Wednesday, May 29, 2013

H.B. Fieldtrip #2-Rock Creek Cemetery

I've meant to visit the Rock Creek Cemetery near the Petworth neighborhood in Washington, D.C. since last year; over Memorial Day weekend, I made the trek with a friend. Rock Creek’s boast illustrious “residents” like author Upton Sinclair, and Alice Warfield Allen, mother of Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson. But I’d come to see Washington matriarch and podcast subject, Alice Roosevelt Longworth. She’s buried there beside her daughter Paulina Sturm. I was delighted to see that someone had left a flag and picture of Alice at her grave. It’s cool that despite dying over three decades ago, people continue to admire that sassy, old broad!

The second gravesite I visited belonged to Marian “Clover” Hooper Adams. The Adams Memorial was commissioned by Clover’s grieving husband Henry (the grandson and great-grandson of John Quincy Adams and John Adams, respectively). Clover, an amateur photographer, died by suicide in 1885, after drinking chemicals used to develop pictures; she was forty-two. The sculpture created by artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens portrays a cloaked, androgynous figure resting on a granite seat. Though Henry hoped the monument would project tranquility, to many (me included) the statue looks melancholy. Consequently, despite its name, “The Mystery of the Hereafter and The Peace of God that Passeth Understanding,” most simply refer to it as “Grief.”

By chance, we also stumbled on (not literally!) the future resting place of Evelyn Y. Davis. First, it’s gigantic. Better yet, her tomb doesn’t just designate her as “Queen of the Corporate Jungle (1929-FOREVER),” but features the quote, “Power is greater than love, and I did not get where I am by standing in line nor by being shy.” ::Mic drop:: Peace out, bitches! Obviously, I had to discover who this awesome lady was! USA Today informed me that “Evelyn Y. Davis is the world's most famous shareholder activist. She's also the most outspoken, the most outrageous, the most intelligent, the most confident, the most charming.” Weird; judging from her future gravesite, I’d have never guessed…


Susan said...

Thanks for sharing your pictures. The statue is truly beautiful. Also, I keep meaning to write about Princess Alice, but it's hard to know where to start :-) I'll make a note to link back here if I finally get it done. Thanks again
Susan Ozmore

The History Bitch said...

Of course! Now that I'm on summer vacation I'm hoping to go on more History Bitches "field-trips." Alice is fascinating, isn't she? Let me know if I can point you in the direction of any resources! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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