EDITORIAL BOARD 

Richard E. Meyer, Editor 
Western Oregon University 

Theodore Chase Barbara Rotundo 

Harvard University State University of New York at Albany 

Editor, Markers V-IX 

James A. Slater 
Jessie Lie Farber University of Connecticut 

Mount Holyoke College 

Editor, Markers I Dickran Tashjian 

University of California, Irvine 
Richard Francaviglia 
University of Texas at Arlington David Watters 

University of New Hampshire 
Warren Roberts Editor, Markers II-IV 

Indiana University 

Wilbur Zelinsky 

The Pennsylvania State University 

Markers XV represents for me a personal milestone of sorts, for it is 
with the publication of this issue that I have become the journal's editor 
of longest duration. If six issues have taught me anything, however, it is 
surely how much I owe to those conscientious and creative individuals - 
Jessie Farber, David Watters, and Ted Chase - who preceded me in this 
position. I have been honored to follow in their wake, and I look forward 
to carrying their legacy into the 21^'- Century. 

This year's Markers also represents the longest issue in my tenure as 
editor, and - although it seems I make this claim anew with each suc- 
ceeding year - perhaps the most diversified as well. Anchored by a work 
of seminal scholarship in what has always been the journal's traditional 
strength, i.e. the close and careful analysis of New England colonial carv- 
ing styles, it also features materials as far ranging in scope as the impact 

iv 



of Depression-era relief programs on cemetery landscapes and the rela- 
tionship of Chinese cultural patterns to cemetery and gravemarker styles 
in Hong Kong, plus the inclusion for the first time of a purely meditative 
piece inspired by the gravestone of one of America's literary giants. 1 thus 
remain confident in my belief that Markers is at once the trend-setter and 
flagship publication in the emergent and highly important microdisci- 
pline of gravemarker and cemetery studies. 

I wish to express my thanks to this year's contributors for the high 
quality of their submissions, and also to the individual members of the 
journal's editorial review board for their dedicated efforts, good judge- 
ment, and consistently high standards. A modest amount of indirect 
financial assistance was provided by Western Oregon University, for 
which I am grateful. Fred Kennedy of Lynx Communication Group, 
Salem, Oregon, and Patti Stephens of Philomath, Oregon deserve praise 
for the production and design skills which make Markers the handsome 
volume it is. The officers, executive board members, staff, and general 
membership of the Association for Gravestone Studies are what make it 
all possible in the first place, and Lotte Larsen is the one who keeps the 
editor's life on track. Thanks, everyone! 

Articles published in Markers are indexed in America: Histon/ and Life, 
Historical Abstracts, and the MLA International Bibliography. Information 
concerning the submission of manuscripts for future issues of the journal 
may be found in the "Notes for Contributors" printed at the conclusion of 
this issue. Address queries concerning publication to me: Richard E. 
Meyer, Editor, Markers: Annual Journal of the Association for Gravestone 
Studies, PO. Box 13006, Salem, OR 97309-1006 (Phone: 503-581-5344 / 
E-MaU: meyerr@wou.edu). For information concerning other AGS publi- 
cations, membership, and activities, write to the Association's offices, 278 
Main Street, Suite 207, Greenfield, MA 01301, or call 413-772-0836. 

R.E.M. 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 




Fig. 1. General view of the Jewish cemetery on Avenida Afonso III 

in Lisbon, Portugal, showing horizontal monuments 

characteristic of Sephardic burial customs. 



VI 



BENDITCHA SEA VUESTRA MEMORIA: 

SEPHARDIC JEWISH CEMETERIES IN THE CARIBBEAN 

AND EASTERN NORTH AMERICA 

David Mayer Gradwohl 

During the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the Roman 
Catholic Church instituted the infamous program known as The 
Inquisition for the detection and severe punishment of heresy. The pro- 
nouncement of sentences and conducting of public executions, called 
autos-da-fe, were carried out in Spain, Portugal, and their colonies in the 
New World into the nineteenth century. During this process, many Jews 
were forced to convert to Christianity and have subsequently been 
referred to as Conversos, Marranos, Crypto Jews, or New Christians.^ 
Other Jews escaped or were expelled from Iberia, beginning with the offi- 
cial act of Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492.^ Although 
the prohibition against Jews Hving in Spain was relaxed in the late nine- 
teenth century, the edict was not formally revoked until 1969. In Portugal, 
King Manuel I mandated the exile of Jews in 1496. As of this writing, the 
Social Democratic Party of Portugal is endeavoring to have that country's 
Parliament rescind the Jewish expulsion act, which has never been offi- 
cially removed from the books in 500 years.^ 

People of Jewish faith had inhabited Iberia since at least Roman times 
and had prospered religiously and economically until the time of The 
Inquisition. Material evidence of this presence includes fragments of 
ancient gravestones and splendid synagogue structures.* In Spain, 
Toledo's Sinagoga del Transito and the synagogue, later a church, known 
as "Santa Maria La Blanca" testify to the florescence of medieval Iberian 
Jewish art and socio-economic status.^ Surviving synagogue structures in 
Portugal are more modest but can be seen today in Tomar and Castelo de 
Vide.^ In Iberia, Jews had developed a distinctive sub-culture with their 
own dialect of Spanish, known as Ladino.^ Following the expulsion, many 
of these Jewish people, called Sephardim, took refuge in Holland and 
later in England. They also spread eastward along the Mediterranean into 
Italy, Greece, North Africa, Turkey, and Syria. Sephardic Jews were among 
the sixteenth and seventeenth century Portuguese and Dutch colonists in 
Brazil, the West Indies, and the early settlements along the east coast of 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 








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Fig. 2. Horizontal monument of Moises Benjo Bendrao in Lisbon's 

Jewish cemetery. Note epitaphs in Hebrew and Portuguese along with 

the pebble of remembrance deposited by a visitor. Bendrao's place of 

birth in Tanger (Tangier, Morocco) is indicative of the secondary 

Sephardic distribution in Mediterranean countries. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 



North America, and their descendants have maintained distinctive tradi- 
tions in these and other areas throughout the twentieth century.^ The pur- 
pose of this essay is to briefly discuss the Sephardic Jewish heritage, as 
reflected in gravestones, in the Caribbean and in eastern North America. 
Emphasis will be placed upon the distinctiveness of these gravestones, 
although it should be noted that Sephardic Jews from the Mediterranean 
and southern Europe embrace the main corpus of Judaism along with the 
larger and more familiarly-known group, the Ashkenazim, who stem 
from western and eastern Europe. 

Some encompassing views of the extant Jewish cemetery in Lisbon, 
Portugal give a vivid impression of the pattern described in the literature 
for European Sephardic cemeteries in general (Fig 1). The most outstand- 
ing feature, in this instance, is the exclusive use of horizontal monuments 
as gravemarkers. Similar patterns have been described for the cemeteries 
of dispossessed Portuguese Sephardic Jews who resettled in Gliickstat, 
Emden, and Altona in northwest Germany.^ These large elevated slabs, 
especially in crowded portions of the cemetery, almost appear to be a con- 
tinuous pavement. Hispanic surnames and places of birth in the 
Mediterranean are further evidences of the Sephardic association. The 
monument of Moises Benjo Bendrao, for example, exhibits epitaphs in 
Portuguese and Hebrew, and records the fact that the deceased was born 
in Tanger (Tangier, Morocco), an important locus for Sephardic Jews after 
their expulsion from Iberia (Fig. 2). In the Lisbon cemetery, even 
Ashkenazim are buried according to the Sephardic custom. In addition to 
Hebrew, Spanish, and Portuguese, epitaphs are noted in English, French, 
German, and Polish. Although most of the slabs are plain, some monu- 
ments in Lisbon display delicate sculptural embellishments. 

In contrast, the seventeenth-century Jewish cemetery at Ouderkerk in 
the Netherlands exhibits not only horizontal ledger stones but a rich 
sculptural and decorative tradition. As illustrated in Arnold 
Schwartzman's book. Graven Images, some ledger stones at Ouderkerk 
depict Biblical scenes such as Moses receiving the Ten Commandments, 
Abraham preparing to sacrifice Isaac, and the encounter of Rachel and 
Jacob. ^° Others portray death in the form of skeletons, skulls, and crossed 
longbones.^^ Also among the motifs found on European Sephardic grave- 
stones are winged cherubs such as the one which Schwartzman illustrates 
from London's Velho Cemetery.^^ It should be noted here that sculpted 
images of the human form are almost universally prohibited in Orthodox 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



Ashkenazi cemeteries and synagogues. This taboo comes from rabbinic 
interpretation of the Bible, especially the commandment in Exodus 20:4 
(and repeated in Leviticus 26:1, Deuteronomy 5:8, and elsewhere) that 
"Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of like- 
ness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, 
or that is in the water under the earth" . In Sephardic Jewish cemeteries, 
however, these "graven images" are certainly not absent. 

There is some evidence, admittedly shrouded in controversy, that 
Converses (or Crypto Jews) and even practicing Jews were among the 
early explorers and entourages of the conquistadores in Latin America.^'' 
Autos-da-fe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries certainly attest to 
that suspicion, if not fact, on the part of officials of the Catholic Church 
throughout Latin America.^"* Under the Dutch in Brazil, however, Jews 
were welcomed as colonists. After several skirmishes with the 
Portuguese, the Dutch West India Company issued a proclamation in 
1634 guaranteeing Jews equal rights in their "New Holland". By 1642 
there was a Jewish community in Recife large enough to entice Isaac 




Fig. 3. Jewish cemetery (Al Tona Cemetery on Welgunst Street) on 

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, showing preponderance of horizontal 

monuments in the Sephardic tradition. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 



Aboab Do Fonseca from Amsterdam to become the first rabbi in the New 
World.^^ Attracted by favorable economic conditions and with the 
promise of reUgious freedom, Jews (mostly Sephardic) from Holland set- 
tled throughout the Caribbean islands. Synagogues and cemeteries were 
established to meet the needs of the living and the dead. The cemetery on 
Curasao is virtually paved by ledger stones, many of them elaborately 
carved, resembling those in Portugal and the Netherlands.^^ On St. 
Thomas in the Virgin Islands, the ledger stones are raised but the pattern 
is repeated (Fig. 3)}'^ At Bridgetown on Barbados, a ledger stone marks 
the grave of Mosseh Haym Nahamyas, who died in 1672: his epitaph is in 
Portuguese, but his death date is rendered in the Hebrew calendar.^^ On 
the island of Nevis, in Charlestown's Jewish cemetery, the ledger stone of 
Bathsheba Abudiente, who died in 1684, is decorated in a fashion remi- 
niscent of Sephardic gravestones in the Netherlands. Included on the 
monument are representations of a winged hourglass, a wreath, crossed 
broken branches, and flowers. ^^ 

Jewish families also settled early in Jamaica. At Spanish Town (former 




Fig. 4. Horizontal ledger stones repositioned vertically on the wall 
around the desecrated old Jewish cemetery in Spanish Town, Jamaica. 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



capital of Jamaica) both the old synagogue and cemetery are in ruins 
within the grounds of an infirmary. Broken ledger stones litter the garden 
plots, while complete formerly-horizontal monuments have been raised 
to vertical positions and attached to the surrounding garden walls (Fig. 4). 
In Kingston, the Sephardic community dates back to 1655, while the 
Ashkenazim arrived in 1787."° These groups maintained separate sanctu- 
aries until 1921, but today's merged United Congregation of Israelites 
meets in the Shaare Shalom Synagogue. Within the walls surrounding the 
synagogue's property are old ledger stones that have been relocated from 
old cemeteries elsewhere on the island. Many of these horizontal monu- 
ments exhibit elaborate symbols and other characteristics noted on 
Sephardic gravestones in Europe. For example, the ledger stone of Isaac 
Bravo, who died in 1723 at age 39, has a trilingual epitaph (English, 
Spanish, and Hebrew) including a mnemonic string of letters 
(S,B,A,G,D,L,E,G,A) which is a cryptogram for the Spanish phrase "Su 
bendita alma goze de la eterna gloria. Amen" (Fig. 5). This phrase, seen in 
a number of variations in Spanish and Portuguese, translates as "May his 
blessed soul enjoy eternal glory. Amen". Carved symbols include a large 
Star of David, skulls and cross-bones, winged cherubs, flowers, and a 
hand reaching out of the clouds. The hand has deposited three circular 
objects and is holding back a fourth. My interpretation of this scene is that 
the circular objects represent counting pieces each worth ten years; the 
hand of God has distributed three decades and was about to distribute a 
fourth for Sehor Bravo, who died just short of 40 years. The ledger stone 
for Abraham Henriquez, who died in 1729, displays an epitaph in 
Portuguese, a death date in the Hebrew calendar, and the aforementioned 
cryptogram prayer. Sculpted symbols include winged cherubs, skulls and 
cross-bones, a walking human being (perhaps harvesting crops), and a 
hand with an axe extending from the clouds and cutting down a tree.^^ 
This latter motif, along with a trilingual epitaph (Portuguese, English, and 
Hebrew), is also seen on the horizontal monument of Isaac Pereira 
Brandon, who died in 1739. 

In Kingston's 19th and 20th century cemetery, horizontal monuments 
are numerous, often intermixed with vertical gravestones of the island's 
Ashkenazi Jews (Fig. 6). The ledger stones exhibit many features noted 
previously for Sephardic cemeteries elsewhere in the Caribbean and in 
Europe. An Hispanic surname, death date in the Hebrew calendar, and 
sculpted symbol of the priestly Kohanim hands raised in benediction are 



David Mayer Gradwohl 




Fig. 5. Ledger stone of Isaac Bravo, who died in Kingston, Jamaica 

in 1723 (the year 5483 in the Hebrew calendar). 

Note the Star of David with a Hebrew epitaph in addition to 

epitaphs in Spanish and English. Skulls and long bones adorn 

the upper corners of the monument; winged cherubs decorate the 

lower corners. The larger circular motif at the bottom of the 

monument probably symbolizes Bravo's death at age 39. 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



noted on the ledger stone of Ralph Cohen Belinfante. The monument of 
Hannanel Tavares exhibits two winged cherubs and a sculpted human 
portrait reminiscent of "graven images" in other Sephardic cemeteries 

(Fig- 7). 

The story of the Sephardim in North America begins in 1654 when a 
group of Jews arrived from Brazil and, despite the reservations of 
Governor Peter Stuyvesant, obtained permission to settle in New 
Amsterdam, later to be known as New York City. ^-^ These Sephardic Jews 
formed a congregation that continues today as Shearith Israel, or the 
Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, on Central Park West in Manhattan. 
Historically and into the twentieth century, Iberian names, Ladino music 
and prayers, and Sephardic forms of Judaism have been maintained by 
this synagogue.^^ Shearith Israel's first cemetery was established in 1656, 
and, contrary to modern signage, its exact location is not known at this 
time. Shearith Israel's oldest extant cemetery, located in the New Bowery 
just off the present-day Chatham Square, was founded in 1682. Today the 




Fig. 6. General view of the late 19th and 20th century cemetery on 

Orange Street in Kingston, Jamaica, showing many horizontal 

monuments in the Sephardic tradition. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 




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Fig. 7. Ledger stone of Hannanel Tavares in Kingston's 

Orange Street Jewish Cemetery. Winged cherubs embellish 

the upper corners of the monument. A sculpted portrait of the child 

can also be seen. Graven human images occur in Sephardic 

cemeteries although they are almost never seen in Ashkenzic 

cemeteries and are officially forbidden in Jewish religious law. 



10 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



cemetery is in a sad state of repair; however, a good deal of detailed infor- 
mation is recorded in the book Portraits Etched in Stone by David de Sola 
Pool. Even among the ruinous monuments, one is impressed with the 
number of horizontal slabs or ledger stones. Epitaphs occur in five lan- 
guages: Hebrew, English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Latin. Many of the 
gravestones have bilingual or trilingual epitaphs, a custom that we have 
just referred to in the Caribbean and that Pool compares to the Sephardim 
buried in London and Amsterdam in addition to Newport, Rhode 
Island.-^"^ Typical inclusions in the epitaphs are the cryptogram prayers 
that we documented in Jamaica. 

Shearith Israel's more recent cemetery is located on Long Island with- 
in a huge constellation of Jewish cemeteries on the border between 
Brooklyn and Queens (Fig. 8). Here, again, the ledger stones characteris- 
tic of Sephardic cemeteries catch the eye. This cemetery is also famous for 
its roster of American Sephardic luminaries, many of whom have vertical 
monuments: Uriah Phillips Levy (Commodore in the U.S. navy and the 
second owner of Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello), Benjamin 




Fig. 8. General view within the cemetery of Congregation Shearith 
Israel (the Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue) on Long Island, New York. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 



11 




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Fig. 9. Ledger stone of Aaron S. Bilel in Congregation Shearith 

Israel's cemetery. Note multiple Judaic indicators: the Ten 

Commandments, two lions of Judah, two Stars of David, five books 

(the Torah, or Pentateuch), and Hebrew epitaph. 



12 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



Cardozo (U.S. Supreme Court justice), and Emma Lazarus (poet laureate 
of the Statue of Liberty), to name a few. Gravestones with Spanish and 
Dutch surnames and places of birth in Holland are harbingers of the 
Sephardic historic network. The ledger stone of David Bosboom, for 
example, notes that he was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Other 
stones indicate people whose origins stem from the eastern 
Mediterranean: Leon Benezra, for instance, is listed as having been born 
in Rodosto, Turkey. Still other monuments demonstrate the Caribbean 
and South American linkage, as illustrated by the gravestones of Solomon 
de Cordova and Virginia Ree, both of whom were born in Kingston, 
Jamaica. Benjamin Mendes Seixas, we see, was born in La Guaira, 
Venezuela. Many of the monuments in this cemetery also exhibit multiple 
Judaic and other symbols, another characteristic of Sephardic cemeteries 
we have already noted. The ledger stone of Aaron S. Bilel, for example, 
includes two Stars of David, two Lions of Judah, the Ten Commandments, 
and five books symbolizing the Pentateuch, or Torah (Fig. 9). Other mon- 




Fig, 10. Ledger stones of Reverend David de Sola Pool (rabbi of New 
York City's Sephardic Congregation Shearith Israel for many years) 
and his wife, Tamara de Sola Pool, dating from the 1970s and 1980s. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 



13 



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Fig. 11. Ledger stones are still being used by some members of New 

York City's Congregation Shearith Israel, as here illustrated by the 

horizontal monument of Avin Piza Mendes, who died in 1988. 



14 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



uments exhibit various emblems, also found on the stones of Orthodox 
Ashkenazim, indicating the priestly castes. Hands raised in benediction 
symboUze the Kohanim, or high priests, while the wash basin and ewer 
stand for the Levites, or temple attendant priests. Contrary to information 
given to me by a leading Sephardic rabbi and a representative of one of 
Manhattan's largest monument dealers, ledger stones are still being used 
by some Sephardic families in New York. It was no surprise to me to find 
that the remains of Reverend David de Sola Pool, long-time spiritual 
leader of Congregation Shearith Israel and American Sephardic Jewry in 
general, and his wife, Tamara, were marked by ledger stones dating to the 
1970s and 1980s (Fig. 10). Similarly, members of the Piza Mendes family 
still utilize that traditional form of stone memorial (Fig. 11). 

In Newport, Rhode Island, Jews (most of whom were Sephardic) 
founded Congregation Yeshuat Israel in 1658. The Touro Synagogue, as it 
is now known, is the oldest standing synagogue in the United States. The 
Colonial Jewish cemetery in Newport was established in 1677 (Fig. 12).^^ 
Particularly distinctive here are the many ledger stones. This large field of 




Fig. 12. General view of ledger stones in the 
Colonial Jewish cemetery at Newport, Rhode Island. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 



15 



ledger stones, in fact, made a vivid impression on Henry Wadsworth 
Longfellow when in 1858 he composed his well-known poem entitled 
"The Jewish Cemetery at Newport," the third verse of which reads: 

And these sepulchral stones, so old and brown. 
That pave with level flags their burial-place. 
Seem like tablets of the Law, thrown down 
And broken by Moses at the mountain's base.^^ 

As at Shearith Israel's early cemetery, five languages are represented 
among the epitaphs in Newport's Colonial Jewish cemetery. One single 
ledger stone, that of Sehora Raquel Rodriguez De Rivera, is quadrilingual, 
being inscribed in Hebrew, Spanish, English, and Latin. Other ledgers 
exhibit the familiar cryptogram prayer "S A G D G". The ledger stone of 
Rebecca Hayes notes that she was a resident of Boston (at that time 
Massachusetts did not allow Jews to be buried there). Most of the vertical 
slate monuments are famiUar forms for the Colonial Period in New 




Fig. 13. General view of horizontal monuments in Congregation 
Mikveh Israel's Colonial cemetery in Philadelphia. 



16 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



England, including visual representations of death's heads and angels.^^ 
We have also noted these motifs in Sephardic Jewish cemeteries in Europe 
and the Caribbean. Colonial New England Christian cemeteries, of 




Fig. 14. Ledger stone of Leon Haim Elmaleh, who died in 1972 

but was buried in Congregation Mikveh Israel's Colonial 

cemetery in Philadelphia. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 



17 



course, abound in these symbols, as explicated by James Deetz, Edwin 
Dethlefsen, and others.^^ At this cemetery in Newport, however, an added 
dimension is the fact that most of the stones carved with such images 
have epitaphs in Hebrew as well as English. 

In Philadelphia, Congregation Mikveh Israel established a cemetery 
on Spruce Street in 1740 (Fig. 13).^^ Historically, and today, the Mikveh 
Israel Synagogue observes Sephardic rituals, and the cemeteries associat- 
ed with the synagogue signify this tradition. The ledger stone of Joseph 
Rodrigwez Pereyra reflects a Portuguese heritage. The observance of 
Orthodox rituals is manifested by the emblem of the Kohanim on anoth- 
er old ledger. Ledger stones were still being used in 1972 when Leon 
Haim Elmaleh was laid to rest (Fig. 14). He was perhaps the last person to 
be buried there. Mikveh Israel's second cemetery, located on Federal 
Street, has been in use since 1849 (Fig. 15). Ledger stones still abound, 
although many vertical monuments are also present. Individuals of Dutch 
origin, along with Portuguese names, are strong reflections of the 
Sephardic influence in this cemetery. 




Fig. 15. Ledger stones in Congregation Mikveh Israel's second 
cemetery in Philadelphia. 



18 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



Savannah, Georgia is also a site of early Sephardic settlement, and its 
Mickveh Israel Synagogue is rich in historical traditions. In 1733, about 
five months after James Oglethorpe had established the Georgia colony, 
the first Jews arrived by ship with Torah in tow. Ogelthorpe was not excit- 
ed about their arrival, but allowed them to settle there because, it is said, 
he needed the services of a Jewish physician, one Dr. Diago Nunes- 
Ribeiro, who had escaped the Portuguese Inquisition and assumed the 
name Dr. Samuel Nunez.-^° In the city's old Jewish cemetery, raised ledger 
stones are the predominant monument form (Fig. 16). Inscriptions are 
typically in Hebrew and English. The ledger stone of Francis Sheftall indi- 
cates The Hague, Holland, as her place of birth - a material indication of 
Sephardic heritage. The modern sections at Savannah's Bonaventure 
Jewish Cemetery incorporate several traditions, including the use of 
ledger stones, which are indicative of a lingering Sephardic presence (Fig. 
17). 

Finally, in this discussion of American Sephardic cemeteries, we con- 
sider certain sections of the Cedar Park Cemetery at Paramus, New Jersey 




Fig. 16. General view of raised horizontal monuments in the 18th and 
early 19th century Jewish cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 



19 



(Fig. 18). One wonders if Herbert Dobrinsky had this specific cemetery in 
his mind's eye when he wrote the following words in his book, A Treasury 
ofSephardic Laws and Customs: "Currently, all tombstones must be uniform 
in color, quality, and size. The color generally used is gray; the quality, 
Barre granite; and the overall size, four feet six inches, including the foun- 
dation".^^ Dobrinsky goes on to explain why there has been a change in 
American Sephardic monument forms: "The traditional type of tomb- 
stone is known as a ledger, and it lies across the top of the grave. Those 
who come from Amsterdam, and some of the North African communities 
... would have one prepared. Today, the prohibitive cost of preparing 
artistically engraved tombstones of the type which existed in the ceme- 
teries of Amsterdam, Curasao, and other such communities makes them 
a rarity" ?'^ The names on the tombstones are a veritable Hispanic roll call: 
Halfon, Havio, Torres, Maya, Esformes, and Valansi. The vertical monu- 
ments, one notes, carry on the rich sculptural tradition known from the 
Dutch and Caribbean monuments. The Torres and Varsano monuments 
each exhibit, for example, two Lions of Judah, the Ten Commandments, 




Fig. 17. Ledger stones in the mid to late-twentieth century 
Bonaventure Jewish cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. 



20 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



the Torah scroll, and the Jahrzeit, or Eternal Light. In addition, the Star of 
David, typically associated with males, is carved in connection with Louis 
Juda Torres and Acher Sabetai Varsano, while the Menorah or cande- 
labrum, associated with the woman's role in lighting the Sabbath and hol- 
iday lights, is carved in connection with their wives, Lillie Allegre Torres 
and Palomba Varsano (Figs. 18 and 19). Pebbles of remembrance placed 
on the monuments are an Orthodox custom. Countries of origin are 
reflected in surnames (for example, the monument of Solomon Catalan) 
or by the listing of places of birth (for example, the monument of Lily and 
Joe Varsano, born in Castoria and Salonica in Greece). The Sephardic link 
is also indicated at the entrance to one of Cedar Park's sections, that of the 
Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America (Fig. 20). The Holocaust mon- 
ument of this sodality makes specific reference to the Jews who perished 
from Greece and other Balkan countries. 

Contrary to the information given to me by the previously-mentioned 
Sephardic rabbi and the monument dealer in Manhattan, one can observe 




Fig. 18. Sephardic monuments in the Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus, 

New Jersey. Note the rich sculptural tradition and Hispanic family 

names: Halfon, Havio, Torres, Maya, Esformes, and Valansi. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 



21 



the persistence of Ladino as one din^ension of traditional identity in the 
Cedar Park Sephardic sections. Rebecca and Izai Eskenazi, for example, 
are identified as "Nona" and "Nono" (grandmother and grandfather or, 
perhaps, the more informal "Granny" and "Grampa"). The upright mon- 
ument of Acher and Palomba Varsano is associated with smaller, hori- 
zontal markers inscribed in Ladino (Fig. 19): Acher is referred to as 
"Querido y estimado marido, padre, y nono" (dear and esteemed hus- 
band, father and grandfather) and is addressed as "Sehor Padre"; 
Palomba is referred to as "Querida y estimada mujer, madre, nona, y bis- 
nona" (dear and esteemed wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grand- 
mother"). Four generational kin terms in English are included on the 
monument of David and Rachel Bueno. In addition to a Hebrew epitaph. 




Fig. 19. Monument of Acher S. and Palomba Varsano in the Cedar 
Park Cemetery, Paramus, New Jersey. Note multiple Judaic symbols 

on the double monument: the Ten Commandments, two lions of 

Judah, Star of David, Menorah or candelabrum. Eternal Light, Torah 

Scroll, and Hebrew epitaph. On the individual markers placed before 

the upright monument are references to the deceased in Ladino, the 

dialect of Spanish used by Sephardic Jews. 



22 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



Judaic emblems adorning the Bueno monument include a Star of David, 
two lions of Judah, two sets of tablets with the Ten Commandments, a 
Menorah, and the Eternal Light. Among the multiple Judaic motifs on the 
gravestone of David and Rachel Cohen is that of the priestly Kohanim. 
The monument of Harry Morris exhibits a trilingual epitaph in Hebrew, 
Ladino, and English. The transliterated Hebrew and Ladino at the top of 
the monument ("Abraham, Avinu, Padre Querido, Padre Bendicho, Luz 
de Yisroel") is prayer-like in translation: "Abraham, father, dear father, 
blessed father, light of Israel". The Hebrew on the monument's face con- 
forms to the Orthodox formula and can be translated: "Here lies Chisdai 
Bar Jacob, he died on the 27th of Tishre in the year 5745". The final pen- 
tagram stands for the phrase in Hebrew which translates "May his soul be 
bound up in the bond of eternal life". The monuments for Isaac A. and 




•PHAPDjC 

i ,■ ■,-.!•■ ......rifir' 



JFWISH BR(^TMFRMOOp ( 



RJCA.INC 



Fig. 20. Holocaust memorial monument at entrance to the section of 

the Sephardic Brotherhood of America in the Cedar Park Cemetery, 

Paramus, New Jersey. References are made to Sephardic Jews of 

Greece and other Balkan countries who were murdered during World 

War II. The small marker in the foreground notes the nearby burial of 

ashes of unknown victims from the crematoria at Auschwitz. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 



23 




Fig. 21. Monuments of Isaac A. Castro and Daisy Altchek Castro 

at the Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus, New Jersey. Ladino epitaphs 

("Vaya con Dios" and "Corazon D'Oro") identify the Castros as 

Sephardic Jews. Daisy is referred to as "Nona", the informal 

Spanish/Ladino term for grandmother or "Granny". 

Furthermore, her monument is decorated specifically with 

sculptured daisies, a symbolic representation of names that is 

often observed in European Jewish cemeteries. 



24 



Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



Daisy Altchek Castro also exhibit trilingual epitaphs - Hebrew, English, 
and Ladino (Fig. 21). In Ladino, Daisy is given the descriptive appellation 
"Corazon d'oro" (heart of gold) while Isaac is bidden "Vaya con Dios" (go 
with God). Finally, the monument of the Eskenazi, Torres, Habib, and 
Lipschitz extended families suggests the intermarriage of Sephardic and 
Ashkenazi individuals. This intermingling, of course, has occurred fre- 
quently and continues today. A docent I once met at the Mikveh Israel 
Synagogue in Philadelphia told me that he was a product of intermarried 
Sephardim and Ashkenazim. He consequently identified himself as an 
" Ashkefard". There is, 1 believe, scientific merit in his folk humor. 

In conclusion, we have noted some distinctive characteristics as well 
as the processes of continuity and change in Sephardic Jewish cemeteries 




Fig. 22. Double upright monument and horizontal marker 

of Sam and Esther Revah in the Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus, 

New Jersey. The Ladino epitaph on the marker in the left foreground 

("Benditcha Sea Vuestra Memoria, Repozad Todos Dos En Gloria") 

translates as "Blessed is your memory, you both rest in glory". 

This epitaph recalls cryptograms symbolizing similar messages 

on older Sephardic gravestones at Newport, Rhode Island, 

New York City, and cemeteries in the Caribbean. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 25 



of North America. The roots of the Sephardic tradition in the United 
States can be traced back, historically and materially, first to the Caribbean 
and South America, then to Holland and other parts of northwestern 
Europe, and finally to Iberia, from whence their ancestors were expelled 
by the Roman Catholic Church as sanctioned by the rulers of Spain and 
Portugal. The particularistic gravestone features of the Sephardim reflect 
the intra-group diversity among Jews, especially when compared to the 
Reform western Ashkenazim and the Orthodox (and Conservative) east- 
ern Ashkenazim.^"* Further study might well reveal internal differences 
within the Sephardim of the eastern and western Mediterranean. Within 
the present data base, however, it is clear that the mortuary patterns 
among North American Sephardim are a striking reflection of historical 
processes as well as contemporary socio-cultural dynamics. The symbol- 
ic material proof of this conclusion is manifested in modern ledger stones 
in New York's Shearith Israel cemetery. The epitaph inscribed upon the 
horizontal marker placed before the recent upright monument of Sam and 
Esther Revah in the Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus, New Jersey, is an 
even clearer verbal declaration of this historical identity (Fig. 22). It trans- 
lates as "Blessed is your memory; you both rest in glory" . But the Revas' 
surviving kin chose to have the words chiseled in Ladino - "Benditcha 
Sea Vuestra Memoria, Repozad Todos Dos En Gloria" - as a perpetual 
symbol of their enduring Sephardic heritage. 



26 ~ Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



NOTES 

Initial field observations and archival work in 1986 and 1987 were assisted by a travel grant 
from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The collecting of data in Jamaica in 1992 
was funded, in part, by a Foreign Travel Grant from Iowa State University to attend meet- 
ings of the Society for Historical Archaeology in Kingston. A Faculty Improvement Leave 
from ISU during 1993 facilitated archival work at the American Jewish Archives in 
Cincinnati, Ohio, the New York City Public Library, and the American Jewish Historical 
Society in Waltham, Massachusetts. The opportunity to collect data in Portugal during 1995 
was made possible by my participation in a commemorative trip to honor the heroism of the 
late Aristides de Sousa Mendes and was largely subsidized by the Portuguese government 
and the Luso-American Foundation. I gratefully thank the following individuals for assist- 
ing me in visiting Sephardic Jewish cemeteries at Newport, Rhode Island (the late Bernard 
Kusinitz), Philadelphia (Mary-Jean and John Hayden, and personnel from the Philadelphia 
office of the National Park Service), New York City and Paramus, New Jersey (Peggy F. Igel, 
and personnel at Shearith Israel and Cedar Park cemeteries). Savannah, Georgia (B.H. Levy 
and Jack Kayton), and Kingston, Jamaica (Ernest Henriques de Souza). Carmen Balesteros 
provided information about synagogues and early Jewish gravestones at Tomar, Castelo de 
Vide, and other localities in Portugal. I am indebted to Kathryn Mayer Gradwohl for her 
observations and photographs taken in the two Jewish cemeteries on St. Thomas, Virgin 
Islands, in March 1997, one of which appears in this essay as Figure 3. All other photographs 
were taken by the author Finally, I thank Hanna Rosenberg Gradwohl who has assisted me 
in numerous ways on my Sephardic journeys. A briefer version of this paper was presented 
at the Annual Meeting of the American Culture Association in San Antonio Texas, March 26- 
29, 1997. 

1. Seymour Kurtz, Jeivish America (New York, NY, 1985), 5-12. Although all of these des- 
ignations have some pejorative meanings in terms of forced religious conversions, the 
expression "Marrano" is perhaps the most contemptuous. The etymological roots of 
this word in Spanish deal with swine, an animal expressly forbidden as a food for Jews: 
thus to be referred to as a "Marrano" is especially offensive. 

2. See Ehe Kedourie, ed., Spaiii and the Jeios: The Sephardi Experience 1492 and After (New 
York, NY, 1992). 

3. World Jewish Congress, "Overdue," Dateline World Jewry (December 1996): 1. 

4. Maria Helena Carvalho dos Santos and Jose Sommer Ribeiro, Os Judeiis Portugueses 
Entre Os Descobrimentos e a Diaspora (Lisbon, Portugal, 1994), 22-23. 

5. Pedro Riera Vidal, Los Judios en Toledo y Sus Sinagogas (Toledo, Spain, 1970), 13-48; 
Manuel Aguilar and Ian Robertson, Jewish Spain: A Guide (Madrid, Spain, 1984), 80-84. 

6. J. M. Santos Simoes, Tomar e a Sua Judaria (Tomar, Portugal, 1992), 51-68; Carmen 
Balesteros and Jorge Ohveira, "A Judiaria e a Sinagoga de Castelo de Vide," Ihn Marudn 
Revista Cultural de Marvdo 3 (1993): 124-152. 

7. Herbert C. Dobrinsky, A Treasury of Sephardic Laws and Customs (Hoboken, NJ, 1986). 



David Mayer Gradwohl 27 



8. Marc D. Angel, The Rhythms of Jewish Living: A Sephardic Approach (New York, NY, 1986); 
Joseph M. Papo, Sephardim in Twentieth Century America: In Search of Unity (San Jose, 
CA, 1987). 

9. M. Grunwald, Portugiesengriiher aiif Deutscher Erde. Beitrcige zur Kultiir und 
Kiinstgeschichte (Hamburg, Germany, 1902). See also Alfred Grotte, "Tombstones," 
Uiiiversal Jewish Encyclopedia 10 (1941): 267; and, David Davidovitch, "Tombstones," 
Encyclopedia Judaica 15 (1971): 1222-1223. 

10. Arnold Schwartzman, Graven Images: Graphic Motifs of the Jeivish Gravestone (New York, 
NY, 1993), 20-21; 35; 39. 

11. Ibid., 62-65. 

12. Ibid., 60. 

13. David Gates, "Who Was Columbus?," Newsweek (Special Issue Fall-Winter, 1991): 29-31; 
Kurtz, Jewish America, 10-12. 

14. Nathan Ausubel, Pictorial History of the Jeioish People (New York, NY, 1960), 211; Kurtz, 
Jewish America, 11. 

15. Kurtz, Jeioish America, 13. 

16. Isaac Samuel Emmanuel, Precious Stones of the Jews ofCuraqao: Curagaon Jewry 1656-1957 
(New York, NY, 1957); Samuel M. Wilson, "Caribbean Diaspora: Sephardic Jews Were 
An Important Link Between Europe and Colonial America," Natural History 102: 3 
(1993): 54-58; Roberta Halporn, "American Jewish Cemeteries: A Mirror of History," in 
Ethnicity and the American Cemetery, ed. Richard E. Meyer (Bowling Green, OH, 1993), 
131-155, see especially Figs. 6:1 and 6:2. 

17. Jul. MargoUnsky, "Transcripts of 298 Epitaphs from the Jewish Cemetery in St. Thomas, 
W.I., 1837-1916, with An Index", manuscript at the American Jewish Historical Society, 
Waltham, MA; Kurtz, Jewish America, 15; Wilson, "Caribbean Diaspora", 54-55; Kathryn 
Mayer Gradwohl, personal communication and photographs of two Jewish cemeteries 
on St. Thomas, April, 1997. 

18. Kurtz, Jewish America, 14; see also, Eustace M. Shilstone, Monumental Inscriptions in the 
Burial Ground of the Jewish Synagogue at Bridgetown, Barbados (Bridgetown, Barbados, 
1956). 

19. WUson, "Caribbean Diaspora", 56. 

20. Information included in the program of Synagogue Shaare Shalom, the United 
Congregation of Israelites, Kingston, Jamaica, for the induction of Ernest Henriques de 
Souza as the spiritual leader of the Jamaican Jewish community, January 10, 1992. 

21. This motif is also known from the Jewish cemetery at Ouderkerk, Netherlands 
(Schwartzman, Graven Images, 47). In addition, it is illustrated from the Shearith Israel 



28 Sephardic Jewish Cemeteries 



Cemetery off Chatham Square in New York City (Halporn, "American Jewish 
Cemeteries", Figure 6:5). Halporn {ibid., 152) associates this motif with the Etz Chaim, 
or Tree of Life, which is also a symbol for the Torah. Given the distribution of this motif 
in non-Jewish as well as Jewish cemeteries of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, 
I suspect the meaning more probably relates to a young life cut short than to the 
Torah/Etz Chaim association per se. A sculpted uncut tree is illustrated from the 16th 
century Jewish cemetery at Unterbalbach, Germany by Schwartzman (Graven Images, 
46), who interprets the design as an Etz Chaim or Torah symbol. I am inclined to agree 
with his interpretation of the uncut tree symbol. 

22. David de Sola Pool, Portraits Etched in Stone: Early Jeivish Settlers (New York, NY, 1952); 
Halporn, "American Jewish Cemeteries," 133-134. 

23. Papo, Sephardim in Twentieth Century America; Angel, The Rhythms of Jeivish Living. 

24. Pool, Portraits Etched in Stone, 166-167. 

25. A. Pereira Mendes, "The Jewish Cemetery at Newport, R.I.", Rhode Island Historical 
Magazine 2:6 (1885): 81-105; Morris Gutstein, The Story of the Jeivs of Newport: Two and a 
Half Centuries of Judaism 1658-1908 (New York, NY, 1936); Bernard Kusinitz, "The 
Enigma of the Colonial Jewish Cemetery in Newport, Rhode Island: Myths, Realities, 
and Restoration", Rhode Island Historical Notes 9:3 (1985): 224-238. 

26. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 
(Cambridge, MA, 1879), 225-226. 

27. See Halporn, "American Jewish Cemeteries," Fig. 6:4. 

28. Edwin S. Dethlefsen, "The Cemetery and Culture Change: Archaeological Focus and 
Ethnographic Perspective", in Modern Material Culture: The Archaeolog]/ of Us, eds. R.A. 
Gould and M.B. Schiffer (New York, NY, 1981), 137-159; Edwin Dethlefsen and James 
Deetz, "Death's Heads, Cherubs, and Willow Trees: Experimental Archaeology in 
Colonial Cemeteries," American Antiquity 31:4 (1966): 502-510; Edwin Dethlefsen and 
Kenneth Jensen, "Social Commentary from the Cemetery," Natural History 86:6 (1977): 
32-39. 

29. L.H. Elmaleh, The Jeioish Cemetery, Ninth and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia (Philadelphia, 
PA, 1962). 

30. B.H. Levy, "The Early History of Georgia's Jews," in Forty Years of Diversity: Essays on 
Colonial Georgia, ed. Harvey H. Jackson (Athens, GA, 1984), 163-168. Levy has written 
extensively on the Jews of Savannah and their old community cemeteries: see also his 
Savannah's Old Jewish Community Cemeteries (Macon, GA, 1983). 

31. Dobrinsky, A Treasury of Sephardic Laws and Customs, 108. 

32. Ibid. 



David Mayer Gradwohl 29 



33. Halporn, "American Jewish Cemeteries"; David Mayer Gradwohl, "Intra-Group 
Diversity in Midwest American Jewish Cemeteries: An Ethnoarchaeological 
Perspective," in Archaeologxf of Eastern North America: Papers in Honor of Stephen Williams, 
ed. James B. Stoltman (Jackson, MS, 1993), 363-382; David M. Gradwohl, "The Jewish 
Cemeteries of Louisville, Kentucky: Mirrors of Historical Processes and Theological 
Diversity Through 150 Years," Markers X (1993): 116-149; 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: An Anthropological Perspective on the American Jewish 
Experience, ed. Walter P Zenner (Albany, NY, 1988), 223-259. 



30 



At the Grave of Herman Melville 



m^ 



'1 k ■ ^^ 



r^ 




4 



,j 



N 




H' 



^■ 



vt. 



M 



Fig. 1. Gravestone of Herman Melville, 
Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx, New York City. 



31 



SCRIPTURAL STONES AND BARN MENDING: 
AT THE GRAVE OF HERMAN MELVILLE 

Kenneth Speirs 

Urged by doctors and family members concerned about his mental 
health, amid fears that he had written himself out, faced with the severe- 
ly dwindhng interest of editors and readers alike, at the moment of the 
profoundest personal and artistic crisis of his Hfe, Herman Melville in the 
fall of 1856, then barely thirty-seven years old, set out on a pilgrimage to 
the Holy Lands. The voyage was intended to calm, restore, and revitalize 
Melville, who, having seen through seven novels in a fervent seven year 
period, had grown increasingly agonized and withdrawn. His travel 
journal tells a different story, however, the story of a restless mind that 
continued to be indignant over human injustices, and appalled by the 
silences of the divine. Long rambles through Jerusalem's tortured streets 
and twisted alleys often led Melville to equally tortured and twisted ram- 
bles in his journal. Near the end of one such entry he writes: 

We read a good deal about stones in Scriptures. Monuments & memorials 
are set up of stones; men are stoned to death; the figurative seeds fall in 
stony places; and no wonder that stones should so largely figure in the 
Bible. Judea is one accumulation of stones - Stony mountains & stony 
plains; stony torrents & stony roads; stony walls & stony fields; stony hous- 
es & stony tombs; stony eyes & stony hearts. Before you, & behind you are 
stones. Stones to right & stones to left. In many places laborious attempt 
has been made, to clear the surface of these stones. You see heaps of stones 
here & there; and stone walls of immense thickness are thrown together, 
less for boundaries than to get them out of the way. But in vain; the removal 
of one stone only serves to reveal there stones still larger, below it. It is Uke 
mending an old barn; the more you uncover, the more it grows. ^ 

It is fitting that Melville, whose controlUng personal and artistic preoccu- 
pation was with first and last questions, should find himself considering 
the most fundamental, yet evidently the most confounding, of building 
blocks: the stone. We can't get blood from stones, or so the old saying 
goes. How is it then that Melville is able to get more, much more, from 
stones than blood? An initial explanation emerges when we attend to the 
movement of this passage, which we notice shuttles between the univer- 
sal and the local, between Scriptural-stones and barn-mending. In this 
way, stones serve as both symboUc expression and material possession. 



32 At the Grave of Herman Melville 



They permit Melville, as symbols, to consider time tested traditions, and 
to register a few of the ways humans have found to order their lives. 
Melville notes that stones figure prominently in the central text of west- 
ern religion; they help us memorialize our greatest achievements, better 
comprehend our misplaced aspirations, consecrate our lives, and dese- 
crate our damned. In Melville's hands, stones bear witness to the 
moments of being, both personal and communal, that are fundamental to 
the human experience - life and death, procreation and destruction, 
achievement and desire, mystery and faith. 

But the deeper he dives the more oppressive the effect of these sym- 
bolic stones; they eventually come to smother, impede, and overwhelm. 
"The removal of one stone only serves to reveal there stones still larger, 
below it," Melville observes. Everything conspires to plunge us further 
into the symbolic realm, to limit our thoughts and actions to the pre- 
scribed forms of tradition and history. At this point, Melville's choice is 
significant; he anchors his ruminations in local knowledge: barn mend- 
ing. Seen in this way, this passage reflects Melville's concern with pro- 
tecting the fabric of daily life - the continuity of the quotidian - from the 
weight of abstraction and tradition. In evidence here is Melville's mobili- 
ty of mind, which always searched for local meanings in abstraction, 
while at the same time, searching for ways universal verities can lend 
greater significance to the local. It is this habit of mind that enables 
Melville to see the divine in the earthly, the spiritual in matter, to make a 
world of a whaling ship, or to work the other way, to make barn-mending 
an exercise in Biblical exegesis. 

It is this ability to shuttle between the local and the universal that lies 
at the heart of Melville's art and life. "Truly to enjoy bodily warmth," 
Ishmael explains "some small part of you must be cold, for there is no 
quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing 
exists in itself."^ A stone is rarely ever just a stone. Melville was a voyager 
and a cottager, a seeker who longed to be a finder. His scrutiny of stones 
helps us see that his quest for lasting meaning takes him into several 
realms; his search for abstract meaning is only complete when grounded 
firmly in local knowledge, which, in turn, is only satisfactory when con- 
nected to larger truths. 

This helps to point up another feature of this journal entry which by 
now may have become apparent. Stones tell us a good deal not only about 
Melville's art and life, his search for meaning, they also tell us a good deal 



Kenneth Speirs 33 



about effective writing. Melville begins with a Biblical truth - a claim 
about the central place of stones in many of the ways humans have found 
to order their lives - and then he sets out to measure this against the evi- 
dence available to him through personal experience and keen observa- 
tion. Insights, to be sure, can only follow from keen reading. He turns the 
stone over and over again in his hand. He catches our attention, focusing 
it on this central image, expanding our understanding, holding dualities 
in proximate relation, exhausting possibilities. Seeds of growth spring 
forth from stones fully considered. Mentioned, in some form, twenty-four 
times in this passage, Melville's use of the word "stones" gives new 
meaning to the old phrase: to leave no stone unturned. Seen in this way, 
stones say as much about good writing as they do about the involutions 
of Melville's psyche. From stones, Melville is able to see the full complex- 
ity of the human experience, on both the universal and local levels. From 
stones, Melville builds an idea about the human condition and about 
good writing. Taking my cue from Melville, 1 build from stones. 

"1 love all men who DIVE," Melville generously acknowledges. "Any 
fish can swim near the surface, but it takes a great whale to go down stairs 
five miles or more."-' Sanctioned in advance, let me now try to dive deep- 
er, and connect this notion about Melville - his shuttling between univer- 
sal verities and local knowledge - to a different type of local knowledge, 
my own. I go, then, barn-mending. 

Poor Melville faced poor Melville. Most writers do their best to con- 
ceal their problems and troubles; Melville made books of them. He knew 
many things; he knew that we have no claim to our possessions, that we 
have no claim to exist. Once, not long ago, 1 dug a grave for my dog. Josh, 
and buried him in ceremony, using as my materials stuff that the earth 
generously offered up at the site - a weather-beaten hunk of a tree limb, 
an earth-eaten splinter of iron fence post, a perfectly smooth jaw bone 
from a cow, teeth still intact and white against the California sky, and an 
old strip of rusty barbed wire to suture the marker together - the detritus 
of days now gone. I chose a spot, under a California oak as old, I'm sure, 
as the hill it grew on (Fig. 2). It was one of those moments when 1 could 
see myself, dragging shovel and pike up the grassy hill towards the old 
oak; the whole thing, like a weird ghost sighting. Death, a kind of blank- 
ness, upon which I wanted to make some kind of mark. I wanted to write 
on the earth with stone; I wanted to say something to death about the 
meaning of this life that had ended. I was accompanied by Omar, my wise 



34 



At the Grave of Herman Melville 






Fig. 2. Josh's grave, Santa Ynez, California. 



Kenneth Speirs 35 



friend from Mexico, who shuttled back and forth between my family and 
my family's friends, doing work, scrapping by, supporting a growing 
family, becoming American. Born within days of each other in the same 
month of the same year, hundreds of miles apart, Omar is, in fact, much 
older than me in the ways that matter. 

The earth fought back at us that day on the hill beneath the old oak, 
pitching up rock and rubble, as we muscled our tools into its flesh. We 
had to earn our place; consecration wouldn't come easily: too many 
stones. Other discouragements were sent too. Soon an army of ants 
ambushed us; diggers and builders all, but we rivals in their game. To 
build a home for our dead, we had threatened their living. Forced to stop 
our work in order to kill, 1 tossed my shovel to the ground, and began 
slapping my arms and legs in a frenzied dance of life and death. So many 
ants! I saw the death I inflicted, and said "These ants know they are going 
to die, yet they keep on. They are so stupid!" Omar's response seemed to 
pick me up by the shoulders: "No," he said, lifting his arm so 1 could see 
the ants again, "they are not stupid, they are brave." 

Someone recently asked me why 1 like Melville? Though not her ques- 
tion, 1 heard myself asking myself why I had chosen to devote an impor- 
tant part of my life to Melville's life, my art to his art? 1 let the word Hnger 
in the air: "why?" 1 hear Rilke urging us to be patient toward all that is 
unsolved, and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms 
and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. I also hear 
Ishmael asking, as he tries to make sense of the whiteness of the whale: 
"How can 1 hope to explain myself here; and yet, in some dim, random 
way, explain myself 1 must, else all these chapters might be naught."^ I 
attend to them both, hearing them urging me to see again; 1 approach my 
question tentatively, obUquely; indirection gives me my direction. 

I begin to end where many begin. My thoughts on Melville turn now 
to Hawthorne's famous description of Melville, often regarded as the best 
starting place for understanding his life and fiction; Hawthorne remarks 
that Melville "can neither believe, nor be comfortable in his unbelief; and 
he is too honest and courageous not to try to do one or the other. "^ 
Honesty and courage - these characterize Melville's art and life; these 
constitute his legacy. 

His last words to the world confirm this. Melville worked on Billy 
Budd the final years of his life, this despite the unmistakable fact that he 
had no audience. Like the ants on the hill now guarding a grave, Melville 



36 At the Grave of Herman Melville 



must have known that death approached, and that most Hkely this last 
piece of writing would go unread; dead and unread: stupid or brave? In 
the closing scenes of this honest and courageous work, Melville puts all 
things aside and turns to the imagined spectacle of two men meeting the 
inevitable with generosity and strength. The Vere who had argued for 
coolness in the trial scene is humanized by sorrow and bent by the weight 
of a judgment made with full awareness of tragic sacrifice. Billy's role is 
even greater still; Billy is to forgive. A radical idea, so blankly simple, yet 
so transcendent and transformational, to forgive, to cast no stones. In 
Billy's "God bless Captain Vere!"'' we hear more than Melville's deathbed 
affirmation; we hear something so grand and austere, so profound and 
elemental, that I know only to call it Christ-like, knowing as 1 do that it is 
not enough, that I do not know enough. For a moment, with these words, 
the injustices of the human world and the silences of the divine seem sus- 
pended in a mood of hushed contemplation, as if Melville were marveling 
at what victimized human beings were capable of achieving and forgiv- 
ing- 

In closing, I cast glances, not stones, as I gaze backwards to Melville's 
last stone, that which rests now above his body at the Woodlawn 
Cemetery in the Bronx (Fig. 1). Why here? Why this rather strange, rather 
morbid, point of arrival? I turn to Melville's gravestone for final meaning. 
I turn with the vague notion that the epitaph inscribed on it might present 
an answer; the words in stone I hope, with some gentle coaxing, might 
yield up greater certainty, some lasting meaning. Much Uke Melville, I 
search for hints in stone. 

This sequel is soon told: pictured on Melville's grave is a scroll, a 
writer's scroll left mysteriously blank. I wish I could bring its beauty 
before us now, wanting to know what to make of this silent stone, requir- 
ing your help. Is this the cruelest of jokes, the darkest of dead-letter 
offices, a mum glance to posterity, or is it suggestive of something else? Is 
it stupid or brave? Is it honest? Its simplicity is finally confounding. The 
utterly blank scroll on Melville's grave, like the whiteness of the whale, is 
an invitation to further interpretation, an ending containing innumerable 
beginnings. Like the stones of Jerusalem, the removal of Melville's blank 
gravestone serves to reveal there stones still larger, below it. Let us wel- 
come this and respond to its biding, loving the questions themselves, like 
locked rooms. In the end, it becomes a marker of an end that is no end at 
all. We can make seeds to spring from stones. Let us all, then, stand before 



Kenneth Speirs 37 



Melville's grave, and let us marvel at what writers are capable of bringing 
to life in their art, and what writers are capable of bringing to life in our 
lives. 

NOTES 

The photograph of Herman Melville's gravestone at Woodlawn Cemetery (Fig. 1) was taken 
by Daniel Speirs: that of Josh's grave (Fig. 2) was taken by Joan Speirs. 

1. Herman Melville, Journal of a Visit to Europe and the Levant, October 11, 1856-May 6, 1857, 
ed. Howard C. Horsford (Princeton, NJ, 1955), 152. 

2. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (New York, NY, 1967), 55. 

3. Melville to his editor. Evert Duyckinck, in a letter dated March 3, 1849: quoted in Jay 
Ley da, ed.. The Melville Log: A Documentary Life of Herman Melville, 1819-1891 (New York, 
NY, 1951), 292. 

4. Melville, Moby-Dick, 163. 

5. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The English Notebooks, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, ed. Randall 
Stewart (New York, NY, 1941), 437. 

6. Herman Melville, Billy Budd, Sailor, ed. Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. 
(Chicago, IL, 1962), 123. 



38 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 







Fig. 1. Hannah Goodwin, 1772, Plymouth. 
Earliest chemb-type of Lemuel Savery. 



39 



THE GRAVESTONE CARVING TRADITIONS 
OF PLYMOUTH AND CAPE COD 

James Blachowicz 

Introduction 

Most of the early gravestones on Burial Hill in Plymouth, 
Massachusetts were supplied by carvers from elsewhere - from Boston or 
Middleborough or Plympton or even Providence, Rhode Island. It wasn't 
until the late 1760s or early 1770s that Plymouth began to develop its own 
carving tradition. But in the space of nine years - from 1796 to 1805 - it 
lost three of its native, resident carvers, creating somewhat of a vacuum 
once again. The earUest of these, Lemuel Savery (1757-C.1796), is known^; 
the other two are not, having been placed in a vague group of carvers 
identified up to now only as "Savery imitators." One of the principal aims 
of this essay is to introduce them and review their work. They were 
Amaziah Harlow, Jr. (1747-1802) and Nathaniel Holmes (1783-1869). 
Savery probably died in about 1796; Harlow died six years later, and 
Holmes left Plymouth for Barnstable about three years after that. Holmes 
would continue working on Cape Cod for the next sixty-four years, 
becoming perhaps its first major resident carver - a full generation after 
Plymouth had first acquired its own. The carving traditions of both 
Plymouth and the Cape developed just as "cherubs" and soul effigies 
were giving way to willows and urns as the principal visual elements in 
American gravestone iconography. 

