Thursday, April 25, 2013

101 Ways, Part 119: Took His Exit

For a brief intro to the "101 Ways to Say 'Died'" series, click here.
John Tyler Mann, Wrentham, MA, 1792

Here is deposited the body of
he was born the 5th, Octr. 1791.
he took his exit 24th, Novr, 1792.
Son of Doct. James & Mrs Patty Mann
Sweet lovely boy, twas thine, with myriads more,
To close the opening eye, soon after birth;
How happy they, whose toils so soon are o're, 
How blest the babe, consign'd to parent earth.
This reason whispers, thus religion cries,
Their voice in unison, proclaims thee blest;
But still the trickling tears, and heavy sighs,
Speaks the sad sorrows of a mothers breast.
Say, does religion blame the gentle tear?
Can reason condemn the heartfelt sigh of woe?
Impossible! our Jesus wandring here
Wept o're his friends nor chek'd afflictions flow.

Similar to #62: Made His Exit

As far as I can tell, the verse is original.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Gravestone of the Day: Dinah

Dinah, 1762, Newport Common Burying Ground

June 12th, 1762
died Dinah aged
28 Years Servt.
to John Tweedy
Wife of Haman
Servt. to
James Tanner

This stone neatly encapsulates the nested dependency of enslaved women in colonial New England. Marriages among slaves were sometimes recognized as legal in Rhode Island, but married slaves were not permitted to form independent households. I always think of stones like this whenever I read debates over whether women should change their surnames at marriage. What did a surname mean to Dinah? I choose to call her Dinah, rather than Dinah Tweedy or Dinah Tanner because I just can't answer that question definitively.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Also His Wife's Arm

carving by John Bull, Newport Common Burying Ground, Newport, RI
It's been a while. Between dissertation-babies and actual babies, I have sort of abandoned this blog lately. But now that the weather's getting better, I'm hoping to get back out on the road with the camera and update this space with more odds and ends of memorial culture.

So help me, I will find a way to mention this gravestone in my dissertation:

WAIT daughtr. of
died April 24th
1780 Aged 10
Mo. 10 days.
their Son
died March
17th 1784 Aged
22 Mo.
Also his Wife's
Arm Amputated Feby. 20th 1786.

Carved by John Bull — runaway apprentice, mutineer, and innovative carver — of Newport, RI.