Thursday, September 15, 2011

Quaker Cemetery in Charleston

I passed by this interesting site on my trek from a parking garage to the downtown district on a visit to Charleston yesterday. The photo you see below seems to show just the wall and fence of the parking garage, which is on King St. in Charleston, SC. But if you read the sign, you’ll discover that this was actually a very old Quaker cemetery, moved elsewhere in the 1960s. The fence itself was put up in the mid-19th century, and it was left behind to mark the spot when the parking garage was built.

Quaker Cem2

The sign in the middle tells the story of the cemetery, and it also tells us about some of the very interesting people buried at the cemetery. One of them is Mary Fisher Bayley Crosse, who went from England to the Ottoman Empire in 1660 and was known as “she who sp0ke to the Great Turk.” Like St Francis in his visit to the Sultan several centuries earlier, she was attempting to convince him that the way of peace would be preferable to that of conquest. But her luck seems to have been about the same as that of St Francis, who was allowed safe passage back but seems to have made little or no impression. And somehow, after all this, her final resting place ended up being Charleston, South Carolina.


Below is the place where the long-gone Quakers are currently buried. The site is part of the modern Courthouse complex, which is built on the site of the 18th century courthouse.



  1. Quakers regarded markers as ostentatious, so many graves never had them. There is one ledger stone at the Courthouse, though.