A History of Swan Point Cemetery
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This investigation has used a variety of resources to build the timeline and sites.
Printed Publications
Other Resources



undated postcard.
Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views. / United States. / States / Rhode Island. /
Stereoscopic views of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. 1869?
Blue Sox
Louise Arnold's Blue Sox.
"The Victory Song" being sung by original members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 2007.
The Loved Dead
Cover of 2008 reissue of CM Eddy Jr's "The Loved One."
Apple Blossom
"Apple Blossoms" by Robert Nisbet from M. Ford Creech Antiques.
Sails Ready
"Sail's Ready" by David Aldrich care of the Donovan Gallery
Brown University's portrait of Sarah Doyle, above, was stolen from Sayles Hall in August 1997. The University was making plans to repair a 14-inch tear in the portrait, but the painting was damaged beyond hope of restoration during the theft. It has not been recovered.
Office Building
receiving tomb
View on Beach

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Edward B. Bohuszewicz's "Boswell's Waltz" (1840) care of Gardane.info

Oliver Shaw's "Trip to Pawtucket," performed by Thomas Dressler at the Roundlake Auditorium

Mary's Tears
"Mary's Tears" by Oliver Shaw

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Dudley Richards & Maribel Owen "Free Skate United States Nationals 1961"
"Driving through Swan Point Cemetery." October 2010
"Swan Point Cemetery" March 2012
"Swan Point Cemetery -- Falling Leaves" March 2010
Sullivan and Sarah Ballou from Ken Burns The Civil War.

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1895 Atlas
1895 Atlas of Rhode Island
1895 Inset
1895 Providence inset
1847 map
1847 map of Swan Point Cemetery
1947 map
1947 map of Swan Point Cemetery

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"There's Nothing True But Heaven" (1829)

From Moore's Sacred Melodies.
Words by Thomas Moore, 1779-1852
Music by Oliver Shaw, 1779-1848 

The world is all a fleeting show, for man's illusion giv'n;  
The world is all a fleeting show, for man's illusion giv'n;
The smiles of joy, the tears of woe, 
Deceitful shine, deceitful flow, 

There's nothing true, but heav'n,
There's nothing true, but heav'n,
There's nothing true, but heav'n! 

And false the light on glory's plume, as fading hues of even;  
And false the light on glory's plume, as fading hues of even;
And love, and hope, and beauty's bloom
Are blossoms gather'd for the tomb ... 

There's nothing bright but heav'n,
There's nothing bright but heav'n,
There's nothing bright but heav'n! 

Poor wand'rers of a stormy day, from wave to wave we're driv'n;  
Poor wand'rers of a stormy day, from wave to wave we're driv'n;
And fancy's flash, and reason's ray,
Serve but to light the troubled way ... 

There's nothing calm but heav'n,
There's nothing calm but heav'n,
There's nothing calm but heav'n!


by Lavonne "Pepper" Paire Davis & Nalda "Bird" Phillips
Batter up! Hear that call!
The time has come for one and all
To play ball.
We are the members of the All-American League
We come from cities near and far
We’ve got Canadians, Irishmen and Swedes,
We’re all for one, we’re one for all
We’re all Americans!!
Each girl stands, her head so proudly high,
Her motto ‘Do or Die’
She’s not the one to use or need an alibi.
Our chaperones are not too soft,
They’re not too tough,
Our managers are on the ball.
We’ve got a president who really knows his stuff,
We’re all for one, we’re one for all,
We’re All-Americans!

"Harry Bloodgood Dead - The Story of His Life as He Told It On His Deathbed." New York Times. June 14, 1886, pg 5.

