Handbook of Old Burial Hill - Plymouth, Massachusetts:
Its History, Its Famous Dead, and Its Quaint Epitaphs
by Frank H. Perkins

Published by A. S. Burbank, Pilgrim Bookstore, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Copyright, 1902 by A. S. Burbank, Plymouth, Massachusetts

[Scanned & OCR'd by Jim Mayor]
[HTML & layout by Jane Devlin]

The Old Burying-Ground.

"The Pilgrim Fathers are at rest:
When Summer's throned on high,
And the world's warm breast is in verdure dressed,
Go, stand on the hill where they lie.
The earliest ray of the golden day
On that hallowed spot is cast,
And the evening sun, as he leaves the world,
Looks kindly on that spot last"
-- Pierpont

No spot in Plymouth is so interesting to the antiquary as Burial Hill. Here are the sites of the Pilgrims' fort and watchtower. Here sleep the early settlers of the colony, the heroes of the Revolution and of our later wars, and the men who went "down to the sea in ships" and braved dangers, in the days of Plymouth's maritime glory. Here are to be seen the rude symbols of the sculptor's art and the crude effusions of the elegiac poet.

Burial Hill is 165 feet above the sea level, and rises abruptly just back of the town's busiest thoroughfare. It is irregular in form and contains about eight acres. From this elevation the visitor has a splendid panorama of ocean and country. Nestling at his feet, between the hill and the sea, are the thickly clustering roofs of the old town. Turning his eyes northward, he sees in the far distance the villages of Kingston and Duxbury and the monument on Captain's Hill, erected in memory of Myles Standish, the doughty Pilgrim commander. To the west stretches a rolling swell of hills, ending in an almost unbroken forest, through whose shades Massasoit led his warriors to meet the Plymouth colonists. On the south, shrouded in purple mist, are the "Pine Hills" of Manomet. Looking eastward, across the bay he spies the green dot known as Clark's Island, where the Pilgrims spent their first Sabbath; and far beyond the shining strand of Plymouth Beach, if the day be clear and his vision keen, he can just discern Provincetown, at the point of Cape Cod, -- the "tip end of Yankee-land."

Visited as it is daily by, tourists from all parts of the world, it is fitting that this consecrated ground should be well cared for and that its surroundings should be somewhat in keeping with its historic character. By the will of J. Henry Stickney of Baltimore, late vice-president of the Pilgrim Society, $10,000 was bequeathed for improvements on this ground. It had been suggested that the legacy be used in removing some, at least, of the unsightly buildings which skirted the foot of the hill on the easterly side, and in the erection of an ornamental gateway at the Town Square entrance. These improvements have been effected.

There are several ways of approaching Burial Hill, but the main entrance is at Town Square. As we pass through the gateway the new First Church, begun in 1896 and finished in 1899, looms up on our left. It is of gray stone, in the Norman type of architecture, and its severity of style is suggestive of the rugged lives of the Fathers. In the vestibule of the square central tower will be placed tablets of a historical character. This church is the oldest religions organization in the country. In an unbroken succession the ministry of this church has continued from the days of Robinson and Brewster to the present. Its records are piously preserved.

Aside from its interest to those who find pleasure in meditation among the tombs of past generations, Burial Hill has a history which forms a part of the early history of the town. Long before the spot was used for burial purposes, it served as a ground for possible defence against the savage foe, and here the first church of the colony was established. Shortly after the landing of the Pilgrims, on Dec. 21, 1620, they set about to provide against attack from the redskins, and we learn from their records that "in one field is a great hill, on which we poynt to make a platform and plant our ordnance, which will command all round about."

In 1622 a larger fort was erected, and in 1627 De Raisieres describes it as a large square house, with flat roof made of thick sawn planks, stayed with oak beams, upon the top of which six cannon were mounted. The lower part was used for a church. The Pilgrims assembled at beat of drum, each with his musket or firelock, and marched to the place of worship.

The exact situation of this fort is unknown. No traces of it remain. It is reasonable to suppose, however, that it stood well toward the top of the hill on the southeasterly side, on a spot which would command the approach from Leyden Street (the first thoroughfare on the east and the approach from the path leading to the fording-place on the south. This path, now Spring Street, leads directly from the hill to Town Brook.

On Sept. 23, 1643, it was agreed that a watchhouse "shall be forthwith built of brick." This structure stood at the top of the hill, on the southeasterly side, and commanded a wide view of all the country about. Its bounds are marked by four square granite blocks, and a small oval stone on a standard, suitably inscribed, more definitely designates the location. Within recent years pieces of the brick of which this watchhouse, or watch-tower, as it is more commonly called, have been unearthed.

Strolling down the southeasterly slope, the visitor comes to another similar oval stone, which tells us that here stood the old fort, erected in 1621. This may be the site of the first fortification, but history makes no record of it. We have evidence, however, that in 1676, when invasion from King Philip, the Indian chieftain, was feared, a fort was built on this spot, and the conformation of the ground indicates the existence at some time of such a work. On Feb. 19, 1676, the colonists decided to erect a fortification, "to be a hundred foot square, the pallasadoes to be ten foot and a halfe longe; to be sett two foot and a halfe in the Ground; and to be sett against a post and a Rail . . . . and that there shal be a watch house erected within the said ffence or fortification, and that the three peece of ordnance shal be planted within the said fence or fortification . . . . said watch house which is to be sixteen foot in length and twelve foot in breadth and eight foot stud, to be walled with board."

