The search, however, can be rewarding; to date, an examination of several New Jersey counties has yielded evidence of nearly ninety payments for gravestones dating from to It seems all of the markers were cut by the same carver, but he chose not to sign his work. They are also rather austere, with no decoration whatsoever. Presumably, more elaborate gravemarkers would have cost proportionally more. Elijah Hughs — , a resident of Cape May County who served in the New Jersey legislature, kept a detailed diary of his daily activities in and At the end of his diary is a short accounting noting the costs associated with a funeral of Lydia Crowell.
Ezekial Eldredge was paid seven shillings sixpence for digging the grave. The shroud also cost seven shillings and sixpence. Catherine Swain received two pounds seventeen shillings for funeral charges, and Daniel Hunt of Philadelphia provided one marble tomb. Conversely, a simple wooden gravemarker could be expediently produced by a carpenter, or even a family member, and serve, albeit temporarily, the same purpose. Not until the late eighteenth century did gravemarkers become inexpensive enough that people of lesser means could afford them.
Reading the Stones Gravestones often combine art and text, providing two different glimpses of the past. The designs carved on gravemarkers are known collectively as iconography. The study of these graven images is an important area of research for anthropologists, archaeologists, and art historians. Moreover, hobbyists intrigued by these designs often collect photographs of historic gravemarkers or make grave rubbings. Occasionally the face of the marker is also decorated, framing the inscription in the center. The designs themselves varied through time and from region to region across the state and are a major focus of this volume.
The shapes of markers also carried meaning. Nineteenth-century markers followed earlier Greek, Roman, and Egyptian originals. Urns, broken columns, and obelisks abound, as do mausoleums shaped like miniature Greek temples. Roman Catholic immigrants in the twentieth century ornamented their markers with statues of Mary and Jesus, while Jews preferred the Star of David and menorahs.
Civil War Records
The effect is quite different from the didactic markers of early America, where skulls and hourglasses served to remind visitors of their inevitable fate. They typically provide the name of the deceased and the date of death, though sometimes they are so minimalist that only initials are provided. They may also provide the date of birth, marital status of the deceased, information about military service, parentage, children, or occupation, and other pertinent information. Causes of death may also be noted.
Its German inscription is provided below with an English translation. As carvers charged by the letter a lengthy epitaph could be quite an investment in commemoration. German-language markers from the eighteenth century often are inscribed with funeral sermons or Leichen text Graves , 60— These recount the scriptures read at the funeral. In a general sense epitaphs became less morbid with time and by the late eighteenth century emphasized resurrection and rebirth instead of death and Early American Burial Grounds 37 2.
Before the American Civil War, embalming was rare and bodies were rapidly disposed of. Vredenburgh died on July 19, , at Batavia on the island of Java. Sadly, he failed to escape whatever was ailing him. There are also, of course, gravemarkers for unknown individuals. He rests in an honored grave in the cemetery, purchased by members of a local VFW.
Other mass graves commemorate victims of industrial disasters, such as the casualties from the explosion on October 4, , when the T. The unfortunate victims share a single marker in South Amboy. The earliest of these markers date from the late seventeenth century. Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, and Baptists all employed similar gravemarkers. They tell us something of the attitudes of these people toward death and also highlight the incredible artisanship of local stone carvers, such as Ebenezer Price and Uzal Ward. Concentrated in Bergen County but also thinly scattered through Somerset, Middlesex, and Monmouth Counties are the gravestones of early Dutch settlers.
Only a few professionally carved gravemarkers were lugged from Newark or Elizabeth over the steep hills of Warren and Sussex Counties; isolated by geography, and in some cases by language and culture, German immigrants looked inward to their own folk traditions and produced unique works of folk art, which still survive in some numbers. To the south of this line, Philadelphia-carved marble was the primary gravemarking material. However, some of the oldest burial grounds in southern New Jersey hold cherubs and mortality images carved on marble, soapstone, and sandstone.
Philadelphia was a cultural center in early America, and its talented artisans dominated the South Jersey market well into the nineteenth century, when local carvers started to establish their own shops in Salem, Absecon, Pleasantville, and Cape May Courthouse. Early attempts by the Dutch to establish settlements on the western shore of the Hudson River were largely unsuccessful. It was not until the s that permanent communities took root in Bergen County. Shortly thereafter, in , the English conquered New Netherland and what would become New Jersey was opened up to English settlement. Newark was settled by Congregationalists, most of whom changed their form of church organization to Presbyterianism during the eighteenth century.
Puritans from New England settled Woodbridge. Baptists settled in Middletown, Piscataway, and the surrounding region. The Scotch proprietors, including Quakers, Anglicans, and Presbyterians, attempted to establish a great trading center at Perth Amboy. Later, at the end of the seventeenth century and beginning of the eighteenth century, Dutch settlers, the sons and daughters of immigrants already established in the Dutch strongholds of Albany, New York, and on Long Island, moved south and west to the fertile Raritan Valley, and into Monmouth County.
