30 August 2015

Charles W. Washington: His Body Has Been Through A Lot (and a Bit of Serendipity!)

Charles W. Washington was born about 1802, possibly in Wilkes County, Georgia. I do not know the names of his parents, but I can tell you he had two brothers. Of the three, Charles was "the middle." Robert Beverly Washington was the elder brother, and James H. R. Washington the younger.

Approximate location of Washington Academy land on
today's map.  It possibly extended closer to the Ocmulgee
River. Full map here.
In a 1923 Macon Telegraph (Georgia) article, Charles' niece (Mrs. Ellen Washington Bellamy) offers this anecdote:
..."In 1824, one year after Macon came into being," she began after a few minutes, "Robert and Charles Washington came to Macon from Milledgeville. They were the grand-nephews of George [Washington, first president of the United States], and were the brothers of my father...

"Charles Washington opened the first mercantile establishment in East Macon, where the remains of the mounds are. He lived at the foot of one of those mounds...He owned ground from the Fifth Street bridge on the river to what is now Riverside Cemetery.

"He gave to the city the ground on which the first male academy was erected. It was the square on Second Street extending to First and from Walnut to Ocmulgee. The institution was known as Washington Academy and it was from the academy that Academy Street derived its name...
Fast forward more than 200 years after the birth of Charles, when I am researching Macon's Old City Cemetery. Established in 1825, it was used by the city of Macon until 1840 when the more notorious Rose Hill Cemetery was opened.

There are very few markers visible in the Old City Cemetery versus the hundreds of possible burials. One of the names I discovered as a burial solely from a newspaper article was Charles W. Washington. From The Weekly Telegraph (Macon, Georgia) 25 February 1891 article entitled Whose Bones Lie Buried with bracketed comment by original author:
"To the memory of Charles W. Washington. Drowned in Walnut Creek March 1, 1833. Aged 31 years."

[A tremendous gale had swept over the interior of the state on Feb 28, 1833, causing great destruction to property, and several lives were lost. The water courses were suddenly swollen on the following day, and at night the northern mail stage, in passing Walnut Creek, was swept away and upset. Two passengers and the driver escaped by swimming. Another passenger, Mr. C. W. Washington, was drowned. His body was recovered and brought home. He was the brother of the late R. B. Washington and of Hon. James H. R. Washington. He was a merchant much respected and his death was deeply lamented.]
While the story seemed a tiny bit familiar, I couldn't immediately place why and put it out of my mind. But when I come across the aforementioned article with Ellen Washington Bellamy's recollections, I connected the dots. Here is another snippet:
Drowned in Creek
"Uncle Charles lost his life in a tragic manner. He was on his way home from Savannah where he had gone on business. Of course, he was making the trip to Macon by stage. There had been a terrible freshet in his absence and the driver of the stage was unaware that the bridge over Walnut Creek had been washed away. Before he realized it, he had driven the stage into the swollen stream. The debris submerged the stage and before Charles could extricate himself he was drowned.

"He was buried in the old city cemetery, but I later had his body moved to Rose Hill to the family lot. He died in the full vigor of a useful life.
There you have it. Several years before studying up on the Old City Cemetery, I had transcribed Charles' grave stone in Rose Hill Cemetery. I went back to my files, to be sure. Back when I was using pen and paper to transcribe cemeteries (imagine that!) -- and there the transcription was.

Enhanced image.  Original by James Allen.
In Memory of
Charles W. Washington
Who was drowned in Walnut Creek March 1st, 1833
In the 31st year of his age. In the full vigor
of a useful life.

Since this is basically the same as the transcription found in the 1891 article about the Old City Cemetery, I wonder if it the same stone first placed there?

Here is an item that ran in the Rhode-Island Republican (Newport, Rhode Island) 27 March 1833. It's the only one I found closer to the actual time of the accident:
The savannah [sic] Georgian states, on the authority of a letter from Macon, that a violent tornado, accompanied with rain occurred in the latter place on the 2d inst. A good deal of damage was done by the blowing down of chimnies, houses and fences. One white boy and several horses and mules were killed by the falling of buildings. The Augusta stage was washed down, in attempting to cross Walnut Creek, and one passenger, Mr. Charles Washington of Macon, and 3 horses were drowned.

