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Schuyler Flatts Reburial – Call For Artists

The Schuyler Flatts Burial Project is seeking artists to design the wooden containers in which the remains will be reinterred.  Details at the link below:

Schuyler Flatts Rebuiral Project

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Schuyler Flatts Remains To Be Reburied Next Summer

It has been announced that the remains (believed to have been slaves discovered during excavations on land that was once part of the Schuyler Flatts will be reburied with ceremonies on June 18, 2016 at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Cemetery.

Details will be posted to undergroundrailroadhistory.org as they become available.

Click here for past posts on the Flatts burials.

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Misplaced?

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As previously mentioned at the bottom of this post about the Altar Monument in Saint Agnes Roman Catholic Cemetery (adjacent to the Albany Rural Cemetery), there is at least one headstone at Saint Agnes that originated from the State Street Burying Grounds and was most likely misplaced here instead of the Church Grounds.

This small, plain marble headstone is propped against the back of a monument in Saint Agnes.  The inscription reads:  David D. Winne Son of Daniel  D. & Maryann Winne Died April 31st, 1832 Aged 2 years, 1 month and 19 days.  Also Rachel Ann Winne Daughter of Daniel D. & Maryanne Winne died December 9th, 1839 Aged 1 year 2 months & 9 days.

(The first date listed on the stone is obviously an error as there is no such date as April 31.)

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This stone is listed in the Common Council’s inventory of graves in the Reformed Dutch section of the State Street Burying Grounds.  When the stones and graves were removed to make way for the creation of Washington Park, this stone would have been destined for transfer to the corresponding section of the Church Grounds.  However, for reasons unknown, it now rests against an apparently unrelated headstone (that of Adolph Bridge who died in 1844) in Saint Agnes Cemetery.  One of the two Dutch Reformed sections of the State Street Burying Grounds lay across from the Catholic section divided by a path which ran east to west through the Burying Grounds.  This close proximity of the two sections may be a possible explanation for the misplacement of this stone during the mass removal of graves (assuming the Winne children were buried in the southeast Reformed Dutch section and not the northwest one).

There are a number of Winnes listed in the Rural Cemetery’s burial card file and in the Common Council inventory of the old Burying Grounds.  There are several Daniel Winnes listed, but none of the dates correspond.  The 1844 city directory lists him as a dealer in drygoods at 95 Market Street with a residence at 287 Washington Avenue.  Burial cards for graves in the Church Grounds are almost entirely copied from the inscriptions and thus young David and Rachel do not appear in the file.

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Below:  Front view of the graves of Adolph and Mary Bridge in Saint Agnes Cemetery.  The corner of the Winne stone can be seen in the space between them.

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Saint Agnes Cemetery – The Altar Monument

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Saint Agnes Roman Catholic Cemetery was found in 1867 and lies adjacent to the main entrance of Albany Rural Cemetery.  About a quarter of the size of its neighbor, it is another example of the rural cemetery style popular in the mid-19th century.  In addition to wooded hills filled with elaborate older monuments and a striking avenue of large family vaults, it also includes very modern flat-marker sections and a large community mausoleum ornamented with icons of North American saints such as Kateri Tekakwitha and Isaac Jogues (both of whom had ties to the area now covered by the Albany Diocese).

Like Albany Rural, Saint Agnes Cemetery contains a large number of graves relocated from older cemeteries such as the Catholic section of the State Street Burying Grounds, the Catholic cemetery now occupied by St. Mary’s Park on South Main Avenue, and a smaller Catholic graveyard which appears on 19th-century maps as located on Sand Street (now Sherman Street between Lexington Avenue and Robin Street).

As with Albany Rural Cemetery, some burials were removed from these older graveyards by relatives and interred in new family plots.  Most, however, were removed en masse to large common burial plots.

Located in  high area of Saint Agnes known as Founders Hill, the granite and marble “Altar Monument” marks the burial place of remains removed from State Street Burying Grounds when the land was cleared to make way for Washington Park.

“This monument is in the form of a baldachino, an altar tomb surmounted by a canopy. It is situated on an elevation in one of the most attractive sections of the Cemetery, from whence there is a beautiful view of the upper part of the Cemetery grounds, especially the new part, which has recently been so extensively developed.  It always draws the attention of visitors because of its beauty of design and symmetrical proportions.  The monument was erected by the City of Albany to perpetuate the memory of those whose remains were removed from the old St. Mary’s Cemetery, which was on site of the present Washington Park, to St. Agnes Cemetery.  It does honor both to the living who erected it, and to the dead who lie beneath.”

— from Saint Agnes Cemetery – Its Past and Present Associations.  Edited by Myron A. Cooney.  Compiled and published by Frederick S. Hills, 1899.

Several old headstones from the old Washington Park site were laid flat in the hillside leading to the Altar Monument.  One of them still bears the carver’s name.  Unfortunately, one of the stones has begun to break apart.  Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge.

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Older headstones such as these can be found (both upright and recumbent) can be found throughout the Saint Agnes Grounds.  They generally have death dates prior to the establishment of Saint Agnes and mark relocated graves.  At least one small headstone removed from the State Street Burying Grounds and intended for the Church Grounds at Albany Rural Cemetery seems to have been mislaid in Saint Agnes instead.  That will be featured in a future post.

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