Holmes' cherubs are close in style and execution to Harlow's, and 
Harlow's in turn owe much to Savery' s; but there is also circumstantial 
evidence which suggests a more professional relationship first between 
Savery and Harlow and then between Harlow and Holmes. There have 
been no detailed analyses of Savery' s work; thus I will begin this discus- 
sion by providing one myself. 

It is well known that the decorative style of traditional cherub carving 
ultimately 3delds to more secular, neoclassical symbolism. Further, it is not 
uncommon for students of gravestone art to see in this change a general 
degeneration of the craft, accompanied by a loss of "soul" and a failure of 
imagination. Allan Ludwig beUeved that even the neoclassical style intro- 
duced from England was experiencing a creative transformation at the 
hands of rural American carvers with their penchant for rustic abstrac- 



40 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



tions and simplification, but "the curtain was rung down on this act of 
creation/' he laments, "when stones such as the Elizabeth Watson marker, 
1798,..., which are nothing more than sterile secondhand copies of 
Enghsh neoclassical prototypes, took the public's fancy. "^ 

The Elizabeth Watson stone to which Ludwig refers (his plate 203) 
was, in all probability, carved by Amaziah Harlow.'^ Ludwig does not, 
unfortunately, examine this new generation of stones in any detail. While 
it might be argued that Holmes ultimately wound up producing "sterile 
secondhand copies" with standardized neoclassical symbols (neither 
Savery nor Harlow lived long enough to give us many such post-cherub 
stones), it should also be recognized that early on, at least. Holmes, like 
Savery, was able to depict schematically the human head in stone with 
some semblance of proportionality and balance. These are charming 
faces, not in small part because of their humanity - quite unlike the 
strange faces to which we might have grown accustomed on the stones of 
earlier carvers, whose misproportions are often tolerated (even preferred) 
as "rustic" or "folk" art. Further, like a number of other carvers in that fas- 
cinating and volatile period between 1800 and 1815, Holmes produced 
some interesting experiments in the shape and design of his gravestones. 

Beyond the question of the aesthetics of these designs. Holmes' work 
is important in that his output of well over a thousand stones over seven- 
ty years provides us important data on the craft of gravestone carving and 
the history of the period. There is his occasional copying of other carvers' 
styles and his nostalgic return to his own earlier style - both no doubt the 
result of his desire to accommodate his clients' special requests. There is 
his remarkable success on Cape Cod. Most of all. Holmes provides a link 
between the earliest and the latest traditions of carving - between cherubs 
and urns, slate and marble and, to a degree, between the inventiveness of 
the turn of the century and the settled routine of the following decades. 
His work reflects the changing sensibilities of American material culture 
between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. 

Field Study 

In May of 1996, I undertook a study of what 1 took to be two carvers 
whose work was evident on Cape Cod. I was fairly sure one was Lemuel 
Savery. My idea of Savery' s style was based on a type of cherubic face I 
had noticed in exploring the area since 1972, as well as on five stones 
which Peter Benes has noted as probated to Savery. 



James Blachowicz 41 



The identity of the other carver, whose stones I first noticed in West 
Yarmouth, was at that point unknown. Subsequent study has shown that 
the group of stones I associated with this carver was in fact the work of 
two separate carvers: Amaziah Harlow, Jr. and Nathaniel Holmes. 
Further, a few of the stones that others had ascribed to Savery were, in 
fact, the work of two other, still unidentified, carvers. That is to say, what 
I had initially taken to be the work of two carvers turned out to be the 
work of five. Later, as 1 examined the earliest stones for Savery, Harlow, 
and Holmes, it became apparent that three other carvers filled out the 
story of gravestone carving in Plymouth: one was probably William Coye, 
who was responsible for a handful of sandstone markers between 1767 
and 1772 and may have been a significant early influence on Savery; a sec- 
ond carver, also responsible for just a few stones, may have had a similar 
influence on Harlow; and, in examining Holmes' earliest stones, it was 
necessary to look also at the markers of his contemporary John Tribbel, 
who succeeded him in Plymouth. Further, upon closer examination of 
Holmes' latest stones on the Cape, 1 found that yet another carver had 
produced about thirty markers which were barely distinguishable from 
his. These came from the workshop of Jabez M. Fisher (and his son 
William S. Fisher), whose career emerged in Yarmouth as Holmes' 
declined. Finally, one of the probate records which lists a payment to 
Holmes was for a stone carved by another Cape carver, William Sturgis. 
Thus, the initial two carvers had multiplied to eleven. 

After my first study in May of 1996, 1 extended my search the follow- 
ing October, and still further in March and June of 1997. In December 
1996, 1 was also able to survey twenty-two burial grounds in the southern 
coastal states (Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia). 
Excepting these southern states, the total of 190 surveyed burial grounds 
(see Appendix 1) comprise the region from Boston south through 
Plymouth and the entirety of Cape Cod (plus Martha's Vineyard), south- 
west to Providence, and northwest to the area around Franklin and 
Walpole. 

After final analysis of a total of 1,873 stones, all of which were pho- 
tographed, as well as ten more which were identified in probate records 
but which I was not able to find, 1 have tentatively settled on the follow- 
ing attributions (enumerated in Appendices 3-9): 



42 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



Lemuel Savery: 271 stones 

two Savery imitators: 46 stones 

Amaziah Harlow, Jr.: 71 stones 

Nathaniel Holmes: 1,337 stones 

John Tribbel: 35 stones 

William W. Sturgis: 34 stones 

Jabez M. Fisher & son: 83 stones 

Since Tribbel, Sturgis, and the Fishers were not the original or primary 
subjects of the study, the stones ascribed to them here are only a very 
small sample of their total production. The lists for Savery, Harlow, 
Holmes, and the two Savery imitators, on the other hand, should be close 
to complete. 

It should be noted that, throughout this study, an ascription made to a 
particular carver is based on his execution of the soul effigy (and /or other 
figure) forming the principal decorative element of the stone - even if the 
stone was inscribed by someone else. Eleven stones ascribed to Savery on 
the basis of the tympanum were inscribed by other hands; three stones 
ascribed to one of Savery' s imitators were probably inscribed by Savery; 
five stones attributed to Harlow were inscribed by Holmes; and six stones 
attributed to Holmes before 1803 may have been inscribed by Harlow. 

Part I: Lemuel Savery 

Only five pubHcations, to my knowledge, mention Lemuel Savery: 
Benes (1977), Duval and Rigby (1978), Neal and Parker (1981), George and 
Nelson (1983), and Combs (1986).'^ Duval and Rigby simply list Savery in 
their summary of known carvers (p. 129), indicating he was active around 
1775 but was most productive between 1778 and 1796. Combs provides a 
photo of the tympanum of Savery's only known signed stone (Benjamin 
Hawes, 1781, Charleston, South Carolina) and offers a brief two-para- 
graph interpretation of its imagery (pp. 18-19); she also includes a photo 
(p. 212) of the 1792 Elizabeth Hall Foster stone in Charleston, but does not 
identify it as Savery's. Neal and Parker have a photo of the 1767 George 
Brown stone in Wellfleet, a reproduced rubbing of its tympanum, and a 
brief description which assigns the stone "almost certainly" to Savery 
(Plate XXII); as we shall see, however, this marker was carved by a still 
unidentified "Savery imitator." George and Nelson assign eleven stones 
to Savery in their survey of Cape Cod burial grounds (some tentatively, to 



James Blachowicz 43 



be sure), but are probably incorrect in every case.^ 

It is Peter Benes who provides the most important information on 
Lemuel Savery, although his discussion is also quite brief. He reports that 
Savery was paid for gravestones "on four occasions" (p. 242), but he lists 
five such probate citations in his Appendix B (p. 196). He also includes a 
probate reference for a payment to "Jonathan Darby" which is really a 
payment to Savery (specifically mentioned a page earlier in the probate 
record). In addition to a seventh probate contained in the Association for 
Gravestone Studies research collection, my search of these records has 
uncovered five more (see Appendix 2).^ Benes also uses three illustrations 
based on stones he attributes to Savery.^ One of these is of the 1790 
WilUam Chipman headstone (see my Fig. 17) in Wellfleet; it shows, Benes 
claims, that Savery carved a few winged skulls for a more conservative 
cUentele on the Cape. He bases this claim on the fact that, while the 
Chipman headstone features a winged skull, the footstone has the usual 
Savery cherub. On the basis of the Chipman skull stone, he ascribes two 
more skuUs to Savery. However, while Savery probably did carve the 
cherubic footstone, there is evidence from the inscription that he did not 
carve the skulled headstone. As we shall see, there is another instance of 
such a split headstone /footstone pairing - the 1794 Patty Nye stones in 
Sandwich. Further, one of the other of Benes' ascriptions of a skull stone 
to Savery is incorrect for other reasons.^ 

A. Biography 

Benes provides some genealogical information on Savery, but reports 
that "little is known of this carver." Let me summarize what we do know, 
expanding on Benes' account. 

A genealogy of the Savery family published by A. W. Savary in 1893^ 
records that in 1681 Lemuel's great-grandfather, Samuel Savery, was 
granted twenty acres of land in what is now Carver, Massachusetts. Most 
of Samuel's children, including Lemuel's grandfather, Thomas, were born 
in Rochester. Of Lemuel's father, Thomas, we know only that he was born 
in 1710, was a Plymouth tithingman, and, according to one tradition 
which this genealogy reports, "was carried away as a prisoner of war to 
one of the French West Indies, and kept there two years" (p. 74). He mar- 
ried Priscilla Paddock. 

Lemuel Savery was born in Plymouth on July 7, 1757, the youngest of 
nine children. He married Elizabeth Deverson in Plymouth on December 



44 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



7, 1785.^° The 1893 genealogy claims that Elizabeth was the widow of 
George Deverson, and that her maiden name was Stephenson. Lemuel 
and Elizabeth had five children: John (1786-1819), Elizabeth (1788-?), 
William (1790-?), Lemuel Jr. (1793-1834), and Samuel, who apparently 
died as a child.^^ I have been unable to find any record of Lemuel Savery's 
death in Plymouth church or civil records, or in the records of surround- 
ing counties,^^ nor does he have a stone on Burial Hill.^'^ His widow, 
Elizabeth, who never remarried, does have a stone there: she died in 1831 
at age 71. Lemuel's mother, Priscilla, and his eldest brother, Thomas, are 
buried in Lakenham Cemetery in North Carver, under a marble monu- 
ment erected in 1855 by Thomas' great-grandson, William Savery. 

We do know that Lemuel was still living on July 21, 1793, the date in 
Plymouth church records for the baptism of his four surviving children,^'* 
and still later, after September 19, 1794, the date he inscribed on the 
Thomas Jackson stone, probated to him. The US Census for 1800, howev- 
er, lists only his wife, Elizabeth.^^^ Elizabeth sells his shop late in 1801.^^ 
Lemuel Savery died (or left the area?) shortly after October 12, 1796, the 
date on the Betsy Cobb stone in North Carver (his latest inscribed mark- 
er). He would then have been about forty years of age. 

B. Gravestones 

(1) Chronological and Regional Distribution 

Judging from the 271 stones I have attributed to him (see Appendix 
3)^^, Lemuel Savery carved gravestones from about 1773 to 1796, that is, 
from the time he was sixteen until he reached thirty-nine. Many of his ear- 
liest stones are probably backdated. As for the final stones Savery pro- 
duced (excluding those inscribed by others), twelve are dated 1794, 
eleven are dated 1795, and three 1796.^*^ There are also eleven stones dated 
1790-1800 (two are footstones) which have Savery-carved tympanums, 
but which were inscribed by other carvers. 

The distribution by town of Savery's stones is given in Table 1. Also 
shown on this map are the markers carved by his two principal imitators, 
to be discussed later. The chronology of Savery's stones is shown in Table 
2. This is uneven from 1773 through 1784: thirteen stones in 1780, for 
example, but only six the following year; and fifteen stones in 1783, but 
only five the following year. The fact that many of his stones from the 
Revolutionary period and just after are backdated, however, make these 
numbers suspect; that is, a number of clients may have commissioned 



James Blachowicz 



45 



markers after the tumult of the times had subsided. For the final eleven 
full years (1785-1795) of his work, however, his production remains fairly 
steady, averaging thirteen stones a year. 

For ease of comparison, the areas containing Savery's stones are divid- 
ed into nine regions: 

Region 1: Plymouth 

Region 2: Duxbury Kingston, East and West Bridgewater, Halifax, 

Hanson, Brockton, Stoughton 
Region 3: Sandwich, Barnstable, West Barnstable, Centerville, 

Hyannis, Yarmouth 
Region 4: Provincetown, Wellfleet, Orleans, Harwich, Brewster 

Table 1. Geographical Distribution of the Gravestones 
of Lemuel Savery and his Two Principal Imitators 



Boston Ok3 



O Savery 

I I Narrow-Nose Imitator 

/\ Goggle-Eye Imitator 




46 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



Region 5 
Region 6 
Region 7 
Region 8 
Region 9 



North and South Carver 

Quincy, Milton, Weymouth 

Boston 

Wareham 

Beyond New England (Nova Scotia, North Carolina, 

South Carolina) 



Table 2. Chronological and Regional Distribution of Savery's Stones 

Rl R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 TOTAL 

6 

3 

1 6 

6 

7 

7 

5 

11 

1 1 13 

13 

1 6 

9 

15 

5 

12 

11 

1 14 

17 

14 

16 

10 

1 14 

16 

1 13 
14 

4 
1 
1 

2 

2 5 271 



1751-68 


5 


1 












1772 


3 














1773 


5 














1774 


6 












. 


1775 


7 














1776 


3 






3 




1. 




1777 


3 


1 












1778 


6 


4 












1779 


9 


1 






1 


' 




1780 


9 




2 


1 




1 




1781 


4 














1782 


6 


1 


2 










1783 


9 


4 






1 






1784 


4 


1 












1785 


8 


1 








2 




1786 


5 


1 






2 


2 


1 


1787 


6 


3 


'. 


1 


1 


2 




1788 


10 


4 




1 


1 






1789 


9 


4 












1790 


8 


3 


4* 






1 ~ 




1791 


6 


1 


1 






2 




1792 


4 


3 


3 




2 


1 




1793 


8 


1 


4* 


1 


2 






1794 


6 


1 


3* 






1 


1 


1795 


3 


5 




2** 


2* 


1 


1 


1796 




3* 






1 






1797 








1* 








1798 








1* 








1799 
















1800 










2** 






Total 


152 


43 


26 


11 


14 


15 


3 



*one stone inscribed by another carver 
*two stones inscribed by another carver 



James Blachowicz 47 



This distribution is rather unbalanced in places. While Savery has 
fourteen stones in Lakenham and Union Cemeteries in Carver, for exam- 
ple, he has none in the main burial ground of Plympton, only three miles 
away; and while he has seven stones in Milton and six in Quincy he has 
none in Scituate and only one in Weymouth. Proximity to Plymouth is not 
a reliable index for greater numbers of Savery stones because many towns 
nearby supported their own carvers: Plympton favored the Soules, 
Scituate and Weymouth the Pratts, Kingston the Washburns. Savery had 
a family connection to Carver - explaining, perhaps, the appearance of his 
stones there. 

In the first half of his career (through 1787), Savery carved fairly equal 
numbers of stones for men and women, with significantly fewer for chil- 
dren: men 40%; women 43%; children 17%. This shifts in the second half 
of his career, however, to men 29%, women 41%, and children 30%. The 
shift could indicate a growing preference for his cherubs in the case of 
women's and children's stones. Amaziah Harlow's stones for the period 
1788 through 1802, in contrast, divide between men and women fairly 
equally. But such a conclusion cannot be drawn without a more detailed 
comparison of Savery' s production to that of his other contemporaries 
(such as Bildad Washburn, Robert Pratt, Isaac Tomson, John Homer, the 
Parks, or the later Lamsons) to see whether most carvers were in fact carv- 
ing more stones for women and children after 1787. Why would this be 
true (if it were true)? Perhaps surviving widowers were more able to pay 
for stones than surviving widows; perhaps, with greater prosperity after 
the Revolution, famiUes were more able to afford stones for children espe- 
cially; or perhaps the death rate for children was higher in that span due 
to outbreaks of disease, etc. There is also some small correlation of stones 
for men /women /children with shape and design elements, to be dis- 
cussed below. 

(2) Material 

For the early and much of the middle part of his career, Savery used a 
dark-green slate (and, less frequently, a grey); but from about 1789 we find 
no stones carved from this material. Instead, in addition to a medium- 
grey shade of slate, Savery utilized a distinctive lighter grey slate with 
patches of copper (similar to what a few other carvers, including John 
Homer, were using). 



48 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



(3) Shapes 

Savery fashioned his stones into four principal shapes. He used shape 

51 (see Table 3) for 60% of his stones: 46% before 1788, but 81% afterwards 
- reflecting both his and his clientele's growing preference for simpler, 
more streamlined designs. It was used for 90% of children's stones. Shape 

52 was used for another 18%, while S3 and S4 were used for 6% and 13% 
respectively. On at least two occasions, Savery made rectangular table 
tomb slabs. In one other notable instance he used an obeUsk-silhouette 
shape^^ {S6) - the 1794 Thomas Jackson stone in Plymouth (Fig. 13). This 
is an important stone for a number of reasons: it is probated to him; it was 
produced quite late in his career; and the shape points ahead to the nine- 
teenth century where, even though it would not become the standard, it 
was popular in a period of shape experimentation (Harlow, Holmes, and 
Tribbel would all use it often). 

Table 3: Most popular shapes for Savery, Harlow, Holmes 




SI 



S2 



S3 



S4 



S5 



S6 



(In calculating shape use, I have amalgamated slight variations of shape 
under these principal types) 

(4) Decorative Elements 

We find cherubs (soul effigies) on all but fifteen of Savery's 271 stones. 
Of these fifteen, nine feature portraits in contemporary dress, two have 
skulls and bones, three have urns, and one is a slab for a box tomb with a 
lengthy inscription but lacking decorative elements. 



(i) Early Cherubs 

Two factors conspire to make the identification of Savery's earliest 
stones somewhat difficult. First of all, his style is maturing, and signifi- 
cant changes are to be expected as he develops from his late teens through 
his early twenties. And then there is the annoying influence of backdat- 



James Blachowicz 49 



ing. Quite a number of Savery's stones dated 1772 through 1777 seem to 
be significantly backdated, perhaps because many of his chents were 
ordering stones for relatives who had died in the tumultuous years lead- 
ing up to and through the Revolution. Many of these stones were proba- 
bly carved in 1777 and 1778. 

Savery's earliest cherub type is represented in the 1772 stone for 
Hannah Goodwin (Fig. 1). The hair is segmented into a top and two side 
sections; the wing feathers all lie flat against the bottom of the tympanum; 
and there are no small feathers or scallops under the chin or lining the 
leading edge of the wings. Savery's characteristic lettering - to be dis- 
cussed more fully later - is already in evidence (the "t," "y" "g," and 
"ye"). This stone is quite similar to four other markers, two dated 1775 
and two dated 1776.^° These four may all have been carved in about 1776. 
Then there is a group of four stones dated 1775 to 1778, in many respects 
similar to the first group, except for the wing feathers: there are more of 
them; they are less vertically oriented; and each is marked off by perpen- 
dicular divisions along its length. The latest of this group, that for Joseph 
Warren Alberson (1778) (Fig. 2), is especially significant in that we find for 
the first time small scallop-feathers under the chin and lining the leading 
edge of the wing, and also an empty space between the wings and the bot- 
tom of the tympanum - features that would remain in all of Savery's sub- 
sequent stones.^^ Most of the stones in these two groups were for children. 
There are three other stones which may have been carved as early as these 
(or earUer), but because two feature portraits while the third has a skull 
and bones, it is more difficult to make a firm attribution. I will discuss 
them shortly. 

In his next cherub phase, Savery produces a much rounder and larger 
face with a jowly jaw. He also no longer delineates the pupils of the eyes. 
This jowly face appears on about twenty-four of Savery's stones before 
1782. In addition to the larger jaw, these early faces feature hair with a 
center portion combed straight back, and (usually) side portions with a 
single gather. The mouth is fairly well rendered, although the lower lip 
tends to be too horizontal. A good example is the 1778 stone for Priscilla 
Weston (Fig. 3)?^ This face bears some resemblance to those on the stones 
carved by Stephen Hartshorn.^^ Six of these Savery stones are dated 1778 
and eight more have earlier dates; but if Savery had indeed moved to this 
jowly face after the narrow face represented in the earUer two groups - 
about 1779 perhaps - then the eight jowly-faced stones before 1778 are sig- 



50 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




Fig. 2. Joseph Warren Alberson, 1778, Plymouth. 
Early Savery cherub. 



James Blachowicz 



51 



nificantly backdated. Of course, it is also possible that Savery for a while 
sustained both styles in parallel - or even that another unknown carver 
may have had a hand in the early two groups. 

(//) Skulls and Portraits 

Before examining Savery' s later cherub face, we need to consider his 
use of skulls and portraits. There are two stones with skulls and crossed 
bones probably carved by Savery: those for John Bartlett (1773) (Fig. 4) 
and Thomas Foster (1777). I ascribe the Foster stone to Savery on the basis 
of its lettering (see below) and the Bartlett marker (less positively) on the 



A 



ra 



1 



iH&$^^ 



.'ViSii 



iM 



?v^^ 






rVS'- T> .<;V V 



. * •> ' 




_•- -^ffr-pp' t: 






^^. '■i?.i^-^» ".^^^ ^^^^mm 



Fig. 3. Priscilla Weston, 1778, Duxbury. 
"Jowly" Savery cherub. 



52 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




timmm 




Here iies' ■ InXe vvA Hie 

^BocIv-ofM^, " 

.ETT 
ibis- . 

; O'lh 







k 



Fig. 4. John Bartlett, 1773, Plymouth. 
Probable Savery skull and bones. 



James Blachowicz 53 



basis of its similarity to the Foster stone's skull and bones. The skull is 
quite like a type John Homer used, even down to the jagged crack each 
carver positioned between the eye sockets.^"* Savery also used a skull (but 
not in semi-profile) with crossed bones on the 1773 Joanah Holmes stone 
and crossed bones without skulls on at least five other occasions, where 
they surmount a cherub.-^ 

Although the skulls are nearly identical on these two stones, the let- 
tering on the Bartlett stone is significantly different. The "t" has a rather 
flat bottom curl and the crossbar is not connected to the top (forming a 
tiny triangle) as it is on just about all of Savery's early stones. Such a "t" 
also appears on the 1773 portrait stone for Francis LeBaron (see Fig. 9) in 
Georgetown, South Carolina and on the square stone for Lazarus LeBaron 
(1773) in Plymouth. A "t" with a flat bottom curl, but with the crossbar-tri- 
angle is found on the 1772 portrait stone for WilUam Rider in Plymouth. 
The faces on these two portrait stones as well as the faces of the two small 
cherubs on the shoulders of the Bartlett stone are rather primitive, but 
there is a slight resemblance to the faces of Savery's earhest (narrow- 
faced) cherubs. These three stones may thus show Savery's earhest letter- 
ing style, and may in fact be his very first stones. If they are indeed his, 
then Savery probably started carving in about 1773, when he was sixteen 
years old. 

This lettering has some features in common with that on the 1763 
stone for Bathsheba Drew, but the Drew (slate) marker is very probably 
the work of Stephen Hartshorn of Providence. There are also similarities 
with the lettering on five other Plymouth sandstone markers. One is the 
1767 stone for Sarah Spooner (Fig. 5): the border on the Spooner stone is 
very close to that on the Drew stone, but other differences prevent an 
ascription to Hartshorn.^^ The Spooner marker features the flat-bottomed 
"t" and a Savery-type "ye," and its portrait also demonstrates some of the 
same crudeness we find in the portrait on the William Rider stone. 
However, as Savery was ten years old in 1767, the Spooner stone could 
not be his unless significantly backdated. 

The letters on the Spooner marker are also similar to those on the 1771 
stone for Nathaniel Goodwin (Fig. 6)?'^ Goodwin's probate record 
includes a payment to a WilHam Coye for gravestones.^^ Lemuel Savery's 
sister, Ruth (only two years older than Lemuel), married a William Coye 
in Plymouth on May 24, 1772.^'' Coye is Hsted as a resident in Plymouth in 
the 1790 U.S. Census; in the census for 1800 his age is recorded as "above 



54 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




I/.', ^ 



-L 



^\ 



ere iiesinxern 






t 

~>-i 



ififeARAHbrOONrt 

I -7' ' ♦ ■• t- \' 












C 



^„ \ 



i \ 



.'^ 



'**]^^i>SWi*-.X»,»«.. 



't^-. 




Fig. 5. Sarah Spooner, 1767, Plymouth. Stephen Hartshorn-type 
border; letters similar to those of William Coye (see Fig. 6). 



James Blachowicz 



55 











\'\.c vc-Wcs l.iiloi rcl. 



• {, 



B' 



vho liopjirdHl this I Ai'i} ' p 
von IVuiul L\H'(,:)n tl ^ 








or ! ^ ^ ^^ 






11 



tCWfeHMM""" 



Fig. 6. Nathaniel Goodwin, 1771, Plymouth. 
Probate payment to William Coye. 



56 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



forty-five," and he is living with one female between twenty-five and 
forty-five (his wife, presumably), another female between seventeen and 
twenty- five, and a male between ten and sixteen (his children?). There are, 
however, no burials in any cemetery in Plymouth for anyone named Coye 
(or Coy). Could WilUam Coye have been responsible for most, if not all, 
of these sandstone markers (none of which is dated after 1772), with 
Savery taking over from him (perhaps having learned a little from him) in 
about 1772 or 1773? If Coye was only slightly older than his wife, Ruth, he 
would have been about sixteen in 1767 (the Spooner stone does show 
some evidence of a juvenile style), and by 1771 would have been a more 
mature carver (as is evident in the Nathaniel Goodwin stone). Perhaps 
Coye moved to another profession after this time (the 1893 Savery geneal- 
ogy lists him as a "Dr. Coy"). Further research is needed to sort out these 
possible connections among Savery, Hartshorn, and Coye. 

The probate record for the estate of Elizabeth Morton (1790) records a 
payment for gravestones to Lemuel Savery. The portrait on this stone (Fig. 
7), as Ludwig has noted, closely parallels that on the earlier Patience 
Watson stone (1767), which Forbes suggests - and Ludwig agrees -was 




Fig. 7. Elizabeth Morton, 1790, Plymouth. 
Probated to Savery. 



James Blachowicz 



57 



carved by William Codner.-^" Though probably earlier than the Morton 
stone, Savery's Mary Brown stone (1782) is more interesting, with posed 
arms and hands (one holding a cut flower - an anemone?) and a subtle 
difference in the lines of the two cheeks and the two sides of the nose sug- 
gesting a slight turn to the right.-^^ Besides the similarity of the portraits, 
the Mary Brown stone also features Savery's characteristic "i" and amper- 
sand. A bit cruder is the Hannah Lewis stone (1790),-^^ close to Elizabeth 
Morton's portrait, but with simplified eyes. A fourth woman's portrait - 
that found on the Lydia Cotton stone (1787) - is more problematic. This 
seems an even closer copy of the Patience Watson stone, but is inferior to 
the Mary Brown portrait which, unless the Brown stone is backdated, is 
five years earlier. The eyes and the mouth are close enough to Savery's 
style, however, to attribute the stone to him; it has his characteristic "ye." 
We have five portraits of men to consider. Those on the 1774 Abraham 
Hammatt, 1776 Nathaniel Morton (Fig. 8), and 1778 Nathaniel Curfis 
stones have similarly rendered hair and eyes, in Savery's style. All three 
inscriptions utilize the Savery-type "t," and "ye," while the Hammatt and 
Curtis stones also share the ampersand. The figures in the Hammatt and 




Fig. 8. Nathaniel Morton, 1776, Plymouth. 
Early Savery portrait. 



58 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 





/i-/'.',^-,.-, - .»-,. • • .- - ■■<'>': ■'*'-'»*^ V*"- •■'/-••J'' ,- •« 



Fig, 9. Francis LeBaron, 1773, Georgetown, South Carolina. 
Possibly very early Savery portrait. 



James Blachowicz 



59 



Morton portraits stand behind a box tomb. The 1772 stone for WiUiam 
Rider also features a figure standing behind a tomb, but the face and hair 
are, as I have said, more primitive. While the inscription has Savery's "t," 
it lacks his "y^- " ^^^ ^^^ portrait stone is that for Francis LeBaron (1773) 
(Fig. 9) in Georgetown, South Carolina, again featuring a standing male 
figure beside a tomb, upon which rests a skull. The general treatment, 
including the raised panel and the leaf-framed cameo oval, is like Savery's 
others, although the portrait is primitive, as was that for William Rider. 
Savery had executed other stones for members of the LeBaron family in 
Plymouth, which is where Francis LeBaron was born. 

(Hi) Later Cherubs 

Let us now consider the cherub face on the stones which form the bulk 
of Savery's work after 1782. These faces are more youthful looking than 
his jowly faces, owing to the smaller proportions of the jaw, such as on the 
probated Thomas Davis stone (Fig. 10). They also possess an understated 
delicacy and realism that few other carvers were able to achieve. Despite 
their often schematic rendering (especially in his latest work), these faces 




Fig. 10. Thomas Davis, 1785, Plymouth. 
Mature cherub style. Probated to Savery. 



60 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



are balanced and proportionate - that is, they are convincingly human 
faces. The most important element in this effect is the placement of the 
eyes. Unlike most other cherub carvers, who make the amateur's mistake 
of placing the eyes too high, Savery places them close to the vertical cen- 
ter of the face. Further, the faces do not have geometrically simple shapes 
(circle, ellipse or oval); rather, he often squared off the shape somewhat, 
highlighting the cheek and pointed chin. The hair is parted in the middle 
and has appropriate thickness, unlike that often rendered by other 
carvers, where it is either too thin (so that it looks as if the cherub were 
balding, or was wearing a toupe) or is tousled to give the impression of a 
misshapen dome (e.g., the Geyer heads). We can find five different hair 
styles on Savery's later cherubs: (a) the hair may fall in wavy strands curl- 
ing up at the ends; (b) to this might be added curly bangs^^ (Fig. 10); (c) it 
may fall in straight (non-wavy) parallel strands (Fig. 10); (d) this straight 
hair may be "dented" - that is, look as if gathered with a bobby-pin just 
above each ear; (e) parted in the middle, it may also look as if it is combed 
back more, so that strands "radiate" (e.g.. Fig. 19) from the scalp line more 
than the style in (c). There is not much of a developmental pattern to be 
detected among these various styles: the "dented" style is used consis- 
tently (but not exclusively) until about 1793; for the thirty or so stones 
produced afterward, Savery prefers the more "radial" style. 

The eyes are simple circles, enclosed by eyelids that taper to the sides. 
In simplified versions, Savery makes the eyelids and the corners of the 
eyes by extending short tapering lines from the two sides of the eye cirles 
themselves (e.g.. Fig. 19). The eyebrows are rather horizontal, but not 
unrealistic. 

The mouth is usually very delicately and realistically drawn, with a 
slight smile. It is perhaps the most important feature of the face by which 
we might distinguish Savery's own stones from those of his imitators. 

There are usually three elongated feathers comprising the wing on 
each side, separated by simple lines, sometimes with a center vein in the 
individual feathers, sometimes not. The leading-edge wing feathers on 
the wing's upper ridge are represented by two layers of a broad scallop; 
these continue under the chin to the other wing, so that what appears as 
the leading-edge feathers on the wings looks like a collar with a scalloped 
ruffle under the chin - a device employed by other carvers as well. Until 
about 1790, the wings generally touched the bottom line of the tympa- 
num; afterwards, Savery placed them higher, more as if in flight. 



James Blachowicz 61 



Savery's carved wings evolved over the years to more and more sim- 
plified forms. In his earliest stones, Savery outlined the upper leading 
edges of both wings (and usually the continuation of this line under the 
chin as well) with a rounded ridge, Hke a bead molding (Fig. 10). This is 
also usually accompanied by veining of both the long wing feathers and 
the shorter (scalloped) leading-edge feathers. Further, the whole treat- 
ment is more sculpted, rather than incised, as it was to become later. This 
more elaborate carving undoubtedly required more time and patience 
than the simplified efforts which were to follow. 

In about 1783, this wing is slightly simplified: each leading-edge feath- 
er is now a plain scallop with no central vein. Then the outlining of the 
outer edge of the wings is dropped, as well as the central veins of the long 
feathers (e.g.. Fig. 19). The treatment is in general flatter and more incised. 
It begins to predominate in about 1789. Finally, in a later stage of simpli- 
fication, Savery eliminated the thick semi-circular border which framed 
the top of the tympanum. That is, he chiseled out the surface which 
formed the background of the cherub all the way to the edge of the stone 
itself - a technique John Homer had used somewhat earlier. Thirteen such 
stones are dated between 1792 and 1795. The Patty Nye and WilUam 
Chipman footstones (Figs. 18 and 19) are good examples. 

(iv) Other Decorative Features 

Peter Benes describes a (now missing) border on the 1773 Joanah 
Holmes stone, noting a similarity to those used by the Cushmans.^^ Since 
1 have been unable to find any photograph or illustration of this border, I 
am unable to comment on this possible connection to the Cushmans. 
Benes also indicates that such a border (whatever it was) appeared on 
more than a single stone of Savery's, but gives no examples. 

We do find a border on the surviving fragment of the 1773 stone for 
[Jab]ez Har[low] (Fig. 11) -but it resembles more the sort used by Codner 
on the Patience Watson stone than those more superficial types we com- 
monly find on William Cushman's stones. In general, it seems that Savery 
(and his Plymouth cUentele?) preferred the more urbane designs of 
Boston-area carvers like Codner, Homer, and Geyer (or Stephen 
Hartshorn of Providence) than the more rustic styles of the smaller towns. 

Savery did not often add any other decorative features to his stones. 
He carved some leafy ensembles and flowers on his few portrait stones 
and often use a curled staff as a Hne border on stones with rounded shoul- 



62 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



ders (see Fig. 23) - a common feature on John Homer's stones. 
Occasionally, Savery would position a single finely carved leaf in this 
shoulder area, as other carvers had done. He carved an imposing column 
border on the probated Thomas Davis stone (1785).'^^ On the 1790 Thomas 
Smith and 1793 Mercy Goodspeed stones, he employs a semi-floral bor- 
der; the Goodspeed stone also has a cloud over the cherub's head.'^^ But 
these are all rare devices. 

Besides the probated Oakes Angier horizontal slab stone (1786), spe- 
cial mention should be made of another imposing box tomb slab stone - 
that rendered for Sarah Bonner (1779) in Washington, North Carolina. 
This stone was commissioned by Sarah's husband, James Bonner, Jr. (son 
of the James Bonner who founded the town), and bears four typical 
Savery cherubs - one in each of the four corners of the slab - as well as a 
long, tender inscription.'^^ 

The inscription on Savery' s early stones is often placed on what looks 
like a raised panel set off from the edges of the stone by a narrow recess. 
Framing this recess and panel is a thin bead molding (see Fig. 9). He uses 
this device twenty-four times through 1781, but only three times there- 








50(//, >J 






^ 



"■(>r/) 






v,'/ •* -A w.Mks^m'iJd'iA'xi ..K «.j «?V 



Fig. 11. [Jabjez Har[low], 1773, Plymouth. 
Fragmented stone probably carved by Savery. 




James Blachowicz 



63 




-"i .tSSSf^tS^ 



Fig. 12. Samuel Lanman, 1794, Plymouth. 
Typical Savery lettering. 



64 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



after. Its disappearance parallels to some extent his move away from the 
more elaborate stone shapes (S3 and S4). 

(5) Inscriptions 

Perhaps the most telltale inscriptional evidence of a Savery stone is the 
rendering of the "ye," as used, for example, "in ye 43'^'^ year of his Age": 
the "e" is raised so that its horizontal bar is superimposed on the serif of 
the upper right arm of the "y" (see Fig. 12; also Figs. 3 and 9). This tech- 
nique is found on slightly more than half of the surveyed stones, with a 
somewhat less frequent occurrence in the later stones. Its absence from 
some stones derives from Savery' s use of the shorter "Aged 43 years" 
rather than the above formula. Other carvers, including Stephen 
Hartshorn and William Coye, had employed the same device. 

Most of Savery's stones up to about 1785 also employed the closed "t" 
- where the top of the "t" is connected to the left end of the crossbar, form- 
ing a tiny triangle (Figs. 1 and 3). Henry Christian Geyer, Stephen 
Hartshorn, and (occasionally) WiUiam Codner had used such a "t" as 
well. Savery's imitators also used this "ye" and "t."^^ 

There are several other lettering characteristics associated with 
Savery's carving style. The crossbar on his "e" is rather high, leaving a 
somewhat smaller enclosed portion than in the "e" of other carvers 
(including his imitators). His serifs are not completely horizontal, but 
tend to curl up slightly. The tail of his ampersand curls around and under 
the whole symbol. He usually rendered the numeral "1" as "J," although 
he began to shift to an "1" shape in the early 1790s. The lower portion of 
his "9" is usually quite exaggerated - elongated and hooked (see Fig. 12). 

(6) Unusual and Posthumous Stones 

1 have already mentioned the obelisk-profile probated stone Savery 
carved for Thomas Jackson (1794) in Plymouth (Fig. 13). This is the latest 
of Savery's probated stones and shows that he had begun to accommo- 
date changing tastes with a more modernized design. Harlow, Holmes, 
and Tribbel would all continue on this path. 

Two other stones with similar shapes that may be his are those for 
Simeon Samson (1789) and Anna Jackson (1794), both of which are carved 
from the same type of grey/ copper-tinged stone. Like the Thomas 
Jackson stone, the lettering on the Samson marker is also enclosed within 
a large vertical oval, and bears some resemblance to Savery's style, espe- 



James Blachowicz 



65 




Fig. 13. Thomas Jackson, 1794, Plymouth. 
Probated to Savery. 



66 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



dally the numerals of the date (but there is no "ye" or "t"). If it is indeed 
Savery's, it is significant, for it would be one of his rare willow-and- 
urns.^^ The lettering on another urn stone, that for James Russell (1792), 
also points to Savery as the carver. This urn is quite like that on some of 
John Homer's stones,*^ and is practically identical to that on the 1790 




r'^i-'-; 



Fig. 14. Phylander and Joshua Bangs, 1797, 1798, Brewster. 

Tympanum by Savery; inscribed by an unknown carver. 

Note Homer-style letters. 



James Blachowicz 67 



stone for Thomas Smith in Sandwich, which was partially lettered by 
another carver. The Smith stone also features a border similar to that 
found on the 1793 Mercy Goodspeed stone. 

Alongside Savery's Thomas Jackson stone on Plymouth's Burial Hill 
stands the 1811 stone for Jackson's wife Sarah, placed there at least fifteen 
years after Savery's death. It has the same shape and proportions, and 
again features a vertical oval, oblong base, hanging swag or drapery, and 
a cherub at the top. It is probably the work of a later Plymouth carver 
named John Tribbel (to be discussed later in this essay), and represents 
one of a significant number of cases where a carver is apparently trying to 
obUge a cUent by producing a stone to match an earlier one. As we shall 
see, Nathaniel Holmes also produced a number of such "matching" 
stones. 

There are four known Savery stones which were inscribed and dated 
after Savery's own last inscribed stone. The first two are those for Mary 
Paine (1797) in Provincetown, and for Phylander and Joshua Bangs (1797, 
1798) in Brewster. The Bangs stone (Fig. 14) employs a relatively standard 
Savery cherub; the Paine marker also has a cherub, but with straight 
bangs, and no strands collected either at the sides or top of the head in the 
usual Savery fashion. The inscriptions on these stones, obviously not 
Savery's work, are quite similar to those found on John Homer's contem- 
porary markers: the upper part of the "t" is angled to the right; the upper 
extension of the "h" and the lower extension of the "y" are dispropor- 
tionately short; and the numerals are widely spaced. The other two stones 
are those for Jenne Sturtevant (1800) (Fig. 15) and Amos Sturtevant (1800), 
both located in Lakenham Cemetery in North Carver. Their borders and 
lettering are quite alike (and rather amateurish), but are unlike Savery's. 

It was probably not unusual for a carver to have a stock of unin- 
scribed, shaped stones with carved tympanums. Savery's stock must have 
made its way into the hands of other carvers after his death. There are 
seven other Savery stones lettered by someone other than him, however, 
which are dated before the date on the latest stone inscribed by Savery (i.e., 
the Betsy Cobb stone, dated October 12, 1796). These present special prob- 
lems of interpretation. 

Let us first consider the 1796 Nathaniel Cushing stone in Hanson. Its 
lettering is identical to the two 1800 Sturtevant stones in North Carver, 
mentioned above. While this carver has not yet been identified, the same 
lettering occurs on the 1805 stone for John Shaw in Abington, which bears 



68 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




•«-i>ik-. ^^' *'«i] i 



Fig. 15. Jenne Sturtevant, 1800, North Carver. Tympanum by Savery; 
borders/inscription by a second, unknown carver. 



James Blachowicz 



69 



a rather crudely carved urn and willow. Because the date of the Gushing 
stone is only a month earlier than the Cobb stone, there is a good possi- 
biUty it was backdated and inscribed after the Cobb stone, that is, after 
Savery's death. 

The second marker is that for Hannah Sturtevant (1795), also in North 
Carver. This stone is inscribed by the same man who inscribed the two 
1800 Sturtevant stones and the Cushing stone, but its date now precedes 
not one, but five stones inscribed by Savery himself, extending from 
September of 1795 through October of 1796. We could declare this stone 
significantly backdated too, but perhaps less confidently. 

There are five more stones, however, with even earUer dates: the 
WilUam Newcomb headstone (May 12, 1795) in Wellfleet, the WilUam 
Chipman footstone in Wellfleet (headstone dated March 18, 1795), the 







'-^i^iui 



Fig. 16. Patty Nye, 1794, Sandwich. 
By the "Goggle-Eye" Carver (a Savery imitator). 



70 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




Fig. 17. William Chipman, 1795, Wellfleet. By the 'Goggle-Eye' 
Carver. Note "y" and compare to Patty Nye headstone (Fig. 16). 



James Blachowicz 



71 



Patty Nye footstone in Sandwich (headstone dated June 20, 179 A), the 
Stephen Fessenden headstone (July 18, 1793) in Sandwich, and the 
Thomas Smith headstone (May 27, 1790) in Sandwich. The inscriptions on 
these five stones, I beUeve, were all carved by the same man, but it was 
neither Savery nor the carvers responsible for the other stones just dis- 
cussed. This new carver was, in fact, one of Savery' s two principal imita- 
tors. 

(7) Two Savery Imitators 

I have attributed to the first of these carvers a group of fifteen stones, 
including the Nye and Chipman headstones (Fig. 16 and Fig. 17), all falling 
in a four-year span (1791-1794). In contrast to Savery' s, the mouth made 
by this imitator is small and inelegant, and the eyeUds surrounding the 
round center are raised in a higher reUef, giving the eyes a "goggle-like" 
appearance (see Fig. 16). I shall refer to this imitator henceforth as the 
"Goggle-Eye" carver. This carver also probably made the weU-known 
Sarah Fessenden stone (1794) in Sandwich, whose portrait cameo appears 




Fig. 18. Patty Nye (footstone), 1794, Sandwich. 
Tympanum by Savery; inscription by the "Goggle-Eye" Carver. 



72 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



to be an imitation of Savery's Elizabeth Morton stone. The Goggle-Eye 
carver paired his own headstones for Nye and Chipman with footstones 
whose cherubs are obviously Savery's (Fig. 18 and Fig. 19). He also 
inscribed three of Savery's headstones - those for Thomas Smith (1790), 
Stephen Fessenden (1793), and William Newcomb (1794). 

There are some subtle lettering characteristics by which the work of 
this carver may be distinguished from that of Savery. Unlike Savery's "y," 
for example, the "y" of the Goggle-Eye carver has both a shorter and more 
curved descending stroke (compare Fig. 13 with Fig. 16). The horizontal 
base stroke of the numeral "2" is also longer than Savery's, extending fur- 
ther both in front of and behind the curved stroke. The crossbar on the "e" 
appears about midway up the letter, while Savery's is located further up, 
producing a smaller closed space for the upper part. Unlike Savery's, the 




Fig. 19. William Chipman (footstone), 1795, Wellfleet. 
Tympanum by Savery; inscription by the "Goggle-Eye" Carver. 



S 



James Blachowicz 73 



serifs of this carver do not curl. Like the other Savery imitator to be con- 
sidered shortly, this carver also italicizes more of the inscription. 

The Goggle-Eye carver is also fond of adding extra decorative ele- 
ments: an interesting border of grapes, wheat, corn, and other foodstuffs 
on the stones for Patty Nye (1794) and Joseph Foster (1794); a floral motif 
with tendrils on the stones for Sarah Fessenden (1794) and George 
Crocker (1793). The Foster stone features an urn rather than a cherub. 
These four stones, and three more of the group of fifteen, are all in 
Sandwich. 

It is because of the distinctive "y" and "2" and other similar features 
that I attribute the skulled headstones for William Chipman (1795) (Fig. 
17) and Ebenezer Dyer (1792) to the Goggle-Eye carver. That is to say, 
these stones were probably not, contrary to Benes' surmise,'^^ carved by 
Savery after all. There is a third skulled stone, that for Susanna Gary 
(1792) in Brockton, which is also probably the work of the Goggle-Eye 
carver. 

The other Savery imitator is the carver of the 1793 Moses Brackett 
stone (Fig. 20) in Quincy. This marker is one of a group of thirty-one 
stones which were all probably produced by the same man (see Appendix 
4). The cherubs on these stones are close to Savery' s, but the differences 
set them apart. One such feature is the narrowing of the bridge of the nose 
just at the eyes, causing the eyes to be placed closer together. Accordingly, 
I will call this Savery imitator the "Narrow-Nose" carver. Other charac- 
teristics of this style include a jaw that is broader and rounder than 
Savery' s, a less detailed mouth, eyes whose corners curve downward, and 
a "dented" hair style that squares off at the left and right top corners of 
the head. The whole depiction looks more like a cartoon or caricature than 
does Savery' s. 

Differences in lettering include a longer descending lower stroke of 
the "y" , a "7" which has a similarly exaggerated descending stroke (com- 
pare Fig. 20 with Fig. 13), and, when "1" is executed as "J," a more pro- 
nounced U-shaped lower segment. This carver also italicizes the inscrip- 
tion more than does Savery, sometimes completely. 

The Narrow-Nose carver also uses more decorative features and is 
more experimental than Savery. He puts an hour-glass over the cherub's 
head on four stones'^; he twice uses an unusual truncated obeHsk shape,^^ 
such as on the Brackett stone, which also has an elegant border. He also 
playfully adds a quite ridiculous flourish of hair to the cherub on the 1792 



74 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




K] 



ll^vMA 



;\v \-i. 




Fig. 20. Capt. Moses Brackett, 1793, Quincy. 
By the "Narrow-Nose" Carver (a Savery imitator). 



James Blachowicz 



75 




Fig. 21. Benjamin Ewer, 1792, West Barnstable. 
By the "Narrow-Nose" Carver. 



Benjamin Ewer stone (Fig. 21). Finally, he employs an umbrella-Uke 
canopy as the principal decorative element on the 1794 Barnabas 
Chipman stone. 

This carver often uses the copper-tinged grey slate that Savery (and 
Homer) also frequently utiUzed. On the lower left bottom of the 1792 
CorneUus Tobey stone in Sandwich, there is an unusual marking: 




Could this be a quarry mark? On the lower left bottom of the 1793 Silas 
Nye stone, also in Sandwich, there is another marking: 



76 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




This might either be a quarry mark or the initials "G.D." (or "G.P." or 
"G.R.": the mark descends into a concrete base which may be covering a 
lower part). 

A comparison of the output of these two Savery imitators with the par- 
allel output of Savery himself is instructive. I begin with 1782, excluding 
one stone of the Narrow-Nose carver dated 1767 and one stone of the 
Goggle-Eye carver dated 1776, both probably backdated (S = Savery; N= 
Narrow-Nose carver; G = Goggle-Eye carver): 

Table 4: Chronological output of Savery and two Savery imitators 





S 


N 


G 




S 


N 


G 




S 


N 


G 


1782 


9 






1787 


14 


2 




1792 


14 


10 


2 


1783 


15 






1788 


17 


1 




1793 


16 


6 


2 


1784 


5 


2 




1789 


13 






1794 


13 


1 


8 


1785 


12 


1 




1790 


16 


1 




1795 


14 




1 


1786 


11 


1 




1791 


10 


5 


1 


1796 


4 







How are we to interpret this data? The output of the two imitators begins 
so late that it seems reasonable to take them as true imitators, rather than 
as carvers who might have shared Savery' s style in a parallel fashion. If 
we take into account the possibility of a few more backdated stones in this 
distribution, then the output of the Narrow-Nose carver is pretty much 
confined to the years 1791-1793, while that of the Goggle-Eye carver is 
concentrated in the years 1793-1795. Consider now the regional distribu- 
tions of these three carvers for 1791-1796, consulting Table 1 for a map of 
this distribution (S=Savery; N=Narrow-Nose carver; G=Goggle-Eye carv- 
er: I include two Savery stones in Stoughton under Brockton, and four 
Narrow-Nose stones in Marstons Mills under West Barnstable: also, for 
this regional analysis, I attribute as well the three Savery headstones 
inscribed by the Goggle-Eye carver to the Goggle-Eye carver, and omit the 
Nye and Chipman footstones): 



James Blachowicz 77 



Table 5. Regional Output of Savery and Two Savery Imitators 





Ply. 


Brock. 


Quin. 


Wey. 


Milton 


Sandwich 


W. Barn. 


Bam. W 


1791 


ssssss 


NN 


N 


S 


S 




NN 


S 


1792 


ssss 


SNNG 


NN 




S 


N 


NNN 


SSSNN 


1793 


SSSSSSSSG 


S 


NN 






SNGG 


SNNN 


S 


1794 


SSSSSSG 




G 




s 


SGGGGGG 


SN 




1795 


sss 


SSSSS 












G( 


1796 




ss 















SG 



The two imitators have clearly defined clientele - predominantly 
Brockton, Quincy West Barnstable and Marstons Mills for the Narrow- 
Nose carver, and Sandwich for the Goggle-Eye carver. It does not appear 
that the two imitators were professionally connected. It also seems to be 
Savery who succeeded the Narrow-Nose carver in Brockton (the Narrow- 
Nose carver has five more stones in Brockton dated before 1791 which are 
not represented in Table 5). 

Could the Goggle-Eye carver have worked with Savery? If the Nye 
and Chipman footstones and the WiUiam Newcomb, Stephen Fessenden 
and Thomas Smith headstones are not significantly backdated, Savery 
and this imitator could have cooperated on these stones. What may be 
decisive evidence for real collaboration, however, comes from the stones 
for Mehitable Freeman (1793) (Fig. 22) in Sandwich and [Be]tsy Brooks 
(1794) in Plymouth, whose cherubs were executed by the Goggle-Eye 
carver, but which were apparently inscribed by Savery (the "y" "a," and 
"e" are particularly telling). The other of the two Goggle-Eye stones in 
Plymouth (that for Timothy Burbank, 1793), 1 should add, has letters 
which are difficult to attribute to either Savery or the Goggle-Eye carver. 
And Savery's Thomas Smith stone (1790) in Sandwich curiously has both 
one Savery-type "y" and three Goggle-Eye carver-type "y's": Savery 
seems to have inscribed the 'Tn Memory of" - which shows his "y" - 
while the Goggle-Eye carver completed the inscription - which uses his 
distinctive "y" I have earher ascribed the urn on this stone to Savery 
because of its resemblance to his James Russell stone (1792), but it is also 
possible the Goggle-Eye carver was responsible for it. 

The Goggle-Eye carver may have worked briefly with Savery in 
Plymouth and then moved to Sandwich. Or, he might have been Savery's 
assistant in Plymouth full-time, producing two stones for Plymouth (one 
of which Savery inscribed) and seven for Sandwich patrons. A master 



78 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



stonecutter might have his assistant try out his work for out-of-towners 
- a policy which, as we shall see, Amaziah Harlow seems to have adopt- 
ed with his assistant, Nathaniel Holmes.^* Savery's production stops in 
1796 - and so does the Goggle-Eye carver's: perhaps the apprentice was- 
n't old enough to make it alone when the master died. It would be the 
older Harlow who would succeed Savery in Plymouth. 

In his last years, Savery's production shifts somewhat away from 
Plymouth. In 1793-1794, for example, he has fourteen stones made for 
Plymouth and fifteen stones for other towns; in 1795-1796, however, he has 
fifteen stones made for locations outside of Plymouth, but only three for 
Plymouth. This shift occurs at about the same time these two imitators 
appear, and most of Savery's non-Plymouth stones are found near the works 
of these imitators. Of course, these new areas may have been growing faster 
than Plymouth, and Savery may have just been just following the market. 




Fig. 22. Mehitable Freeman, 1793, Sandwich. 
Typanum by "Goggle-Eye" Carver; inscription by Savery. 



James Blachowicz 79 



Lest we be tempted to think that it is Savery himself who is carving 
these "imitator" stones, and that they display simply his own variation of 
style, we should remember (as Table 4 shows) that his own production 
continues at the same pace parallel to the work of these two carvers. 

Both Savery imitators showed skill and imagination, and it is unfortu- 
nate that neither continued their work for very long. Had they produced 
more, we would have had a greater chance to find a probate payment or 
some other evidence of their identities. Perhaps they abandoned cherubs 
(and slate stones) altogether and continued in another style, in another 
place, or with another material. More exploration may solve the mystery. 

There is one more carver to consider who might have had a special 
association with Savery. The sole piece of evidence for a professional rela- 
tion between the two is the 1789 stone for the Reverend John Cotton in 
Plymouth (Fig. 23). This is a finely carved Savery stone with his typical 
lettering. Based on what it shares with other such stones, there is no rea- 
son not to ascribe it to Savery. However, there is a payment in the Cotton 
probate to Amaziah Harlow, Jr.*^ 

Cotton died in 1789, but his estate wasn't settled until sixteen years 
later, in 1805. Savery had died in the interim. In fact, this payment was 
three years after Harlow's own death. Harlow was paid only $2.43, and 
gravestones are not specifically mentioned. This amount is certainly too 
little for carving such an elaborate stone, and it wasn't for the lettering 
alone, since this looks to be Savery' s as well. Perhaps it was payment for 
setting the stone. Harlow may have acted as an independent agent, hired 
by the family to finish the job Savery left behind. But this payment could 
also have been the balance of an amount already paid to Savery, with 
Harlow assuming some responsibility for Savery' s business after his 
death. Harlow was ten years older than Savery, however, so he probably 
was not an apprentice in the traditional sense. Still, Harlow's early stones 
resemble those of Savery, and as the two principal carvers in Plymouth at 
the time they certainly would have known each other. Harlow carved the 
stone for Hannah Cotton (1800), which stands next to her husband John's, 
perhaps trying to match it. 

Part II: Amaziah Harlow, Jr. 

A. Biography 

Amaziah Harlow, Jr. was born in Plymouth on March 22, 1747. His 
father, Amaziah Sr., was also a native of Plymouth, the sixth of seven chil- 



80 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




Fig. 23. Rev. John Cotton, 1789, Plymouth. 
Carved by Savery; probate payment of $2.43 to Amaziah Harlow, Jr. 