This construction is significant of the peril of the times and of the stern and unbending determination of the Forefathers. With the close of King Philip's War the fort was abandoned, and in 1677 the material of which it was built was granted to one William Harlow. Some of the massive timbers were used in the construction of the old Harlow house on Sandwich Street, and are still to be seen.

The hill was not used as a place of burial until after it was abandoned for defensive purposes. Those of the "Mayflower" company who died the first winter were buried on Cole's Hill, and, while no traces of their graves remain, a tablet appropriately inscribed marks their resting place. Others of the Pilgrim band found burial on their own estates, and no man knoweth their sepulchre. The first mention of Burial Hill as a cemetery was in 1698, when Chief justice Sewall recorded the following in his diary: "I walk out in the morn to see the mill, then turn up to the graves, come down to the meeting-house, and seeing the door partly open went in and found a very convenient place to pray."

The oldest stone in this ground is that of Edward Gray, and bears the date of 1681. It is probable, however, that earlier burials took place here. Tradition says that the oldest grave is that of John Howland, who died in 1672, although the stone which marks it was erected within comparatively recent years. Tradition also places here the earthly remains of Gov. William Bradford, and a monument bearing his name rises among the graves of the Bradford family, the exact place of the Governor's interment, however, not being designated.

There are six ancient gravestones bearing date before 1700, as follows:

Edward Gray, 1681.
William Crowe, 1683/84.
Hannah Clark, 1687.
Thomas Cushman, 1691.
Thomas Clark, 1697.
Ten children of John and Josiah Cotton, 1699.

Possibly there is a seventh, -- the defaced tombstone of Nathaniel Thomas, who is said to have died in 1697. The figures on the stone are illegible. All these stones are on the summit of the hill, within a narrow radius, and near the intersection of the two main paths. With the exception of Gray's, all are of English make, and in fact most of those bearing dates to 1745 were brought from across the water.

The Gray stone, the oldest on the hill, as has been said, is of dark, compact slate. It probably has the usual "cherub," or symbol; if so, it is concealed by the iron hood which protects the edges from water and frost. By its side is a wooden slab bearing the legend, "The Grave of Edward Gray, June, 1681." The inscription on the stone is as follows:--

Here Lyeth ye Body
Gent Aged About
52 years & Departd
this life ye Last of
June 1681

Edward Gray appeared in Plymouth about the year 1643. Tradition has it that he and his brother were sent from England in order that scheming relations might obtain possession of their property. He became a merchant, and the wealthiest man in the colony.

The stone of William Crowe, the next in order of date, is of purple slate and is thus inscribed: --

Here lies buried
ye body of Mr
Aged About 55 years
who decd January

The Bradford obelisk is one of the first objects to claim the visitor's attention. It is of white marble on a granite base, and rises to a height of eight feet or more. On the south side are these words: --

H I William Bradford of Austerfield Yorkshire England.
Was the son of William and Alice Bradford
He was Governor of Plymouth Calony
from 1621 to 1633, 1635, 1637, 1639 to 1643, 1645 to 1657

On the north side is a Hebrew sentence, said to signify
"Jehovah is our help,"
but by other Hebrew scholars translated
"In Jehovah's name I die."

Then follows: --

Under this stone rest the ashes of William Bradford
a zealous Puritan & sincere Christian
Gov. of Ply. Col. from 1621 to 1657,
(the year he died) aged 69,
except 5 yrs. which he declined.

The grave of that sturdy old Pilgrim, John Howland, has a great attraction for thousands who tread this sacred soil, many of whom come from the good old Pilgrim stock. The stone is of reddish hue, tall and wide, and bears the following beautiful inscription:

Here ended the Pilgrimage of
who died February 23, 167_
aged above 80 years.
He married Elizabeth daughter of
who came with him in the
Mayflower Dec. 1620.
From them are descended a
numerous posterity.
"Hee was a godly man and an ancient professor in the wayes of Christ.
Hee was one of the first comers into this land
and was the last man that was left of those that came over in the Shipp called
the Mayflower that lived in Plymouth."
Plymouth Records.

One of the six stones bearing date in the seventeenth century marks the grave of Thomas Clark, or Clarke, who is often spoken of as the "mate of the 'Mayflower'" History, however, tells a different story, and it is known that the name of the first officer of the ship was John Clark. The stone is of purple Welsh slate, and is thus lettered :--

Here lyes ye body of Mr. Thomas Clark
aged 98 years
departed this life Match ye 24th 1697.
Plymouth Records.

A huge boulder has been recently placed on this grave, and a metallic plate secured to it reads: -

Here lies buried ye body of Mr. Thomas Clarke, aged 98.
Departed this life March 24, 1697.
Thomas Clarke came to Ply month from England in the ship Anne 1623.
He married Susan Ring of Plymouth, 1634.
Their children were Andrew, James, William, Susanna, Nathaniel, and John.
From whom descended a numerous posterity.
He married his second wife, Mrs. Alice Hallett Nichols of Boston, in 1664.
lHe lived for some years in Boston, and also in Harwich,
of which town he was one of the original proprietors.
He died in Plymouth, having lived in the reigns of six British sovereigns and the Com'th.
This stone is erected to his memory by his descendants A.D.1891.

