Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gravestone of the Day: Patience Borden

Patience Borden, 1811, Providence, RI
commonly called Sterry,
A free woman of Colour, and
humble disciple of JESUS,
She gave to the first Baptist
Church in this Town,
of which she was a member,
230 dollars, as a fund for
the relief of the Poor of Colour
of that Church;
She died
April 1st, 1811,
in the 33d year of
her age.

This is one of my all-time favorite gravestones. It is an excellent example of the kind of gravestone that free African Americans commissioned for themselves in the first decades after emancipation. Patience Borden's gravestone highlights her spiritual, financial, and charitable accomplishments (rather than her dependence) and allows her to claim sovereignty over her name.

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