300200-Year-Old Gravestone Found in Washington Square Park

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Photo: nytimes.com

During the continuing overhaul of Washington Square Park, workers were advised by historians that they would likely encounter many, many human bones — it was, after all, the city's potter's field for a long time. But they did not expect to find an intact gravestone — potter's fields are, after all, the final resting spot for the city's unknown dead. But find one they did, from 1799, marking the grave of a grocer (or watchman) named James Jackson, who died at age 28. Historians were surprised to be able to find out much of his life's story just by his name and birth date. One of them marveled that, in the city death registry, "there are many fewer Jacksons than I would have expected!" [City Room/NYT]