1832 – Cholera & The State Street Burying Grounds

brksbyrwl In 1832, Albany was among a number of cities struck hard by an outbreak of cholera.  The following January, the Albany Evening Journal published an itemized list of expenses incurred by the city during the epidemic.  Included among the expenses were various costs relating to burials, particularly in the Potters Field at the State Street Burying Grounds.  The list gives at least a partial glimpse into the deadly impact of the illness. Cholera Expenses From The Chamberlain’s Report to The Common Council, January 1833 The bulk of the burial related expenses are listed under Schedule G (with the heading, “Coffins, Grave-Yards & Extra Burials), but a number appear in the other schedules.

William Wickham, nuisance (1.50)
D.B. Anderson, burying Mrs. Van Husen, and expenses (8.00)
Peter Somes, removes to hospital R. Morris, a cholera patient (.75)
Christopher McGee, coffin to alms house (.50)
James Hooghkirk, nursing Tompkins and 2 colored persons (4.00)
Hiram Blandin, burying a person from C. Hospital (.50)
Jonathan Tilyou. 22 days digging graves at Potters Field (22.00)
Luke Flood, 3 days digging graves at Potters Field (3.00)
Paid by Marshall for digging graves at Potters Field (8.75)
Thos. Cunningham 16 1/2 days digging graves at Potters Field (20.31)
David Haight, 5 1/2 days digging graves at Potters Field (6.56)
Rich’d Trigg 5 and John Galoin 1 day each digging graves at Potters Field (6.10)
John Lansing, removing 2 families and taking charge of sick woman (2.00)
John Peirce, 49 days services sup’t of burying ground and liming (61.25)
Philip Kellog, 4 days sup’t of burying ground and liming (3.25)
Patrick McGough, 3 1/2 days Potters Field (3.25)
Michael Hays, 7 days burial ground (7.00)
H. Fanning, small table (1.50) Peter Turner, burying four persons (7.00)
Patrick Conn, covering graves (7.00)
Basset & Hallenbake, 4 coffins (6.00)
David Hught, 30 days at Potters Field (37.50)
John Gray, interring at Potters Field (Stranger) (.75)
Roger Veile, attendance, medicine and delivering Mrs. Morris (3.90)
Thos. Netterville, coffins for Stears and Brady (8.00)
Rich’d Parr, carting, coffins and dead (1.50)
Chs. Traber, Potters Field (6.12)
John Boardman, coffins for hospital and on order (293.52)
James Hooghkirk, burying Tompkins and 2 blacks (6.00)
P. Cunnigham, graves (.75)
Paid cartman (1.50)

From Centre Hospital:

Jesse Lane, 5 vouchers for nursing and use of horse and cart to bury the dead at Centre Hospital and where occasion required (106.75)
Joseph Dyas, 8 vouchers 39 days nursing and horse and cart burying dead (143.19)
Abraham Potter, nursing and extra burials (31.50)
Jon. Fowler, horse and wagon for burials, etc. (54.50)
W.S. Sheperd, muslin shirting etc. for the dead (19.36)
H. Kane, horse and wagon for sick and burials (14.00)

North Hospital: Henry Shaw, burying 6 persons (10.50)
Bachellor & Hawley, lumber for shanties and coffins (250.16)
B. Gregory, lumber for coffins and shanties (182.74)


Benjamin Lesch, carting corpses sundry persons (3.70)
David Haight, 4 1/2 do work at Pottersfield (5.94)
Charles Bokes, burying a woman (1.60)
E. Gregory, carting coffin and corpse, removing nuisances, etc. (20.61)
John Weaver, cartage lines, cartage of a coffin and body of a child (3.25)
Abraham Sickles & B.C. Allen, furnishing a horse, wagon and three men, to bury the deceased persons who died in Mulberry-st and furnish a number of articles (6.15)

In addition to the Potters Field at the State Street Burying Grounds, some cholera victims were reportedly interred in the Hallenbake cemetery, the last remaining family graveyard in Albany.  The graves were said to have been dug deeper than the traditional six feet as a precaution against the disease.  This cemetery was also removed to Albany Rural Cemetery. See The Old Halenbeek Burying Ground.

See also: The State Street Burying Grounds ca. 1835

Featured Gravestone – Amos T. Walker

All posts tagged cholera

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