It is with reverent step that the latter day Pilgrim approaches the Cushman monument, an enduring memorial to a "precious servant of God." This is a granite column, twenty-five feet high, and it is by far the most conspicuous monument on the hill There is a bronze tablet on each of its four sides, that ou the northerly side reading as follows :--

Fellow exile with the Pilgrims in Holland,
Afterwards their chief agent in England,
Arrived here IX November, MDCXXI,
With Thomas Cushman his son:
Preached IX-. December,
His memorable sermon on "the Danger of self-love
And the sweetness of true friendship:"
Returned to England XIII December,
To vindicate tho enterprise of Christian emigration;
And there remained in the service of the Colony Till MDCXXV,
When, having prepared to make Plymouth His permanent home.

West side: --

He died, lamented by the forefathers
as "their ancient friend, - who was
as their right hand with their friends
the adventurers, and for divers years
had done and agitated all their business
with them to their great advantage."

"And you, my loving friends, the adventurers
to this plantation, as your care has been first
to settle religion here before either profit
or popularity, so, I play you, go on. --
I rejoice -- that you thus honor God
with your riches, and I trust you shall be repaid
again double and treble in this world, yea,
and the memory of this action shall never die."

South side: --


San of Robert, died X December, MDCXCI,
Aged neatly LXXXIV years.
For more than XLII years he was
Ruling Flder oķ the First Church in Plymouth,
By whom a tablet was placed to mark his grave on this spot,
Now consecrated anew by a more enduring memorial.


widow of Elder Cushman, and daughter of Isaac Allerton,
Died XXVIII November, MDCXCIX, aged about XC years,
The last survivor of the first comers in the Mayflower.

East side:

Erected by
The descendants of
Robert Cushman
In memory of their Pilgrim Ancestors,

The stone originally erected over the gave of Elder Thomas Cushman was removed in 1858 to make room for this memorial, and now stands a little distance from its first position. It is of purple Welsh slate, and is in a remarkable state of preservation. The inscription is as follows: --

Here lyeth buried ye body of that precious servant of God,
who after he had served his generation according to the will of God,
and particularly the church of Plymouth
for many years in the office of a ruling elder
fell asleep in Jesus Decmr. ye 10, 1691 & ye 84. Year of his age.

There is always eager inquiry from the visitors to Burial Hill for the grave of the "Nameless Nobleman," the hero of Mrs. Jane G. Austin's famous historical novel of that title. We find it near the Cushman monument. The stone has the small figure of an hourglass at its top, under which appears the winged cherub, the sculpture being better defined than is usual in such old work. The inscription reads: --

Here lyes ye body
phytician who
departed this life
Augst ye 18th 1704,
in ye 36 year
of his age.

Dr. Le Baron was the surgeon of a French ship which was wrecked in Buzzard's Bay in 1694. With the officers and crew he was taken prisoner and sent to Boston. On their way a stop was made at Plymouth, where the doctor had occasion to perform a surgical operation. This led to a request, made by the citizens to the lieutenant-governor, and granted, that he be allowed to remain in the town. From him the numerous Le Barons in America are descended.

By the side of Dr. Le Baron is buried his wife Mary, who after his death married a Wait. Near by is the grave of their son, Dr. Lazarus Le Baron, who also figures in Mrs. Austin's writings; and in the rear of these graves is seen the tombstone of Nathaniel Goodwin, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Jane (Goodwin) Austin, who married Lydia, daughter of Lazarus Le Baron.

Various other people mentioned in Mrs. Austin's novels are buried in this ground. Among them is Ansel Ring, who, as we are told in "Dr. Le Baron and His Daughters," was cursed by the old witch, Mother Crewe. He lies with the sixty seamen who perished on board the "General Arnold." A marble shaft on the extreme southwesterly edge of the hilt marks the place of their interment. The inscription on the northeasterly side is: --

In memory of Seventy two Seamen who perished in Plymouth harbour
on the 26, and 27, days of December 1778,
on board the private armed Brig, Gen. Arnold, of twenty guns,
James Magee of Boston, Commander, sixty of whom were buried on this spot.

On the northwesterly side: --

Capt. James Magee died in Roxbury, February 4, 1801; aged 51 years.

On the southwesterly side: --

Oh! falsely flattering were yon billows smooth
When forth, elated, sailed in evil hour,
That vessel whose disastrous fate, when told,
Fill'd every breast with sorrow and each eye
With piteous tears.

On the southeasterly side: --

This monument marks the resting place of sixty of the seventy two mariners,
"who perished in their strife with the storm,"
and is erected by Stephen Gale of Portland, Maine, a stranger to them,
as a just memorial of their sufferings and death.

Another of Mrs. Austin's characters is Hannah Howland, who is said to have died of a broken heart on account of Ring's sad end. Her stone is to be found on the crown of the hill, not far from the Le Baron graves. Its inscription reads: --

Sic Traneit Gloria Mundi
To the memory of Miss Hannah Howland, who died of a Languishment,
January ye 25th 1780 ∆tatis 26.
For us they languish, & for us they die
And shall they languish shall they die in vain.

