Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Earth and the Sea Shall Give Up Their Dead

Copyright by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
May not copy without written consent

Tombstones come with a variety of themes, shapes and inscriptions. The following two monuments are unusual, one for its shape and the other for the story it tells.

One of the most distinctive tombstones in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky is that of James R. Hewlett. It is said the tombstone is in Hewlett's likeness. The following is inscribed on his tombstone:

James R. Hewlett
Dec. 14, 1833
Mar. 22, 1896
At Rest

[on left side]

According to his obituary in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian (reprinted from the Caldwell News) of 27 March 1896, Col. J.R. Hewlett, one of Princeton's leading citizens and a prominent lawyer, departed this life at his home on Monday, 23 March [sic], aged 62 years, 3 months and 11 days. He was born in Hopkins County, Kentucky, attended the college in Princeton, where he also taught and was County Superintendent of Schools. He served for a while as Commonwealth Attorney.

James R. Hewlett married Susan Leavell in December 1874 in Christian County, Kentucky. According to Mrs. Hewlett's obituary in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian of Saturday, 9 December 1905, she was the oldest of four daughters of the late L.L. Leavell. After she married James R. Hewett, the couple lived in Princeton. After his death, she remained in Princeton for a time and her brother, St. Clair Leavell, lived with her. Later she moved back to Hopkinsville, where she died 8 December 1905.

Melvina Hewlett was the unmarried sister of James R. Hewlett. Her death certificate identifies her parents as Allison Hewlett and Sarah Thompson. She was born 7 August 1837 and died 20 August 1911.

Another interesting tombstone is the following in the cemetery of old Biggin Church in Berkeley County, South Carolina. The very moving inscription appears to be taken from The Order of Burial of the Dead from the 1789 U.S. Book of Common Prayer.

Lizzie Porcher
Daughter of
John S. and Catharine G. White
Drowned in the Surf
on Sullivans Island the
17th of August 1861
Aged 11 years and 7 months
"The Earth and the Sea shall
give up their dead."

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