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Posts Tagged ‘rochester’

Henry Rogers Selden

Henry Rogers Selden was a lawyer, judge and politician, serving in such positions as Lieutenant Governor of New York. But the reason I photographed his grave marker is that Selden defended Susan B. Anthony in 1873. Anthony and a number of her fellow suffragists decided to test the constitutionality of denying women the right to vote, and Anthony presented her research and arguments to Selden. He found them compelling and told her that he thought she had a right to vote. She voted in the national election of 1872 and was arrested for illegal voting. Selden defended her during the case pro bono, and was extremely disappointed at her conviction.

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Grave of Helen Pitts Douglass

Helen Pitts Douglass was the 2nd wife of Frederick Douglass. Douglass’ first wife, Anna Murray, died in 1882 after over 40 years of marriage. Helen Pitts, an advocate for women’s rights and a graduate of Mount Holyoke Seminary, met Douglass when he hired her as a clerk. After his first wife’s death, he married the white woman who was 20 years his junior, their interracial marriage exposing tensions with long time friends and colleagues. After Frederick Douglass’ death in 1895, his widow dedicated herself to the creation of the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association.

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This is my 3rd post on my most viewed photos. I find it very enlightening to see what other people find interesting, and I also remind myself that more people would probably find more of my photos if I would keep up with labeling them.

The 7th most viewed cemetery photo in my Flickrstream is the breaking point I’ve been wondering about – up until this point, the grave markers have been famous because of what or who they commemorated, rather than for the markers themselves. And as I suspected, the first famous marker to get hits without necessarily marking the burial place of a particularly famous person is the Haserot Angel.

Haserot Angel in Snow

This statue has to be on of Lake View’s most famous, and it is only natural that my photo of it would receive a lot of views.

The next most viewed are back to famous people. First we have a monument to Rebecca Nurse, executed in Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

Rebecca Nurse grave

Next is the grave of famous suffragist Susan B. Anthony, a scan of a photo taken on an old cheap camera that isn’t really even readable.

Susan B. Anthony's Grave

Rounding out the top ten is the marker for Eliot Ness, whose ashes were scattered at Lake View Cemetery in 1997.

Ness Monument

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The internet is a strange place. People come looking for all sorts of things, and occasionally they stumble on my blog and photographs. About once a week I check on the stats for the blog to see what brings people here, and I probably look at my Flickr stats about once a month to see what photos are getting the most views.

For reasons that I have yet to fathom, my most viewed photo on Flickr is a fairly grainy shot of my grandfather’s hunting themed birthday cake that probably predates my birth. But what I wanted to look at today was my most viewed cemetery photos.

The most viewed cemetery photo of all (4th most viewed of all photos) is one from the Nurse family cemetery at the Rebecca Nurse homestead in Danvers, Massachusetts. It lists the names of the people who testified on Rebecca Nurse’s behalf during the Salem Witch Trials.

Salem Monument

This makes a lot of sense to me, as the Salem Witch trials elicit a lot of interest even today. My 4th most viewed cemetery photo is the stone cenotaph for Rebecca Nurse at the Salem Witch Trials Memorial.

Rebecca Nurse stone

Number two is my rather poor photo of the stone for Helen Pitts Douglass from Rochester, New York. I’m guessing it gets the hits it does because Frederick Douglass, her husband, is mentioned in the description.

Grave of Helen Pitts Douglass

The third and fifth most viewed cemetery photos are for Confederate general’s graves in the same town: Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.

Stonewall Jackson's grave

Robert E. Lee's tomb

These photos, poor as many of them are, have received well over 100 views each. I’m going to revisit this again, because I am curious about what photos of mine that aren’t of famous people’s graves get visitors.

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Yesterday marked the 90th anniversary of Tennessee’s ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing women’s right to vote in the United States.

A likely grave marker for today’s post would be for Susan B. Anthony, one of the most prominent leaders of the women’s suffrage movement, but I’ve written about her before. Instead I want to introduce you to someone whose contributions to women’s suffrage are less well known, even for those who know his name: Frederick Douglass.

Frederick Douglass' Grave

Frederick Douglass rests in the same cemetery as Susan B. Anthony in Rochester, New York. Born into slavery in about 1818, Douglass engineered an escape and freed himself by fleeing northward. He married his first wife and settled in Massachusetts. His self-education brought him in contact with abolitionists, and he began to speak about his experiences as a slave and joined the abolitionists’ number. He wrote Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written By Himself. He received acclaim as an orator and writer.