North Conway, N.H. -- June 13 -- Carlos MORAN, the noted negro minstrel and character delineator, known as Harry BLOODGOOD, who died here yesterday after a severe illness of several days, told the story of his life soon after he was taken sick. He said, "I made my first appearance on stage in 1857 in St. Louis in Rumsey's Minstrels, then the leading minstrel organization of this country. I appeared in the minstrels singing a descriptive song known as the 'Louisiana Lowlands.' In the olio 1 performed, doing a jig and reel. After a successful tour with this company I joined Sam Sharpley's 'Ironelads,' with whom I traveled for a season. After a successful tour with Sharpley I signed with Butler's American Theatre in New York, (No. 444 Broadway,) making my first appearance there Oct. 1, 1862, and the engagement continued for one year. During my stay among the performers who played at No. 444 in the regular stock were James Maffit, William F. Bartholomew, Billy Birch, Charlie White, Jim Wambold, Johnny Wild, and negro comedians who appeared in the farces were Mulligan, Leavitt, and Gallagher, the three leading negro comedians at that time. At the conclusion of my engagement at No. 444, I again joined Sam Sharpley's minstrels, with whom I played for several months. I afterward joined Hart and Trowbridge's minstrels, but left the company to join John Stetson and Eph Horn's minstrels. Stetson was the financial manager and Horn the stage director. For two years the company toured the country with great success, but it disbanded about 1867, and Stetson became the lessee of the Olympic Theatre. In June, 1870, Mr. Stetson got possession of the Howard, in Boston. I played at the Howard for several seasons. When Stetson gave up the management of the Howard I again went on the road. Soon afterward my play was produced at New York under the management of James Barton Key, with William H. Mestayer of 'Tourists' fame and myself in the leading parts. For fifty nights the play ran in New York before crowded houses under its new name, 'Wanted, a Partner.' What do I think of the present minstrel companies compared with those of former years? Well, it is my opinion that the companies of today are simply spectacular 'Black Crooks' in the minstrel line. Where are the men in the minstrel companies of today that compare with Dan Bryant, Pell, Birch, Bob Hart, Backus, Wambold, Fox, Wild, the Morris brothers, Little Mac, McAndrews, and numerous others that could be mentioned. The gifted favorites of today have all been members of the old-time companies, notable Hughey Dougherty, Billy Rice, Emerson, and others. As for myself, well, I suppose that I have been as successful in minstrelsy as it is possible for a man to be. The good old days will never come again and old time minstrelsy, like the originators, has passed over the river from whence there is no return."

Letter to Sarah Ballou from her husband Sullivan

July the 14th, 1861
Washington D.C.
My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure—and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine O God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows—when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children—is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar—that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the brightest day and in the darkest night—amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours—always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for me, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.


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Anna Carpenter Garlin Spencer "Report for the National Women's Council and Peace" (1919)

Printed publications

Thomas Bender. "The "Rural" Cemetery Movement: Urban Travail and the Appeal of Nature." The New England Quarterly. Vol. 47, No. 2, Jun., 1974. 

Stacy A. Cordery. Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts.

Otto Kinkeldey. "Beginnings of Beethoven in America." Musical Quarterly. Vol. 13, No. 2, Apr., 1927. 

Directors of Swan Point Cemetery. Annual Report. 1887.

Swan Point Cemetery. "Celebrating 150 Years: Swan Point Cemetery, 1847 - 1997." Swan Point Cemetery (1996).

Swan Point Cemeter. An Historical Walking Tour. William McKenzie Woodward (2002).

John Hutchins Cady. Swan Point Cemetery: A Centenniel History. (Providence, Proprieters of Swan Point Cemetery, 1946).

J. R. Cole. History of Washington and Kent Counties, Rhode Island.Vol. III, pp. 1043 - 1045. (W. W. Preston & Co., NY, 1889).

Richard J. S. Gutman. "Diner Design: Overlooked Sophistication." Perspecta, Vol. 15, Backgrounds for an American Architecture (1975), pp 41 - 53, published by the MIT Press on behalf of Perspecta.

J. Carson Webster. "A Check List of the Works of Erastus D. Palmer." The Art Bulletin, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Jun., 1967), pp. 143-151.

J. Carson Webster. "Erastus D. Palmer: Problems and Possibilities." American Art Journal. Vol. 4, No. 2, Nov., 1972 

Charles Wood. The Birds of Swan Point Cemetery. (Providence: Proprieters of Swan Point Cemetery, 1981).

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Rhode Island Cemetery Database


Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission


Official Website of the AAGPBL


Obituary for Lou Arnold


Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Commission


Rhode Island Historical Society


Alien Registration List


Warwick, Rhode Island Digital History Project


Warwick Beacon


Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame


American Diner Museum


Rhode Island Historical Chronology


514 Broadway


Providence, the Creative Capital


Choosing Providence Blog


Springfield Museums


Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame Musical Archive


Sculptors (1913)


Find - A - Grave - Swan Point Cemetery


Picture History


Weird Tales Magazine


"The Loved Dead"


Monuments, Memorials and Public Spaces: World War Memorial


The Dorr Rebellion





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