SLAVERY AND FLORENCE'S 'ENGLISH' CEMETERY.
TO CELEBRATE 11 MAY 1887
Florence's so-called 'English'
Cemetery, owned by the Swiss Evangelical Reformed Church, has
many persons buried here connected with the history of slavery
both in America and in Europe. Let us walk in the footsteps of
Frederick Douglass, American ex-slave, who visited here, 11
May 1887. He would have concentrated on the tombs of those he
knew who worked against the slavery of Afro-Americans,
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Theodore Parker, and Richard
Hildreth, and he wrote about them beautifully in his
handwritten diary which you can find on the Library of
Congress website: https://www.loc.gov/collections/frederick-douglass-papers/about-this-collection/ This will give you a guided tour of
these tombs and also of others connected with slavery not only
in America but also in Europe. For Europeans, especially Greek
women, were enslaved by the Turks, like Henrietta Mary Hay’s
mother, or English diplomats captured and tortured in Morocco,
like Hugh MacDonell, or Russian serfs, like the daughter of
the emancipated serf Varvara Il’nicna Kasincova, or the Roma,
who for centuries, were enslaved by the monasteries and nobles
in Romania, such as by Prince Joan Kantakuzin, and who then
suffered genocide in the Holocaust. Even the fifteen-year-old
Black slave from Nubia, her freedom bought by Rosellini’s
uncle, came to be buried here in her thirties with her
Christian name from her baptism in a Russian Orthodox family,
given as Nadezhda, Hope, her inscription written in beautiful
pre-Revolution Cyrillic on her tomb. Their stories are
manifested in the tombs, novels, poems and sculptures of those
buried here. Indeed the cemetery, itself abandoned and
neglected since 1877, was restored by Romanian ex-slave and
ex-Holocaust Roma, showcasing their ancestral skills as
gardeners and stonemasons, from the Jubilee year of 2000 on.
For further material see http://www.florin.ms/ironchain.html and http://www.florin.ms/ChapterLast.html
recommended is the book by Professor Dennis Looney, Freedom
Readers: The African American Reception of Dante Alighieri and
the Divine Comedy, Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame
Press, 2011, because it was he who taught me under its King of
Prussia cross the importance of this aspect of Florence's
English Cemetery, linking together Frances Trollope, Hiram
Powers, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Theodore Parker, Richard
Hildreth and Frederick Douglass.
MARIA HAY/ SCOTLAND/ TO
THE MEMORY OF/ HENRIETTA MARIA HAY/ DAUGHTER OF ROBERT HAY
ESQ/ OF LINPLEM EAST LOTHIAN/ SCOTLAND/ BORN 8 DEC/
1842 DIED 9 FEB 1875
First on our right hand side we will find the tombs of the Hay family, F53, Henrietta Maria Hay, being the daughter of the Scottish Egyptologist Robert Hay, who bought her mother, Kalitza Psaraki in the Turkish slave market in Alexandria and married her, their daughter coming to live in, B8, ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING’s Casa Guidi, along with, E24, ANNA BROWN and E148, CHAPMAN STANSFIELD MARSHALL.
Robert Hay, Egyptologist
B80/ FRANCES (MILTON) TROLLOPE/ ENGLAND/ FRANCESCAE TROLLOPE/ QUOD MORTALE FUIT/ HIC IACET/ . . . / MEMORIA/ NULLUM MARMOR QUAERIT/ APUD STAPLETON/ IN AGRO SOMERSET ANGLORUM/ A.D. 1780 NATA/ FLORENTIAE/ TUMULUM A.D.1863/ NACTA EST
On 28 December 1827, the ship 'Edward' had set sail from the Port of London for the Port of New Orleans. On board were Frances Trollope, 40, Cecilia Trollope, 12, Emily Trollope, 10, Henry Trollope, 14, all English, Frances Wright, 28, American, and August Hervieu, 23, French. Frances Wright, associated with Lafayette, had invited the Trollopes to Nashoba where she had a settlement for the education of Negro slaves. Auguste Hervieu, a brilliant young artist, was the children's tutor and companion. With them also were Hester Rust and William Abbott, their servants. Often Hervieu had to sell his art to feed and house them all'. In Cincinatti she had engaged the young B32/ HIRAM POWERS to do Dante's Commedia in wax, starting his career as a sculptor. On the family's return to England, she published The Domestic Manners of the Americans and Jonathan Jefferson Whitlaw. Later she also publsihed Michael Armstrong, Factory Boy. Her son's autobiography, What I Remember (London, 1887), is a window on cosmopolitan and cultured Victorian Florence.
