Sunday, March 21, 2010

Charles Haskell

New England cemeteries are widely known for their unique slate headstones, used so long ago not only to mark one's final resting place but also to tell the casual traveler a bit about the deceased. Providence's Old North Burial Ground is populated with literally hundreds of these "stone stories," reminiscent of ancient markers bearing signs, symbols or words long lost to history.

One such story waiting patiently for someone inclined to such tales is that of Charles Haskell. What we can read says very little but tells us so much about a man dead for more than 170 years.

"To the memory of Charles Haskell, man of colour. A soldier of the Revolution. He died the 17th of December, 1833, aged 73 years."

"He sustained through the character of a faithful, industrious and honest man."

What more do we really need to know?