Sunday, September 22, 2013

December 25, 1825


This afternoon I took our friend's son to a small cemetery in Cataula, GA. and showed him how to do a gravestone rubbing. After a little scouting we settled on a corner that was partially overgrown with weeds. Old, gray, lichen spotted stones dating back to the early 1800's leaned at angles that gravity designed. A once decorative wrought iron fence stood only in sections, bent toward the earth, or was in the embrace of twisted vines and small trees. Scott did a rubbing of Minerva D. Rutherford, born on Christmas Day, in 1825. Mrs. Rutherford departed this world about two months shy of her twenty second birthday. Minerva's epitaph was emotional and poetic; all these years later it still carried the essence of her grieving family. Minerva left a young child. The dashes between the time people were born and the time people died was usually a short span of less than fifty five years during that era.




Working next to Scott, I covered the burial marker of William T. Crawford with news print and began to shade its surface. Almost magically--what was once nearly impossible to decipher--the charcoal began to reveal the epitaph. In a few minutes I was introduced to a man who lived one hundred eighty three years ago. William's memorial marker said he was a generous man who showed goodwill toward all mankind. Etched in stone, and still retrievable all these years later, is a portion of the loving prose of those who grieved him...

But all our love, all our tears, all our efforts, could not stay the hand of death, for he was cut down in the springtime of life, at the early age of 32. He died 17th Nov. 1830.


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