From the Richmond Dispatch, 2/18/1892, p. 2, c. 2

Shockoe Cemetery.

Chief-Justice MARSHALL and many other great and good men lie buried in Shockoe cemetery. Half a century ago it was to Richmond what Hollywood now is. St. John’s church-yard was the first public burial-ground here and Shockoe, we believe, was the next.

The dust of many who largely contributed to the glorious history of Virginia and to the success of this city there mingles with mother. Once the grounds were beautiful and there were scores of well-kept sections. The breaking up of families by the war, the poverty that cam e upon many other families, and the lack of room in the grounds which compelled younger members to buy sections in other cemeteries have combined with want of care on the city’s part to give this burial spot a deserted look.

This should not be. Virginians are too prone anyhow to neglect the resting-places of their dead; but there is less excuse for it here than almost anywhere else in the State. Shockoe is the city’s property; it is but a small area and is easily kept in order, and when the lots were sold purchasers bought them with the conviction that the cemetery would always remain the object of Richmond’s care. It does have some care, but not enough. The grounds are not in as good order as they were many years ago; but we freely say that for this we do not blame any of the officers connected with the cemetery. They do their duty; but they haven’t sufficient money to do all the work that is needed.

Economical as Richmond should be this year, we feel sure that it is able to insert in the budget now soon to be prepared a few hundred dollars to improve the walks, replant trees where needed, and mound sunken graves, and here and there straighten falling or fallen monuments.

We can imagine that it will be said that all of this is “not in the city’s contract.” True: but we have neglected our part of the contract so long that it is as little as we can do to make this small atonement.

It may be said, too, that any intrusion upon private sections will be resented. This is a risk that we can well afford to take. There will be no great trouble on this score if the work is confined to clearing out weeds from the lots, filling sunken graves, and saving valuable marbles from utter destruction.

We appeal to the City Council to restore, as far as possible, this cemetery to its former beauty.


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