Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Children of Henry & Matilda Cross

This tiny cast iron angel sits atop a plain marble shaft on the North Ridge.  Currently painted yellow, it was light blue about fifteen years ago.

With small wings, a rather anxious pose, and an almost folk art look, this angel marks the grave of "The Children of Henry & Matilda Cross."  The children's names and dates of death are listed on one side of the monument, but no ages are given.

Samuel - died November 25, 1838
Martha M. - died March 11, 1843
Alexander - died August 26, 1845
James Peter - died March 5, 1847
Joseph W. - died June 18, 1849
William Henry - died February 23, 1853
Francis H. - died October 3, 1847

The other sides of the shaft are blank and the parents are not buried here.  Since several of the children died before the Cemetery was established, they may have originally been buried at the State Street Burying Grounds and moved here at some point between 1844 and 1869.

Most of the burials in Section 99 are African-Americans and the 1840 census indeed lists Henry Cross as black.  He is identified as a laborer who resided at 245 South Pearl Street with his family.  Later, the family resided on Knox Street near Lydius (now Madison Avenue).  The census also notes he was born in South Carolina in 1810.

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