The SAR Magazine

Winter 2018

The SAR MAGAZINE is the official quarterly publication of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution published quarterly.

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12 SAR MAGAZINE 16 SAR MAGAZINE with some brief mention of the inhabitant's role in the founding of our country, often placed there by the DAR or SAR. All too often we encountered shocking neglect. Declaration of Independence signer Samuel Chase is one of the shameful situations. His grave is in Old St. Paul's Cemetery in Baltimore, which is marked as a National Historic Site. With much effort, we were able to speak with a caretaker on the phone, who gave us the code to the lockbox so we could let ourselves in. We found the grounds overgrown with poison ivy and weeds, and badly neglected. Chase's stone was found among the weeds, with no additional markings. A plaque on the exterior wall of the cemetery, which is along a side street next to a busy hospital, states that Francis Scott Key, Col. George Armistead, Samuel Chase, Col. John Eager Howard, Col. Tench Tilghman, Lt. Griffith Evans, Maj. Richard Heath, Gen. Robert Ross and many more are buried there. Gen. Lewis Armistead, CSA, has a separate plaque honoring him. How can such a historic cemetery with so many important graves be left to ruin? Does it even mean anything to be listed as a National Historic Site? It should be noted that Francis Scott Key was moved to Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland in 1866, and Tench Tilghman was moved moved to a new cemetery at Fremont and Lombard streets in 1804, and then, due to vandalism, moved again to Oxford Cemetery in Talbot County in 1971. Another prominent signer, John Morton, lies in a neglected, overgrown site among decaying, crumbling graves in what is known as St. Paul's Burying Ground in Chester, Pennsylvania. This little plot is near a run-down neighborhood and an industrial area. While some effort had been made to memorialize Morton, this was some time ago and has not been well-maintained. The other graves at the site were overgrown and many stones were broken. In Trenton, New Jersey, we found the grave of George Clymer, one of only six men to sign both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. A tiny stone on the edge of a parking lot behind the Quaker meetinghouse is how he's memorialized. While the architecture of the building was interesting, the graves in the back seemed to be an afterthought, despite the ongoing operation of the meetinghouse. Also in Trenton is the grave of David Brearley, who fought in the Revolution, was arrested and charged with treason, and was one of 39 men to sign his name to the Constitution. It is hard to describe his grave situation. He lies in an old, run-down churchyard in a decaying Trenton neighborhood. His grave can only be accessed by going through the church. The church was closed and locked when we were there on a weekday afternoon, and we gained entrance only after we banged on a service door and made contact with a woman who was cleaning the church. She nervously allowed us to take a picture, and we quickly left. Rufus King, another Constitution signer and a man who played a major role in crafting the final document, Near Morton's resting place Rich Henry Lee lies amidst an overrun field.

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