Section: African Methodist Episcopal
Material: Brown sandstone (both)
Misc.: These are fragments of two different broken headstones laid together. The upper stone has little damage above the break, some wear to the lettering, and some dark lichen or moss growth. The lower stone is broken at both the top and the bottom, some wear to the lettering (especially at the bottom), and heavy lichen growth obscuring a portion of the inscription.
Inscription (top): Flora Lansing Grandmother of John Titus, who died Feby 14th, 1802, aged 82 years, and her children.
Inscription (bottom): Memory of Nicholas Smith Who Departed ___ ___ ___
The last part of the year on Fora’s stone is hidden by grass in this photo and I will copy the correct year on my next visit to the Church Grounds. It appears to be one of the older graves here. The age indicates that Fora may have been a slave for part of her life. There were Lansing slave owners in Albany during her era; Flora may have belonged to them and taken their name upon being freed. I have not found any additional information on her or her grandson, John Titus. The fact that John Titus is mentioned on her stone hints that he may have paid for his grandmother’s burial and marker.
Nicholas Smith’s stone appears to be older and the style of the letters is a little cruder. More detailed photos may aid in transcribing the visible portions of the text.
Neither was transcribed in the Common Council inventory.
Edited June 26, 2013 – A search of the Cemetery’s burial cards shows a match for Nicholas Smith and a transcription of his epitaph. This stone did not originally come from the Negro section of the State Street Burying Grounds, but from the Potter’s Field. His stone reads: In Memory of Nicholas Smith who departed this life 11th Dec. 1819, aged 4 yrs, 9 months, and 5 days. Sleep on, sweet babe, and take your rest, for God has done as he thought best. The same epitaph is found on the headstone of Merit Ogden.