When I offered to teach a writing class at Green-Wood, I was treated to a private tour by Lisa Alpert and we went inside the Receiving Tomb. This is a huge barn-like structure with shelving. In the winter when the ground was too hard for digging, the deceased were stored there in their coffins until spring. As I recall it would hold 1500 coffins.
We also went inside the chapel.
From the chapel, we traveled to an areaon the north side of the cemetery called Battle Hill. This is the highest natural point in
Charles Higgins, who was successful at manufacturing India ink, bought a large plot of land there for his tomb. Higgins also commissioned and an Altar of Liberty to commemorate the Battle of Brooklyn as well as a statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of war. The statue of Minerva has a raised arm pointing toward the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.
Buried a few feet from Higgins is my favorite person in
. Her grave market states simply, “Grandmother,” and her name
is Elizabeth Tilton. She figured in a
very disastrous scandal along with her husband, Theodore Tilton, and Henry Ward
Beecher. Green-Wood Cemetery
The Tilton’s were members of the
in downtown Plymouth
where Beecher served as
minister. Theodore and Beecher were very
close friends and worked together on a newspaper, “The Independent,” with
Theodore acting as editorial assistant to Beecher
who was editor.
Theodore was an abolitionist, an advocate of free love, and a bit of a bully to his fragile wife. Apparently, he dallied in free love when he was away on his lengthy lecture tours. The charismatic Beecher, who claimed to more than one woman that he had no marital relations with his own wife, visited and comforted
Theodore was away.
Post by Alana Cash