Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday’s child: Joseph N. Perkin

The marker at the grave of Joseph N. Perkin (d. 1844) is toppled over and lying among the oak leaves in tiny Hamilton Cemetery.

The stone is decorated with almost cartoon-like carvings of oak leaves and acorns, which are often understood to represent maturity or “ripe old age.” Maturity does not fit with this child’s stone, but there is another interpretation for the acorns that does fit: The seed of the oak tree can be a symbol for potential.

Memory of
Son of
S: & M: Perkin :
died March 17 1844
Aged 6 Yearſ .
& 51 dayſ .

The two instances of the medial or long s (ſ) on this stone are interesting in that the long s is normally seen at the beginning or in the middle of a word, not at the end.

Another obvious quirk on this gravestone is the representation of the age. It is counted in years and days instead of the more commonly seen years, months, days.

Hamilton Cemetery (aka Lenox School Cemetery), Union County, Ohio

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