In Their Own Words:
Virtual Graveyard

Judge Samuel Wilds
Welsh Neck Baptist Church
Society Hill, South Carolina

[The entire surface of the cover stone is engraved -- from side to side, from top to bottom -- in writing so tiny that it could only be a stone-cutter's nightmare. However in our continuing efforts to bring you the finest and most complete research materials available, we have transcribed the entire epitaph.]

Beneath this Marble rest
The Remains of
The Honourable SAMUEL WILDS
Late a Judge of the
Court of Common Pleas and Sessions of this State.
He was Born on the 4th of March, 1775
And Died on the 9th of that month, in 1810.

      The rise of this citizen to eminence and distinction was a father's care: and his youth in want of all but inward advantages was encompassed by difficulties, which threatened to balk the career of genius, and cast his lot in the shade of obscurity. Yet did he surmount all obstacles to the march of his abilities, and arrive by rapid steps at the highest honour in the city of his native State.
      In the 26th year of his age he was unanimously elected by the District of his residence, a member of the Legislature of this State, and two years afterwards was with scarce a dissenting voice, appointed by that body, Solicitor of the Northern Circuit.
      In this situation, it was his praise to contemporaries with the softest humanity a firm and able performance of those stern duties which bring the enemies of the public peace under the sword of the public authority.
      At the early age of 29, he was exalted to the bench of justice, on which he continued til his death.
      As a minister of justice, he displayed all those characteristics excellencies, which either uphold the dignity of the Judgment Seat, or render its function lovely to the hearts, and useful to the happiness of men.
      The merit by which these early honours were won, and so much usefulness sustained, grew out of the cultivation and improvement of many, happy endowments.
      To a temper mild and equal, manners not unadorned, but chiefly pleasing on account of their native sweetness and simplicity, cherished and softened, yet raised and dignified by a heart compounded of every social virtue, it was the rare felicity of this inestimable man to add an extraordinary assemblage of intellectual gifts -- a mind of uncommon strength, a sound discriminating Judgment, a brilliant imagination, a vivid and vigorous Genius, were illustrated by a manly melodious Eloquence, which calls forth the powers of his understanding, grace and beauty.
      By the generous exertion of his varied talents, he filled the State,with his fame.
      In the full beneficence of his numerous virtues, he gained the hearts of his Fellow Citizens, and covered himself with their love.
      He was indeed a popular man, but his popularity of no vulgar growth, flourished in the soil of his virtues -- He cultivated it with the fondest care, not for the palm of fleeting applause, but as an honourable monument to his memory: Nor were his labours in vain -- and had it pleased the wise Disposer of Events to the prolong the season of his -- usefulness, and to suffer his abilities to unfold and ripen into maturity, his Tomb might have been inscribed with all the attributes of a Great, as his Name is adornd with all the virtues of a Good Man: But while his Mind was enlarging and his Genius warm with the fires of Youth was mounting to its meridian splendor, he was snatched from the business of Humanity to the Bosom of Heaven.
                                    Walker & Evans, Charleston

Return to Virtual Graveyard

Questions and comments to Webmouse Cyberspace Publications
Copyright 2011 Ellen Wilds, all rights reserved.