E29/ WILLIAM SOMERVILLE/ SCOTLAND/ WILLIAM SOMERVILLE/ ELDEST SON OF THE HISTORIAN OF QUEEN ANNE/ BORN AT MINTO ROXBURGHSHIRE/ 22 APRIL 1771/ DIED AT FLORENCE 25 JUNE 1860/ GOD WILL REDEEM MY LIFE FROM/ THE POWER OF THE GRAVE 49 PSALM
His father's death is noted in Bell's Weekly Messenger, February 28, 1830, as the author of many books against slavery. The son, a surgeon in the army, eventually doctor at Chelsea Hospital, buried here married the Scottish mathematician and astronomer Mary Somerville who predicted the existence of Neptune and Pluto. Mary Somerville encouraged Ada Byron, Countess Lovelace (Lord Byron's daughter), in her pursuit of mathematics, Ada Byron and Charles Babbage creating the modern computer. Mary Somerville's bust is honoured in the Royal Society of which her husband and her son were made members. She died in her late nineties lamenting she would not live to see the end of slavery. She is buried in Naples' Cimitero degli Inglesi, beneath her life-size figure sculpted by the young Calabrian sculptor, Francesco Gerace, There would be space for the tomb of Mary Somerville and her daughters opposite that of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In Naples it lacks the plaque and no one knows who she is.
Mary Somerville, Naples
B8/ ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING/ JAMAICA/ENGLAND/ E.B.B./ OB.1861// FRANCESCO GIOVANNOZZI FECE
For further material on Elizabeth Barrett Browning see http://www.florin.ms. She was the daughter of a wealthy, then impoverished, Jamaican slave owner and herself part Black, who wrote, among other poems, The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point, and the impassioned sonnet against slavery addressed to Hiram Powers’ statue of the Greek Slave. Her father had published her Battle of Marathon when she was twelve, the family's slave Treppy, her Essay on Mind, when she was twenty. Robert Browning and Count Cottrell, knowing Treppy had inherited wealth Elizabeth's grandfather, the plantation owner of Cinnamon Hill in Jamaica, bilked her out of her money and Treppy went mad, Elizabeth frantically writing to her sisters to help her, Robert forbidding her to tell her brothers, her sisters having no access to funds.
Leighton Sketch Book XXXV, Royal Academy Library
Pan Cross Jubilee with Broken Slave Shackle
B97/ HUGH MACDONELL/
SCOTLAND/ CANADA/ SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF HUGH
MACDONELL ESQ DIED AT FLORENCE ON THE 3RD JUNE 1847
JLMaquay, Diaries 5/6/1847 'Saturday Attended the funeral of Mr Hugh MacDonell this morning at 6, fine weather and a large attendance. Bank & home for the remainder of the day.' Webbs note that he was a young Jacobite exile, who emigrated to America with his father and uncles, 1773, moving to Canada after US Independence, returning to England, 1804, becoming Consul at Algiers, 1813-1820, marrying in 1815 as second wife Ida Louise Ullic, daughter of Danish Consul. In 1816 he was arrested, tortured and enslaved by the Dey of Algiers, leading to the bombardment by Lord Exmouth, the father of A112 ADMIRAL THE HON. FLEETWOOD BROUGHTON REYNOLDS PELLEW who is buried in Sector A. Their daughter Ida married the Austrian B96/ FREDERICK ADOLPH KLEINKAUF, an officer in the Emperor's army, during the Austrian occupation of Tuscany, their baby daughter, named Ida in turn, dying six hours after her birth. Thus the name 'Ida' is shared through three generations. Another daughter, B135/ LOUISE CATHERINE ADELAIDE (MACDONELL) CUMBERLAND, born in Algiers, buried near by, is noted as having as parents Hugh and Ida MacDonell. While yet another daughter, Emily became the wife of the Marquis d'Aguado, one of the richest men in Spain, and was a lady in waiting to the Empress Eugenie of France. Their father bought the Oltrarno ex-convent, the Casa Annalena, and he appointed the Polish princes Poniatowski and the Marchese Luigi Torrigiani as guardians for his minor children, while his wife would marry the Duc de Talleyrand, Tallyrand's nephew, following his death.