Readers of "Dr. Le Baron and His Daughters" will recall the following reference to the graves of the Howland family: --

Consider Howland slept with his fathers on Burying Hill, and Ruth Bryant, his loving wife, had meekly followed him thither. You may see their stones today, in the shadow of that majestic though mistaken monument to the memory of John Howland, the Pilgrim, who married Elizabeth Tilley, and not Elizabeth, daughter of childless Governor Carver. There too may you see a plaintive little stone to the memory of

Consider son to Mr Consider
and Mrs. Ruth Howland,
Aged 7 years.

The graves of Capt. Abraham Hammatt and Capt. Simeon Sampson, both mentioned in "Dr. Le Baron and His Daughters," are to be seen here. Capt. Sampson's tombstone is referred to among those of the Revolutionary patriots. That of Capt. Hammatt is near the group of Howland graves, and is thus inscribed:

In This sacred spot
Are deposited the remains of
Capt Abraham Hammatt
who died of a malignant Fever
October 12th 1797 ∆tatis 47
And of his daughter Sophia who
On the fst December following
Fell a victim to the same Disease ∆tatis 13.

Hers was the mildness of the rising Morn
And his the radiance of the risen day.

The stone of Elder Faunce occupies a prominent position on the hilltop. It bears the figure of a skeleton, seated on an hourglass. The left hand of the skeleton holds a scythe, and wings are attached to the hourglass. Above the figure is the drawing of a scallop shell. The inscription is: --

Here lyes buried the Body of
Mr. THOMAS Faunce ruling
Elder of the first Church of Christ in
Plymouth deceased Febry 27th An : Dom. 1745/6
in the 99th year of his Age.

The Fathers, where are they?
Blessed are the dead who
Die in the Lord.

Near by are entombed the remains of Dr. Chandler Robbins, and on the stone we read: --

This Stone Consecrated to the memory
Of the Revd Chandler Robbins D D
was erected By the inhabitants of the first Religious Society in Plymouth
As their last grateful tribute of respect
For his eminent labors In the ministry of JESUS CHRIST
Which commenced January 30th 1760
And continued till his death June 30th 1799 ∆tatis 61
When he entered into the everlasting rest
Prepared for the faithful ambassadors
Of the most high God.

Ah come heaven's radiant Offspring hither throng
Behold your prophet your Elijah tied
Let sacred symphony attune each tongue
To chant hosannahs with the virtuous dead.

A few feet away is the white marble slab erected to the memory of another noted divine, Dr. James Kendall, of blessed memory, who for more than half a century served the First Church as its pastor. It is thus inscribed: --

Rev. James Kendall, D.D.
Ordained 1 Jan. 1800.
Died 17 March 1859. Aged 89 years.
For sixty years Minister of the First Parish in this town.

Plymouth played her part in the Revolution, and of her soldiers and sailors who fought in that memorable struggle a number are buried in this historic ground.

Near the site of the old fort an iron fence encloses the Warren lot. Within it stands the monument of Gen. James Warren, president of the Provincial Congress and major-general of the militia. He died in 1808. His wife, Mercy Warren, sister of James Otis, the patriot, lies in the same enclosure. She was a woman of marked literary ability, and the author of several works. Their son James, who served with Paul Jones on the "Bon Homme Richard," and who lost a limb in one of the naval engagements, is said to have been buried in this lot, but there is no stone to indicate the grave. It is quite probable that the body was laid away in the Warren tomb, at the foot of the hill.

Capt. Simeon Sampson was another Revolutionary hero of renown. His stone is to be seen on the northerly side of the hill, near the path leading from School to Russell Streets. In 1762 he was taken prisoner by the French and held for ransom, but escaped from his captors by assuming female attire. At the outbreak of the Revolution, when a marine force was deemed necessary to protect our commerce from depredation by British cruisers, lie was the first naval captain in the continental service to be appointed by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts. He died in 1789 at the age of fifty-three, and his epitaph tells us: --

0 ye whose cheek the tear of pity stains
Draw near with pious reverence and attend
Here lie the loving Husbands dear remains
The tender Father and the courteous Friend
The dauntless heart yet touched by human woe
A Friend to man to vice alone a Foe.

Not far away is the stone of Gen. Nathaniel Goodwin, a well-known military character of the last century. His house was where the Baptist church now stands. He had charge of the enlistments for the Revolutionary army in this quarter of the State. On the surrender of Burgoyne and his men, Gen. Goodwin was placed in command of the guard over them at Somerville. Burgoyne's sword fell into his possession. He died in 1819.

Just across the path from the grave of William Crowe is the tombstone of Capt. Jacob Taylor, another of Plymouth's Revolutionary patriots, who died in 1788. Beneath the name and date we read these quaintly worded lines: --

Through life he brav'd her foe if great or small
And march'd out foremust at his country's call.

On the southeasterly hillside we catch sight of the name of Capt. Nathaniel Carver, beneath the weeping-willow and urn, the common mortuary emblems of those days. Capt. Carver commanded a vessel which was captured by the famous Admiral Nelson. The Yankee captain was enabled, however, to do the great naval officer a good turn by piloting him out of a place of danger; and the following document, in possession of Hon. William T. Davis, the historian of Plymouth, explains itself:

These are to certify that I took the schooner Harmony, Nathaniel Carver, master, belonging to Plymouth, but on ace't of his good services have given him up his vessel again. Dated on b'd Ifis Majesty's Ship Albemarle, 7 Aug., 1782, in Boston Bay. Horatio Nelson.

