02 December 2016

Oliver & Mary Prince Perished in 1837 Wreck of Steam Ship "Home"

Pictured here is a portion of lot 7 in block 2 of the Magnolia Ridge Section of Rose Hill Cemetery.  The broken column tombstone was placed for a brother and sister – Harry (d. 1874) and Mary Raymond (1847-1877) Green.


The tablet to the right was placed for the siblings' grandparents, Oliver Hillhouse Prince and his wife Mary R.  A lot could be written about Oliver.  He lead the planning commission that laid out the city of Macon about 1822.  He was a well-respected lawyer who compiled a couple of "Laws of Georgia" digests.  He liked to write humorous literature.

What I am drawing your attention to today, however, is how Oliver and his wife died.  They perished in the wreck of the Steam Ship "HOME" Monday, October 9, 1837.  It happened off the coast of North Carolina.  The couple was returning from a trip to Massachusetts, probably Boston, where Oliver was submitting work for the second Laws of Georgia digest.  An account of the harrowing, deadly event was published in newspapers up and down the east coast.  The following is from an article in New York's Commercial Advertiser dated Monday, 23 October 1837, referencing the Charleston Courier (South Carolina) from the Thursday before:

The gale commenced on Sunday afternoon, and the captain was anxious to double Cape Hatteras, with the intention of anchoring under its lee.  About 4 o'clock on Monday, however, the boat commenced leaking so much as to render it necessary for all hands and the passengers to go to the pumps, and to bail, which was continued without intermission until she grounded.  The water gained upon them so fast, that at about eight o'clock, the fire was extinguished, and the engine of course was stopped in its operations -- a sail was then hoisted, but was immediately blown away.  Another was bent, and with this assistance, the boat slowly progressed toward the shore.

At 11 o'clock at night, the Home grounded, about 100 yards from the shore.  The ladies had been all requested to go forward, as the place where they were most likely to reach the shore, bearing nearest the beach, but a heavy struck her there, and swept nearly half of them into the sea, and they were drowned.  One boat was stove at this time.  Another small boat was launched, with two or three persons in it, but capsized.  The long boat was then put overboard, filled with persons, 25 in number, it is supposed, but did not get 15 feet from the side of the steamer before she upset, and it is the belief of our informant that not one of the individuals in her reached the shore.  The sea was breaking over the boat at this time with tremendous force, and pieces of her were breaking off at times, and floating toward the shore, on some of which persons were clinging.  One lady, with a child in her arms, was in the act of mounting the stairs to the upper deck, when the smoke stack fell, and doubtless killed her and her child on the spot.  Some few of the ladies were lashed to the boat...

The hull of the boat broke into three pieces, and the shore was completely strewed with portions of the wreck, baggage, &c. for five or six miles in extent, the next morning...[Full article available at GenealogyBank's Newspaper Archive.]

Even more articles described an unseaworthy boat and an intoxicated captain.

I assumed the tablet placed in the Green family burial lot for Oliver and Mary was a cenotaph.  Surely, they were lost at sea? Well, maybe not.  I was surprised to find the following declaration in a biographical sketch of Oliver H. Prince printed in the 17 December 1913 Macon Telegraph (emphasis mine):

On the return trip to Savannah, the Home, the steamer on which [Oliver] and his wife were passengers, was wrecked off the coast of North Carolina.  He, with other male passengers, was in the hold of the steamer trying to bail out the water, when the vessel sank and his body went down with itHis wife was washed ashore and was identified and buried near Wilmington, N.C., and afterward brought to Macon and now rests in Rose Hill cemetery, over whom is a monument erected by their children to her and her husband…[Full article available at GenealogyBank's Newspaper Archive.]

According to cemetery records, Dr. James Mercer Green (father of Harry and Mary Green) bought the lot in Rose Hill in April of 1852.  That would suggest Mary R. Prince was exhumed from her grave in North Carolina almost fifteen years after the sinking of Steam Ship Home.  I'll admit to being skeptical.  Anyone have information to share?

