Last summer I had a judge house trivia question for John Marshall's house in Richmond. This summer I want to show Marshall's grave, which is nearby his house. It's in the Shockoe Hill Cemetery. The cemetery, which somehow has escaped my attention until this spring, is really fabulous. It was founded by the city in the 1820s -- right before the movement for private, "rural" cemeteries took hold. There's a really important story to tell about southern town cemeteries -- they weren't set up by individual churches, but by the government. (Another example of this is the Marion City Cemetery in Perry County, Alabama -- where the faithful slave Harry was buried; I think that was founded around 1820.)
I'm going to post a bunch of photographs from my visit -- when you think of an old cemetery with ghosts trooping home at the witching hour -- this is the place. There are a huge number of grand monuments -- and there are some people I study a lot here, including, yes, Nathaniel Beverley Tucker II (I study Nathantiel Beverlely Tucker the first, whose grave is in the Bruton Parish Churchyard in Williamsburg.) There are the Allans -- Edgar Allan Poe's foster parents -- and also some cemetery art I want to talk about, as well a monument to an anti-slavery activist. More on that story soon.
The Marshall family plot is enclosed in fencing in the foreground. What's in the background is what first led me to the cemetery: it's the Richmond Alms House. That grand building was built on the eve of Civil War -- in 1860 and 1861. It's thus one of the final public buildings of the old South. And it is seriously impressive -- and to my mind it's put to a positive use now, as apartments for low income and I think elderly residents of Richmond.