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Garden of Souls: 1910

Garden of Souls: 1910

Charleston, South Carolina, circa 1910. "St. Philip's from the old churchyard (Circular Church cemetery)." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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The Circular Congregational Church Burying Ground is one of my favorite places to wander and take pictures in Charleston. The church bells from across the way sound more ethereal than usual there, and it is peaceful in the way only those very old cemeteries dripping with Spanish moss can be. Because I'm always interested in people who died on their birthday (after living for at least a year), one of my favorite stones marks the graves of James Simmons and a child I assume is his daughter, Susie Simmons. James (born April 28, 1829) died on May 15, 1877. Susie was born May 17, 1875 -- two years almost to the day before James's death -- and died on May 17, 1878, her own third birthday, one year after his death.

If you follow the link, you'll note there are discrepancies on James's death certificate regarding both his date of death (off by fourteen days) and his age (off by ten years), as compared to the headstone. The MD who signed the DC seems to have been James's brother-in-law, Andrew Yates, who himself died ten years later at the age of 40.

It's odd that on Susie's memorial page, there are no links provided to her presumptive parents' pages and no mention of her on either of theirs. Maybe she was related in another way. It's a mystery.

John C. Calhoun lies here -- almost.

To be buried in the cemetery adjacent to St. Philip's, one must have been born in Charleston. Because Calhoun was born in Clemson, he is buried across the street. His wife was born in Charleston and is buried near the church, rather than with her husband.

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