On the west side of the hill are the graves of Dr. William Thomas, a surgeon in the expedition against Louisburg in 1745; and his sons Joshua, who was on the staff of the Revolutionary Gen. Thomas; Joseph, a captain of artillery in the Revolution; John, a surgeon's mate under his father; and Nathaniel, who was also engaged in the struggle for independence.

Other soldiers of our first war who are buried here are Dr. James Thatcher, a surgeon in the American army, and an early historian of Plymouth; Col. Ben Warren, a brave officer, whose grave is unmarked; and Capt. William Pearson, who, as his epitaph informs us, was "a true patriot and a hero of the Revolution." Col. Warren, by the way, has some claim to distinction from having married four wives, the last marriage taking place fifty-eight years after the first -- a circumstance which for a time puzzled the searchers of genealogical records. Speaking of "men of war," mention should be made of Caleb Cook, whose place of interment is near the Le Baron graves. He was with Capt. Church at the battle in which King Philip was killed. There are known to be graves of at least twenty-two Revolutionary patriots on the hill, and 193 who served in the late Rebellion are buried here.

Many visitors to Burial Hill, particularly those of the Baptist faith who hold in reverence the name of its great missionary, find more than a passing interest in the white marble slab which stands as a memorial to the Judson family. It is near the site of the watch-tower, and is enclosed by white wooden palings. It bears the following inscription: --

Sacred to the memory of
who died NOV. 28, 1826, ∆. 75.
A faithful and devoted Minister of Christ.

who died at Washington City May 8, 1829, ∆. 34 years.

his dau. died May 30, 1832, ∆. 7 years.

ELLEN YOUNG, his wife,
died Nov. 25, 1832, ∆. 30 y'rs.

Missionary to Burmah, who died at Amherst, B. E.

Oct. 24, 1826, ∆. 37 y'rs.

ROGER W. JUDSON, died May 4, 1816, ∆. 8 mo.

MARIA. E. B. JUDSON, died April 24, 1827, ∆. 2 yrs. 3 mo.

SARAH B. JUDSON, Missionary to Burmah,
who died in the port of St. Helena,
Sept. 1, 1845, ∆. 42 y'rs.

Missionary of the American Baptist Missionary Union to the Burman Empire,
who died at Sea, April 12, 1850, ∆. 62 years.

EMILY C. widow of Adoniram Judson, D. D.
& Missionary to Burmah, died June 1, 1854, ∆. 37 y'rs.

ABIGAIL BROWN JUDSON, born in Malden, March 21, 1791,
died in Plymouth, Jan. 25, 1884.

In the same enclosure is a stone inscribed as follows: --

Sacred to the memory of
widow of the late Rev. Adoniram Judson
who died Jan. 31, 1842, aged 82 years.
Her hope was in the Gospel of
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
She felt the balm and efficacy of those leaves
which are for the healing of the nations.

A guilty weak and helpless worm,
On thy kind arms I fall
Be then my guide and righteousness
My Jesus and my all.

A few steps along the path northward from the Judson lot, and we come to a rough boulder on which is carved the name of Thomas Russell, and the dates Sept. 26, 1825, and Feb. 9, 1887. Judge Russell was for many years president of the Pilgrim Society and took as active interest in the history of the old town. It is fitting that his earthly remains should find a resting-place in this ground.

Under the shadow of the Bradford monument, not many feet away, is a blue slate stone with this inscription: --

Here ties the body of ye honorable
Major William Bradford,
who expired Feb. ye 20th 1703/4, aged 79 Y'rs.

He lived long but still was doing good
& in his country's service lost much blood;
After a life well spent he's now at rest,
His very name and memory is blest.

The stone of Nathaniel Morton, which we see a little way beyond, is chiefly interesting from its figure of a man rising from the tomb, emblematic of the resurrection.

Let us take a turn on this part of the hill where we are now standing, and note some of the quaint epitaphs. Beginning with a low, moss-covered stone just across the path from the Russell boulder, we find the following worthy of our attention: --

To the memory of
Mr John Rider who
Dec March the 11
1756 aged 47
years Wanting
4 days.

In memory of William Drew Tufts
Son of Jona & Priscilla Tufts,
Born Nov. 9 1797
Died at the Island of Cuba March 29 1811
aged Nineteen years.

Green as the bay tree, ever green,
With its new foliage on,
The young, the healthful have I seen,
I pass'd, and they were gone.

Sacred to the memory of Miss Sally C. Robbins
dau'r of Capt. Samuel & Mrs. Sarah Robbins.
She deceased by a fall from a chaise, Aug. 14, 1828,
aged 25 years, 5 mo's and 10 days.

Our home is in the grave;
Here dwells the multitude; we gaze around,
We read their monuments, we sigh and
while we sigh, we sink.

Here lyes ye body of
William Ring
who decd sum time in April 1729
in ye 77th year of his age.

Samuel H
Josiah ye
n John Cotton
Josiah Anonymus Edward Josiah Edward Richard Roland
7 sons of Josiah Cotton who died between ye year 1712 & 1734

To the memory of the amiable
Mrs. Jane. Dogget
Consort of Mr. Seth Dogget
who died May 31 1794
in the 26th year of her age
also an infant Daughter by her side

Come view the seen twill fill you with surprise
Behold the loveliest form in nature dies
At noon she flourish'd blooming fair and gay
At evening an extended corpse she lay.

