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Aug. 8, 2023

A Glimpse into History: The Life and Epitaph of Miss Elizabeth Blood

A Glimpse into History: The Life and Epitaph of Miss Elizabeth Blood

There are times when the story of someone's life and death is engraved upon their headstone and that is all we may ever know about them.

In memory of Miss Elizabeth Blood, born on March 21, 1741, in Concord, Massachusetts, and departed this life on October 12th, 1775, at the age of 34. She was the beloved daughter of Cornet Stephen Blood and Mrs. Mary. The inscription on her headstone suggests that she may have battled with illness throughout her life, possibly leading to her decision not to marry.

Her headstone features a carved portrait, revealing her pulled-back hair, kind eyes, and a patient smile. The sides of the stone are adorned with intricate floral vines topped by a bird, adding a touch of beauty to the memory of this beloved daughter who left this world too soon due to her delicate health.

The epitaph, "Memento Mori," reminds us of the inevitable reality of death. It reads:

Affliction sore, long time I bore,
Physician was in vain.
Til God did please & death did cease,
To ease me of my pain.
To all you that passeth by,
As you are now so once was I,
As I am now so you must be,
Prepare for death & follow me.

The centuries have passed but you can still visit Elizabeth's grave in picturesque Old Hill Burying ground in Concord, Massachusetts. The burying ground is located near Monument Square and is the oldest in Concord being founded shortly after 1635 when the town itself was incorporated. The earliest existing stone marks the grave of Joseph Merriam, who died on April 20, 1677.

This cemetery on a hill overlooking the town contains around 500 burials. Some of Elizabeth's neighbors include Revolutionary War heroes as well as the grave of John Jack, the first formerly enslaved person to purchase land in Concord.

Photo: Grave of Elizabeth Blood, Old Hill Burying Ground - Concord, Massachusetts

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