With the exception of the Quakers, who rarely used formal gravemarkers, since they believed that all people were equal in the eyes of God, all of these groups participated in a commemorative tradition that employed the reddish brown sandstone found near Newark and at scattered quarries in the Watchung Mountains. This pattern is by no means unique to the state. In the s archaeologists James Deetz and Edwin Dethlefsen, who argued that historic gravemarkers could be important tools for studying and tracing cultural change through iconography, noted the same patterns in New England Deetz and Dethlefsen , ; Dethlefsen and Deetz Their three-part evolutionary model attempted to explain the changes in New England gravestone iconography, particularly in the Massachusetts Bay area, in relation to known social movements.
Deetz and Dethlefsen further hypothesized that a second iconographic shift, from cherubim to urns and willow trees, which occurred in the late eighteenth century, corresponded with the advent of new Protestant denominations, such as Unitarianism and Methodism Deetz New Jersey was settled, in part, by Puritans moving south from New England and was a major center of the religious movement known as the Great Awakening. However, the stylistic shifts noted by Deetz and Dethlefsen, while also found in northeastern New Jersey, do not correlate perfectly with the spread of the new religious ideology.
As might be expected, several bear mortality images. In the s, a group of Scottish investors purchased large tracts of land in New Jersey, in the hopes of establishing a Scottish colony Landsman Many of these new immigrants had been victims of terrible religious persecution in Scotland Wildes , In New Jersey they found a refuge. The Gordons came to Perth Amboy in from Aberdeen, Scotland, with four children and seven servants Clayton , Hellen had two more children after her arrival in New Jersey, but she and several of her children soon succumbed to illness.
Her gravemarker, dated , notes that Hellen and four of her children once rested beneath it. At the base of the stone is a rather crudely carved skull and crossbones as well as an hourglass. The marker, though almost certainly carved in New Jersey, is remarkably similar in both form and decoration to tombstones used in Scotland during this period Willshire and Hunter They emphasized the brevity of life. Thomas is also marked by a large sandstone ledger inscribed in Latin.
Thomas Warne, one of the twenty-four original proprietors of East Jersey, also received a marker that was probably carved by this same craftsman. However, his marker, now broken, may be found at St. These are two of the handful of surviving seventeenth-century markers in the state. Other seventeenth-century markers are found in the Piscatawaytown Burial Ground by St.
However, it is worth noting that these markers are not clearly associated with St. James Church, but rather with an earlier burial ground that preceded the establishment of the Episcopal church. The ledger of Charles and Richard Hoopar is, perhaps, the most interesting surviving seventeenth-century marker in the state. Another early slab marks the graves of Captain John Langstaff and his wife, Martha Hunt , 8.
Nearby, a substantial sandstone headstone commemorates Mary Jones, who died in Other large blocks of the same dark pock-marked sandstone may be the remains of other seventeenth-century gravemarkers. It is crudely carved with the letters EFB and dated It was not the work of the same craftsman who carved the ledgers in Elizabeth and Piscataway.
However, two seventeenth-century gravemarkers survive at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Newark. Reproduced courtesy of St. By the mid-nineteenth century the property had become too valuable to be preserved and was developed. Given the large number of carvers who plied their trade in Newark, their loss is keenly felt by students of gravestone studies. By the s, markers inscribed with mortality images, cherubs, and simple rosettes were being regularly produced in East Jersey. Later, archaeologists James Deetz and Edwin Dethlefsen elaborated, attributing the change from mortality images to cherubs to urns and willows to changing religious sensibilities.
The earliest mortality images in New Jersey are generally carved in shallow relief. The decoration is primarily in the arch or tympanum at the top of the stone. However, their images remain some of the most striking artwork produced in colonial America. The Old Elizabethtown Carver I produced some of the most striking memorials in the state. His work is distinguished by the well-executed skulls.
He also carved the gravemarker of David Lyell , a colonial merchant, lawyer, and silversmith Williams , 63— The marker was originally located at the Topanemus Burial Ground but was later moved to St. The image combines elements of the mortality symbols common among the Puritans and their descendants with the cherubs that became popular in the midnineteenth century. His markers date from through the s. Given the narrow geographic distribution of these works, it is quite possible that they are the work of a local artisan.
He carved elegant wigged cherubs, with wings that reach outwards and swirl upward at their tips. His last known work is dated By the s, the work of two other talented carvers starts to appear in this area, as well as several less well documented workers. Blessed with exceptional talent, they served more than simply local markets. Price gravemarkers, typically ornamented with cherubs, but also tulips, and scallop shell or fan designs, are found scattered across the central portion of 46 New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones 3.
Ward had a similar reach. Thanks to the meticulous research of John Zielenski, the life and career of Uzal Ward are now better documented than those of any other colonial New Jersey carver. Ward, born in or , was a native of Newark Zielenski , 2. He was married at the age of twenty to Sarah Johnson, also of Newark, and together they had at least four children. Ward produced hundreds of gravemarkers, mostly ornamented with puffy-cheeked cherubs, often surmounted by crowns of righteousness.
He struck his letters with a bold, sure hand. Only rarely did he sign his work. Perhaps his handiwork needed no advertisement.