25 November 2016

Miss Leila Foote Rose: "Gather the rose buds while ye may"

100_4211Miss Leila F. Rose, born 1848, was a daughter of Simri Rose, the developer of Rose Hill Cemetery.  She died at the young age of seventeen years, and was laid to rest in the family burial lot.

A tribute to young Leila was printed in the 5th August 1865 Macon Telegraph (Georgia) newspaper.  I enjoyed reading it, so thought I'd share it here.  I was especially impressed with the implication, no matter how benign, that Leila went through some growing pains -- a notion that certainly applies to teenagers to this day, more than 150 years after her death.

"Gather the rose buds while ye may,
For time is ever flying;
The lovely flower that blooms to-day,
To-morow shall be dying."

How forcibly are we reminded of the truth of the above thought, by the early and untimely death of our young friend.

"Your life is even a vapour that continueth for a little while, and then vanisheth away."

The promises of love and friendship serve for the time to brighten the future prospect and awaken joyous anticipations which dissipate the shadows that early begin to gather around the pathway; but like all the hopes of earth, they must die in disappointment.  If we taste them, it is only to quicken our thirst for a deeper draught, and then -- to feel more painfully the loss of short-lived pleasures which were once our own.

The calm dignity, the eminent social qualities, the urbanity of our young friend had gathered around her a large circle of associates, who appreciated the pleasures of her society.

Three years ago she felt the importance of seeking more enduring pleasures than could be obtained in the fitful enjoyments of the world.  She sought the peace of heart which comes from above, the gift of grace, the value of which is seemingly enhanced by a consciousness of moral and religious rectitude.  Under the abiding and cheering conviction that she had obtained the "pearl of great price," she united with the Baptist church of this city, of which she remained a member until taken to the church triumphant.

Under the impulses of her vivacious young nature, the peculiar temptations of the times, and the influence of young companions, she, like thousands of others who have enjoyed much longer experiences in walking the "path of the just," wavered for a time, but soon saw and felt her folly and abandoned it.

On her dying bed she enjoyed this sentiment, which she requested a friend to sing,

"Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God;
He to save my soul from danger
Interposed His precious blood."

Her many good qualities of mind and heart bid fair to develop a true, noble and useful woman, and constitute her an ornament of the church, but at the early age of seventeen years, she has been called to a seat in the upper sanctuary.  She died in the calm and full assurance of her acceptance with God through the merits of His Son.

"Early, bright, transient, chaste as the morning dew,
She sparkled, was exhaled and went to heaven."

Marion Preston Rose (1840-1861), Leila Foote Rose (1848-1865), and Annie Rose Ross (1850-1888) were sisters.  Other siblings, though unknown to these three, were mentioned here.  Edgar Alfred Ross (1850-1929) was the husband of Annie.  He married again, a few years after Annie's death, to Fanny Prescott (1857-1938).

The flip side of this granite obelisk bears the inscription for Simri Rose (1799-1869) and his wife Lavinia Blount Rose (1812-1883).

23 November 2016

Children of Simri & Lavinia Rose (Wednesday's Child x 3)

Three children of Simri and Lavinia Rose.  This stone can be found in the Magnolia Ridge section of Rose Hill Cemetery.

Rose Hill - Aug 2013

Virginia Caroline
Born July 1st, 1831
Died Mar 10th, 1833

Caroline Georgia
Born Apr 4th, 1833
Died Oct 22d, 1833

Augustus Beall
Born June 26th, 1834
Died Feb'y 4th, 1836

They bloom in Heaven.

Notice Virginia Caroline died less than a month before the birth of Caroline Georgia.  Unless remains were moved from another location, this is likely not the site of their burial.  This lot was purchased by Simri Rose in 1840.


As buds of earth born flowers
came they forth.

And were cut down.