B32/ HIRAM POWERS/ AMERICA/ HIRAM POWERS/ DIED JUNE 27TH 1873/ AGED 68/
Pastore Luigi Santini: 'Hiram Powers (1805-1873), an American, came to Florence in 1837 to study and work, and settled in Via Serragli, the artists' street of the day, with his wife and two children. He earned an international reputation for his statuary, for which he liked to choose the marble and supervise its quarrying himself, and he received considerable acclaim for the busts he did of several presidents of the United States. The cemetery also contains evidence of his grief: James (+1838), Frances (+1857) and Florence (+1857), his children, who died at five, eight and seventeen years of age in this their adopted land (E56)'. Frederic Leighton studied at Florence's Accademia di Belle Arti; Hiram Powers was a professor of sculpture there. B8/ ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING,, who wrote of his American Indian eyes, writes an impassioned sonnet to his 'Greek Slave', which was exhibited at the centre of the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition, in which she draws the analogy also to American enslavement of Africans, Russian enslavement of serfs. This book's title uses a line from the poem on the statue. Hiram Powers' 'The Last of Her Tribe', shows a Native American woman fleeing her captors. Every detail is observed down to the delicate sewing of the mocassins. The theme repeats that of 'The Greek Slave', a woman representing freedom against male oppressors. Hiram Powers' statue of America is more truly American and more beautiful than the Statue of Liberty, the gift of France, but was rejected by Congress before the Civil War because she tramples on slave chains. It burned in a warehouse fire. This plaster cast was discovered in his Florentine studio in 1966, along with many others, which were purchased by museums in Washington, D.C. Among Powers' other works is the head of the Princess Matilde Buonaparte Demidoff. Hiram Powers' sculpture career had begun with his modelling Dante's Commedia in wax in Cincinatti, Ohio, for B80/ FRANCES (MILTON) TROLLOPE. Near Hiram Powers' tomb is that of B58/ KALIMA NADEZHDA DE SANTIS, a black Nubian slave baptized Orthodox (Nadezhda' meaning 'Hope'), who died in Florence in freedom. A similar story is manifested with F53/ HENRIETTA MARIA HAY, whose Greek mother's freedom was purchased by the Scots Egyptologist, Robert Hay, in the slave market of Alexandria, and whom he married on Malta in 1828. Margaret Fuller's death, along with her husband and baby in the shipwreck of the Elizabeth off Fire Island was partly caused by the colossal statue by Hiram Powers in its hold. Sophia Hawthorne describes Hiram Powers movingly in her diary. Nathanael Hawthorne observed him and his studio for the writing of The Marble Faun. He acted as an unpaid American Consul, for which see James Lorimer Graham, Consular Records. The tombs of B42/ ISABELLA BLAGDEN, B98/ MAJOR FRANCIS CHARLES GREGORIE, B99/ REVD GEORGE BRICKDALE CROSSMAN, B32/ HIRAM POWERS, B103/ ELEANOR AUGUSTA TULK, B131/ HONOURABLE FRANCES TOLLEY, as spiritualists and Swedenborgians, are all clustered together near that of Nadezhda, the Nubian/Russian former slave. Powers' son, Preston, also became a sculptor (B37), while another son, Longworth, became a photographer. Hiram Powers' wife, Elizabeth Gibson Powers, and other children, Nicholas Longworth Powers, Louisa Greenough Powers, Georgiana Rose Powers, and William Preston Powers are all buried in the Allori Cemetery, the remains of Preston (who sculpted Lily Nye's tomb) now lying in their Ossario Comune.
Photograph in the Diary of Susan Horner, 1861-1862. See
entries for Horner and Zileri family members.