His workshop seems to have operated at a fever pitch during the s Zielenski , 8—9. With his own source of raw material, his own boat to ship the stone, and a crew of busy workmen, Ward ran quite an operation. However, fewer of his markers survive from the s than previously. For Ward and his family the American Revolution proved disastrous. Like many successful businessmen, he sided with the British, and ultimately served with Loyalist troops in New York.
His second wife, a refugee, died. He may have moved to Nova Scotia with other displaced Loyalists an individual named as Uzal Ward, perhaps a son, is present in records of that province , but he seems later to have returned to Newark, where he carved a few more gravemarkers Zielenski , 2. He died in Newark in This design was also used by other carvers active in northern New Jersey and was most popular with artisans based in and around Newark.
However, there were at least three other anonymous stonecutters who also worked in this style. Thanks to meticulous epigraphic research by John Zielenski it is now possible to distinguish their work Zielenski The better-known William Grant was a very busy carver, who was active from to Zielenski , Grant came from Boston to New York and was advertising his abilities by Despite these claims of neat and curious fashions, it appears that Grant and Hunterdon were carving cherubs and mortality 48 New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones 3.
It is located in the Rahway Cemetery. Perhaps this is what the market desired. Although Ward and Grant were able and talented carvers, they faced stiff competition from Ebenezer Price and his apprentices, working only a few miles to the south in Elizabeth. It is not clear where Price acquired his training. Unlike most of his predecessors, he occasionally signed his work. He was actively carving from the s until his death in Price carved two forms of cherubs. He often carved a crown or spirit image above his cherubs.
Other popular primary motifs by Price included a shell or fan design, not unlike that seen in Georgian architecture and furniture from the period Welch , This design was preferred for children and may represent the voyage of the soul through life. All of the individuals commemorated were children. Research on New York City cemeteries showed a correlation between this design and individuals with Dutch surnames Baugher and Winter , 46— This correlation does not hold true in New Jersey.
With only a handful of exceptions, tulip-decorated markers were erected for unmarried women and girls. Men who had served in the military sometimes had swords as secondary decorations. Masonic symbols are rare but do occur. Other carvers were even more innovative. Reproduced from Wheeler and Halsey It marks the grave of Ruleff Covenhoven d. Photo by John Zielenski. Although most of the markers that the Price workshop produced were simple trilobate or triple-arch stones, they also pioneered the use of a new stone shape that had seven small lobes protruding from the central arch Welch , Other markers also had unusual shapes.
Several in Elizabeth had very complicated outlines, to accommodate the profusion of ivy, pansies, and tulips that Price carved on their faces. The John Davis Jr. It has an hourglass shape, which hearkens back to a design element common on early-eighteenthcentury markers. Price and his apprentices signed their markers much more often than Ward or Grant. This may relate to growing competition among carvers as the number of artisans in central New Jersey rose, or pride in craftsmanship, or both. During his career, Ebenezer Price trained several apprentices and had many imitators.
Later, he relocated to Marksboro in northwestern New Jersey, where he continued to produce markers into the early nineteenth century. Tucker, and David Stewart. Among the most productive were the Osborn brothers, Jonathan Hand — and Henry — They were two of the sons of Jonathan H. The place of their training is unknown. However, it is possible that the elder Jonathan H. Jonathan Hand Osborn served in the American Revolution as a drummer boy and later received a pension Cook , He was a member of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church.
He and his wife, Martha Shotwell — , had seven children. He died in March of In the early nineteenth century, as many carvers were switching to the neoclassic 52 New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones 3. This cherub for John Lindsley is a good example of his work.
It is located in the Morristown Presbyterian Burial Ground. James Episcopal Church in Edison. It may have been carved by one of the Osborns. The designs, carved on sandstone, were imitated by others, including Elizabethtown carver Noah Norris, and seem to slow the spread of the willows and urns in this region. But, like many carvers, he made the switch to marble and dropped the distinct regional style he had created in sandstone.
Some of the most intriguing eighteenth-century carvers are, today, completely anonymous. In the Orange Presbyterian Churchyard there are a number of markers by a carver active in the late s who produced striking three-dimensional cherubs, who wear their hair carefully combed forward in a Roman style.
Farther west in Morristown, Chester, Whippany, and elsewhere, there is a series of cherub-ornamented markers dating from the s, with tightly coiled wigs like those carved by Price, but which are often topped by orbs. Art historian John Zielenski has termed this craftsman the Orb Carver.
The Osborns and other artisans who began their careers carving rather doleful cherubs on sandstone, in many cases, ended their days carving monograms and urns and willow trees on marble. In he sat down and began to write his autobiography. Describing the beginning of his career, he wrote: There was not, nor had there ever been any stonecutter in Rahway. The headstones in our burying ground were purchased in Woodbridge, Elizabethtown, and Newark.
I had, from time to time, examined the work of other workers in marble, and noticed particularly their respective styles and manner of execution. The ornaments, with which they enriched the borders of their tomb-tables and headstones, had neither germ nor root in nature.
I did not think such 54 New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones 3. I was resolved to strike out a new path, both in ornament and lettering. The cherubs, which replaced them, represent a new cultural horizon, only loosely correlated with the Great Awakening, but also tied to changes in carving styles in England, and a shifting interpretation of death. They typically avoid graphic depictions of the decay of the body. This one was linked to the new neoclassical style that was so popular both in England and in the young United States, and drew its inspiration from archaeological excavations in Italy and Greece and a renewed interest in the classical world.