Here lyeth buried ye body of
Joseph Bartlett
who departed this life April ye 9th 1703
in ye 38th year of his age
J. B.
Thousands of years after blest Abell's fall
Twas said of him being dead he speakth yet
From silent grave methinks 1 hear a call
Pray fellow-mortall, don't your death forget
You that your eyes cast on this grave
Know you a dying time must have.

On the easterly slope the following greet the eye: --

This Stone is erected to the memory of
twin children of Ephraim Finney and Phebe his wife
who were born Octr 27, 1822,
Elizabeth died March 10, 1823,
Ezra died September 14, 1523.

My friends behold what death has done
Taken these babes when they were young
Prepare to live prepare to die
Prepare for long Eternity.

James Jordan.
Drowned in Smelt Pond, June 25, 1537, aged 27 y'rs.
Buried on the day he was to have been married.

Near this is a stone which is sometimes called the "Masonic stone." It bears the name of Nathaniel Jackson, and the date 1743. Above the lettering the sculptor has engraved a death's-head, a tomb, an hourglass, cross-bones, an urn, a rose-tree, and the figure of a skeleton seated on a globe.

Departed this Life
June 23, 1796,
In the 90th year of her Age
Madam Priscilla Hobart
of the Revd Noah Hobart
late of Fairfield in Connecticut
her third husband
her first and Second
John Watson Esq
Honble Isaac Lothrop.

This Stone is
erected to the memory of
that unbiased judge
Faithful Officer, sincere Friend
and honest Man
Coll Isaac Lothrop
who resigned this Life
on the 26th day of April 1750
in the 43 year of his age.

Had Virtues Charms the power to save
Its faithful Votaries from the grave
This stone would neer possess the fame
Of being marked by Lothrop's name.

Continuing our search along the southeasterly slope we find these three. The first two quoted are near the tombs at the foot of the hill: --

In memory of John W. Howard
Son of Capt. James Howard & Mrs. Hannah his wife
born March 20, 1815 died April 2, 1815

He glanc'd into the world to see
A sample of our misery.

In memory of Four Children of
Mr Zacheus Kempton & Sarah his wife
viz Sally aged 36 years
Charles aged 21 years
Woodard aged 17 years
Robinson aged 2 years
They died between 1802 & 1820.

Stop traveller and shed a tear
Uppon the sod of children dear.

In memory of Thomas Paty
son of Mr Thomas Paty and Mrs Jorusha his wife
who departed this life Oct 7th 1802
aged 2 years 10 months and 20 clays.

And must thy children Dye so soon.

Passing around the southerly edge of the hill, we pause a moment to read these words: --

To the memory of Isaac Eames Cobb
who was born Jany 19, 1789, and died Jany 14, 1921.

Possess'd he talents ten, or five or one
The work he had to do that work was done
Improv'd his mind, in wisdom's ways he trod
Reluctant died, but died resigned to GOD.

For quaintness of diction this is well matched by the two following headstones, which are close at hand: -

To the memory of Thomas Bartlett
son of Mr. Thomas & Mrs. Ruth Bartlett
who died Septr 9th 1802 aged 7 year 2 months 11 days.

That once loved form now cold & dead,
Each mournfull thought imploys
And nature weeps his comforts fled
And withered all his joys,

But ceas fond nature dry thy tears
Religion pints on high
And ever lasting spring appears
And joys that never die.

Here lyes buried ye body of
Mr. Thomas Little
Practitioner in Physick & Chyrurgery
Aged 58 years Decd Decemr ye 22 1712

As we turn thence westerly we pass these inscriptions: --

Erected to the memory, of Mrs. MEHITABEL,
wife of Capt. Thos. Atwood, who died Jan, 11, 1809,
In the 58 year of her age.
In early life her feeble constitution gave painful premonition of her early exit.
She however unexpectedly passed the meridian of life, discharging in a very laudable manner,
filial parental & conjugal duties.
At length the seeds of death were planted in her vitals --
she sickened, languished & expired in hopes of a blessed immortality.

Short is our longest day of life,
And soon its prospect ends
Yet on that day's uncertain date
Eternity depends.

ANDREW FARRELL, of respectable connexions
In IRELAND Aged 38 years,
Owner & Commander of the Ship Hibernia,
Sailed from Boston Jany 26,
And was wrecked on Plymouth Beach Jany 29 1805.
His remains With five of seven seaman
Who perished with him are here interred.

O piteous lot of man's uncertain state!
What woes on life's eventful journey wait--
By sea what treacherous calms; what sudden storms;
And death attendant in a thousand forms.

In memory of Mr. Benjamin Harlow
who died November 18th 1816 aged 34 years.

Friends and physicians could not save
My mortal Body from the Grave
Nor can the Grave confine me here
When Christ the son of God appears

The westerly side of the hill abounds in curious inscriptions, and among them we note the following: --

Here lies Intend
The Body of Ms
ER who dece-
ased January
Ye 25th AD 1767
In ye 72d year of
her age. She was
widow to L

(The hand points to the next stone, which marks the grave of her husband.)

