Thursday, August 18, 2011

An orphan’s angelic gravestone

The marker at the grave of Miranda Topping (d. 1827) leans a few degrees, but otherwise is in excellent shape. The gravestone has a carving of an angel with a banner that warns “Be Ye Also Ready” and a scroll that proclaims “Life—how short, Eternity—how long!”

daughter of
died January 9, 1827,
aged 18 years
& 15 days.

And thou, whose passing eye may rest
   A moment on this fleeting line;
Howe’er by fame or fortune blest
   Or allur’d,
this doom is thine.

Miranda was an orphan when she died. The following passages about Miranda from New Englanders on the Ohio Frontier, Migration and Settlement of Worthington, Ohio offer interesting details about her life—and death—in the 1820s:

Miranda Topping was an infant when her father died and was thirteen when she was orphaned, at which time she was entrusted to the guardianship of Worthington resident and Franklin County Associate Judge Recompense Stanbery. Miranda lived the last six years of her life in the Stanbery home, dying—probably of consumption—before she reached her twenty-first birthday.

Itemized expenses for Miranda’s benefit during these six years included regular clothing purchases, such as “morroco shoes for $2.25, lace for ruff 27½ cents, calico for bonnet 25 cents, three combs of Johnson 37½ cents, great coat $15.00, pair of woolen stockings $1.00, black lace ribbon 37½ cents, eleven yards red flannel $4.00, pair bone gloves 50 cents, handkerchief 37½ cents, parasol $2.00 frock of Chapman $1.72.” The total expenditure of $358.66 included her doctor’s bill and medicines, as well as the making of her coffin and the digging of the grave.

And the carving of an angelic gravestone.

There is lightning in the angel clouds. Click to enlarge
St. John’s Episcopal Cemetery, Worthington, Ohio

McCormick, Virginia E. and Robert W. McCormick. New Englanders on the Ohio Frontier, Migration and Settlement of Worthington, Ohio. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1998.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Remarkable condition, with great detail and beauty.


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