Urns and willows are infrequent; instead undecorated gravemarkers Baugher and Winter , and monograms are more common. Their presence probably has little to do with changing religious sensibilities, but much to do with the increasing democratization of permanent gravemarkers and the rise of a consumer culture, in which individuals besides elites could afford to purchase gravemarkers. The development of the monogram style in East Jersey is curious. The change seems to have little to do with the shifting religious sentiments of the time. In fact, John Frazee, describing his own work, wrote: I knew nothing strictly speaking of emblematic ornaments, and I had not means whatever afforded me for obtaining a knowledge of such things.
I began my career among the tombstones, utterly ignorant of every rule of art, and all those symbols, images, and attributes that had their origin in the classical ages, and that lived and breathed in the beautiful sculptures upon the tombs and sarcophagi of Egypt and Greece.
However, he was no atheist. In fact, he was an active member of the Presbyterian Church in Rahway, where he served as choir leader Frazee , 2. While most carvers in the sandstone belt produced script monograms and other localized styles, a few introduced the urn and willow. Raynerd was a stucco worker who traveled to England in the s to learn his trade and it is there that he may have picked up the inspiration for the designs Quinan , 1.
Raynerd had partnered with Benjamin to publish the designs in the early nineteenth century but shortly afterward left the partnership to pursue different endeavors. The book helped to introduce the urn and neoclassical style into the New England states, from where it would spread rapidly.
In New Jersey urns appear in the late eighteenth century. The large sandstone slab is from and has a round urn with handles carved into the top surface. By the early nineteenth century urns appear with some regularity in the sandstone-rich regions of the state. Prior to , some urns sprout willow branches from just under the lid. Among the early New Jersey examples is a worn marble gravestone dated and located in a family burial ground on the property of Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset. They then droop down and sweep toward the shoulders of the gravestone.
The carver of this stone is unknown and its style is unlike any other examples found in the region, making its background unique and worthy of further research. Other transitional and regional variations of urns and willows exist in central and northern New Jersey. By the s script monograms, a unique regional design, became common. At the same time designers partnered the urn with a willow tree, creating a stunning mourning scene at the top front face of the gravestone. Mooney was among the earliest to introduce the design to central New Jersey. In this sandstone-rich region he carved a number of examples.
A single marker commemorates the three children of Oliver and Phebe Wade, who died in , , and Mooney carved a stone with three tops, each with a weeping willow and urn. Noah Norris, an Elizabeth carver of the same time period, carved a number of examples on the correct classically inspired material, marble. While most carvers signed their stones discreetly near the base, Jonathan Hand Osborn placed his calling card in a much more obvious place, the top or tympanum of the marker.
Mooney and Norris, along with their contemporaries, began by carving spindly willow trees bending over simple or pedestaled urns, all of the branches hanging to one side. This style is more typical of the mid-nineteenth century and will be discussed in chapter 5. Although they peaked in popularity in the s, they continued to be used into the modern era. Many carvers chose to sign their works just above the grass line, which has led to the loss of some information as stones sink into the ground.
Other artisans, perhaps more aware of the growing market for memorials, placed their imprimaturs in more prominent locations. Gravestone carvers in northwestern New Jersey, such as the bilingual carver John Solomon Teetzel, also signed many of their works. Teetzel carved roughly one hundred gravemarkers that survive, dated from the s through , and signed forty-four of them Veit , — Although he commonly signed with a capital letter T or his last name, Teetzel, 58 New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones at the base of the marker, he would also at times sign J.
Teetzel, and in some cases put his whole name on the back of the markers. Carvers such as Teetzel, the Osborns, and even earlier Ebenezer Price and Uzal Ward sometimes also put their place of business on the markers. The use of signed markers appears to correlate with an increasingly active market for gravestones at the end of the eighteenth century. In a general sense, it appears that carvers signed more elaborate stones, perhaps to highlight their handiwork, and also stones shipped some distance away from their home bases Stone It is also clear that some families preferred the work of certain carvers Heinrich , Sadly, New Jersey probate records and wills only rarely contain information on the costs of gravemarkers.
These markers have faintly inscribed prices carved near their bases, complete with dollar signs. These prices were likely meant to be hidden beneath the soil, but erosion and restoration projects have revealed them. New England gravemarkers were imported in small numbers into eastern New Jersey from the second decade of the eighteenth century through the s.
Winslow died in and his grave is marked by a large gray slate marker carved by his uncle Ebenezer Winslow in Berkley, Massachusetts Vincent Luti , personal communication. For instance, several beautifully carved but now highly eroded marble headstones imported from Connecticut stand in the burial ground of the Orange Presbyterian Church. Their shop, which opened in on Thames Street, remains open today under the ownership of Nick Benson, and the clink of mallet and chisel on cold stone still sounds.
