October 19, 2018 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)
Today’s entry in the Grave-tober series is not so much about the deceased or their burial market, but rather a specific detail regarding the deceased. Here is the gravestone for Deacon Abram Bradly.
HERE LYETH Ye BODY
OF DEACON ABRAM
BRADLY WHO DIED
OCTOr 19 1718
AGED 68 YEARS
Today, therefor is the 300th anniversary of the Deacon’s passing. Abraham Bradley, Esq. (our unidentified gravestone carver omitted some letters) was married to Hannah Bradley, who died just a week after her husband and was buried along side him in New Haven’s Grove Street Cemetery. It seems likely the Abraham’s died of an unidentified “distemper” that ravaged parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut in 1717-18.
Here’s Ernest Caulfield commenting on this outbreak in his article “The Pursuit of Pestilence” from The Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society (Vol. 60; Jan 1, 1950):
(Dr. Caulfield was a student of gravestones and their carvers who came to them as a source of medical information about historical disease outbreaks.