Although Douglass is best known for his role as an abolitionist and proponent of black civil rights, he had a much broader perspective on social reform. He supported equal rights for all, including immigrants, Native Americans, and women. He gave speeches in support of the home rule movement in Ireland. And, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, he supported women’s suffrage. In 1848, Douglass was the only African-American in attendance at the first women’s rights convention in the nation, in Seneca Falls, New York. He wrote and spoke in favor of women’s suffrage, not as a separate issue from black civil rights, but as one piece of the whole of social justice. He argued that with the franchise, African-American women in particular would be given a new tool to continue the struggle for equality. He died in 1895, still engaged in his social justice work.

Douglass is represented in these statues at Seneca Fall’s National Women’s Rights Historic Park. (Sorry for the blurriness – look at the third figure from the right.)

Seneca Falls statues

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As part of yet another roadtrip summer course on American Women’s History that looped through the New England and Mid-Atlantic states, we traveled to Susan B. Anthony’s home and gravesite in Rochester, New York.

Susan B. Anthony House

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) was one of the most famous and influential 19th century women’s rights activists. Although she is most famous for her advocacy for women’s suffrage, Anthony was also involved in the abolition, temperance, labor, and education reform movements as well. Her family moved to Rochester, New York, when she was a young women, and she lived in the family home until her death. Her sister Mary Anthony, also an activist, remained in the house until her death in 1907.

The Anthony family plot is in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester. Although Susan B. Anthony is the most famous resident, her entire family was active in the progressive movements of the 19th century.

Anthony family gravesite in Rochester

Lucy Read Anthony and Daniel Anthony attended a women’s rights convention in 1848 in Rochester, just weeks after the Seneca Falls Convention. Daniel Anthony was active in the temperance and abolitionist movements. All four of the Anthony sisters (Susan, Guelma, Hannah, and Mary) voted in 1872. Susan B. Anthony, as the leader, was arrested, convicted and fined for illegal voting. Mary Anthony, most of all, was an activist in her own right and instrumental to Susan’s ability to devote herself so entirely to her activism.

Anthony family plot

Although the world remembers Susan B. Anthony, her grave appropriately sits within the family fold, surrounded by those who loved and supported her so that she could become the activist she so desired to be.

Susan B. Anthony's Grave

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The first grave marker I ever saw that I felt absolutely compelled to photograph was for Albert Hotchkiss, a Civil War soldier. Hotchkiss is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York.

Albert Hotchkiss

This side of the monument reads:

Albert G. Hotchkiss.
Born at Rochester, N.Y. Sept. 20, 1846.
Died, a Christian Patriot, at Andersonville, GA, Aug. 26, 1864.

From additional research, I have discovered that the other side of the monument states:

I know I am in the way of duty. I die in a glorious cause-Albert.

The epitaph was so compelling I had to know more about this young man.

With his father’s permission, Albert Hotchkiss enlisted in the Union Army at age 16 in 1863. He was part of the 8th New York Cavalry. The 8th New York Cavalry’s records online note him as captured at Stony Creek station on June 29, 1864. Hotchkiss and his comrades were shipped to Camp Sumter, which we know better today as Andersonville.

The prisoners at Andersonville suffered horribly. It is difficult to express the level of deprivation, sickness and death. A Google image search for “Andersonville prison” will bring up the photographs of the walking skeletons that the Union Army found when they reached the camp in 1865. The camp was little more than a stockade with a stream running through it. The prisoners had to make shelter in whatever way they could manage, and the prison became overcrowded almost immediately. Death stalked the Union soldiers-turned-prisoners in multiple ways: exposure, malnutrition and starvation, disease, and sometimes violence from other inmates. More than 12,000 prisoners of war perished in the harsh conditions at Andersonville, including young Albert Hotchkiss. We know when he died thanks to the meticulous record-keeping of Sergeant Major Charles Moody, who noted that Hotchkiss died of “disease.” According to an article entitled “Andersonville: The story of a Civil War prison camp” by Raymond F. Baker on the National Park Service website, the highest death toll for one day was 97 on August 23, 1864, which according to this article, is Hotchkiss’ actual date of death, despite the carving on his tombstone. Most of the suffering was caused, not by malice, but by the weakness of the Southern economy, which prevented the Confederate officers overseeing the prison from being able to secure shelter, rations, and medical care for the prisoners. Despite those limitations, the commandant of the camp, Henry Wirz, was convicted and executed for conspiracy and murder in 1865.

Hotchkiss’ father traveled to Andersonville to collect his son’s body. after a funeral in December of 1865, Hotchkiss was laid to rest for the second and hopefully final time in his hometown of Rochester in the family plot, where he was eventually joined by his parents and sister.

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