During the colonial period, hundreds of Stevens markers were erected in Rhode Island and Massachusetts burial grounds, while smaller numbers found their way south to New York, New Jersey, and even the Carolinas and Georgia. Despite its great age it is in excellent shape. Particularly intriguing is the possibility that a small group of previously unattributed gravestones in New Jersey are the work of Philip Stevens, a shadowy member of this artistic family. These markers date primarily from the s and s and include both mortality images—with pointed teeth—and beautifully carved cherubs.
Philip Stevens, who spent much of his time at sea, was murdered in about the time that this talented carver stopped producing stones Luti , Could Philip Stevens have been murdered in New Jersey? Was he working with a partner? For now, the answers and the circumstances of his untimely death remain unknown. What is clear is that the Stevens family provided both gravemarkers and inspiration to New Jersey carvers from the s through the s.
Family ties played an important role in the decision to purchase a New England gravemarker. Rumson and Shrewsbury were settled by immigrants from Rhode Island, many of whom purchased land from Christopher Almy. Almy, a Newport merchant, apparently maintained the link with Rhode Island during his life, actively shipping goods to coastal New Jersey Ellis , Even after his death, Newport gravemarkers continued to be shipped south.
As a young man Isaac relocated to Newport, where he became a prominent merchant. It is likely that the Reverend Johannes Leydt, a founder of Rutgers University, sent a letter north with the inscriptions he wished carved on the gravestones, which the Allens carved in Dutch and sent south. George Allen Jr.
Massachusetts stonecarvers are less well represented in New Jersey. Another product of the Lamson shop is a very expressive slate cherub for David Lewis of Elizabethtown, formerly of Stratford, Connecticut. The stone notes that Mr. Lewis was a schoolmaster who died with the smallpox. Family ties, traditions, and trade networks that made it easier to ship a stone hundreds of miles by water rather than dozens by land brought New England gravemarkers to New Jersey.
However, given a growing population, talented local carvers, and a readily accessible supply of high-quality brownstone, New England imports had largely disappeared before the Revolution. Such is not the case. The primary reason is that New York City, while underlain by Manhattan Schist, lacks the slate, sandstone, marble, and soapstone that colonial carvers preferred to work.
Zuricher was active from the s through the s Welch , His markers are decorated with cherubs, some rather square in the face, others somewhat pear-shaped, and others still with pendantlike chins. On occasion his cherubs were surmounted by crowns. At the end of the inscription he often carved a small trumpet-shaped device, as though announcing further what he had written. In New York State many of his markers, particularly later ones, were signed. Very few in New Jersey were signed. Theirs was a fruitful relationship, and resulted in ten children Welch , Zuricher, like so many of his contemporaries, was a stonemason.
There he continued to carve stones, but not in the numbers he previously had produced. His will, written there, described him as a stonecutter Welch , Zuricher died in May Sadly, his own gravemarker, if one was made, has not been found. They have also been found in South Carolina and northeastern Pennsylvania Mellett , Given the long time he was active, and the large number of stones he produced, it seems quite likely that he worked with apprentices.
This may account for some of the variation seen in what appear to be his markers. Its inscription is entirely in Dutch. It is one of a handful of Dutch-language gravemarkers in the Raritan Valley. Photo by Wednesday Shaheen. New York City carvers, including William Valentine and Thomas Gold, may be responsible for many of the undecorated sandstone tablets found in Monmouth County.
This area was a stronghold of the Jersey Dutch from the seventeenth century well into the s. Many of these blocks are cut with interesting monograms and other designs. Interestingly, very few Dutch-language markers are to be found in 64 New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones Monmouth or Somerset Counties, despite the large number of Dutch families that settled there.
It has a particularly interesting inscription. It did, however, continue to be spoken occasionally as late as Leiby , The reason these rustic markers were preferred over more formal gravemarkers remains unknown. Germanic Gravemarkers in Northwestern New Jersey Northwestern New Jersey is isolated by rugged mountain ranges from the rest of the state. Because of this a distinctive local carving tradition developed there. The earliest surviving legible markers date from the mid-eighteenth century.
There were few professionally carved gravestones in western Morris County, Warren, or Sussex Counties before the Revolution. The sandstone carvers of Newark and Elizabeth rarely penetrated this market. A handful of gravestones carved by Uzal Ward and Ebenezer Price were lugged over the mountains to mark the graves of settlers who had family members in Newark or Elizabeth. Pennsylvania Dutch or Pennsylvania German gravemarkers from the colonial period share a unique iconography, which differentiates them from English-language carvers.
Six-pointed stars are common, as are tulips and hearts Barba , 10, The earliest dated German-language gravemarkers in Pennsylvania are from the mid-eighteenth century Messimer , Earlier markers may have been wood Graves , Pennsylvania German gravestones reached their highpoint in the period from to , when sandstone, schist, and slate markers were carved in what might be termed a folk style.
Skulls and other mortality images rarely appear, and cherubs are relatively uncommon. More numerous are stars, suns, moons, tulips, and hearts Farber and Farber ; Lichten , Some markers were even painted, a practice once common in the region of Germany known as the Palatinate Messimer , James Lutheran Church in Phillipsburg.