Sacred to the memory of Phebe J. Bramhall,
A native of Virginia & wife of Benjn Bramhall Jun
who died August 27, 1817, aged 21 years.
Possess'd of an amiable disposition, She endeared herself to all around her
Weep not for her in her Spring time she flew
To that land, where the wings of the soul are unfurl'd
And now, like a star beyond evening's cold dew
Looks radiantly down on the tears of this world.

Consecrated to the Memory of Mrs Mary Dyer
who died April 17th 1805 aged 47 years
One thing is needfull And Mary hath chosen that
Good part which shall not be taken away from her.

Fanney Crombie daughter of
Mr Calvin Crombie & Mrs Naomi his wife
Departed this life June 25th. 1804 in the 8th year of her age.
As young as beautiful I and soft as young!
And gay as soft! and innocent as gay!

Erected in memory of Mr. William Keen, who died February 18, 1825, aged 69.
This modest stone, what few vain marbles can,
May truly say, Here lies an honest man.
Calmly he looked on either life, and here
Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear.
From Nature's temperate feast rose satisfied,
Thank'd Heav'n that he had lived and that he died.

Here lies inter'd the body of
Miss Hannah Symmes eldest Daughter of
Mr Isaac and Mrs Hannah Symmes
who at the early period of 28 years
after being long exercis'd with bodily pain
with christian fortitude yielded her spirit
to its benevolent Author.
Born Jany 30, 1766, Died March 27, 1794.

To the memory of THOMAS JACKSON Esqr
This Monument is erected Obiit September 19, 1794, Aged 67 years
The spider's most attenuated thread
Is card, is cable, to man's slender tie.

Consecrated to the memory of Mrs PEGGY HOLBROOK
wife of Mr Jeremiah Holbrook who departed this life
August 28th 1811 aged 26 years
Her amiable Disposition endeared her to her friends
and died lamented by all who knew her
Though harsh the strike and most severe the rod
Cease mourner cease it was a strike from God

am erected
Josiah Cotton Esqr
in remembrance of Rachel
his pious and Virtuous Wife,
who died Jaunty 17th 1808 aged 50 years.
In belief of Christianity I lived,
In hope of a glorious Resurrection I died.

F. W. Jackson Obiit March 23, 1799 Aged One year 7 days.

Heav'n knows What man
He might have made, But we
He died a most rare boy.

The three latter are on the extreme westerly edge of the ground, not far from the corner where the powder house was built in 1770. No trace of this structure remains.

Turning our steps toward the northerly side, the following epitaphs invite our attention: --

To the Memory Of Mrs. ANNA JACKSON
Obiit July 20, 1794 Aged 28 years.
Death is the privilege of human nature,
And life without it were not worth our taking
Thither the poor, the unfortunate, and Mourner
Fly for relief & lay their burdens down.

In Memory of Ezra Thayer Jackson
son of Mr Thomas Jackson 2d & Mrs Lucy his wife
who died Novr 23d 1783 Aged 25 days
What did the Little hasty Sojournr find so forbidding & disgustful
in our upper World to occasion its precipitant exit.

In Memory of Frederick
son of Mr Thomas Jackson and Mrs Lucy his wife
who died March J5, J788 aged 1 year & 5 days
O! happy Probationer! accepted without being exercised! --
It was thy peculiar Privilege not to feel the slightest of those Evils,
which oppress thy surviving kindred.

Here lies Buried the Body of
Mrs Hannah Goodwin,
the wife of Mr John Goodwin
and daughter of Mr Thomas and Mrs Sarah Jackson
who departed this life March 8th AD. 1777;
in the 22d Year of her Age.
A Soul pre par'd Needs no delays
The Summons comes the Saint obeys
Swift was Her flight & short the Road
She close'd Her Eyes & saw Her God
The Flesh rests here till Jesus comes
And claims the Treasure from the Tomb

In memory of Harriet
Daughter of Mr Samuel & Mrs Hannah Jackson
who died Sept. 17, 1793
aged 10 months & 3d (piece gone)
Babes thither caught from Womb, and Breast
Claim Right to sing above the Rest
Because they found the happy shore
They never saw nor sought before.

In memory of Mrs. Tabitha Plasket
who died June 10, 1807 Aged 64 years.
Adieu vain world I have seen enough of the
And I am careless what thou say'st of me
Thy smiles I wish not;
Nor thy frowns I fear,
I am now at rest my head lies quiet here.

who died August 1, AD. 1794 in the 48 year of his age
All you that doth behold my stone
Consider how soon I was gone
Death does not always warning give
Therefore be careful how you live
Repent in time, no time delay
I in my prime was called away.

(Tabitha Plasket was for many years a school-teacher in Plymouth and
was well known as an eccentric character.)

widow of Capt William Holmes 3d Mariner
and daughter to Capt Joseph Doten Do.
she was killed instantaneously in a thunder storm
by the Electrich fluid of lightning
on the 6th of July 1830, aged 35 years and 26 days.
She was an affectionate wife; a dutiful Daughter,
a happy mother, a kind and sincere friend.
Alas sweet Blossom short was the period that thy enlivening virtues
contributed to the Happiness of those connections;
But oh, how long have they to moum the loss
of so much worth and Excellence.

Farewell dear Wife untill that day more blest
When if deserving I with thee shall rest,
With thee shall rise with thee shall live above
In worlds of endless bliss and boundless love.

