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Agnes Austin’s “Many Incidents” of the Revolution

Brian A. Sullivan, archivist for Mount Auburn Cemetery, has transcribed the diary of John Langdon Sibley, Librarian at Harvard College in the mid-1800s (shown at left). The transcription is available on here on the web. In this Patriots’ Day season, I found the entry for Sunday, 3 Oct 1858, particularly interesting. It says in part: A blind lady, 89 years old May 27, 1858, Miss Agnes Austin, who lives on the west corner of the Appian Way & Garden St, says that her father John who had charge of the public stores here in the time of the Revolutionary war & often told her many incidents connected with it.
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An Earlier Allusion: “Beneath the Venerable Elm…”

History / US History : Boston 1775 (4 years ago)

I interrupt my analysis of the Washington Elm’s decline and fall to share new information on its rise to fame. Yesterday Cambridge resident Robert Winters alerted me to an allusion to the tree predating John Langdon Sibley’s 1837 ma... Read Post

Interpreting Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Sphinx

History / US History : Civil War Memory (last year)

It is one of the most unusual memorials on any Civil War commemorative landscape North or South.  I vividly recall my own loss for words during my first trip to Mount Auburn Cemetery in 2011.  It is a stop at the top of my list for ... Read Post

Walking Tour at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 10 April

History / US History : Boston 1775 (4 years ago)

Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge was founded in 1831, a couple generations after American independence, and I don’t know of any Revolutionary figures who were buried there. (A couple might have been moved out there by their famili... Read Post


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