Monthly Archives: February 2013

Featured A.M.E. Gravestone – Samuel Mando

152Section:  African Methodist Episcopal

Material:  White marble

Misc.:  A small stone with a rounded upper edge; the deceased name follows the contour of the curved edge.  Large patches of the stone have darkened, but some white still shows.  Half of the epitaph at the bottom is almost illegible, though the remainder of the inscription is legible (though eroded in places).

Inscription:  Samuel Mando Died Feb’y 15, 187 In his 52nd Year, Louis infant daughter of Samuel and Hannah Mando, Aged 10 mos.  Blessed are the dead who died in the Lord.

Samuel Mando’s stone does not appear in the Common Council inventory.  However, the inventory does list a stone for a Charlotte Mando who died on February 8, 1842 at the age of 19.  The inventory, compiled from the actual headstone inscriptions, notes that she was the “wife of Samuel” so it is likely that the Hannah Mando mentioned on Samuel’s own stone is his second wife or third wife.  Census records from the 1850s list his wife as Ann Mary.

Samuel Mando appears in the 1855 Albany census as residing in Albany’s 8th Ward with Ann and three children, Abraham (10), Hellen (3), and Emma (2).  While his headstone indicates he would have been born around 1819, this particular census estimates his birth year as 1810 and lists Rensselaer as his birthplace.

The census records also list Samuel Mando’s occupation as a waiter.  It was while working as the headwaiter on the Hudson River Day Line steamer Chauncey Vibbard in  September 1865 that he became the victim of an assault that was undoubtedly racially motivated.  Two men from Kentucky, George Merriweather and George H. Williamson, had been drinking heavily and shouting pro-Confederate mottoes in an attempt to cause a chaos as a distraction for attempted pickpocketing of fellow passengers.  During the disruptive scene, Merriweather quarreled with and then stabbed Mando in the chest with a sword-cane.

More on Samuel Mando, his family, and the 1865 assault can be found here.

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Featured A.M.E. Gravestone – Alfred Wellington Watson

167Section:  African Methodist Episcopal

Material:  White marble

Misc.:  A very small stone,  plain design, inscription is worn, but still more or less legible.

Inscription:  Alfred Wellington Watson Son of Charles A. and Phebe Watson, Died June 6, 1848, Aged 13 months and 16 days

Census records from 1850 list Charles Watson as a “mulatto” born in Pennsylvania ca. 1798.  His occupation is given as a cook and his residence was in the Third Ward.  Other members of his household at the time of the census included his wife, Phebe, and two children, Samuel and Georgianna (ages 5 and 1).

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The Clawson Family Stones

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Returning to the A.M.E section for African American History Month.

Shown about are three stones bearing the name Clawson and belonging to members of a single family;  Mary (wife of Robert), John, (son of Robert and Mary), and Robert A. (presumably the son of Mary and the elder Robert), as well as a Charles Ferdinand, a grandson of Robert and Mary.

These stones represent one of the few intact family plots transferred together from their original locations in the State Street Burying Grounds to the Church Grounds.  The stones of most families originally buried together were separated or otherwise lost at some point between the time the transcript of graves was published by the Common Council and the present.  In the Episcopal and other sections of the Church Grounds, it’s possible to find a few stones from a single family laid together, but it is generally not very common.  Some family graves were  moved privately before the mass transfer and are located together elsewhere in the Cemetery, but many  were simply lost (see Without Stones) or mixed with other burials.

Census records for 1850 show a Robert Clawson residing in the household of John Troter, a physician, and was probably employed as a servant of some type.  The census lists him as a black male born around 1790.  The headstone for Robert A. Clawson, likely his son, notes that the young man died of consumption.   Census records from 1855 show the elder Robert Clawson residing at the home of his son-in-law, William P. McIntyre , a barber who had married Robert’s daughter, Mary.

All three stones are marble, modest in size, but with epitaphs.  Mary’s stone notes that she died on June 7, 1846 at age 58 and reads, And Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.  John’s stone notes that he died at the age of 21 on February 22, 1846 and reads, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.  The stone of the younger Robert notes his cause of death at the age of 23 on May 18, 1853 and the same Biblical text as John’s stone.  Charles Ferdinand shares as stone with his uncle, having died just a month later on June 21, 1853 at the age of 4.  His epitaph reads, Suffer the little children to come unto me.

There is, unfortunately, no stone here for the elder Robert Clawson.  The Common Council’s report does not list him.  He may have been buried elsewhere, buried without a stone, or his stone may have been lost prior to the 1868 inventory.

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Without Stones

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A comparison of the Common Council’s 1868 inventory of graves removed from the African Methodist Episcopal section of the State Street Burying Grounds prior to the old municipal cemetery’s rebirth as Washington Park and the actual headstones in the A.M.E portion of the Church Grounds shows a substantial discrepancy. Continue reading

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Featured Gravestone – William and Angelina Evertson

DSC00899Section:  Dutch Reformed

Material:  Sandstone

Misc.:  Stone is in very good condition with just darkening of the surface and some lichen spotting.  Carved text is very legible.

Inscription:  In memory of William Son of Bernardus & Martina Evertson who died 18th Jan’y 1798 aged 19 years 11 months & 6 days.  Also Angelina their daughter 22nd March 1799 aged 9 years 7 months, 22 days.

William and Angelina were the children of Bernadus Evertson (also spelled Eversten) and Martina Hogan.  Bernardus was a tanner by trade, owning a tannery on Fox Street (now Sheridan Avenue, but at the time, the site of a number of tanning pits and related facilities).  William and Angelina were two of the Everston’s six children.  The Common Council inventory of 1868 indicates that Bernardus and Martina (along with another son, Jacob) were also transferred from the State Street Burying Grounds and it’s likely their stones are now in the Church Grounds as well.

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