New York’s Early Publishers: The Harper Brothers through a Vincentian Lens

Authored by Cara Vincente

A page from Robert Ray’s Book of Deeds 1845-1848, showing the purchase of plot deeds at Green-Wood Cemetery by the Harper Brothers.

In an old, dilapidated book, found among a trove of yet-to-be processed archival material at Green-Wood Cemetery, the inevitable resting place of four famous brothers is revealed. James, John, Joseph Wesley and Fletcher Harper, the founders of the eponymous publishing house, Harper & Brothers, purchased four adjacent 300 sq. ft. burial plots in Green-Wood Cemetery in May of 1845.

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Property for Burial

Authored by: Jimmy Tenney

An original deed from 1937 that was given to a parishioner who has purchased graves.

Cemetery Deed from 1937

Death is a natural part of life; we must respect those who have passed away and treat their bodies with dignity. Every Christian body, if baptized, has a rite to Christian burial (Thurston, 1908).

For my AS-L project I entered information from files into a computer system for the parish of St. John Nepomucene. One type of document that I worked with, are cemetery deeds. Merriam-Webster dictionary explains that a deed is a legal document that proves the ownership of land (1965). A cemetery deed then is the right to be buried on a certain plot of land. The parish makes an agreement with a person, usually a parishioner of the parish, to allow that person to be buried on the church’s property. Continue reading