Boston Courier’s Account of the Consecration
The Boston Courier’s account of the public Consecration of Mount Auburn Cemetery, September 24, 1831.
An unclouded sun and an atmosphere purified by the showers of the preceding night, combined to make the day one of the most delightful we ever experience at this season of the year. It is unnecessary for us to say that the address by Judge Story was pertinent to the occasion, for if the name of the orator were not sufficient, the perfect silence of the multitude, enabling him to be heard with distinctness at the most distant part of the beautiful amphitheatre in which the services were performed, will be sufficient testimony as to its worth and beauty. Neither is it in our power to furnish any adequate description of the effect produced by the music of the thousand voices which joined in the hymn, as it swelled in chastened melody from the bottom of the glen, and, like the spirit of devotion, found an echo in every heart, and pervaded the whole scene.
The natural features of Mount Auburn are incomparable for the purpose to which it is now sacred. There is not in all the untrodden valleys of the west, a more secluded, more natural or appropriate spot for the religious exercises of the living; we may be allowed to add our doubts whether the most opulent neighborhood of Europe furnishes a spot so singularly appropriate for a “Garden of Graves.”
In the course of a few years, when the hand of Taste shall have passed over the luxuriance of Nature, we may challenge the rivalry of the world to produce another such abiding place for the spirit of beauty. Mount Auburn has been but little known to the citizens of Boston; but it has now become holy ground, and “Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain,”—a village of the quick and the silent, where Nature throws an air of cheerfulness over the labors of Death,–will soon be a place of more general resort, both for ourselves and for strangers, than any other spot in the vicinity. Where else shall we go with the musings of Sadness, or for the indulgence of Grief; where to cool the burning brow of ambition, or relieve the swelling heart of disappointment? We can find no better spot, for the rambles of curiosity, health or pleasure; none sweeter, for the whispers of affection among the living; none lovelier, for the last rest of our kindred.