|Rev.Nathaniel Rogers, 1775, Ipswich, Massachusetts. Carved by Daniel Hastings.|
This portrait of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, 1775, in his formal wig and gown is one of the largest and most impressive in the old Ipswich burying ground. According to Dr. Stiles, Rogers was a man whose preaching was “Calvinistic, practical, and very solemn.” Local legend says that Nathaniel Hawthorne was a frequent visitor to the graveyard and used to enjoy counting the buttons on the Reverend's gown. Buttons were a status symbol in colonial times-- a statement of affluence and position. Not surprisingly, gravestone portraits of women and children are seldom shown with buttons. Hawthorne recorded the following in his journal after visiting the Ipswich Burying Ground: "...Entering the burial-ground,...we found a good many old monuments, and several covered with slabs of red freestone or slate, and with arms sculptured on the slab, or an inlaid circle of slate. On one slate gravestone, of the Rev. Nathl. Rogers, there was a portrait of that worthy, about a third of the size of life, carved in relief, with his cloak, band, and wig, in excellent preservation, all the buttons of his waistcoat being cut with great minuteness,--the minister's nose being on a level with his cheeks. It was an upright gravestone."
|(Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)||close window|