Monday, October 1, 2007

OctoberTheme Day: Cemeteries/Tombstones


The Nashville City Cemetery, opened in 1822, is the oldest continuously operating cemetery in the city. Over 20,000 people of all races, colors and creeds have been interred at NCC, including James Robertson, the founder of Nashville. The cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The resting places shown above are for Captain William Driver, his wife and a few children. Originally from Salem, Massachusetts, Driver is the person who coined the phrase, "Old Glory" when referring to the American flag. Driver designed his own tombstone which, as you can see, has an anchor resting on a tree stump. This grave is one of only three places in the USA where the US Flag can fly 24 hours (authorized by a Congressional act). You might notice that the flag was not flying on the grave today.

Two notes: A few weekends during October, volunteers dressed in period costume tell the story of many of the souls buried in Nashville City Cemetery. We had never gone but plan to do so this year.

The story of "Old Glory:" While the details of the story vary depending on who is telling it, the basic tale is that Driver's mother and her friends sewed the flag for him and presented it to him as he was ready to leave on a journey around the world. Legend has it that he was on his way to rescue mutineers from the ship, The Bounty (Mutiny on the Bounty). When Driver hoisted the flag on the ship's pole and saw it flying in the wind, he exclaimed, "Old Glory!" From that time on, Driver always kept the flag with him, adding to the original 20 stars as states joined the Union.

Driver moved to Nashville in 1837 and proudly showed the flag to everyone. When Tennessee seceded from the Union, Driver had his wife sew the flag inside of a comforter to prevent Confederate soldiers from destroying it. Eventually, Nashville fell to Union soldiers, and Driver removed the flag from the quilt and accompanied a regiment of Ohio soldiers to the state capitol where he hoisted the flag himself.

Be sure to check out the other City Daily Photo Blogs participating in October's Theme Day (Please remember that due to time differences, posts will show up at different times!):
St. Louis (MO), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Hyde, UK - Arlington (VA), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Toulouse, France - Arradon, France - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Joplin (MO), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Seattle (WA), USA - Baziège, France - Baltimore (MD), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Grenoble, France - Seoul, South Korea - Greenville (SC), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Nashville (TN), USA - Tenerife, Spain - Manila, Philippines - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Jacksonville (FL), USA - River Falls (WI), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Lubbock (TX), USA - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Moscow, Russia - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Minneapolis (MN), USA - New Orleans (LA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Toruń, Poland - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand - London, England - Paderborn, Germany - The Hague, Netherlands - Selma (AL), USA - Sunderland, UK - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Stavanger, Norway - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Weston (FL), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Forks (WA), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Boston (MA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Wellington, New Zealand - Montpellier, France - Jackson (MS), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Evry, France - Saarbrücken, Germany - New York City (NY), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - North Bay (ON), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Cypress (TX), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Paris, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Wichita (Ks), USA - Haninge, Sweden

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20 comments:

R&R in The Netherlands said...

Nice pic & narrative.

Jilly said...

This is fascinating. A history lesson told so beautiful and with a lovely photo too. Thankyou. I'd heard the phrase 'Old Glory' but hadn't realised its meaning.

NorthBayPhoto said...

Great photo and great information of the grave.

isabella said...

Interesting fellow, this Diver ;-)

But why an anchor on a tree stump? Wouldn't a boat hull be better? But he designed it, so he should be happy...

Lessie said...

I'm glad to hear it's on the register. The cemetery sounds like an invaluable piece of history.

Kate said...

A wonderful narrative about Driver! i wish that more cemeteries had the time and money to preserve one day for historical tours. Great idea1

Rambling Round said...

What an interesting monument and story! So now I know where "Old Glory" came from!

Lynette said...

Fantastic photo and history. Even if this is just my second theme day, I think it's the best ever, seeing these great final resting spots and learning so much history. Thank you.

Fénix (Bostonscapes DP) said...

Oh, Chris, that photo is gorgeous and the story behind it so interesting. Thanks so much for taking the time to type all that!

Have a great week ahead. :)

Anonymous said...

The tours are terrific, and different notables are featured each year!

In a real departure from southern traditions, slaves are buried there, as are Union soldiers! Of course, they are way back by the train tracks, but I doubt that noise bothers them much!

Patsy

slinger said...

I was anticipating something on Elvis being posted here today, You've posted quite an interesting story and a great photo capture.

oldmanlincoln said...

Yes, indeed, we used Sears and Roebuck catalog and hated it when they began using slick paper for their monotone pages and later even slicker paper when they began to use color pictures. You could see use the pages but had to wad them up to make the paper soft enough to use.

We have even used corncobs which sounds like some kind of torture but actually it isn't that bad.

Thanks for the visit.

I did enjoy seeing your photographs here too.

Bergson said...

A tomb really impressive, With a clear explanation

Kim said...

Very cool story and photo for our theme day. Really interesting and great to know about!I bet those docents have a blast leading the tours and it would be fun to go through one of these.
-Kim
Seattle Daily Photo

Neva said...

What a charming photo....and great information.

Quintarantino said...

Well done. The best photo I saw today on October Theme Day. Really good, Chris.

Carlos Lorenzo said...

I have enjoyed the stories you have told today. Specially the Old Glory story. Cemeteries give me the jitters but I like the art you come across there.

Chris said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I appreciate them more than you know. Thanks, Patsy for mentioning the info about the slaves and Union soldiers. I did forget to add that. Another item I forgot was that "Old Glory" is currently on loan to the Tennessee State Museum from the Smithsonian, so she's home right now.

I do agree that cemeteries are such good lessons in history. I am always amazed at some of the tombstone inscriptions.

Re: Elvis. . .He was from Memphis and is buried on the Graceland property. The grave, by the way, is not very ostentatious.

Thank you all, again.

Steve Buser said...

Chris, Interesting story and tombstone.

I was away in Texas yesterday, just getting back to my computer to see all that I missed.

--steve buser
New Orleans Daily Photo

Denton said...

Good post with lots of information. I was intrigued by the congressional approval to fly the flag 24 hours a day.