Monday, November 28, 2005

Remember: Hannah Seright

We cling to the enduring strength of stone to fight the fear of being forgotten.

So please take a moment to remember:
Hannah Seright, who died in 1861. An extraordinary achievement-to reach the age of 102. And a curse. She spent 44 of them without her husband William.

The deeper, more bold inscription for Hannah seems almost a relief, and the brevity of words impersonal, as if she knew the loneliness of one who outlives the last of her mourners.

Inscription:
In Memory of
William Seright
who departed this Life
April the 20th A.D. 1817
Aged 65 Years
Let me die the Death of the righteous
and let my last end be like his

ALSO
of his wife
HANNAH SERIGHT
died Oct. 1861
in the 102nd year of her age.

(Forks of the Brandywine Presbyterian Church, West Brandywine Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania)

9 comments:

Farzad said...

It's a beautiful picture, wonderful description, and a lovely soul.

anne frasier said...

what an interesting and intriguing stone.

great find, jason!

i didn't know anybody lived that long back then. i remember maybe 30 years ago when a fuss was being made over people hitting 100.

Kara Alison said...

Hmmm...maybe the inscription on Hannah's portion of the stone is deeper because it was added so much more recently? Living to 102 must have felt like forever back then.

Jeff said...

jason- nice photo. Hannah lived a long time during a period when live in America was still quite primitive. amazing! :)

jason evans said...

Farzad, she has a very restful spot.

Anne, it must have been very unusual back then. A survivor among survivors. So much so that the expense was taken to carve it into the stone.

Kara, I'm taking a little poetic license with the inscription, but it did strike me. I don't think carving techniques would've changed much between 1817 and 1861. Certainly, no effort was spent trying to match the script.

Jeff, yes, and the Civil War was brewing. She was spared that experience.

Robin Caroll said...

Very interesting! My mother's a genealogist and some of the stones/inscriptions she's come across are beautiful!

Kelly Parra said...

Interesting insight on this gravestone, Jason. And wow, to live that long!

jason evans said...

Robin, genealogy is eternally fascinating. I've done a bit myself (amateur only). I suppose digital photography has cut down on the need for doing grave-rubbings!

Kelly, it's hard to imagine how many "bullets" she had to dodge to live so long.

Shesawriter said...

Wonderful post. I wonder what keeps someone from going on that long, especially after losing someone so close.

Tanya