16 July 2015

George Phillip Lamb, Atomic Veteran

From Wikipedia:
Atomic veterans are United States military veterans who were exposed to ionizing radiation while stationing in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the American occupation of Japan before 1946 (including certain veterans who were prisoners of war there) and thousands of servicemen who took part in atmospheric nuclear tests (1945-1962)...

...A formal investigation of the radiation exposure these veterans received, as well as radiation experiments conducted on humans, was initiated in 1994, by former President Bill Clinton, who apologized for their treatment in 1995. "In 1996, the U.S. Congress repealed the Nuclear Radiation Secrecy Agreement Act, which rescinded the Atomic Veteran “oath-of-secrecy,” thus allowing Atomic-Veterans the opportunity to recount stories of their participation in Nuclear weapon testing and post test event activities, without legal penalty. By this time,however, many thousands of Atomic Veterans, the majority of whom were afflicted with a host of radiation induced health issues, such as cancer, had taken that “secret” with them, to their graves.
George Phillip Lamb
Apr 30, 1928 - Sep 19, 1989
Atomic Veteran 

George's obituary can be found in the 21 September 1989 Augusta Chronicle (Georgia), page A-14. It states he was a retired farmer and produce dealer, as well as a member of Disabled American Veterans.

Mr. Lamb was laid to rest at Louisville City Cemetery in Jefferson County, Georgia.

15 July 2015

Final Scenes from St. Paul's Graveyard (Mostly Wordless Wednesday)

Here are some final scenes from my 2013 visit to St. Paul's Church and Graveyard in Augusta, Georgia.

More Church Photos.

To Commemorate the Great Congress of Five Indian Nations Held Here at Fort Augusta in 1763, when Seven Hundred
Indians Came to Meet the Governors of Georgia, Virginia, North and South Carolina.
Erected by the Augusta Committee of the Georgia Society of the Colonial Dames of America.

(Click to enlarge.)

More information on Fort Augusta.

13 July 2015

Mary and James Nesbitt, Mother and Son

In Memory of
the Wife of
who departed this life the
8th Day of December
A.D. 1802
in the 25th Year of her age.

their Son
who died the 7th Day of January
A.D. 1803
Aged 7 weeks & 2 Days

I'll bet some childbirth issues were involved.

St. Paul's Church Cemetery
Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia

12 July 2015

In Memory of Maria, Wife of Samuel Gregory Starr

In Memory of
wife of Samuel G. Starr,
fhe died Nov. 5, 1817, Æ 28,
she was daughr of
Ebenr R. & Hannah White.
(of Danbury Conn.)

A quick search at GenealogyBank revealed a death notice for Maria that was run in a few Connecticut newspapers. This notice gave us her husband's middle name:

Connecticut Herald (New Haven, Connecticut)
9 December 1817, pg. 3
In Augusta, (Geo.) Mrs. Maria Starr, wife of Mr. Gregory Starr, late of Danbury, and daughter of Mr. Ebenezer R. White.
One other note: The three blocks of art carved near the top of Maria's tombstone provide a bit of symbolism. In between what I would call daisies is a weeping willow draping over an urn. According to Stories in Stone by Douglas Keister, "The willow and urn motif was one of the most popular gravestone decorations of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries." The willow not only represents grief and sorrow, but also immortality.

St. Paul's Church Cemetery
Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia

11 July 2015

Robert Mitchell Sunk Under His Disease at Augusta

to the Memory of
of Queens County in New York
who died March 22nd 1808 [9?],
in his 32nd Year.

He left his home in search
of health, but sunk under his
disease at Augusta.

St. Paul's Church Cemetery
Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia

06 May 2015

Faith in the Cross (Wordless Wednesday)

Original Photo © 2008-2015 S. Platt

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