The Old Burying Ground

The Old Burying Ground is the final resting place for a collection of local Revolutionary figures who gave their lives to the Cause including two African-American patriots, Cato Steadman and Neptune Frost. The idea of permanent burial plots is relatively recent. In previous centuries, when graves were left unkempt, they were acknowledged as free for the taking. Thus, it is estimated that the Old Burying Ground has eight times as many bodies as it does headstones.

After the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the British retreat to Boston claimed many lives, possibly even more than the battle. Embittered citizens armed themselves and attacked the fleeing troops as they marched back to Boston. Six Cantabridgians sacrificed their lives that day, not in battle, but in this vicious retreat. Of those six, three are buried here. Jabez Wyman and Jason Winship were enjoying a drink at Cooper’s Tavern, when retreating British soldiers attacked. Mrs. Cooper reported, “the King’s regular troops under the command of General Gage, upon their return from blood and slaughter, which they had made at Lexington and Concord, fired more than one hundred bullets into the house where we dwell, through doors, and windows,…The two aged gentlemen were immediately most barbarously and inhumanly murdered by them, being stabbed through in many places, their heads mangled, skulls broke, and their brains out on the floor and walls of the house.”

John Hicks and Moses Richardson, the only known Cambridge participants in the Boston Tea Party, were shot as they waited to attack passing soldiers. William Marcy, who was said to have been a man of “feeble intellect,” mistook the marching soldiers for a military parade. As he looked on excitedly, a British guard shot him dead. William Marcy, John Hicks, and Moses Richardson were buried here, while Jason Russell, Jabez Wyman, and Jason Winship were buried in what is now Arlington. A tower monument was erected in their honor and is located in the middle of the graveyard.


Old Burying Ground: Sewall Tomb Old Burying Ground: Patriots Grave Old Burying Ground
Old Burying Ground: Vassall Tomb Old Burying Ground and Christ Church


The Old Burying Ground Today

Patriots Grave at The Old Burying Ground Partiots Grave at The Old Burying Ground Vassall Tomb Today Vassall Tomb Today
Joseph Taylor's Grave, died at The Battle of Bunker Hill Joseph Taylor's Grave, died at The Battle of Bunker Hill John Steams grave, died as a Patriot Soldier John Steams Grave, died as a Patriot soldier


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