James Blachowicz 81 



dren of John Harlow and Martha Delano. Amaziah Sr. married Lois Doten 
on May 30, 1746. He died in his early forties in about 1762, his wife Lois 
being appointed guardian of Amaziah Jr. and his sister Lois, who were 
about fifteen and fourteen at the time.'^^ Amaziah Jr. may be the same 
Amaziah who served with distinction in the Revolutionary War, having 
advanced to the rank of Ueutenant.'^'^ 

Harlow married Lucy Torrey (daughter of Thomas Torrey and Abigail 
Thomas) on December 10, 1786 in Plymouth. Lucy died ten years later, on 
March 6, 1796.^^ That very day, Amaziah's intention to marry Martha 
Albertson (daughter of Jacob Albertson and Lydia Rider) was published.*^ 
Their marriage took place a month later, on April 8, 1796. After two years, 
Amaziah and Martha bought a house and lot for $500.00 in the west part 
of town (where the aqueduct enters) from Martha's parents, property 
originally owned by her grandfather, Joseph Ryder. The deed lists 
Amaziah as a " Stone-Cutter. "^° 

Amaziah Harlow, Jr. died on December 25, 1802, at age 55. Two 
months before, the minister of the First Church in Plymouth refers to a 
"great sickness" (smallpox?) which was taking many of his flock^^; per- 
haps Amaziah succumbed to it as well. He is buried on Burial Hill next to 
his first wife, Lucy whose stone is decorated with a rather typical Harlow 
cherub. Amaziah Harlow's own grave is marked by a stone with an urn 
on a curvilinear tympanum - carved by Nathaniel Holmes (Fig. 24). 

There are two probate records relating to Harlow's death. The first 
records that Benjamin Warren is appointed administrator of aU goods of 
the estate of "Amaziah Harlow, late of Plymouth, cordwainer, 
deceased." ^^ The second records that "Amaziah Harlow, late of said 
Plymouth, Stone-cutter," died intestate, his property being awarded to 
Martha Harlow.^'^ I have not been able to discover if Amaziah had any 
children.^^ 

Two probate payments tie Amaziah Harlow to the body of work 1 
attribute to him - those for the Eleazor Holmes (1798) and Reverend 
Chandler Robbins (1799) stones in Plymouth (see Appendix 2). Further, 
none of the stones in this style is dated after 1802, the year of Harlow's 
death.^^ The markers for William Crombie in Plymouth and Sarah 
Bosworth in Halifax, both dated 1804, feature Harlow's cherub, but 
Nathaniel Holmes inscribed them (1 shall discuss lettering differences 
later). The Crombie stone is disproportionately large for the brief inscrip- 
tion carved on it; Harlow probably carved the cherub sometime earUer, 



82 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 










fe^*i''i«:^"\ ' = 







Fig. 24. Amaziah Harlow, Jr., 1802, Plymouth. 
Carved by Nathaniel Holmes. 



James Blachowicz 83 



and, after he died. Holmes used it for a commission that could have been 
executed on a smaller stone. 

B. Gravestones 

(1) Chronology 

I have identified seventy-seven stones as the work of Amaziah 
Harlow, Jr. (see Appendix 5): sixty-six of these are in Plymouth, four are 
in North Carver, two are in Boston, two in Barnstable, and one each in 
Halifax, Orleans, and Wareham. Table 6 shows the chronology: 

Table 6. Chronological output of Harlow's stones 



1775 1 




1781 


1 


1787 




1793 


1 


1799 


9 


1776 




1782 




1788 


2 


1794 


5 


1800 


3 


1777 




1783 




1789 




1795 


9 


1801 


4 


1778 




1784 




1790 




1796 


4 


1802 


11 


1779 




1785 




1791 


1 


1797 


7 


1803 




1780 




1786 


1 


1792 


1 


1798 


15 


1804 


2* 


^inscribed 


by 


Nathaniel Holmes 













The first five stones (and possibly the first six), standing rather isolated in 
the chronology, are probably backdated, while the last two (1804), as I 
have said, were carved earlier. It is with the 1792 Lemuel Bartlett stone, I 
beheve, that Harlow's production commences - when he was about forty- 
five years old. This leaves a span of only ten productive years (1792 
through 1802). While it is possible he had earlier assisted another carver - 
such as Savery - from whom he learned his craft, there is no evidence that 
Harlow inscribed any of Savery' s stones. It is worth noting that Harlow's 
production begins at just about the same time as that of the Narrow-Nose 
and Goggle-Eye carvers - that is, two or three years before Savery's ends. 
Further, the jump from seven stones in 1797 to fifteen stones in 1798 may 
indicate that Harlow had inherited part of Savery's clientele. 

Harlow did not average very many stones per year, but he may have 
lettered some of Nathaniel Holmes' work from 1799 to 1802 (stones which 
do not appear in Table 6). In the five years (1792-1796) during which 
Savery's and Harlow's production overlap, Savery produces sixty-one 
stones while Harlow has twenty. At the other end of the chronology, in the 
five years (1798-1802) during which Harlow's and Holmes' production 



84 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



overlap, Harlow has forty-two stones to Holmes' seventy-eight. Harlow's 
production peaks in 1798, but then declines. The high 1802 total is largely 
due to the great number of children's stones (eight of the eleven) needed for 
the victims of the 1801-1802 epidemic, which may have taken Harlow him- 
self. Holmes probably started carving with Harlow in about 1798 (at age fif- 
teen), and Harlow may have soon begun to cede the task of cherub-carving 
to Holmes. Harlow's cherubs, while decently carved, are not very attrac- 
tive, and it must have become apparent fairly quickly that Holmes would 
do a better job. In many ways, Harlow seems a reluctant stonecutter. 

(2) Shapes 

Harlow used no fewer that seventeen distinct shapes for his seventy- 
seven stones. Many of these, however, are minor variations of more stan- 
dard forms. His use of the six principal shapes shown earlier in Table 3 
distributes as follows (again, grouping some minor variants together): 



SI 


S2 


S3 


S4 


S5 


S6 


17% 


4% 


21% 


10% 


10% 


22% 



There is not much pattern in Harlow's use of these shapes, in part owing 
to the fact that we're dealing with only a ten-year span. There are only 
slight shape /gender /age correlations: more elaborate shapes {S3 and S4) 
are only minimally favored for men over women and children, while this 
reverses for the obelisk shape {S6). We also find, as we did in Savery's 
case, that the rounded-shoulder shapes {S2 and S4) begin to disappear 
toward the end of Harlow's production (none appear after 1800). They 
were increasingly perceived, perhaps, as old-fashioned. 

There was apparently some pressure in the decade from 1800 to 1810 
to change the traditional shape of gravestones. Harlow increasingly used 
the scalloped-shoulder and obelisk look {S5 and S6), and there are a few 
sometimes bizarre experiments in other instances. As we shall see, 
Nathaniel Holmes also tested various shapes and decorative designs dur- 
ing this time. This period of experimentation did not last long: beginning 
in the 1810s, gravestone shapes settled down again to the simplest tradi- 
tional shapes (SI and S2) - except that these stones were perhaps larger 
and proportioned more along the vertical than their predecessors in pre- 
vious decades. This was to change again, of course, with the introduction 
of marble and the newer free-styled designs. 



James Blachowicz 



85 



A 












^..,RT^LETT 



\\'>\ 




Fig. 25. Lemuel Bartlett, 1792, Plymouth. 
One of Harlow's first stones. 



86 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



(3) Decorative Elements 
(i) Cherubs 

Fifty-nine of Harlow's stones (77%) display cherubs at the top, but 
they are inferior to Savery's (and to Holmes' for that matter). One of his 
very first cherubs must have been that for the 1792 Lemuel Bartlett stone 
(Fig. 25). Many of Savery's features are copied: the small leaves on the 
rounded shoulders; the general composition of the cherub's head, includ- 
ing the use of relatively circular scallops for the collar and leading-edge 
feathers (a rendering which Harlow did not, to my knowledge, repeat on 
any other stone); and even some elements of the lettering, especially the 
trademark Savery "t." Yet Harlow's distinctive hand is visible in the short, 
inelegant and crooked mouth, eyes not exactly aUgned, and rather heavy- 
lidded eyebrows. Harlow's lettering, at least, will improve and become 
quite elegant. 

There may have been another, unknown stonecutter in Plymouth who 
could also have influenced Harlow. This is the carver of the impressive 
1797 Captain Abraham Hammatt stone (Fig. 26).^^ Neither the cherub nor 
the lettering on this stone bear any significant resemblance to the work of 
either Savery or Harlow. Two other stones, those for Margaret Cobb (1796) 
and Captain Coomer Weston (1796), feature quite similar cherubs, but on 
these markers the lettering closely resembles Harlow's. Harlow might 
have been trying to copy the Hammatt-type cherub, but it seems too well 
executed to be his. The eyes made by this unknown carver are perhaps the 
most distinctive feature of his work: they are open wide, and taper to lines 
both left and right, rather like a plump lemon. For simplicity, 1 will refer 
to this stonecutter as the "Lemon-Eye" carver. Then there are the stones 
for Desire Jackson (1788), with a characteristic Harlow cherub and 
Harlow lettering, and Lucy Jackson (1796), Desire's sister, with a cherub 
of identical size and position (both oriented more northeast than north), 
but executed more surely and crisply - with some resemblance to the 
faces on the Hammatt, Cobb, and Weston stones. Mysteriously, the 
inscriptions on the two Jackson stones are word for word the same, 
including their positioning (except for the names and dates), and done in 
Harlow's style. Was Harlow assisting the Lemon-Eye carver in 1796-1797, 
that is, just after Savery's death?^^ 

We find a typical Harlow cherub (one of his best efforts, in fact) on the 
probated Eleazor Holmes stone (1798) (Fig. 27). Note the shape of the eye- 
brow: where Savery and Holmes use a more slanting, horizontal eyebrow. 



James Blachowicz 



87 




Fig. 26. Capt. Abraham Hammatt, 1797, Plymouth. 
Unknown carver; assisted by Harlow? 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



Harlow's eyebrows are close to semi-circular over the eye itself, changing 
direction abruptly as they taper off to the sides. Further, he extends the 
hollowing of the eyesocket too far to the sides, making the eyes seem 
sunken. Unlike Savery, he also tended to position the eyes a bit too high 
on the face. The eyes and mouth are often carelessly carved, and are not 
aligned horizontally. The mouth, usually small and unsmiling, is posi- 
tioned too far under the nose. The whole effect is often that of someone 
gaunt and ailing. 

Although there are a very few exceptions, Harlow carved the wings of 
his cherubs so that their lower portions lie flat against the base of the tym- 
panum (more so than Savery, who often had them "in flight"). An inter- 
esting perceptual effect of this feature of the wings' position (found in 
Holmes' cherubs as well) derives from the resulting closed space below 
the chin and collar formed by the bottom line of the tympanum and the 
wings. This space now looks like the upper torso and shoulders of the 
cherub. There are some of Holmes' stones in which this effect is striking 
and most pleasant. 

The individual feathers of the wing are treated in four ways: there may 
be no central veins at all; the veins may be formed of single or double 




Fig. 27. Eleazor Holmes, 1798, Plymouth. 
Probated to Amaziah Harlow, Jr. 



James Blachowicz 89 



lines; or the veins may be broken (like a dashed line). Harlow shifts to this 
broken- vein type in about 1799. Lemuel Savery, as we have seen, connects 
the small leading-edge feathers of the upper wing with the collar under 
the chin - a form which Harlow also uses in the Bartlett stone (Fig. 25). On 
just about all of Harlow's other stones, however, the scallops used for the 
outer edges of the wings are narrow and oblong, while the scallops for the 
collar are semi-circular (see Fig. 27). Harlow would use two and often three 
layers of such collar ruffles, a treatment Holmes was to adopt as well. 

The hair on Harlow's cherubs is rendered in various styles, similar to 
those found on Savery's cherubs. Harlow duplicates Savery's wavy hair 
style faithfully on eight or nine stones, including the probated Eleazor 
Holmes stone (Fig. 27). He uses the straight hair style with parallel 
strands on about double that number; but he seems to prefer the combed- 
back, "radial" style, using it on about half his stones. 

On the 1798 Mary Simmons Goddard stone (Fig. 28), Harlow drops 
the wings entirely and provides an isolated, floating face. This face is 
placed strangely - not in the center of the smaUish tympanum (which is 
completely empty), but just below, at the level of the sloping shoulders. 










m VKT <m ^i t % n^awrfMiTiidri'BiitfTTiii^'»»a«^^g*-^-- > 



Fig. 28. Mary Simmons Goddard, 1798, Plymouth. 
Carved by Harlow. 



90 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



Note the delicate strands of hair curling up at the ears on either side (and 
compare to the curling bangs on the stones for Sarah Robbins, Fig. 29, and 
Jane Doggett, Fig. 31). While this technique is here employed in a decora- 
tive element, Harlow also liked to carve some segments of his letters with 
extremely fine, almost scratch-like incisions. 

The 1802 Sarah Robbins stone (Fig. 29) also features a brick tomb and 
willow: here Harlow seems to be copying the 1795 Betsy Shaw stone in 
Plymouth.^^ The inscription was probably executed by Nathaniel Holmes, 
perhaps after Harlow's death. 



(ii) Urns 

There are four stones with similar urns, all dated 1798, that should 
probably be ascribed to Harlow on the basis of their lettering. One of these 
is for George Thompson (1798) (Fig. 30). Another, the Mercy Bramhall 
stone, has a pair of flowers framing the urn.^^ These urns have a number 
of similarities with Holmes' later versions, but there are two characteris- 
tics that can aid us in distinguishing them from one another. Note the two 
ribbons draped from the two sides of the urn in Fig. 30. They descend 




Fig. 29. Sarah Robbins, 1802, Plymouth. 

Tympanum by Harlow; inscribed by Nathaniel Holmes. 

Imitation of the Betsy Shaw stone, 1795, Plymouth. 



James Blachowicz 



91 




.^ila 



Fig. 30. George Thomson, 1798, Plymouth. 
Harlow urn; note four petals at sides. 



92 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



from a four-petaled flower; Holmes, in contrast, usually employs only a 
three-petaled flower (compare Fig. 24). Further, Harlow's ribbons tend to 
hang straight down - the outside edge of the ribbon almost a straight line; 
Holmes' ribbons, on the other hand, tend to curl up more at the ends. On 
the basis of these four urn stones, I also attribute six more to Harlow.^" 

(Hi) Swags or Draperies 

Harlow also used a mourning drapery or swag as the principal deco- 
rative element on some stones. There are only four of these that we can 
confidently attribute to him. The earliest is the 1794 Jane Doggett stone 
(Fig. 31), where we have a Harlow cherub to guide us in the identification. 
Note the naturalistic, irregular folds in the drapery; this is in contrast with 
Holmes' more geometric style, where the folds are more or less straight 
lines (e.g.. Fig. 41). The second of the four is the one Ludwig criticized^^ - 
the Elizabeth Watson stone (1798) - which is close enough to the Doggett 




Fig. 31. Jane Doggett, 1794, Plymouth. 
Carved by Harlow. 



James Blachowicz 93 



Stone to attribute it to Harlow. The third is the marker for the Reverend 
Chandler Robbins (1799), which is probated to Harlow. Here the folds of 
the drapery are a little less incised - closer to Holmes' style. The fourth is 
the stone for the Reverend's wife, Jane Robbins (1800), practically a dupli- 
cate of her husband's. There is another marker, that for Deacon Jonathan 
Diman (1797), which, in addition to a small drapery, features a pineapple- 
like fruit in the center of the tympanum flanked by two four-petaled 
rosettes. 

Harlow seldom employed additional decorative elements on his 
stones. In at least four cases, he used a curled staff at the side borders of 
his markers, probably in imitation of Savery.^^ On the stones for Lemuel 
Bartlett (1792) (Fig. 25) and Polly Holmes (1795), he adds a single leaf on 
each of the rounded shoulders (as Savery did six times). On the 1800 Ezra 
Burbank stone, we find a tightly twisted rope-Uke staff with regularly 
spaced leaves.^'^ This is carved in Harlow's shallow-incision style. Often 
the lines and channels by which he demarcated the tympanum and the 
body of the stone from the borders and edges are so faint as to have hard- 
ly any perceptual effect. 

(4) Inscriptions 

Harlow's shallow-incision technique is particularly evident in his let- 
tering. He gave the ends of a number of different letters a curled flourish 
carved with a very narrow width and shallow depth, so that these seg- 
ments appear almost etched or scratched on the surface. The way he ren- 
ders the letter "a" and the numeral "2" is one of the principal means by 
which we may be able to distinguish his lettering from Holmes'. 1 have 
already proposed that the 1804 Crombie stone was carved by Harlow but 
inscribed by Holmes. The "t," "r," "y," and "f" might actually pass for 
Harlow's, but not the "a." The vertical stroke of Harlow's "a" was always 
truly upright and vertical; but this same stroke was often executed by 
Holmes at somewhat of an angle, pointing a bit to the left as it ascended 
and ending even a little beyond (that is, to the left of) the lower body of 
the letter (see Holmes' type in Fig. 37). Further, Harlow's "a" is usually 
wider and squarer than Holmes', with the upper portion the same pro- 
portion as the lower. In fact, Harlow tended to make all of his letters wider 
than Holmes', his "o," "e" and "c" tending toward perfect circularity. 
Although many of Holmes' letters (including the "a") resemble Harlow's 
through 1802, Holmes' "a" leans increasingly left in his later stones. 



94 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



The angle between the base line and the upper curved portion of 
Holmes' "T is more acute than Harlow's; further, like his "a," Holmes 
often made the upper portion of the "2" narrower than the lower portion. 
Harlow, on the contrary, seemed always to be filling an imaginary box - 
the upper and lower portions of his letters and numerals tangent to its 
sides. 

Besides the Crombie stone, there are at least four others where 
Harlow carved the tympanum but the inscriptions were probably done by 
Holmes. The first is the 1800 Ezra Burbank stone. Holmes was eighteen at 
the time and could have lettered it then, although it is more characteristic 
of his style from 1802 on. Further, an isolated footstone (not near the 
Burbank headstone) which has a Holmes cherub and is lettered simply 
"E. B. 1800" may be the Burbank footstone.^'^ The second marker in this 
group is the 1802 Sarah Robbins stone discussed earher - inscribed, per- 
haps, after Harlow's death. The third is the 1794 Joseph Rider stone. 
Joseph Rider (Ryder) was the grandfather of Harlow's second wife, 
Martha Albertson; but Harlow didn't marry Martha until 1796, so the 
stone is probably backdated, perhaps having been lettered around 1802. 
The fourth is the 1804 stone for Sarah Bos worth in Halifax: although bare- 
ly legible because of an encrustation of scale, we can recognize both 
Harlow's cherub and Holmes' letters. There are also at least six stones 
whose cherubs (or urns) were carved by Holmes, but which bear lettering 
probably executed by Harlow.''^ 

It is always hazardous to try to distinguish between the lettering styles 
of two carvers perhaps working in the same shop, one of whose styles is 
still evolving. While the distinctive lettering features 1 have pointed to as 
Harlow's seem to be borne out by most of the stones involved in the 
chronological overlap between Harlow and Holmes (1799-1802), the 
exceptions are troubling: there are at least five stones which appear to 
have Harlow's lettering style, but which are dated after his death.^^ I can 
only assume that Holmes was able to imitate Harlow's letters very close- 
ly at times. Or perhaps the inscription on Harlow's own stone - the only 
evidence for his date of death - was off a year and Harlow died in 1803 
(none of the five stones in question is dated after 1803). Beyond these 
admittedly weak surmises, 1 have no explanation for these exceptions. 



James Blachowicz 95 



Part III: Nathaniel Holmes 

A. Biography 

The gravestone for the Nathaniel Holmes who died in Barnstable in 
1869 lists his date of birth as January 17, 1783 - the same date as that list- 
ed for the birth of a Nathaniel Holmes in Plymouth.^^ U.S. Census and 
Barnstable county property records respectively list this Nathaniel as a 
"stone-cutter"^^ and an " engraver" ^^ (one record also lists him as a 
" painter" ^°). I uncovered no probate references to Nathaniel Holmes in 
Plymouth County records (he was perhaps too young to deserve a men- 
tion). Evidence that Holmes was the carver of the distinctive group of 
Plymouth stones comes from the fact that these stones stop appearing in 
Plymouth at just about the same time as their numbers increase in 
Barnstable. The ratio of Holmes' Plymouth-to-Cape stones shifts from 
1802 as follows: 



1802 


1803 


1804 


1805 


1806 


1807 


27 to 8 


15tol 


11 to 5 


10 to 12 


2 to 16 


0to20 



This is consistent with Holmes moving to Barnstable in about 1805. 

Nathaniel was the eighth (and last) child of Nathaniel Holmes and 
Chloe Sears, who married April 17, 1760 in Plymouth.^^ His father's will, 
dated November 12, 1801,^^ mentions his mother, one of his brothers, and 
his three sisters, but does not mention Nathaniel, who was then eighteen. 
Perhaps he was estranged from the family, or had been apprenticed to 
someone (Amaziah Harlow?) at an earlier age. His father must have died 
very quickly afterward, since his estate is appraised the following 
February 8"^ (at $924.00).^^ By this time, Nathaniel was already carving 
gravestones with Harlow, who himself was to die the same year. The loss 
of his father and his (possible) employer may well have been part of the 
reason for his desire to relocate.^^ His stone production declines signifi- 
cantly in the two years following these deaths. 

The earliest record of Holmes' presence in Barnstable is a property 
transaction dated June 28, 1809 (although his earhest Barnstable County 
probate reference is dated April 14, 1807). Nathaniel, listed as "painter," 
buys two acres of land for $50.00 from Edward Phinney, cabinet-maker. 
This land is bounded on the north (across the county road) by property of 
Mary Davis, Nathaniel's future mother-in-law, widowed in 1798. Later in 
1809, he buys property twice more: in September (but recorded on 



96 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



December 25th), he buys at public auction for $61.25 about five acres of 
land of the estate of Mary Hinckley, Jr. This record lists him as an 
"engraver." Then, on December 2"^ he buys half of the cabinet-making 
shop of Timothy Phinney, Jr., for $185.00. In 1813, Holmes buys more 
property, enlarging his own estate by adding a neighboring six acres.^^ 
Perhaps he was preparing for a larger family, for seven months later, on 
October 9, 1813, he marries Abiah Crocker Davis. The following year, he 
buys a pew in the Northeast Meeting House. ^'^ The descriptions of the 
property locations in this series of transactions indicate that his land and 
shop were located somewhere between Hyannis Road and Railroad 
Avenue, just north of the present railroad tracks and south of the county 
road (Route 6A). 

In 1820, Holmes buys about five more acres of land (with an apple 
orchard) from his mother-in-law, Mary Davis, and his sister-in-law, Mary 
C. Davis.''^ A month later, he, his wife, and his sister-in-law sell back to 
Mary Davis what remained of her late husband's land.^^ County deeds 
locate this land on the north side of the county road, which is where a 
later 1858 map of the county situates Nathaniel Holmes' house (original- 
ly his father-in-law's). His widowed mother-in-law, Mary Davis, probably 
comes to live with him, since a woman of her age is listed in the U.S. 
Census records for 1830 and 1840. She dies in 1849. In 1842, Nathaniel 
buys two more parcels of land, calculated to produce about eight tons of 
hay per year; one of these is just north of Thatcher Island channel on 
Sandy Neck.^^ Finally, in 1867, he and his wife sell their house to their 
daughters, Lucy and Mary D. Holmes, for $1.00; that is, they transfer 
ownership of all property, furnishings, and income from the property to 
them, but with the stipulation that "the whole . . . subject to our use, 
improvement and control during the lifetime of each of us the said 
Grantors."*^'' His and his wife's signatures appear on this document. 

Their older property south of the county road was also at this time 
divided between their two daughters and their son, William D. Holmes; 
this was bordered on the west "by a private way leading to the Dwelling 
house of Oliver Holmes," their eldest son. Nathaniel was eighty-four at 
the time and would live just two more years. 

Nathaniel was the father of nine children, all born in Barnstable 
between 1814 and 1835.^^ There is no evidence that any took up his trade. 
His son Oliver was a farmer. His son William, a harness-maker, served in 
and survived the Civil War (Nathaniel was 82 when the war ended). His 



James Blachowicz 



97 




Fig. 32. Nathaniel Holmes, 18b9, Barnstable. 



98 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



son Ephraim died in California in 1869 - a month before Nathaniel's wife 
Abiah died in Barnstable. His youngest son Nathaniel moved first to 
Nevada and then to California, where he died in 1897. His daughter Lucy 
died in 1901, and his son William in 1908. 

Nathaniel Holmes died on December 13, 1869, ten months after his 
wife, and a month before his eighty-seventh birthday. His life extended 
from the end of the Revolutionary War to the end of the Civil War. Some 
of his children moved west in pursuit of their fortunes, and some lived to 
see the invention of the airplane and the automobile. He is buried in 
Barnstable along with much of his family in Cobb's Hill Cemetery, in the 
midst of many of his stones. His own grave is marked by a plain marble 
stone (Fig. 32), carved by one of the new generation of marble stonecut- 
ters. 

Nathaniel and Abiah Holmes' house still stands in Barnstable (Fig. 33). 
It is now owned by Mr. Charles M. Harden, who kindly permitted me to 
reproduce the photograph shown in Fig. 34. Adjacent to the house is a 
long unattached shed which was probably in use when the house was 
owned in 1719 by Robert Davis, Nathaniel's father-in-law's great-uncle, 
who was a cooper. This shed, along with its workbench (Fig. 34), may 
have served as Holmes' workshop for the last forty years of his life. 









1 


■ill 
■III 

g.: Bin 

^E' nam 




TO 


"— - 


- 




Fig. 33. Nathaniel Holmes' house and shed, built before 1719, 
Barnstable. Now the Harden Studios. 



James Blachowicz 



99 




^1 



Fig. 34. Interior of shed adjacent to Nathaniel Holmes' house, 
Barnstable. Possibly his stonecutting workshop. 



100 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



B. Gravestones 

My search of probate records uncovered thirty payments to Nathaniel 
Holmes, all in Barnstable County (see Appendix 2). This is thirty-five per- 
cent of the total number of payments mentioning stonecutters by name - 
significantly larger than for any other single carver: and we must adjust 
for the fact that my search was more complete for the years when his pro- 
duction declined; at his peak, his contribution could easily have been clos- 
er to fifty percent. This establishes Holmes as the principal carver on Cape 
Cod - a position due in part, of course, to the fact that he had the Cape's 
most populous town pretty much to himself. 

1 was able to locate the stones for all but four of these thirty probated 
payments. The probated 1806 Samuel Gray stone, although only in fair 
condition, still bears the characteristic Holmes cherub; the 1805 Silvanus 



Table 7. Geographical Distribution of the 
Gravestones of Nathaniel Holmes 




James Blachowicz 101 



Gorham stone has an urn and flowers; the 1817 Ebenezer Crocker stone 
has only a drapery; the 1824 Nabby Bacon stone has no decoration, but is 
made of marble; and the latest probated stone, that for Robinson Hinckley 
(1857), displays Holmes' characteristic late willow-and-urn. Each is 
important for identifying Holmes' other stones. 

While I have identified 1,337 of Holmes' stones, his production was 
undoubtedly larger: there were a number of markers in these burial 
grounds too corroded to establish a firm identification, and there are no 
doubt individual stones as well as some smaller burial grounds which 
eluded my survey; further, some markers have probably not survived. 
Holmes' actual total output was probably well over 1,500 stones. 

(1) Chronological and Rgional Distribution 

Table 7 shows the distribution of Nathaniel Holmes' known grave- 
stones. The 111 markers in Plymouth, Duxbury, North Carver, and 
Wareham are all dated prior to 1807. Afterward, his clientele was clearly 
centered in Barnstable and its nearby towns. Once he made the move 
there, he apparently cut his ties with Plymouth altogether. 

Table 8 details Holmes' impressive production both chronologically 
and geographically. For this summary, I have grouped the various towns 
in which his stones appear into eleven regions: 

Region 1: Plymouth, Duxbury, N. Carver, Wareham 

Region 2: Sandwich, E. Sandwich, Farmersville, Bourne, 

Sagamore, Matapoisett 

Region 3: Barnstable, Cummaquid 

Region 4: W. Barnstable 

Region 5: Centerville, Hyannis, Marstons Mills, Osterville 

Region 6: Falmouth, N. Falmouth, Woods Hole, Cataumet, 

Hatchville, Mashpee, Cotuit 

Region 7: Yarmouth 

Region 8: W. Yarmouth, S. Yarmouth 

Region 9: Dennis, S. Dennis, Brewster 

Region 10: Harwich, Eastham, Orleans, Truro, Provincetown 

Region 11: Beyond New England (N. CaroUna) 



102 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 

Table 8. Chronological and Regional Distribution of Holmes' Stones 
RI R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 RIO Rll TOTAL 



1755 




















1 




1759 


1 






















1762 






2 


















1775 


1 






















1779 


1 






















1782 






1 


















1787 


















1 






1792 




















1 




1794 


1 






















1796 


2 


















1 


3 


1797 


1 








1 




1 








3 


1798 


3 




1 




1 






1 






6 


1799 


7 














1 






8 


1800 


8 




1 




1 




1 


1 


' 




12 


1801 


21 




1 










3 




1 


26 


1802 


27 


1 


2 


2 


2 




1 






1 


36 


1803 


15 








1 






- 






16 


1804 


11 




2 




2 


1 










16 


1805 


10 




4 




4 




2 


1 


1 


1 


23 


1806 


2 




9 


1 


6 












18 


1807 






8 




8 




4 








20 


1808 




2 


1 


5 












1 


9 


1809 






7 


2 


3 




4 




1 




17 


1810 




5 


5 


1 


5 




. 3 


1 






20 


1811 




2 


13 




8 




4 


1 


2 


1 


31 


1812 




2 


4 


4 


4 


1 


7 




1 


1 


24 


1813 






4 




3 




3 




2 




12 


1814 




1 


5 


2 


9 




3 








20 


1815 




1 


4 


1 


5 


1 


3 








15 


1816 




1 


6 


2 


10 




1 


3 






23 


1817 




6 


5 


1 


6 




1 




1 




20 


1818 




1 


4 


8 


1 




7 




1 




22 


1819 






4 


3 


7 


1 


8 


2 






25 


1820 




8 


9 


1 


9 


1 


1 


5 


2 




36 


1821 




7 


12 


3 


4 


1 


3 


1 




1 


32 


1822 




2 


9 


2 


10 


1 


5 








29 


1823 




1 


13 


2 


1 




5 


1 


1 




24 


1824 






10 


4 


14 


3 


3 


1 


3 




38 


1825 




6 


11 


5 


17 


1 


9 


2 


1 




52 


1826 




5 


11 


2 


5 


2 


6 




1 




32 


1827 




1 


6 


4 


3 




4 


1 




1 


20 



James Blachowicz 103 



RI R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 RIO Rll TOTAL 

3 30 

27 
30 
30 
37 
30 
34 
35 
32 
31 
24 
32 
25 
25 
23 
16 
22 
11 
19 
15 
12 

1 10 

10 
6 
7 
6 
2 
7 
4 
5 
7 
1 
5 
3 
5 
4 
5 
3 
3 
3 
2 
1 

13 1 1337 



1828 




4 


2 


8 


1 


9 


1 


2 


1829 


1 


10 


3 


5 


1 


4 


3 




1830 


2 


6 


3 


10 




4 


1 


4 


1831 


3 


5 


5 


7 


1 


9 






1832 


3 


10 


5 


6 




9 


1 


3 


1833 


5 


5 


5 


7 




5 


1 


2 


1834 


3 


10 


3 


9 


1 


5 


1 


2 


1835 


6 


14 


3 


6 




4 




2 


1836 


2 


11 


4 


11 




2 




2 


1837 


3 


9 


1 


11 




5 


1 


1 


1838 


1 


5 


4 


8 




1 


2 


3 


1839 




11 


4 


9 


1 


4 


5 


2 


1840 


1 


6 


5 


4 


2 


5 


1 


1 


1841 


1 


7 


1 


9 




4 


1 


2 


1842 




5 


2 


11 


2 


3 






1843 


1 


5 


2 


5 


1 


1 




1 


1844 




8 


2 


12 










1845 




4 


2 


5 










1846 




7 


2 


6 


1 


2 




1 


1847 




3 


3 


6 




2 


1 




1848 




4 


1 


5 




1 




1 


1849 




2 


2 


1 




2 


1 


1 


1850 




3 


1 


4 




2 






1851 




3 


1 


1 








1 


1852 




2 


2 


2 




1 






1853 




2 


1 


3 










1854 




1 




1 










1855 




3 


1 


3 










1856 




2 




2 










1857 




3 




2 










1858 




4 




3 










1859 




1 














1860 




3 




2 










1861 




3 














1862 




2 


1 


2 










1863 




1 


1 


2 










1864 




2 


2 


1 










1865 






2 


1 










1866 




2 


1 












1867 




2 












1 


1868 




2 














1869 




1 














Total 111 82 


368 


128 


346 


24 


174 


42 


48 



104 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



Twenty-two of the surveyed stones attributed to Holmes are dated before 
1799, but they all appear to be backdated. Since backdating affects later 
stones as well, our guide here should be the primitiveness with which the 
cherub figure is carved. There are eight stones in which the eyes of the 
cherub are not quite aligned and which show other evidence of juvenile 
talent (hair crudely delineated as parallel strands or with no strands at all, 
for example): one is dated 1759, another 1798, two 1799, and four 1800.^2 
One of these, that for Sarah Hawes (1800), has an engraved face, but the 
wings are inscribed only in shallow scratches (Fig. 35). It is perhaps sig- 
nificant that of these eight stones, only four are for burials in Plymouth, 
and one of these four was used only as a footstone. If Holmes was appren- 
ticing with Harlow, as seems likely, then perhaps Harlow was having 
Holmes try out his work for out-of-towners rather than for his established 
Plymouth clientele. At any rate, it seems a safe assumption to have 
Holmes start cutting his own stones in about 1799, at age sixteen. 
Harlow's most productive year was 1798; he may have needed the assis- 
tance of an apprentice about then. 

From 1799 through 1802, Holmes' production increased each year - 
from 8 to 12 to 26 to a peak of 36 stones in 1802 (when he was nineteen). 
The high number in 1802 is in part due to the greater incidence of deaths 
in Plymouth that year, owing to the "great sickness" mentioned by min- 
ister James Kendall of the First Church.^-' One of these 36 stones was for 
Amaziah Harlow, who died on Christmas day. The total drops to 16 for 
1803, and the same number for 1804; it may be that, without Harlow's 
patronage. Holmes could not get enough work. His production picks up 
significantly in 1805 - the year he probably moved to Barnstable. 

As the Cape prospered from the boom in shipping between about 1815 
and the Civil War, Holmes was there to capitalize, serving a populace that 
could now perhaps afford to spend more on items such as gravestones. 
We can identify 661 Holmes stones dated from 1820 through 1840 - an 
average of thirty-one stones per year, with a peak of fifty-two stones in 
1825. Benes calculated that, if a stonecutter were to have fifteen to twenty 
commissions a year, his income would be better than that of a school 
teacher ^'^ Holmes probably also farmed during this time, and so it is not 
surprising that he was able to buy more land periodically, living quite 
comfortably and providing for his large family. His move to the Cape 
proved quite fortunate. 

From 1840 to 1850, as he aged from 57 to 67, his production declined. 



James Blachowicz 



105 




Fig. 35. Sarah Hawes, 1800, Yarmouth. 
Early Holmes stone; note large-letter style. 



106 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



averaging only seventeen stones a year; from 1850 on he carved only 
about four or five stones a year - but every year - until his death. His last 
marker (of those surveyed) is that for Abby Gorham in Barnstable, dated 
May 18, 1869, seven months before his death at age 86. His carving histo- 
ry thus runs from 1799 through 1869 - a full seventy years. 

His production for Yarmouth stopped completely in 1850, at about the 
same time that another carver emerged there - a carver whose slate stones 
are barely distinguishable from Holmes'. This was Jabez M. Fisher (and 
his son William S. Fisher), whose work I shall discuss later. 

(2) Shapes 

Although Holmes used twenty-two distinct shapes for his stones, 
many of these involve minor variations of a more general type. He 
employs some traditional shapes a few times early on, but the most pop- 
ular configuration in his early period was the obelisk {S6; see table 3). 
Through 1804, he uses this for 44% of his stones. Starting in 1805, howev- 
er, the scalloped-shoulder shape {S5) enjoys a brief period of domination: 
while the ratio of obelisk to scalloped-shoulder shapes was 5 to 1 through 
1804, this ratio shifts in the next four years (through 1808) to 1 to 2. 
Perhaps the obelisk shape, which was fairly common in Plymouth, was 
less acceptable in Barnstable. 

Soon, however, the old square-shouldered shape with semi-circular 
tympanum (SI) replaces just about all other forms, ending a period of 
experimentation. Before 1808, Holmes uses this (SI) shape on only 10% of 
his stones; in the five years from 1808 through 1813, however, he uses it 
on 75% of them. The growing domination of this shape - to the exclusion 
of all others (with only a handful of exceptions) from 1814 through his last 
stone in 1869 - coincides with the emergence of the willow-and-urn as his 
principal decorative motif. All this develops as the country - and Cape 
Cod in particular - comes to enjoy an extended period of prosperity and 
civil continuity. These changes in gravestone design thus seem to reflect 
both a more secular and a more standardized sensibility of the sort that 
comes with ease and settledness. 

One of Holmes' most interesting experiments in shape and design is 
the 1802 Charles Henry Bacon stone (Fig. 36). It rises normally as a squar- 
ish stone with parallel edges, but is topped with a dramatic, sweeping, 
sloped tympanum. The cherub's wings are atypically rendered and them- 
selves continue the curvilinear architecture of the stone. There are few 



James Blachowicz 



107 



stones in New England which wed the stone's shape to its decorative ele- 
ment to the extent achieved in this wonderful composition. 

Two other features of a number of Holmes' stones deserve mention. 
He smoothly rounds the edges of many of his early markers, giving them 
a very poHshed and finished appearance (see, for example. Fig. 39). He 
also often delineates the area of the stone on which the inscription is writ- 
ten by means of a vertically-oriented oval. Others, of course, including 
Savery on the 1794 Thomas Jackson stone, had also employed this device. 
Holmes also sometimes used this oval as the body of a giant urn (as may 
be seen in Fig. 43). 

(3) Decorative Elements 
(i) Cherubs 

Holmes' cherubs are more attractive than Harlow's but not quite as 
naturalistic as Savery' s. Although they are certainly the product of what 
becomes a repetitive formula, they possess a redeeming characteristic: the 
faces on these cherubs are sweet. Holmes accomplishes this by carving the 
eyes at the center or even sHghtly below the center of the face, having the 




Fig. 36. Charles Henry Bacon, 1802, Plymouth. 
Probably carved by Holmes. 



108 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 








Fig. 37. Robert Lewis, 1782 (backdated), Barnstable. 
Typical Holmes cherub. 



James Blachowicz 



109 



eyebrows arch nearer the nose, and adding a rather small but smiling 
mouth. Together with hair that is always "radial" or combed back, the 
face is quite childlike. Even when it suggests an adult rather than a child, 
the typical large forehead and small eyes and mouth communicate the 
diminutiveness of a woman's face rather than a man's (see, for example. 
Fig. 38). The backdated 1782 Robert Lewis stone (Fig. 37) is representative. 
It is obvious that Holmes borrows most of his formula from Harlow - 
the combed-back hair, ruffled collar, the wings. There are, of course, vari- 
ations. He might skip the collar entirely from time to time, or alter the Une 
of the wings. On four occasions, he provides a wingless floating face, such 
as on the 1801 stone for Kezia Lewis (Fig. 38).S5 On the 1805 Huldah 
Gorham stone in Dennis, none of the feathers are individuated, leaving 
only a cape-like wing. On seven stones, he carves double cherubs.^^ A 
striking transitional design is that offered on the 1805 stone for Wilham 
Bray in Yarmouth (Fig. 39). At the top of a large grey slate whose size is 
comparable to some of the large willow-and-urn slates of later decades. 
Holmes chose to carve the trailing-edge feathers of the wings with flame- 
like spikes. Through 1807, Holmes uses a cherub as his principal decora- 



' -t'NN }' ('' t» \ w 








1 \ 



' >..,> \ 






.^^-f,x^^ r. 



Fig. 38. Kezia Lewis, 1801, West Yarmouth. 
Carved by Holmes. 



110 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



tive element on 43% of his stones. From 1808 through 1812, however, he 
uses it on less than 1% of his stones. The last stone of his cherub period is 
that for Warren Sparrow (1812) in Eastham. However, he returns to 
cherubs "nostalgically" four times more. These are interesting cases, not 
only because of their anachronism, but because Holmes was obviously 
trying to accommodate his clients' wishes in returning to an older style. I 
shall consider them after reviewing the other principal decorative ele- 
ments which Holmes featured on his stones. 

(ii) Urns 

While Holmes uses cherubs on 43% of his stones through 1807, urns 
come in a close second, at 40% (often accompanied by draperies, or by 
willows). In the next five years (through 1812), urns outnumber cherubs 
by a seven-to-one ratio. After 1812, urns are used on the great majority of 
his stones, at first without willows and sometimes accompanied by a 
drapery or simply by flowers. 

Before he settled on the standard little urn accompanied by a willow 
tree that would decorate practically all of these later stones, most of 




Fig. 39. William Bray, 1805, Yarmouth. 
Carved by Holmes. 



James Blachowicz 



111 



Holmes' urns were of a type that I shall refer to as bulbous. A good exam- 
ple is that on the probated 1805 Silvanus Gorham stone (Fig. 40). We 
should recall that whereas Harlow uses four petals for the side flowers, 
Holmes uses three. Another example of such an urn is shown in Fig. 24, 
on the stone for Amaziah Harlow. 

Somewhat less frequently in these early years. Holmes uses an urn 
with a "concave" lid (shaped like an upside-down funnel) - an elaborate 
form of which is found on the 1805 Elizabeth Harlow stone (Fig. 41).^^ 
While the different cherub on this stone might initially suggest a carver 
other than Holmes, the lettering certainly looks to be his; and the spiky 
wing feathers resemble those on the William Bray stone of the same year 
(Fig. 39), which is definitely his. Further, the face is rather like that on the 
1804 Fanney Crombie stone, which features a portrait from the waist up 
of a person dressed in what looks like a choir robe. Perhaps Holmes was 
trying his hand at copying another type of face, which was in evidence on 
a few stones in Plymouth produced by the Lemon-Eye carver. The letter- 
ing on the Crombie stone is certainly Holmes', and the string-tie on the 
drapery over the portrait is identical to that on the 1798 (backdated) stone 
for WilUam Hallet. 




Fig. 40. Silvanus Gorham, 1805, Barnstable. 
'Bulbous" urn; probated to Nathaniel Holmes. 



112 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




Fig. 41. Elizabeth Harlow, 1805, Plymouth. 

Probably carved by Holmes. 

Compare spiky wing feathers to Fig. 39. 



James Blachowicz 



113 



Over time, the urn on Harlow's stone loses its medallion and evolves 
into a more streamlined version such as is to be found on the 1805 mark- 
er for Sarah Cobb (Fig. 42); it is then simplified even further in Holmes' 
last style (see Fig. 46). 

Holmes returns to his bulbous urn from time to time in the years 
which follow, including five cases in which the body of the urn coincides 
with the oval panel in which the inscription is written. An example of this 
configuration is the 1812 stone for Ruthy Rider (Fig. 43).^^ 

(in) Flowers 

The flowers on the Silvanus Gorham stone (Fig. 40) are probably the 
lily and the anemone, or pasque-flower, both symbolic of the Resurrection 
(see note 31). Holmes used this combination on a few other stones, some- 
times with considerable deUcacy, as on the 1803 marker for WiUiam and 
Isaac Wethrell (Fig. 44). 

(iv) Mourning Draperies or Swags 

We have already seen Holmes-type draperies on the stones illustrated 
in Figures 37, 39, 40, and 41. He uses this decorative element on 30% of his 




Fig. 42. Sarah Cobb, 1805, Plymouth. 
Early Holmes "concave" urn. 



114 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




t.-^ 








Fig. 43. Ruthy Rider, 1812, Yarmouth. 
Carved by Holmes. 






James Blachowicz 



115 




Fig. 44. William and Isaac Wethrell, 1803, Plymouth. 
Detail of Holmes' floral design. 



116 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



Stones from 1808 through 1813, but on only 6% from 1814 through 1826. 
There is a slight resurgence from 1827 through 1829, where 17% of his 
stones have draperies, but this falls again afterward to negligible levels. 




Fig. 45. Ebenezer Hallet, 1807, Yarmouth. 
Early Holmes willow-and-urn. 



James Blachowicz 117 



(v) Willows 

We first find a willow, with very thick limbs and almost succulent- 
looking leaves, on two of Holmes' stones in 1802.^^ There is then a gap of 
about five years before he reintroduces it, rather abruptly. An example is 
found on the 1807 Ebenezer Hallet stone (Fig. 45), which is almost identi- 
cal to that on the 1809 probated Mary Hinckley marker. This is certainly a 
departure from the "succulent" willow, with thinner branches and more 
numerous leaves - a type that was already becoming popular. Holmes' 
early versions have a more feathery appearance with finer leaves than 
those found on his later stones (e.g.. Fig. 46), but the general orientation 
of the tree remains unchanged for many years: there are three branches, 
with one crossing the other two. Although it is positioned on the right on 
the Hallet stone. Holmes almost always puts it on the left (see Fig. 46). The 
urn has lost its side ribbons, still present on the 1805 Sarah Cobb stone 
(Fig. 42), and the pointed flame has curled around a bit to resemble a 
hook. Later urns will retain the hook without any resemblance to a flame. 
The 1822 Benjamin Freeman stone (Fig. 46) is representative of this later 
wiUow-and-urn type, found on hundreds of stones, including the 1827 
probated Captain Henry Allen stone. Starting in about 1830, however. 
Holmes increases the number of branches on his willows from three to 
between nine and fifteen. The 1844 Sally Bearse stone (Fig. 47), with 
twelve, is typical.^° Since the added branches would have required signif- 
icantly more work per stone, we can surmise that there were market pres- 
sures on Holmes to make this change. Perhaps his three-branched willow 
looked less Uke a tree than those on other carvers' stones and he had to 
accommodate the new taste. Note also three subtle changes in the urn as 
we move from the Freeman (Fig. 46) to the Bearse (Fig. 47) stone: the hook 
has become a flat knob; two curved horizontal indentations appear along 
the girth of the urn, suggesting the old drapery; and the nine vertical inci- 
sions across the band on the urn have been reduced to three. These 
changes will be important in distinguishing Holmes' stones in the 1850s 
and 1860s from those of an imitator who emerges in Yarmouth. 

(vi) "Nostalgic" Stones 

From time to time. Holmes would revert to an older decorative feature 
that he had long abandoned. There are eight of these "nostalgic" stones 
which show Holmes' efforts at accommodating his clients' special 
requests. The first is that for Captain Samuel Sturges [Sturgis] (1762) in 



118 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




Fig. 46. Benjamin Freeman, 1822, East Sandwich. 
Typical Holmes willow-and-urn of the 1820s. 



James Blachowicz 



119 




Fig. 47. Sally Bearse, 1844, Centerville. 
Typical Holmes willow-and-urn of the 1840s. 



120 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




Fig. 48. Samuel Sturgis, 1762 (backdated), Barnstable. 
"Nostalgic" stone by Holmes; carved in about 1825. 



James Blachowicz 121 



Barnstable (Fig. 48). Lydia Sturgis (his widow) is buried alongside. She 
died in 1825 at age 87, and her grave is marked by a stone with an urn 
and willow typical of Holmes' style in the 1820s. Perhaps she had asked 
Holmes to replace an earher stone of her husband's carved by someone 
else, but which had been damaged or lost; or maybe she simply asked for 
an old-fashioned stone in keeping with the period of her husband's death. 
Holmes' cherub here is recognizably his; yet the feather treatment may 
indicate his attempt to evoke another carver's style. The style of the let- 
tering (the numeral "1," for example) is representative of what Holmes is 
doing in the 1820s. Note, however, that he tries to be faithful to the older 
tradition, using "ye" instead of "the." 

The second of these stones is for Patience Eldridge (1832) in Yarmouth 
(Fig. 49). Here again a widow (or her family) probably requested a stone 
in keeping with an earlier period, but this time to match her spouse's 
stone. Patience's husband, Barnabas, had died in 1797, and his grave is 
marked with a stone which has a cherub surmounted by a six-pointed 
"spiral" star. The stone was probably executed by one of the Soules, with 
a cherub typical of their work. Holmes dupUcated the size and shape of 
the Soule stone, included a matching star, and added his own characteris- 
tic cherub. 

The third and fourth nostalgic stones are for James Davis, Jr. (1798) 
(Fig. 50) and his wife, Mary Davis (1849) in Barnstable. Here again, a 
widow probably requests a stone for her husband's grave to be executed 
in a style of an earlier era. It's likely that James Davis originally had such 
a stone, but that it had broken and Holmes was asked to duplicate it; then 
Mary Davis (or her family) requested such a stone for her own grave to 
match her husband's. Holmes' cherub here has at least his characteristic 
eyes and mouth; but the hair, wings, and tympanum border are obvious 
imitations of another carver's style - perhaps that of Daniel Hastings or 
one of the later Lamsons.^^ While this is not a probated stone, we can be 
secure in ascribing it to Holmes: except for the hair, the cherub's face is 
typical of his work; the lettering is quite close to his own; and, finally, 
Mary Davis was Holmes' mother-in-law, living with him in the house he 
and his wife Abiah inherited from James Davis. ^^ 

The fifth stone, that for EUzabeth Jackson (1806) in Barnstable, is an 
attempt to match the neighboring marker for Elizabeth's husband, 
Richard Jackson (1802), which may be the work of one of the later 
Lamsons. Holmes reproduces the up-swept wings and leafy branches 



122 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




Fig. 49. Patience Eldridge, 1832, Yarmouth. 
"Nostalgic" stone by Holmes. 



James Blachowicz 



123 



only four years after the original. The sixth and seventh of these nostalgic 
stones are those for Captain Samuel Hinckley (1804) and for Silvanus 
Jones (1806) in Barnstable, each with a trumpeting cherub in imitation of 
the neighboring markers for Susanna Hinckley (1790) and Mary Hinckley 
(1799).^^ And the eighth is the 1805 stone for the son of Chipman Hinckley, 
the only marker on which Holmes carves a rising sun, perhaps in imita- 
tion of Isaac Tomson's work. 

(vii) Other Exceptional Decorative Features 

Holmes probably carved the three stones in Lothrop Cemetery in 
Barnstable which display a masted sailing vessel within a medallion (see 
Fig. 51).^'* Mariners by far outnumbered all other occupations on the Cape 
during this prosperous time, and a seaman or his family may have asked 
for such special depictions.^^ We find a box tomb with brick sides on two 
stones^^ - a device also used by Savery and Harlow. On twenty-one 
stones, all rectangular in shape and produced quite late (1850s and 1860s), 
Holmes positions a quarter-circle fan-like rosette in the two upper cor- 
ners. 

Finally, mention should be made of the fine monumental tomb slab in 
Barnstable which Holmes carved in 1829 to commemorate the career of 




Fig. 50. James Davis, Jr., 1798 (backdated), Barnstable. 

"Nostalgic" stone by Holmes (for his father-in-law). 

Probably carved in the 1840s. 



124 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



Thomas Hinckley (d. 1706), former governor of Plymouth colony. This 
large slate has no decorative features, but it bears a lengthy inscription 
which Holmes obviously carved with great care. 

(viii) Border Decoration 

On nine stones carved through 1840, Holmes finely inscribes either a 
leaf or rope pattern as side borders. On forty-six stones scattered from the 
1820s through the end of his career, he carves columns on the side bor- 
ders, usually with a rounded shoulder in which he places semi-circles 
stacked in pyramid fashion.^^ 

(4) Inscriptions 

It is difficult enough to use lettering as a basis for ascribing stones to a 
specific carver. This difficulty becomes great indeed when there is some 
evidence of two carvers working on the same stone; and the problem 
becomes almost intractable when the two (or even three) carvers either 
share the same style of lettering or change their style. This is the case with 
Amaziah Harlow, Nathaniel Holmes, and John Tribbel. Even with these 




Fig. 51. Capt. David Smith, 1838, Barnstable. 
Probably carved by Holmes. 



James Blachowicz 125 



complications, however, some general conclusions regarding inscriptions 
may be drawn. 

We should take our first clue from the inscriptions on those stones 
dated after 1802, the year of Harlow's death. Presumably, for the stones 
with Holmes' cherubs. Holmes and only Holmes was responsible for the 
inscriptions. I have already made reference to some of the distinctive fea- 
tures of Holmes' letters, namely, an increasingly left-leaning "a" and a 
characteristic "2" (see Figs. 36 and 42). In addition. Holmes moves away 
from Harlow-like fine incisions on the end strokes of his "x," "i," "t," and 
"y" 

We can also examine the inscriptions on the earliest stones attributed 
to Holmes. A good example is the 1800 Sarah Hawes stone (Fig. 35).^^ The 
letters are significantly larger than on his later markers, and the "r" and 
"t" especially curl more than we see with his later work. Since the inscrip- 
tions on stones with Harlow's cherubs do not exhibit these same charac- 
teristics (although it looks as if Holmes in fact learned them from him), we 
can ascribe these "large-letter" inscriptions to Holmes himself. 

Stones with Holmes' cherubs sometimes have Harlow-type letters and 
sometimes have Holmes' later style contemporaneously, making it likely 
that Harlow himself inscribed some stones with Holmes' cherubs. What 
brings confusion is the fact that there are some stones dated after 
Harlow's death whose lettering seems more like Harlow's than Holmes' 
(see note 66). They do not have Holmes' left-leaning "a," for example. 
Could Holmes have altered his lettering style from time to time? Or were 
most of his early left-leaning "a" stones backdated, so that he didn't real- 
ly move significantly away from Harlow's lettering style until some years 
afterward? Or was a third carver responsible? There is not enough evi- 
dence at present to say. 

We can see on the Benjamin Freeman stone (Fig. 46) how Holmes' let- 
tering evolved in later decades: he italicizes most of the inscription and 
adopts the modern fashion of rendering numerals at the same height. On 
the Sally Bearse stone (Fig. 47), we find letters that are more deeply 
incised, with serifs that have become completely horizontal. It was also in 
the 1820s that Holmes moved away from the written or scripted form of 
the lower case "a" (adopting a single-storey "a" in place of the double- 
storey "a"); one can no longer use the left-leaning "a" as a mark to iden- 
tify his lettering. Throughout this period. Holmes also uniformly made 
his "g" by attaching the lower loop to the upper at the bottom center of the 



126 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




Fig. 52. Mallie Jones, 1864, Barnstable. 
Marble stone probably carved by Holmes. 



James Blachowicz 127 



Upper loop, rather than on the left. 

There are eight late marble stones, such as the 1864 marker for Mallie 
Jones (Fig. 52), which I take to be Holmes' because of the inscription, but 
on which the name of the deceased is carved in large positive relief - that 
is, the block letters are formed not by incision, but by cutting away from 
them. This is as close as Holmes ever got to the newer style of marble 
carving. 

Toward the end of his life. Holmes' hitherto sharp lettering began to 
show some signs of misalignment: the horizontal serifs of the word 
"Memory" on the Sally Scudder and Elizabeth Taylor stones (both 1868), 
for example, are not quite as horizontal as they once were (Holmes was 
eighty-five when he carved these two markers). 

