Monday, October 5, 2009

101 Ways, Part 104: Left to Go and Be with Christ

For a brief intro to the "101 Ways to Say 'Died'" series, click here.

I thought I had posted this picture before, but now I can't find it, so perhaps I did not.

This beautiful gravestone was carved by Solomon Brewer and can be found in Hadley, MA. Like many stones from the Connecticut River Valley, Sarah Hopkins' is made from red sandstone, but it is a finer, firmer sandstone than you sometimes see in Connecticut. It's in amazing shape — no major flakes are missing.

I'm not sure I've ever seen curly brackets on an 18th-century gravestone before.

Here rests SARAH, wife of ye
Revd; S. HOPKINS, & Relict of ye
Revd; C. WILLIAMS; an Exem-
plary Christian, pleasant &
lovely in her Life, & lament-
ed in her Death. She left {to
go & be with CHRIST,} A sorrow-
ful Husband & 14 Children
Febr, 5th AD 1774 AE 48.
Favour is deceitful, & Beauty is
vain: but A Woman that feareth
the Lord, she shall be praised.

2 comments:

RJO said...

The Triassic red sandstone of the Connecticut Valley is known to geologists as Sugarloaf arkose. It's such a tragedy that so many gravestones were made from it since it usually doesn't weather well at all. (There's a striking comparison in Concord, where one imported Connecticut Valley stone, completely decayed, is surrounded by dozens of Boston slate stones, as sharp as they day they were carved.)

This is a spectacular example -- it must have been an unusually good piece, or inhabited some kind of protected microhabitat. The lettering is gorgeous -- he must have studied printing or typography at some point. It has that odd large lowercase 'a' that you see in eastern Mass. stones also.

Your inlaws?

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

Alas, no.

Pete's paternal great-great-great-great grandfather, Silas Hopkins, was born in Wales in 1742 and arrived in New Jersey or Pennsylvania before 1763. He was a loyalist during the Revolution and fled to Ontario afterward. The family stayed on the Canada side of Niagara until 1870, when Pete's great-grandfather, Abner Hopkins, crossed over to the US side. They've lived in upstate New York since.

Pete is related to Stephen Hopkins of RI through marriage and his Jenckes ancestors.