29 October 2016

Aurelia Lamar Ralston Bozeman: Her Life, & Tombstone Symbolism

[Originally posted at the Rose Hill Cemetery blog.]

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 023Aurelia L. was born 19 January 1825 in Georgia.  She was one of at least seven daughters born to Henry Graybill Lamar and Mary Ann Davis, and sister to Mary Gazaline Lamar Ellis.

When Aurelia was 20 years old, she married James A. Ralston.  The marriage was solemnized 5 March 1845 by Seneca Bragg at Christ Church in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia.  I think James was a son of David (d. 1842) and Anna V. (d. 1836) Ralston.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 024

The couple had at least five children:  Henry (b. abt 1846), James A. (b. abt 1848), Anna, George, and Davis (b. abt 1850).  Anna and George were twins, born 3 August 1849.  According to the inscription on a tombstone in Rose Hill Cemetery, George died April 1850, and Anna died September 1851.  The date (month, at least) might be incorrect for George, since both he and Anna are listed in the Ralston household for the 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census taken August 12th of that year.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 029

A little more about James A. Ralston, Sr.:  this was a wealthy man.  According to the 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census, James held real estate valued at $50,000.  His occupation was listed as Speculator.  I dare say at least some of his real estate was inherited from his father, who died November 1842.  The 1860 Federal census for the same location shows James had real estate valued at $120,000, and a personal estate worth $60,000.  His occupation was listed as Planter, and the slave schedule shows he owned 30 individuals.

Furthermore, the Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, 1861-65 database at Fold3 contains more than 70 images relating to rent payments made to James Ralston for the usage of buildings in downtown Macon by the Confederate Army for office space during the Civil War.

According to his tombstone in Rose Hill Cemetery (image of inscription above), James A. Ralston, Sr. died in December of 1864.  Just over two years later, on 7 February 1867, Mrs. Aurelia L. Ralston married Dr. Nathan Bozeman in Bibb County.  Their marriage service was conducted by a pastor of the Presbyterian Church.  Dr. Bozeman lost his first wife, Mary Frances Lamar, in May of 1861.

By 1870, Dr. and Mrs. Aurelia Bozeman were living in New York.  Aurelia was keeping a home containing at least three of Dr. Bozeman's children by his first wife.  Notably, this household also employed five Irish born domestic servants.

Three years later, Aurelia died at her home in Morristown, New Jersey.  Notice was printed in the Weekly Sumter Republican, an Americus, Georgia newspaper (29 August 1873, pg. 3):

DEATH OF MRS. DR. BOZEMAN. -- Mrs. Aurelia Bozeman, wife of Dr. Nathan Bozeman, of Morristown, N.J., died suddenly at three o'clock yesterday morning, at her home in New Jersey.  Mr. Geo. B. Turpin received a dispatch early yesterday morning notifying him of the sad occurrence, and through him the many relatives and friends of the lady in Macon and elsewhere in Georgia.

Mrs. Bozeman was a daughter of Judge Henry G. Lamar, and, before she married Dr. Bozeman, was the widow of the late James Ralston of this city, and mother of James A. Ralston.  She was a sister to Mrs. N. C. Monroe, of Griffin, and of Mrs. W. L. and Mrs. Hayne Ellis, of this city. -- Telegraph & Messenger, 27th inst.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009

Aurelia Lamar Ralston Bozeman was laid to rest in the Holly Ridge section of Rose Hill Cemetery.  Her tombstone is topped with a large cross covered in ivy, her initials in the middle of the cross (pictured above).  At the base of the cross is an anchor, and there appears to be a crown on top of the cross.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 032

There is a lot of symbolism in play, here.  According to the go-to source for symbols in the cemetery, Stories in Stone: a Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography by Douglas Keister, here are some proposed meanings:

  • Cross:  Though the symbol actually predates its religious association, this Latin Cross (shaped like the letter t, as opposed to a + sign) is most commonly connected to the religion of Christianity.
  • Crown:  The crown is a symbol of victory, leadership, and distinction.  The cross with a crown, though not always depicted in this same manner, is a Christian symbol of the sovereignty of the Lord.
  • Ivy:  "Because ivy is eternally green even in harsh conditions, it is associated with immortality and fidelity.  Ivy clings to a support, which makes it a symbol of attachment, friendship, and undying affection.  Its three-pointed leaves make it a symbol of the Trinity." [page 57]
  • Anchor:  The anchor is a symbol of hope.  For more information, see Anchors and the Virtue of Hope in the Cemetery.

18 October 2016

Mary E. McClure Mull (Tombstone Tuesday)

Mary E. (McClure) Mull rests at McClure Cemetery in Fannin County, Georgia.  This cemetery is also known as Friendship Cemetery, per applicable death certificates I have viewed.