(5) Material 

Nathaniel Holmes used a light grey slate for almost all of his stones. 
He used marble for at least thirty-six markers carved after 1823, three of 
which are probated to him.^^ With three exceptions, these marble stones 
are devoid of decorative features. The first of these exceptions is the 1831 
stone for AUen Goodspeed, which displays Holmes' characteristic drap- 
ery. The second and third, for Elisha Burgess (1832) and his wife Hannah 
(1840) (Fig. 53), feature all the characteristics of Holmes' style of lettering 
- his horizontal serifs, his telltale "2" and "g,"for example - but they bear 
an urn and willow completely unlike his. We saw that Holmes did appar- 
ently try out the more "modern" style of lettering associated with the 
new marble stones found in these burial grounds; it is therefore not 
impossible he also tried his hand at a new style of willow-and-urn (per- 
haps to match another stone). Or perhaps, while Holmes lettered the 
stone, the willow-and-urn may have been executed by someone working 
with him.ioo 

Holmes resisted marble to the end. It is a measure both of the faithful- 
ness of his clientele as well as his and their conservatism that his slates 
should be so numerous in burial grounds where marble had made signif- 
icant inroads decades earlier. 

Finally, eleven of Holmes' last stones (from 1862 through 1869) are 
made from a very fine-grained muddy red slate (or siltstone). Other 
carvers (including Holmes' imitator, to be discussed shortly) also used 
this material, which may have come from Maine, at about the same time. 



128 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




Fig. 53. Hannah Burgess, 1840, Sagamore. 
Holmes' letters; willow and urn probably by unknown carver. 



James Blachowicz 129 



(6) William Sturgis: A Connection to Holmes? 

I must pause at this point to consider a possible relation between 
Nathaniel Holmes and another Barnstable stonecutter. One of the thirty 
probated payments to Holmes that 1 uncovered was for a stone for Horace 
S. Crocker (1844) in Cotuit (see Appendix 2-c). This stone (Fig. 54), how- 
ever, bears little resemblance to anything else Holmes produced. It does, 
on the other hand, closely resemble the 1842 stone for Jonathan Burr in 
Sandwich, which is probated to a WiUiam Sturgis (see Appendix 2-e). 
According to his age listed in the 1850 U.S. Census record, WilUam W. 
Sturgis was born in about 1800, and was married to a Ruth D.; no children 
are listed as living with them in the four censuses from 1830 through 1860. 
The 1850 and 1860 census records him as a "farmer." In all these records, 
William Sturgis is a resident of Barnstable.^°^ 

Despite the "farmer" listing, this is probably the stonecutter, for no 
other William Sturgis is indexed in the U.S. Census in this area through- 
out this time that would have been the right age. He probably did not live 
in the town of Barnstable itself, but closer to Sandwich and a little south, 
somewhere near Farmersville, Forestdale, or Hatchville, where many of 
his stones appear. In Appendix 8, 1 provide a sample of thirty-four of these 
Sturgis-type stones, dated from the 1820s through the 1840s. I emphasize 
that I have not attempted a systematic survey of his work. There were 
three other probate payments (see Appendix 2) - to "Wm. Sturgis," "Mr. 
Sturgis," and to "J. Sturgess & Co." - but I found the stone for only one of 
these (Noah Davis, 1840; devoid of any decorative features). 

Why should a Sturgis stone be probated to Holmes? The answer is not, 
I think, that there was a professional connection between the two men. I 
have found no stones in which Holmes and Sturgis may have cooperated 
(such as, for example, a Holmes tympanum and Sturgis inscription); nor 
are there Sturgis-type stones in the burial grounds where Holmes' stones 
appear. Rather, Sturgis looks to be a local carver at home somewhere 
between Sandwich and Falmouth. One explanation of the odd probate 
record is that the administrator of the estate simply made an error. Holmes 
was, after all, the dominant carver in the area: the administrator may have 
been careless in assuming Holmes was responsible for the stone. 

(7) John Tribbel: Holmes' Successor in Plymouth 

On my first analysis of this body of work, I suspected that a number 
of the stones here attributed to Holmes and dated before his move to the 



130 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




Fig. 54. Horace S. Crocker, 1844, Cotuit. 
Probated to Holmes, but probably carved by William W. Sturgis. 



James Blachowicz 131 



Cape in 1805 - especially the concave-lid urn types - were in fact the work 
of a contemporary Plymouth carver, John Tribbel. 1 have since come to 
believe that Tribbel was more Holmes' successor in Plymouth than some- 
one producing stones in parallel with him there. However, since this con- 
clusion is not firm, I must pause briefly to consider John Tribbel' s work 
and the means whereby his stones may be distinguished from those of 
Holmes. 1 hasten to add that I have not attempted to catalog all of 
Tribbel' s work. The thirty-five stones I ascribe to him in Appendix 7 are 
no doubt a small percentage of his total production. 

John Tribbel was born in Plymouth on November 23, 1782 - two 
months before Nathaniel Holmes. He was the second of seven children of 
Joseph Tribbel S'^'^ and Sarah Dunham.^^^ He married Bathsheba Holmes 
(no relation to Nathaniel) on April 15, 1804, just two months after his 
younger brother James married Bathsheba' s sister Susanna. ^^■^ John and 
Bathsheba had five children before Bathsheba died in 1816.^°'* Four of 
these children died before the age of nineteen. Tribbel probably carved the 
square, undecorated slate stone for his wife and these four children (the 
latest death dated 1824). On May 26, 1816, he married Polly Bradford, 
widow of Ephraim Holmes. They had four children. ^°^ Polly was the 
daughter of Captain Lemuel and Hitty Bradford. Tribbel carved the 1809 
stone for Hitty Bradford in Barnstable and signed it on the back. 

Tribbel is listed in The Plymouth Almanac for 1846 as a painter (on High 
Street) - as are his sons Winslow and Albert and three nephews (at other 
addresses). His younger brother, Isaac, is here listed as a "trader," 
although elsewhere in Plymouth records John and Isaac are both Usted as 
painters in the same shop.^°^ His younger brother (or nephew) James is 
Usted as an iron worker. The fact that John Tribbel is not listed as a stone- 
cutter does not necessarily indicate, of course, that he was not employed 
in that trade: in fact, there is no listing for any stonecutter in this appar- 
ently complete directory of Plymouth tradespersons, and Plymouth must 
have had at least one. In any case, Tribbel was sixty-four years old at the 
time; perhaps he was less active than he had been. John Tribbel' s house 
was located at the corner of High Street and Ring Lane, which is where he 
died, on June 2, 1862. 

Besides his known signed stone in Barnstable, I have uncovered five 
probate payments to John Tribbel (see Appendix 2). One of the probated 
stones - the 1805 marker for Nathaniel Holmes 3'^'^ (no relation to the carv- 
er) - must have been removed or destroyed, for this individual is com- 



132 



Carving Traditions of Plymoutii and Cape Cod 




Fig. 55. Capt. Jesse Harlow, 1809, Plymouth. 

Probated to John Tribbel; carved to match Holmes' stone 

for Elizabeth Harlow (Fig. 41). 



James Blachowicz 133 



memorated on a later marble monument (with his wife and daughter) 
erected after his wife's death in 1860. The other four probated stones are 
still standing on Burial Hill in Plymouth. 

It is obvious at once that Tribbel is not as talented a carver as was 
Holmes. He imitates Holmes' concave urns, but they are carved with shal- 
lower incisions and without the depth and perspective Holmes gave 
them. An example is the probated 1809 stone for Captain Jesse Harlow 
(Fig. 55). An examination of the lettering on the probated Elizabeth 
Wethrell stone (1814) also provides some guide for distinguishing 
Tribbel's stones from those of Holmes. Tribbel from very early on elon- 
gated the serifs on letters such as "h," "\," "r," and "n" (and the numeral 
"1"), and had them curl or sweep up. Holmes himself tended to elongate 
his serifs on a number of stones, but not quite as much. There are a num- 
ber of other distinctive features of Tribbel's letters: for instance, he closed 
the bottom portion of his "a" with a Une that swept up toward the top curl 
more than did Holmes, and he often made the bottom stroke of his "2" 
without the vertical serif at the end. He also adopted the "modern" man- 
ner of inscribed numbers earher than did Holmes - that is, he would 
inscribe the numerals for the year of death, for example, all at exactly the 
same height. Holmes didn't make the move to this fashion completely 
until about 1818, whereas Tribbel was using it as early as 1805. In other 
respects, Tribbel's style of lettering is too close to Holmes' to serve as a 
basis for positive attribution. 

Tribbel was apparently not a cherub carver, but he did carve at least 
two cherub stones, both times, it seems, in order to match the existing 
cherub stones for spouses of the deceased. The first of these was the 1811 
stone for Sarah Jackson, where he tried to match Lemuel Savery's probat- 
ed stone for Sarah's husband, Thomas (1794). The second was the afore- 
mentioned probated 1809 stone for Captain Jesse Harlow (Fig. 55), an 
attempt to match the stone for Jesse's wife, Elizabeth (Fig. 41), which 
Nathaniel Holmes probably carved just before he left for Barnstable. 
Tribbel's version, it should be obvious, is not up to Holmes' quality. Later, 
his carving would become more confident and precise, if not more stylish. 
He is apparently responsible for hundreds of stones in Plymouth (and 
some neighboring towns), which begin to appear in large numbers in 
about 1805, the year Holmes moved out. An example of his later style is 
the 1825 stone for the Churchill family (Fig. 56),^°'^ which I ascribe to him 
on the basis of its similarity with other of his probated stones. 



134 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 






h '^ i^' 




of 



if' '" ""niocN' 

WIVIl'./„;f.|ili CI I • ' 

'^ * \ ' ' ^ * ' r j'j /) 1" )7 

*/< '"^^^ '- fl 1» .. 



0' 



[ii 

n 



i.' 

'•''■■■ 'I'/..,, 

'( '^'"/''"imIm.,: 






V! 



': I 



,y HCUwl ? 



' / 'S' 9 , ; 



n^'ii 









X 





Fig. 56. Churchill family, 1822, 1809, 1811, 1825, Plymouth. 
Probably carved by John Tribbel. Later style. 



James Blachowicz 135 



(8) Jabez M. Fisher: Holmes' Successor on the Cape 

Beginning in about 1850, a series of stones appear in Yarmouth which 
seem at first to be indistinguishable from those carved by Holmes, but 
which are in fact the work of an imitator. The 1867 Susanna Nickerson 
stone (Fig. 57) is an example. While the stylistic differences which I will 
describe are really enough to conclude that Holmes did not carve them, 
further proof comes from that fact that the five latest of such stones were 
dated after Holmes' death. 

Features of these stones which distinguish them from Holmes' include 
the following: (1) The leaves of the willow are more elongated; (2) the urn 
has two characteristics typical of Holmes' urns of the 1820s (see Fig. 46), 
but which Holmes had abandoned by the 1840s (see Fig. 47), namely the 
top "hook" and a series of nine (or seven) vertical incisions in the urn's 
band (Holmes had reduced this number to three); (3) the numerals used 
are rounded and carved in a more contemporary mid-nineteenth century 
style, unlike Holmes'; (4) the abbreviations "Y's" and "M's" are often 
used for "years" and "months"; (5) the tiny ball at the end of the curved 
stroke of the "f falls more or less directly in front (to the right) of the cross 
bar of the "f," whereas in Holmes' "f," the ball is positioned more above 
this cross bar; (6) the lower portion of the "g" is attached to the upper por- 
tion at the left (as is normal), whereas Holmes attaches it in the center; (7) 
some of these stones have fewer willow branches than Holmes was using 
at the same time. On the basis of these differences, I have attributed forty- 
one slate stones to this carver (those marked with an "s" - for "slate" - in 
Appendix 9). Twenty-nine of these are found in the Yarmouth area, one in 
South Dennis, one in Provincetown, and ten in the Barnstable area 
(including Hyannis and Marstons Mills). Four of these Barnstable-area 
stones are dated after Holmes' death. 

There is no evidence, I should repeat, that any of Holmes' sons became 
stonecutters. U.S. Census records consistently list his eldest son, Oliver, as 
a farmer and his second son, William, as a harness-maker. It seems, rather, 
that a new carver has appeared in Yarmouth who has appropriated 
Holmes' style in order to accommodate the Yarmouth citizenry (Holmes 
had over 200 stones placed in Yarmouth and West Yarmouth before 1850). 
This carver was apparently successful in replacing Holmes in this area - 
for no Holmes stones appear in Yarmouth after 1850. Further, this imita- 
tor copied the style of Holmes' stones of the 1820s and 1830s rather than 
his current style. This would point to a true imitator, as opposed to an 



136 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




I 






I 



:^-tJi^ 






SK' 



J**- 



'fc-.v 



\'C 



Fig. 57. Susanna Nickerson, 1867, South Dennis. 
Holmes imitation carved by Jabez M. Fisher. 



James Blachowicz 137 



apprentice or partner. After Holmes' death, this imitator produced only 
five more such stones: marble and newer styles of carving displaced 
Holmes' old-fashioned slates entirely. All of these copies were willows- 
and-urns except the 1863 stone for Elizabeth Fish, where the imitator 
copies Holmes' bulbous urn and his corner rosettes. 

The 1852 Arthur Hallet stone (Fig. 58), which is one of this carver's 
forty-one slates, utiUzes sans-serif block capital letters for the deceased's 
name (these appear on no others of this group which have a Holmes-type 
wiUow-and-urn). The urn, while it lacks a hook, has nine band-incisions, 
together with willow leaves and lettering of the sort typical of this imita- 
tor. This stone is probated to Jabez M. Fisher. 

Jabez M. Fisher was born in Sandwich in 1803, married Sarah S. 
Sturgis in Sandwich in about 1829, and had at least three children - 
William S., born in Sandwich in 1830, Arietta D., born in Nantucket in 
1832, and Benjamin Franldin, born in Harwich in 1841.^°^ Sarah was born 
in Lee, in western Massachusetts; I found no evidence of a family relation 
to WiLliam W. Sturgis, the stonecutter. The record which lists Jabez' inten- 
tion to marry shows him as Jabez M. Fish (not Fisher). ^°^ There are many 
Sandwich residents named Fish: it is not known whether Jabez' father 
was a Fish or Fisher, but there is a record for an earUer Jabez Fisher born 
in Rochester who marries an Elizabeth Butler in Sandwich in 1704.^^" 1 
have not been able to trace Jabez M. Fisher's ancestry any further nor Unk 
him with the stonecutting Fishers of Wrentham. 

The 1850 U.S. Census Usts Jabez Fisher as a "stonecutter" with real 
property worth $1500.^" In the 1860 U.S. Census, he is listed as a "marble- 
worker" whose real property is worth $2600 and personal property worth 
$900.^^^ In the 1870 Census, again listed as a "stonecutter," his worth rises 
to $7500 in real estate and $3000 in personal property. ^^^ 

The 1860 record (dated August 18) includes Jabez's wife and three chil- 
dren and also his son William's wife, Sarah E. Fisher. Interestingly, how- 
ever, there is a separate record in the same census (dated July 9) which 
records his son, William S. Fisher, and wife Sarah Hving at the residence 
of a John Hawes and wife (John is Usted as a druggist). ^^"^ In this second 
record, William S. Fisher (aged 30) is listed as a "stonecutter." Ten years 
later, the Census records WiUiam as the head of a separate household, hv- 
ing with his wife Sarah and a John E. Hawes (age 19), who is Usted as an 
"apprentice to stone-cutting". ^^^ Jabez M. Fisher dies in Yarmouth on 
January 6, 1879; his son William dies in Yarmouth in 1907. 



138 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




ARTl-lllR 11AUI,E 



SiM) m/' '> 



Ull) c 







. b/^^\ e/a, /,s;;:> 



,.> 



Fig. 58. Arthur Hallet, 1852, Yarmouth. 
Probated to Jabez M. Fisher. 



James Blachowicz 



139 




Fig. 59. John Baker, 1854, Brewster. 
Probated to Jabez M. Fisher. 



140 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



In searching for Holmes' probates, I came across twenty-two probate 
payments to Jabez M. Fisher, dated between 1842 and 1859. 1 was able to 
locate the stones for all but seven of these (see Appendix 2). One of these 
probated stones was signed "]. M. Fisher, Yarmouth" - that for John Baker 
(1854) in Brewster (Fig. 59). Another (non-probated) stone - that for 
Benjamin Handy (1859) in Hyannis - is signed "]. M. Fisher & Son, 
Yarmouth". All of the probated stones except the Arthur Hallet marker 
are marble. The Fishers used many decorative styles for their stones; the 
Baker stone is typical of at least one type. 

On the basis of these probated markers, I have attributed a total of 
thirty-five marble stones (in addition to the forty-one slates) to the two 
Fishers (see Appendix 9). I must emphasize, however, that this is but a 
token percentage of the many hundreds of marble stones for which they 
are responsible on the Cape. 




Fig. 60. Jabez M. and Sarah S. Fisher, 1879, 1877, Yarmouth. 
Probably carved by William S. Fisher. 



James Blachowicz 141 



While Jabez Fisher did not carve a Holmes-type willow-and-urn on 
any of his probated marble stones, and also tended to prefer italics for the 
slates and non-italics for the marbles, there is enough evidence from his 
inscriptions to conclude that he carved both groups. It is another matter, 
however, to distinguish Jabez's work from that of his son William. We can 
start by giving William the four stones dated after Jabez's death in 1879, 
including the marker for Jabez himself and his wife Sarah (Fig. 60). Two 
of the features that help in distinguishing William's letters from his 
father's are (1) He tends to make the lower loop of his "g" further to the 
right than his father did; and (2) his "Y" has a longer vertical stem (com- 
pare Fig. 59 with Fig. 60). 

There are two more stones to complicate matters - those for Hiram 
HaUet (1839, probably backdated) and Captain Nathan Hallet (1851) (Fig. 
61). These feature the same block capital sans-serif letters as Jabez Fisher's 
Arthur Hallet stone, and the rest of the inscribed letters seem close to 
those on the other Holmes-imitation stones. Further, the lower portion of 
the lower-case "f" seen on these two stones curls down and back under 
the "o" of "of" - just as it does on the 1853 Elizabeth Chapman stone in 
Provincetown, another of the group. But the willows and urns on these 
two stones were obviously carved by someone else. Perhaps they are the 
work of WilUam Fisher, who was 21 in 1851 and just beginning his career. 

To summarize: In about 1841, Jabez M. Fisher probably moved into 
Harwich, where his youngest son was born, and where we find some of 
his marble stones. He must have moved on to Yarmouth in about 1850, for 
we begin to find his Holmes-imitation slates there at about that time. 
Since Fisher was quite successful with his marble stone line quite inde- 
pendently of these slates, it seems Ukely that these Holmes imitations 
were more the result of special cUent requests to match existing Holmes 
stones in Yarmouth than any intentional effort on Fisher's part to develop 
a slate stone production in competition with Holmes. His son William 
also worked primarily in marble, but may have tried his hand as a young 
man at a willow-and-urn on the two Hallet stones. William also carved 
two slates in the Holmes style after Jabez's death - for Reuben Ryder 
(1878) and Eben Whelden (1887) (Fig. 62) - no doubt again to accommo- 
date special requests. The willow on the Whelden marker bears some 
resemblance to that on the two Hallet stones. William continues to carve 
exclusively in marble into the 1900s, and his work is of fairly high quali- 
ty. Given the enormity of their output on the Cape and the fact that Jabez's 



142 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 




ry iof 



i I r\l»^ Lit, I ^ 




■->*»-aj.^»>»*t| 






rli^w. 



Fig. 61. Captain Nathan Hallet, 1851, Yarmouth. 

Letters probably by Jabez M. Fisher; 
willow and urn possibly by William S. Fisher. 



James Blachowicz 



143 






Fig. 62. Eben Whelden, 1887, W. BaiiisUbie. 
Probably carved by William S. Fisher. 



144 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



reported net worth increases seven-fold from 1850 to 1870, the success of 
these two stonecutters rivals and probably surpasses that of Holmes him- 
self. 

The probated Jabez Fisher stone for Hannah Baker (1851) resembles 
the stone in Barnstable for one of Nathaniel Holmes' grandchildren 
(Nathaniel, died 1873) - enough so, in fact, to ascribe it to Fisher as well. 
If indeed Fisher carved it, then he also probably also carved the plain 
stone for Nathaniel Holmes (Fig. 32). 

Conclusions 

The principal purpose of this study has been attribution: to discover 
which carvers were responsible for the body of stones in the original sur- 
veyed groups. 1 did not anticipate that an analysis of what I had original- 
ly taken to be the work of two carvers would ultimately reveal the 
involvement of eleven different individuals, nor that the length of 
Nathaniel Holmes' carving career would push my inquiry past the mid- 
nineteenth century. While the account I have provided of Savery, Harlow, 
and Holmes (and the two Savery imitators) is fairly complete with respect 
to their total production, further study will obviously be required to 
uncover John Tribbel's full contribution. And at present I can only guess 
at the magnitude of the role that Jabez and WiUiam Fisher played in the 
marble gravestone industry in southeastern Massachusetts in the second 
half of the nineteenth century. Other carvers proliferated on the Cape dur- 
ing this period (see Appendix 2-h), but none, I suspect, came close to 
matching the output of Holmes or the Fishers. 

This investigation has provided an opportunity to observe in some 
detail the transition from the "classical" period of American gravestone 
art, with its cherubs and portraits, to a more "imperial" and secular age of 
neoclassical symbolism and marble monumentality It is not just the new 
decorative schemes and materials which provide the data for under- 
standing this century-long transition. We can also find engraved on these 
stones evidence that American culture had developed far enough by the 
1820s to have acquired a sense of its own modest "antiquity." Nathaniel 
Holmes, in particular, lived long enough to see his earlier cherub become 
quaint - something to which a number of his senior clients requested that 
he nostalgically return. We find unique stones by many of the carvers of 
this study which were apparently made to match older stones of a more 
antique style. Amaziah Harlow's 1800 stone for Hannah Cotton was made 



James Blachowicz 145 



to match the 1789 stone which Lemuel Savery had fashioned for her hus- 
band, the Reverend John Cotton. Here, perhaps, one may argue that 
Harlow was simply adopting Savery's style. But John Tribbel apparently 
had to provide a cherub - a decorative element not in his usual repertoire 
- in order to have his 1811 Sarah Jackson stone match Savery's 1794 stone 
for her husband, Thomas Jackson. It seems, moreover, that Tribbel had to 
do this once before - on his 1809 stone for Jesse Harlow - where he tried 
to match the 1804 stone Holmes made for Jesse's wife, Elizabeth Harlow. 
Holmes not only had to emulate older carvers' styles in his stones for 
Samuel Sturges (1762) and James Davis (1798), but was able to resurrect 
his own old cherub for the 1832 Patience Eldridge stone as he sought to 
match the older Soule stone for Patience's spouse, who had died a gener- 
ation earlier. 

This is not just a matter of adopting another carver's style - which 
happens, of course, whenever a juvenile carver first begins to develop his 
own. Acquiring a popular style is, after aU, good business. In this sense, 
the two Savery imitators were true imitators, embracing Savery's success- 
ful designs. In most of these cases of nostalgic imitation, on the other 
hand, a carver had to suspend to a significant degree his own mature style 
in order to satisfy his clients. Thus, Jabez Fisher was not really a Holmes 
imitator - for Fisher had already developed his own decorative style in 
marble. The slate stones he made in Holmes' style were probably spurred 
by special requests from an aging clientele, for they were self-consciously 
old-fashioned. 

Holmes seemed to be more reluctant to adopt more modern styles of 
carving - in his letters and numerals, for example - than his contempo- 
rary Tribbel, who, though probably less skillful a carver, was about ten 
years ahead of Holmes in his lettering style. Conservative Cape Cod may 
in this respect have been the perfect place for Holmes. This was, one 
recalls, an area that had favored winged skulls after they had disappeared 
elsewhere. Yet even in this environment, we saw how Holmes had to "fill 
out" his willows by increasing the number of their branches, a change 
which was probably dictated by the popularity of more current styles. 

In the work of these carvers we also naturally find mirrored some of 
the larger currents of American historical development. Ludwig and 
Benes are right that, with Savery (and with Harlow and Holmes), grave- 
stones become less a medium for folk imagination and /or an expression 
of theological doctrine, and more a secular symbol of an increasingly set- 



146 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



tied and prosperous society. The extended period of steady growth after 
1812, coupled with new economic, technological, and social development, 
no doubt encouraged standardization. While we cannot know exactly 
what Holmes was thinking as he produced copy after copy of the same 
willow and urn through the 1820s, 1830s, and 1840s, he must at least have 
been grateful for the work and content with the security it brought his 
family. Gravestone carving, like other productive activities in American 
society, was becoming less a part of religious and civic ritual and more a 
business. 

There is no evidence that Savery, Harlow, Holmes, or Tribbel followed 
their respective fathers (or other close relative) into stonecutting. Savery 
and Holmes were the youngest children in their families; they and 
Harlow were all young when their fathers died, and none was in the posi- 
tion of inheriting much (if anything) from their fathers' estates. Perhaps 
they were apprenticed at very tender ages (under twelve) and thus given 
up by their families (Holmes, though eighteen, is not even mentioned in 
his father's will). There was little compensation for this form of disinher- 
itance: one was reduced to relying on one's own talent and resources and, 
if lucky, perhaps acquiring some property and social standing through 
marriage (both Harlow and Holmes were able to acquire property 
through their wives' parents). 

While stonecutters were obviously not members of the most respected 
class of society, they must have formed an interesting fraternity. We learn 
from U.S. Census records that, in a town like Barnstable or Yarmouth, 
there are many mariners, shopkeepers, restaurateurs, masons, and car- 
penters - but as with ministers and physicians, there tends to be only one 
or two stonecutters. It would have been natural for a stonecutter to feel 
unique and, if in communication from time to time with colleagues in 
other towns, even a little cosmopolitan. 

The following notice ran in the December 21, 1869 issue of the 
Barnstable Patriot: 



James Blachowicz 



147 



Death of Nathaniel Holmes. 

In our obituary column tc-tlay is re- 
corded tl»e death of Mr. Nathaniel 
Holmes, pne of our most aged and well- 
known citizens. His departure was 
sudden and noexpected. He vFas out 
pucBuing bis usual avucalions up to 
almost the evening of bis demise. He 
has been a most useful member of soci- 
ety, and will bp greatly missed. 



One of Nathaniel Holmes "usual avocations" was no doubt the token 
stonecutting in which he engaged even in his eighties. He was, for much 
of his Ufe, a recognized man, performing a unique function for his com- 
munity. He is also, for us, an artist whose work forms a significant part of 
early American material culture. 

NOTES 

As must be the case in historical investigations such as this, especially one which has been 
conducted to a great extent at long distance from the burial grounds around Plymouth and 
Cape Cod, 1 have reUed on the assistance of a number of individuals and institutions, to 
whom I am deeply grateful: 

Laurel Gabel kindly provided important information on Lemuel Savery, including photo- 
copies of various stones, as well as some details on John Tribbel; she also checked numerous 
individual stones for me in the Association for Gravestone Studies research collection. I am 
also grateful for the valuable hints she supplied in our conversations on sundry matters, for 
her informed advice, for her constructive evaluation of an earlier draft of this paper, and for 
her company on the one-day field trip we shared exploring the burial grounds of the outer 
Cape. 

Nancy B. Davison of South Carver, Massachusetts at my request explored the Lakenham 
Cemetery in North Carver and searched relevant historical documents relating to the possi- 
ble resting place of Lemuel Savery. She shared an important early Savery genealogy with 
me, found the monument to Lemuel's eldest brother and mother, and generously agreed to 
photograph two important Savery stones for me. This study would have been the poorer 
without the information she supplied. Finding persons with an enthusiasm for history such 
as Ms. Davison (who would give of their time for someone they had never met) was one of 
the personal rewards of this work. 



Ellie Donovan Moore, on behalf of the Burial Hill Preservation Alliance of Plymouth, gener- 



148 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



ously arranged both to locate and have photographed for me the remnants of Lemuel 
Savery's probated Mary Rider stone (which 1 had missed in my survey on two earUer can- 
vasses). 

Betty Holmes of Fallon, Nevada (whose husband is a direct descendant of Nathaniel 
Holmes) kindly shared with me what information she had on the genealogy of Nathaniel 
Holmes, including a 19* century map showing the location of his home. 

Charles Harden of the Harden Studios in Barnstable, present owner of Nathaniel Holmes' 
house, provided me photographs of the house and the sheds in which Holmes may have 
worked. Mr. Harden also was in possession of some relevant deeds regarding Holmes' sale 
of this property to his daughters. 

Elizabeth A. Shepard, then project manager for the Planning and Development Unit of the 
Historic Burying Grounds Initiative for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, gra- 
ciously allowed me access to both Phipps Burying Ground and to King's Chapel, which was 
under construction; this latter visit required some sacrifice of her lunch hour. 

Ann Sears of the Falmouth Historical Society shared the information she had collected on 
Falmouth's old Burying Ground and helped me locate a number of stones there. 

Maureen Meyers of the cemetery department of the town of Harwich assisted me in locat- 
ing some stones probated to Jabez M. Fisher. 

Deborah Trask of the Nova Scotia Museum in Halifax kindly provided a photo of Savery's 
Daniel Crocker stone in Chebogue, Nova Scotia. 

Gary Brown of Evanston, Illinois uncovered for me the relevance of the iconography of the 
anemone or "pasque-flower" which often accompanied the urn on many stones of this 
study. 

1 also wish to thank the very helpful staffs at the Sturgis Library and the Trayser Museum 
in Barnstable, and at the Wilmette, Illinois branch of the Family History Center of the Church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

1 cannot fail to acknowledge the forbearance of my wife Camille, who patiently caught up 
on her recreational reading while seated on a variety of tombs during our May field trip, and 
who indulged both my preoccupation with and expenses incurred as a result of this inves- 
tigation. 

The photograph shown in Fig. 34 was kindly supplied by Mr. Charles Harden of Barnstable, 
Massachusetts; all other photos are by the author. 

1. The name is spelled either "Savery" or "Savory." All the known probate references to 
this carver use the latter spelling. While vital records of Plymouth list Lemuel as well 
as six of his siblings with the latter spelling, his father Thomas and two of Lemuel's 
other siblings are listed with the former spelling. We should probably prefer "Savery," 
since this is how he signed the Benjamin Hawes stone (1781) in the Circular 
Congregational Churchyard of Charleston, South Carolina - see Diana Williams 
Combs, Early GravestoJie Art in Georgia and South Carolina (Athens, GA, 1986), 18 - and 
this is how his wife's stone spells the name in 1831. 



James Blachowicz 149 



2. Allan 1. Ludwig, Graven Images: New England Stotiecarving and its Symbols, 1650-1815 
(Middletown CT, 1966), 350. 

3. 1 base this claim in part on an analysis of Harlow's lettering. The Watson stone is quite 
Uke the 1794 Jane Doggett stone (Fig. 31), also in Plymouth, which features a very sim- 
ilar drapery, but with Harlow's characteristic cherub. 

4. Peter Benes, The Masks of Orthodoxy: Folk Gravestone Carving in Plymouth County, 
Massachusetts, 1689-1805 (Amherst, MA, 1977); Francis Y. Duval and Ivan B. Rigby, 
Early American Gravestone Art in Photographs (New York, NY, 1978); Avon Neal and Ann 
Parker, Early American Stone Sculpture (New York, NY, 1981); Diana Hume George and 
Malcolm A. Nelson, Epitaph and Icon: A Field Guide to the Old Burying Grounds of Cape 
Cod, Martlia's Vineyard, and Nantucket (Orleans, MA, 1983); Combs, Early Gravestone Art 
in Georgia and South Carolina. 

5. Three of these eleven - those for Mary and Elisha Bickford (1793) in Wellfleet, John 
Lewis (1796) in West Yarmouth, and Lydia Myrick (1800) in Eastham - are probably 
John Homer's work. A fourth - that for Huldah Gorham (1805) - is almost certainly the 
work of Nathaniel Holmes. The others are those for Zacheus Popmunnet (1770) in 
Mashpee, Nabby Linnell (1789) in Centerville, and Willard Knowles (1786), Elijah 
Knowles (1795), Edward Knowles (1799), Mary Doane (1772), and Isaac Doane (1755), 
all in Eastham. There is practically nothing to connect these stones with Savery's pro- 
bated stones or those Uke them. 

6. See Benes, Tlie Masks of Orthodoxy. Benes' original five, all in Plymouth, are: Samuel 
Bartlett (1780), Thomas Davis (1785), Eleazer Stephens (1785), Edward Stephens (1788), 
and Elizabeth Morton (1790). In his general list of carvers paid in probate, Benes 
includes "Jonathan Darby" as an individual paid for stones from the estate of Oakes 
Angier of Bridgewater. What the actual record says is: "To paid Jonathan Darby for 
stone for the monument 2.2.7"; just a page earlier (p. 388), however, we have: "To paid 
Lemuel Savory for Tombstone for said deceased made pursuant to the will 12.18. - ." 
Darby probably just supplied the stone from the quarry. The Angier stone was a fuU- 
length horizontal slab for a box tomb. The seventh probated marker (data kindly pro- 
vided to me by Laurel Gabel from the AGS research collection) is that for Mary Ryder 
(1785), also in Plymouth (this stone is now missing its tympanum and borders). The 
five 1 uncovered are: Sylvanus BramhaU (1779) (most of tympanum and half of inscrip- 
tion missing), James Hovey (1781), Ebenezer Doten (1785), Elisha Mitchell (1790), and 
Thomas Jackson (1794). Since the BramhaU probate Usts a payment for "3 pair of grave 
stones," we might reasonably Unk v^dth this record the stone for Silvanus' mother, Sarah 
BramhaU (1778), who died the year before and is buried close by. 

7. They are: Hannah Diman (1778) and Nathaniel Morton (1776) in Plymouth, and 
William Chipman (1790) in WeUfleet (p. 202). Benes also (correctly, 1 beUeve) ascribes 
the Joanah Holmes stone (1773) in Plymouth to Savery, and uses it to connect Savery to 
the Cushmans on the basis of its border decoration (p. 243, no. 25); unfortunately, this 
stone (now encased in concrete) no longer has its tympanum or border (although the 
Farber Collection has a photograph of the tympanum). 1 have not seen any photograph 
of its border. 

8. The skuUed Ebenezer Dyer stone (1792) in Truro is quite Uke the WilUam Chipman 
stone, but the Capt. Daniel Howes, Jr. marker (1796) in Chatham, which Benes includes 



150 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



in this group, is not. The inscribed letters of the Howes stone closely resemble those on 
the Isaiah Mayo stone (1796) in Wellfleet. My search of probate records for Isaiah Mayo 
revealed a payment to John Homer and son (Barnstable Co.; 30:92). The upper part of 
the "t" on the Mayo stone is angled to the right; the "h" has a rather short upper stroke, 
while the "y" has an equally short lower stroke; and the numbers are rather widely 
spaced (with more rounded shapes for the "6" and "9"). These are also characteristics 
of the Howes stone as well as those for John Lewis (1796) in West Yarmouth, Elisha and 
Mary Bickford (1793) in Wellfleet, and Ruth Wells (1790) in Truro (this last with a 
sculpted urn). The lettering on the Chipman and Dyer stones, however, is significantly 
different. They were both probably the work of a Savery imitator working in Sandwich 
(to be discussed later in this essay). Unlike the Howes stone, these two stones present 
imitations of Savery's characteristic "ye" (see later). Finally, the inverted "V" shape 
used for the nose on these two skulls extends well to the top of the circular eyes; not so 
for the other (Homer's?) stones. A possible connection between Lemuel Savery and 
John Homer is suggested by the Phylander and Joshua Bangs stone (1797, 1798) (see 
Fig. 14) in Brewster and the Mary Paine stone (1797) in Provincetown: while displaying 
Savery cherubs, these two stones were inscribed after his death - perhaps by John 
Homer or someone in his workshop. 1 discuss these later. 

9. Boston, 1893. 

10. Vital records of Plymouth, Massachusetts; Vol. 11, p. 271. 

11. Vital records of Plymouth, Massachusetts; Vol. 11, p. 294; Records of the First Church of 
Plymouth, Vol. 11, p. 480. Lemuel's son Samuel is mentioned only in the 1893 genealo- 
gy (p. 76). This genealogy also records these facts about Lemuel's children: John 
"removed when young to Oxford [Orford?], N. H., where he married, 1810, Abiah 
Butterfield; and died 1819" (p. 81); WilUam, unmarried, probably died at sea (p. 76); 
Elizabeth married Isaac Dunham, whose son Isaac was a minister at East Bridgewater 
and was for several years chaplain to the Senate of Massachusetts (p. 76) (Ehzabeth's 
husband Isaac is probably the same "Isaac Donham" who bought a house adjoining 
that of her mother Elizabeth in 1807 [Ply Co. Deeds; 115 79]); Lemuel Jr. married Rispah 
Thomas of Middleborough, and died June 23, 1834 (p. 81). He is buried with his wife 
and two of his children in Oak Grove Cemetery in Plymouth (Vital Records of 
Plymouth, 11, pp. 204, 399). The genealogy reports that Lemuel's brother, James (who 
was five years older and may have served in the Revolutionary War), died as a young 
man from falling from a building (p. xvi) (his eldest son James is buried in North 
Carver). For a description of the military service of a James Savery of Plymouth, see 
Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Vol. Xlll (Boston, MA, 1900), 
843. Lemuel's brother, William, the genealogy adds, also died as a young man. 

12. i.e., Barnstable, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, and Bristol counties. 

13. It is curious that, in addition to Lemuel himself, there are no records of the death of his 
father, Thomas, nor of his older brothers, William and James, nor do they have stones 
in Plymouth. It is possible that all four are buried in some other family plot or vault, or 
that their stones have been lost. The fact that Lemuel's mother is buried near her eldest 
son, Thomas, in North Carver needn't indicate that the other family members were also 
buried there: after Lemuel's father died, his mother probably went to live with her 
eldest son, who had made a home for himself in Carver. 



James Blachowicz 151 



14. Records of the First Church of Plymouth, Vol. II, p. 480. His wife, Elizabeth, was herself 
admitted to the church on May 19, 1793 {ibid., p. 475); she would be one of the fifty- 
three (along with Nathaniel Holmes' mother, Chloe) who would spht off to form the 
Third Church of Plymouth in September of 1801 {ibid., p. 547). 

15. The Census lists her living with one male under ten (young Lemuel), one female 
between ten and sixteen (young Elizabeth), and another female between twenty and 
twenty-five (unknown). Her sons, John and William, aged fourteen and ten, were per- 
haps already taken by other families or apprenticed. 

16. Jesse Harlow Jr., hatter, and Josiah Dimon, housewright, pay Elizabeth Savery $30.00 
for the shop and land it occupies (which was one-half of her property, including the 
house) on December 18,1801 (Plymouth County Deeds; Vol. 115, p. 79). 

17. I was able to double-check stones whose inscriptions were difficult to read or which 
were below ground by consulting Bradford Kingman, Epitaphs from Burial Hill, 
Plymouth, Massachusetts (Brookline, MA, 1892). 

18. It is troubling that the Cobb stone (his last) has a date a fuU riine months after its 
chronological predecessor - the Lydia Jones stone in Brockton; this is a larger gap than 
others just before this period of his production. But the lettering seems right and there 
is little other reason to disqualify it. 

19. This shape is sometimes referred to as pyramidal; but the profile of a pyramid is a sim- 
ple triangle, while this shape tapers twice - first at a gentle angle, and then (near the 
top) more abruptly - as obelisks (like the Washington Monument) do. In what follows, 
what I will call the "obelisk" shape refers to the silhouette of traditional flat stones - not 
to actual three-dimensional obelisks. 

20. Benjamin Harlow (1775) and Silvanus Harlow (1775), both in Pljonouth; Ezekiel 
Holbrooke (1776) in WeUfleet, and Samuel Higgins (1776) in Orleans. Next to the 
Holbrooke stone is the marker for Elizabeth Holbrooke (1776), a more grandly carved 
work with a portrait of a woman and with some lettering similarities. Disturbing dif- 
ferences, however, at present prevent me from ascribing it to Savery. 

21. The other three are those for Rebecah WethreU (1755) and Deborah Harlow (1775), both 
in Plymouth, and that for Jacob Taylor (1777) in Hyannis. 

22. Other examples: Mary Torrey (1774), [Patijence Howland (1774), and Joseph Croswell 
(1780). 

23. Compare Savery's face on the PrisciUa Weston stone with those on Hartshorn's stones 
for Samuel Watson (1781) and Jacob Hartshorn (1759), photographs of which appear in 
Vincent F. Luti, "Stonecarvers of the Narragansett Basin: Stephen and Charles 
Hartshorn of Providence," Markers II (1983): 157-158. Note especially the combed-back 
portion of the center of the top of the wig, and the broad shape of the lower jaw. See as 
well the stone for Joseph CroweU (1783) in West Yarmouth, which also looks to be 
Hartshorn's. 



152 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



24. See, for example. Homer's contemporary 1773 stone for Paul Titcomb in Newburyport, 
pictured in Harriette Merrifield Forbes, Gravestones of Early Nezv England and the Men 
Wlio Made Them, 1653-1800 (Boston, MA, 1927; rpt. Brooklyn, NY, 1989), 51. 

25. They are: Hannah Jackson (1778), Mercy Davis (1779), Molly Goodwin (1779), Isaac 
Nye (1779), and Savery's signed stone for Benjamin Hawes (1781) in Charleston, South 
Carolina. All but the Hawes stone feature double cherubs. 

26. See Vincent F. Luti's discussion of Hartshorn and his son's work: "Stonecarvers of the 
Narraganset Basin: Stephen and Charles Hartshorn of Providence," 149-169. The stones 
for Sarah Swan (1767) and Mehethabell Wardwell (1764), both in Bristol, Rhode Island, 
and that for Molley Danforth (1769) in Taunton, Massachusetts (all reproduced in Luti's 
article), feature lettering characteristics (see the "y"), borders, and other decorative ele- 
ments quite like those on one or more of these Plymouth markers. 

27. The other three sandstone markers are for John Cobb (1750, probably backdated), Mary 
Bacon (1772), and Southworth Shaw (1772). Both the Bacon and Shaw stones are rather 
weathered. 

28. Plymouth Co.; Vol. 21, p. 333. Record dated December 31, 1772. 

29. Plymouth Vital Records. These records also contain three other marriages for a man (or 
men) named William Coye: to Mary Carver on September 22, 1790; to Rebecca Brown 
on February 24, 1799; and to Eliza Shurtleff on June 5, 1814. 

30. Ludwig, Graven Images, 316; Forbes, Gravestones of Early Neiv England, 61. Ludwig 
prefers the three-dimensional modeling on the Watson stone to Savery's version, and 
suggests that Savery had learned little from Codner and other older portraitists; but 1 
think Savery's face is more proportioned and attractive, with superior eyes and mouth, 
even if flatter. - ■ 

31. The Mary Brown stone is illustrated in Ludwig, Graven Images, plate 80B. While the lily 
has a famihar association with Easter and the Resurrection, the anemone is also an 
Easter flower. It is common in England, where it was called the "pasque-flower" - so 
named by Gerarde in his Herbal (1597) because it flowered at Easter. 1 am grateful to 
Gary Brown, who took the time to investigate these aspects of floral iconography on 
my behalf. 

32. See Ludwig, Graven Images, plate 182. 

33. For example, Rebecca Morton (1751), John Torrey (1776), Job Foster (1777), Sarah 
Bramhall (1778), and Hannah Diman (1778). The curUng locks on the head of the Ezra 
Allen stone (1779) are still more lively, and those on the Nehemiah Ripley (1775, but 
probably slightly backdated) and John Lewis (1781) stones add curled bangs as well. 

34. Benes, The Masks of Orthodoxy, 243, n. 25. 

35. This resembles the border Gabriel Allen put on the Ephraim Hunt stone (1776) in 
Rehoboth. 

36. Clouds also appear on the stones for Nathaniel Morton (1781) and Theophilus Cotton 
(1782). 



James Blachowicz 153 



37. The inscription reads: 

Where flies my wife oh lovely once and fair 

Her face cast in the mould of beauty where 

Her eyes all radiance her cheeks like snow 

Whose cheeks once tinctured with a purple glow 

Wheres those ivory teeth and lips of coelestial sound 

Her Ups like Ulys set with roses round 

Wheres that soft marble breast white neck and where 

That aU of woman past description fair 

Wheres those active fingers that with artful ease 

Which in her house once taught her family to please 

Wheres that sprightly wit even loves divine delight 

All sunk alas in everlasting night 

Earth take her bones chaste soul she smiles at rest 

Whilst her image lives immortal in my breast 

Sarah married at fourteen and died at twenty-three. 

38. Other than the two major imitators discussed later, we find one or the other of these 
two lettering devices on the stones for Martha Holbrook (1775) in WeUfleet, Thomas 
Frazier (1782) in Duxbury, Mary Crosby (1789) in Brewster, and John Goodspeed (1786) 
in West Barnstable. There is insufficient evidence, however, to attribute these to Savery. 

39. There is a fourth stone - for Hannah Symmes (1794) - again with a large oval, similar 
lettering, and carved on similar material which may also be Savery' s; but here the stone 
is a vertical rectangle with a tent-shaped scalloped top and a drapery as its main feature. 

40. For example. Homer's stones for Joshua Blake (1777), Harriot Blake (1780), and 
Deborah Blake (1781), all in Hingham. I ascribe these stones to Homer on the basis of 
their letters and the "succulent" willow. 

41. Benes, The Masks of Orthodoxy, 243, n. 27. For an elaboration of this point, see my Note 
8 above. 

42. George Brown, 1767; Polly Brown, 1791; Walter Chipman, 1792; Moses Brackett, 
1793.The George Brown stone in Wellfleet is pictured in George and Nelson, Epitaph and 
Icon, 73; Neal and Parker, Early American Stone Sculpture, include a photo and repro- 
duced rubbing of it (Plate XXII) and assign it to Savery. 

43. John Howard, 1792; Moses Brackett, 1793. 

44. I should note that Lemuel Savery' s paternal grandmother, Esther Saunderson 
[Saunders], was a native of Sandwich who married Lemuel's grandfather, Thomas 
Savery there on February 21, 1704 (Sandwich vital records, p. 25). 

45. Plymouth County probate records. Vol. 44, p. 313. 

46. Amaziah Jr. chose his mother as guardian on March 13, 1762 (Plymouth County 
Probate records; Vol. 18, p. 69). His sister Lois, born March 9, 1748, married Isaac 
Bartlett in Plymouth on October 16, 1766 (as recorded in the LDS Church IGI database). 



154 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



47. See Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Vol. VII, 289. This 
Amaziah served for a week in 1775 in Captain Jesse Harlow's Company of minutemen 
and then for a month in 1777 in Captain Nathan Goodwin's Company (both in the 
Theophilus Cotton Regiment), having participated in a secret expedition against 
Newport, Rhode Island. In 1778, he marched to guard prisoners from the British ship 
Somerset. He was commissioned as a heutenant on October 28, 1778. However, there 
was also another Amaziah Harlow in Plymouth who could also have been this indi- 
vidual. 

48. Her stone on Burial HiU, carved by her husband, bears this date. 

49. Plymouth, Massachusetts vital records. Vol. II, p. 166. 

50. Plymouth County Deeds; Vol. 83, p. 270. 

51. Records of the First Church; Vol. II, p. 549. The number of deaths recorded each year in 
the church register at this time were as foUows: 1800: 71; 1801: 67; 1802: 92; 1803: 53; 
1804: 38. 

52. Plymouth County probate records. Vol. 34, p. 378 (date of entry: Jan 17, 1804). A cord- 
ivainer works in leather, including leather shoes. 

53. Plymouth County probate records. Vol. 39, p. 87 (date of entry: Oct 10, 1806). 

54. There is another Amaziah Harlow who marries Ruth R. Drews in Plymouth on October 
19, 1823, and has eight children (Plymouth vital records. Vol. II, pp. 71, 217). He is old 
enough to be the carver's son. 

55. Of the eleven stones dated 1802, the latest is November 16"", about five weeks before 
Harlow's death. 

56. This carver may also be responsible for the stones for Susanna Attwood (1785) and 
Captain Lewis Holmes (1798), both in Plymouth. There is also some resemblance to the 
cherubs on the stones for Andrew Croswell (1796) and Betsy Shaw (1797). 

57. We find an uncharacteristically well-executed mouth on Harlow's stones for Mary 
Pope and Robart Davee, both 1795. Could the mystery carver have had a hand in 
these? 

58. See Forbes, Gravestones of Early New England, 116, and Ludwig, Graven Images, 205, for 
photos of the Shaw stone. The carver of this marker has not been identified. It is also 
not determined whether it may be significantly backdated. 

59. The other 1798 stones are for Thomas May and Elizabeth Drew. 

60. Those for Sarah Holmes (1794), Remember Thacher (1794), Jane Warren (1797), Molly 
Goodwin (1798), Ruth Churchill (1798), and the Elizabeth Leach stone (1796), which 
features a draped urn with two small cherubs (although, if backdated, it may well be 
Holmes'). 



James Blachowicz 155 



61. Ludwig, Craven Images, 350. 

62. See the stones for Mary Brewster Holmes (1794), Bathsheba Rickard (1798), William 
Goddard (1799), and Elizabeth Warren (1799), all in Plymouth. 

63. A similar leaf arrangement occurs horizontally below the tympanum of the Bathsheba 
Rickard stone (1798) and at the sides of the Captain William Crombie stone (1804) (this 
last, as I explained, was probably inscribed by Nathaniel Holmes after Harlow's death). 

64. Yet it is closer to a group of the Bartlett family stones, and there is an Ephraim Bartlett 
who died in 1800 listed in Burial HiU inscriptions. 

65. Those for Hannah Nelson (1798), Experience Morton (1799), Eleazor Turner (1800), 
Charlotte Winser (1801), Thomas Dike (1802), and Henry Otis (1802). Even the urn on 
the Turner stone may have been carved by Harlow (it is bulbous, like Holmes' others, 
but it has four petals - not three - in the flowers, from which the two ribbons hang); 
still, I will keep it in Holmes' column. 

66. These five are: Jane Bartlett (1802), Polly Bartlett (1803), Rebecca Bartlett (1803), Zerulah 
Crombie (1803), and George Samson (1803). Jane Bartlett's stone is dated the day before 
Harlow's death - too late, presumably, for him to have inscribed it. 

67. As recorded in the IGI database of the LDS Church. 

68. U.S. Census for 1850, p. 285, and 1860, p. 471. 

69. Deeds (Vol. 1, p. 75), 1809. 

70. Deeds (Vol. 2, p. 83), 1809. 

71. His seven brothers and sisters were: Thomas (?-?); John (?-?); Ebenezer (1761?-?); 
EUzabeth (1763?-?), married Eleazor Nichols; Rebecca (1765?-?), married Ezra Howard, 
remarried Elkanah Bartlett; Patience (1767?-?), married Daniel Dimon; Ebenezer 
(1774?-?), married Sally Sturtevant(?) [Plymouth, Massachusetts vital records. Vol. II, p. 
260; Plymouth Church records. Vol. II, p. 466]. The first three are not mentioned in his 
father's will; perhaps they died as children. Nathaniel's mother Chloe was "admitted" 
to the First Church in Plymouth on December 15, 1782; but she was later one of the 
fifty-three members of this church who split off (along with Lemuel Savery's widow) 
to form the Third Church of Plymouth - in September 1801, three months before the 
death of her husband. 

72. Barnstable County probate records. Vol. 38, p. 21. 

73. Barnstable County probate records. Vol. 38, p. 65. Burial Hill has no stone for 
Nathaniel's father, nor have I been able to find any record of his death. 

74. He probably had some cousins or other family living in the Barnstable area. His 
father's mother. Patience Phinney, was born in Barnstable, and his mother's father, 
Thomas Sears, was born in Yarmouth. His paternal aunt, Phebe, had married Thomas 
Hinckley in Barnstable in 1752. 



156 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



75. He pays Rowland Lewis, shipwright, $80.00 for this land on March 11, 1813 (Barnstable 
Co. Deeds; Vol. 2, p. 84b). 

76. He buys the pew from Ebenezer Lothrop for $20.00 on September 16, 1814 (Barnstable 
Co. Deeds; Vol. 2, p. 84). 

n. On September 9, 1820, he pays $111.00 to Mary Davis and Mary C. Davis ("tailoresses") 
for this land, which lay just to the north of his own. The transaction reserves a row of 
five apple trees for Mary Davis (Barnstable Co. Deed; Vol. 1, p. 76). 

78. On October 26, 1820, Mary Davis pays $222.00 to Nathaniel, his wife, Abiah, and her 
sister, Mary, for this property, excepting "Linnell's Field" (Barnstable Co. Deeds; Vol. 1, 

p. 75). 

79. These dated August 16, 1842 (Barnstable Co. Deeds; Vol. 7, p. 307; Vol. 27, p. 434). 

80. Barnstable Co. Deeds; Book 99, pp. 547-8 (From a copy of the document in the posses- 
sion of Mr. Thomas Harden of Barnstable). 

81. His children were: Lucy (1814-1825); Oliver (1817-1897); Harriet (1819-1891); Ephraim 
(1821-1869), who died in Sacramento; Mary Davis (1823-1868); Lucy (1826-1901); 
William D. (1828-1908), who was a Civil War veteran and who outlived all five of his 
children; Nathaniel (1833-1897), who died in Standish, California; and Sarah (1835- 
1840). 

82. There are the stones for Consider Howland (1759), Keziah Baker (1798), Experience 
Morton (1799), Patience Morton (1799), PurUna Crowell (1800), SaUy Drew (1800), 
Sarah Hawes (1800), and the footstone (with cherub) for "E. B." (Ezra Burbank?) (1800). 

83. See note 51. Some of these stones may also have been inscribed by Harlow. 

84. Benes, The Masks of Orthodoxy, 40. 

85. The other three are those for Mary Groos [Gross?] (1755) in Truro, Robert Davie (1800) 
in Plymouth, and Mary Stetson (1805) in Plymouth. 

86. John and Wilham Doten (1793, 1794), WiUiam Henry Virgin (two sons, 1796, 1798), 
Thomas and Mary Tribbel (1795, 1799), Thomas and William Bartlett (1800, 1801), 
Thomas Paty (1802), Sarah Palmer and Lemuel Brown (1802, 1802), Polly Bartlett 
(1803). 

87. Concave-lid urns are also found on the stones for Lemuel Cobb Robbins (1801), Richard 
Holmes (1802), James Crombie (1803), David Leach (1803), Mary Holmes (1804), Jabez 
Doten (1805), Polly Doten (1805), and Sarah Morton (1805). I initially thought these 
stones may have been the work of John Tribbel; my reasons for not ascribing them to 
him are given in the text. 

88. He also uses it on the stones for David Scudder (1819) and Desire Scudder (1850) in 
Hyannis, and on two stones for his daughters Lucy (1825), and Sarah (1840) in 
Barnstable. 



James Blachowicz 157 



89. These are for Isaac Hinckley and Thomas Nye. Such a succulent willow is also found - 
somewhat anachronistically - on the 1808 Lazarus Lovell stone in Hyannis. Another ver- 
sion, with somewhat thinner leaves, may be seen on the 1806 Lucenda Hallet stone. 

90. See also the probated James Smith (1832) and Robinson Hinckley (1857) stones. 

91. Ralph L. Tucker illustrates a head typical of a later Lamson carver (in his Fig. lOH, p. 
175) and remarks that such a "lowbrow" cherub is associated with Daniel Hastings and 
is also found with lettering by either Caleb or Samuel Lamson in the 1790s (p. 196); see 
his "The Lamson Family Gravestone Carvers of Charlestown and Maiden, 
Massachusetts," Markers X (1993): 151-217. See also the stone for Temperance Williams 
(1795) in Woodstock, Connecticut: a rubbing is reproduced in Edmund Vincent GUlon, 
Jr., Early New England Gravestone Rubbings (New York, NY, 1966), plate 24. Additionally, 
see the photos in George and Nelson, Epitaph and Icon, 86-87, of the stones for Betsy 
Kilburn (1794) and Seth Nickerson (1801) in Provincetown and those for Lemuel Kelley 
(1797) and Sarah KeUey (1801) in Edgartown. 