Everything is abbreviated—names, biographical information—only the date of death is spelled out. Other early markers survive in the St. The marker is probably the work of a Northampton County, Pennsylvania, carver. The small town of Hope in Warren County is also home to an important collection of German-language markers. The Moravians were German-speaking immigrants from an area that today spans the Czech Republic, Germany, and surrounding nations.
The Moravian Church, which was founded by John Hus in the mids, is the oldest extant Protestant denomination. The community at Hope was an offshoot of the larger Moravian communities at Bethlehem and Nazareth in Pennsylvania. The example in Hope lacks the border of cedar trees, but is on a hillside, and has typical Moravian gravemarkers, 66 New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones 3. He has a distinctive German-language marker carved by a German craftsman known as the Northampton County Carver. The stones also note the birthplace of the deceased and are numbered. In the s two talented carvers began to regularly provide gravestones for the settlers of northwestern New Jersey.
Both men were bilingual and lettered stones in German and English, and both men carved very similar stones. Teetzel lived and worked in Hardwick also spelled Hartwick in what was then Sussex, but today is Warren County. These two craftsmen, the D Carver and Teetzel, almost certainly knew each other, though we have no idea if they were competitors, master and apprentice, or merely acquaintances. This family grouping is one of the most interesting and elaborate set of eighteenth-century markers in the state.
The memorial for the sisters is signed on the reverse IWM D. Nearby is the gravestone of John Peter Bernhard, who, according to his gravemarker, was born in Kersenheim in the Earldom of Bolanden in Europe and came to America with his wife and children in It too is inscribed on the reverse IWM D. Both markers are roughly anthropomorphic and are signed.
Bernhardt in , had eight children, was married forty-three years, and died at the age of seventy-one, leaving three sons and three daughters still living. Making this extraordinary piece of folk art even more interesting is the fact that it was originally ornamented with a very crude cherub. A cherub was also carved on the accompanying footstone. However, the eyes, nose, and mouth of the cherub have been scraped away. Then, the initials of the deceased were repeatedly carved over the excised image.
Perhaps the family found the image on the gravemarker offensive. A marker for John Schuster completes the group. It is dated and is decorated with a small soul or ghost carved at the base of the stone. It seems likely that the markers cut with the initials IWM, date , and initial D on the reverse were a group of stones commissioned by a surviving relative in The markers of the Schusters, Windemuths, and Bernhardts provide a glimpse into the lives of immigrants coming from the myriad duchies and principalities that a century later would become Germany to the New World.
While the D Carver produced a small body of extraordinary folk art, John Solomon Teetzel — produced well-carved but more mainstream German- and English-language markers in New Jersey, from to At least ninety-nine stones that he carved survive. At the time, he was eighteen years old. He was apparently not a landowner, but he was literate, and perhaps because of this he was soon witnessing the wills and recording the household inventories of his neighbors.
Sadly, he left no records of his carving business. Most of his surviving ninety-nine markers were inscribed in English. Only thirteen were carved in German. His earliest stones from the s were clearly backdated. He signed forty-four of his gravemarkers, about 45 percent of those that survive. His English-language markers are strongly carved and often surmounted with swirling curlicue initials of the deceased.
His German-language stones show fraktur-style lettering. Most of his stones are unornamented. Teetzel also preferred to carve what appears to be a tight-grained buff- to gray-colored sandstone. All of his German-language markers have either an epitaph or Bible verse in addition to the typical genealogical information. About half of his English-language markers have Bible verses or epitaphs, with the latter being much more common. Several of the German-language markers designate these verses as Leichen Text or funeral sermons. The presence of texts read at the funeral on gravemarkers is commonly seen in Pennsylvania German cemeteries.
On occasion, Teetzel employed epitaphs such as those seen on other gravemarkers in northeastern New Jersey. There his earliest surviving markers are dated and In Grimsby he farmed and served on the town council as a tax assessor and warden and was the secretary of a local Masonic Lodge Gary Chapman , personal communication; Paul Hutchison June , personal communication.
He continued to carve gravemarkers, in the same style that he had employed in New Jersey. They are masterfully carved. Most are decorated with monograms, and occasionally ornamented with sidebars. He apparently carved in the crossroads town of Marksboro Veit , Most were the products of Philadelphia carvers, and minimally decorated marble gravemarkers are most common. Today acid rain and lichen have conspired to render many of these stones illegible.
Often they are an unsightly gray color. Nevertheless, a brand new polished white marble gravestone is beautiful to behold. Gray slaty banding is present on some of the markers. Unlike the gravemarkers of northern New Jersey, Philadelphia-carved stones are rarely decorated. The reasons for this likely relate to Quaker religious beliefs. Quaker burial grounds, which are common in southern New Jersey and present in smaller number along the shore, typically contain only small and unornamented markers.
These minimalist memorials can be tied to two aspects of Quaker belief. First, the Quakers felt that all people were equal in the eyes of God, therefore there was no need for an elaborate gravemarker; furthermore the Quaker ethos emphasized simplicity. In some instances Quaker burial grounds are bereft of gravemarkers entirely. As gravemarkers became more widely available during the eighteenth century, they became a source of controversy among Friends. Most of their burial grounds have been lost. Ultimately, with much cajoling these markers were also taken down.