Mary was born in Georgia to Nancy C. Davenport and Cicero L. McClure.  Her parents also rest at McClure Cemetery.

About the year 1921, Mary became a farmer's wife when she married Hubert Mull (b. abt 1892).  The couple had at least two daughters.  According to the 1940 Fannin County, Georgia Federal census, the family was residing on Dry Branch Road, not far from where the cemetery is today.

Here is a slideshow of images from McClure Cemetery and the surrounding area.

13 October 2016

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep (Today's Epitaph)

This poem, which is a comforting epitaph, is inscribed on the granite tombstone placed for Joann T. Parks about 1992.  The author of the sonnet was Mary Elizabeth (Clark) Frye, and she wrote it in 1932.


Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn's rain
When you waken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft star that shines at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there; I did not die.


Joann rests at Chastain Memorial Cemetery in Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia.

06 October 2016

James Habersham and Sons at Colonial Park Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia

The three Habersham brothers – James, Joseph, and John – rest beside their father, the elder James Habersham, in Colonial Park Cemetery at Savannah, Georgia.  Though their father supported the Crown, the brothers were devoted patriots in the American Revolution.  And afterwards, prominent in public positions for the United States and the state of Georgia.

Joseph Habersham
The left panel on the vault front is devoted to second son, Joseph Habersham (1751-1815), and his wife, Isabella Rae. Accomplishments of Joseph listed here are the following: Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental Army, Postmaster General under George Washington, Member of the Continental Congress, Speaker of the General Assembly, and Member of the Society Cincinnati in Georgia. Joseph was also Mayor of Savannah, 1792-1793. Furthermore, three years after his death, a county in Georgia was named for Mr. Habersham. Here is an obituary from the Savannah Advertiser by way of the 5 December 1815 edition of Virginia's Norfolk Gazette and Publick Ledger (page 2, original viewable at GenealogyBank):

The melancholy task devolves upon us, of recording the decease of the venerable Col. JOSEPH HABERSHAM, in the 65th year of his age.  On the 18th instant, the sun of his terrestrial existence set, -- to rise no more!

In the fist stages of the revolutionary war, he embarked in the services of his country, and was successively continued in public employments, until advanced age called upon him to retire. -- He was among the oldest native inhabitants of Savannah, and was one of the first and most zealous patriots, who stepped forth to obtain freedom and independence in his country.  He commanded one of the parties, by whom a large stock of powder was taken from the British in 1775; he commanded the party by whom the British governor Wright was taken prisoner in February, 1776; he commanded a rifle corps of volunteers in defense of Savannah, when it was attacked by majors Maitland and Grant, in the succeeding month; and he was appointed a major in the first continental battalion which was raised in Georgia, and was soon after, promoted to the rank of lieut. colonel.  It is believed, that out of thirty five officers appointed in that battalion, general John McIntosh and colonel John Milton, are now the only survivors.  Colonel Habersham was twice appointed a member of congress; several times a member of the state legislature; and in two instances selected by that body to fill the chair as speaker.  After the adoption of the federal constitution, president Washington (who was always mindful of the soldier's merits) appointed him post-master general of the United States.  When he retired from that office, he was appointed president of the Branch bank of the United States in Savannah, and continued in that office until the expiration of the charter.  In all these appointments, as well as in the duties of a private citizen, he preserved the character of a pious honest man.

To his venerable partner, the remains of life will be a species of solitude, when compared with the happy scenes of the past.  To his immediate descendants, as well as his other young relatives, all of whom have long looked up to him, and received from him, the care of an affectionate father, the privation will be afflictive indeed:  but under this dispensation of the great disposer of events, it will afford some consolation, that the memory and merits of their departed relative, will live in the history of his country.  Savannah Advr.

James Habersham (father and son)
The largest panel, in the middle, is for James Habersham – both the elder and the junior – and their wives.  James Habersham, Jr. was married to Esther Wylly.


Be Thou Faithful Unto Death, And I Will Give Thee A Crown Of Life

Sacred to the Memory of
James Habersham
The ancestor of the family of that name.
He was born at Beverly, Yorkshire, England in January, 1712
and died at Brunswick, New Jersey, 28th of August, 1775.
Aged 62 years.

He was an eminent Christian and a highly useful man in the then Colony of Georgia, and held many important offices, among them, those of President of his Britannic Majesty's Council and acting Governor of Georgia during the absence of Governor Wright.  He was also in connection with Whitfield one of the founders of Bethesda, and for a long time a co-laborer in that good and great work.