92. It was not only cherub stones that Holmes nostalgically duplicated: the early urn with 
mourning drapery he had carved on the obelisk-stone for Eleazer Scudder in 1805 in 
Hyannis, for example, is a twin to that on the neighboring stone for Eleazer's wife 
Polly, carved fifty-five years later. He also carved two double-stepped obelisk-shaped 
stones with unusual gigantic urns (having opposed jug-Uke handles) for Josiah 
Sampson (1829) and his second wife Sarah (1844) in Marstons Mills to match the stone 
another carver had produced for Josiah's first wife Mary in 1796. 

93. Ralph L. Tucker ascribed these two stones to a later Lamson: "The Lamson Family 
Gravestone Carvers of Charlestown and Maiden, Massachusetts," 213 (Appendix 3). I 
beUeve, however, that the lettering points to Holmes. 

94. for David Smith (1824), Lot Hinckley (1835), and Captain David Smith (1838). 

95. The epitaph on Captain Smith's 1838 stone reads: 

Time like an ever rolling stream 

Bears all its sons away. 

They fly forgotten as a dream 

Dies at the opening day. 

96. David Warren (1802) and Isaac Hinckley (1802) - but probably backdated. 

97. The probated John Easterbrook stone (1836), for example. An urn-like finial is found on 
the column borders of the probated stones for Job C. Davis (1827), Henry Hallet (1833), 
and Walter Chipman (1837). 

98. Other good examples: Keziah Baker (1798), Patience Morton (1799), Purlina Crowell 
(1800), Sally Drew (1800), Jabez Lewis (1800), and Kezia Lewis (1800). 

99. Nabby Bacon (1824), Eloisa Bacon (1835), and Hannah Goodspeed (1840). There are 
probably more Holmes marbles: because they rarely bear any decorative features, and 



158 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



my initial survey concentrated on slates, it would have been easy for others to have 
eluded my attention. 

100. The willow-and-urn on the Burgess stone is not very like that which either WilUam 
Sturgis or Jabez Fisher usually executed. 

101. U.S. Census for 1850, p. 288, and 1860, p. 478. 

102. Besides his older brother, Joseph 4"^ (b. 1773?), his brothers and sisters were James, 
WUham, Isaac, Polly, and Sally. 

103. This and other genealogical information was found in Plymouth First Church Records 
and the genealogical database of the LDS Church. 

104. These children were: Christiana D. (1805-1824), Albert R. (1808-1817), Winslow M. 
(1810-1860), Gustavus (1812-1821), and Marcia M. (1814-1818). 

105. They were: Marcia (1817-?), Gustavus (1819?-?), Lavantia (1821?-1824), and Albert R. 
(?-?), three of whom were named after his earher, deceased children. 

106. The Plyjiioiith Almanac: Directory & Business Advertisers for 1846, 63. 

107. 1 should add that the 1814 portrait stone for Captain John Virgin in Plymouth also looks 
to be Tribbel's. The general shape of the stone, its oval panel, distressed background, 
and especially the flying serifs, point to him. 

108. Vital Records of Yarmouth. There is also a William Sydney Fisher, a printer, living in 
Yarmouth, who is married to Elizabeth F. Hallet; they have at least four children 
between 1840 and 1846. This cannot, however, be William S. Fisher the stonecutter, who 
would have been too young. 

109. Their intention to marry is published on November 5, 1828 (Vital Records of Sandwich, 
p. 273). 

110. Ibid., p. 15. 

111. U.S. Census for 1850, p. 267. This record lists him as "David M. Fisher" rather than 
"Jabez"; undoubtedly the enumerator made a phonetic mistake ("Jabez" is pronounced 
"JAY-biz" - enough like "David" to make such an error); he is correctly recorded as 
"Jabez" in the 1860 census. 

112. U.S. Census for 1860, p. 215. 

113. U.S. Census for 1870, p. 14. 

114. U.S. Census for 1860, p. 203. 

115. U.S. Census for 1870, p. 10. 



James Blachowicz 



159 



APPENDIX 1 
Surveyed Burial Grounds 

All are in Massachusetts unless otherwise indicated. 



Locations of burial grounds on Cape Cod may be found in the Historical 
and Genealogical Atlas and Guide to Barnstable County, Mass. (Cape Cod) 
(1995) by Marjorie Hubbell Gibson, published by the Falmouth 
Genealogical Society. 



1. 


Abington (Mt. Vernon) 


32. 


Charleston, SC (Huguenot) 


2. 


Attleboro (Hillside) 


33. 


Charleston, SC (St. Philip's) 


3. 


Attleboro (Newell) 


34. 


Chatham (Old South) 


4. 


Attleboro (Old Kirk) 


35. 


Chebogue, NS 


5. 


Barnstable (Cobb's Hill) 


36. 


Chilmark 


6. 


Barnstable (Lothrop) 


37. 


Cohasset (Center) 


7. 


Barnstable (Sandy Hill) 


38. 


Cotuit (Old Mosswood) 


8. 


Beaufort, NC (Old Burying Ground) 


39. 


Cummaquid 


9. 


Beaufort, SC 


40. 


Dedham 


10. 


Boston (Boylston St.) 


41. 


Dennis (Howes) 


11. 


Boston (Copp's Hill) 


42. 


Dennis (Rte 6A) 


12. 


Boston (Granary) 


43. 


Duxbury (Old Burying Ground) 


13. 


Boston (King's Chapel) 


44. 


Duxbury (Hull Cemetery) 


14. 


Boston (Phipps St.) 


45. 


East Bridgewater (Central) 


15. 


Bourne (Monument Beach) 


46. 


East Dennis (Quivet) 


16. 


Bourne (Old Bourne) 


47. 


Eastham (Bridge St.) 


17. 


Braintree (Pond) 


48. 


Eastham (Old Cove) 


18. 


Brewster (Evergreen) 


49. 


Easton (Cynthia Park) 


19. 


Brewster (First Parish) 


50. 


East Sandwich (CedarviUe) 


20. 


Bridgewater (Central Square) 


51. 


Edenton, NC 


21. 


Bridgewater (Scotland Village) 




(St. Paul's Episcopal) 


22. 


Brockton (Grove St.) 


52. 


Edgartown (Pease Point) 


23. 


Brockton (Leach) 


53. 


Edgartown (Lower Hill) 


24. 


Brockton (Main St.) 


54. 


EHzabeth City NC (First Baptist) 


25. 


Brockton (Lhayer) 


55. 


Falmouth (Oak Grove) 


26. 


Cambridge 


56. 


Falmouth (Old Burying Ground) 


27. 


Canton (First Church) 


57. 


FarmersviUe (Percival) 


28. 


Cataumet (Cataumet) 


58. 


Farmersville (S. Sandwich) 


29. 


Centerville (Ancient) 


59. 


FarmersviUe (Wakeby; 


30. 


Centerville (Congregational) 




Goodspeed family) 


31. 


Charleston, SC 


60. 


Forestdale (Rte. 130) 




(Circular Congregational) 


61. 


Franklin (Union St.) 



160 



Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



62. Georgetown, SC 
(Prince George Winyah) 

63. Halifax (Sturtevant) 

64. Halifax (Thompson St.) 

65. Halifax, NC (historic site) 

66. Hampton, VA (St. John's) 

67. Hanover 

68. Hanson (Fern Hill) 

69. Harwich (Cong. Ch.) 

70. Hatchville (East End) 

71. Hingham (Fort Hill) 

72. Hingham (High St.) 

73. Hingham (Liberty Plain) 

74. Hingham (Main St.) 
7b. Hingham (Spring St.) 
76. Hyannis (Baptist) 

71 . Hyannis (Oak Grove) 

78. Hyannis (Oak Neck) 

79. Hyannis (South St.) 

80. Hyannis (Universalist) 

81. Jacksonboro, SC ("Burnt Church") 

82. Kingston (Main St.) 

83. Lakeville (Pond) 

84. Maiden (Bell Rock) 

85. Manomet (White Horse) 

86. Marion (Evergreen) 

87. Marion (Old Landing) 

88. Marion (Point Rd.) 

89. Marshfield (Ocean St.) 

90. Marshfield (Old Main St.) 

91. Marshfield (Plain St.) 

92. Marshfield (Winslow) 

93. Marstons Mills 

94. Mashpee (Ancient; Lakewood Dr.) 

95. Mashpee (Attaquin) 

96. Mashpee (Town) 

97. Mattapoisett (Barlow) 

98. Mattapoisett (Hammond) 

99. Medfield (Main St.) 

100. Middleborough 
(Middleborough Green) 

101. Middleborough (Nemasket Hill) 

102. Midway, GA (Congregational) 

103. Millis (Prospect Hill) 

104. Milton 



105. Nameloc Heights 
(Savery Cemetery) 

106. New Bern, NC (Cedar Grove) 

107. New Bern, NC (Christ 
Episcopal) 

108. New London, CT 

109. Norfolk, VA (St. Paul's 
Episcopal) 

110. North Attleboro 
(Washington St.) 

111. North Carver (Lakenham) 

112. North Falmouth 

113. Norwell (First Parish) 

114. Old Lyme, CT 

115. Orleans (Main & 6A) 

116. Orleans (Meeting House Rd.) 

117. Osterville (Hillside) 

118. Pembroke (Center St.) 

119. Petersburg, VA (Old Blandford 
Church) 

120. Plain ville (Shepardville) 

121. Plymouth (Burial Hill) 

122. Plymouth (Chiltonville) 

123. Plymouth (Oak Grove) 

124. Plympton (Hillcrest) 

125. Pocasset (Pocasset) 

126. Portsmouth, VA (Trinity) 

127. Providence, Rl (North) 

128. Providence, RI (Roger Williams 
Park) 

129. Provincetown (#2) 

130. Provincetown (Gifford) 

131. Provincetown (Hamilton) 

132. Provincetown (Old) 

133. Quincy 

134. Rehoboth (Burying Place Hill) 

135. Rehoboth (Village) 

136. Rochester (Center) 

137. Rochester (N. Rochester) 

138. Rochester (Old Parish) 

139. Rochester (Sherman) 

140. Rochester (Union) 

141. Sagamore 

142. Sandwich (Bay View) 

143. Sandwich (Freeman) 



James Blachowicz 



161 



144. Sandwich (Mt. Hope) 

145. Sandwich (Old) 

146. Sandwich (Quaker) 

147. Sandwich (Spring Hill) 

148. Savannah, GA (Colonial Cemetery) 

149. Scituate (Groveland) 

150. Scituate (Meeting House Ln.) 

151. Sharon (Chestnut Tree) 

152. Sharon (Rock Ridge) 

153. South Carver (Union) 

154. South Dennis (Ancient) 

155. South Dennis (Cong. Ch.) 

156. South Yarmouth (Baptist) 

157. South Yarmouth (Georgetown) 

158. South Yarmouth (Pine Grove) 

159. Stoughton (Pearl St.) 

160. Sunbury, GA (Congregational) 

161. Swansea (Rte. 6) 

162. Taunton (Blake) 

163. Taunton (Plain) 

164. Taunton (Summer St.) 

165. Truro (First Cong. Ch.) 

166. Truro (Old North) 

167. Walpole (Old Burial Place) 



168. Waquoit (Bayview) 

169. Wareham (Agawam) 

170. Wareham (Thonet Rd.) 

171. Washington, NC (St. Peter's 
Episcopal) 

172. Watertown (Mt. Auburn) 

173. Wellfleet (Duck Creek) 

174. Wellfleet (Pleasant Hill) 

175. Wellfleet (S. Wellfleet) 

176. West Barnstable 

177. West Bridgewater (Matfield St.) 

178. West Bridgewater (South St.) 

179. WestTisbury 

180. West Yarmouth (Methodist) 

181. West Yarmouth (Woodside) 

182. Weymouth (Highland) 

183. Weymouth (North Weymouth) 

184. Weymouth (Reed) 

185. Weymouth (Village) 

186. Wilmington, NC (St. John's) 

187. Woods Hole (Village) 

188. Wrentham (Cong. Ch.) 

189. Yarmouth (Ancient) 

190. Yarmouth (Woodside) 



162 Carving Traditions of Plymouth and Cape Cod 



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204 



Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 




Fig. 1. A view of the Praha, Texas cemetery and church. 



205 



LANGUAGE AND ETHNICITY MAINTENANCE: 
EVIDENCE OF CZECH TOMBSTONE INSCRIPTIONS 

Eva Eckert 

Introduction 

This essay presents textual evidence that underscores the validity of 
gravemarker data for linguistic research. Gravemarker data document 
both synchronic and diachronic language usage^ and record changes 
reflective of the societal patterning of language in a given community. 
Such data investigated in the present study display vernacular writing in 
an isolated Czech dialect, recording the results of language contact and 
the ensuing shift to the majority language. The essential focus of the study 
is upon diacritic marks (orthographic signs used over vowels or conso- 
nants to indicate their length or "soft" /palatal pronunciation),^ used ini- 
tially as an integral part of the dialect but gradually becoming decorative 
ethnicity symbols. The present analysis of tombstone inscriptions con- 
tributes also to an ongoing research documenting the immigrant language 
of Czech Texans. 

Historical Background of the Texas Immigrants 

Czech and Moravian^ immigrants estabUshed a number of communi- 
ties in Texas in the triangle between San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. 
The present study deals with the language of a Catholic cemetery in the 
town of Praha, Texas, settled by immigrants between the 1860s and 1890s. 
The immigrants came from the economically disadvantaged areas of east- 
ern Moravia and northeastern and southern Bohemia. Forty-one percent 
of the immigrants came from the Lachian region (Lasko), the northeast cor- 
ner of Moravia, adjoining Silesia and bordering on Poland. The 
Wallachian region (Valasko), located to the southwest of Lasko in the 
foothills of the Carpathians, contributed forty percent of the immigrants. 
Thus, over 80% of Praha' s immigrants came from a homogeneous and 
compact territory isolated geographically, historically, and Hnguistically 
Its inhabitants spoke a distinct dialect defined by a mix of Slovak, PoUsh, 
and Czech as well as idiosyncratic features.** Their ethnic origin differed 
from that of the majority population of Moravia and Bohemia and can be 
traced back to 16th century migrations through the Carpathians to north- 
eastern Moravia. The Texas Moravians shared not only the common ver- 



206 Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 



nacular and historical roots but also religious faith - they were mostly 
CathoUcs.^ In Praha they formed an active CathoHc parish which quite 
early built an attractive church and the adjoining cemetery (Fig. 1). 
Records show that parish priests were Czech, which contributed to active 
use and prolonged maintenance of Czech in the Praha community. The 
immigrants were also united through their literacy since over 98% of them 
were literate, as recorded by immigration officials, and thus belonged to 
the most Uterate amongst U.S. immigrant groups. 

Czech Texas Communities: Ethnic and Language Maintenance 

Praha tombstone inscriptions reflect the literacy and culture of their 
community. As communal or societal products, they provide a focused 
view of a unified linguistic community that survived as a Czech com- 
munity for over one hundred years. The town of Praha was a typical "in- 
group community"^ - geographically isolated, homogeneous in terms of 
occupation, educational background, social standing, and religion. The 
Czechs often settled near Germans, whose language and way of life they 
were familiar with from Europe, but remained distinct in language, work 
habits, and culture. They formed a self-sufficient community of black- 
land farmers who were skilled, at the same time, at other professions. 
Thus, they were able to meet most material needs of their community. 
Also, they were self-contained culturally - they founded sport, choral, 
music, and fraternal organizations, as well as theatrical groups. They 
migrated with books, such as the treasured volumes of Comenius.'' Once 
in Texas, they established reading clubs and schools. From the outset 
they published a variety of periodicals. Being self-sufficient and self-con- 
tained, the immigrants also proved reluctant to assimilate. They were 
sustained by a close-knit network maintained through press, faith, and 
language. 

The Moravian communities survived until after World War Two 
because they continued, in an isolated medium, traditions introduced 
from Moravia, in particular the distinctly Moravian language and reli- 
gious faith. This has contributed significantly towards preservation of a 
distinct ethnic identity^ Geographer Timothy G. Anderson surveyed the 
incidence of Czech language usage on Texas gravestones during a hun- 
dred year period from 1880 to 1990. Among the reasons for the prolonged 
native language incidence, he lists isolation of the self-sufficient rural set- 
tlements that had their own schools, churches and priests, and their con- 



Eva Eckert 207 



stant reinforcement by a steady immigration of Czech speakers until 1921, 
when Congress passed an act Umiting the number of new immigrant 
arrivals.^ The Moravian communities started disintegrating under the 
pressure of EngUsh language teaching at local schools, disrespect for 
immigrant languages generated by war animosities, the invasion of tele- 
vision, and shifts in traditional agricultural production. Today many of 
these communities are virtual ghost towns, and one can look in vain on a 
contemporary highway map for communities which were once vital cen- 
ters of Czech economic and social life.^° 

Immigrant Language 

The Texas immigrants were speakers of distinct Moravian dialects but 
they also maintained contact with Standard Czech, the literary language 
reawakened at the beginning of the 19th century. To most. Standard Czech 
remained an artificial code that they did not speak, but knew it passively 
and had access to it through the press, books, and church. Standard Czech 
thus existed as the written code whose active control was in the hands of 
newspaper editors and priests, while the others had a reverence for it and 
strived to imitate it in writing. As the result of contact with English, immi- 
grant dialects progressively absorbed anghcisms and developed into an 
idiosyncratic community vernacular. 

The tombstone inscriptions of these Texas Czechs represent a unique 
variety that captures the community vernacular in a written form. Unlike 
other linguistic documents, they preserve the dialect as the first immi- 
grants brought it with them from Moravia. ^^ Church and community 
records were written by the trained and educated, using Standard Czech 
written language conventions. The immigrants' Czech newspaper con- 
tributions were censored for dialectal features by conscientious editors. 
But no one edited tombstone inscriptions, although some carvers, with a 
varying degree of success, tried to imitate Standard Czech. Tombstone 
inscriptions include both an official ritualistic style of set phrases and a 
personal familiar style of unofficial communication. The private and 
emotional writing is comparable perhaps to diaries and private letters. 
Such letters were sent to Czech newspapers for publication, but there 
they were cleansed of any trace of dialect. Tombstone inscriptions, con- 
trary to that, reflect the individual's dialect shaped by usage in a com- 
munity. 



208 Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 



Data Selection 

The corpus of data in this study includes two hundred and thirty 
tombstone inscriptions, which represents about half of all markers in the 
Praha Cemetery. Thirty tombstones record death dates from 1860 to 1900, 
one hundred between 1900 and 1920, fifty between 1920 and 1940, and 
fifty between 1940 and 1980. Sixty inscriptions were inscribed or commis- 
sioned by first generation immigrants. The diversity in the type of mater- 
ial used, lettering, arrangement of inscription, type of epitaphs, and 
frozen formulas indicate differences in language attitudes, knowledge of 
Czech, and the aesthetic tastes of those who carved or commissioned the 
inscriptions.^^ 

Inscription Authorship 

The question of individual authorship of gravemarker inscriptions is 
interesting but secondary. Judgment about authorship is based on chrono- 
logical and kinship references, linguistic characteristics, and material 
(typically metal or soft domestic stone; later, hard commercial stone). 
Older inscriptions and tombstones vary greatly. In the span of a single 
decade one may find markers with diverse inscriptions and epitaphs, as 
well as tombstones bearing a single inscription but with different 
spellings; gravemarkers of various material can be found as well. In con- 
trast, sixty inscriptions, carved into hard commercial tombstones and 
placed mostly after 1940, are uniform in the layout of the inscription as 
well as in formulaic, impersonal, and sketchy language data. 

Dialects and Diacritics 

Retention of dialectal features and diacritic signs, which are indis- 
pensable to the Czech writing system, is a crucial Unguistic trait charac- 
terizing the Praha cemetery inscriptions. Diacritics usage in tombstone 
inscriptions provides us with information about the immigrant dialect 
and its maintenance. Diacritics in tombstone writing of the first genera- 
tion immigrants reflect minor dialectal variation mirroring dialectal fea- 
tures of the Moravian dialectal region. ^"^ In the writing of the second and 
third generation, however, the role of diacritic signs has gradually 
changed as a result of language contact and the shift to English. From 
serving as an integral part of the vernacular, the diacritics have progres- 
sively become used for decorative purposes and as ethnicity symbols.^* 



Eva Eckert 209 



Their prolonged retention, whatever its purpose, nonetheless confirms 
the Praha community's Uteracy and resistance to assimilation. 

Diacritics in the Czech Spelling System 

Diacritics form an indispensable part of the Czech spelling system and 
are used, for the most part, in agreement with phonetic pronunciation. 
Czech diacritics fulfill two basic functions: they indicate (1) length of vow- 
els and (2) palatal pronunciation of consonants. Long vowels are marked 
by a cdrka diacritic^^; the hacek diacritic is placed over the vowel e and the 
consonants s,z,c,rMn or over e preceded by labials pbm indicates palatal- 
ization.^^ 

Basic Patterns of Diacritic Variation in Tombstone Spelling 

Czechs of the first generation spoke their native dialects, and dialectal 
pronunciations influenced how they used diacritics. Some immigrants 
knew the Standard Czech writing system, others tried to imitate it, and 
some never mastered it. The cdrka may be misplaced or missing as a result 
of imitation of Standard Czech, or dialectal shortness of vowels. In the 
immigrant dialect, vowel pronunciation varies significantly from 
Standard Czech. For the most part, the difference between short and long 
vowels, critical in Standard Czech, is not distinctive in the dialect.^^ But 
the immigrant dialect does not vary in hdcek placement fiom Standard 
Czech. ^^ The relationship of the cdrka and hdcek in the inscriptions pro- 
vides important clues. Whenever an inscription has the hdcek placed cor- 
rectly, which is generally so in first generation inscriptions, and the cdrka 
is missing or placed over Standard Czech short vowels, I interpret the 
inscription as dialectal usage, or the interference of dialect with Standard 
Czech (see Fig. 2). 

The Role of Diacritics in the Language Shift to English 

In an earlier study, 1 presented a hierarchy of linguistic features (both 
grammatical and lexical) that included patterning of diacritic signs.^^ 
Based on these features, one can predict and trace language shift in tomb- 
stone writing. The tombstone data refute the argument that the immi- 
grants and the tombstone carvers considered Czech diacritics superflu- 
ous and used them haphazardly. I have not found a marker which uses 
Czech inflection and word structure correctly while at the same time mis- 



210 



Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 











\» 








AN it '^d 

v.- ■ 



.v„ 






i 






' w> 



> ' 



■^.■'■r^^n. 







\^i^' ■ .'-i^ 




t^iiM 



Fig. 2. The Krejci tombstone inscription reflects dialectal 
pronunciation with consistently short vowels. 



Eva Eckert 211 



using diacritics. But I have found many markers that ignore or use dia- 
critics contrary to Czech spelling conventions (for instance, the cdrka over 
consonants, the hdcek over a, i, etc.) on gravemarkers that display a shift 
to English. In later stages of Czech language attrition, characterized by a 
breakdown of grammatical conventions, diacritics are placed haphaz- 
ardly, or totally neglected. Ignorance of diacritical usage occurs in 
inscriptions that already reflect English naming patterns (Czech Marie 
Novdkovd vs. English Mary Novak), dating conventions (Czech 2. wnora [2 
February] vs. English 2 Unora), and punctuation, all situations that tend 
to neglect inflecting nouns and adjectives in phraseological expressions 
and use loantranslations. In the hierarchy of features that characterize 
language shift, ignorance of diacritics is followed by word decomposi- 
tion, misunderstandings of word meaning, and an increased number of 
loanwords.^° 

Diacritic Variation and Dialectal Origin of the 
First Generation Czech Immigrants 

Diacritic variation in first generation spelling reflects vocalic quality in 
the adjoining dialects of Lachia and Wallachia. Authors who Ukely came 
from Lachia, where vowels are never pronounced as Standard Czech long 
vowels, frequently did not use the cdrka at all, as in the following inscrip- 
tions (vowels with missing length are underlined in all examples through- 
out this essay): 

1. Zde odpociva ANTONIE KREjCl Povolal mne Nejvisi Pan Kde v neby Boskii Krai By 
tarn za Vas orodovala [Here rests A.K. The highest lord who is the godly King ir\ 
the heavens called me so that I plead on your behalf (undated; rhymed epitaph)]; 
cf. standard Czeck odpocivd, Krejci, nejvyssi, v nebi, bosky, krdl, Vds^^ (Fig. 2). 

2. Verunika Holik Zemfela 17ho zary 1900 pochovana 18ho zafy 1900 Odpocinuti vecno, 
dejjiho Pane [Died Sept. 17, 1900 buried Sept. 18, 1900 Eternal rest, give it to her o 
Lord]; cf. Standard Czech Veronika Holikovd... zdfi... vecne dej ji (Fig. 3). 

3. Zdejpinka Emilek Krhovjak Na shledanou synacku nas 1919-1922 [Here sleeps httle 
E.K. Good-bye our Uttle son] (Fig. 4). 

4. Zde V panu odpocwa zesnida Agnes Trojacek Narozena 2. Unora 1872. Zemfela 31. 
Bfezna 1893. Biidiz ti zeme lehkoii [Here rests in the Lord the deceased A.T. Born 
Feb. 2, 1872, Died March 31, 1893. Let the earth be Ught for you] (Fig. 5). 

5. Spi sladce dit'e nase jedine [Sleep sweetly our only child (undated)]. 



212 



Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 






- .«'-<T^- 




^Pllj 



7C ,.^r<F LA ! t ' '- 

i> J ,, r/V 1900 




U- 







Q- ;^uy 



V* 



E C NO.DC J J 1*^'-' 



'^^^■^^:^i- 




•-^-" fd 




.^^V^' 



^"•;^ 



/^t:>iir>«t- 



''ti^r 










Fig. 3. Like the Krejci inscription, that on the Holik marker reflects 
dialectal pronunciation with consistently short vowels. 



Eva Eckert 



213 



When imitating Standard Czech, Lachian speakers marked length 
inconsistently because they did not perceive the difference between long 
and short vowels (e.g.. Fig. 6)P For instance, we get not only the charac- 
teristically Lachian odpocwa but also odpocivd (for Standard Czech 
odpoclvd); and aside from the Lachian v Panu, we find also Standard Czech 
V pdnu and Pdna, although the vocative pdne is the result of hypocorrec- 
tion^^ (Standard Czech Pane): 



1. Zde V pdnii 
(1900)]. 



iivd zemfely Josef Fojtik [Here rests in the Lord the deceased J.F. 




Uy-.//r 




^'^^■ 


* Mirr - 


;.. .^' 




'ii-. 





ZDE SPINKA 

EMILEK 
KRHOVJAK 

5 H LED AN 



•i-w-. 



"f^-* 



'■.''■Jkp^ . • 



Fig. 4. This emotional inscription authored by parents of a three year 
old Emilek displays again dialectal shortness of vowels. 



214 



Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 





" ' hk 



\ 







I 



Fig. 5. Another example of an inscription 
featuring dialectal shortness of vowels. 



Eva Eckert 



215 




Fig. 6. One of many typical Czech tombstones, the Blahuta 
inscription displays inconsistent diacritics placement. 



216 Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 



2. Zde odpocivd v panu zesnula milovana Maticka Budis tobe zenie lechka [... the deceased 
beloved Mommy Let the earth be hght for you]. 

3. Zde V Panu odpocrva Anna Barta Odpocinuti vecne dejz ji o pane Neumfeli Jsme jenom 
Klidne Spime. Az Mas Pdna v'eku Uslysime, Potom se pro vecnost probudime [Eternal 
rest give her o Lord We did not die We only sleep quietly When we hear the voice 
of the eternal Lord, then we will wake up for eternity (1927; rhymed epitaph)]. 

4. Marie Cdka Rozena v Netolicich, vCechach, dne 14ho brezna roku 1832, Zemfela dne 9ho 
srpna roku 1906. Odpocivejte sladce v tmavem hrobe, Matko nase milend; Pan Buh 
povolal Vds od nds k sobe, by Vam velky_ bol byl zkraceny... by nds spojil zas [M.t. Born 
in NetoUce in Bohemia 14th of March 1832, Died 9th of August 1906. Rest sweet- 
ly in the dark grave, our beloved Mother; Lord God called you to himself and 
away from us to shorten your great pain ... but to join us again (rhymed epitaph)]. 

Cdrky are not only missing but also added where they do not belong, 
as in nasi, jim, muz, and bliznimu: 

1. nasi drazi rodice Frantisek Bili/ Anna Bild Dej jim odpocinuti [our dear parents F.B. 
A.B. Give them rest (1912)]. 

2. Zde odpocivd v miru muz jenz vzdy bi/val hodny laskavy pritel lidsky. Radii, tesil, 
pomahal potrebnemu bliznimu svemu [Here rests in peace a man who was always 
good and kind human friend. He advised, comforted and helped the needy 
neighbor (1900)]. 

On several first generation tombstones, vocalic shortness is accompa- 
nied by phonetic spelling, indicating poor knowledge of grammar (see 
Fig. 7). Note the spellings malickich, kemne, budis, lechka, schledame, Mat'ej, 
dhi, sinu, and uplinuti in the following examples: 

1. nechte malickich prijUi kemne [1915]; cf. malickych pfijiti ke nine [Let the little ones 
come to me]. 

2. budis ti zeme lechka [1909]; cf. budiz, lelikd [let the earth be light for you]. 

3. Mat'ej Hdjicek [1908]; cf. Matej. 

4. Dve ditky Josefa Kotrlika Julie a Hetinka Zemrely v stdfi peti a osmi dhi; cf. dni [Two 
children of J.K. Julie and little Hetty Died in the age of five and eight days (undat- 
ed)]. 

5. predesels nds sinu, po uplinuti vezdejsi pouti schledame se zas [1901]; cf. synu, uplynuti, 
shleddme [you went before us son, when the present life expires we will come 
together again]. 



Eva Eckert 



217 




as 



Fig. 7. The 1933Cerny inscription displays extra length diacritics _ 

result of imitating Standard Czech (Pdnii, vecne) as well as dialectal 

pronunciations and phonetic spelling {odpocinuti). 



218 



Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 



In addition to diacritic usage, writing in the community vernacular on 
tombstones is corroborated by other dialectal features of pronunciation, 
grammar and lexicon^"* (Fig. 8). Only a few first generation tombstones 
(e.g.. Fig. 9) use Standard Czech spelling consistently and without any 
dialectal traces, as illustrated by the following inscription: 

Narozen v Merkovicich na Morave dne 28ho kvetna r. 1821 a zemrel due 16ho Ledna r. 
1873; Zde odpocivd v Pdmi Vavfinec Bartos Nar. 2. cerv. L.P. 1836 v Cejkovicich v Cechdch, 
Zem. 28. list. L.P. 1889 [Born in Merkovice, Moravia...; Here rests in the Lord V.B. 
Born in Cejkovice, Bohemia]. 




^> 






.'"" *??iwsl| 





Fig. 8. The Paulina Krejci inscription displays not only dialectal 
shortness of vowels but also a characteristically dialectal form, 
vskfiseni (for standard Czech vzkrisent), in a rhymed epitaph. 



Eva Eckert 



219 



Such inscriptions typically display not only educated language, but also 
careful lettering and tombstone arrangement. 

Comparison with Domestic Tombstones 

Vernacular writing is not Umited to Texas gravemarkers, and I found 
relevant data also on domestic gravemarkers in Moravia. In both places, 
the writing showed inadequate control of Standard Czech grammar as 
well as the interference of dialect with Standard Czech.^^ Both in the 
Czech RepubUc and in Texas, 1 found tombstones with Czech grammar- 
school errors.^^ 

In summary, inscriptions on the original first generation tombstones 
(most typically placed before 1900) show patterned dialectal usage of dia- 
critics and interference with Standard Czech. Such spelling is significant 
for it proves that the immigrants did not copy the epitaphs and frozen for- 
mulas but had them memorized, varied them freely to fit the deceased, or 







Fig. 9. The Urbis inscription is written entirely in Standard Czech. 



220 



Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 



invented their own. Vernacular spellings on tombstones can be docu- 
mented not only in Texas, but also in the Czech Republic. 

Variation in Diacritic Usage: Non-Native Features 

Diacritic usage in the tombstone writing about second and third gen- 
eration descendants shows marked deviation from the conventions of 
native spelling. In third generation inscriptions, haphazard placement of 
diacritics dominates. Some third generation writers (e.g.. Fig. 10) did not 
use diacritics at all (Joseph R. Jasek Pod ochranu krize spim [1930]; cf. Josef 
Jasek Pod ochranou krize spim [ J.J. Under the protection of the cross I 
sleep]). This shift is systematic, and correlates with gradual language 
attrition. 

An interesting juxtaposition of inscriptions showing different control 
of Czech is reflected on the tombstone with the family name Pildt and two 
death dates, of Teresie in 1902, and Frantisek in 1907. Based on chronolog- 
ical and kinship references we can infer that the side devoted to Teresie 
Pildt was inscribed or commissioned by her husband addressing his 
deceased wife (draze milovand manzelko), while the 1907 portion of the 
tombstone to Frantisek Pildt was done by his children, who close the 




Fig. 10. The inscription for Joseph Jasek uses no diacritics at all. 



Eva Eckert 



221 



inscription with "your faithful children" {vase verne ditky). The carver who 
did the earlier side, likely a first generation immigrant, wrote all dates, the 
placename, and a long epitaph correctly in Czech. Contrary to that, the 
latter inscription shows misplaced diacritics (predrahy, jedine prdni; cf. 
predrahif, jedine) and many grammatical errors. 

The inscription on the marker for Jan Morkovsky (Fig. 11) is likely a 
third generation imperfect copy of an original second generation inscrip- 
tion. Its incorrect diacritic marking is underscored by word decomposi- 
tion and phonetic spelling. Its author knew Czech only from hearing it, 
but did not understand Czech grammar. Words are merged (Vpokoji) or 
divided incorrectly (z de, ot pocivej), and placenames are misinterpreted 
{Vefrenstate Namoravje). Interestingly, several of the htK:ek signs are placed 
correctly (Z de otpocwajan Morkovsky Narozen 16, Bfesna R. 1827 Vefrenstate 
Namoravje, a Zemfel 12 Listopadu R. 1888 Ot pocivej Vpokoji Drahi Otce; cf. 





Narozen l6,Rrcsna R. 1^27 
VefrensTATe Namoravie, 
A/emrPL 12 Li^^topndu R,1888 

Ot po< ivej Vr)OKo[i 



uuAyt m 



'^'^i.-iv ^4 




Fig. 11. The inscription for Morkovsky is written phonetically in 
Czech and contains numerous errors. 



222 



Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 



Zde odpocivd Jan Mofkovsky... brezna... ve Frenstdte na Morave... Odpocivej v 
pokoji drahy otce [Here rests J.M. Born March 16, 1827 in Frenstat, Moravia, 
and Died November 12, 1888 Rest in peace Dear Father]). 

Diacritics and Naming Conventions 

The dialectal and genealogical variation in diacritic usage is docu- 
mented also in name spelling, where diacritics survive for a relatively 
long time. However, survival of an occasional diacritic sign does not 
mean its systematic application (see Fig. 12). In first generation inscrip- 
tions, Czech names rarely appear without diacritics. Third generation 
names within inscriptions are frequently lacking in diacritics, and from 
1950 on diacritics in names are used rarely and haphazardly. 







Fig. 12. Diacritics over proper names on the Mikuda tombstone are 
missing altogether but are retained in the rest of the inscription. 



Eva Eckert 



223 




Fig. 13. On an old gravesite curbing we read Jan a Marie Mrdz, 
but the newer headstone uses the English Mraz, John & Marie. 



224 Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 



First generation name spelling is characterized by dialectal vocalic 
shortness (Vaculik, Zabransky). Less frequently, both names relinquish dia- 
critics as a sign of acculturation, sometimes manifested also in a uniform 
last name (Frantiska Novak) without the characteristically Czech feminine 
ending -ova (as in Novdkovd). Czech first names are progressively replaced 
by their English variants (Joseph, John, Frances, Matilda; cf. Josef, Jan, 
Frantisek, Matylda). We find names spelled without diacritics [Zuzana 
Kubenova; cf. Kubenovd: Frantiska Klekar; cf. Frantiska Klekaf: Anna Mikuda 
Roz. ['"born"] Odlozelikova; cf. Odlozelikovd), as well as with diacritics fully 
(Mary Novdk) or partially retained (Mari Pulkrabek; cf. Pulkrdbek). 

Original old tombstones were sometimes replaced by newer commer- 
cial stones, with older gravesite curbing remaining in place (Fig. 13). At 
other times, new curbings with anglicized names were added to the orig- 
inal tombstones.^'' This juxtaposition of material parallels a juxtaposition 
of spelling. The name on an original 1913 tombstone is spelled with the 
correct placement of the hdcek as Frantiska Pospisil, but on a modern curb- 
ing around the grave it is spelled with a hdcek over i instead of s (Pospisil; 
cf. Pospisil). 

In second and third generation tombstone writing, diacritics are often 
placed incorrectly in proper names (for instance, hdcek over o in Zofie (cf. 
Zofie), cdrka over n instead of a in Vaha (cf. Vdha). In 1925, the last name 
spelled as Jufica appears in a Czech inscription with coherent grammar 
and all hacky placed correctly. However, already in 1926, this last name is 
spelled as Jurica (Fig. 14). The name is set in the context of an anglicized 
first name (Cecillie), dates reflecting English conventions (with comma 
after the numeral 5, List), and spelling mistakes (pamdtka jeje; cf. jeji). 
Similarly, in an imperfect copy of an 1889 inscription, the name (Joseph 
Olsovsky; cf. Josef Olsovsky) is spelled according to English conventions, 
and diacritics in the inscription are used haphazardly (odpocinuti vecne, 
brezna; cf. odpocinuti vecne, bfezna). 

To summarize, in name spelling diacritics are often given up as an indi- 
cation of acculturation. At the same time, a certain number of diacritics in 
names survive, albeit misplaced, perhaps as a sign of Czech identity. 

Diacritics and Tombstone Material 

Tombstone material has had an important bearing on the language of 
inscriptions and, consequently, usage of diacritics. While it was easy to 
inscribe lengthy inscriptions mto soft domestic tombstones, newer com- 



Eva Eckert 



225 




CE^'lU 



t JURIC A 



■<— ■%, 




■ iV! 



IQ 9 6 






Fig. 14. The inscription shows a misplaced hdcek in the last name 

Jurica, but diacritics are placed correctly in the rest of the text. The 

first name appears in its English variant as Cecillie. 



226 



Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 



mercial tombstones with their predominant use of granite minimized the 
participation of the bereaved family in executing the inscription. These 
were generally produced by professional memorial dealers who possibly 
were not Czech. The cost required that the inscription be short and con- 
cise, limited to names, dates, and an occasional standard formula and 
frozen epitaph (Fig. 15). The mode of writing changed and brief frozen 
Czech expressions became standard because they were less expensive to 
carve than lengthy epitaphs. Thus the inscriptions ceased to reflect indi- 
vidual linguistic characteristics. However, even these commercially 
engraved inscriptions, placed by third generation descendants predomi- 
nantly after 1940 (e.g.. Fig. 16), retained an occasional diacritic sign (Riha, 
Maly, Tomas, Katefina, Frantisek and Frantiska cf. Rilia... Tomns). In 1970, the 
last name Zacek (cf. Zdcek) appears in an all-English inscription. The com- 
mercial tombstone to Lucy Lev (Fig. 17), with a death date of 1989, retains 




if GRANDMOTHER + 
I ^ ANTONIA VLASAK ' 

MOTAL 

zENA^ OT INOC MOTAL 
ZEMRhLA 15 PROS. 1891 





^56^ ^S^ -c*S^5-^f-<J^^' 



Fig. 15. The new tombstone for Motal, added onto an old 

gravemarker, has an inscription which lacks diacritics and 

uses a mixture of Czech and English. 




Eva Eckert 



227 



as the only diacritic sign a hdcek in the Czech epitaph Odpocivej v pokoji (cf. 
Odpocivej v pokoji). 

Conclusions 

SpelUng with diacritics forms a discernible pattern from generation to 
generation; these data confirm the importance of diacritics in the analysis 
of tombstone vernacular writing. The spelling records dialectal pronunci- 
ation and occasional interference with Standard Czech (Fig. 18). 
Haphazard placement of diacritics or their total absence - found sporad- 
ically in second generation spelling and fully characteristic of the third 
generation - is accompanied by general grammar attrition. The fact that 
occasional diacritics survive, though in a haphazard manner, even in 
tombstone inscriptions indicating an almost complete shift to English or 
written in English is also significant. The use of diacritics takes on an 
additional symboHc rather than informative function in that it points to 





V Y VJALA 



JOHN 

5 DUB. 1876 
il LED. 1964 



FRANTISKA 

30 BREZ. 1877 
3 SRP. 1960 



ODPncivjfJTE M pni-inji 



Fig. 16. In the Vyvjala inscription, diacritics are placed correctly 
(with an exception of cdrka in place of hdcek above r in Brez). 



228 



Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 



the Czech origin of the inscription. It thus becomes a sign of ethnic iden- 
tity.28 

In an earlier article on this topic, I discussed the linguistic and ethnic 
factors supporting the maintenance of Czech in the speech of Praha immi- 
grants and their descendants as reflected in tombstone inscriptions. I 
there contended - and still maintain - that this maintenance of Czech as 
the language of gravemarker writing was determined by Praha Czechs' 



?"*T»|(!|r^ 




ZDE V PANU ODPOCIVA 

LUCY LEV 

NAR. 20.LIST. 1913 

ZEM. 16. LED. 1989 

ODPOCIVEJ V POKOJl 





Fig, 17. Even as late as 1989, tombstones with Czech inscriptions that 
include diacritics are placed in the Praha cemetery. 



Eva Eckert 



229 




v* «:3»i^ 








'. 't 

i 

< — - — --— ^ ^ 


2^"" ■ ■ ' - 


■arj* 



Fig. 18. Throughout the Czech inscription on this stone, 

the confusion in the diacritic placement is underscored by 

anglicized punctuation and grammatical mistakes. 



230 Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 



in-group characteristics and acute ethnic awareness."^ Their use of Czech 
on tombstones indicates that they wanted to be perceived as Czechs by 
readers of the inscriptions. In 1960, almost sixty percent of tombstone 
inscriptions in the Praha cemetery were in Czech, and it is not exception- 
al to find gravemarkers with Czech writing features still being erected. 

In the Praha, Texas community, the striving to maintain Czech ethnic 
identity is real. Despite its diminished population, estimated at about one 
hundred inhabitants, Praha, Texas survives. Every year in August, the 
descendants of the original Czech settlers gather for a reHgious procession 
and service conducted in the language of their ancestors in a church deco- 
rated with symbols of the motherland capital city of Prague. And to this 
day, the dead of Czech descent are still being buried in the Praha cemetery. 

NOTES 

1. Scott J. Baird, "Language Codes in Texas German Graveyards", Markers IX (1992): 217- 
254. At a cemetery we can find samples of language of any given time period and 
observe, at the same time, how language changes over time. 

2. Any vowel in Czech can be short (a) or long (a). Certain consonants can be pronounced 
with the tongue raised against the soft palate, which is indicated in spelling (c). 

3. In this essay, the term "Czech" is adopted as a label for all ethnic groups sharing the 
Standard Literary Language. However, the immigrants to Texas came primarily from 
Moravia and saw themselves as Moravians, distinct ethnically and linguistically from 
Czechs. Today we commonly speak of American Czechs. For a thorough discussion of 
their ethnic identity and its redefinition in the American context, see Kevin Hannan, 
"Ethnic Identity Among the Czechs and Moravians of Texas," American Ethnic Identity 
15: 4 (1996): 3-31. 

4. The rest arrived from two areas in Bohemia: the villages north of Lanskroun and the 
Tabor region. See Robert Janak, Old Bohemian Tombstones (HalletsviUe, TX, 1987), 57. 

5. As Hannan, "Ethnic Identity Among the Czechs and Moravians of Texas," explains: 
"The population of Lachia and Moravian WaUachia is characterized as more religious 
than that of Bohemia or western Moravia... In Texas, as in Moravia, the church was the 
center of community life." 

6. The terms "in-group" and "out-group community" were introduced by Joshua A. 
Fishman in his Language in Sociocidtural Change (Palo Alto, CA, 1972). The Czech "in- 
group" community was focused inwardly and had Hmited contacts with the Anglo- 
American world on the outside. 

7. John Amos Comenius was a famous Czech 17th century philosopher and educator 



Eva Eckert 231 



8. See Hannan, "Ethnic Identity Among the Czechs and Moravians of Texas," 26. 

9. As he notes, "The mechanization of agriculture revolutionized rural Texas and sent 
many Czechs to a new, urban way of life": Timothy G. Anderson, "Czech-CathoUc 
Cemeteries in East-Central Texas: Material Culture and Ethnicity in Seven Rural 
Communities," Material Culture 25: 3 (1993): 10-11. 

10. See CUnton Machann, ed., The Czechs in Texas (College Station, TX, 1978), 32. 

11. Except for isolated excerpts published in the local dialect by Judge Haidusek, an emi- 
nent Czech Texan and newspaper owner, there exist no written traces of the original 
Texas vernacular. See Hannan, "Ethnic Identity Among the Czechs and Moravians of 
Texas," 15-16. 

12. In the arrangement of inscriptions, a standard order predominates: an opening formu- 
la, first and last names, dates, occasionally places of birth and death, and a closing epi- 
taph or frozen expression. 

13. As recently as 1976, James Mendl conducted a study of Texas Moravian dialects and 
concluded (a) that aU the informants showed some instances of mixing of dialects, and 
(b) that speakers of Texas Czech use not one specific dialect, but a mixture of different 
dialects. See James Mendl, "Moravian Dialects in Texas," in TJie Czechs in Texas, ed. 
Clinton Machann (College Station, TX, 1978). 

14. As a native Texas Moravian reports, "One of the first things that fascinated me about 
the Czech language was the diacritics. I saw them as something 'extra', something 
EngUsh lacks. Diacritics, for me at least, were a very positive marker of identity" (pri- 
vate communication). 

15. The diacritic krouzek 'small circle' is used to mark long u that originated etymological- 
ly from older 6 in roots and endings. 

16. When over s z c it indicates alveopalatal consonants (s z c), over r a sibilant vibrant (r), 
over d,t,n pure palatals {de, te, ne or d',t'/n) and in pe be me palatalized labials. 

17. In the region of Lachia, from which almost half of the immigrants arrived, the length is 
lacking altogether. Depending on the original dialectal region, the shortness may affect 
only the i vowel. 

18. However, I have found a few inscriptions where hdcek is missing over e preceded by 
labials pb m and over the retroflex r, which reflects nonpalatal pronunciation of these 
consonants in a specific region of the dialectal area. 



232 Czech Tombstone Inscriptions 



19. Eva Eckert, "Language Change: Testimony of Tombstone Inscriptions at the Cemetery 
of Praha, Texas," in Varieties of Czech: Studies in Czech Sociolingnistics, ed. Eva Eckert 
(Atlanta, GA, 1993), 79-121. 

20. See Ibid, for a detailed discussion of individual stages and features in the language shift 
hierarchy. 

21. Standard Czech spellings show the literary norm in contrast to the dialectal examples. 

22. As a native speaker of Texas Moravian reports, "During my entire life in Texas, I have 
never heard a speaker of Czech exhibit distinctive vowel length. Thus, diacritics refer- 
encing vowel length are merely an attempt to duplicate the literary language." 

23. They strive to write correctly but make mistakes because they are unsure of what is part 
of the standard code. 

24. Dialectal pronunciation of hard labio-dentals and labials is indicated by lack of the hdcek 
diacritic marking palatahzation {vecne cf. vecne and mel cf. met); r is not palatalized as f 
(cf. the last name Kresta vs. Kresta juxtaposed in the inscription by properly used hdcek in 
jeziskova); z s c r palatals are hardened (zary, odpocyvej, cf. zdfi, odpocivej); e is used for 
Standard Czech o as in 9tehe presince {Steho prosince); e is used for the adjectival ending y, 
indicating regional development of the originally long y (zemfele, cf. zemfely); impera- 
tives end in -oj for -ej {Odpocivoj v Pokoji vs. odpocivej) or add ; {spij sladce vs. spi); neuter 
adjective forms may end in o {odpiocinuti vecno, cf. vecne); the conjunction aby takes the 
form of by (cf. by jsme, b\/ tarn orodovala); the feminine instrumental singular takes the -u 
ending (tiashledanu, pod ochranu, cf. na shledmiou, pod ochranou); genitive plural roko for 
roku and dialectal vocabulary items occur such as Verunika (Veronika), Majdalena 
(Magdalena), nidy {nikdy), blyzenci (dvojcata), ti'ito (tndy), vskfiseni (vzkriseni), odpoci'n/te 
sobe {odpocivejte); and there are many other idiosyncratic features as well. 

25. On a tombstone in the cemetery in the Moravian village of Pozlovice, I found the fol- 
lowing inscription in the local dialect: Kdo byl milovdn, neni zapomenut (cf. byl... neni); 
and on another tombstone the inscription Lehke odpocinuti dej jim (6) Pane (cf. lehke... 
odpocinutf). Both show dialectal vocalic quantity, commonly reflected on the Texas 
tombstones as well. 

26. For instance, in punctuation {ve veku 69. let, where adding the period changes the car- 
dinal numeral into the ordinal numeral; cf. 69 let). Also, in incorrect marking of length 
of the word initial vowel u (iinora, cf. unora), and in confusing the dative and accusative 
of the pronoun ona {Odpocinuti lehke dej ji 6 Pane [cf. ji\). 

27. This practice, however, is characteristic of Czech cemeteries where it is necessitated by 
the lack of space in the cemetery. It is not characteristic of Praha, Texas, where space is 
plentiful. Typically, a new tombstone, indicating the death of an additional family 
member, is placed next to, rather than over or in place of the original tombstone. 



Eva Eckert 233 



28. Thomas E. Graves understands the role of German in a similar way: "The German lan- 
guage became an ethnic marker and the strength of the ethnic tradition in local regions 
can be measured by how long German was used on the stones" (see Graves, 
"Pennsylvania German Gravestones: An Introduction/' Markers V (1988): 91). 

29. Eckert, "Language Change," 79-121. Joshua Fishman reports that the tendency to main- 
tain a distinction between "us" (the immigrants) and "them" is the sign that the immi- 
grant language has not started shifting in the direction of the majority language yet. 
The self-contained group also maintains a certain functional differentiation within its 
linguistic repertoire (see Fishman, Language in Sociocultural Change, 8-9). Another schol- 
ar has noted that language maintenance is a matter of language loyalty and positive 
language orientation in essentially negative situations: see Nancy Dorian, "Language 
Loss and Maintenance in Language Contact Situations," in The Loss of Language Skills, 
ed. Richard D. Lambert and Barbara F. Freed (Rowley, MA, 1982), 45. 



234 



Aboriginal Australian Burials 




Fig, 1. Tiwi woman demonstrates painting for tourists on Bathhurst 

Island, Northern Territory, Australia. The artistic style is the same as 

that found on traditional Tiwi burial poles (see Figs, 3 and 4). 



235 



ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIAN BURIALS IN CHRISTIAN MISSIONS 
Karolyn K. Wrightson 

They used to take im back in the cave. 

This time, people dying now ... in coffin. 

But coffin they not supposed to. Aborigine. 

Take im back where e belong and put in that something! 

They used to put up bones. 

Soon as ready . . . pick im up and take im to the cave. 

Because they was saying ... 

"We// e got to stay with his spirit. "^ 

Bill Neidjie 

In Aboriginal Australian belief, the Dreamtime began before the nat- 
ural world existed. As mythical beings moved across the land, they creat- 
ed features like hills, and rivers, and Ufe itself, including that of humans. 
Aborigines were hunter-gathers, living a semi-nomadic life and traveling 
to new food sources before the supply in one area was too depleted to 
replenish itself. They moved by following "songlines," in which the fea- 
tures of the landscape told the stories of the mythical beings. Songlines 
were more than maps: they also imparted law and religion. Birth, initia- 
tion, marriage, and finally death were integrated into the law delivered in 
the Dreamtime. 

Today, Aborigines are thought to constitute the oldest continuous sur- 
viving culture in the world, having occupied Australia for 60,000 to 
120,000 years. Although customs evolved during that time. Aborigines 
buried their dead according to mortuary rituals that varied among the 
five to seven hundred language groups who inhabited a continent rough- 
ly the same size as the United States. Regarding these rituals, Ronald M. 
Berndt notes: 

In all cases they are concerned with re-creating or rechanneUng life out of 
death, releasing the spiritual component of a human being from its physi- 
cal receptacle and preparing it for its journey to a land of the dead .... The 
cycle of life, therefore, continues after death, from the physical to the whol- 
ly spiritual, returning in due course to the physical dimension. That cycle 
is relevant to aU natural species. This view recognized the equal importance 
of the physical and the spiritual and emphasizes that human beings are 



236 Aboriginal Australian Burials 



spiritually indestructible because they possess that germ of life that was 
theirs at conception and that came from the mythic beings of the 
Dreaming." 

Writing about the Mardudjara people in Western Australia, Robert 
Tonkinson expands upon this concept, noting that the preparation of the 
body is: 

... in effect subsidiary. The major concern is to cope with the immortality of 
the spirit, which is thought to be distressed at its separation from the living 
and is intent on continuing its close association with them. Thus all the 
efforts of the survivors have as their ultimate goal the return of the spirit to 
its home in a permanent separation from the living.-' 

Given such assumptions, it was inevitable that the Aboriginal view of 
burial would come to conflict with the Christian view. 

Mortuary customs varied across the continent, partly determined by 
variations in climate from desert interior to tropical north. Most burials 
took place in two stages. The first was the immediate disposition of the 
corpse. Common methods included exposure on a platform or tree, des- 
iccation, cremation, placing in a hollow tree, the use of a coffin-like object, 
and burial cannibalism.* Several months or even years later, the bones 
were removed to a secondary, permanent burial site. In some areas (as 
described in Bill Neidjie's poem) the bones were left exposed on rocks in 
sacred places. 

Even Christian Aborigines today practice the tradition of not speaking 
the name of the deceased for as many as seven years. Aborigines remove 
the face of a deceased person from group photographs and video tapes 
and erase their voices from audio tapes. It is rude to ask an Aborigine the 
name of a recently deceased relative. 

Because of their semi-nomadic life, moving within tribal areas defined 
by the landscape, few groups built permanent camps or had household 
possessions. When someone died, the campsite was abandoned. When 
Captain James Cook claimed Australia for England's King George 111 in 
1770, he noted that Aborigines had no houses or furnishings, sought no 
conveniences, and had no interest in his offer of trinkets. Anthropologists 
say they supplied their basic needs by working about four hours a day. 

The First Fleet of prisoners from Great Britain arrived in Australia's 
Botany Bay in 1788, soon followed by free settlers who were given vast 
grants of pastoral lands by the Crown. The Crown signed no treaties with 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 237 



the natives, but simply raised the flag and declared the land terra nullius.^ 
Recent research suggests the Aboriginal population at the time was over 
three million.^ Today, approximately 265,000 citizens claim Aboriginal 
heritage." The vast drop in population was caused by poor resistance to 
European diseases, illness induced by European diet, and outright geno- 
cide. 

In the areas of Australia where pastoral land was productive, pas- 
toralists removed Aborigines off their hunting grounds and watering 
holes and forced them to cease nomadic ways. Some AustraUan and 
European churches established missions to give Aborigines safe haven 
from the pastoralists, while other missions were established primarily to 
convert them. The first missionary to the Aborigines, William Walker, was 
appointed by the Wesleyan Missionary Society in 1821.^ Soon Roman 
Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and various fundamentalist Protestant 
groups established stations. The missionaries distributed government 
rations of sugar, flour, tea, and tobacco and built churches, schools, and 
dormitories. 

