"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Barbara Fritchie

This 1914 medallion portrait of Barbara Fritchie by James Kelly adorns her grave in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland.
"Erected by the Barbara Fritchie Memorial Association in September 1914, it was unveiled as part of the ceremonies of the Star Spangled Banner Centenary. The monument is a large granite obelisk bearing a tablet containing John Greenleaf Whittier’s 1863 poem Barbara Fritchie. Above the tablet is a medallion created by the New York City sculptor James E. Kelly that depicts Fritchies profile, executed from an old time photograph, in front of a waving American flag. Fritchie, the subject of John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem, patriotically defied Stonewall Jackson and his Confederate Army as they marched past her Frederick home on September 10, 1862. The poem was very popular in the north but unfortunately she would never know the notoriety she had achieved, because she had died a year earlier at the age of 96." -- Wikipedia
Kelly, July 4, 1914

Erected by the
Barbara Fritchie
Memorial Association

Barbara Fritchie was originally buried in the Episcopal Cemetery in Frederick.

From Nixdorff 1897

When Barbara Fritchie and her husband were moved to Mt. Olivet Cemetery in 1914, these small headstones were moved too.

Barbara Fritchie
Died Dec. 18, 1862
Aged 96 Years

John C. Fritchie
Died Nov. 10 1849
Aged 69 Years

This illustration by Samuel Sartain, appeared as the frontispiece of Woman's Work in the Civil War, A Record of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience, by  Linus Pierpont Brockett and Mary C. Vaughn, 1867.

"Shoot If You Must, This Old Gray Head,
But Spare Your Country's Flag; She Said"
                                     - Barbara Frietchie

On the historicity of the Barbara Fritchie Story see, Barbara Fritchie didn’t wave that flag by Robert McCartney in the Washington Post, September 15, 2012, The many stories of Barbara Fritchie, by Jamie Bussey in the Frederick News Post July 1, 2007. Elmo Scott Watson (1937),  John Clagett Proctor (1944) and the Barbara Fritchie's descendants (1926) all have something to add.

But, George Preble, 1917, quotes The Philadelphia Press, May 18, 1876 to the effect that the historic Barbara Frietchie doesn't matter.
“There is no Barbara Frietchie for whom the world cares a fig, except the Barbara Frietchie of Mr. Whittier.”

So in the words and handwriting of  John Greenleaf Whittier:

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