20 November 2016

Blount Family Cenotaph: the Golden Bowl was Broken

Lots in Rose Hill Cemetery began to be sold about May of 1840.  According to the cemetery's records, the lot where the following stone, memorializing members of the James Blount family, was placed was purchased by Simri Rose – the developer of Rose Hill – on 28 July 1840.  Unless remains were moved from another location, the stone placed is a cenotaph:  "a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person or group of persons whose remains are elsewhere." [Merriam-Webster]

Rumor has it James and Elizabeth Blount were buried in Jones County, Georgia.

Rose Hill - Aug 2013-003

James Blount
Born 28th June 1780
Died 12th Dec 1820
Son of Col. Edmund and Judith Blount
of Washington Co, N.C.

Elizabeth Blount
Consort of James Blount
Daughter of P. S. and Nancy Roulhac
Born 4th Oct 1786
Died 17th Feb 1834

Edmund Sharpe Blount
Son of James & Elizabeth Blount
Born 10th Sept 1806
Died in 1826

Erected by John M. Blount, 1851.

This marble to thy memory
the "Golden Bowl was broken"
when scarce I knew thee

for the lessons thou hast taught me

I can give thee but a tomb, it
bears thy name too soon.

Note:  "the Golden Bowl was broken" references the Bible.  Ecclesiastes 12:6 (KJV), to be specific – "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth..."

5…because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.

6Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it…

11 November 2016

Gov. Nathaniel Edwin Harris (1846-1929)

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 094Confederate Soldier.  Governor of Georgia.  Founder of Georgia School of Technology.

The Southern's Ponce de Leon came through here at 8:20 p.m. bearing the body of the distinguished soldier, statesman and educator to his final honors among his friends and neighbors in Macon.

From Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
23 September 1929 - pg. 1 [via GenealogyBank]


Company of National Guard to Fire Salute Over Casket


High State Officials Among Many to Pay Last Respects to Georgian

Macon, Ga., Sept 22 (AP) -- Georgia tomorrow will pay its last respects to Nathaniel Edwin Harris, former governor, distinguished Confederate veteran and father of the Georgia School of Technology, who died last night at his summer home at Hampton, Tenn., after a lingering illness...

The casket will be draped with the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy and a company of national guardsmen will fire a military salute over the grave.  Taps will be sounded as the casket is lowered.

...Governor Harris was 84 years of age and had been suffering for more than a year from trouble that forced his retirement from public life.  During the last few weeks he had been sinking gradually and his illness, together with advanced age, soon wore down his resistance.  The end came a few hours after he lost consciousness yesterday afternoon.  The family was at his bedside for several days before his death...

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 093

Further Reading:
Myers, Barton. "Nathaniel E. Harris (1846-1929)." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 14 May 2013. Web.

08 November 2016

4 Jeffers Brothers in the Confederate Army

Yesterday, I shared with you a life story of 1st Lieut. Eugene C. Jeffers, one of the Immortal 600.  He was just one of four* Jeffers brothers from Macon, Georgia to serve in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War.

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 046These brothers were sons of John Eugene and Eliza W. Jeffers.  The family came to Georgia from Virginia about the early 1830s.

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 049

I can't provide much more information about John Jeffers beyond what you can see on his government issued tombstone.  The 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census records do suggest he was born in Virginia.  They also indicate John was occupied as a painter prior to the war.

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Lieut. Edward Gilbert Jeffers was also born in Virginia, about 1826-1827.  In February of 1850, he married Adeline J. Andrews in Bibb County.  The couple had at least two children:  Willis Anna and John E. Jeffers.

Since the Jeffers boys' father had died in 1848, Edward seemingly took over as clerk of the inferior court, the position held by his father.  For the 1860 census, however, Edward's occupation was listed as Livery Stable Keeper.

ltegjeffersEdward enlisted into Confederate service at Macon, Georgia on 15 March 1861.  He was well thought of as an officer, and was recommended for promotion by Gen. Slaughter in a letter dated June 1863 [via Fold3]:

I take pleasure in recommending Lt E. G. Jeffers as a competent officer, and one who fully merits advancement.  He has been under my observation and command since 1861.  My opinion of his ability is further established by the fact of his being the only officer of his regt that was retained after it was disbanded, which was due to his having the confidence of his superiors.  His conduct during the bombardment of Pensacola was highly honorable to him; and at once distinguished him as an efficient officer...