Most missionaries viewed Aborigines as a dying or sub-human race 
and tried to repress traditional Aboriginal customs, but few succeeded in 
completely destroying traditions that had been followed for centuries.^ At 
many mission stations, years passed before conversions to Christianity 
were reported. ^° An Aboriginal woman who was raised in a Pentecostal 
mission on Cape York told me, "The missionaries made us to go to church 
on Sundays. But the church only held half of us, so the rest of the mob 
would be out in the woods doing our own traditions. Then we would 
switch. The missionaries thought we all looked aUke, so they never knew 
the difference." 

Aborigines believed in spirits, and teachings such as the Sermon on 
the Mount were perceived to be in harmony with their law (one hears the 
phrase, "the Bible is tribal"). In some instances. Aboriginal myths were 
adapted or influenced by Christian teachings.^^ But they did not accept 
the concept of hell and eternal damnation for sins. The missionaries saw 
burials as a significant aspect of Christianity, and the matter became a 
great source of conflict.^^ In 1981, when Erich Kolig examined how mod- 
ernization and Christianity had influenced Aboriginal religion in the 
Kimberley region of Western Australia, he found that few beliefs had 
remained unaffected, some were completely wiped out, and others had 
been altered by the Aborigines in "a sort of mass self-deception .... Many 



238 



Aboriginal Australian Burials 



a new feature is believed to be completely 'traditional/ perhaps as ancient 
as the Dreamtime, while in actual fact it may be no older than a few 
decades." The distinction between "blackfella law" and "Mission law" 
became blurred/'^ 

About the time Aborigines were given citizenship in 1967, the mis- 
sions began closing for a variety of reasons, including lack of funding and 
the growing pressure for Aboriginal self-sufficiency. Many former mis- 
sions are in areas the government has declared to be Aboriginal lands, 
which cannot be entered without permission from local Aboriginal gov- 
erning bodies. However, many Aborigines are now conducting organized 
tours, and it is possible to visit a number of former missions on such a 
tour. (It is also possible to visit traditional secondary burial sites such as 
that described in the poem by Bill Neidjie. Visitors may be required to 
sign documents agreeing not to write about these places, not because they 
are taboo, but because the Aborigines do not want to attract the merely 
curious to their sacred sites.) 

In the summer of 1995, 1 went to Australia to write a book tracing the 
journey of the Australian journalist Ernestine Hill, who traveled the out- 
back during the 1930s and wrote a book entitled The Great Australian 
Loneliness.^* In the course of my investigations, 1 visited three of the 
remote mission stations Hill herself had visited. Upon my return, 1 real- 




Fig. 2. Tiwi art on the marina, Bathhurst Island, 
Northern Territory, Australia. 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 239 



ized that each mission cemetery varied, reflecting the degree to which the 
missionaries succeeded in demanding Christian burials and suppressing 
traditional ones. At the first of these, the two traditions co-exist even 
today. At the second and third, European influence dominates. 

Europeans have published observations of Aboriginal mortuary and 
initiation rites since 1798. Much has been written concerning the disposi- 
tion of the corpse, but little on the meaning of the ceremonies. ^^ In 1986, a 
symposium was held in Adelaide on the impact of Christianity on the 
Aborigines: a volume of essays resulted from that meeting,^^ but it does 
not directly address mission cemeteries. Perhaps my observations will 
induce others to explore the matter more thoroughly, as there were details 
I regret having failed to note on my tour, not anticipating at the time that 
I would be writing this essay. 

The Tiwi People 

The Tiwi (which roughly translates "we people") Hve on Bathhurst 
and Melville Islands, a few miles north of Darwin in the center of 
Australia's tropical northern coast. Before Europeans arrived, their con- 
tact with the outside world had been through Maccassan (Indonesian) 
traders. Compared with Aborigines on the mainland, the Tiwi remained 
relatively isolated from European settlers. A Roman CathoUc mission was 
established there in 1911. It included a school and, eventually, several craft 
studios where the people painted, carved, and made silk screened fabrics 
for commercial sale. Today, formal tours of the islands include time to 
observe the women paint carved figures (Fig. 1), using the same artistic 
style found on their traditional burial poles. 

Tiwi art difters significantly fiom other Aboriginal art styles, being 
more colorful and hnear in design. It decorates internal and external walls 
of community buildings (Fig. 2), as well as the inside of the Catholic 
church in the town of Nguiu. Today, the church no longer controls the 
school and community Hfe. 

In traditional Tiwi burials, the body is buried in the ground and cov- 
ered with bark fiom the stringy bark tree.^^ Some months later, Pukumani 
burial poles (Fig. 3) - variant spellings include Pukamani and Pukimani - 
are installed over the grave as part of a process involving extremely elab- 
orate ceremonies. The poles are commissioned by the family, who provide 
the artist detailed instructions regarding the totem of the deceased and 
the appropriate style. ^^ These elaborately carved and painted hoUow 



240 



Aboriginal Australian Burials 




Fig 3, Pukumani burial poles on Melville Island, 
Northern Territory, Australia. 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 



241 



wooden poles are the only objects in Aboriginal tradition that bear some 
resemblance to European markers in that they are produced specifically 
to mark the grave of a particular person (natives of the Torres Straits, 
however, have used tombstones since the advent of Christian missionar- 
ies in 1870, and the ritual associated with a "tombstone opening" is a prin- 
cipal community celebration that can cost thousands of dollars^^). 

The artists who carve and paint Pukamini burial poles are held in great 
esteem. The poles can now be purchased in Aboriginal art shops across 
Australia. Jennifer Hoff notes that one young artist has added European 
concepts to his poles, perhaps influenced by votive statues in the local mis- 
sion church, hoping to make them more attractive to European buyers.^° 

Both traditional and CathoUc burials, as well as a hybrid of the two, 
are still practiced. Eric Venbrux writes that in the early days of the mis- 
sion, the priests attempted to stop traditional burials.^^ In the 1950s, the 
native population spUt over the burial question, some choosing to remain 
nominal Catholics and others deciding to be "pagans." "In the late twen- 
tieth century," notes Venbrux, Catholic funerals were taken for granted. 




Fig, 4. Visitors amongst Pukumani burial poles on Melville Island, 
Northern Territory, Australia. In lower left is part of a white cross. 



242 



Aboriginal Australian Burials 




Fig. 5. Tiwi artist, Fiona Kerininaiua, holds her painting 

done in the style of Pukumani burial poles 

(painting is now in author's collection). 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 



243 



but the native mortuary rituals were no longer suppressed. Tiwi burial 
ceremonies were interspersed with Catholic liturgy conducted by a 
priest."" 

My commercial tour of the islands featured a visit to the Pukumani 
burial grounds, which are reached by taking a boat from Bathhurst Island 
(where most people live) to Melville Island and then walking a short dis- 
tance into a dense grove of trees with a small clearing which holds a 
dozen or so poles in various states of aging (see Fig. 4). Beside one 
Pukumani pole stood a small white wooden cross. It was plain and held 
no name, but Venbrux states that the crosses can contain the name of the 
deceased because the name in writing was not taboo at that point.'^^ My 
Aboriginal guide said this grave belonged to someone who wanted both 
Christian and native ceremonies. In such cases, the priest would arrive 
with the family for the ceremony, say prayers, and then leave before the 
traditional ceremonies began. These latter include dancing and wailing, 
but the old practices that included the cutting of flesh have reportedly 
been discontinued. The ceremonies can last for days. 




Fig. 6, Exterior of Catholic church in Nguiu, Bathhurst Island, 
Northern Territory, Australia. 



244 



Aboriginal Australian Burials 



After the ceremonies, most poles are left in place, and eventually, the 
weather and insects take their toll. But some poles are sold to art galleries 
in Australia and overseas."^ In addition, the burial pole motif is sometimes 
used in paintings such as the one in Fig. 5 held by artist Fiona 
Kerininaiua, which I purchased. 

The Church's acceptance of Aboriginal custom is seen in the interior of 
the church building in Nguiu. While the outside of the structure is entire- 
ly European in its design configuration (Fig. 6), the interior walls, altar, 
and lectern are richly painted with brilliantly colored Tiwi motifs of sea 
shells and animals (Fig. 7). Behind the altar is a western-style painting of 
an Aboriginal man holding the infant Jesus aloft (Fig. 8). My Aboriginal 
guide said the priest allows them to "smoke" the church with burning 
gum branches before services, just as they regularly "smoke" the evil spir- 
its from their homes. 



Beagle Bay Mission 

The Beagle Bay Mission is located on Cape Leveque, a peninsula north 
of Broome on the coast of Western Australia. Broome and the Cape were 




Fig. 7. Tiwi designs inside the Catholic church in Nguiu, Bathhurst 
Island, Northern Territory, Australia. 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 



245 




Fig 8. Interior of the Catholic church in Nguiu, 

Bathhurst Island, Northern Territory, Australia, 

reflects both native and European art styles. 



246 Aboriginal Australian Burials 



once the center of the pearl industry, which brought a large influx of 
Chinese, Japanese, Malays, Filipinos, Spaniards, Portuguese, and others. 
The Irish CathoUc Bishop of Western Australia established the mission 
with two Spanish priests and sixteen French Trappist monks in 1890. The 
legendary English woman Daisy Bates spent her first months in Australia 
with the Aborigines here, helping establish the mission and citing its 
deplorable condition.^^ The monks maintained silence, so one assumes 
their influence over the natives must have been negligible. 

In 1901, a Pallotine order took over. Richard Broome states that both 
the Trappists and the Pallotines viewed the natives as uncontaminated 
savages whom they could save, and thus attempted to end Aboriginal tra- 
ditions.^*' The natives were forced to end nomadic ways and were even 
forbidden to fish in their streams. The missionaries then controlled them 
by distributing food and tobacco. In fact, getting natives addicted to 
tobacco was crucial to having them accept mission life. The phrase heard 
was "no more tobacco, no more Alleluia. "^^ This position was somewhat 
modified in the 1930s, when one of the missionaries began doing anthro- 
pological work."^ 

But at least one early missionary on Cape Leveque appears to have 
been influenced by the natives: when Fr. Emo died at the nearby 
Lombardina Mission in 1915, it was his wish to be "buried in the sandhills 
without a coffin . . . According to the custom of the blacks. "^^ 

Conflict developed between Aborigines and missionaries when 
Aborigines began asserting themselves and the Church ended funding. In 
1978, power was transferred to the Beagle Bay Aboriginal Council.-'^ One 
priest now serves the church. 

The church was built in a stark, Germanic style that separates it phys- 
ically and spiritually from its tropical setting (Fig. 9). The thick walls were 
made of crushed oyster shell brought up from the sea by Aboriginal pearl 
divers. Today, tourists come to Beagle Bay just to see the famed pearl shell 
altar covered with dozens of shells of the massive Pinctada Maxima, the 
giant pearl oyster which grew abundantly in local waters (Fig. 10). Pearl 
shells had great commercial value among Aborigines: the further inland 
it was traded, the more valuable it became.-'^ Aboriginal art also appears 
on the interior walls of the church (Fig. 11). 

The priest told me his flock doesn't attend mass with great regularity, 
but he gets "one hundred percent at funerals." The adjacent cemetery 
(Fig. 12) contains several dozen gravemarkers. Missionaries continue to 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 



A- 



11 



^m 



¥* 





Fig, 9. Beagle Bay Catholic Church, 
Cape Leveque, Western Australia. 



248 



Aboriginal Australian Burials 




Fig. 10. Pearl shell altar in Beagle Bay Catholic Church, Cape 
Leveque, Western Australia. 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 



249 




Fig. 11. Aboriginal art on the walls of Beagle Bay Catholic Church, 
Cape Leveque, Western Australia. 



250 



Aboriginal Australian Burials 




Fig. 12. Beagle Bay Mission cemetery, Cape Leveque, Western 

Australia. The large markers belong to the missionaries, while the 

small, plain crosses are those of the Aborigines. 




r 






VRJ, 



p ' UH^ SFRVEU ( J 7 YRJ, 



Fig. 13. Several typical missionary markers in Beagle Bay Mission 
cemetery, Cape Leveque, Western Australia. 



Karol)m K. Wrightson 251 



dominate even in death: their large, impressive markers almost obscure 
the simple Aboriginal graves, most of which are marked by plain white 
crosses. The missionaries' headstones consist of stone bases topped by 
crosses (Fig. 13). Their inscriptions contain not only the names and ages 
of the missionaries, but the number of years each served in the Kimberley. 
The markers appear to be hand painted, and were probably made of 
crushed oyster shell. 

In contrast, the Aboriginal crosses are, for the most part, marked sim- 
ply "RIP." Almost none name the deceased. A few of the Aboriginal mark- 
ers aren't crosses, but rough slabs of white stone. Conch shells are scat- 
tered over many of the burial mounds (Fig. 14). I asked my Aboriginal 
guide if the lack of names on the markers was in respect of the taboo 
against speaking the name of the deceased, but he professed not to know. 

Nepabunna Mission 

Nepabunna is located in the North Flinders Ranges of South AustraUa, 
traditional lands of the Adnyamathanha people. Unlike the missions dis- 
cussed earUer, where natives had Uttle contact with Europeans before the 
missionaries arrived. South Australia was heavily settled by English and 
German pastoraUsts in the mid 19th century. Asian camel herders also 
came, as the camel was the primary means of transportation in central 
AustraUa. 

Pastoralists usurped traditional watering holes to feed livestock, so 
the Adnyamathanha were forced to move often. Genocide and other 
atrocities were committed against them over a long period of time.^^ Their 
situation was desperate by 1927, when the United Aborigines Mission 
(UAM) established a mission at Nepabunna. 

The UAM was not associated with an organized religious denomina- 
tion. Nonetheless, it was the largest missionary group in Australia, with 
83 missionaries (at the time, Roman Catholics had 62 missionaries work- 
ing amongst the Aborigines, and the Aboriginal Inland Mission had the 
same amount). The UAM was poorly funded, and its missionaries were 
uneducated lay people. 

Nepabunna is representative of the fundamentalists' missions estab- 
lished across Australia.^-^ While the missionaries' goal was to rescue the 
Aborigines from the pastoraUsts, their methods were intensely evangeU- 
cal and repressed native culture. The missionaries lived in a house on a 
hiU, while the Aborigines Uved in huts made of flattened petrol cans. 



252 



Aboriginal Australian Burials 



Aborigines were forced to attend church and were forbidden to speak 
their language and participate in native ceremonies. The Aborigines were 
grateful for being saved from the pastoralists, but had difficulty under- 
standing why they should become Christians. One summed it up thus: 




Fig. 14. Beagle Bay Mission cemetery. Cape Leveque, Western 

Australia. Aboriginal gravesites, often decorated with conch shells, 

contrast with elaborate missionary markers. 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 



253 



When I hear the missionary telling the people at church about how they 
will go to hell if they don't follow Jesus and live like white man, 1 laugh to 
myself, for 1 know that if 1 remain a blackfellow, 1 won't go to hell, for there 
is none. When a blackfellow reaches wikurtana he is always happy, well fed 
and contended. If one changed over to be a Christian, he might go to hell. 
If he remains a blackfellow, he won't.-''* 

Before the missionaries arrived, the Adnyamathanha people were 
semi-nomadic and had no need for burial grounds. When someone died, 
they simply moved camp. When pastoraUsts forced them to stay at a 
camp called Ram Paddock Gate (or Minerawuta), the people established 
two burial grounds, one for each moiety. An archeological examination 
made in 1980 revealed that they continued to observe their traditional 
burial practice of southwest orientation of the head and placing built-up 
brush and /or stones at the head of each grave. But there was also the 
European influence of cut wooden and wire fences and rectangular stone 
borders outlining the graves.^^ 

When Nepabunna Mission was established, the Aborigines continued 
to use the burial grounds at Minerawuta until the missionaries forced 




Fig. 15. The cemetery at Nepabunna, Flinders Ranges, South 
Australia. Markers of Samuel and Annie Coulthard in foreground. 



254 Aboriginal Australian Burials 



Christian burials, which they conducted. Other than waiUng, traditional 
practices were forbidden. ■^^ The people made two cemeteries at 
Nepabunna, one for each moiety, but by the mid 1950s, the missionaries 
forced them to use a third cemetery, where all were buried regardless of 
moiety.-^^ 

Physical conditions at Nepabunna deteriorated markedly in the 1960s. 
In 1973, the government took over the mission, which completely ceased 
to exist. Now Nepabunna is an Aboriginal community with self-govern- 
ment. 

When I visited Nepabunna, I had no guide. I had been told there were 
now two cemeteries, one for each moiety, but I only found one, on a bar- 
ren hill just outside the village (Fig. 15). Plots were enclosed in plain wire 
fencing - a European influence - but Aboriginal custom is present in the 
southwest orientation of the head. The cemetery is still in use and at least 
one grave had been blanketed with fresh flowers. Most of the other graves 
were marked with bunches of flowers that had been dried and bleached 
by the sun. 

The cemetery contained a number of modern granite markers that 
appear to have come from an ordinary commercial source. These mark the 
graves of prominent citizens like Samuel and Annie Coulthard (see Fig. 
15). Samuel was instrumental in the fight for autonomy and justice in the 
community, -^^ and Annie was the one of the last of the people who could 
tell native stories in her own language.-^^ Samuel's marker states: "Samuel 
Coulthard, A Great Hero and Leader Passed Away 15th October 1972, age 
78, In God's Care". 

But the markers that made a powerful impression on me had been 
crafted by the relatives of the deceased, using whatever materials were at 
hand. These included a simple cross made out of two pieces of wood still 
covered with bark, with the name of the deceased carved on the cross. 
This marker (Fig. 16) belongs to a member of the Coulthard family. I pur- 
chased a boomerang carved and decorated by a member of the Coulthard 
family in a style similar to the carving on this marker. The letters "RIP" 
appear at the top of the cross, with the deceased's birth and death dates 
on the bottom. The grave is enclosed by sturdy wire fencing, and a live 
bush has been planted at the head. 

Another homemade marker (Fig. 17) is enclosed in concrete and also 
has a live bush growing near the head. It reads "In Loving Memories of 
Helen Coulthard, Who Died 7th Apr. 1970-age 66. Sadly Missed by 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 



255 




Fig. 16. Wooden cross for a member of the Coulthard family, 
Nepabunna, Flinders Ranges, South Australia. 



256 



Aboriginal Australian Burials 



■%\.- ■-i-^^myr^'^W^ ^ES3 £^ 




Fig. 17. Homemade marker and decorated gravesite of 

Helen Coulthard, Nepabunna, Flinders Ranges, South Australia. 

In background are other gravesites contained in 

cement curbing and/or wire fencing. 



Karol)^! K. Wrightson 



257 




Fig. 18. Homemade cement marker for JoAnn, 
Nepabunna, Flinders Ranges, South Australia. 



258 Aboriginal Australian Burials 



Husband Walter and Family. RIP." Walter Coulthard was another hero of 
the local Aboriginal people. Two inverted glass bowls cover flowers, and 
several overturned glass jars (which probably once held fresh flowers) are 
also present. 

Some gravemarkers in this cemetery feature not the name of the 
deceased, but the names of those who erected the marker and who mourn 
the loss of their loved one. The homemade cement marker shown in 
Figure 18 says simply "In Loving Memory of Dear Daughter Jo Ann, 
Passed on 1976, Alway Remember by Dad Mom, [3 mos?/Bros. Sis?] Safe 
in the [arms?] of J[esus?]" Another marker (Fig. 19), a simple piece of 
smooth, flat rock, doesn't name the deceased, but states "Sincere 
Sympathy From AL(F) DAISY D1AT."40 

But the most poignant marker 1 saw at Nepabunna had been fash- 
ioned out of the dented lid of a trash receptacle (Fig. 20). The dent appears 
to have been filled with plaster of paris or stucco, and the inscription writ- 
ten with a stick or a finger while the mixture was still wet. It reads: 
"Petes[r?] Jackson / In Loving Memory of Dear Husband & Father & 
Grandpop / Moma [Mona?] & Janice & Gregory & Lisa [&?] Jacky & 
Maxine & Tracey & Peter / Grandchildren." 

A powerful, almost haunting sense of love and care pervaded this 
lonely, barren, wind-swept cemetery. I was immediately reminded of 
what an Adnyamathanha educator, Terry Coulthard, said when asked 
what the future held for his people: "We'll have the best of both worlds. 
White people don't understand blackfellas world, but we've had to 
understand yours to survive." The cemetery, still in use long after the mis- 
sion failed, is a testament to his statement. 

Conclusion 

Across Australia, Christian missionaries tried to end Aboriginal burial 
traditions. Their success varied widely and sometimes resulted in an 
unbalanced merger of both practices. 

Significant unanswered questions remain: first, although the mission- 
aries often altered or destroyed Aboriginal burial customs, how did they 
influence customs regarding disposition of the spirit — a far more impor- 
tant matter to Aborigines? Secondly, to what extent were Aborigines able 
to continue traditional burial customs in secret, in spite of the missionar- 
ies? Finally, as Aborigines attempt to re-estabUsh self government and 
ancient customs, how will the long years of Christian mission dominance 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 



259 








-"»»? 


^ 


V.v 






.^Nv^ 




'-«. 


^S 


^ 


i. 


'^••1 


I * "".. 


4, 






\ 


?'^5 




A 


7^^*{d^ 


«<^^^ 




, i'yi 


•■'v^. 


V. 





.^^ 














Fig. 19. Homemade marker atop mounded gravesite, 
Nepabunna, Flinders Ranges, South Australia. 



260 



Aboriginal Australian Burials 




Fig. 20. Homemade marker of Petes[r?] Jackson, 
Nepabunna, Flinders Ranges, South Australia. 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 261 



and lack of freedom to practice native custom influence new interpreta- 
tions of old customs? 

Of the three missions I visited, the Tiwi continue to observe tradition- 
al burials while also allowing Christian burials. Beagle Bay shows little 
evidence of traditional practice. At Nepabunna, the cemetery reflects the 
lingering influence of missionaries who saved them from physical 
destruction but destroyed their culture. Markers here had a far more per- 
sonal touch than in the other cemeteries. 

As mission culture fades. Aborigines struggle to re-estabUsh ancient 
traditions. Still, as Erich Kolig notes, "To all peoples everywhere, tradition 
is what they think the past was, and this by definition is different from the 
past itself."*^ 

NOTES 

All photographs in this essay are by the author. 

1. Bill Neidjie, Story About Feeling (Broome, Western Australia, 1993), 75. 

2. In Vie Encyclopedia of Religion ed. Mircea Eliade (New York, NY, 1987), Volume 1, 534. 

3. The Mardudjara Aborigines: Living the Dream in Australia's Desert (New York, NY, 1978), 
83. 

4. For a detailed description of each method, see Ronald M. Berndt and Catherine H. 
Berndt, Vie World of the First Australians (Sydney, Austraha, 1977), 459-473. 

5. This poUcy stood until the High Court's Mabo decision in 1992, which ruled that 
Australia had indeed been inhabited and the land taken. The Mabo decision and the 
subsequent Wik decision in December 1996 are the subject of heated political debate in 
Austraha today. The ability of an Aboriginal group to prove a cultural or religious con- 
nection to a particular tract of land is a critical element of the debate, as land claims are 
based on proof of a continuous association. 

6. Richard Nile and Christian Clerk, Cultural Atlas of Australia, New Zealand, and the South 
Pacific (Oxfordshire, England, 1996), 32. 

7. The question of Aboriginality is a matter of debate in Austraha today, as it is thought 
that few pure-blood Aborigines remain. Beginning in the late 19th century and contin- 
uing until the 1970s, state governments pursued social policies designed to eliminate 
the Aboriginal population, which they felt would disappear if mingled with superior 
European genes. The poUcies included encouraging white male settlers to produce chil- 
dren with Aboriginal women. The offspring of those unions were then removed to gov- 
ernment institutions and mission stations. Lawsuits regarding these "stolen children" 
are in Australian courts today. For one woman's personal account of how she discov- 



262 Aboriginal Australian Burials 



ered her Aboriginal roots, see Sally Morgan's My Place (Fremantle, Western Australia, 
1994). In May 1997, the Australian Federal government's Human Rights and Equal 
Opportunity Commission reported that between one third and one tenth of all 
Aboriginal children were removed from home in the years 1910 to 1970, and said the 
practice met the United Nations definition of genocide. The report can be read on the 
World Wide Web at http://www.austlii.edu.au/rsjlibrary/hreoc/stolen/ 

8. Tony Swain, Aboriginal Religions in Australia: A Bibliographic Survey (Westport, CT, 1991), 
7. 

9. For discussion of relationships between missionaries and Aborigines, see Richard 
Broome, Aboriginal Australians: Black Response to White Dominance, 1788-1980 (North 
Sydney, Australia, 1982), 101-119; Erich Kohg, The Silent Revolution: The Effects of 
Modernization on Australian Aboriginal Religion (Philadelphia, PA, 1981); and Tonkinson, 
The Mardudjara Aborigines. 

10. In the 1986 census, 16% of Aborigines did not answer the question about rehgion; 12% 
stated "no rehgion"; and of the remainder, 93% stated they were Christian — mostly 
Roman Catholic and AngUcan. Statistics reported in A Spirituality of Catholic Aborigines 
and the Struggle for Justice (Brisbane, AustraUa, 1993), 81. 

11. Tony Swain and Deborah Bird Rose, eds.. Aboriginal Australians and Christian Missions: 
Ethynographic and Historical Studies (Bedford Park, South Austraha, 1988), 1. 

12. David Horton, ed., Encyclopaedea of Aboriginal Australia (Canberra, Austraha, 1994), 166. 

13. Kolig, The Silent Revolution, 5-7. 

14. Ernestine Hill, The Great Australian Eoneliness (North Rye, New South Wales, Australia, 
1991). 

15. Swain, Aboriginal Religions in Australia, 5-6; 40-41. 

16. See Swain and Rose, Aboriginal Australians and Christian Missions. 

17. Berndt and Berndt, The World of the First Australians, 463. 

18. For details on the artistry of the poles, see Jennifer Hoff, Tiivi Graveposts (Melbourne, 
Australia, 1988). An excellent display of the poles can be seen at the National Gallery 
of Victoria in Melbourne. 

19. Encyclopaedea of Aboriginal Australia, 1982. 

20. Hoff, Tiioi Graveposts, 8. 

21. Eric Venbrux, A Death in the Tiwi Islands: Conflict, Ritual and Social Life in an Australian 
Aboriginal Community (Cambridge, England, 1995), 61-62. 

22. Ibid., 87-96. 



Karolyn K. Wrightson 263 

23. Ibid., 96. Venbrux has a chapter in this book devoted to Tiwi funeral rituals. 

24. Ibid., 43. 

25. See Daisy Bates, The Passing of the Aborigines (London, England, 1938), 1-21. 

26. See M. J. Alroe, "A Pygmalion Complex Among Missionaries: The Catholic Case in the 
Kimberley," in Swain and Rose, Aboriginal Australians and Christian Missions, 31. 

27. Ibid., 35-36. 

28. Broome, Aborigiiml Australians, 109. 

29. Akoe, "A Pygmalion Complex Among Missionaries," 31. 

30. Encyclopaedea of Aboriginal Australia, 113. 

31. Kolig, Tlie Silent Revolution, 126. 

32. Peggy Brock, Yura and Udnyu: A History of the Adnyamathanha of the North Flinders Ranges 
(Netley, South AustraHa, 1985), 19-48. 

33. For descriptions of other fundamentalist missions, see both Tonkinson, The Mardudjara 
Aborigines, and KoUg, The Silent Revolution. Tonkinson describes how the Jigalong 
Mission failed, while KoUg says that at Fitzroy Crossing the missionaries had converts 
who at one point burned a large quantity of their Aboriginal sacred objects. 

34. Quoted in Christobel Mattingly, ed.. Survival In Our Own Laud: 'Aboriginal' Experience in 
'South Australia' Si7ice 1836 (Sydney, Australia, 1988), 230. 

35. Betty Ross, Minerawuta, Ram Paddock Gate: An historic Adnyamathanha settlement in the 
Flinders Ranges, South Australia (Adelaide, South Australia, 1989), 21. 

36. Personal correspondence with David Amery, former teacher at Nepabunna, April 10, 
1997. 

37. Peggy Brock, "The Missionary Factor in Ahnyamathanha History," in Swain and Rose, 
Aboriginal Australians and Christian Missions, 288. 

38. Encyclopaedea of Aboriginal Australia, 1119. 

39. Dorothy Tunbridge, Flinders Ranges Dreaming (Canberra, Australia, 1988), xvii. 

40. Alternatively, it is perhaps possible that Daisy Diat is the name of the deceased and that 
the rest of the inscription is intended to read "Sincere Sympathy. From AL(F) [editor's 
note]. 

41. Kolig, The Silent Revolution, 5. 



264 



New Deal's Landscape Legacy 




Fig. 1. Lagoon, Marysville Cemetery. 



265 



THE NEW DEAL'S LANDSCAPE LEGACY IN KANSAS CEMETERIES 

Cathy Ambler 

Introduction 

During the desperate days of the Great Depression, the federal gov- 
ernment employed the jobless in Kansas communities through work pro- 
jects. Communities chose among public projects to repair, build, or 
enhance, and frequently these included cemetery improvements and 
landscaping. Landscape projects undertaken by the Kansas Emergency 
Relief Committee (KERC), the Civil Works Administration (CWA), and 
the Works Progress Administration (WPA) offer a rich repository for 
exploring visual reflections of community identity and cultural values. 
Work projects spawned at the local level have produced visual images 
that impart some knowledge and experience of what a community feels is 
important to convey about itself. 

This study is based on the records from three New Deal agencies and 
a field survey of twelve of their most ambitious projects in Kansas' s pub- 
lic cemeteries.^ Not only is much of this project work still extant in ceme- 
teries across the state, but the results also indicate that Kansans shared 
some visual understanding of an appropriate "look" for cemeteries dur- 
ing the 1930s and early 1940s. Although much of this look appears rooted 
in nineteenth-century rural cemetery landscape traditions, it accommo- 
dated well twentieth-century architectural trends and helped deny the 
Depression's troubled times. 

Early Cemetery Works 

It is significant that Kansans considered cemeteries worthy of relief 
work from the start. Even before the appearance of the New Deal's alpha- 
bet agencies, the Kansas Federal Relief Committee (KFRC) set fledgling 
poUcies for the use of relief funds that prioritized public work above 
direct handouts to those needing assistance.^ Appointed county relief 
committees worked in conjunction with the governing bodies of cities, 
townships, and other relief agencies to select suitable work projects; 
among them were the improvement of public cemeteries.-^ These govern- 
mental units prioritized projects with criteria that included providing the 
greatest benefit to the community and work for largest number of rehef 
cases.* As a result, forty-four cemetery improvement projects were under- 



266 New Deal's Landscape Legacy 



way by March, 1933.^ The KFRC was renamed the Kansas Emergency 
ReUef Committee (KERC) when Congress funded the Federal Emergency 
Relief Administration (FERA) in May, 1933; FERA then funneled federal 
relief funds to KERC for local administration. 

The amount invested in these early works was small, ranging from $40 
to $2,000, so the scope of work was also small. Unfortunately, contempo- 
rary records divulge few details, describing projects as "cemetery repair, 
grading and tree trimming," or, "gravel cemetery road." Table 1 shows a 
sample of these works: 

County/Project # Location and Description Amount 

8-19 Highland Cemetery Road, Winfield $1,500 

19-5 Improve Olathe Cemetery, Olathe 750 

23-1 Graveling Cemetery Streets, Marion 1,621 

71-8 City Cemetery Improvement, Garden City 925 

Table 1. Sample 1933 KERC data on cemetery improvements.^ 

In fact, the meager results of these early endeavors fostered critics' 
objections because communities received so few tangible benefits. These 
jobs also required few skills, which was a problem for the unemployed 
who frequently had extensive training in a variety of professions. These 
objections helped prompt the eventual creation of the Civil Works 
Administration late in 1933, and this agency's projects were more sophis- 
ticated and larger in scale. From November, 1933 until April, 1934, the 
CWA started many new cemetery improvement and building projects and 
a KERC Bulletin commented, "much work was done improving drive and 
paths, entrances, gates and fences and in building shelters and mainte- 
nance houses for publicly-owned cemeteries in small communities. 
Native stone was used effectively in much of this work."'' 

The short-lived CWA merely set the stage for the massive Works 
Progress Administration, but WPA records are unfortunately just as 
sparse as those from previous agencies. In Greensburg, for example, 
workers were to "build stone and concrete entrance, landscaping and 
adjoining fences." Table 2 shows a sample of WPA data: 



Cathy Ambler 










Town County 


Township 


Section 

Township 

Range 


Job. # 


Date Amt. 


Cherry- Mont- 
vale gomery 


Fairview 
Cemetery 






5/36 


Girard Crawford 








1938 


Cherokee 


Garden 
Township 






1936 


Ellis Ellis 






465-82- 
2-142 


■ 12/28 6,498 

/37 



267 



Description 

Chapel, resthouse of stone, 
washroom, connected to 
city water and cesspool 

Build shelter, house with 
wiring and plumbing and 
heating, fill and grade, 
cemetery in Girard 

Cemetery Improvement 
Cemetery Gate and Wall 



Table 2. Sample WPA data on cemetery improvements.^ 

When the WPA began operations in May, 1935, federal administrators 
met with potential Kansas project sponsors (officials of cities, towns, and 
counties) to review how the program would be administered.^ The WPA's 
project selection criteria was similar to the CWA's because both programs 
were organized by the same individual - Harry L. Hopkins. Hopkins, a 
brilliant man with an "electric and restless" personality, had a 
background in social work. Prior to his appointment by President 
Franklin D. Roosevelt to run FERA in 1933, he had managed relief work 
in the State of New York. Roosevelt found in Hopkins a hard-driving and 
loyal proponent of his New Deal rehef programs. ^° The WPA's criteria 
were: 

1. suitability of project to the number of needy and their abilities 

2. the benefit that would accrue to the community from the project 

3. the cost in federal funds and availabiHty of sponsor money 

4. the engineering and general feasibility of the proposed work^^ 

Tax-paying units would submit their projects first for local approval. 
Any department within a local or state government, such as a county 
highway department, could nominate proposals. Government units then 
submitted to a district office a project with plans, a list of necessary mate- 
rials, and the skill level required for laborers. Once approved there, pro- 
jects moved to the state and finally to President Roosevelt for final autho- 
rization. Since they were local in origination and priority, the WPA 
allowed almost any project within the selection guidelines and the limita- 
tions imposed by available money. The WPA often favored simple projects 



268 



New Deal's Landscape Legacy 



because these used workers with a wide range of skill to complete. One 
factor did affect project approval - sponsor contribution. Cost sharing 
with the tax-paying unit was encouraged and rewarded with better-fund- 
ed and more substantial projects.^" Besides choosing plans and promoting 
them, sponsors were also responsible for providing the supervision and 
any necessary materials to complete a job.^^ 

Regardless of the agency the continued emphasis on cemetery 
improvement within the cycle of relief agencies was remarkable.^* A 
KERC bulletin summarized the state's efforts from October, 1932 to 
September, 1935, and counted one hundred eighty-four public cemetery 
improvement projects. The WPA then helped communities initiate sixty- 
six more projects between 1935 and 1943. ^^ Considering the number of 
agencies handling relief, the continuation of these projects is worth not- 
ing. KERC's executive director, John G. Stutz, maintained that Kansas 
managed the federal organizational changes well because the state had 



Expenditures for Federal Grants for Non-Federal Public Construction 

Classified According to Function oonars 

Fiscal Years 1 921 -1 940 '" m»"°"« 




1940 

Public Land Development 
Defense 
Other Government Plant 



Chart 1. Expenditures for federal grants for non-federal public 
construction classified according to function, fiscal years 1921-1940.^^ 



Cathy Ambler 



269 



assumed from the start that real work was preferable to direct handouts. 
In other words, the state created a viable structure for work project man- 
agement early which functioned well despite the changes in federal agen- 
cies.^^ 

Chart 1 shows how federal money was spent nationally in non-feder- 
al, pubUc construction: roads and streets garnered the most resources, 
then recreational and educational faciUties. There was no classification 
just for cemetery work, so it was buried in other categories, such as pub- 
He buildings or new sewer and water supply systems. Without a separate 
category for cemetery improvements, it is now more difficult to discover 
exactly how much New Deal agencies spent on such projects. 
Nevertheless, Kansas followed national trends in spending most of its 
funds on roads.^^ 

Much New Deal cemetery work, like roadwork, was practical, so it is 
often through disconnected sources that workers have related their more 
mundane tasks. One man reminisced, "a crew of WPA men worked 
together to fill chuck holes or blown out spots on public roads, [and] in 
cemeteries to fill depressions in graves or to repair fences. "^^ Another 
recalled that "blowing dust covered headstones and graves in the ceme- 




Fig. 2. Entrance gate, Marysville Cemetery. 



270 



New Deal's Landscape Legacy 



tery [in Rawlins County]; the WPA moved it out with a bulldozer, and 
keeping the cemeteries clear became a permanent WPA project during the 
Dust Bowl."2o 

This background discussion concerning the type, choice and funding 
of New Deal program proposals establishes two important points: pro- 
jects were spun out at the local level based on local needs and values, and, 
projects were frequently in competition among themselves, so those with 
the most community support were the ones funded and completed. 



The Marysville Cemetery and Local Choice 

The building of a chapel in the town cemetery at Marysville, Kansas 
gives an clear example of the conflict surrounding one project which 
eventually only the town's voters resolved. The idea of building a chapel 
was an old one and not prompted by the sudden availability of New Deal 
money. Historically, towns always had wish lists for community projects. 
Since at least 1917, the Marysville Women's Relief Corps had planned to 
raise money for both a cemetery chapel and receiving vault. When World 
War I intervened, the idea was put on hold until twenty years later, when 
the mayor, G. A. Ware, added a cemetery chapel to his wish list of city pro- 




1 ig. 3. Chapel, Marysville Cemetery. 



Cathy Ambler 



271 



jects; among others were park improvements, a swimming pool, and a 
new city hall. In 1937, John Brink, a Topeka architect, submitted plans for 
both the chapel and extensive improvements to the grounds. The city 
council approved the plans and offered to pay part of the costs as the pro- 
ject sponsor.^^ Brink proposed a new semi-circular, native stone entrance, 
three lagoons, 1,000 shrubs, curving roadways, a parking area, and a 30' 
by 50', 250-seat chapel (see Figs. 1-7)?^ 

The proposal was also approved at the federal level, but when work 
began, some Marysville residents began arguing that they needed a new 
city hall more. They reasoned that to build a chapel in a community which 
already had seven churches did not make sense. The choice, however, 
eventually came down to a vote at the polls and a new city hall lost to the 
cemetery project by a two to one margin. Generated by local interest and 
support, the cemetery chapel and improvements survived in a competi- 
tion among other projects. 

With voter approval in hand, stone masons began the chapel's foun- 
dation. Progress stopped, though, when the workers were reassigned to 
more urgent projects. The building was finally finished in 1939 (see Fig. 
5), but it took three grants from the CWA and WPA to finish the long- 




Fig. 4. Chapel apse, Marysville Cemetery. 



272 



New Deal's Landscape Legacy 




Fig. 5. WPA marker, Marysville Cemetery. 




Fig. 6. Stained glass chapel windows, Marysville Cemetery, 
sadly in need of repair. 



Cathy Ambler 



273 



planned enhancements. Mayor Ware died in 1940, but his funeral was 
held at a local church, not in the chapel he had promoted so strongly. 
Finally, a ministerial alliance dedicated the chapel in 1942.^^ 

This lovely limestone structure is graced by stained glass windows, 
though now in poor repair (see Fig. 6), and a flagstone floor. The spire and 
cupola that once helped to symbolically and visually define the structure 
are now missing. An interesting sidelight to this story is that the building 
has never actually been used, and locals cannot explain why. Perhaps the 
fight between projects divided the town, or, perhaps denominational 
competition, which frequently occurs in small-town Kansas, has prevent- 
ed its use. It is also worth considering that the community unconsciously 
valued the chapel's visual significance more than the services it was 
designed to provide. Regardless, this once-elegant structure now sits 
rather forlornly in a still lovely setting (see Fig. 7). 

Other Kansas Cemetery Projects 

New Deal work projects enhanced Kansas cemeteries in two-thirds of 
the state's counties. While field work and photographs document the var- 
ious agencies' impressive results, these monumental architectural and 




Fig. 7. Chapel setting, Marysville Cemetery. 



274 



New Deal's Landscape Legacy 



landscape finterprints also create a strong and obvious visual statement 
within a community's public landscape. The sacred nature of cemetery 
landscapes apparently has protected these historical and visual finger- 
prints from replacement or abuse. Like a best set of clothes that hang in a 
closet until there is an appropriate time to wear them, cemeteries have 
escaped some of the daily use and abuse that other pubHc landscapes sus- 
tain. 

Across the state, workers created massive and grand entrances to 
cemeteries and built imposing rock walls and fences (see Figs. 8-10). 

They landscaped curving roads and terraces, dug drainage ditches, 
planted trees, and put in water and sewer lines (see Figs. 11 and 12). 

Besides chapels and shelters, architectural projects also included prac- 
tical structures such as storage buildings and restrooms. 

Landscape Trends 

Many New Deal improvements fit well within the landscape signature 
of the rural cemetery tradition, which revealed man's manipulation of 
nature with an aesthetic rooted in a nineteenth-century landscape ethos 
which emphasized careful planning, picturesque vistas, and rolling road- 




Fig. 8. North gates, Greensburg Cemetery. 



Cathy Ambler 



275 




Fig. 9. Gate post, Cimmaron Cemetery. 



276 



New Deal's Landscape Legacy 



■:-^iift'^'W-inm0 mdlM^ 









JS 




Fig. 10. Stone wall. Mount Hope Cemetery, Independence. 




Fig. 11. Limestone drainage culvert, Cimmaron Cemetery. 



Cathy Ambler 



277 



ways."^ Cemetery improvement projects also appear to have fit cozily and 
admirably well within the various agencies' tendency to build in what 
some have generically called "Government Rustic/' that is to say building 
forms based on a jumble of attitudes including respect for rustic nature, 
which the Arts and Crafts Movement promoted. The Arts and Crafts 
Movement, which began in England in the 1880s, argued that the good 
Ufe came from individual efforts - not the industrial order. The movement 
was linked to the ideas of John Ruskin, William Morris, and Gustav 
Stickley, and Stickley was one of the movement's more well-known pro- 
ponents in the United States. The movement glorified manual labor and 
highly individuaHzed work which rejected conventions of design and 
ornament.^^ As editor of The Craftsman (a monthly magazine promoting 
the movement's architectural designs, furniture, and household goods), 
Stickley preached the unity of land and building and the value of creating 
structures that were rustic, functional, and organic. Buildings were to be 
liberating and sincere - yet one with the land. 

Although there are differences among Government Rustic, the Arts 
and Crafts, and rural cemetery aesthetics, nature was treated romantical- 
ly by each as a true well-spring of human inspiration. Esteem for nature 




Jrig. 12. Irees and iaiidscaping, Atwood Cemetery. 



278 



New Deal's Landscape Legacy 



in the 1930s and 1940s aligned them rather closely with ideas about 
romantic nature in the nineteenth century. Romantic nature was a refer- 
ence point for landscape decisions in both periods; in turn, these were tied 
to reform sentiments stemming from eighteenth-century notions of virtue 
or goodness, and the power of natural man as both a force within and a 
counter against the modern urban and industrial order.^^ Rural cemeter- 
ies were carefully designed landscapes where nature was controlled. 




Fig. 13. Mission-style chapel, Goodland Cemetery. 



Cathy Ambler 



279 



while at the same time monumental architectural elements celebrated the 
heritage and success of middle and upper-class Americans. The Arts and 
Crafts Movement also controlled nature, but with handmade, rustic or 
vernacular elements displaying an artistic consciousness rather than high 
style architectural motifs.^^ 

Cemetery landscapes' nineteenth-century taste for Egyptian, neoclas- 
sical and gothic architectural models - the so-called "Revival Styles" ■^^ - 
eventually made way for the architectural trends that were popular in the 
1920s. The mission-style chapel in the Goodland Cemetery, for example, 
reflects the nation's infatuation with Hispanic, or earthy adobe buildings 
(see Fig. 13). 

Another CWA project, the sexton's office at Independence's Mt. Hope 
Cemetery, is a quaint, rustic cottage (see Fig. 14). 

The stone resthouse and washroom at Cherryvale's Fairview 
Cemetery was a 1936 WPA project which also connected the cemetery to 
city water. The structure has a prairie-style flavor - organic, almost one 
with the ground, hovering just above it in a newly-formed arrangement 
of nature (see Figs. 15 and 16). 




Fig. 14. Sexton's cottage. Mount Hope Cemetery, Independence. 



280 



New Deal's Landscape Legacy 



Whatever their motivations or models, Kansans appear to have had a 
well-formed sense of what cemeteries were supposed to look like, and 
this look determined their cemeteries' development and improvement. 
New Deal projects took place mostly in small communities with plenty of 
space for parks and recreation, and in rural, rather than urban settings. 
Even though verdant nature was temporarily absent in parts of the state 
because of the Dust Bowl's grip, Kansans had little need to contrast ugly 
industrial urban cities with enclaves of natural beauty. There was no 
shortage of land, nor were there health dangers from over-crowded 
churchyards, so factors that motivated the development of nineteenth- 
century rural cemeteries were never really germane in Kansas. Instead, 
communities embraced the rural cemetery visual aesthetic and continued 
to implement it further with twentieth-century New Deal funding. 

The Arts and Crafts Movement's respect for romantic nature appar- 
ently blended easily with rural cemetery landscape ideals. Long-held 
esteem for the older cemetery aesthetic just provided an unbroken thread 
that connected the nineteenth-century's reverence for nature to the twen- 
tieth's. In a time of financial despair and a period of terrible change for 
many individuals and families, this continuity provided a measure of sta- 




Fig. 15. Resthouse, Fairview Cemetery, Cherryvale. 



Cathy Ambler 



281 



bility, at least in the landscape of death. The project selection method New 
Deal relief agencies used also assured that local cultural values and visu- 
al sensibilities would dominate cemetery landscapes and aesthetics. With 
these factors in mind, it appears that most projects just continued to cinch 
up and buckle down the permanent and monumental value of nature, 
particularly through the use of stone - in entrance gates, fencing, memo- 
rials, and structures. 

The presence of stone is significant even in many western counties 
where natural outcroppings can be rare on the Great Plains. Those who 
argue that New Deal projects simply included such materials because 
they were readily available and cheap, or that this type of building mate- 
rial was appropriate because of the surplus of hand labor, must rethink 
such assumptions. Usable limestone for the Marysville Cemetery chapel 
in eastern Kansas was not just out the back door; it was hauled from a 
quarry twelve miles away. In western Kansas, stone, for other than rubble 
construction, had to be hauled from much longer distances. There were no 
quarries in Wichita County, for example, where the CWA constructed the 
cemetery stone entrance gates (Fig. 17) and a large memorial for the town 
of Leoti.^^ 




Fig. 16. Detail of resthouse, Fairview Cemetery, Cherrjrvale. 



282 



New Deal's Landscape Legacy 



Conclusions 

Cemetery landscapes are a form of human expression on a grand scale 
and in a collective sense. Public improvements such as those undertaken 
by the New Deal offer a rich repository for exploring visual reflections of 
community identity and cultural values during the Great Depression. 
Visual images captured in such landscapes impart the knowledge and 
experience of what a community feels is important to convey about itself. 
Critics who fault cultural research using broad patterns as study tools 
argue that patterns cannot represent the tastes and values of everyone, 
and obviously they cannot, but the visual impact of what a community 
collectively chooses to say about itself is important to discern because the 
images that survive are so publicly owned in a visual sense. In effect, they 
become formative forces for cultural education, proclaiming to future 
generations what a community has chosen to tell about itself. Such images 
act as a dynamic force that imprints and creates cultural identity; they 
affect and create perceptions of death and how it should be treated. ^° 

One cannot understand the cultural significance of visual and public 
space without attempting to understand the power structures and cultur- 




Fig. 17. Entrance gates, Leoti Cemetery. 



Cathy Ambler 283 



al values that support the persistence or repetition of patterns. Studying 
New Deal work in Kansas cemeteries provides one way to see a commu- 
nity process that affected our visual public space, and how the power 
structures formed and were manipulated. 

Most of all. New Deal projects across Kansas show that the state's 
communities shared cemetery landscape patterns - patterns rooted in the 
nineteenth century esteem for the power of romantic nature, yet well suit- 
ed to similar views in the 1930s and 1940s. During the Great Depression, 
when communities could have done otherwise, they used precious time, 
money, and labor to construct significant messages about their attitudes 
toward death and how it should be visually displayed in a public land- 
scape. 

NOTES 

Photographs for this essay were taken by the author. An earUer, briefer version of this essay 
was presented as a conference paper at the Annual Meeting of the American Culture 
Association in San Antonio, Texas, March 26-29, 1997. I want to thank Richard Meyer for 
encouraging me to submit this paper for possible pubUcation in Markers. 1 also wish to thank 
my daugher, Kate, who stalked many Kansas counties with me in the summer of 1994, help- 
ing me record New Deal cemetery projects. 

Records describing the Kansas Federal ReUef Committee, the Kansas Emergency Relief 
Committee, and the Civil Works Administration are from the John G. Stutz Manuscript 
Collection, Kansas Collection, University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, Kansas. Mr. Stutz 
was the Executive Director of the KERC. 

1. Most Kansas cemeteries are pubHc and managed by towns, counties, or township units. 
Some churches maintain their own sites, but private cemeteries are still rare. According 
to Robert Meyer, Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing, there are 3,076 ceme- 
teries that are exempt from state taxes and managed by either governments or church- 
es. Seventy-eight are either directed by private corporations or associations, and of the 
78, about one-half have perpetual care funding. Cemeteries managed by associations 
were estabUshed mainly in the nineteenth century and have no real owners; hence, 
associations provide care and maintenance. 

2. Fundamental Policies of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee and Summaries of 
Obligations for Relief 1924-36 (Topeka, KS), 1-2. 

3. Kansas Federal Relief Committee, Bulletin #1A, August 24, 1932 (Topeka, KS), 14. The 
KFRC listed possible projects, which included resurfacing streets, cleaning drainage 
ditches, laying sewer lines, building water works, improving parks, constructing pub- 
lic buildings, and repairing and building of township and county roads. 



284 New Deal's Landscape Legacy 



4. By-Laws of the Kansas Federal Relief Committee, July 19 and October 4, 1932, 2. Also see 
Public Welfare Service in Kansas: A Ten Year Report, 1924-33, KERC Bulletin #127, December 
1, 1934 (Topeka, KS), 11. 

5. KERC Project Records, March 1, 1933. 

6. Ibid. 

7. Review of the Civil Works Program in Kansas, Vol. 1, November 17, 1933 to March 31, 1934 
(Topeka, KS), 43. Also see Kansas Relief Bulletin #16, January 14, 1935, 8, 4. 

8. Microfilm Records of the Works Progress Administration, Kansas Projects, (National 
Archive Records). Kansas State Historical Society Historic Preservation Office, Topeka, 
KS. 

9. Minutes of Meetings: WPA Administrators, Project Sponsors, and County Officers, July 
30 and August 2, 1935. 

10. Once appointed in 1933, Hopkins immediately set up the CWA, which employed 
4,000,000 men in less than a month, and in less than four months he had spent $933 mil- 
lion. 

11. Report on the Progress of the Works Program, March 1937, WPA, Harry L. Hopkins, 
Administrator, 25. 

12. First Deficiency Appropriation Bill for 1937. Extract from the Hearing before the 
Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. House of Representatives in 
Charge of Deficiency Appropriation. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 
DC, 1937, 144-45. 

13. Public Welfare Service in Kansas: A Ten Year Report, 1924-1933, 11. This report also notes 
that all materials, tools, and expenses of supervision were provided by the sponsors, 
either through special bond issues, tax-raised funds, or, in some instances, through con- 
tributions of private agencies (p. 26). 

14. The CWA lasted less than five months - fiom November 17, 1933 to March 31, 1934. 
President Roosevelt, concerned about the amount Hopkins had spent, ended the CWA, 
but still, under FERA, extensive public works continued, managed by the KERC. 

15. Public Welfare Service in Kansas 1935, KERC Bulletin #355, July 1,1935 (Topeka, KS), 37- 
38. Microfilm Records of the Works Progress Administration - Kansas Projects, 
(National Archive Records). 

16. Public Welfare Service in Kansas, KERC Bulletin #289, November, 1935, 17. 

17. Phoebe Cutler, The Public Landscape of the Neiv Deal (New Haven, CT, 1985), 11. This 
image has been computer-enhanced. 



Cathy Ambler 285 



18. Kansas Relief Bulletin #16, January 14, 1935, 8. The largest expenditures of WPA money 
and manpower in Indiana also went to roads, highways, streets, and sidewalks. See 
Glory- June Greiff, "Road, Rock and Recreation: The Legacy of the WPA in Indiana," 
Traces of Indiana and Midiuestern History 3:3 (1991): 40-47. 

19. "LesUe LinvUle: A Legacy to the Future, 1904-1996," Prairie Winds 23:4 (1996): 6. Prairie 
Winds is the Thomas County Historical Society's newsletter. This society is affiliated 
with the Prairie Museum of Art and History in Colby, Kansas. 

20. James R. Dickenson, Home on the Range: A Century on the High Plains (Lawrence, KS, 
1995), 142. 

21. Byron E. and EuIaUa T. Guise, An Affair with the Past: From the Otes to the Astronauts 
(Marysville, KS, 197-?), 72-73. BibUographic Note: "Compiled from a collection of arti- 
cles written ... from 1926-1975." - p. 7. 

22. Ibid., 73. Before the WPA funded the chapel construction and landscaping, the CWA 
program had already provided $11,200 to improve the cemetery. 

23. Ibid. 

24. David Charles Sloane, The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History 
(Baltimore, MD, 1991), 66. 

25. Cutler, The Public Landscape of the New Deal, 77. 

26. Ibid., 220. 

27. WiUiam H. Jordy, American Buildings and Their Architects, Vol. 4, Progressive and Academic 
Ideals at the Turn of the Century (New York, NY, 1972), 219. 

28. See Peggy McDowell and Richard E. Meyer, TJie Revival Styles in American Memorial Art 
(BowUng Green, OH, 1994). 

29. Kansas Geological Survey, Lawrence, Kansas. 

30. Kansas New Deal cemetery projects ignored the aesthetic of memorial parks which was 
becoming popular in the 1920s and 1930s. In private memorial parks, the urban park- 
like scenery became more important for the eyes to behold than large monuments, 
which were moved to ground level. David Sloane notes that in these new cemetery set- 
tings, nature was a backdrop instead of the important philosophical aesthetic instru- 
mental in the development of rural and lawn-type cemeteries. Sloane, The Last Great 
Necessity, 182. 



286 



Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 







Fig. 1. Armchair-shaped grave with worshipping platform. In 

background, concrete shelters ior jinta (bone urns). Sai Wan Road, 

High Island Reservoir, New Territories, Hong Kong. 



287 



CHINESE GRAVES AND GRAVEMARKERS 
IN HONG KONG 

Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy leather 

The Cultural Context of Chinese Burial Practice 

Chinese grave shapes and furnishings, and their symboUc meanings, 
have to be understood within the context of the Chinese world view and 
of Chinese mythical beliefs in the origin of human life. Christians believe 
that the universe was freely created by God 'out of nothing'.^ In prehis- 
toric China, this concept of God as the creator was unknown.^ The belief 
of the traditional Chinese philosophers was that the universe was indeed 
created out of nothing. This nothingness was known as wu (Uterally 
meaning 'without');/ (Uterally meaning 'limits'), i.e., the boundless, or the 
infinite. Out of this boundless nothingness, because of the movement of 
some mysterious forces, there evolved the duaUstic elements of the yin 
and the yang. Upon their existence, the yin and the yang interacted and 
interchanged. As a result of these interactions and interchanges, Uke the 
way that live cells are produced and reproduced, more and more ele- 
ments, including beings and non-beings, evolved and multiplied.'^ To the 
Chinese, interactions between the yin and the yang are thus the basis of 
births, multiplication, and growth, including the conception and repro- 
duction of human lives, as well as the generation and accumulation of 
wealth. 