Also to the Memory of
Mary Bolton
His most beloved Wife
who died the 4th day of January 1763,
and was also buried in this vault.

Per the 4 September 1775 New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (page 3, viewable at GenealogyBank, s typed as f as was done in original article):

On Monday laft died at Brunfwick, in the 63d Year of his Age, on his Way to this City, the Hon. James Haberfham, Efq; Prefident of his Majefty's Council of Georgia.----He was a Man of great Probity, Integrity and Honour,---an able Counfellor, an affectionate and tender Parent, and well acquainted with the Delicacies of true Friendfhip:  In his Life he was greatly beloved, efteemed and honoured by all his Friends,---and his Death is equally regretted by all who had the Honour of his Acquaintance.  His Remains were on Thurfday Evening interred in the Family Vault of Nathaniel Marfton, Efq; in Trinity Church-Yard.

James Habersham came to the colony of Georgia in 1738 and became a leading merchant and public servant.  He also became one of Georgia's largest planters.  The historical marker at his grave says this:  "Though he disapproved Parliament's oppressive acts, Habersham remained firmly loyal to the Crown…his last days darkened by the shadow of the impending Revolutionary struggle which arrayed, in his words and in how own case, 'father against son, and son against father.'"

100_8016James Habersham, Jr. was more of a political and financial supporter of the American Revolution, leaving the military service to his brothers.  James also served on the Board of Trustees created to establish the University of Georgia.  Though the epitaph etched below his father's provides for James the incorrect death year of 1808, the historical marker nearby rectifies with the proper year of 1799.

Obituary from the Philadelphia Gazette (Pennsylvania), dated 1 August 1799 [s typed as f as was done in original article, viewable at GenealogyBank]:

Died, on Tuefday, 2d inft. at Savannah, (of which city he was a native) in the 54th year of his age, James Habersham, Efq. a man, whole benevolence of mind and fuavity of manners, will long live in the memory of thofe who had the pleafure of his acquaintance, and whofe conduct through life was marked with unfufpected integrity.

He was the eldeft fon of the Honorable James Haberfham, Efq. who was one of the firft fettlers of the province of Georgia; and who fuftained, with reputation, in the courfe of a ufeful life, the firft offices under the royal government.  This gentleman dying previous to the revolution, the one now the object of our atention [sic] and regret, took a part with his countrymen in the new courfe of things; and through the whole of a conteft fo conflicting and doubtful, he fteadily perfevered, and calmly purfued the great object of the change.  The peace of 1783, having confirmed our hopes, and ratified our independence, he devoted his fervices in the legiflature, in which he was fpeaker, to the improving and perfecting the fyftem of our new government.  Retiring, afterwards within the pale of domeftic life, he was feen as hufband, parent, mafter and friend, a diftinguifhed ornament: difcharging moreover, with ufeful effect, the focial duties of magiftrate and citizen.

John Habersham (1754-1799)
The third son of James and Mary Bolton Habersham is memorialized on the right panel. John Habersham's list of accomplishments include the following: Maj. Continental Army, Member of the Continental Congress, Member of the Society Cincinnati in Georgia, Collector of the Port of Savannah, and One of the Trustees of the University of Georgia. He was married to Sarah Camber.

John was twice captured while serving during the American Revolution: at the fall of Savannah, and at the fall of Charleston, South Carolina.  Both times he was exchanged in active service.

johnhabershamdiedJohn's death occurred almost five months after that of his brother James.  John's obituary can be found in the 22 November 1799 edition of the Columbian Museum (Savannah, Georgia – page 3, s typed as f as was done in original):

DIED] On the 19th inft. Major JOHN HABERSHAM, aged 45 years.  In the late Revolution he early defended the rights of his country, and was promoted to the rank of Major in the firft Continental regiment of this ftate.  Since the Peace he ferved feveral years in the former Congrefs, and on the organization of the Federal Government he was appointed Collector of this Port, in which office he continued till his death.  The eafe, affability, and obligingnefs of difpofition with which he executed his public functions, and the amiable and endearing manner in which he conducted himfelf in his private relations, will long render his death a fubject of general regret in this community, and of embittering recollection to thofe whofe intercourfes of life were fweetened by an intimate acquaintance with him.  He bore a long and painful illnefs with the equanimity which was peculiarly characteriftic of him, and paffed through the laft trying fcene with a correfpondent compofure. – Thus have we loft, in the fpace of a few months, two brothers, of difpofitions the moft angelic with which Heaven is pleafed to blefs mankind.

04 October 2016

SpringPlace Moravian Mission Cemetery (Tombstone Tuesday)

[This was originally posted at the Peachy Past blog. I thought it might be of interest to Southern Graves readers.]

