This is about rock piles and stone mound sites in New England. A balance is needed between keeping them secret and making them public. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Waramaug's Monument is a great example.
The woodcut of Waramaug's Monument does not appear in De Forest's book from 1851 (I checked two sources). So what is the source of the illustration?Norman
There is no Waramaug in De Forest's book, but there is is a Weraumaug mentioned on pages 392-395 of the edition published in 1853.Norman
I've had that image for a long time now and I'm having trouble tracking down where I got it.What I can tell you is that William James Hamersley was a publisher, editor, bookseller, and even mayor of Hartford during the mid-1800's. He was also a steel engraver. So it is very likely that engraving ended up in some edition of DeForest's book.The same illustration was used without reference in a 2000 book by Frances L. Smith about New Milford, part of the Images of America series. See this link:http://menotomyjournal.com/newmilford.jpgAs soon as I track down the original source for that image I'll let you know.
Found it! I got it from this blog. Tim MacSweeney posted it here:http://rockpiles.blogspot.com/2006/06/stone-mounds-in-new-milford-from-tim.html
Tim says, "There must be an illustrated version because this is included in Enduring Traditions, edited by Laurie Weinstien (1994) in the section by Trudie Lamb Richmond."
De Forest's book says nothing about Waramaug Monument, so I wonder if such a place ever existed. And a Google search of the name produces nothing. It makes me wonder. Why would the author even use De Forest's book, since not even the title is correct? The date in the title is 1851 and not 1850.Norman
I've done some detective work to figure this thing out. I'm not all the way there, but I'm close.In 1801, the Rev. Stanley Griswold delivered a sermon in New Milford which was entered into the town record. In his sermon, he talked about the many Indian burial grounds around town. He described the graves as being of a circular form and that persons were buried sitting up, but nothing more is said about them -- no mention of whether the graves are of stone or earth. Griswold also brought up the name of a contact-period chief from the area -- Werauhamaug -- and said he lived in a bark palace near the Great Falls.In John Warner Barber's Connecticut Historical Collections (1836), Barber's source for his footnotes was the Hon. David S. Boardman of New Milford. Boardman claims he had often seen the chief's grave at the burial ground. He could distingish the chief's grave from all the others by its size. He also said that the grave was nearby the chief's palace.Both the Reverend's sermon and Boardman's notes are on pp.474-476 in Barber's Collections.In Timothy Dwight's Travels in New-England and New-York (1823), Dwight wrote about the Indian monument of stones at New Milford. He claimed it was the grave of a chief, and told this long tale about how the chief committed murder against his own people (or some other heinous crime) and was chased and murdered on that spot. Dwight says, "it is certain," that whoever was buried there committed a gross crime because he was, "excluded from the customary burying place." (pg.386)Dwight described the grave as being different from the one at Stockbridge. "That was an obtuse cone. This is a circular enclosure, surrounding the grave." (pg.386-387)Dwight also relates a story of a, "short time past," when, "young gentlemen studying physic in the neighborhood," attempted to dig up the bones of the chief. The act greatly offended the Schaghticokes and increased tensions. Dwight said the act had, "destroyed an interesting relic of Indian manners." (pg.387)Dwight also reported that the monument of stones at Stockbridge (Monument Mountain) was also, "all broken up in the same manner as that at New-Milford." (pg.391)So by the 1850's when Hamersley made his engraving, that was the information he had at hand.Hamersley must also have had first-hand knowledge of what the monument looked like in the 1850's. While it may have been broken up in the 1820's, it was still extant more than a century later when Speck visited in the 1940's.Speck said there were still, "certain of the credulous and timid Indians," who, "frequently poured out a swallow or two of the whiskey on their homeward way as a treat to the ghost of a murdered comrade whose shade abode there.” That's in Speck's article The Memorial Brush Heap in Delaware and Elsewhere, pg. 19.So it is possible the engraving was not made solely on imagination alone. The engraver was a prominent citizen, he lived in the town his whole life, an eyewitness (Boardman) claims the grave was extant and distinguishable only 14 years earlier. I'd say it is plausible that it was an accurate portrayal of the grave in the 1850's.Of course, there are obvious problems. Dwight said the monument of stones was outside the customary burying place -- he surmises the deceased was excluded intentionally. Boardman, however, counts the chief's grave among a group of graves in a burying ground, with the chief's grave being of, "more ample dimensions."Yet, both Dwight and Boardman say the monument/grave is very near the Great Falls, and once-prominent palace of Waramaug.
I should also add that it's entirely possible that these sources are talking about different rock piles. There were, after all, several reported burial grounds in town, as well as multiple reported, "Indian forts."
I got the Weinstein edited book out of the library and looked at the wood engraving of "Waramaug's Monument" under a magnifier. In the bottom left corner it seems to read "H. Gilmour fc NY." I didn't have time to check the name of the engraver, but "fc" ususally means fecit, meaning "made by." And the NY would of course be New York. It certainly doesn't seem to be by Hammersley.Norman
You are correct -- Hamersley was an engraver but he must've simply been the publisher here. It looks like Gilmour to me too, and NY -- although I can find nothing on the Internet about him.I'm still not ready to say that this is entirely the figment of someone's imagination yet -- it is still possible the engraving was commissioned and done from a drawing. But there are definitely some major strikes against it now.
I suppose contacting the author of the article and asking her where she found the image would be the next step. Anyone interested?Norman
Trudy, last I knew, was at the Pequot Museum and Research Center.Weinstien teaches at WestConn...
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