The dichotomy of yin and yang covers the duaUty of all elements in the 
universe.^ The yin stands for the female; the yang stands for the male. Yin 
is the moon; yang is the sun. This dichotomy can be extended to include 
virtually all features in life and human experiences, such as cold-hot, 
night-day, soft-hard, invisible-visible; implicit-explicit, passive-active, 
hidden-manifested, covert-overt, earthly-heavenly devilish-angelic, and 
dead-alive.^ The yin and the yang co-exist in the universe. A person, when 
alive, stays in the yang world. When they die, however, they depart from 
the yang world and enter the yin world. Both the yin world and the yang 
world are eternal and they never cease to interact with each other. 

Interactions can be, however, desirable or undesirable, welcome or 
unwelcome. To augment the possibiHties of having desirable outcomes of 
such interactions, those who remain in the yang world try to maintain har- 
monious relationships with the yin. Since the yin is hidden and invisible. 



288 Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 



the yang can only interact with the yin on the basis of beUefs or guesses, 
and from people's perspectives in the living world. Since people have to 
live in houses, for instance, they believe that spirits in the yi?i world have 
to Uve in houses as well. To the Chinese, houses in the living world are 
thus known as yang houses, whereas those for the dead, i.e., graves, are 
known as yin houses. Moreover, as Uving people enjoy elegant and beau- 
tifully constructed buildings, they assume that spirits in the yin world 
have similar preferences. Because people in the yang world like money, 
yin spirits ought to like money too. To maintain harmonious interactions 
with the dead thus requires the living to respect departed spirits, and to 
take measures to enable them to live comfortably in the yin world. Such 
beliefs are further translated into the desire to construct elegant yin hous- 
es for ancestors, into the regular tending of graves, and into the showing 
of respect to spirits through the rituals of offering them food, money, and 
other objects that are believed to be pleasing for both the yin and the yang. 

There is, nonetheless, no way to know for sure that yin spirits are 
pleased. People have to infer and speculate. If things in the yang world 
appear to them to be fine as manifested by, for example, prosperity and 
growth in the family, people will attribute that to harmonious relationship 
between themselves and yin spirits. They would, therefore, try to main- 
tain the status quo and to follow the rituals that have appeared to be suc- 
cessfully working for them. This belief, too, partly explains why purging 
other people's ancestral graves was regarded as a most severe form of 
revenge in historic China, and why disturbances to people's ancestral 
graves, such as the necessity for relocation due to public works projects in 
Hong Kong, have on countless occasions received strong opposition. If, 
on the contrary, people have run into troubles, suffered losses in finance, 
or experienced the death of some family members, they might relate that 
to disharmonies in yinyang interactions and look for remedial actions, by, 
for instance, reconstructing or even relocating the ancestral graves. 

Through years of experimental trial and error, part of the Chinese 
experience in yinyang interactions has been distilled into the theories and 
practices of fengshui, the principles of locating, orienting, and designing 
yin and yang houses. When a person dies, his family members will often 
consult a fengshui master for advice as to where, how, and when the body 
should be buried, and how the grave ought to be oriented, designed, and 
constructed. The outcome of the fengshui, however, will have to be attest- 
ed by the subsequent development of the family. When the family enjoys 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 289 



prosperity after the burial, the members conclude that the fengshui of the 
chosen burial site is good. Otherwise, they would assume bad fengshui 
and would probably take action to correct it. 

The On-Going Significance of the Ancestors 

Yin and yang are inseparable. They make up a unity representing the 
whole of existence. Thus, the world of the deceased continues to influence 
that of the living. Families trace their genealogy back to a significant 
ancestor. The descendants of this ancestor form a lineage. The symbol of 
the lineage is the grave of this ancestor. Sometimes this grave contains the 
remains of his wife - or wives; in Hong Kong, concubinage was made ille- 
gal as recently as 1971.^ Traditional graveside rites are part of the Chinese 
practice known as ancestor worship, clearly an inadequate and mislead- 
ing term. The rites have caused problems in the past to Christian mis- 
sionaries, who found it impossible to reconcile them with Christian 
beliefs, yet Chinese converts incorporated them into their new commit- 
ments.^ Ancestor worship has been part of Chinese culture for at least 
three thousand years, already rituaUsed by the time of Confucius (551-479 
BCE). It continues to form part of the culturally very important hierarchi- 
cal pattern of Chinese social relations and appropriate behaviour known 
as li. 

In Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, famiUes gather at ancestral 
gravesides once a year at Qingming. This normally falls on April 4th or 
5th. It is the occasion when people 'sweep the grave', which comprises 
worshipping the ancestors, making offerings, and sweeping away the 
year's accumulated weeds and rubbish. The Chinese have celebrated 
Qingming since before the Zhou Dynasty (eleventh century BC to 221 
BC).^ The literal meaning of Qingming, 'clear and bright', probably 
denotes a festival for the celebration of the blossoming of the spring sea- 
son. SymboUcally, the Chinese regard spring as a season of the utmost 
importance. In contrast to winter, which is 'gloomy and dark', spring 
stands for birth and rebirth, i.e. the beginning of new lives. It also signifies 
new opportunities and possibly new prosperity. Thus, sweeping the 
grave at this juncture reflects the wish for a harmonious transition 
between the season of winter and that of spring, and for favorable inter- 
actions between the yin and the yang. In some ways, the symboUc mean- 
ing of Qingming can be regarded as a parallel with Easter.^ 

At Qingming , the Chinese offer to their ancestor(s) prestations of food 



290 



Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 






Fig. a. Chinese character for 'home' or 'family', 
figuratively representing a 'pig under a roof. 



and wine, particularly pork, and have a picnic together. In Chinese cul- 
ture, the pig symbolises food and the source of wealth, both of which are 
essential for the upkeep of the family. The Chinese character for 'family' 
or 'home' is made up of strokes that resemble a 'pig under the roof (Fig. 
a).^° Offering pork to the ancestors denotes the wish for prosperity and 
wealth, and for an unceasing continuance of the family lineage. ^^ 

Paper offerings are burnt at the graveside, in the belief that in so doing 
they are sent to the world of the ancestral spirits where they will make the 
spirits more comfortable.^^ Hence, paper offerings consist of representa- 
tions of material goods, such as cars, clothes and money. Few ever ques- 
tion whether their ancestors have received and used the offerings. Figure 
b shows typical paper money available in retail stores in Hong Kong.^^ All 
such notes claim to be issued by Hell Bank. Besides paper money. Hong 
Kong Chinese burn 'Rebirth Paper' (Paper for Rebirth in the Western 
Paradise, Amitabha's Pure Land) for their ancestors (Fig. c).^^ Spirits 
receiving such papers are believed to become entitled to rebirth in this 
Paradise. This practice and belief reflect the absorption of Buddhist behefs 
into the traditional rites of ancestor worship among the Chinese. It sym- 
bolises the wish of the living for the peace and eternal life of their ances- 
tors. 

In Hong Kong, urban cemeteries are crowded at Qingming, which is a 
pubUc hoUday. An alternative date in Hong Kong for such visits is 
Chongyang (literally 'double ninth', as it is the ninth day of the ninth lunar 
month, when, traditionally, Chinese people went walking up nearby 
hills). The trend to cremation since the 1960s means that many of the 
deceased now occupy a niche in one of several imposing pubUc colum- 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 



291 



baria, the design of which allows for the circulation of crowds at the two 
festivals, and sometimes incorporates lawns for picnics. 

In the People's Republic of China, to which Hong Kong returned in 
mid-1997, the festivals of Qingming and Chongyang were for some time not 
recognised, being seen as typical of the ' "four olds" (old habits, ideas, 
customs, and culture) [which] have been confronted head-on as extrava- 
gant, wasteful, and /or meaninglessly superstitious'.^^ Nevertheless, 
when Chinese officials began to relax their orthodox views of sociaUsm, 
and to introduce reforms to their national economy in the late 1970s, the 
people - especially in rural areas - quickly revived their traditional rites 






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Fig. b. Paper money to be burnt for spirits of ancestors. 



292 



Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 



of burials, gravesweeping and ancestor worship. ^^ Many Chinese cities 
have promoted cremation in recent decades, for example, as early as 1965 
in Changshu City, Jiangsu Province, when coffin burial was prohibited, 
but, unlike in Hong Kong and Singapore, dignified public columbaria 
have not been provided. The strong resistance to cremation is illustrated 
by the practice of smuggling bodies from such cities into places where 
local law still permits coffin burial.^^ In other cases, individuals have 
shown their resistance to the mandatory requirement for cremation by 
constructing elegant graves, in which they place coffins containing the 




Fig. c. Rebirth paper to be burnt to ensure entry for 
ancestral spirit to the Buddhist Western Paradise. 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenwoithy Teather 293 



ashes of their deceased relative. Such practices reflect the persistence of 
the strength of tradition as a determinant of human behavior — a tradition 
which cannot be simple-mindedly or high-handedly transformed through 
administrative edicts. 

Traditional and Current Burial Practice 

In a vast country like China, and especially in historic times when cul- 
tural diffusion was severely restricted by terrain and distance, there 
evolved unavoidably high degrees of locaHsm in fengshui beliefs, and 
great varieties of 'correct' ways to perform the rituals associated with 
burials. Hong Kong is culturally part of Guangdong Province, despite the 
pecuHarities of its pohtical geography. Thus, it shares in the practice of 
second burial typical of southern China, including Zhejiang and Fujian. 

By second burial is meant the practice of uncovering the remains of the 
dead after several years of burial and reburying them for a second time in 
situ or at an alternative site. According to Bin He, although the history of 
second burial in China can be traced to prehistoric times, most people in 
southern China tried not to disturb their ancestral graves, especially when 
nothing 'disastrous or weird' had occurred within the family. 
Nevertheless, 'if people had fallen sick often, or if some unexplainable 
problems had frequently occurred within the family,' they would then dig 
up the remains from their ancestral graves, clean the bones, and rebury 
them at sites with good fengshui}^ 

In Hong Kong, when the British introduced rules to control and man- 
age burial grounds and cemeteries, they accepted second burial as a cus- 
tomary practice of the Chinese and institutionalised it without question- 
ing the meanings behind it. In Hong Kong's pubHc cemeteries, such as Wo 
Hop Shek Cemetery, second burial is mandatory; the remains in graves 
have to be dug up for relocation or cremation within a maximum period 
of time (normally seven years). The crematorium at Wo Hop Shek is 
specifically and exclusively for disinterred remains. 

Remains are by no means always cremated, however. Cleaned bones 
(which are yajtg, whereas the flesh is yin) can be stored in a jinta, UteraUy 
'golden pagoda'. This is a large, brown, unglazed pottery urn. Such bone 
urns can be buried in small graves in pubUc cemeteries. Urn graves are 
the only permanent graves available in pubUc cemeteries except for pro- 
hibitively expensive, and scarce, coffin graves in one of the four Chinese 
Permanent Cemeteries, which currently (1997) cost approximately US 



294 Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 



$35,000. Alternatively, bone urns can be placed in the open, with or with- 
out a small, open-fronted shelter, preferably on a hillside with good feng- 
shui, protected from water damage and with a good view (see Fig. 1). 
Single, or more often clusters, oijinta are a common sight on wild hillsides 
in the New Territories of Hong Kong, but sites must have official approval 
and are restricted to the remains of the relatively small number of indige- 
nous villagers. Urban residents can choose to deposit ancestors' bones in 
a columbarium, in a somewhat larger niche than those for urns contain- 
ing ashes. 

Second burial is a practice that can shock those to whom it is unfamil- 
iar. However, there are benefits relating to it. In the past, it was more con- 
venient to repatriate bones than bodies from overseas to China. ^^ 
Emigrant Chinese yearned for a grave 'back home', and a system devel- 
oped using the good offices of the Tung Wah Hospital in Hong Kong to 
ensure that these wishes could be fulfilled.^° Today, the practice makes it 
possible for a compromise to have been reached between the people and 
the Government of Hong Kong. The desire for a few years in a coffin, until 
the flesh has decomposed, can be met for those prepared to pay the rent 
for a coffin grave for six to seven years, while the space-saving option of 
ashes or bone storage afterwards satisfies the government's need to pre- 
vent too much scarce land being taken up by cemeteries. 

Cremation immediately after death has become the preferred option 
for the majority, accounting for 68 per cent of deaths in 1993.^^ Public 
columbaria (buildings providing niches where ashes are stored) are 
imposing buildings, the dignity of their design being essential in order for 
cremation to be an acceptable option in Hong Kong. Ashes, if not deposit- 
ed in a columbarium niche, may be kept at home, scattered in one of the 
government's Gardens of Remembrance, or exported to relatives over- 
seas, especially if the oldest son has emigrated. This last option poses no 
legal problems and allows the son to see to his responsibility of carrying 
out the regular ancestral rites. Rarely, urns containing ashes can be seen 
alongside jmffl in hillside shelters. Ashes can also be entrusted to Buddhist 
or Taoist establishments, including the zhaitong, which are vegetarian 
establishments inhabited mostly by lay women. Here, services for the 
dead are regularly provided, and the ashes can be visited at festivals. Such 
establishments welcome the resulting income.^^ This is particularly con- 
venient when relatives leave Hong Kong permanently. 

Finally, it must be noted that, as well as providing for physical 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 295 



remains, relatives also maintain another form of memorial to the 
deceased. This is known as the ancestral tablet. In fact, these tablets are far 
more than a memorial. The tablet is one of the three places where the 
ancestral spirit is believed to be present, the other two locations being at 
the grave (or niche), and in the underworld. The tablet can be kept at 
home, where it is often lit by a red light bulb at a small shrine. Offerings 
are made on special occasions. However, like the ashes, the tablet can be 
entrusted to a temple or zhaitong. 

Grave Form and Furnishings 

The morphology of Chinese graves varies from place to place and over 
time, reflecting social, cultural, and historic changes in the beliefs of what 
ideal yin houses ought to be. Nevertheless, most Chinese, especially those 
in southern China, have regarded the form of an armchair as the ideal 
shape of the grave (see Fig. 1). An armchair gives a sense of wealth, com- 
fort and dignity. In historic times, only the elite class or the mandarin 
Chinese could afford armchairs. Moreover, armchairs symboUse authori- 
ty and power, for in the olden days the armchair was the seat for the mag- 
istrate when he presided in court.^^ By erecting the grave in the armchair 
shape, people beheved that their ancestors in the yin world could enjoy 
comfort, dignity, and pride. The interaction between the yin and the yang 
would thus be harmonious and beneficial. People might even wish antic- 
ipatorily that 'if my ancestors were to become magistrates in the yin 
world, they would be able to protect us and help us move upwards into 
the ruUng class in the yang world as well'.^^ 

The history of building graves in the armchair shape can be traced to 
the years of the Northern Song Dynasty, 960-1127 A.D.^^ In pre-modern 
times, as Fig. d, an illustration that first appeared in the 1830s, shows, the 
grave resembled an armchair in shape, with higher turf protecting its 
three sides, on its back, as well as to its left and right.^^ The front was left 
open to the field. Fig. 1 shows a modern armchair-shaped grave in the 
New Territories, Hong Kong, and also shows the worshipping platform at 
the front where lineage members stand when involved in the rites of 
ancestor worship. 

This armchair shape for graves has thus persisted for a long time, 
reflecting its acceptance by the Chinese as a desirable way for the con- 
struction of yin houses. Nevertheless, an armchair grave does take up con- 
siderable space and is expensive to build. Expenses escalate especially in 



296 



Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 




Fig. d. Grave with tombstone, 1830s. 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 



297 







Fig. e. Grave styles in Zhejiang Province, 



298 Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 



urban areas where land itself is costly. Prices have risen now that building 
technology and construction material, such as the use of concrete and 
bulldozers, have become more sophisticated. People who find the arm- 
chair grave prohibitively expensive may have to opt for simpler methods 
to bury their ancestors, including cremation and columbaria. 

Apart from the armchair-shaped grave, there were, in Imperial China, 
many alternative forms. It is not possible in this essay to go into these. 
J.J.M. De Groot provided a wealth of material in the last years of the nine- 
teenth century from Fujian.^^ A century later. Bin He provides useful data 
for the neighbouring province of Zhejiang, to the north.^^ Her book, which 
is in Chinese, contains many photographs and diagrams, on one of which 
Fig. e is based.-^^ This illustration indicates some of the different grave 
forms to be found in the area shown on the map. Graves in various forms 
can be seen in the oldest part of the Aberdeen Chinese Permanent 
Cemetery, which dates back to 1915. Managers of more recent cemeteries 
in Hong Kong limit the grave forms that are permitted. 

Moving away from grave shapes to furnishings, graves in urban Hong 
Kong cemeteries today often have a concrete, moulded porch-shaped 
framework (Fig. 2) in which a tablet in polished granite or other stone is 
set. Bin He notes that, in the part of mainland China where she was 
researching, the tablet on a grave gives the name, and the dates of birth 
and death, of the buried person (see Fig. i)?^ As will be seen, in Hong 
Kong, the ancestral place of origin is also usually inscribed, as most of 
Hong Kong's residents are immigrants from mainland China. 

Examples of Graves and Niches in Hong Kong 

Chinese Permanent Cemeteries (CPC) are managed on a non-profit- 
making basis by the Chinese Permanent Cemeteries Board (CPCB), which 
comprises Government-appointed trustees. The Regional Services 
Department manages seven cemeteries and several columbaria in the 
New Territories and Outlying Islands, and the Urban Services 
Department manages three cemeteries and associated columbaria, two on 
Hong Kong Island and one in Kowloon. There are also six cemeteries and 
associated columbaria run by various Christian providers. ■^^ 

Individual resting places described in the following pages were select- 
ed partly because colleagues volunteered to take one of us to resting 
places of family members, to provide information, and to allow photog- 
raphy at the sites. Fortunately, we were thereby able to obtain details 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 



299 




Fig. 2. Grave in Junk Bay Cemetery, Hong Kong. 



300 



Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 



about two very typical resting places, i.e. a niche, and a grave, in CPC 
facilities. The third resting place was less common, being a large, old- 
established grave plot in the oldest CP cemetery. The history of the fourth, 
a symbolic grave, which is a very important type in Hong Kong, was built 
up from the inscription near to it. Similarly, the history of the charitable 
grave was identified from the inscription on the grave itself. These last 
two graves were noticed during field work by one of the authors, who vis- 
ited most public and Chinese Permanent Cemeteries in Hong Kong Island 
and Hong Kong's New Territories during 1995, 1996, and 1997. 



n 



* 
*: 



B 
it ^ 



O 

o 
o 









^ 






Fig. f. Typical gravemarker inscription: 1. dates of birth and death; 

2. name of the buried person; 3. names of sons and daughters; 

4. date on which the grave was completed. 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 301 



1. Private Grave 

The grave illustrated in Figure 2 is an example of a costly, permanent 
coffin grave. Such graves are now only available in the Junk Bay CPC, 
opened in 1989. This grave dates from 1992. The Junk Bay Cemetery is 
characterised by the uniformity of its grave furnishings, which are limit- 
ed by cemetery regulations. The illustrated grave is typical. 

The tablet at the back of the concrete, porch-shaped grave furnishing 
is in polished granite of a deep red colour, which we understand is 
obtained by staining. The inscription is in gold. The large characters in the 
central column give the woman's name. On the right, the two columns 
give dates of birth and death, in modern and then in traditional date form. 
The five characters, bottom left, indicate that the grave was set up by her 
sons and grandchildren. It is rare for a tablet to omit a reference to the 
ancestral place of origin of the grave's occupant, and this is omitted from 
Figure f. In Figure 2, this is mentioned, as is typical, alongside the photo- 
graph. The two characters on the right stand for Guangdong, and those 
on the left for the district and associated dialect group of Hoi Fung. 
However, this is, in fact, the ancestral place of the woman's husband, a 
fact which caused surprise and some distress to her daughter on first see- 
ing the tablet. It has long been traditional for a woman to enter her hus- 
band's family upon marriage. Whether younger Chinese women in Hong 
Kong wiU continue, when they die, to have their ancestral identity sub- 
sumed by that of their husband, is an open question. 

The marble pot in front of the tablet is a censer for incense (joss) sticks. 
Two vases match it, and are not shown. They are to hold flowers. Behind 
the grave is the shrine to the earth god, appealing for his protection for the 
grave (Fig. 3). The characters mean, roughly, 'Here is the land of [sur- 
name]'. Most graves in Hong Kong, apart from Christian graves, have 
such a shrine behind them - and sometimes in front as well. 

This example was one of a row of fifteen nearly identical graves, some 
of which had small pairs of stone lions as additional 'guardians', acting 
like charms to ward off marauding spirits or humans, and thereby serv- 
ing a similar function to the majestic stone animals that form the 'Spirit 
Road' to the Ming Tombs.^^ 

This woman's descendants are Christian. Thus, she has no ancestral 
tablet. However, her grave is visited at Qingming, and on other occasions 
when her family feels that it is appropriate. Flowers are brought, and 
incense is burnt, but there are no other offerings. The family feels that it is 



302 



Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 




Fig. 3. Earth God shrine behind grave shown in Fig. 2. 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 



303 



appropriate to 'pay respect' to their mother's grave, and they enjoy being 
together and sharing their memories. 

2. Columbarium Niche 

Figures 4 and 5 illustrate another typical resting place - a niche in a 
CPCP columbarium, in this case at Cape Collinson. This columbarium is 
nine storeys high, provides 19,926 niches, and is full. There is a newer one 
about a kilometre away with 29,071 niches.^^ Both are imposing and gra- 
cious buildings, this one being designed to a ground plan in the shape of 
the eight-sided baqua, one of the most ancient of all Chinese symbols. 
Columbaria may be regarded as collective tombs. 

In the plaque seen on the left side of Figure 4, the occupant's name is 
given below her photograph, her dates of birth and death on the left and 
right, and her ancestral place of origin, Mei Xien in mainland China, on 
each side of her photograph. For reasons of cost and convenience, this 
woman was not returned to her ancestral home (which was the same as 
that of her husband) after her death, although this is where her husband 
was buried. The family was visiting the niche on the occasion of a family 
wedding, to 'pay respect' on this auspicious occasion, bringing along the 




Fig. 4. Niche in the older Cape Collinson Columbarium. 



304 



Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 




Fig. 5. Relatives placing joss sticks in sand trough as offering 

to their ancestor, whose ashes are stored in the niche above. 

Cape CoUinson Columbarium. 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 



305 



new bride for the first time. The niche would be regularly visited at 
Qmgmiiig, when the columbarium would be crowded, the air thick with 
incense, and with fine grey ash from offerings being burnt at one of the 
many large burners on each floor. On this occasion, the columbarium was 
deserted except for this small family group of five people. Cemeteries and 
columbaria are avoided except on appropriate occasions, being seen as 
powerful and polluted places.^"* 

3. Lineage Grave 

There are few graves in Hong Kong as large as that illustrated in 
Figure 6. Located in Aberdeen Chinese Permanent Cemetery (the oldest of 
the four, dating from 1915), it is five metres by fifteen metres. It houses the 
coffin containing the remains of the man who came to Hong Kong in the 
late nineteenth century to found a family line here. His son is buried in the 
same plot. The grave dates back to 1946. The four wives of the older man 
are buried elsewhere in the same cemetery, in elegant but smaller graves. 
Here, the grave tablets could be oriented at the angle recommended by 
the fejjgshui master. Such personal attention is not possible in most urban 
cemeteries because grave spaces are tightly packed and laid out by ceme- 




Fig. 6. Family gravesite in Aberdeen Chinese Permanent Cemetery, 

Hong Kong. Great-grandfather's grave in centre, 

his son's in background, earth god shrine in foreground. 



306 Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 



tery managers. Nevertheless, some tablets within the frame of the grave 
furnishings can sometimes be seen to be slightly angled. Rural graves, 
however, are oriented according iofengshui recommendations. In the case 
of this grave in the Aberdeen Cemetery, even the depth of the coffins was 
decided by the fengshui master. 

The carvings along the top of the granite tablet frame (Fig. 7) are mere- 
ly decorative. The tablets themselves consist of a fine-grained, dark green 
stone from a famous quarry, Lin Zhou, near Guangzhou, much used for 
this purpose. The older man's tablet is not inscribed according to the stan- 
dard layout depicted in Figure f. In the centre is his name. The bottom 
four characters in the right hand column refer to the part of China from 
which he originated. The top five characters state the direction in which 
the grave faces. Fengshui is a very important consideration for this highly 
educated, sophisticated, and growing family. It was regarded as most 
unfortunate that a little of the view of the sea from this grave plot had 
been blocked by the building of a columbarium in front and below. Here, 
the shape of the grave plot was not regarded as significant. It is the open 
aspect, with the hill behind and the water in front - very desirable from 
the fengshui point of view - that makes it an excellent site. 

The left hand column indicates who erected the tablet, by stating: 'A 
hundred happy returns of the [name] clan'. This is the manner that the 
family has adopted in order to refer to the family consortium - to use the 
phrase that our informant used. He agreed that, maybe, 'clan' would be 
another suitable term. Whatever term is used, it refers to the descendants 
of this single ancestor, and a third alternative would be 'lineage'. 

Only male ancestors, by edict of the oldest family member, can be 
buried in this plot, and only men gather at the Qingming and Chongyang 
festivals to make offerings. On these occasions, the most senior male fam- 
ily member present is the first to bow to the tablet. Others follow accord- 
ing to seniority. Other family graves in the cemetery are then visited, but 
only by family members who are more junior to the buried person. The 
patriarch, therefore, does not visit any other graves, nor would he attend 
the funeral of his son, should the son predecease him. At the festival vis- 
its, the men would arrive with all necessary offerings and with tools and 
paints to trim and freshen up the grave. Afterwards, they would join 
female family members for a meal, often in a restaurant. 

Thus, this grave and its attendant activities symbolise geographic 
ancestral affiliation, the family lineage and its hierarchy, the traditional 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 



307 




'jpmiM..v.-^j 










Fig. 7. Inscription on ancestral grave (detail of Fig. 6), 
Aberdeen Chinese Permanent Cemetery, Hong Kong. 



308 Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 



gender-Specific nature of the rites, and the persistence of the ancient 
world view in which fengshui is so important. Ancestral affiliation is not 
with Hong Kong, despite the fact that it is here that the family has become 
established, but with that part of Mainland China from which the ances- 
tor originated. This is typical of affiliations expressed on the overwhelm- 
ing majority of graves and niches in Hong Kong, a community that has 
grown by immigration since 1848, and particularly after the Second World 
War. It is on their graves that people express their ties with the mother- 
land, as, in life, many express it by speaking, as well as Cantonese, the 
dialect of their region, which can be specific to a very small locality. Not 
all retain ties with their community of origin, but, of course, many do, 
returning to visit their relatives from time to time. 

The Aberdeen Cemetery is itself an important symbol of the commit- 
ment that successful Chinese residents of Hong Kong were prepared to 
make by 1915, when it was opened. For the first time, they were prepared 
to be buried here rather than back in their ancestral territory in China.^^ 
This Cemetery is, therefore, an example of 'place-making' in terms of 
making a public statement - through establishing an ancestral grave - 
that symbolises identifying with a community in a specific place. 

4. Symbolic Grave 

The grave shown as Figure 8 is striking, and most unusual in Hong 
Kong. It was erected sometime after 1957, and there is quite a story behind 
it. It is located in the Sandy Ridge Public Cemetery, which opened in 1950 
and is run by the Regional Services Department of the Hong Kong 
Government. Shortly after the cemetery opened, a patch of about a 
hectare was allocated to members of the Fujianese community in Hong 
Kong, which by the early years of this century had become sufficiently 
well-established to have set up their own cemetery in 1919. A tablet fixed 
to an obelisk in the Sandy Ridge location (translated not character by 
character, but broadly so as to capture the gist) reads as follows: 

The Fujianese Cemetery was originally set up in 1919 at New Kai Lung Wan Tung 
Wah Cemetery*. In 1947 we stopped operating this cemetery as the Hong Kong 
Government notified us not to. The Government assigned us temporary cemeter- 
ies at Ngau Chi Wan** in Koioloon, and at Wo Hop Shek in Fanlingfor the buri- 
als ofcojfins. The current Fujianese Cemetery at Sandy Ridge laas also desigtiated 
to us by the Hong Kong Government for the burials of bones and golden pagodas 
(ji}ita). After much hard work, the Cemetery at Sandy Ridge was completed in 
March 1957. To enable our followers to remember all these, especially those who 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 



309 



contributed much work and money to the establishment of this Cemetery, we have 
inscribed the history of the Cemetery and the names of the donors on stones. [Name 
of author and of calligrapher] March 1957. Board of Governors, Fujianese 
Cemetery. 

*Kai Lung Wan has now been developed into Wah Fu Estate, between 
Pokfulam and Aberdeen. This cemetery seems to have been part of the 
benevolent activities of the Tung Wah Hospital. 
** There is a street called Ngau Chi Wan Street in the present Choi Wan 
Estate near Ngau Tau Kok, which may indicate the location of this tem- 
porary cemetery. 

It seems that the turtle-shaped grave is a symboUc grave. It is sur- 
rounded by several hundred graves with simple headstones and inscrip- 
tions. It may contain no remains; or it may contain remains of individuals 
who could not be identified. Its inscription reads: 'The beautiful city for 
deceased friends from Fujian'. The two characters top left and right refer 
to Fujian. It is elaborately carved from the green stone from Lin Zhou 
mentioned previously, is guarded by two stone lions, and the stone altar 
on which offerings can be placed is inscribed in ancient seal script. A large 




Fig. 8. Turtle-shaped symbolic grave, Fujianese section of Sandy 
Ridge Public Cemetery, New Territories, Hong Kong. 



310 



Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 



censer is for joss sticks. Graves in turtle shape (see Fig. g)-^^ are seen only 
in Fujian and Taiwan, where many people originated from Fujian.'^^ Zuo 
Ming Zhou comments that in southeastern China the turtle is regarded as 
a symbol of fortune, nobility, longevity, happiness and wealth.'^^ To shape 
a grave like a turtle shell thereby symbolises the wish for longevity, per- 
manence, and peace. 

This small Fujianese cemetery is set apart by a dilapidated wire fence 
from the rest of the sprawling, overgrown public cemetery. It is entered 
through an archway inscribed with a verse, through which one then pro- 
ceeds up a gentle slope on a wide path lined with flower beds and lead- 
ing to the obelisk with its inscription. There is a picnic pavilion near the 
archway large enough for thirty to forty people. The site is backed by a 




Fig. g. Example of traditional turtle-shaped Fujianese grave. 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 311 



hill and has an open view - a first class site from the fengshui point of view. 

Here may be seen an example of how landscape reflects local and 
regional variations in disposing of the dead. It is also another example of 
the great importance to Hong Kong Chinese of locaUsed, ancestral roots, 
and of the ongoing nature of such local affiliations in the Hong Kong com- 
munity. During the field work, which was at Chongyang, 1996, groups of 
people were picnicking in the shelter pavihon, and small groups were vis- 
iting graves located in newer rows on the slope beneath the 1950s reburi- 
als. The Fujianese community is not the only one to have set up a section 
of the cemetery for deceased members. The authors noted one at Sandy 
Ridge for Chao Zhou, which is in eastern Guangdong near Shantou. An 
inscription gave a similar story to that told above. Another was for the En 
Ping County, near Xin Hui County in Guangdong {n.b. both Counties 
were administratively upgraded to Cities in 1994; at the time the cemetery 
sections were set aside, they were still Counties). There are likely to be 
other such sections for people from specific locaHties in mainland China 
both at Sandy Ridge and at the other large pubhc cemetery. Wo Hop Shek. 

SymboUc graves are an important type in Hong Kong. The authors 
have seen a very large one in the Aberdeen CPC, established for members 
of a particular lineage who died and are buried overseas. Offerings are 
made there at festivals by Hong Kong lineage members. Several others 
probably exist in Aberdeen CPC and elsewhere. There are certain com- 
parisons to be made between symbolic graves and memorials in Britain 
(and elsewhere) in the form of 'The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier'. In 
such a tomb, remains of a soldier who could not be identified are buried, 
and his body represents others who died without identification being pos- 
sible. Rituals are carried out at such a tomb, for example, on Armistice 
Day.^^ However, this is a site for national mourning connected with war 
and the tragic loss of many men and women. Symbolic graves such as 
those described in Hong Kong are the focus of rites from a small section 
of the society only, and do not commemorate violent, wartime deaths. 
Neither are they primarily a site for mourning, but for rituals of ancestor 
worship that are regarded as part of the regular routine of the yearly 
cycle. 

5. Charitable Grave 

Charitable graves are a particular type of symbolic grave, set up by a 
charitable or regional association, or, as E. Sinn describes, in the nine- 



312 Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 



teenth century by a guild^°. It is believed that souls of those not properly 
buried were doomed to a miserable existence in the afterworld. Therefore, 
giving a decent burial to paupers was a characteristic charitable activity 
in Imperial China.*^ It brought great personal merit to benefactors. The 
Tung Wah (Chinese) Hospital - established by wealthy and influential 
Chinese merchants in 1869 - set an example in late nineteenth century 
Hong Kong by providing free burials for the destitute and a coffin home 
for bones returned from overseas. Sinn argues that this set an example 
that was followed by regional associations, at least one of which was 
specifically set up to care for the dead of a locality in mainland China. 
Mass graves known as yizhong were provided by such associations, but 
some were merely symbolic, containing no remains. Sinn specifies that 
there were several such graves in the Mount Davis area of Hong Kong 
Island in prewar years and that several remain today. At festival times, 
members of the regional association gathered to carry out the necessary 
rites on behalf of those contained in or represented by the charitable 
grave. The Tung Wah Hospital continues to provide such graves for those 
with no relatives to look after the deceased.'*^ 

Figure 9 shows two charitable graves in the Sandy Ridge Cemetery. 
The bottom two characters of the grave in the right foreground read 'pub- 
He grave for the destitute'. The top two characters refer to He Shan, a 
county in Guangdong Province. It was erected, so the next five characters 
say, by the district association for its 'precious friends'. The grave behind 
is a similar grave for those from Xin Hui County, near Guangzhou, not far 
from He Shan. In grim rows to each side of these two graves stretch small 
tablets. Whether there are remains in the armchair-shaped graves is 
unknown. These graves are of the traditional armchair shape and are 
large - far more opulent than a single impoverished individual could 
afford. They represent the mutual commitment of immigrant groups and 
the great cultural importance of caring for spirits of all of the deceased. 
'Unsettled' spirits - those who have had no proper burial rites - are great- 
ly feared, and at the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts (Yulanpen) on the fif- 
teenth day of the seventh lunar month, offerings are made by families 
throughout Hong Hong to these unfortunate spirits. 

Conclusions 

This essay can only be an introduction to Chinese burial practices. 
Urban cemeteries, columbaria, and rural graves are striking, culturally 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 



313 




::&>'J^'4^^£ -MSai 



Fig. 9. Charitable graves, Sandy Ridge Public Cemetery, 
New Territories, Hong Kong. 



314 Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 



important, and essential features of Hong Kong's cultural landscape. The 
situation in other cities with large Chinese populations, such as Taiwanese 
cities and Singapore, needs attention from researchers. As cultural land- 
scapes, cemeteries, columbaria, and graves reflect the essential values of 
those who occupy and visit them. They contain a wealth of artistic motifs. 
They support essential occupations and crafts, such as makers of paper 
offerings, builders of graves, suppliers of special stone, and stone carvers. 
They pose ethical and practical dilemmas for planners. They cannot be 
seen in a purely material light; immaterial worlds are associated with 
them and must be invoked for a deep understanding of their nature.^^ 
They are landscapes that require interpretation in terms of time as well as 
of space, as they are associated with major popular festivals. 

In the People's Republic of China, traditions relating to burial practice 
were for a time seen as an obstruction in the way of progress, an alterna- 
tive, irrational, superstitious ideology that challenged that of the 
Communist Party. Rural graves have been treated variously since 1949. 
Certain Chinese cities no longer permit coffin burial, and cremation is the 
only option. Nevertheless, since the late 1970s, and along with the open 
policies and reform movements in China, Chinese officials have relaxed 
the rigor of their control over people's ideological and cultural practices. 
The Chinese have quickly reverted to their traditional beliefs in burial 
rites and ancestor worship. 

Finally, in one specific regard, Chinese attitudes to graves and ceme- 
teries are extraordinarily different froni those of people brought up in the 
various western. Christian cultures. Death is regarded as polluting; the 
landscapes of death are regarded as potentially powerful and are avoided 
except at festivals or other appropriate occasions. Research such as that 
we have carried out for this essay is regarded with considerable reserve 
by Chinese colleagues, and it could even be said that the area is seen as 
taboo. 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 315 

NOTES 

The authors gratefully acknowledge permission to utilize material from the following: 

B. He, Jiang Zhe Han Zu Sang Zong Wen Hua (The Death and Burial Culture of the Han 
Nationality in Jiangshu and Zhejiang), (from pages 172 and 181). 1995. Reprinted by permis- 
sion of The Central University of Nationalities Press. [Figs, e and g of this essay]. 

C. Lindqvist, China; Empire of Living Symbols, (from page 272). 1989 Cecilia Lindqvist. English 
translation 1991 Joan Tate. Reprinted by permission of Addison-Wesley Longman Inc. [Fig. 
a of this essay]. 

Yin }i Wen Tu (An Anthologi/ with Diagrams on Hidden Good Deeds), (from page 43). 1968. 
Reprinted by permission of Guang Wen Book Co. [Fig. d of this essay]. 

Z.M Zhou, Ming Su Tong Shu (Almanac of Folk Customs), (from page 348). 1991. Reprinted by 
permission of Li Jiang Publishing Co. [Fig. f of this essay]. 

Moreover, we could not have written this paper without the offers of help from three col- 
leagues from Hong Kong Baptist University and National University of Singapore, who 
escorted one of us to the resting places of their family members, spent time explaining 
aspects of decisions and practices relating to these places, and then read our paper to ensure 
we had reported their comments correctly. We place our deep gratitude on record. The pho- 
tographs shown as Figs. 1-9 were taken by Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather. The sources of 
other illustrations are cited in the appropriate notes. 

1. Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York, NY, 1995), 87. 

2. L. Thompson, Chinese Religion: An Introduction (Belmont, CA, 1989). 

3. C.A.S. Williams, Outlines of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives (New York, NY, 1976), 
458-462; F. Capra, The Tao of Physics (Boston, MA, 1991), 279-283. 

4. S. Rossback and Y. Lin, Living Color: Master Lin Yun's Guide to Feng Shui and the Art of 
Color (New York, NY, 1994), 21; Williams, Outlines of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives, 
458. 

5. J.E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols (New York, NY, 1971), 24-26. 

6. P HaU, In the Web (Heswell, England, 1992), 30. 

7. Thompson, Chinese Religion. 

8. Deng Guo Yin, Sui Shi Jia Jie Qii (Interesting Accounts of the New Year and Joyous Festivals 
(Nanning, Guangxi, China, 1987), 48-49. 

9. D. Walters, Chinese Mythology: An Encyclopedia of Myth and Legend (London, England, 
1992), 34. 



316 Chinese Graves and Gravemarkers 



10. The illustration is found in C. Lindqvist, China: Empire of Living Symbols, trans. Joan Tate 
(Reading, MA, 1991), 272. 

11. For detailed discussion of pork prestations, see S.E. Thompson, "Death, Food and 
Fertility," in Death Ritual in Late Imperial and Modern China, ed. J.L. Watson and E.S. 
Rawski (Berkeley, CA, 1988), 71-108. 

12. J.L. Scott, "Traditional Values and Modern Meanings in the Paper Offerings Industry of 
Hong Kong," in Hong Kong: Anthropological Essays in a Modern Metropolis, ed. Grant 
Evans and Maria Tarn (Honolulu, HI, 1997), 203-221. 

13. This example was purchased in Hong Kong in 1996. 

14. The example shown here was obtained in Hong Kong in 1996. 

15. R.G. Knapp, "The Changing Landscape of the Chinese Cemetery," The China Geographer 
8 (1977): 12. 

16. Fu Lan Zhong, Xiandai Minzii Liidnan (Changing Trends of Modern Folkways) (Shanghai, 
China, 1990), 109-113; Xian Zhong Wang, Zhongguo Minzii Wenhua Yu Xiandi Wemming 
(Chinese Cultural Folkways and Modern Civilization) (Beijing, China, 1991), 157-163. See 
also Bin He, Jiang Zhe Han Zu Sang Zong Wen Hua (The Death and Burial Culture of the 
Han Nationality in Jiangshu and Zhejiang) (Beijing, China, 1995). All three of these works 
are in Chinese. 

17. He, ]iang Zhe Han Zu Sang Zong Wen Hua, 55. 

18. Ibui., 47. 

19. For a discussion of this practice amongst the Chinese in Hawaii, see Nanette Napoleon 
Purnell, "Oriental and Polynesian Cemetery Traditions in the Hawaiian Islands," in 
Ethnicity and the American Cemetery, ed. Richard E. Meyer (Bowling Green, OH, 1993), 
194. 

20. E. Sinn, Power and Charity: The Early History of the Tung Wah Hospital, Hong Kong (Hong 
Kong, China, 1989). 

21. Government Information Services, Hong Ko)ig 1994 (Hong Kong, China, 1994), 173. 

22. J. Hayes, personal communication. James Hayes is a previous District Officer, Hong 
Kong Civil Service, and is an authority on many aspects of Hong Kong anthropology. 

23. He, ]iang Zhe Han Zu Sang Zong Wen Hua, 64; Xing Zhou, "Yi Zi Fen Yu Gui Ke Mu 
(Armchair Graves and Turtle Shell Graves)," in He, ]iang Zhe Han Zu Sang Zong Wen 
Hua, 142-169. 

24. Zhou, "Yi Zi Fen Yu Gui Ke Mu," 145. 

25. He, Jiang Zhe Han Zu Sang Zong Wen Hua, 64. 



Chun-shing Chow and Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather 317 



26. The illustration is found in Yin Ji Wen Tu (An Anthology with Diagrams on Hidden Good 
Deeds) (Taipei, China, 1968), 43. This work is in Chinese. 

27. J.J.M. de Groot, The Religious Systems of China, Volume 2, Book 1, The Disposal of the Dead, 
Part 3, The Grave (First Half) (Taipei, China, 1982) [first published in 1894]; J.J.M. de 
Groot, TJie Religious Systems of Clnna, Volume 3, Book 1, The Disposal of the Dead, Part 3, 
The Grave (Second Half) (Taipei, China, 1982) [first published in 1897]. 

28. He, Jiang Zhe Han Zu Sang Zong Wen Hua. 

29. Ihid., 172. 

30. The illustration is found in Zuo Ming Zhou, Min Su Tong Shu (Almanac of Folk Customs) 
(Guilin, Guangxi, China, 1991), 348. This work is in Chinese. 

31. Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather, "Planning for Death in Hong Kong," in The Australian 
City - Future/Past: Proceedings of the Third Australian Planning History/Urban History 
Conference, Monash University, Victoria, Australia, ed. Tony Dingle (Clayton, Victoria, 
Australia, 1997) [in press]. 

32. See A. Paludan, The Chinese Spirit Road: The Classical Tradition of Chinese Stone Statuary 
(New Haven, CT, 1991). 

33. Information obtained from authors' questionnaire. 

34. EUzabeth Kenworthy Teather, "The Immaterial Worlds of Urban Chinese Cemeteries in 
Hong Kong," unpublished manuscript available from the author at Geography and 
Planning Department, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, AustraUa. 

35. J. Hayes, "East and West in Hong Kong: Vignettes from History and Personal 
Experience," in Betioeen East and West, ed. E. Sinn (Hong Kong, China, 1990), 24 (note 45). 

36. The illustration is found in Xing Zhou, "Yi Zi Fen Yu Gui Ke Mu." 

37. Ibid. 

38. Zuo Ming Zhou, Min Su Tong Shu. 

39. See Ken IngUs, "Entombing Unknown Soldiers: From London and Paris to Baghdad," 

History and Memory 5:2 (1993): 7-31. 

40. E. Sinn, "Regional Associations in Pre-War Hong Kong," in Between East and West, ed. 
E. Sinn (Hong Kong, China, 1990), 159-186. 

41. de Groot, The Religious Systems of China, Volume 3, Book 1, Disposal of the Dead, Part 3 
(Second Half). 

42. E. Sinn, "Regional Associations in F*re-War Hong Kong." 

43. Teather, "The Immaterial Worlds of Urban Chinese Cemeteries in Hong Kong." 



318 



THE YEAR'S WORK IN GRAVEMARKER/CEMETERY STUDIES 
Richard E. Meyer 

This annual feature of Markers, inaugurated in 1995, is intended to 
serve as an ongoing, working bibliogi'aphy of relevant scholarship in the 
interdisciplinary field which is ever more consistently coming to be 
known as Cemetery and Gravemarker Studies. Entries, listed in alphabet- 
ical order by author, consist to a large extent of books and pamphlets and 
of articles found within scholarly journals: excluded are materials found 
in newspapers, popular magazines, and trade journals (though, as any 
researcher knows, valuable information can sometimes be gleaned from 
these sources), as well as genealogical publications and cemetery "read- 
ings," book reviews, electronic resources (e.g., World Wide Web sites), and 
irretrievably non-scholarly books (i.e., things along the order of the 
recently published, "revised" edition of a book with the grotesque title. 
The Definitive Guide to Underground Humor: Quaint Quotes about Death, 
Funny Funeral Home Stories, and Hilarious Headstone Epitaphs). Though not 
included here, it should be particularly noted that short but valuable crit- 
ical and analytical pieces are frequently published in the AGS Quarterly: 
Bulletin of the Association for Gravestone Studies (formerly - prior to 1996 - 
entitled the Newsletter of the Association for Gravestone Studies). Beginning 
with Markers XIV, the listing has included a much larger selection of rele- 
vant foreign language materials in the field, formal master's- and doctor- 
al-level theses and dissertations (important research often not published 
in the traditional manner but nonetheless frequently obtainable through 
interlibrary loan), and, upon occasion, valuable unpublished typescripts 
on deposit in accessible locations. 

With its debut listing in Markers XII, "The Year's Work" attempted to 
fill gaps in existing bibliographic resources by actually covering the year's 
1990 through 1994 (for work prior to 1990, readers are advised to consult 
the bibliographic listings found at the conclusion of my Cemeteries and 
Gravemarkers: Voices of American Culture, first published in 1989 by UMI 
Research Press and reissued in 1992 by Utah State University Press). This 
same format was utilized in Markers XIII and again in Markers XIV, 
adding in each instance previously unreported work from 1990 onwards 
as well as the year just completed. Although a few references from the 
1990-1995 period have undoubtedly gone unnoticed, it may at this point 



319 



be safely assumed that the bibUographic record covering these years is 
largely complete. Starting with Markers XV, therefore, "The Year's Work" 
will restrict itself to the two years immediately preceding the journal's 
annual January publication date (in this instance, 1996 and 1997): previ- 
ously reported work from the earlier of these two years will not be repeat- 
ed. To help facilitate this ongoing process, the editor continues to wel- 
come addenda from readers {complete bibliographic citations, please) for 
inclusion in future editions. 

Aguilo-Garland, Juan Miguel. "La reintegracion del cementerio a la 
urbe." Master's thesis, Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1996. 

Amsler, Kevin. Final Resting Place: The Lives and Deaths of Famous St. 
Louisans. St. Louis, MO: Virginia Publishing Company, 1997. 

Anson-Cartwright, Tamara. Landscape of Memories: A Guide for Conserving 
Historic Cemeteries, Repairing Tombstones. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: 
Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, 1997. 

Athey, Joel W. Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. Pasadena, CA: Nugent, 
1996. 

Bagemihl, Rolf. "Cosini's Bust of Raffaello Maffei and its Funerary 
Context." Metropolitan Museum Journal 31(1996), pp. 41-57. 

Barnett, Richard David. The Jews of Jamaica: Tombstone Inscriptions, 1663- 
1880. Jerusalem, Israel: Ben Ziv Institute, 1997. 

Behrendt, Stephen C. Royal Mourning and Regency Culture: Elegies and 
Memorials of Princess Charlotte. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1997. 

Beier, Ulli. Grabplastiken der Ibibio in Nigerien. Bayreuth, Germany: IWALE- 
WA-Haus, 1996. 

Beliaev, L.A. Russkoe srednevekovoe nadgrobie: Belokamennye plity Moskvy i 
Severo-Vostochnoi Rusi XIII-XVII vv. Moskva, Russia: Modus-Graffiti, 
1996. 



320 



Bell, Darnetta, and Bongiorni, Kevin, eds. Cemeteries and Spaces of Death: 
Inquiries Into Their Meaning. Riverside, CA: Xenos Books, 1996. 

Benson, Carol Anne. "Recurring Figure-Types on Classical Attic Grave 
Stelai." Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1996. 

Berry, Jason. "Cities of the Dead - Cemeteries, Both the Ornate and the 
Humble, Languish Amid the Elegant Decay of New Orleans." Historic 
Preservation: Quarterly of the National Council for Historic Sites and 
Buildings 49:6 (1997), pp. 68-73. 

Black, Bernard. "Vasse's Tomb for Two Russian Princesses - The 
Troubetskoy-Galitzin Monuments: New Discoveries and an Old 
Mystery" Gazette des Beaux-Arts 128 (1996), pp. 141-154. 

Bok, Marten Jan. "Laying Claims to Nobility in the Dutch Republic: 
Epitaphs, True and False." Simiolus 24:2/3 (1996), pp. 209-226. 

Bolhg, Michael. "Contested Places: Graves and Graveyards in Himba 
Culture." Anthropos: International Review of Ethnology and Linguistics 
92:1-3 (1997), pp. 35-50. 

Branigan, Keith. Cemetery and Society in the Aegean Bronze Age. Ithaca, NY: 
CUP Services, 1997. 

Bruner, David E. "Hidden Power: Burial Practices from an African- 
American Slave and Tenant Community." Master's thesis. University 
of Houston, 1996. 

Burk, Margaret Tante. Final Curtain: Eternal Resting Places of Hundreds of 
Stars, Celebrities, Moguls, Misers and Misfits. Santa Ana, CA: Seven 
Locks Press, 1996. 

Chase, Theodore, and Gabel, Laurel K. Gravestone Chronicles I: Some 
Eighteenth-Century New England Carvers and their Work (revised and 
expanded edition). Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical 
Society 1997. 



321 



. Gravestone Chronicles II: More Eighteenth-Century New England 

Carvers and an Exploration of Gravestone Heraldica. Boston, MA: New 
England Historic Genealogical Society, 1997. 

Chiesa, Isabella. "The Cemetery Garden." Abitare 354 (1996), pp. 168-170. 

Clark, Sandra Russell. Elysium: A Gathering of Souls - New Orleans 
Cemeteries. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1997. 

Colman, Penny. Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burials. New York, 
NY: Henry Holt and Company, 1997. 

Colon-Rosado, Anibal. El libro de los epitafios. San Juan, Puerto Rico: 
Editorial Poemar, 1997. 

Compostella, Carla. Ornata sepulchra: le 'horghesie' municipali e la memoria di 
se nell'arte funeraria del Veneto romano. Firenze, Italy: La Nuova Italia, 
1996. 

Constant, Caroline, and Waern, Rasmus. "The Woodland Cemetery: 
Toward a Spiritual Landscape." Journal of the Society of Architectural 
Historians 56:3 (1997), pp. 359-364. 

Culbertson, Judi, and Randall, Tom. Permanent Italians: An Illustrated, 
Biographical Guide to the Cemeteries of Italy. New York, NY: Walker and 
Company, 1996. 

Da Costa, Virginia Marie. "Funerary Portraiture and Symbolism: The 
Depiction of Women in Roman Asia Minor." Ph.D. dissertation. 
University of Cahfornia, Santa Barbara, 1997. 

Danto, Bruce L., Taff, Mark L., and Boglioli, Lauren R. "Graveside 
Deaths." Omega: Journal of Death and Dying 33:4 (1996), pp. 265-278. 

D' Antonio, Dave. Invincible Summer: Traveling America in Search of 
Yesterday's Baseball Greats. South Bend, IN: Diamond Communications, 
Inc., 1997. 



322 



Davies, Douglas James. Death, Ritual and Belief: The Rhetoric of Funerary 
Rites. Washington, D.C.: Cassell, 1997. 

Davies, Penelope J.E. "The Politics of Perpetuation: Trajan's Column and 
the Art of Commemoration." American Journal of Archaeology 101(1997), 
pp. 41-65. 

del Alamo, Elizabeth Valdez. "Lament for a Lost Queen: The Sarcophagus 
of Dona Blanca in Najera." The Art Bulletin 78:2 (1996), pp. 311-334. 

Diesenroth, Karlheinz. Markische Grablege im Hofischen Glanze: Der 
Bornstedter Friedhofzu Potsdam. Berlin, Germany: Gebr. Mann, 1997. 

Effros, Bonnie. "Beyond Cemetery Walls: Early Medieval Funerary 
Topography and Christian Salvation." Early Medieval Europe 6:1 (1997), 
pp. Iff. 

Ehrlich, Cindy, and Richards, Michael. Cypress Lawn: Guardian of 
California's Heritage. Colma, CA: Cypress Lawn, 1996. 

Enninger, Werner. "Anabaptist Burial Grounds: For a Proxemic 
Approach." Archives de sciences sociales des religions 97 (1997), pp. 115- 
140. 

Epperson, Terrence W. "The Politics of 'Race' and Cultural Identity at the 
African Burial Ground Excavations, New York City." World 
Archaeological Bulletin 7 (1996), pp. 108-117. 

Fischer, Norbert. Vom Gottesacker zum Krematorium: Eine Sozialgeschichte 
der Fiedhofe in Deutschland seit dem 18. Jahrhundert. Koln, Germany: 
Bohlau, 1996. 

Florence, Robert. New Orleans Cemeteries: Life in the Cities of the Dead. New 
Orleans, LA: Batture Press, 1997. 

Forest Hill Cemetery: A Biographical Guide to the Ordinary and Famous W/w 
Shaped Madison and the World. Madison, WI: Historic Madison, Inc., 
1996. 



323 



Fox, Stephanie J. "Mortuary Practices on Children." Master's thesis. 
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 1996. 

Geraghty, Anthony. "St. Michael's Abbey, Farnborough: A Gothic 
Mausoleum for Napoleon 111." Apollo 143 (1996), pp. 9-12. 

Ginex, Giovanna. The Monumental Cemetery of Milan: Historical Guide. 
Milan, Italy: Silvana, 1996. 

Glasnevin Cemetery: An Historic Walk. Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Cemeteries 
Committee, 1997. 

Glendaniel, William. "America's Urban Historic Cemeteries: An 
Endangered Species." Historic Preservation Forum 11:4 (1997), pp. 7-14. 

Goldfus, Haim. "Tombs and Burials in Churches and Monasteries of 
Byzantine Palestine (324-628 A.D.)." Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton 
University, 1997. 

Gough, Paul. "Conifers and Commemoration: The Politics and Protocol of 
Planting." Landscape Research 21:1 (1996), pp. 73-87. 

Gradwohl, David M. "Cemetery Symbols and Contexts of American 
Indian Identity: The Grave of Painter and Poet T.C. Cannon." Markers 
XIV (1997), pp. 1-33. 

Grave Experiences: An. Interdisciplinary Guide to Cemetery Studies. Logan, 
UT: Edith Bowen Laboratory School, Utah State University, 1996. 

Gretzschel, Matthias. Historische Friedhofe in Deutschland, Osterreich und der 
Schweiz. Miinchen, Germany: Callwey, 1996. 

Gridley, Karl L. A Survey of Nineteenth-Century Gravestones in Pioneer 
Cemetery, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. Lawrence, KS: 
Kansas University Endowment Association, 1997. 