Scarcely a vestige today survives in the way of a memorial to tell of the brief sojourn in this State of the pious Moravians.  But the early annals of Georgia are too fragrant with the memories of this sweet-spirited sect to justify any omission of them in this historical retrospect…The missionary activities of the Moravians among the Georgia Indians were successful in a marked degree; and, with little opposition from the red men of the forest, who learned to trust them with implicit confidence, they penetrated far into the Blue Ridge Mountains and established at Spring Place, in what is now Murray County, a mission which exerted a powerful influence among the native tribes, converting not a few chiefs and warriors, and continuing to flourish down to the final deportation of the Cherokees, in 1838…[Georgia historian, Lucian Lamar Knight, abt 1914]

A couple of informational markers were placed near the Moravian Missionary Cemetery at Springplace to further commemorate the mission site.  In 1931, a rough hewn stone block was set, with a plaque declaring, "the Moravian Mission to the Cherokee Indians was Erected Near this Spot…" Twenty-two years later the Georgia Historical Society again marked the area:


As the marker states, the mission was founded in 1801 "by Moravian Brethren from Salem, N.C." It's worth noting, this was not the first time the Moravians entered the state of Georgia.  A group first came in 1735, part of a "worldwide missionary campaign during the mid-eighteenth century to unite Christians and convert non-Christians." [New Georgia Encyclopedia] The settlement was at Savannah, but only lasted ten years.  Many say the Moravians left after being pressured to take up arms against Spain, but others suggest the disintegration resulted from internal strife.

Though there are records of members of the Cherokee Nation converting to the Moravian religion, the numbers were not great.  There seems to have been more of an interest in education on the part of the Natives.

The Springplace Moravian Cemetery, also known as "God's Acre," contains virtually no tombstones.  Nonetheless, it's quite moving to stand at its center and read these powerful words:

Surrounding you underneath are the graves of these nine people as well as those of several unknown individuals.

100_0366· Cherokee Principal Chief Charles R. Hicks (d. 20 January 1827) served as Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1817-1827.  In 1827, when Principal Chief Pathkiller died, Hicks rose to the position of Principal Chief.  Less than two weeks later, Hicks was also dead.  He had attended the council at New Echota, even though he was ill.  On his way home, Principal Chief Hicks camped in the woods and took on a more serious cold due to dampness.

· Margaret "Peggy" Vann Crutchfield (d. 18 October 1820) was the niece of Principal Chief Charles R. Hicks.  She was married to James Vann at the time of his murder in 1809.  Peggy became the first convert in the Cherokee Nation on 13 August 1810.  She later married Vann's former overseer, Joseph Crutchfield.  From a Moravian Mission diary:  "Toward the evening there was a marked change for the worse in Peggy Vann's condition.  While singing about salvation her soul passed from us.  Not only was she enthusiastic for the Savior, but also a real example for good within her Nation.  Over one hundred came to attend the funeral service."

· Minerva Vann (d. 3 May 1833) was a child of Joseph Vann (son of James) and Jennie Springston. From a Moravian Mission diary:  "Toward noon I arrived at the Vann's.  They were in tears over the death of their five-month-old daughter, who died of whooping cough."

God's Acre

· Robert Howell (d. 31 January 1834), a brick mason from Virginia, was hired by James Vann to oversee the construction of the Chief Vann house in 1803-1804.  Two of Howell's brothers may also rest in God's Acre.

The other five known burials are Dawnee Watie, a Cherokee student, d. 27 September 1812; Missionary Anna Rosina Gambold, b. 1 May 1762, d. 19 February 1821; the infant child of Rose, a servant, d. 15 October 1816; Mrs. Nicholson, wife of Joseph Vann's overseer, d. 7 December 1829; and Christian Jacob, born in Africa, d. 8 December 1829.

A couple of miles away from the Springplace Moravian Mission Cemetery is the Chief Vann house and plantation grounds.



Dr. George R. Lamplugh wrote the following in his review of Tiya Miles' The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story:

Cherokee entrepreneur James Vann built the first house on Diamond Hill in 1801, a much cruder structure than the current one, and he invited missionaries from the Moravian Church in Salem, North Carolina, to found a Christian mission and school at the site, which they named Spring Place…

Vann lived in the house on Diamond Hill with his mother, Wali; several Cherokee wives, the most important of whom was Peggy Scott Vann; and his children.  James’ favorite son, Joseph (later known as “Rich Joe”) Vann, inherited the home, and his slaves built the famous brick manor house that still survives.

Fascinating history, to say the least.

Springplace Moravian Mission Cemetery

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