October 17, 2019

Thomas Seward Gravestone

Walking through the North End's Copp's Hill Burying Ground you will see a lot of unique gravestones. One is Major Thomas Seward, who died on November 27, 1800.

ThomasSeward.jpg
Click on image for a larger version.

Gravestone Text

Reader!!!
Beneath this Stone is deposited
the Remains of
MAJOR THOMAS SEWARD
who gallantly fought
in our late revolutionary War
and through
its various seenes, behaved
with Patriotic fortitude
& died in the calms
of domestic Felicity as becomes
a Universal Christian,
Nov 27th, 1800, AE at 60.

On the bottom of the grave is this phrase, which is slowing disappearing into the ground:

"The lonely turf where silence lays her head,
The mound where pity sighs for hon'd dead,
Such is the grief where sorrow now doth sigh,
To learn to live is but to learn to die."

Three Things I Learned

Some things I learned while researching the history of Thomas Seward.

There isn't much information about Thomas Seward. No information on what battles that Thomas Seward participated in. No information about his life before and after the war.

When he died local papers were quick to point out his death and how he was a major contributor to the Revolution.

He was married to Sarah Seward. She died seven months before Thomas. She is also buried in the same grave - but interestingly enough, there's no mention of her name on the grave. Even though she was buried there first!

They had a son named Thomas he was born in 1770 and died in 1852. He is buried in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Gravestone Images

On the gravestone, there are various symbols. According to the Cemetery Club, here's what each one means:

  • Setting Sun - Death
  • Urn, draped - Connotes death, often of an older person.
  • Cannon - Military service.

Reference Log

This is the log entry in the Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War book. There was only one entry for Seward, Thomas:

Seward, Thomas. Captain, Col. John Crane’s (Artillery) regt. ; Continental Army pay accounts for service from Jan. 1, 1777, to Dec. 31, 1780; also, return of officers for clothing ; receipt for said clothing, dated Boston, May 26, 1778, and signed by Col. Crane; also, muster roll for May 1778, dated Camp Valley Forge; commissioned Jan. 1, 1777; also, return of officers for clothing, certified at Boston, Sept. 25, 1778 ; also, list of officers who were to continue in the service, as returned by Thomas Vose, Captain and Adjutant, dated Boston, Jan. 19, 1781; also, receipt given to Capt. Lieut. Knowles, signed by said Seward and others belonging to Col. Crane’s (3d Artillery) regt., for subsistence money for June, 1782.

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