324 



Griffiths, Edward R. Dead Interesting Dorset: An Anthology of the Wit and 
Wisdom of Dorset's Epitaph Writers and Ecclesiastic Engravers from the 
16th to 19th Centuries. Bournemouth, England: Green Fields Books, 
1996. 

Habel, Dorothy Metzger. "Bernini's d'Aste Family Tombs in S. Maria in 
Via Lata, Rome: A Reconstruction." The Art Bulletin 79:2 (1997), pp. 
291-300. 

Hale, Prentis Cobb. "The Gas Works Cemetery." Master's thesis. 
University of Washington, 1996. 

Halporn, Roberta. Only Yesterday We Drained the Cup of Sorrozu: American 
Jewish Cemeteries and History. Brooklyn, NY: Center for Thanatology 
Research and Education, Inc., 1997. 

Handler, Jerome S. "An African-Type Healer /Diviner and His Grave 
Goods: A Burial from a Plantation Slave Cemetery in Barbados, West 
Indies." International Journal of Historical Archaeology 1:2 (1997), pp. 91ff. 

Haney, C. Allen, Leimer, Christine, and Lowery, Juliann. "Spontaneous 
Memorialization: Violent Death and Emerging Mourning Ritual." 
Omega: Journal of Death and Dying 35:2 (1997), pp. 159-171. 

Hansen, Joyce. Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence: The Story of New York's 
African Burial Ground. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997. 

Harlow, liana. Beyond the Grave: Cultures of Queens Cemeteries. Woodhaven, 
NY: Queens Council on the Arts, 1997. 

Horowitz, Dan. "The Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw." Avotaynu 12:4 (1996), 
pp. 56ff. 

Hart, Vaughan. "Sigurd Lewerentz and the Half-Open Door." 
Architectural History 39 (1996), pp. 181-196. 

Horton, Loren N. "The Remarkable Crosses of Charles Andera." Markers 
XIV (1997), pp. 110-133. 



325 



Howard, Deborah. "The Kinnoull Aisle and Monument." Architectural 
History 39 (1996), pp. 36-53. 

Howarth, Glennys, and Jupp, Peter, eds. The Changing Face of Death: 
Historical Accounts of Death and Disposal. New York, NY: St. Martin's 
Press, 1997. 

Hiibner, Holger. Das Gedcichtnis der Stadt: Gedenktafeln in Berlin. BerUn, 
Germany: Argon, 1997. 

Hutt, Charlotte. City of the Dead: The Story of Glasgow's Southern Necropolis. 
Glasgow, Scotland: Glasgow City Libraries and Archives, 1996. 

Huylebrouck, Dirk. "Snellius's Memorial Stone." The Mathematical 
Intelligencer 17:4 (1997), pp. 58-62. 

II Camposanto di Pisa. Torino, Italy: Einaudi, 1996. 

Isbell, William Harris. Mummies and Mortuary Monuments: A 
Postprocessional Prehistory of Central Andean Social Organization. Austin, 
TX: University of Texas Press, 1997. 

Jackson, Stephen A. "Remembering to Forget: Memory, Burial, and Self- 
Similarity in Sursurunga, New Ireland, Papua, New Guinea." 
Anthropology and Humanism 21:2 (1996), pp. 159-170. 

Jalland, Patricia. Death in the Victorian Family. New York, NY: Oxford 
University Press, 1996. 

Jensen, Claus K., ed. Burial and Society: The Chronological and Social Analysis 
of Archaeological Burial Data. OakviUe, VT: David Brown Book Co., 
1997. 

Johansson, Bengt O.H. Tallum: Gunnar Asplund's and Sigurd Lewerentz's 
Woodland Cemetery in Stockholm. Stockholm, Sweden: Byggforlaget, 
1996. 



326 



Jones, Andrea. "'Here Lies the Body': Eighteenth-Century Gravestones in 
the Almanac Presbyterian Churchyard and their Symbolic Meanings." 
North Carolina Folklore Journal 43:1 (1996), pp. 47-68. 

Jones, Constance. R.I.P.: The Complete Book of Death and Dying. New York, 
NY: HarperColHns PubHshers, 1997. 

Jones, Jason F. "Places: A Columbarium and Chapel in Lychburg's Old 
City Cemetery." Master's thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and 
State University, 1997. 

Kato, Masahisa. Zoku zoku sekibutsu geju jiten. Tokyo, Japan: Kokusho 
Kankolai, 1996. 

Kearns, Melinda Kern. "Roch Will Never Die: A Folklore Study of a New 
Orleans Cemetery." Master's thesis. Northwestern State University of 
Louisiana, 1997. 

Keegan, John. "There's Rosemary for Remembrance." The American 
Scholar 66:3 (1997), pp. 335-348. 

Keister, Douglas, and Cronin, Xavier. Going Out in Style: The Architecture 
of Eternity. New York, NY: Facts on File, Inc., 1997. 

Kelly, Marjorie. "Enshrining History: The Visitor Experience at Pearl 
Harbor's USS Arizona Memorial." Museum Anthropology 20:3 (1996), 
pp. 45-57. 

Kersz, Izaak. Szkice z dziejow gminy Zydowskiej oraz cmentarza w Lodzi. 
Lodz, Poland: Oficyna Bibliofilow, 1996. 

Keune, Eric Richard. "Memento Mori: A Provisionary Urban Necropolis 
for Washington, D.C." Master's thesis. Harvard University, 1997. 

Kochmann, Rachael M., and Kochmann, Clancy. Presidents' Birthplaces, 
Homes, and Burial Sites: A Pictorial Guide. Osage, MN: Osage 
PubHshing, 1997. 



327 



Kolbuszewski, Jacek. Cmentarze. Wroclaw, Poland: Wydawn, 1996. 

Koppel, Tom. "The Spirit of Haida Gwai." Canadian Geographic 116:2 
(1996), pp. 22-34. 

Korner, Hans. Grabmonumente des Mittelalters. Darmstadt, Germany: 
Primus, 1996. 

Kuecker-Murphy, Traci L. "St. Mary's Cemetery: A Cultural Reflection of 
Brussels. Illinois." Master's thesis. Southern Illinois University, 1997. 

Labes, Bertrand. La Memoire des tombes: les epitaphes en France. Paris, 
France: Le Cherce midi, 1996. 

Lack, William. The Monumental Brasses of Cornwall. London, England: 
Monumental Brass Society, 1997. 

Laderman, Gary. The Sacred Remains: American Attitudes Toward Death, 
1799-1883. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996. 

Langtry, Joe, and Carter, Nikki. Mount Jerome: A Victorian Cemetery. 
Dublin, Ireland: Mount Jerome Historical Project, 1997. 

Lanza, Howard D. Gateway to the Past: A Guide to Cedar Lawn Cemetery, 
Paterson, New Jersey. Paterson, NJ: Acquackanonk History Club, 1997. 

La Rocca, Linda. "Leadville's Evergreen Memories." Old West 33:1 (1996), 
pp. 40-47. 

LaRoche, Cheryl J., and Blakey, Michael L. "Seizing Intellectual Power: 
The Dialogue at the New York African Burial Ground." Historical 
Archaeology 31:3 (1997), pp. 84-106. 

Lashari, Kaleem. A Study of Stone Carved Graves. Karachi, Pakistan: Sindh 
Exploration and Adventure Society, 1996. 



328 



Laughlin, Clarence J., and Schniit, Patricia B. Haunter of Ruins: The 
Photography of Clarence John Laughlin. New York, NY: Little, Brown, and 
Company, 1997. 

Leader, Ruth E. "In Death Not Divided: Gender, Family, and State on 
Classical Athenian Grave Stelae." American Journal of Archaeology 101:4 
(1997), pp. 683-700. 

Lee, Inja. "Plurality of Representing Identity in Migrant Culture: A Case 
Study on Tombs of Koreans in Japan." Japanese Jour rial of Ethnology 61:3 
(1996), pp. 393-422. 

Lehnert, Uta. Den Toten eine Stimme: Der Parkfriedhof Lichterfelde. BerUn, 
Germany: Edition Hentrich, 1996. 

Leibowitz, Nicole. L'affaire Carpentras: de la profanation a la machination. 
Paris, France: Plon, 1997. 

Lest We Forget: Preserving Historic Cemeteries. Columbia, SC: South 
Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1997. [video] 

Levine, Gregory P. A. "Jukorin: Art, Architecture, and Mortuary Culture at 
a Japanese Zen Buddist Temple." Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton 
University, 1997. 

Llewellyn, Nigel. "Honour in Life, Death and the Memory: Funeral 
Monuments in Early Modern England." Transactions of the Royal 
Historical Society 6 (1996), pp. 179-200. 

Luecke, Sara Kay. "Coffins and Gravestones as Indications of Ethnicity in 
an Historic Finnish Cemetery." Honors thesis, HamHne University, 
1996. 

Lukacher, Brian. "Soane and Death: The Tombs and Monuments of Sir 
John Soane." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 55 (1996), 
pp. 454-457. 



329 



Macey, Jeanette Freda. "Demography and Disease of the Naestved 
Hellingsandhus Collection: An A.D. 15'^ to 19*'' Century Cemetery 
Population of the 'House of the Holy Spirit' in Southwest Denmark." 
Master's thesis. Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1996. 

Magner, Blake A. At Peace With Honor: Civil War Burials of Laurel Hill 
Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Collingswood, NJ: C.W. 
Historicals, 1997. 

Malarney, Shaun Kingsley. "Limits of State Functionalism and the 
Reconstruction of Funerary Ritual in Contemporary Northern 
Vietnam." American Ethnologist 23:3 (1996), pp. 540-560. 

Malloy, Tom and Brenda. "Gravemarkers of the Early Congregational 
Ministers in North Central Massachusetts." Markers XIV (1997), pp. 
34-85. 

Mandell, Elisa C. "Representing Death and Decomposition in Costa Rican 
Funerary Masks." Masters thesis. University of California, Los 
Angeles, 1996. 

Marika, James Patrick William. "City of the Dead: Of Architecture, 
Artifact, and the Human Body." Master's thesis. University of Calgary, 
1996. 

Martin, Edward C. Dr Johnson's Apple Orchard: The History of the Hartsdale 
Canine Cemetery. Hartsdale, NY: Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, 1997. 

McConville, Chris. "Cities of the Dead: The New Cemeteries of the 
Nineteenth Century." Urban Futures 22 (1997), pp. 41ff. 

McGahee, Susan H. South Carolina's Historic Cemeteries: A Preservation 
Handbook. Columbia, S.C: South Carolina Department of Archives and 
History, 1997. 

McKean, David Duncan. The Cross and the Shamrock: The Art and History of 
St. Patrick Cemetery, Lowell, Massachusetts. Westford, MA: Ledgeview 
Printing, 1997. 



330 



Meigs, Mark. "'A Grave Diggin' Feelin' in My Heart': American War Dead 
of World War I." Chapter 5 of Optimism at Armageddon: Voices of 
American Participants in the First World War. New York, NY: New York 
University Press, 1997, pp. 143-187; 241-245. 

Middione, Roberto, "Splendour at Sunset: The Angevin Monuments at 
San Giovanni a Carbonara, Naples, Italy" FMR 82 (1996), pp. 33-68. 

Mikhalson, Menahem. Mekomot kedoshim ve-kivre tsadikim be-Erets Yisrael. 
Tel-Aviv, Israel: Misrad ha-bitahon, 1996. 

Millar Nancy. Once Upon a Tomb: Stories from Canadian Graveyards. Calgary, 
Alberta, Canada: Fifth House, 1997. 

Miller, Patricia, comp. Connecticut 18th Century Epitaphs. 2"'^ Edition. 
Brooklyn, NY: Center for Thanatology Research and Education, Inc., 
1997. 

Morales-Chacon, Alberto. Escultura funeraria del Renacimiento en Sevilla. 
Sevilla, Spain: Disputacion Provincial de Sevilla, 1996. 

Morris, Beverly R. "The Dead Speak: Interpretation of Tombstones and 
Cemeteries." Legacy 7:2 (1996), pp. 24ff. 

Morris, Susan. A Traveler's Guide to Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries of the California 
Gold Rush. Berkeley, CA: Judah L. Magnes Museum, 1996. 

Mosse, Claude. Carpentras, la profanation: chronique. Monte Carlo, Monaco: 
Editions du Roche, 1996. 

Mozdyr, M.l. Ukrainska narodna memorialna skulptura. Kyiv, Ukraine: 
Nauk. Dumka, 1996. 

Nedoroscik, Jeffrey A. The City of the Dead: A History of Cairo's Cemetery 
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331 



Neumann, Wolfgang, ed. Jenseits der Norm: Ausemandersetzung mit dem 
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332 



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333 



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337 



CONTRIBUTORS 

Cathy Ambler holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of 
Kansas, as well as a master's degree in historical administration and 
museum studies. She is an assistant director at the Kansas Technology 
Enterprise Corporation Center for Excellence at the University of Kansas. 
Her research interests include the creation and evolution of public land- 
scapes such as local historic sites, cemeteries, and fairgrounds. She has 
authored several articles on Kansas community landscapes, among them 
Lawrence's rural cemetery, Oak Hill, which appeared in Kansas History 
(Winter 1992-1993). 

James Blachowicz, Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University, 
Chicago, became interested in colonial American gravestones in 1972 and 
joined the Association for Gravestone Studies in 1994. He has traveled 
widely in the Mediterranean, taught adult education courses in ancient 
history, archaeology, and art, and has pubUshed four articles in the New 
York Times on the ancient cultures of Greece, Turkey, Syria, and North 
Africa. He will lead a travel tour of the ruins of ancient Turkey next year. 
His book in philosophy. Of Two Minds: The Nature of Inquiry, will appear 
in early 1998 from the State University of New York Press. 

Chun-shing Chow is a native of Guangdong Province, China. He 
received his Ph.D. in geography at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. He 
has taught at Chinese Culture University in Taipei, Taiwan, the University 
of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Baptist University, where he is currently 
an associate professor in the Department of Geography. His research 
interests are in social and cultural geography, particularly the adaptation 
of Chinese-Americans as a cultural and ethnic group, and in Chinese cul- 
tural practices and worldviews. 

Eva Eckert, Ph.D., teaches Russian and linguistics at Connecticut College, 
New London, Connecticut, where she chairs the Department of Russian 
and East European Studies. A Czech native with degrees from Charles 
University in Prague, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and the 
University of CaUfornia at Berkeley, she has published materials on Slavic 
verbal aspects, standard and colloquial language varieties, and language 
change and loss of American Czech. 



338 



David Mayer Gradwohl, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Iowa 
State University lists as his principal research interest the relationship of 
ethnicity and material culture. 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. He is a member of the 
Board of Directors of the Iowa Jewish Historical Society. Earlier articles on 
Louisville, Kentucky's Jewish cemeteries, San Francisco's Presidio Pet 
Cemetery (with Richard E. Meyer), and American Indian cemetery sym- 
bols have appeared respectively in Markers X, Markers XII, and Markers 
XIV. 

Richard E. Meyer is Professor Emeritus of English and Folklore at 
Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon. Besides serving as 
editor of Markers, he has edited the books Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: 
Voices of American Culture (1989, reprinted 1992) and Ethnicity and the 
American Cemetery (1993) and is co-author (with Peggy McDowell) of the 
book The Revival Styles in American Memorial Art (1994). He is a member of 
the editorial board of The Journal of American Culture, a commissioner on 
the State of Oregon's five-person State Pioneer Cemetery Commission, 
and from 1986-1996 chaired the Cemeteries and Gravemarkers section of 
the American Culture Association. His articles on Oregon pioneer grave- 
markers and (with David M. Gradwohl) on San Francisco's Presidio Pet 
Cemetery have appeared in Markers XI and Markers XII, respectively. 
Recently he revisited an old research interest, writing the Introduction to 
the University of Nebraska Press's reissue of Homer Croy's classic Jesse 
James Was My Neighbor. 

Kenneth Speirs is a Ph.D. candidate at New York University, currently 
working on a dissertation which examines the self's relationship to, and 
desire for union with, the other in Herman Melville's fiction. 

Elizabeth Kenworthy Teather is a geographer, and completed her doc- 
torate at University College, London. She has been living in Australia 
since 1984, and is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography and 
Planning, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, 
Australia. During 1996 and 1997 she was Scholar in Residence at the 
David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, and the Department of 
Geography, at Hong Kong Baptist University. During this period, with the 



339 



help of colleagues in the Social Sciences Faculty, she studied the Chinese 
cultural beliefs associated with death, in order to understand the values 
that lie behind the unique and powerful landscapes of Hong Kong's 
urban cemeteries. 

Karolyn K. Wrightson is a free-lance writer who specializes in history 
and travel. She writes a weekly column on the history of Westchester 
County, New York for Gannett Suburban Newspapers, and her travel arti- 
cles have appeared in a number of newspapers and magazines. She is a 
former editor of The Westchester Historian and has been Executive Director 
of the Westchester County Historical Society. Recently, she completed a 
novel set in Mississippi during the Civil Rights era and a book on the 
Australian outback. Her book. The Fire That Brought Peace, was published 
in 1997 by the Anglican Diocese of South Australia. She holds an M. A. in 
English from the University of Virginia. 



340 



INDEX 



Boldface page numbers [in brackets] indicate illustrations 



Aberdeen Chinese Permanent Cemetery, 

Hong Kong, China 298, 305, 308, 311 
Aboriginal Inland Mission (Australia) 251 
Abudiente, Bathsheba 5 
Adnyamathanaha People (Australia) 

251-260 
Albertson, Jacob 81 
Albertson, Joseph Warren 49, [50] 
Albertson, Lydia Rider 81 
Allen, Ezra 152 
Allen, Gabriel 152 
Allen, Henry 117 
Al Tona Cemetery, St. Thomas, Virgin 

Islands, West Indies 5, [4] 
Altona, Germany 3 

"Ancestor Worship" (Chinese) 289-293 
Ancestral Tablets (Chinese) 294-295 
Anderson, Timothy G. 206-207 
Angier, Oakes 62, 149 
"Armchair Graves" (Chinese) 295-298, 

[286, 296] 
Arts and Crafts Movement 277-279 
Ashkenazim 3, 6, 14, 25 
Association for Gravestone Studies 43 
A Treasury of Sephardic Laws and Customs 

(Herbert Dobrinsky) 19 
Atwood Cemetery, Atwood, KS [277] 
Attwood, Susanna 154 
Austrahan Aborigines 234-263 

Bacon, Charles Henry 106, [107] 

Bacon, Eloisha 157 

Bacon, Mary 152 

Bacon, Nabby 101, 157 

bagua 303 

Baker, Hannah 144 

Baker, John 140, [139] 

Baker, Keziah 156-157 

Bangs, Phylander and Joshua 67, 150, [66] 

Barnstable Patriot 146-147 

Barta, Anna 216 

Bartlett, Ephraim 155 

Bartlett, Isaac 153 

Bartlett, Jane 155 

Bartlett, John 51, 53, [52] 



Bartlett, Lemuel 83, 86, 93, [85] 

Bartlett, Lois Harlow 153 

Bartlett, Polly 155-156 

Bartlett, Rebecca 155 

Bartlett, Samuel 149 

Bartlett, Thomas and William 156 

Bartos, Vavrinec 218 

Bates, Daisy 246 

Bathurst Island, Australia 234, 238-245, [238] 

Beagle Bay Aboriginal Council (Australia) 

246 
Beagle Bay Mission, Cape Leveque, Australia 

244-252 
Beagle Bay Mission Cemetery, Cape Leveque, 

Australia 246, 250-252, [250, 252] 
Bearse, Sally 117, 125, [119] 
Belinfante, Ralph Cohen 8 
Bendrao, Moises Benjo 3, [2] 
Benes, Peter 40, 43, 61, 73, 104, 145 
Benezra, Leon 12 
Berndt, Ronald M. 235-236 
Bickford, Mary and EUsha 149-150 
Bila, Anna 216 
Bilel, Aaron S. 12, [11] 
Billy Biidd (Herman Melville) 35-36 
Bfly, Frantisek 216 
Blahuta, Jiiri and Anna [215] 
Blake, Deborah 153 
Blake, Harriot 153 
Blake, Joshua 153 
Bohemia 204-233 
Bonaventure Jewish Cemetery, Savannah, 

GA 18, [19] 
Bonner, James, Jr. 62 
Bonner, Sarah 62 
Bosboom, David 12 
Bosworth, Sarah 81, 94 
Brackett, Moses 73, 153, [74] 
Bradford, Hitty 131 
Bradford, Lemuel 131 
Bramhall, Mercy 90 
Bramhall, Sarah 149, 152 
Bramhall, Sylvanus 149 
Brandon, Isaac Pereira 6 
Bravo, Isaac 6, [7] 



341 



Bray, William 109, 111, [110] 

Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies 5 

Brink, John 271 

Brooks, [Bejtsy 71 

Broome, Richard 246 

Brown, George 42, 153 

Brown, Lemuel 156 

Brown, Mary 57, 152 

Brown, Polly 153 

Brown, Rebecca 152 

Budis, Maticka 216 

Bueno, David and Rachel 21-22 

Burbank, Ezra 93-94, 156 

Burbank, Timothy 71 

Burial Hill, Plymouth, MA 38, 67, 81, 122 

Burgess, Elisha 127 

Burgess, Hannah 127, [128] 

Burr, Jonathan 129 

taka, Marie 216 

Cape CoUinson Columbarium, Hong 

Kong, China 303-305, [303, 304] 
Cape Cod, MA 38-203 
Cardozo, Benjamin 10, 12 
Carver, Mary 152 
Cary, Susanna 73 
Castelo de Vide, Portugal 1 
Castro, Isaac A. and Daisy Altchek 22-24, 

[23] 
Catalan, Solomon 20 
Cedar Park Cemetery, Paramus, NJ 18-24, 

[20-24] 
Cemy, Frantisek [217] 
Chapman, Elizabeth 141 
Charitable Graves (Chinese) 311-313, 

[313] 
Cherryvale, KS 267 
Chinese columbarium niches 303-305, 

[303-304] 
Chinese Permanent Cemeteries (CPC) 298 
Chinese private graves 301-303, [299, 302] 
Chipman, Barnabas 75 
Chipman, Walter 153, 157 
Chipman, William 43, 61, 69, 73, 149, [70, 

72] 
Chongyang 290-293 
Christian missionaries 234-263, 289 
Churchill family gravemarker 133, [134] 
Churchill, Ruth 154 



Cimmaron Cemetery, Cimmaron, KS [275, 

276] 
Circular Congregational Churchyard, 

Charleston, SC 148 
Civil Works Administration (CWA) 264-267, 

284 
Cobb, Betsy 44, 67 
Cobb, John 152 
Cobb, Margaret 86 
Cobb, Sarah 113, 117, [113] 
Cobb's Hill Cemetery, Barnstable, MA 98 
Codner, William 57, 61, 64, 152 
Cohen, David and Rachel 22 
Colonial Jewish Cemetery, Newport, RI 

14-17, [14] 
Combs, Diana WUliams 42 
Comenius, John Amos 206, 230 
Congregation Mikveh Israel Colonial Jewish 

Cemetery Philadelphia, PA 17, [15] 
Congregation Mikveh Israel Jewish Cemetery 

(Federal Street), Philadelphia, PA 17, [17] 
Congregation Shearith Israel Cemetery, Long 

Island, New York 10-14, [10] 
Congregation Yeshuat Israel, Newport, RI 14 
Cook, James 236 
Cotton, Hannah 79, 144 
Cotton, John 79, 145, [80] 
Cotton, Lydia 57 
Cotton, Theophilus 152, 154 
Coye, Ruth Savery 53, 56 
Coye, William 41, 53, 56, 64 
Coulthard, Helen 254, 258, [256] 
Coulthard, Samuel and Annie 254, [253] 
Coulthard, Terry 258 
Coulthard, Walter 258 
Crocker, Ebenezer 101 
Crocker, George 73 
Crocker, Horace S. 129, [130] 
Crombie, Fanney 111 
Crombie, James 156 
Crombie, William 81, 155 
Crombie, Zerulah 155 
Crosby, Mary 153 
Croswell, Andrew 154 
Croswell, Joseph 151 
CroweU, Joseph 151 
CroweU, PurUna 156-157 
Curasao, West Indies 5 
Curtis, Nathaniel 57 



342 



Gushing, Nathaniel 67, 69 
Cushman family carvers 61, 149 
Cushman, William 61 
Czech language 204-233 

Danforth, Molley 152 

Darby, Jonathan 43, 149 

Davee, Robert 154 

Davis, James, Jr. 121, 145, [123] 

Davis, Job C. 157 

Davis, Mary 95-96, 121, 156 

Davis, Mary C. 156 

Davis, Mercy 152 

Davis, Noah 129 

Davis, Robert 98, 156 

Davis, Thomas 59, 62, 149, [59] 

de Cordova, Solomon 12 

Deetz, James 17 

deCroot, J.J.M. 298 

De Rivera, Raquel Rodriguez 15 

de Sola Pool, David 10, 14, [12] 

de Sola Pool, Tamara 14, [12] 

de Souza, Ernest Henriques 27 

Dethlefsen, Edwin 17 

Deverson, George 44 

Diacritics 204-233 

Diat, Daisy 258, [259] 

Dike, Thomas 155 

Diman, Hannah 149, 152 

Diman, Jonathan 93 

Dimon, Josiah 151 

Doane, Isaac 149 

Doane, Mary 149 

Dobrinsky, Herbert 19 

Do Fonseca, Isaac Aboab 4-5 

Doggett, Jane 90, 92, [92] 

Dorian, Nancy 233 

Doten, Ebenezer 149 

Doten, Jabez 156 

Doten, John and William 156 

Doten, Polly 156 

"Dreamtime, The" 235 

Drew, Bathsheba 53 

Drew, Ehzabeth 154 

Drew, Sally 156-157 

Drews, Ruth R 154 

Dunham, Elizabeth Savery 150 

Dunham, Isaac 150 

Dutch West India Company 4 



Duval, Francis Y. and Ivan B. Rigby 42 
Dyer, Ebenezer 73, 149 

Earth God Shrines (Chinese) 301, [302] 

Easterbrook, John 157 

Eldridge, Barnabas 121 

Eldridge, Patience 121, 145, [122] 

Ellis, KS 267 

Elmaleh, Leon Haim 17, [16] 

Emden, Germany 3 

Eskenazi, Rebecca and Izai 21 

Ewer, Benjamin 75, [75] 

Fairview Cemetery, Cherryvale, KS 279, [280, 

281] 
Federal Emergency Relief Administration 

(FERA) 266-267 
fengshui 288-314 
Fessenden, Sarah 71-73 
Fessenden, Stephen 71-72, 77 
Fish, Elizabeth 137 
Fisher, Arietta D. 137 
Fisher, Benjamin Franklin 137 
Fisher, Elizabeth Butler 137 
Fisher, Elizabeth Hallet 158 
Fisher family carvers (Wrentham, MA) 137 
Fisher, Jabez 137 

Fisher, Jabez M. 41, 106, 135-144, [140] 
Fisher, Sarah E. 137 
Fisher, Sarah S. Sturgis 137, 141, [140] 
Fisher, WilHam S. 41, 106, 137, 141-144 
Fisher, William Sydney 158 
Fishman, Joshua 233 
Fojtik, Josef 213 
Forbes, Harriette Merrifield 56 
Foster, Elizabeth Hall 42 
Foster, Joseph 73 
Foster, Job 152 
Foster, Thomas 51 
Frazier, Thomas 153 
Freeman, Benjamin 117, 125, [118] 
Freeman, Mehitable 77, [78] 
Fujianese Cemetery, Hong Kong, China 

308-311 

Garden City, KS 266 
Gardens of Remembrance, Hong Kong, 
China 294 



343 



George, Diana Hume and Malcolm A. 

Nelson 42-43 
Geyer family carvers 60 
Geyer, Henry Christian 61, 64 
Girard, KS 267 
Gliickstat, Germany 3 
Goddard, Mary Simmons 89, [89] 
Goddard, William 155 
"Goggle-Eye" Carver 71-73, 76-79, 83 
Goodland Cemetery, Goodland, KS 279, 

[278] 
Goodspeed, Allen 127 
Goodspeed, Hannah 157 
Goodspeed, John 153 
Goodspeed, Mercy 62, 67 
Goodwin, Hannah 49, [38] 
Goodwin, Molly 152, 154 
Goodwin, Nathan 154 
Goodwin, Nathaniel 53, [55] 
Gorham, Abby 106 
Gorham, Huldah 109, 149 
Gorham, Silvanus 100-101, 111, 113, [111] 
"Government Rustic" architectural style 

277 
Graven Images (Arnold Schwartzman) 3 
Graves, Thomas E. 233 
Gray, Samuel 100 
Great Depression 264-285 
Greensburg Cemetery, Greensburg, KS 

266, [274] 
Groos, Mary 156 
Guangdong Province, China 293-314 

Hajicek, Mat'ej 216 

HaUet, Arthur 137, 140-141, [138] 

Hallet, Ebenezer 117, [116] 

HaUet, Henry 157 

HaUet, Hiram 141 

Hallet, Lucenda 157 

Hallet, Nathan 141, [142] 

Hallet, William 111 

Hammatt, Abraham (1774) 57 

Hammatt, Abraham (1797) 86, [87] 

Harden, Charles M. 98 

Handy, Benjamin 140 

Harlow, Amaziah, Jr. 39-203, [82] 

Harlow, Amaziah, Sr. 79 

Harlow, Benjamin 151 

Harlow, Deborah 151 



Harlow, Elizabeth 111, 133, 145, [112] 

Har[low], [Jabjez 61, [62] 

Harlow, Jesse 133, 145, 154, [132] 

Harlow, Jesse, Jr. 151 

Harlow, John 81 

Harlow, Lois Doten 81 

Harlow, Lucy Torrey 81 

Harlow, Martha Albertson 81, 94 

Harlow, Martha Delano 81 

Harlow, Silvanus 151 

Hartshorn, Jacob 151 

Hartshorn, Stephen 49, 53, 61, 64, 151 

Hastings, Daniel 121, 157 

Hawes, Benjamin 42, 148, 152 

Hawes, John 137 

Hawes, John E. 137 

Hawes, Sarah 104, 125, 156, [105] 

Hawthorne, Nathaniel 35 

Hayes, Rebecca 15 

He, Bin 293, 298 

Henriquez, Abraham 6 

Higgins, Samuel 151 

Hill, Ernestine 238 

Hinckley, Chipman 123 

Hinckley, Isaac 157 

Hinckley Lot 157 

Hinckley Mary 96, 117, 123 

Hinckley, Phoebel55 

Hinckley, Robinson 101, 157 

Hinckley, Samuell23 

Hinckley, Susannal23 

Hinckley Thomas 124, 155 

Hoff, Jennifer 231 

Hojeh, Vojtech [229] 

Holbrook, Martha 153 

Holbrooke, Elizabeth 151 

Holbrooke, Ezekiel 151 

HoUk, Verunika 211, [212] 

Holmes, Abiah Crocker Davis 96 

Holmes, Chloe Sears 95 

Holmes, Eleazor 81, 86, 89, [88] 

Holmes, Ephraim 98, 131 

Holmes, Jonah 53, 61, 149 

Holmes, Lewis 154 

Hohnes, Lucy 96, 98, 156 

Holmes, Mary Brewster 155-156 

Holmes, Mary D. 96 

Holmes, Nathaniel 39-203, [97] 

Holmes, Nathaniel, Sr. 95 



344 



Holmes, Nathaniel, 3"^ 131 

Holmes, Oliver 96, 135 

Holmes, Patience Phinney 155 

Holmes, Polly 93 

Holmes, Richard 156 

Holmes, Sarah 154, 156 

Holmes, William D. 96, 98, 135 

Homer, John 47, 53, 61-62, 66-67, 149-150, 

152-153 
Hong Kong, China 286-317 
Hopkins, Harry L. 267, 284 
Howard, John 153 
Howes, Daniel, Jr. 149 
Howland, Consider 156 
Howland, [Pati]ence 151 
Hovey, James 149 
Hunt, Ephraim 152 

Inquisition 1 

Jackson, Anna 64 

Jackson, Desire 86 

Jackson, Elizabeth 121 

Jackson, Hannah 152 

Jackson, Lucy 86 

Jackson, Petes[r?] 258, [260] 

Jackson, Richard 121 

Jackson, Sarah 67, 133, 145 

Jackson, Thomas 44, 48, 64, 67, 107, 133, 

145, 149, [65] 
Jasek, Joseph R. 220, [220] 
Jewish Cemetery (Avenida Alfonso 111), 

Lisbon, Portugal 3, [vi] 
Jewish Cemetery, Charlestown, Nevis, 

West Indies 5 
Jewish Cemetery, Oudekerk, Netherlands 

3 
Jewish Cemetery, Spanish Town, Jamaica, 

West Indies 5-6, [5] 
Jiangsu Province, China 292 
jinta 293-294, [286] 
Jones, Lydia 151 
Jones, Mallie 127, [126] 
Jones, Silvanus 123 
Josh the dog 33, [34] 
Junk Bay Cemetery, Hong Kong, China 

301 
Jurica, Cecille 224, [225] 



Kansas Emergency Relief Committee (KERC) 

264-265, 268 
Kansas Federal Relief Committee (KFRC) 

264-265 
Kelley, Lemuel 157 
Kelley, Sarah 157 
Kendall, James 104 
Kerininaiua, Fiona 244, [242] 
Kilburn, Betsy 157 
Kimberley Region, Western Australia 237- 

238, 250 
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (Spain) 1 
King George III (England) 236 
King Manuel 1 (Portugal) 1 
Klekar, Frantiska 224 
Knowles, Edward 149 
Knowles, Elijah 149 
Knowles, Willard 149 
Kohanim 14 

Kohg, Erich 237-238, 261 
Kotrlika, Josef a 216 
Krallman, Henry [250] 
Krejci, Antoine 211, [210] 
Krejci, Paulina [218 ] 
Krovjak, Emilek 211, [213] 
Kubenova, Zuzana 224 

Ladiiio 1 

Lakenham Cemetery, North Carver, MA 44, 

47,67 
Lamson, Caleb 157 
Lamson family carvers 47, 121 
Lamson, Samuel 157 
Lanman, Samuel [63] 
Lazarus, Emma 12 
Leach, David 156 
Leach, Elizabeth 154 
LeBaron, Francis 53, 59, [58] 
LeBaron, Lazarus 53 
"Lemon-Eye" Carver 86 
Leoti Cemetery, Leoti, KS 281, [282] 
Lev, Lucy 226-227, [228] 
Levites 14 

Levy, Uriah Phillips 10 
Lewis, Hannah 57 
Lewis, Jabez 157 
Lewis, John 149-150, 152 
Lewis, Kezia 109, 157, [109] 
Lewis, Robert 109, [108] 



345 



Lewis, Rowland 156 

Lineage Graves (Chinese) 305-308, [305, 

307] 
Linnell, Nabby 149 
Lin Zhou quarry, near Guangzhou, China 

306, 309 
Lombardina Mission, Western Australia 

246 
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth 15 
Lothrop Cemetery, Barnstable, MA 123 
Lothrop, Ebenezer 156 
Lovell, Lazarus 157 
Ludwig, Allan.39-40, 56, 92, 145 

Mardudjala People (Australia) 236 

Marion, KS 266 

MarysvUle Cemetery, Marysville, KS 270- 

273, 281, [264, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273] 
Marysville (Kansas) Women's Relief 

Corps 270 
May, Thomas 154 
Mayo, Isaiah 150 
Melville Island, Australia 239-245 
Melville, Herman 30-37, [30] 
Mendes, Avin Piza 14, [13] 
Mendl, James 231 
Meyer, Robert 283 
Mickveh Israel Synagogue, Savannah, GA 

18 
Mikveh Israel Synagogue, Philadelphia, 

PA 17 
Mikuda, Anna 224, [222] 
Mitchell, EUsha 149 
Moby-Dick (Herman Melville) 32 
Moravia 204-233 
Morkovsky Jan 221-222, [221] 
Morris, Harry 22 
Morris, WilUam 277 
Morton, Elizabeth 56-57, 72, 149, [56] 
Morton, Experience 155-156 
Morton, Nathaniel 57, 149, 152, [57] 
Morton, Patience 156-157 
Morton, Rebecca 152 
Morton, Sarah 156 
Motal, Antonia Vlasak [226] 
Mount Hope Cemetery, Independence, 

KS 279, [276, 279] 
Mraz, Jana Marie [223] 
Myrick, Lydia 149 



Nahamyas, Mosseh Haym 5 

"Narrow-Nose" Carver 73-79, 83 

Neal, Avon and Ann Parker 42 

Neidjie, Bill 235-236, 238 

Nelson, Hannah 155 

Nepabunna Mission, North Flinders Ranges, 

AustraUa 251-260 
Nepabunna Mission Cemetery 253-260, [253] 
New Amsterdam (New York City) 8 
Newcomb, William 69, 72. 77 
New Deal 264-285 
New Kai Lung Wan Tung Wah Cemetery, 

Hong Kong, China 308-309 
Nickerson, Seth 157 
Nickerson, Susannah 135, [136] 
Novak, Frantiska 224 
Novak, Mary 224 

Nunes-Ribeiro, Samuel (Samuel Nunez) 18 
Nye, Isaac 152 

Nye, Patty 43, 61, 71, 73, [69, 71] 
Nye, SUas 75-76 
Nye, Thomas 157 

Oak Grove Cemetery, Plymouth, MA 150 

Ogelthorpe, James 18 

Olathe, KS 266 

Old Jewish Cemetery, Savannah, GA 18, [18] 

Olsovsky, Joseph 224 

Orange Street Jewish Cemetery, Kingston, 

Jamaica, West Indies 6, 8, [8] 
Otis, Henry 155 

Paine, Mary 67, 150 

Pallotine order 246 

Palmer, Sarah 156 

Park family carvers 47 

Paty Thomas 156 

Phinney, Edward 95 

Phinney, Thomas, Jr. 96 

Piereyra, Joseph Rodriguez 17 

Pilat, Frantiska 220-221 

Pilat, Teresie 220-221 

Plymouth, MA 38-203 

Pope, Mary 154 

Popisil, Frantiska 224 

Popmunnet, Zacheus 149 

Portraits Etched In Stone (David de Sola Pool) 

10 
Pozlovice, Molavia 232 



346 



Praha Cemetery, Praha, TX 204-233, [204] 

Pratt family carvers 47 

Pratt, Robert 47 

Pukumani Burial Grounds, Melville 

Island, Australia 239-244, [240, 241] 
Pukumani burial poles 239-244, [240, 241] 
Piilkrabek, Mari 224 

Quingming 289-314 

Ram Paddock Gate (Minerawuta), North 

Flinders Ranges, Australia 253 
Recife, West Indies 4-5 
Ree, Virginia 12 
Revah, Sam and Esther 25, [24] 
Revival Styles architecture 279 
Rickard, Bathsheba 155 
Rider, Ruthy 113, [114] 
Rider, William 53, 59 
Rilke, Rainer Maria 35 
Ripley, Nehemiah 152 
Robbins, Chandler 81, 93 
Robbins, Jane 93 
Robbins, Lemuel Cobb 156 
Robbins, Sarah 90, 94, [90] 
Roman CathoUc Church 1, 206, 239-251 
Roosevelt, Franklin D. 267, 284 
Ruskin, John 277 
Russell, James 66, 77 
Ryder, Joseph 81, 94 
Ryder, Mary 149 
Ryder, Reuben 141 

Samson, George 155 ^ 

Sampson, Josiah 157 

Sampson, Mary 157 

Sampson, Sarah 157 

Samson, Simeon 64 

Sandy Ridge Public Cemetery, New 

Territories, Hong Kong, China 308-312 
Santa Maria La Blanca, Spain 1 
Savary, A.W. 43 
Savery, Abiah Butterfield 150 
Savery, Elizabeth Stephenson [Deverson] 

43, 151 
Savery, James 150 
Savery, John 150 
Savery, Lemuel 38-203 
Savery, Lemuel, Jr. 150 
Savery, Priscilla Paddock 43-44 



Savery, Rispah Thomas 150 

Savery, Samuel 43 

Savery, Thomas 43, 150, 153 

Savery, William 44, 150 

Schwartzman, Arnold 3 

Scudder, David 156 

Scudder, Desire 156 

Scudder, Ealeazer 157 

Scudder, PoUy 157 

Scudder, Sally 127 

Sears, Thomas 155 

Seixas, Benjamin Mendes 12 

Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America 20, 

[22] 
Sephardim vi-29 
Shaare Shalom Synagogue, Kingston, 

Jamaica, West Indies 6, [7] 
Shaw, Betsy 90, 154 
Shaw, John 67 
Shaw, Southworth 152 
Shearith Israel (The Spanish and Portugese 

Synagogue), New York City 8, 10-14 
Sheftall, Francis 18 
Shurtleff, EHza 152 
Sinagoga del Trdnsito, Toledo, Spain 1 
Sinn, E. 311 

Sloane, David Charles 285 
Smith, David (d. 1824) 157 
Smith, David (d. 1838) 157, [124] 
Smith, James 157 
Smith, Thomas 62, 67, 71-72, 77 
Social Democratic Party of Portugal 1 
Soule family carvers 47, 121, 145 
Sparrow, Warren 110 
"Spirit Road" (Ming Tombs), China 301 
Spooner, Sarah 53, [54] 
Stephens, Edward 149 
Stephens, Eleazer 149 
Stetson, Mary 156 
Stickley Gustav 277 

Sturges [Sturgis], Samuel 117, 121, 145, [120] 
Sturgis, Lydia 121 
Sturgis, William 41, 129 
Sturgis, WilUam W. 129, 137 
Sturtevant, Amos 67 
Sturtevant, Hannah 69 
Sturtevant, Jenne 67, [68] 
Stutz, John G. 268-269 
Stuyvesant, Peter 8 
Swan, Sarah 152 



347 



Symbolic Graves (Chinese) 308-311, [309]] 
Symmes, Hannah 153 

Tavares, Hannanel 8, [9] 

Taylor, Elizabeth 127 

Taylor, Jacob 151 

Thatcher, Remember 154 

The Craftsman 277 

The Great Australian Loneliness (Ernestine 

Hill) 238 
"The Jewish Cemetery at Newport" 

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) 15 
Tlie Plymouth Almanac 131 
Thompson, George 90, [91] 
Titcomb, Paul 152 

Tiwi People (Australia) 234, 238-245 
Tobey, Cornelius 75 
Tomar, Portugal 1 
Tomson, Isaac 47, 123 
Tonkinson, Robert 236 
Torres, Louis Juda and LilUe AUegre 20, 

[20] 
Torres Straits, Australia 241 
Torrey, Abigail Thomas 81 
Torrey, John 152 
Torrey, Mary 151 
Torrey, Thomas 81 
Touro Synagogue, Newport, RI 14 
Trappist order 246 
Tribbel, Albert 131 
Tribbel, Bathsheba Holmes 131 
Tribbel, James 131 
Tribbel, John 41, 67, 124, 129, 131-134, 

144-145, 156 
Tribbel, Joseph 3'''' 131 
Tribbel, Isaac 131 
Tribbel, Polly Bradford 131 
Tribbel, Sarah Dunham 131 
Tribbel, Susanna Holmes 131 
Tribbel, Thomas and Mary 156 
Tribbel, Winslow 131 
Trojacek, Agnes 211, [214] 
Tung Wah Hospital, Hong Kong, China 

294, 312 
Turner, Eleazor 155 
Turtle-Shaped Graves (China) 309-310, 

[309, 310] 
Union Cemetery, Carver, MA 47 
United Aborigines Mission (UAM) 

251-254 



United Congregation of Israelites, Kingston, 

Jamaica, West Indies 6 
Urbis, Marie [219] 

Varsano, Acher S. and Palomba 20-21, [21] 

Varsano, Lily and Joe 20 

Velho Cemetery, London, England 3 

Venbrux, Eric 241, 243 

Virgin, John 158 

Virgin, WiUiam Henry 156 

Vyvjala, John and Frantiska [227] 

Walker, WilUam 237 

WardweU, Mehethabell 152 

Ware, G.A. 270-271 

Warren, Benjamin 81 

Warren, David 157 

Warren, Elizabeth 155 

Warren, Jane 154 

Washburn, Bildad 47 

Washburn family carvers 47 

Watson, EUzabeth 40, 92 

Watson, Patience 61 

Watson, Samuel 151 

Wells, Ruth 150 

Wesleyan Missionary Society 237 

Weston, Coomer 86 

Weston, Priscilla 49, 151, [51] 

WethreU, Elizabeth 133 

WethreU, Rebecah 151 

Wethrell, William and Isaac 113, [115] 

Whelden, Eben 141, [143] 

WiUiams, Temperance 157 

Winfield, KS 266 

Winser, Charlotte 155 

Wo Hop Shek Cemetery, Hong Kong, China 

293, 311 
WoUseifer, Mattheas [250] 
Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx, New York 

36 
Works Progress Administration (WPA) 

264-285 

yin and yang 287-293 

yizhong 312 

Yulapen (Festival of the Hungry Ghosts) 312 

zhaitong 294-295 

Zhejiang Province, China 298, [297] 

Zhou, Zuo Ming 310 



348 



NOTES FOR CONTRIBUTORS TO 

MARKERS: ANNUAL JOURNAL OF THE 

ASSOCIATION FOR GRAVESTONE STUDIES 

Scope 

The Association for Gravestone Studies was incorporated as a non- 
profit corporation in 1978 as an outgrowth of the Dublin Seminar for New 
England Folklife. The first volume of the Association's annual scholarly 
journal. Markers, appeared in 1980. While the charter purposes of AGS are 
broad, the general editorial policy of Markers is to define its subject mat- 
ter as the analytical study of gravemarkers of all types and encompassing 
all historical periods and geographical regions, with an emphasis upon 
North America. Gravemarkers are here taken to mean above-ground arti- 
facts that commemorate the spot of burial, thereby in most instances 
excluding memorials or cenotaphs (exceptions may, however, be made to 
this latter prohibition, and prospective authors are urged to consult the 
editor if they have any questions concerning this matter). Articles on 
death and dying in general or on other aspects of death-related material 
culture would not normally fall within the journal's purview unless clear- 
ly linked to the study of gravemarkers. Particular cemeteries may form 
the basis of study if a major focus of the article is on the markers con- 
tained therein and if the purpose of the article is more than simply a non- 
analytical history or description of the cemeteries themselves. Finally, 
articles submitted for publication in Markers should be scholarly, analyti- 
cal and interpretive, not merely descriptive and entertaining. Within these 
general parameters, the journal seeks variety both in subject matter and 
disciplinary orientation. For illustration of these general principles, the 
prospective author is encouraged to consult recent issues of Markers. 

Submissions 

Submissions to Markers should be sent to the journal's editor, Richard 
E. Meyer, P.O. Box 13006, Salem, OR 97309-1006 (Telephone: 503-581-5344 
/ E-Mail: meyerr(S)wou.edu). Manuscripts should be submitted in tripli- 
cate (original and two duplicate copies) and should include originals of 
any accompanying photographs or other illustrations. Generally, articles 
in Markers run between fifteen and twenty-five 8 1/2 x 11 typescripted, 
double-spaced pages in length, inclusive of notes and any appended 
material. Longer articles may be considered if they are of exceptional 



349 



merit and if space permits. 

Should the article be accepted for publication, a final version of the 
manuscript must be submitted to the editor in both a hard copy and com- 
puter diskette (3.5") format. Most current word processing programs are 
compatible with the journal's disk translation software, which is used for 
typesetting contributors' articles. Any questions on this matter should be 
directed to the editor. 

Regular volumes of Markers are scheduled to appear annually in 
January or shortly thereafter. No deadline is established for the initial sub- 
mission of a manuscript, but the articles scheduled for publication in a 
given volume of the journal are generally determined by the chronologi- 
cal order of their acceptance and submission in final form. 

Style/Notes 

In matters of style, manuscripts should conform to the rules and prin- 
ciples enumerated in the most current edition of The Chicago Manual of 
Style. [Please note, however, that beginning with Markers XVII, i.e. the 
issue scheduled for publication in January, 2000, the journal will switch 
its style format, including documentation (which will thenceforth be 
parenthetical) to that of the Modern Language Association (MLA) as 
enumerated in the then current edition of the MLA Handbook: through 
Markers XVI, the manuscript requirements specified in this section of 
the "Notes for Contributors" will continue to apply] 

Notes, whether documentary or discursive, should appear as end- 
notes (i.e., at the conclusion of the article) and those of a documentary 
nature should conform in format to the models found in the chapter enti- 
tled "Note Forms" of The Chicago Manual of Style. In manuscript, they 
should be typed double-spaced and appear following the text of the arti- 
cle and before any appended material. Separate bibliographies are not 
desired, though bibliographical material may, of course, be included with- 
in one or more notes. Any acknowledgments should be made in a sepa- 
rate paragraph at the beginning of the note section. 

Any appendices should be placed following the endnotes and clearly 
labeled as such (e.g.. Appendix 1, Appendix 11, etc.). 

Again, the prospective author is encouraged to consult recent issues of 
Markers for examples of these principles in context. 



350 



Illustrations 

Markers is a richly illustrated journal, its subject matter naturally lend- 
ing itself to photographs and other visual material. The journal encour- 
ages prospective authors to submit up to twenty photographs, plus any 
number of appropriate pieces of line art, with the understanding that 
these be carefully chosen so as to materially enhance the article's value 
through visual presentation of points under discussion in the text. Photos 
should be 5x7 or 8x10 black and white glossies of medium to high con- 
trast, and should be of the highest quality possible. Maps, charts, dia- 
grams or other line art should be rendered as carefully as possible so as to 
enhance presentation. A separate sheet should be provided listing cap- . 
tions for each illustration. It is especially important that each illustration i 
be numbered and clearly identified by parenthetical reference at the 
appropriate place in the text, e.g. (Fig. 7). j 

Review 

Submissions to Markers are sent by the editor to members of the jour- 
nal's editorial advisory board for review and evaluation. Every effort is 
made to conduct this process in as timely a manner as possible. When 
comments have been received from all reviewers, the author will be noti- 
fied of the publication decision. If an article is accepted, suggestions for 
revision may be made and a deadline for submission of a finalized man- : 
uscript established. All accepted articles will be carefully edited for style 
and format before publication. 

Copyright 

Authors are responsible for understanding the laws governing copy- 
right and fair use and, where appropriate, securing written permissions 
for use of copyrighted material. Generally, if previously copyrighted 
material of more than 250 words is used in an article, written permission : 
from the person holding the copyright must be secured and submitted to I 
the editor. In like manner, permission should be obtained from persons 
who have supplied photographs to the author, and credit to the photog- 
rapher should be provided in captions or acknowledgment statement. 

As regards articles published in Markers, copyright is normally given 
to the Association for Gravestone Studies, though requests for permission i 
to reprint are readily accommodated. Offset copies of pubHshed articles ' 
are not provided to authors: each contributor, however, receives a com- 
plimentary copy of the volume. 



AGS JOURNALS 



MARKERS I Reprint of 1980 journal. Collection of 
15 articles on topics such as recording & care of 
gravestones, resources for teachers, some unusual 
markers, & carvers Ithamar Spauldin of Concord, 
MA & the CT Hook-and-Eye Man. 
182 pages, 100 illustrations 

MARKERS II Signed stones in New England & 
Atlantic coastal states; winged skull symbol in 
Scotland & New England; early symbols in reli- 
gious & wider social perspective; MA carvers 
Joseph Barbur, Jr., Stephen & Charles Hartshorn, & 
carver known as "JN"; Portage County, WI carvers, 
1850-1900; & a contemporary carver of San Angelo, 
TX. 

226 pages, 168 illustrations 

MARKERS III Gravestone styles in frontier towns 
of western MA.; emblems & epitaphs on Puritan 
markers; John Hartshorn's carvings in Essex 
County, MA.; & NH carvers Paul Colburn, John 
Ball, Josiah Coolidge Wheat, Coolidge Wheat, & 
Luther Hubbard. 

154 pages, 80 illustrations 

MARKERS IV DE children's stones, 1840-1899; 
rural southern gravemarkers; NY & NJ carving tra- 
ditions; camposantos of NM; & death Italo- 
American style. 

180 pages, 138 illustrations 

MARKERS V PA German markers; mausoleum 
designs of Louis Henri Sullivan; Thomas Gold & 7 
Boston carvers, 1700-1725, who signed stones with 
their initials; & Canadian gravestones & yards in 
Ontario & Kings County, Nova Scotia. 
240 pages, 158 illustrations 

MARKERS VI Carver John Dwight of Shirley 
MA.; markers of Afro-Americans from New 
England to GA; sociological study of Chicago-area 
monuments; more on NM camposantos; hand sym- 
bolism in southwestern Ontario; an epitaph from 
ancient Turkey; & a review essay on James Slater's 
The Colonial Burying Grounds of Eastern Connecticut. 
245 pages, 90 illustrations 

MARKERS VII A trilogy on cemetery gates & plot 
enclosures; the Boston Historic Burying Grounds 
Initiative; unusual monuments in colonial tidewa- 
ter VA; tree stones in Southern IN's Limestone Belt; 
life & work of VA carver Charles Miller Walsh; 
carvers of Monroe County, IN; Celtic crosses; & 
monuments of the Tsimshian Indians of western 
Canada. 

281 pages, 158 illustrations 



MARKERS VIII A collection of the pioneering 
studies of Dr. Ernest Caulfield on CT carvers & 
their work: 15 essays edited by James A. Slater & 3 
edited by Peter Benes. 

342 pages, 206 illustrations 

MARKERS IX A tribute to the art of Francis Duval; 
the Mullicken Family carvers of Bradford, MA; the 
Green Man on Scottish markers; the Center Church 
Crypt, New Haven, CT; more on Ithamar Spauldin 
& his shop; the Almshouse Burial Ground, 
Uxbridge, MA; Thomas Crawford's monument for 
Amos Binney; Salt Lake City Temple symbols on 
Mormon tombstones; language codes in Texas 
German cemeteries; & the disappearing Shaker 
cemetery. 

281 pages, 176 illustrations 

MARKERS X The markers carved by Calvin 
Barber of Simsbury, CT; Chinese markers in a mid- 
western American cemetery; stonecarving of 
Charles Lloyd Neale of Alexandria, VA.; Jewish 
cemeteries of Louisville, KY; 4 generations of the 
Lamson family carvers of Charlestown & Maiden, 
MA; & the Protestant Cemetery in Florence, Italy. 
254 pages, 122 illustrations 

MARKERS XI Fraternal symbolism & gravemark- 
ers; regional & denominational identity in LA ceme- 
teries; carvings of Solomon Brewer in Westchester 
County, NY; Theodore O'Hara's 'The Bivouac of the 
Dead'; slave markers in colonial MA; the Leighton 
& Worster families of carvers; a Kentucky stonecut- 
ter's career; & pioneer markers in OR. 

237 pages, 132 illustrations 

MARKERS XII Terra-Cotta gravemarkers; Adam & 
Eve markers in Scotland; a sociological examination 
of cemeteries as commuruties; the Joshua Hemp- 
stead diary; contemporary gravemarkers of youths; 
San Francisco's Presidio Pet Cemetery; & The Year's 
Work in Gravemarker/ Cemetery Studies. 

238 pages. 111 illustrations 

MARKERS XIII Carver Jotham Warren of 
Plainfield, CT; tree-stump tombstones; 50 Years of 
gravestone carving in Coastal NH; language com- 
munity in a TX cemetery; carver John Huntington 
of Lebanon, CT; & "The Year's Work." 
248 pages, 172 illustrations 

MARKERS XIV Amerindian gravestone symbols; 
ministers' markers in north central MA; a modern 
gravestone maker; Charles Andera's crosses; Pratt 
family stonecutters; African-American cemeteries 
in north Florida; & "The Year's Work." 
232 pages, 107 illustrations