Despite these energetic iconoclastic efforts, a handful of undecorated slate gravemarkers carved in the Quaker style survive in Shrewsbury. Curiously enough, a single sandstone carved with an East Jersey mortality image survives in the burial ground. Perhaps it was this sort of thing that so upset Friend Parker! Philadelphia carvers could produce stunning skulls and crossed bones, as well as cherubs, when they so desired.
They could carve inscriptions in Latin or German as their clients desired. These styles were popular into the s. While the heart presumably represents life Ludwig , , the cherub-shaped stones, though generally undecorated, seem ready to receive a cherub. Although the majority of Philadelphia gravemarkers were carved from a soft white marble, Philadelphia artisans did, on occasion, employ other materials, and when they did the results were stunning. This marker for Mary Steward d. Photo by Dawn Turner. He carved large, thick, greenish gray soapstone blanks, probably quarried in southeastern Pennsylvania.
His lettering was even, though his spelling often left something to be desired. The columns are carved in bas relief and show Doric and Ionic capitals. The Column Carver appears to have ceased his labors by the s. Later, in the mid-eighteenth century, another carver, or carvers, probably operating out of Philadelphia, crafted several masterpieces from soapstone.
These markers are quite rare. Again, these soapstone markers with imagery more familiar in the northeastern portion of the state are the exception rather than the rule. The colorful blue and gray slates and 74 New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones 3. It marks the grave of Jonathan Davis and is located in Cumberland County. This one commemorates an exceptional individual, Abraham Van Gilder, who lived to be years old. He was buried in the Stelton Baptist Churchyard, Edison.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide: Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
Wallace, carved simple, spindly willow trees draped over commemorative urns on sandstone and also marble. Unornamented gravemarkers also became common as the elaborate imagery, cherubs, tulips, and the like of the mid-eighteenth century faded. Marble had been available to local carvers for some time, but it was in the nineteenth century that it became the norm.
The reasons for this shift are unclear, but it stretched up and down the eastern seaboard. Essentially, the Philadelphia style had become the standard. From the European continent to the United States, cemetery reformers were looking for ways to better handle the dead. A great upheaval was taking place in the way new cemeteries were to be designed and managed. The chapter continues into the mid-nineteenth century, when New Jersey was caught in the grasp of the rural cemetery movement, with its emphasis on bucolic sites designed with garden qualities.
The Orange Cemetery Company in South Orange, Riverview Cemetery in Trenton, Evergreen Cemetery Company in Camden, and Mount Pleasant Cemetery Company of Newark were among the earliest of these reformed cemeteries and incorporated impressive structures, large monuments, and landscaped grounds into their designs. They would transform the overcrowded, unsanitary graveyard and burial ground into an attractively landscaped garden cemetery. In the decades following the Civil War another style of cemetery became popular—the lawn park cemetery. This concept arose as cemetery and landscape architects explored better ways to design burial grounds that would meet new standards in taste and maintenance.
What developed was a professionally operated cemetery. Their architectural styles mimicked broader patterns of taste and enticed people to purchase lots within the cemetery. He made his visit after reading an announcement published by John Winn Jr. The notice directed owners of plots in the public burial ground to see that they were appropriately marked, as the Board of Health planned a sale of those that were unused or unclaimed. Several family members whom Mr. Derby, whose deceased relatives were wealthy and respectable citizens of Salem, voiced his dismay in an editorial in the Salem Gazette.
I ask, as a lately bereaved father, if the sanctity of the tomb is no longer inviolate? I ask, as a husband and father, if the mother of my wife and the grandmother of my children is to be thus cast out to common earth? But the citizens living in the urban areas of New Jersey were already familiar with these problems and, as if to answer Mr.
The body was pulled from the shoreline and dragged onto the grass. In addition, they wanted to mark the plot with a stone in case his relatives or friends came in search of the body Hudson Dispatch, July 28, To help pay the cost of the burial and stone, these kind-hearted citizens took up a collection for this unfortunate soul. As burial in early-nineteenthcentury urban areas like Jersey City generally meant interment within a churchyard, they approached the nearby Bergen Church on the corner of Vroom Street and Tuers Avenue, to execute their good deed Hudson Dispatch, July 28, ; Sarapin , 55; Hudson County Magazine, Fall Compared to other New Jersey cemeteries the cost was indeed high.
More than likely, thoughts of matters other than cost were also going through the minds of these generous individuals. In the early nineteenth century they would also have been well aware of the deteriorating condition of church graveyards. Many of the problems arose as From Graveyards to Cemeteries 79 urban populations exploded, placing a strain on the limited space within the church burial grounds.
Any earlier plans for expansion were quickly thwarted as the cities grew around the graveyards, boxing them in. In an increasingly health-conscious society, overcrowded burial grounds equaled unsanitary burial grounds and often took the blame for outbreaks of disease. Cholera and yellow fever had a devastating impact on early-nineteenth-century communities and the deaths attributed to these outbreaks further strained the limited space in the graveyards Sloane , 37; Curl , In the urban areas of other states, forward-thinking citizens attempted to solve the problem of overcrowding by designing new burial grounds, as quasi-businesses managed by a board of trustees.