Last of her Tribe
WhiteSilence Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 'Hiram
Powers' Greek Slave' 1850
Click on WhiteSilence to hear the poem read aloud.
They say Ideal Beauty cannot enter
The house of anguish. On the threshold stands
An alien Image with the shackled hands,
Called the Greek Slave: as if the sculptor meant her,
(That passionless perfection which he lent her,
Shadowed, not darkened, where the sill expands)
To, so, confront men’s crimes in different lands,
With man’s ideal sense. Pierce to the centre,
Art’s fiery finger! - and break up erelong
The serfdom of this world! Appeal, fair stone,
From God’s pure heights of beauty, against man’s wrong!
Catch up in thy divine face, not alone
East griefs but west, - and strike and shame the strong,
By thunders of white silence, overthrown!
B58/ KALIMA NADEZHDA DE SANTIS/ NUBIA/RUSSIA/
Kalima, born in Nubia, a black slave, was brought
to Florence in 1827 when she was 14, her freedom purchased by
Rosellini's uncle of the Champollion and Rosellini Expedition,
who was baptised 'Nadezhda', 'Hope', in a Russian Orthodox
family, and who died a lady in Florence. Her tomb with the
only Orthodox cross in the cemetery, the Swiss forbidding any
cross other than the plain Latin one. The Russian Orthodox
cross has the third and slanting bar to signify the salvation
of the Good Thief, the damnation of the Bad Thief, at the
Crucifixion. The inscription in Cyrillic telling her story is
near that of B32/ HIRAM POWERS, American, and part
Native American, sculptor of the 'Greek Slave', and also near
that of B93/ HOPE HAYWARD, 'OUR HOPE', while in Sector E we have the great
statue of Hope by Odoardo Fantacchiotti, E25/ SAMUEL REGINALD ROUTH. Nadezhda exemplifies the spirit of the
Cemetery, the Abolition of Slavery, the ending of young
children's employment in mines and factories, the freeing of
women, the freeing of nations. A very similar story is
manifested with F53/ HENRIETTA
MARIA HAY, whose Greek
mother, Kalitza Psaraki, captured by Ottoman Turks in the
Greek War of Independence, was purchased in Alexandria's slave
market by the Scots Egyptologist, Robert Hay, and whom he
married on Malta in 1828. Nubian Kalima's death at 38 occurs
in the year of the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London, in the
centre of which was Hiram Powers' 'Greek Slave'.
Rosellini and Champollion Expedition to Egypt and Nubia
D81/ JOAN I.
Descended from an Emperor of Constantinople, a Prince of Greece, Moldavia, Poland and Russia, he was an owner of Roma slaves, he died when a friend and guest of Prince Demidoff. A Romeo and Juliet story of a double suicide between a Frenchwoman and one of his Roma slaves, forbidden to marry each other by law, along with the translation of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin into Romanian, started the liberation of the Roma in that country. His tomb is in the same style as that for PAUL POLIDORE VENTURA, D83.
