Sunday, April 18, 2010

Gravestone of the Day: Samuel Tarbell

Samuel Tarbell, 1776, Groton, MA
In Memory of
Capt: Samuel Tarbell
who departed this Life
May, 23d: at 3 a clock after
noon 1776 Aged 78 Years
4 months and 14 days
Halt passenger as you go past
Remember time it runneth fast
My dust in narrow bounds do ly
Remember man that thou must die
This dust revive it shall again
And in a grave no more remain
When trumpet sounds I shall be rais'd
For this God's holy word hath said


cliff said...

I did a quick search on Captain Tarbell and according to Google books it appears he was on the wrong side in the war and his farm was confiscated by the state not long before he died. But I could be wrong.

Otherwise, it's a very nice stone with finely carved lettering.

Robert J. said...

This has another example of a minor feature of many Park-workshop stones: the lower loop of the 8 is dropped below the baseline instead of resting on the baseline as is usual. It's not on all Park stones, leading one to wonder if it's characteristic of a particular carver within the shop.

(My 8th-great uncle, I believe.)


Robert J. said...

I should have added that this Samuel was one of the ten children of Thomas and Elizabeth (Woods) Tarbell of Groton, a family very well known in early New England. Three of their ten children were captured by Mohawks in the 1707 raid on Groton during Queen Anne's War. The girl converted to Catholicism and lived the rest of her life in a convent near Montreal. The two boys were adopted as members of the Mohawk tribe and became prominent members of their community. There are many Mohawk residents of northern New York and adjacent Canada today named Tarbell, all of them descendants from the two Groton boys captured in 1707, brothers to this Samuel Tarbell.

For one account see:

That page quotes a later encounter the two Tarbell boys had with Thomas Hutchinson, of Revolutionary (in)fame:

"I saw at Albany two or three men in the year l744 who came in with the Indians to trade and who had been taken at Groton in this, that is called Queen Anne’s War. One of them, Tarball was said to be one of the wealthiest of the Cagnawaga Tribe. He made a visit in his Indian dress, and with his Indian complexion (for by means of grease and paints but little difference could be discerned) to his relations at Groton but had no inclination to remain there…"


J. L. Bell said...

This Capt. Samuel Tarbell died in 1776, but sometime after 1777 his namesake son, born in 1746, joined the royal army's American Dragoons. He served in New York in 1781 and 1782.

Massachusetts and New Hampshire moved to seize properties that the younger Samuel Tarbell inherited. Nevertheless, after the war he returned to Groton and died there in March 1796.

Curiously, the Groton historian Samuel Abbott Green wrote a lot about the resulting lawsuit without finding the older Tarbell’s death date—which is kind of hard to miss in this picture.

J. L. Bell said...

A Canadian source sheds a little light on the younger Samuel Tarbell’s life as a Loyalist. I guess he didn’t like being locked in jail for eight months in 1777.

Robert J. said...

Those are wonderful additional details. What a family. Massachusetts Bay Puritans, two of whom became Mohawk chiefs, one a Catholic nun, one a Loyalist, and assorted others certainly American revolutionaries.

> Green wrote a lot about the resulting lawsuit without finding the older Tarbell’s death date

J.L., was there something specific Green commented on about this date? I have his Groton Epitaphs (1878) in front of me (still a model cemetery transcription), and it contains this stone in full.


Person of Interest said...

What a family, indeed -- and it doesn't stop there. William Tarbell, a brother of the two captive boys who became Mohawk chiefs, was forebear of Edmund C. Tarbell (1862-1938), the famous artist.