SeacoastNH Home

Seacoast New Hampshire
& South Coast Maine

facebook logo

facebook logo

SEE ALL SIGNED BOOKS by J. Dennis Robinson click here
Epitaph for a Slave

Primus Fowle Epitaph

It may be among the least respectful epitaphs in American history, and yet there is a tenderness of feeling. It focuses mostly on the drinking habits of the elderly, crippled printer. Yet slaves rarely received poems published in their honor in the local newspaper. In this case, Primus Fowle had printed the local newspaper by hand for decades – and was due this small tribute.


READ MUCH MORE: In Search of Primus Fowls

Epitaph on the Death of Primus Fowle
By Anonymous (1791)

UNDER these clods, old Primus lies
At rest and free from noise,
No longer seen by mortal eyes
Or girev’d d by roughish boys,
The cheerful dram he lov’d ‘tis true
Which hastened on his end,
But some in paved-street well knew
He was a hearty friend,
And did possess a grateful mind
Though oft borne down with pain
Yet where he found a neighbour kind
He surely went again
Too often did the mirth of some
His innocence betray,
By giving larger draughts of rum
Than he could swill away,
But now he’s dead, we sure may say
Of him, as of all men,
That while in silent graves they lay
They’l not by plagu’d ‘again.

From the NH Gazette, May 19th, 1791

In this town, Primus, a Negro, late the property of Daniel Fowle, Esquire, deceased - his funeral will be tomorrow at six o'clock, P.M. from the dwelling house of the printer hereof, where his acquaintances may attend and pay the funeral obsequies.

Epitaph 1791

MUCH MORE: Black History

Please visit these ad partners.

News about Portsmouth from

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.

Copyright ® 1996-2016 All rights reserved. Privacy Statement
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Site maintained by ad-cetera graphics