Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Indelicate & unladylike

one of these stones is from sally morse, whose stone i showed you last week. this cemetery, the central burying ground, was actually established to alleviate overcrowding of the nearby cemeteries that i showed you earlier. as this burial ground was the furthest away from the market center of boston, this was the least popular cemetery. the graves here are from british common soldiers who died in combat or of disease during the revolution, foreigners who died while in boston, and some american patriots.
 a few commenters last week said something like "imagine everyone would would have their cause of death listed in such detail on their grave!" well yes, that probably would be weird. although i really didnt mind in this case. i guess they were just really surprised that "some stomach cramp" for just one hour resulted in her sudden and unexpected death. so much so, that they (her husband?) wanted it engraved on her stone...
a little more googling around about sally morse (thanks julie for pointing out she was named morse, and not morfe!), and i found the same article in 3 different newspapers, published around 1921, about a lady who apparently was not happy about sally's stone either. this lady went to the cemetery office and demanded that sally morse's stone be destroyed as the inscription is indelicate and unladylike! the secretary replied that he is in no position to destroy a stone. the lady then demanded that some sort of action will be taken while she waits in the office, to which the secretary replied, as it is the best/first that comes to his mind: "madam, that stone is of great value. harvard university has just been making an investigation and has pronounced that stone important evidence of the first authentic case of appendicitis. madam, that stone cannot be destroyed". "at the magic name of harvard the visitor retreated, vanquished, and went forth to tell her friends of the "appendicitis stone" as it came to be called". 
i have no clue whether this story is true, or when exactly it happened. i could not find anything about that, nor the original article in the detroit news to which this article refers, but surely it was an amusing find... . here you can read the entire article for yourself (and look at the advertisements too, they are funny!)
for more taphophilia, go here...!

11 comments:

Ann said...

What a great story. Some of those stones look very old.

Herding Cats said...

Great post. Imagine wanting a stone removed because you didn't like what was inscribed on it.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Enjoyed a lot Cat!

Tim said...

my stone will read:

"he was a lazy bastard"

NixBlog said...

Great story, CaT!

Kay said...

I guess it goes to say there are self-appointed critics about everything! Great story!

CaT - regarding your comments on skunks: familiarize yourself with what they look like (black w/white stripe down their back). If you get hit with their spray the awful smell is nearly impossible to get rid of & it permeates everything.

VioletSky said...

There is always someone who thinks they can control everything!

biebkriebels said...

There are always stories you can't believe. How mad can you be wanting to remove the text on a grave stone or even destroy it?

Nellies said...

What a fun story.
By the way, I would not mind at all if more people listed the cause of death on their grave stone, I am very curious about those things and it bothers me when I cannot find anything online :-)

Julie said...

What a great way to give an annoying person the 'flick'!! Love that the caretaker was so quick thinking, and so protective of his 'residents'.

I do not mind in the least the level of detail on a gravestone. That is not quite true, the more detail there is the better I like it.

However, I also agree that it is very very handy to be able to search online and learn all these interesting tales, true or urban myth is up to us.

Thanks for this CaT. It was a fun read.

Francisca said...

I wonder what the operational definition of "overcrowding" is when it comes to cemeteries...? This was a fun read. I can only imagine what this "proper" lady would think of our world today!