D108/ THEODORE PARKER/ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA/ THEODORE PARKER/ THE GREAT AMERICAN PREACHER/ BORN AT LEXINGTON MASSACHUSETTS/ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA/ AUGUST 24TH 1810/ DIED AT FLORENCE ITALY/ MAY 10 1860/ HIS NAME IS ENGRAVED IN MARBLE/ HIS VIRTUES IN THE HEARTS OF THOSE HE/ HELPED TO FREE FROM SLAVERY/ AND SUPERSTITION
Pastore Luigi Santini: 'Born of a modest family in Lexington, Massachusetts, he studied at Harvard Divinity School, specializing in a study of German theology. He was drawn to the ideas of Coleridge, Carlyle and Emerson. In 1842 his doubts led him to an open break with orthodox theology: he stressed the immediacy of God and saw the Church as a communion looking upon Christ as the supreme expression of God. He organized the first congregations, called Unitarian, in Boston, and participated in the fight for the abolition of slavery. Seriously ill, he sought refuge in Florence because of his friendship with the Brownings, Isa Blagden and F.P. Cobbe, but died scarcely a month following his arrival. Frances P. Cobbe collected and published his writings in 14 volumes; his compatriot John Hart made the original simple tombstone'. This is what Frederick Douglass published on him:
Next to Rome, in point of interest to me, is the classic city of Florence, and thither we went from the Eternal City. One might never tire of what is here to be seen. The first thing Mrs. Douglass and I did, on our arrival in Florence, was to visit the grave of Theodore Parker and at the same time that of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (B8). The preacher and the poet lie near each other. The soul of each was devoted to liberty. The brave stand taken by Theodore Parker during the antislavery conflict endeared him to my heart, and naturally enough the spot made sacred by his ashes was the first to draw me to its side. He had a voice for the slave when nearly all the pulpits of the land were dumb. Looking upon the little mound of earth that covered his dust, I felt the pathos of his simple grave. It did not seem well that the remains of the great American preacher should rest thus in a foreign soil, far away from the hearts and hands which would gladly linger about it and keep it well adorned with flowers. Than Theodore Parker no man was more intensely American. Broad as the land in his sympathy with mankind, he was yet a loving son of New England and thoroughly Bostonian in his thoughts, feelings, and activities. The liberal thought which he taught had in his native land its natural home and largest welcome, and I therefore felt that his dust should have been brought here. It was in his pulpit that I made my first antislavery speech in Roxbury. That its doors opened to me in that dark period was due to him. I remember, too, his lovingkindness when I was persecuted for my change of opinion as to political action. Theodore Parker never joined that warfare upon me. He loved Mr. Garrison, but was not a Garrisonian. He worked with the sects, but was not a sectarian. His character was cast in a mold too large to be pressed into a form or reform less broad than humanity. He would shed his blood as quickly for a black fugitive slave pursued by human hounds as for a white President of the United States. He was the friend of the non-voting and non-resistant class of abolitionists, but not less the friend of Henry Wilson, Charles Sumner, Gerrit Smith, and John Brown. He was the large and generous brother of all men, honestly endeavoring to bring about the abolition of Negro slavery. It has lately been attempted to class him with the contemners of the Negro. Could that be established, it would convict him of duplicity and hypocrisy of the most revolting kind. But his whole life and character are in direct contradiction to that assumption.
While he had written the following in his diary:
My first incursion here was to see the grave of Theodore Parker in the Protestant Cemetery. I found in the grateful shade of a cedar tree – covered with violets and roses, attesting the presence of some friendly hand. The brown headstone has nothing ornamental or costly about it. The inscription has only the name of the great man whose dash steeps below it with the date of his bearth (sic) and his death. I could but recall as I looked upon hisgrave, the many heroics rendered the cause of human freedom by him, freedom not only from physical chains but the chains of superstition – those which not only galled the limbs and tore the flesh – but those which marred and wounded the human soul. A few feet from the remains of Thodore Parker lie those of Richard Hildreth. Another American who will never be forgotten by those who have read his Book entitled Despotism in that one with such talent as Richard Hildreth should have died in absolute poverty in a foreign [land], but such I am told was the fact. In the same cemetery where so many Americans have found a last resting place I found the grave of E.B. Browning.
Frederick Douglass, 11 May 1887, Florence
Following this visit to see Theodore Parker's tomb, Douglass agitated for a better monument to honour him, William Wetmore Story being commissioned to carry out the present one. Story had already created a bust of Parker from life in Rome, and now portrayed him in bas-relief. Remember that Henry James wrote the two volume William Wetmore Story and his Friends. This is one among several tombs with a portrait medallion: A64/ GEORGE AUGUSTUS WALLIS by Aristodemos Costoli; A15/ ANNE SUSANNA (LLOYD) HORNER by Francesco Jerace; AB7/ INA BOSS SAULTER, by Ettore Ximenes; B4/ ELENA NIKITICNA DIK, NATA AKZYNOVA by Fyodor Fyodorovitsch Kamensky; C3/ THOMAS SOUTHWOOD SMITH by Joel T. Hart; D108/ THEODORE PARKER by William Wetmore Story; D127/ JAMES ROBERTS, by Joel T. Hart?; E12/ JAMES LORIMER GRAHAM, JR by Launt Thompson; E9/ WALTER KENNEDY LAWRIE by Pietro Bazzanti, F27/ PHILIPPINA (SIMONS) CIAMPI, by Joel T. Hart? When President Obama ordered the carpet for the Oval Office he included words he thought originated with Martin Luther King, Jr., but which are actually Parker's words abbreviated by King from a sermon Parker preached against slavery in 1853: 'How long? Not long because the arc of the moral compass is long, but it bends towards justice'. He quoted them again at Nelson Mandela's funeral.
