“THUS HE PERISHED”
The following description has been taken from the Flicker website of “STUDIES IN SOLITUDE”
This is probably the most famous of all the old graves located in the old Jonesborough historic cemetery, with dates going back before the Civil War.
Here is the story, as related to me by the late Mrs. Miriam Fink-Dulaney, the then official Historian for the town of Jonesborough:
William was a young man anxious to join the armed forces, as most young boys were at his age. So his uncle, a man of means and influence, paved the way for young Will’s acceptance to Annapolis Military Academy.
However, it was a path to be marred by unforeseen tragedy. One day while young Will was out in a small canoe practicing naval manuevers, a summer storm came up. The boat was overturned by the choppy waves. Poor William, who never learned to swim, drowned in the turbulent waters.
“Thus He Perished”.
His grief-stricken uncle had the mortal remains of poor young Will entered at Jonesborough Cemetery and had the tell-tale gravestone erected there.
Visible upon the stone is an overturned boat, an oar, a naval cap, and two hands reaching helplessly out of the water.
Although meant to pay homage to a terrible tragic event, the engraving upon the stone elicits a giggle from many passers-by. Although surely appropriate in its day, the monument now has the look of a dark caricature to modern eyes.