Tragic Epitaphs – Gilman Spaulding

Village Cemetery

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Modern grave markers tell very little about the deceased, usually just a name, lifespan and family role. Some of the older cemeteries in New England  have gravestones with a lot more information such as the ones found at Village Cemetery on Main St. in New Ipswich, NH.

Mr. Gilman Spaulding
Mr. Gilman Spaulding


“Mr. Gilman Spaulding was kill’d with an ax by an insane Brother, Sept. 19,1842, AEt. 38.” 

Read more about this this tragedy on Janice Brown’s excellent blog

The Vermont Phoenix for September 23, 1842 recorded this affair of a Sunday morning—

Melancholy Occurrence.— Mr. Charles Spaulding of New Ipswich, N. H. who has been insane for the last few years, wandered from his home a short time since and came to Windham in this State. On the 20th inst. he was found by his brother, who was about to take him home. In the mean time the insane man slyly took an axe unnoticed by his brother, knocked him down, and then struck him several times with the axe, which wounded him so that he survived but a short time. The insane man was immediately taken and placed in the jail in this County. He now appears to be wholly unconcerned, says he is glad that he killed him and intends to kill another brother and a sister.



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