This was attached to a letter from local citizen Thomas Hardeman, and forwarded to Hon. A. H. Kenan:

Lt Jeffers is a man of family -- gave up an office at home -- upon which he was dependent, & left with Georgia's first troops for the field.  He is now in command of a company, who have charge of a stationary battery, at Mobile.

Lieut. Edward Jeffers survived the war, but only lived to the age of about 50 years.

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 047

Albert V. Jeffers might have been the last son born to John and Eliza.  He most certainly was the youngest of the four profiled here.  Prior to the Civil War, Albert was occupied as a carpenter.

Pvt. Jeffers was enlisted into Confederate service in March of 1862 at Macon.  Muster rolls count him as either present or sick – he had issues with chronic Rheumatism – until May of 1864.  Then he was noted as, "absent; missing in action May 6, 1864 - Supposed to have been captured."

Another card from Albert's file within the Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia database at Fold3 provides he was indeed captured as a prisoner of war and held by the Union Army at Fort Delaware.  Albert was exchanged 18 September 1864.

A funeral notice for Albert appeared in the 20 July 1890 edition of the Macon Telegraph.  He was laid to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery that summer Sunday afternoon.

These fours sons were buried in the same lot as their parents, whose graves appear to be unmarked.

*At least two more sons – William H. and Thomas – were born to John and Eliza Jeffers.  They both are found in the 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census, but I do not know what became of them after.

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07 November 2016

1st Lieut. Eugene C. Jeffers, One of the "Immortal 600"

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 048Eugene C. Jeffers was born about 1833 in Virginia to John E. and Eliza W. Jeffers.  Within a few years of Eugene's birth, the family moved to Georgia.  In 1848, when Eugene was a young adult, his father died at the age of 49.

Eugene Jeffers enlisted as a junior 2nd lieutenant in Company I of the 61st Georgia Infantry before October 1861.  He was promoted to 1st lieutenant 2 July 1863.  Muster rolls after that date and through April 1864 listed him as Present.  The 3 November 1864 roll, however, stated he was absent; "in hands of enemy."

Eugene was captured by the Union army as a Prisoner of War near Spottsylvania, Virginia in May of 1864.  He was received at Fort Delaware from Point Lookout, Maryland the next month.  By December of the same year, 1st Lieutenant Eugene Jeffers was listed on a roll of prisoners at Fort Pulaski off the coast of Georgia.

Rose Hill Blog Data

That last card from Fold3's Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia pushed me toward researching the names of the "Immortal 600."

100_7872I visited Fort Pulaski six years ago, and the following is on an informational marker at the historic site:

The Immortal 600 were a group of Confederate officers held as prisoners of war at Fort Pulaski during the bitterly cold winter of 1864-1865.  They were moved here from Charleston where they had been placed in the line of artillery fire in retaliation for what was viewed as similar treatment of Union POW's.

The fallen officers endured many hardships, including a six-week diet of rancid cornmeal and pickles…From dysentery, chronic diarrhea, scurvy, and pneumonia, thirteen of the prisoners died while here at Fort Pulaski.


Wikipedia adds this:  "They are known as the 'Immortal Six Hundred' because they refused to take an oath of allegiance to the U.S. under duress." For a more complete account of this Civil War history, please read this article at HistoryNet.

And, finally, a list of the Immortal 600 – on which you can locate 1st Lieut. Eugene Jeffers – is here.

Eugene Jeffers survived his captivity, but his life may have been shortened because of it.  Eugene died 9 December 1873, about the age of just 40 years.  He was laid to rest near his parents at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Rose Hill - Aug 2009

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