Tuesday, November 05, 2013

averell cemetery

every vermont schoolchild knows that the vermont republic was founded in 1777. it was not one of the original colonies, but it was claimed variously by england, france, new hampshire, and new york.  the iroquois and abenaki people who lived here prior to european settlement probably also felt they had some sort of claim on it as well.

you know, just probably.

but early vermonters were frontiersman. they were patriots, abolitionists, smugglers, and independent thinkers.

in southern vermont the main settlements were at bennington and brattleboro, near main roads and navigable rivers. between the two were mountains, but about halfway across the mountains is the deerfield river valley, and that valley up there is where wilmington is.

it's sort of a town between things, and back when it was a big deal to get from bennington to brattleboro or from vermont down into massachusetts, you really NEEDED that stopover and a town flourished.

the old cemeteries in southern vermont are full of the pioneers of that early statehood, and the averell cemetery in wilmington is particularly interesting.

while it has the usual headstones in the style of the day, it has a higher percentage than usual of people who are called on their headstones "mr." or "mrs.", titles that in the day were used to denote social position but are usually left off of headstones.

apparently poetry was all the rage in wilmington as well, because while new england headstones often contain a few lines of verse, usually they are the same lines of verse from place to place. in wilmington, however, there is a great deal of lesser-known verse and also some very distinctive fonts and ornaments.

i am guessing that either there was a fair amount of wealth in town or the local stonecarver worked for cheap.

maybe a little of each.

i like these headstones; they give information about the people and who they were and how they wished to be remembered.

in memory (of)
jesse cook e(squire)
who died febr(uary)
ye 13th 1790
in ye 49th year
of his age

when this my grave you do stand
remember you must also die
for death's a deat to nature due
which i have paid & so must you

in memory of
mr. george fox
who died may 23d
1797 in the 27th
year of his age.

gad alvord
mass. mil
rev. war

in memory of
rev alvan tobey
who, having faithfully
discharged the office of
pastor to the chh in this
place for 7 years, ceased
from his labours. oct. 18th
1810 in the midts of
increasing esteem
and usefulness
aged 32.
remember them who have
spoken unto you the word
of god whose faith follow
considering the end of
their conversation.

in memory of
mrs. sally smith,
wife of
reverend marcus smith
who died april 16th
1822 in the 27th year
of her age.

tell horace it is a pleasant thing to die.
              her last words.

item from boston recorder, 1822: Died, at Wilmington, Vt., Mrs. Sally Smith, wife of Rev. 
Marcus Smith, in 27th year of age. (Her husband absent 
preaching at Rensselaerville, N.Y., expecting to return in a 
few weeks and take her to R. Left infant son.

detail of typo.

stone carvers had it rough.

in memory of
mr. amos morse who died
february the 12th AD 1824
aged 46 ys
this man has ceast
he speaks no more
his troubles are past
his fears are ore
then speak no ill
ye men of spite
for god's a god
that judgeth right.

in memory of
mrs. damaris miles formerly
wife of mr. john upham~
who dies november the 10th
AD 1821 (aged (illegible) years &)
((illegible) months)

friends and physicians
could not save
my mortal body
from the grave
nor can the grave
confine me here
when christ shall call me
to appear

daniel doherty
born in
richibucto kent co. n.b.
died in wilmington vt.
oct. 27, 1900
ae. 38.

tax records suggest that even though mr. doherty has been gone over a hundred years, he has at least one living descendant in wilmington, which is probably who comes to keep his lantern lit and his fishing pole handy.

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