A notation on a burial card for Section 98 leads to the final resting place of the last documented slave at the Schuyler Flatts.
This is a wonderfully detailed gravestone in the St. Peter’s Episcopal section of the Church Grounds. The tympanum features an excellent example of a mourner similar to those described in this blog post. The mourner wears a contemporary dress, complete with a bow tied at the back and what appears to be some sort of cap or bonnet. In her hands, she holds an object which could be either a fan, handkerchief, a wreath or garland to be laid on the grave, or even some sort of purse or reticule. The figure is shown leaning towards a monument, bowed under the weight of grief. The monument depicted is an obelisk atop o a square pedestal (a common style in the early to mid-19th-century). Both the mourner and the monument are positioned beneath the branches of a willow tree.
The bottom of the stone is broken and several small portions of the inscription are missing. However, the epitaph was transcribed in the burial records. The complete inscription reads:
Beneath this sod is interd the remains of Thomas E. Hewson who died Sept. 28th, 1818 in the 27th year of his age.
And are thou gone sweet friend ne’er to return To charm thease eyes and soothe this aching bre’st. Must weeping friendship scatter oer thy urn Her tributary tears with grief opprest But heaven decread and heaven’s decree is just Thine earth should mingle with it’s native dust.
Below are the inscriptions from headstones at the Schuyler Flatts burial ground as compiled and published by Joel Munsell in 1874. The stones were later removed to the Rural Cemetery and arranged in the rear of General Philip Schuyler’s memorial. The inscriptions are now mostly illegible on all but a few of the stones. Fortunately, Munsell’s transcription preserves the names, dates, and some fine examples of early American epitaphs.
In memory of
daughter of Cornelius
& Harriet Schuyler,
who died Oct. 9, 1828,
AE. 3 yr’s. 6 mo. 19 d’s
As sweet the flower that scents the morn,
But withers in the rising day,
Thus lovely was this infants dawn,
Thus swiftly fled its life away.
Material: Brown sandstone
A small stone with a heavy amount of lichen on the surface. Carving is partly obscured by the lichen, but otherwise legible. Bottom of stone was broken, possibly at time of transfer.
Inscription: In memory of Jane Wendell daughter of John and Cathalina Wendell who departed this life November 24, 1795 aged 1 year, 9 months and 21 days.
She was the daughter of John H. Wendell