Theodore Parker's desk with statues Frederick Douglass at Lloyd Garrison's tomb
of Jesus and Spartacus Joel Hart(F28)'s tomb for Theodore Parker William Wetmore Story's tomb for Theodore Parker
D110/ RICHARD HILDRETH/ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA/ RICHARD
HILDRETH/ DIED JULY 10 1865
Frederick Douglass in his diary above notes he also visits the tomb of Richard Hildreth and comments at length on his writings. Jeffrey Begeal notes Richard Hildreth was American Consul in Trieste. William Lyons Phelps notes that he wrote an inspiring History of the United States in six volumes, stating in its Preface: 'Of centennial sermons and Fourth of July orations, whether professedly such or in the guise of history, there are more than enough. It is due to our fathers and ourselves, it is due to truth and philosophy, to present for once, on the historic stage, the founders of our American nation unbedaubed with patriotic rouge, wrapped up in no fine-spun cloaks of excuses and apology, without stilts, buskins, tinsel, or edizenment, in their own proper persons.' The Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography notes that he wrote the first anti-slavery novel, The Slave, from witnessing slavery in Florida where he had gone because of his tuberculosis. This novel may be read on the Web at http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/hildreth/hildreth.html. The Mediatheca ‘Fioretta Mazzei’ has the two volume Italian translation. Harriet Beecher Stowe, in Uncle Tom's Cabin, copies this novel and that of Frances Trollope (Sector B, B80), Jonathan Jefferson Whitlaw. Buried near D108/ THEODORE PARKER he also is Unitarian. Frederick Douglass visited both their graves and in his handwritten diary, above, commented admiringly on Hildreth. Hildreth's wife, Caroline Negus, the portraitist who supported her husband's writing career, died of cholera in Naples in 1867.
Booklet and app created, 11 May 2018, Aurello Anello Books
FLORIN WEBSITE © JULIA BOLTON
HOLLOWAY, AUREO ANELLO
ASSOCIAZIONE, 1997-2019: MEDIEVAL: BRUNETTO
NEW STYLE: BRUNETTO LATINO,
DANTE ALIGHIERI, & GEOFFREY CHAUCER || VICTORIAN:
SILENCE: FLORENCE'S 'ENGLISH' CEMETERY || ELIZABETH
BARRETT BROWNING || WALTER SAVAGE
LANDOR || FRANCES TROLLOPE
POWERS || ABOLITION
OF SLAVERY || FLORENCE IN
SEPIA || CITY AND BOOK CONFERENCE
PROCEEDINGS I, II, III, IV, V, VI,
'FIORETTA MAZZEI' || EDITRICE
|| FLORIN WEBSITE
|| UMILTA WEBSITE
|| RINGOFGOLD WEBSITE
New: Dante vivo || White Silence
Newest: Abbreviated Virtual Guide: http://www.florin.ms/VirtualGuide.html to the English Cemetery, in italiano http://www.florin.ms/GuidaVirtuale.html
The Stones of Florence http://www.florin.ms/StonesofFlorence.html in italiano, http://www.florin.ms/LapidiDantesche.html
Emio Latini, Daniel in the Island of the Dead, https://vimeo.com/139962781
The English and Napoleon in Florence's 'English' Cemetery http://www.florin.ms/Napoleonapp.html
Tombs associated with Slavery in Florence 'English Cemetery http://www.florin.ms/SlaveryTombsapp.html
Fanous Women Associated with Florence's 'English' Cemetery http://www.florin.ms/FamousWomenapp.html
History of Medicine in Florence's 'English' Cemetery http://www.florin.ms/MedicalHistoryapp.html
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