J John Wilkes Booth’s grave seems a likely top attraction for Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery. The staff is happy to mark the location on a map, and that took us to the family plot, but even so, there was no finding J.W. What we found was more interesting–pennies. I noticed a collection on an unmarked stone at the corner of the plot. More balanced amongst the raised “Booth” lettering on a central stone. The more we looked, the more pennies we found. Where do they come from…and why? It’s not hard to guess, but can anyone know for certain?
Baltimore’s 65 acre Green Mount Cemetery seemed perfect for my morning constitutional, but the inscriptions so hobbled my pace, I could hardly claim any physical exercise. Every tombstone offered a glimpse of a story that left me wondering over the rest.
Johns Hopkins loved his cousin, but couldn’t marry her because they were Quakers. Instead they married no one and joined in a lifetime platonic partnership. With no heirs, the successful J. Hopkins designated his entire fortune to found Johns Hopkins University and Hospital. Every year the University sends a celebratory contingent to Hopkins’ grave at Green Mount Cemetery to honor his memory. So while a different Green Mount memorial promises eternal life through the memories of loved ones, Hopkins had better success by leaving no one.
Stately adjoining tombstones with g!owing inscriptions. Mrs. was saintly beyond belief. Mr. descended from Mayflower stock to marry that saint. Did her sainthood come from living with a Mr. whose only good attribute was his family? This elaborate monument also piqued my curiosity. Mrs. R’s loving daughter credited herself as the stone’s sponsor. Did she want to share in the glory, or did her sibling(s) fail to contribute?