Thursday, November 12, 2009

101 Ways, Part 111: Was Removed by a Dysentery

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


UPDATE (11/23): Now with an improved picture!



Like Lydia Dyar, Abigail Kenrick was an elderly civilian displaced by the seige of Boston in 1775. Though she lived in Newton, not in the city itself, Abigail decided to
relocate to Groton, MA, where she lived with her daughter Anna's young family. Anna had married the Rev. Samuel Dana in 1762 at the age of 19. When her mother came to live with them, Anna had borne 7 children (6 of them living) and was pregnant with her eighth (Luther b. 1763, Amelia b. 1765, future congressman Samuel b. 1767, Thesta b. 1769, Anna b. 1771, Stephen b. 1773 d. 1773, Stephen b. 1774 d. 1775, Lucy b. 1776).

The late summer of 1775 was not kind to this family. One-year-old Stephen died on August 6th and his grandmother followed him on September 7th. Abigail Kenrick's gravestone (carved by the local Park family) blends the themes of sickness and war, and imagines heaven as a place where "ye wicked cease from troubling & ye weary are at rest."

Memento mori
Mrs ABIGAIL KENRICK
Widow of CAPT. CALEB
KENRICK left her
pleasant habitation
in Newton & come to
her Daughter Dana's
in Groton, on account
of ye civil War; & Sept. 5.
1775 AE 76 was remov
ed by a dysentery to that
place where ye wicked cease
from troubling & ye weary
are at rest.

2 comments:

RJO said...

The Groton burying ground was one of the first to have its inscriptions published with a high degree of scholarly accuracy, by Samuel Abbott Green in 1878. I have a connection with the place since nearly everyone in it is my cousin and quite a few are ancestors.

Green was incredibly prolific, and as a consequence more primary source material is available in print for Groton than for almost any other Massachusetts town. And he did this in his free time while serving as a physician, Civil War colonel, librarian of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and (yes) Mayor of Boston.

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

On my visit, I ran into Eleanor Gavazzi, the local caretaker. She gave me an impromptu tour and told me all about Samuel Abbot Green. Apparently, you can buy copies of the book of epitaphs from the Groton historical society for $10.