The following was written in the year 1846 by William Henry FOOTE and is quoted from:
Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical,
Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers:
Foote, William Henry, 1794-1869
"..........These little breaches you see in the time defying wall, reared by the emigrants around the burial place of their dead, were made by gold diggers, when the excitement first spread over the land upon the discovery, that these adventurous people had lived, and died, and were buried here, ignorant that there was, or could be, in their place of worship and sepulture, any deposit more dear to posterity than the ashes of their ancestors. Entering by the gateway at the north-western corner through which the emigrants carried their dead, a multitude of graves closely congregated, with a few scattered monuments, meet the eye. You cannot avoid the impression, as you move on, that you are walking upon the ashes of the dead; and as you read some of the scanty memorials, reared by affection to mark the burial-places of friends, that you are among the tombs of the first settlers who lie in crowds beneath your feet, without a stone to tell whose body is resting there in expectation of the resurrection.
The first head-stone, a little distance from the gate, on the right, is inscribed,--"MRS. JEMIMA ALEXANDER SHARPE; born Jan. 9th, 1727: died Sept. 1st, 1797: a widdow 38 years." An elder sister of the secretary of the convention, one of the earliest emigrants to this country, she used to say, that in the early days of her residence here, her nearest neighbor northward was eight miles, and southward and eastward, fifteen; that the coming of a neighbor was a matter of rejoicing; and that her heart was sustained in her solitude by the Doctrines of the Gospel and the Creed of her Church.
In the southwest corner is an inscription to--JANE WALLIS, who died July 31st, 1792, in the eightieth year of her age,--the honored mother of the Rev. Mr. Wallis, minister of Providence, some fifteen miles south of this place,--the able defender of Christianity against infidelity spreading over the country at the close of the Revolution, like a flood. His grave is with his people.
Near the middle of the yard is the stone inscribed to the memory of DAVID ROBINSON, who died October 12th, 1808, aged eighty-two,--an emigrant, and the father of the late Dr. Robinson, who served the congregation of Poplar Tent about forty years, and ended his course in December, 1843. It was at a spring on this man's land, and near his house, that the congregation of Sugar Creek and Hopewell used to meet and spend days of fasting and prayer together, during the troublesome times of the early stages of the French Revolution. From the peculiar formation of the ravine around the spring, the pious people were willing to believe that it was a place designed of God for his people to meet and seek his face.
The oldest monument, but not the monument of the oldest grave, is a small stone thus inscribed.
Here Lys the
Body of ROBERT
McKEE, who deceased
October the 19th, 1775,
Aged 73 years.
Around lie many that were distinguished in the Revolution, without a stone to their graves, and not one with an epitaph that should tell the fact of that honorable distinction. Perhaps the omission may have arisen from the circumstance honorable to the country, that, with few exceptions, the whole neighborhood were noted for privations and suffering, and brave exploits in a cause sacred in their eyes........."
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I have posted this on the Mecklenburg boards and haven't received any response so thought to post on the McKee board.Any input welcome.