It was incorporated by the state of Connecticut in , when local citizens, led by U. Senator James Hillhouse, sought to remedy the problem of overcrowding in the ancient town burial ground located in the heart of New Haven Sloane , Citizens David C. The cemetery was not tied to a church but governed by a board of trustees who were elected by the lot holders to manage the cemetery according to its incorporation papers and bylaws. The concept of lot holders as decision makers was a unique feature of the new cemetery.
click Historically, society had long been concerned with the less than permanent nature of graveyards. Graves were often moved by church authorities with little say from the descendants Sloane , The Jersey City Gazette published accounts of violated graves and lost tombstones during the summer of The object was the tombstone of one-yearold Samuel Browne, who died September 9, The paper would further reinforce the notion of impermanence just two months later on September 16, when Mr.
As a contrast to the way society handled the dead previously and in order to allay the fears of those purchasing plots, the cemetery companies gave lot holders the power to vote on a managing board that would make decisions in the best interest of the cemetery, thereby helping to ease the concerns about moved graves Sloane , In order to lend legitimacy to early cemetery companies, prominent citizens often made up the governing board of trustees Sloane , After studying law he was admitted in to the New York Bar Association. He became a New York City district attorney in and later served in the state Senate and Assembly.
In Colden was elected mayor of New York City. He had the political clout, knowledge, and legal background to legitimize this new ideology and strengthened hopes of making it prosper. In keeping with the ideology of many nineteenth-century cemetery reformers the new cemeteries were laid out in a systematic way. The new cemeteries were situated away from the chaos of congested urban areas. The grounds were planned on a grid system with larger family lots being the norm rather than the single plots found within church graveyards.
In Jersey City, a similar systematic philosophy was implemented. In the Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery consisted of three acres and was documented as having had a substantial stone wall, with the grounds laid out with plots and vaults Justice , The cemetery is accessed from Newark Boulevard by a gated entrance.
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From the gate, a single road dips down to traverse the lower portion of the cemetery. From this section the visitor has a view of the entire burial ground. This must have been an exorbitant and draining cost and certainly a risky undertaking for a new burial ground since the investment placed it in debt, offering a design concept that had little practical use. Near the base of the hill the ground gradually levels off, only to drop sharply at the eastern portion of the grounds.
In the period between and there were a number of interments in the Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery. During that time both simple gravestones and monuments were erected. In addition two early obelisks can be found, including one for John C. Dows, who, while traveling on the clipper ship Sea Serpent, fell overboard and drowned in the s. Other stones give insight into the early patrons of the cemetery, a number of whom are of English descent. She died in North Bergen in Her husband, also from Somersetshire, would follow nine years later.
The marker to commemorate their lives as well as their two children is a Gothic Revival brownstone monument from the mid-nineteenth century. The main tablet is set into a base and decorated with raised crockets along its edge, as well as a recessed surface outlined with Gothic tracery.
A later granite monument for the Roberts family memorializes Joseph Roberts, a native of Liverpool, England. With competition from the larger New York Bay Cemetery, which opened in , the Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery became a localized burial ground, interring members of a community whose demographics had changed. By Germans made up a larger percentage of the burials than previously. The thick, deeply carved brownstone tablet marker for Sophia Hanstein features a raised tablature for the epitaph and a deeply modeled winged hourglass on the tympanum.
The marker is sunken, obscuring the date, but is typical of the German-produced brownstone memorials found 82 New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones in Jersey City and westward to Newark in the third and fourth quarters of the nineteenth century. Nearby an earlier German marker for Katharina Gunther is dated The brownstone tablet marker is carved in German with a heavily modeled urn on the tympanum. An monument commemorates Charles Finke in durable granite.
The burials continued into the s with markers like the diminutive Turko family memorial from with a small iron Russian cross placed behind the stone. By the s and s Italian burials could also be found, giving the cemetery a multicultural mix with monuments in a number of different languages and styles. The cemetery went into decline after World War II and was in a state of disrepair until a group of concerned plot owners gathered to resurrect the burial ground. A cholera epidemic had swept through the city around and must have strained the space even more.
A large number of victims had to be taken from Trenton to a burial lot west of Sandtown, which was owned by Nottingham Township West , The cemetery was located on the western side of Princeton Avenue, north of Gordon Street Podmore , Among the trustees was wealthy Trentonian Elisha Gordon, who helped develop the cemetery as well as the later Mercer Cemetery. The Trenton Cemetery was divided into four sections with a total of burial plots. The cemetery was situated on farmland fronting South Clinton Avenue and Barlow Street, on the fringes of urban Trenton.
Follow- From Graveyards to Cemeteries 83 ing the reformist ideology, this new burial ground contained family-sized plots and vaults laid out on a grid system. Visiting the cemetery today, one notes that the earliest stones are marble gravestones similar to those found in the churchyards of downtown Trenton. Buy As Gift. Overview Penrod, Booth Tarkington's classic and hilarious tale of one year-old boy's unceasing series of misadventures in an early Twentieth Century Midwestern town, has fallen into disrepute in some quarters for ethnic descriptions and dialogue that many today find offensive.
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