Interesting Epitaphs


Early New England gravestones have some of the most intersting epitaphs I have seen.  The view that death was to be feared led to verses imploring viewers to prepare for imminant death.
Prepare to Die
Gravestone for George Butler, age 17:
"This Happy Youth resig'd his Breath/ Prepar'd to live and ripe for Death:/
Ye blooming Youth who see this Stone/ Learn early Death may be your own."

Some of the more interesting epitaphs are ones that list the cause of death: 

Fall from a building     Fall from building
Fell From Buildings

Kicked by horse
"...while here on a visit on Saturday between 4 & 5 oclock PM in Mr. Pope's Stable viewing a span of Horses he was suddenly kicked by one of them in the lower part of his Bowels & departed this life on Sunday evening..."


Shot
Accidentally Shot


Pulmonary Consumption
Pulmonary Consumption

Affection of the heart
Affection of the Heart

Lockjaw
Lock Jaw

Died at Sea
David Patterson, who died at sea at age 27:
"He sleeps beneath the blue lone sea,/ He lies where pearls lie deep./
He was the loved of all, yet none/ o'er his low bed may weep."

Years of suffering
Betsey Petty, age 29:
"Sharp was her pains, her trials long:/ Her faith was great her patience strong/
No murmuring thought disturb'd her breast:/ What Jesus ordered she thought best."




Especially poignant stories in stone:

Spotted fever
John Flint was the resident doctor for Petersham, Massachusetts until his early death at age 31. He tended to the sick during an epidemic of spotted fever in 1810.  He treated many residents before he himself became infected and died after nine hours of suffering.  Two of his young children are buried near him and are also listed on his stone.


Mother and children
Gravestone for Mrs. Miriam Howe and her four children.  The epitaph on her section of the stone reads: "ERECTED In memory of Mrs. Miriam Howe, Consort of Sylvanus Howe, who died Sept. 1, 1803, Aged 33. Together with their four dear children all of whom were in the space of three weeks were summoned to pass that bourn from whence no traveller returns, Leaving him disconsolate & alone to bemoan so unparalled a loss."
The other sections are for Nancy (age 4), Mana (age 3), Sally (age 17 months), and an infant son.


Hannahs   Slave/Free
Three Infant Daughters, each named Hannah                                        Born as a Slave, Died Free


Trafton Children
Gravestone for five out of six children of Benjamin and Julia Trafton, all of whom died in 1863:
George (died May 4), Charles (died August 28), Joseph (died May 30), Albert (died May 29), and Julia (died May 31).




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