19 May 2011

Far from Thee, Thy Kindred and Their Graves May Be (Clarissa and Henry Wight)

Daughter of Zephaniah Leonard, Esq. of Raynham, Mass.
Wife of Rev. Henry Wight, D.D. of Bristol, Rhode Island
Born Nov 9th, 1771
Died Sept 15th, 1864 in Lawrenceville, Ga

"Asleep in Jesus, far from thee,
Thy kindred and their graves may be.
But there is still a blessed sleep,
From which none ever wake to weep."
Clarissa is part of a highly regarded, highly documented New England family. And she married into the same when joining with Rev. Henry Wight, D.D. in 1799.

The following is from The Genealogy of the Cleveland and Cleaveland Families by Edmund James Cleveland (1899). [Note: Not a complete transcription; I pared it down a bit.]
Wight ancestry: Thomas1; Samuel 2, b. Dedham, Mass., Feb 5, 1639, suffered great loss in Philip's war, m. Hannah; Jonathan3, b. Sept 11, 1662, m. Margaret Fairbanks; Jonathan4, b. Oct 11, 1705, m. Sarah Plimpton; Henry5, b. May 26, 1752, of Bristol, R.I.; Rev. Henry6, of Bristol, Congregational clergyman, m. Clarissa Leonard. Ch: 1. Alice, d. 1884, m. Rev. Charles Alden of Providence, R.I. 2. Clara, m. William Rowland of Augusta, Ga. 3. Fanny Leonard Wight, m. Robert Mathis Cleveland.

Leonard ancestry: Henry1; Thomas 2; James3; James4; Judge Stephen5, b. Dec 14, 1680, judge of Court of Common Pleas; Maj. Zephaniah6, b. Mar 18, 1704, m. Hannah King; Col. Zephaniah7, Yale 1758, sheriff of Bristol co., d. Apr 11, 1814, m. Oct 30, 1765, Abigail Alden; Clarissa8 m. Henry Wight.
The Wights by William Ward Wight (1890) had this to say about Clarissa:
Clarissa Wight inherited from her mother, Abigail Alden Leonard, a strong intellectual bias...Clarissa took great interest in the affairs of the colonies during the revolutionary period and felt and manifested the tenderest sympathy for the soldiers returning sick and worn after the war was over. Through the years of her husband's pastorate she fulfilled the exacting duties of a minister's wife with the most untiring fidelity and zeal. Thousands who have been guests in her pleasant home will remember her genial manners and cordial welcome. She was of great intelligence and fine culture and took great delight in reading her Bible and in repeating passages from old poets. She retained her mental powers to the last and took an intelligent interest in all that was passing about her. On the anniversary of her 70th birthday she sailed from New York to live her children in Georgia, and for the last 23 years of her life she dwelt with her youngest daughter. She died at her said daughter's home at Chestnut Hill, Lawrenceville, Gwinnette County, Georgia, in her 93d year, September 15, 1864...
Photo by Julie Nathanson
via FindAGrave
While Clarissa rests in Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery at Lawrenceville, her husband Henry was upon his death in 1837 laid many miles away in the Juniper Hill Cemetery of Bristol, Rhode Island.

"Asleep in Jesus, far from thee,
Thy kindred and their graves may be."

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