Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cicero Loveridge

This marble headstone in the shadow of a large old tree is quite easy to overlook.  It is an unassuming monument with an inscription that is very difficult to read as the stone has darkened and the delicately carved letters have eroded.  Fortunately, publisher Joel Munsell preserved this epitaph in a list of inscriptions from the Dutch Reformed Burying Grounds in Volume 6 of his Annals of Albany.

Self-educated and highly gifted, Early distinguished, As well in his profession of the Law, As an accomplished writer, And an eloquent orator.  

His many friends, Mourning in his untimely death, The blight of so much promise, Have erected This tribute to his cherished memory.

Esteemed and beloved, For his generous nature, true heart, Unswerving faith, And unsullied integrity.

"To war on Fraud entrenched with Power, On smooth pretence, and specious wrong, This task was in his life's brief hour, For this he banished sky and song.”

Loveridge died in October 1842.  His obituary appeared in newspapers as far away as Utica.  The Troy Daily Whig ran the following notice:   

DIED,  In Albany on the afternoon of the 27th in the 34th year of his age, after an illness of a few days, CICERO LOVERIDGE, Esq., Counselor at Law, formerly Editor of the Troy Mail and recently Police Justice of the city of Albany.  Thus in the flower of early manhood, and with scarce a note of warning, while the star of promise was shining brightly over the future, has he been cut down like the grass which perisheth, leaving void in the bosom of a young, interesting and amiable family, which nothing earthy can supply.  The friends and acquaintances of the deceased are invited to attend his funeral from his late residence, 33 Beaver street, Albany, this afternoon, at 3 o'clock.

The Schenectady Cabinet's obituary also noted that his death was the result of scarlet fever.  The Albany Argus described him as "a sprightly and vigorous writer" who was "lamented by a large circle of friends, and all who enjoyed his acquaintance bore testimony to his estimable and social qualities."

Beyond his legal profession, Loveridge was also a poet.  A couple of years after his death, the Saratoga Republican printed some verses from his pen, "The Home of My Youth," which read in part:

For these, most gladly would I give
My lightest hopes, my brightest dreams;
And Reason's wide prerogative, 
And Learning's dim, tho' boysted beams,
For I am weary of the strife
With which a busy world is rife
And vain ambitions schemes ---
Of toling, with a solemn tread
O'er withered hopes, and pleasures dead.

Cicero Loveridge's wife, Gloranah Groesbeck, died in 1865 and is also interred in this lot.  Their son, Clinton Loveridge, was a landscape painter.

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