Gravestones can provide historians with a lot of information.  The gravestone can tell us details about when or where someone died.  The decorations on the stone can tell us about the religious beliefs or interests of the deceased.  And the epitaph can sometimes help us understand what was happening when the person died.

William French was killed in the Westminster Massacre.  Look at the photo of his gravestone.  What symbols do you see?  What words can you read?  Mouse over the picture and questions for more information.

frenchgravestonemedWhen did William French die?
How did William French die?
Where did William French die?
Who shot William French?
How old was William French when he died?
Why does William French want vengeance or revenge?
How exactly was William French killed?
What does it mean that he was killed for liberty and his county's good?
But wait!  Wasn't William French killed by a sheriff from New York?  Why does his gravestone say he was killed by King George III's men?

This gravestone used to be in a graveyard in Westminster, Vermont.  Who is buried in your town's graveyards?  What interesting stories can you learn from reading their graves?

learnmoreaboutTeachers & Parents: See some ways other educators have used graveyards to study Vermont history.

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