Take a tour of the final resting place of the Alcotts

There’s a terrific article on the Concord Patch written by a licensed Concord tour guide, Harry Beyer. He takes you on a tour of the Alcott family plot at Sleepy Hollow cemetery. Here’s a teaser from the article:

Louisa May was an active abolitionist, helping to shelter runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. She was also an early feminist. Protesting the exclusion of women from Concord’s 1875 Centennial parade and ceremony at Old North Bridge (the celebration at which Daniel Chester French’s Minute Man statue was unveiled), she wrote “It was impossible to help thinking, that there should have been a place for the great granddaughters of Prescott, William Emerson, John Hancock, and Dr. Ripley, as well as for … the scissors that cut the immortal cartridges” for the shot heard round the world. “It seemed to me that … the men of Concord had missed a grand opportunity of imitating those whose memory they had met to honor.”

Here’s the link to the article where you can read more and see the grave markers for each family member.

I thought it was very curious (and very cool) that of all the biographies written about the Alcotts, Beyer recommends Madelon Bedell’s book, The Alcotts Biography of a Family. I’d love to know why . . . I left a comment on the post inquiring, hopefully he’ll answer.

4 Replies to “Take a tour of the final resting place of the Alcotts”

  1. I’m going up there this summer. I’m looking forward to walking around the cemetery. But then again I love cemeteries.

    1. I like them too. They tell compelling stories. The old stones that had so much family information on them influenced my family’s decision to put the names of all of us kids plus the family pets on the back of my parents’ stone. Now that the family homestead has been sold, this cemetery plot now is “home” to me, where we are all together.

  2. Bedell’s book is just about my favorite, too, and my book benefited from my discovery of Bedell’s interview with Lulu Neireker. I was puzzled that the article didn’t mention that the book goes only up through Fruitlands, when Louisa was just eleven. Bedell died before she could write the next volume. Maybe the guide suggests it because it is about all the members of the family, not just Louisa and/or Bronson. She’s the only biographer who quotes from Lizzie’s journal, I believe, for instance. Harriet Reisen

    1. “She’s the only biographer who quotes from Lizzie’s journal, I believe . . .” – exactly the reason why I’m asking permission to see Bedell’s papers at Orchard House. I want to see what else she has to say about Lizzie. Lizzie was known as the “shadow sister” but she didn’t die easily. In fact your book along with Martha Saxton’s, details a very difficult death marked by anger and frustration. Like Bronson, that outer serenity masked perhaps a more volatile soul. I read somewhere too (wish I knew where!) that Lizzie may have been mathematically inclined (which would fit if she read music well – mathematical minds do well at that sort of thing).

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