Archive for the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (MA) Category

Henry David Thoreau

Posted in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (MA) with tags , , , on October 9, 2013 by Cade

thoreau1July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,”

Henry David Thoreau is best remembered as a writer of poems, essays and books and for his leadership in the Transcendentalist movement. He famously removed himself from the grid – if such a thing existed in the 1800’s – and wrote about his intentionally simple life in the woods in his most popular work. Walden. But nothing about him was “simple.” Thoreau was also a noted abolitionist, historian and proponent of “civil disobedience” in objection to an unjust political state. It was his two-year experiment living in the wild at Walden pond that allowed him his greatest ideas and philosophical insight. In his later years, he became a surveyor and immersed himself into the study of natural history and travel narrative.

Thoreau died at the age of 44 from complications due to bronchitis and tuberculosis. His last words were “Now comes good sailing. Moose. Indian” I think that about sums it up.

Burial

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery – Concord, MA

Specific Location

Authors Ridge; There are signs that lead to the famed hill where a number of notable American writers are buried, look for them and follow them to the northeastern part of the cemetery, the Thoreau family is buried on the south side of Hillside Ave, directly across from Hawthorne and just to the west of the Alcotts.

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Nathaniel Hawthorne

Posted in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (MA) with tags , , on October 8, 2013 by Cade

hawthorne1July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864

Nathaniel Hathorne was born – without a ‘w’ – on July 4th, 1804 (U.S.A! U.S.A!) in Salem, Massachusetts. As in, “1690’s Witch Trial” Salem. This detail would factor greatly into his life. He was related to one of the judges in the infamous trials (he would later change his name to ‘Hawthorne’ to distance himself from this fact) and spent most of his life in and around New England. Because of this, most of the works that Hawthorne created were set in New England. But it was his novels The Scarlet Letter – set in pre-witch trial, Puritanical Salemand The House of Seven Gables – also set, implicitly, in Salem – for which he is most widely regarded. Hawthorne explored themes of guilt and sin and deep symbolism in his novels and short stories. He also wrote non-fiction, including a biography of U.S. President and friend, Franklin Pierce.

Hawthorne lived for a time in The Old Manse, a house in Concord, MA owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson‘s family. He later lived in The Wayside, another house in Concord in which Louisa May Alcott lived previously. It’s fitting, then, that these writers whose lives were so intertwined, are all buried together in Concord. Nathaniel Hawthorne died while hiking in New Hampshire in 1864. The pall bearers at his funeral included Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Bronson Alcott and Oliver Wendall Holmes, Sr.

Burial

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery – Concord, MA

Specific Location

Authors Ridge; There are signs that lead to the famed hill where a number of notable American writers are buried, look for them and follow them to the northeastern part of the cemetery, the Hawthorne family is buried on the north side of Hillside Ave, directly across from Thoreau.

sleepy_hawthorne

Louisa May Alcott

Posted in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (MA) with tags , , , on October 7, 2013 by Cade

alcott1November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888

Though she wrote a number of letters, articles and novels (sometimes under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard) prior, Concord, MA resident Louisa May Alcott found her greatest literary success with 1868’s semi-autobiographical Little Women. Alcott was one of four daughters of transcendental parents and grew up with family friends such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.  The characters and incidents in Little Women are based on Alcott’s early life and relationship with her sisters. She penned a couple of follow-ups to Women and ultimately published dozens of works in her lifetime. During the Civil War, she also served as a nurse where she may or may not have contracted typhoid fever. This may or may not have lead to her eventual death. Or it could have been mercury poisoning. Or lupus. 19th century tabloids were terrible at getting the facts straight. Either way, Louisa passed away at the age of 55 after suffering a stroke in Boston.

Burial

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery – Concord, MA

Specific Location

Authors Ridge; There are signs that lead to the famed hill where a number of notable American writers are buried, look for them and follow them to the northeastern part of the cemetery, the Alcott family is buried on the south side of Hillside Ave.

sleepy_alcott

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (MA) with tags , , , on August 6, 2013 by Cade

emerson1May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882

One of the leaders of the American Transcendentalist movement, Ralph Waldo Emerson was an important poet, lecturer and essayist.  In addition to his popular essay collections that centered on self-reliance and an intellectual approach to God and the soul, he published a number of poems, most notably “The Rhodora” and “Concord Hymn” about the battles of Lexington and Concord, the beginnings of the American Revolutionary War.  He had close friendships with fellow Transcendental contemporaries like Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman and was a major influence on both personally and in their writings. Emerson was also a very vocal proponent of the abolition of slavery and spent much of the Civil War lecturing to its cause. After many years of issues with his memory, he finally withdrew from public appearances out of shame. In 1882, Emerson died of pneumonia in his home.

Burial

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery – Concord, MA

Specific Location

Authors Ridge; Follow the signs to the ridge, Emerson is buried to the west of the other writers between Ridge Path and Hillside Ave.

sleepy_emerson