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Winter Lecture Series Wraps Up

Saturday, March 26, 2011
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Maine Historical Society, Portland, ME
Free, Donations Appreciated

General Joshua L. Chamberlain, Library of Congress photograph

The last lecture in the series, "Death and Survival in the Civil War," will take place on March 26. “Dead Men’s Pockets: Gettysburg Bodies and Other Stories” will be presented by Margaret Creighton, Professor at Bates College. Creighton wrote Colors of Courage: Gettysburg's Forgotten History which considers the legendary battle of Gettysburg from the perspectives of white women civilians, African American civilians, and immigrant soldiers. This book was a runner-up for the Lincoln Prize and named as one of the five best books on Gettysburg by the Wall Street Journal.

Headstone of Anne Storer, Farber Gravestone Collection photograph

The beautiful headstone of Anne E. Titcomb Storer, (plot C223) thought to be carved by a Lamson stonecutter, showcases a winged face surrounded by curly vines in the tympanum that continue down the sides of the stone. Lamson was known to use fine slate for carving which — lucky for us — has proven to weather well. Anne was the first wife of Judge Woodbury Storer, a prominent businessman, merchant, ship owner, and town warden; a man who certainly had the funds to requisition such a beautifully-carved stone.

She left behind her husband and 4 children: Woodbury, Anne, Mary and Elizabeth who was only not even a year old. Elizabeth lived only until she was 10 and is buried next to her mother. Anne's granddaughter, Mary Potter (of her daughter Anne), was the first wife of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Anne's father, Deacon Benjamin Titcomb, was buried 2 plots away 10 years after his daughter's death, "mouldering into dust, in hopes of a glorious resurrection."

Anne’s stone tells us that she died young, but was a good colonial woman: "Here lyes dissolving in earth, the mortal remains of Mrs. Anne Storer, wife of Mr. Woodbury Storer, whose fair form fell a victim to death the 3d day of Nov'r, 1788 having liv’d 25 years and 6 days. May virtue and piety of which she was a bright example in early life, survive in her bereaved relatives."

What better tribute could a young 18th century wife and mother hope for? Thankfully this hardy stone has been an enduring memorial for Anne Storer by surviving people, the environment and the elements for over 200 years.

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