In memory of William Brewster
Son of Capt William Brewster & Mrs Elizabeth his wife
died April 5th 1804 aged one year 5 months & 17 days
The father and the children dead
We hope to Heaven their souls are fled
The widow now alone is left
Of all her family bereft.
May she now put her trust in God
To heal the wounds made by his rod.

Capt Ellis Brews
and Mrs Nancy
wife died Dec 13 180
aged 4 years

He listen'd for a while to hear
Our mortal griefs; then tun'd his ear
To angel harps and songs, and cried
To join their notes celestial, sigh'd and dyed.

To the memory of Lemuel Cobb Robbins
son of Capt Ansel Robbins and Hannah his wife
who died Oct 2sd 1801 aged 1 year & 10 days
We have no Reason for to mourn
For gods will must be don
He lent him for a little space
Then sudden Called him home

In memory of Elizabeth Savory,
wife of Lemuel Savery
who died August 1, 1831, Aged 71 years.
Remember me as you pass by,
As you are now so once was I;
As I am now so you must be,
Prepare for death to follow me.

There are about 2,150 headstones on Burial Hill, and many graves are unmarked. In some cases, undoubtedly, this absence of a memorial is due to the considerable cost of stones in the early days. In other instances the monuments have fallen prey to the ravages of time. Rigid restrictions now govern burials in this ground.

Standing thus among the graves of the pioneer dead and putting all modern life behind him, one's thoughts go back across the centuries and grasp, with a new sense of reality, the facts of Pilgrim history. The Forefathers, who did brave deeds and suffered much, and planted in the wilderness the seeds of a free nation, stand forth not as shadowy historical figures, but as living men. And thinking on such things, these words of the poet Pierpont find ready echo: --

"The Pilgrim spirit has not fled,
It walks in noon's broad light;
And it watches the bed of the glorious dead,
With the holy stars, by night.
It watches the bed of the brave who have bled,
And shall guard this ice-bound shore,
Till the waves of the bay, where the Mayflower lay,
Shall foam and freeze no more!"

[note: page numbers are not the same as original book]

Atwood, Mehitable,	40
Bartlett, Joseph,	37
   "         Thomas,	40 
Bradford, Gov. William,	13, 15, 16
      "         Maj. William,	35, 36 
Bramhall, I'hebe J.,	41
Brewster, Capt. Ellis,	47
     "          Nancy,	47
     "          William, 	47
Carver, Capt. Nathaniel,	30
     "      Gov.,	17
Clark, Hannah,	13
    "     Thomas,	13, 17, 18
Cobb, Isaac Eames,	40 
Cook, Caleb,	31, 33 
Cotton, children of John
             and Josiah, 	13, 37
     "      Rachel,	44 
Crombie, Fanny,	43
Crowe, William,	13, 14, 15
Cushman, Robert,	20
      "          Thomas, 	13, 19, 20, 21
Doggett, Jane,	37
Dyer, Mary,	43
Farrell, Andrew,	41 
Faunce, Elder Thomas, 	26, 49 
Finney, children of Ephraim,	37
Fort, site of,	37
"Gen. Arnold," seamen of, 	24 
Goodwin, Gen. Nathaniel,	30
      "         Hannah, 	45
      "         Nathaniel, 	23
Gray, Edward,	13, 15
Hammatt, Abraham,	26
Harlow, Benjamin,	41
Hobart, Priscilla,	38
Holbrook, Peggy,	44 
Holmes, Bathsheba James, 	46 
Howard, John W.,	39 
Howland, Consider.	26
       "        Hannah, 	25
       "        John, 	13,17 
Jackson, Anna,	45
     "        Ezra Thayer,	45
     "        Frederick, 	45
     "        F. W.,	44 
     "        Harriet, 	46
     "        Nathaniel,	38, 39
     "        Thomas, 	44 
Jordan, James,	38
Judson family,	32, 33, 35
     "     Rev. Adoniram,	33 
Keen, William,	44 
Kempton, children of Zacheus,	39
Kendall, Rev. James,	27
Le Baron, Dr. Francis,	22
      "         Dr. Lazarus,	23
Little, Dr. Thomas,	40
Lothrop, Col. Isaac,	38
Magee, Capt. James,	24
Morton, Nathaniel,	35, 48
"Nameless Nobleman,"	22
Oldest grave,	13
    "     stone,	13
Paty, Thomas,	39
Pearson. Capt. William,	31
Plasket, Joseph,	46
     "      Tabitha,	46 
Powder-house, 	45
Rider, John,	36
Ring, Ansel,	24
   "     William,	37
Revolutionary Patriots,	31
Robbins, Lemuel Cobb,	47
     "         Rev. Chandler,	27
     "         Sally C.,	37 
Russell, Thomas,	34, 35 
Sampson, Capt. Simeon,	26, 28, 29
Savery, Elizabeth,	47 
Spooner, Sarah,	41, 42
     "        Thomas, 	42 
Symmes, Hannah,	44
Taylor, Capt. Jacob,	30
Thatcher, Dr. James,	31
Thomas, Dr. William,	31
     "        John,	31
     "        Joseph,	31
     "        Joshua,	31
     "        Nathaniel,	13, 31
Tilley, Elizabeth, 	17
Tufts, William Drew, 	36
Warren, Col. Ben,	31
     "       Gen. James, 	28
     "       James,	28
     "       Mercy, 	28
Watchtower, site of	  9

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