The longest epitaph in the United States (and possibly the world) can be found at ‘Burial Place Hill’, a historical cemetery in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Written by Simeon Martin, the epitaph contains 407 words laying out in great detail his family tree, childhood, employment history and notable accomplishments, along with some of his favorite scripture and poetry. In fact, the only thing Martin left out was any mention of how incredibly long-winded he was in life and even in death. This would usually be the time I would provide a little background into the life of Simeon Martin, but there’s nothing that I could possibly say about him that his epitaph does not. I’ll let it do the talking:
“This stone perpetuates the Memory of the Honorable Simeon Martin, Fourth son of Silvanus Martin, Esq. and Mrs. Martha, his wife; and the Fourth Generation from John Martin, who immigrated from England in 1665.
He was born in Rehoboth Oct 20, A.D. 1754 and died Sept. 30, 1819 aged 64 years, 11 months and 10 days.
When a youth he left his native place to reside in the town of Providence; was one of the first who stepped forward in his Country’s cause in the Revolutionary War; and was in the first campaign, in Col. Crane’s Artillery Company at Roxbury with Gen. Washington, in the year 1775, After this he entered the state service; was appointed Captain of a Company in Col. Christopher Lippitt’s Regiment and was in the battle of Trenton, when the enemy was defeated by the army commanded by Gen. Washington in 1776
He was also, in the expedition on Rhode-Island under Gen. Sullivan in the year 1778.
In the month of Dec., 1779, after the British evacuated Newport , he removed to that place; and was for a number of years, chosen a Representative from the town to the General Assembly.
He had sustained the offices of Adjutant General and Major General of the Militia of the State; was for several years, elected Lieutenant Governour, until he declined a re-election in 1816; and was, at his death, a member of the Corporation at Brown University ,
He was a man of excellent sense, a gentleman in his manners, benevolent and courteous to all, and highly respected by all who shared his acquaintance.
As a merchant he was honest and just in his dealings; He was a dutiful Son, a kind brother, a tender Husband
an affectionate Father, and a good Neighbour
He died in the full belief of obtaining salvation, in and the the merits of CHIST, the Son of GOD, When near closing his eyes in death, He repeated the following verse;
vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; vanity of vanities;
All is vanity Ecclesiastes 1.2.
Rather in mansion is in the world of Spirits, and very soon what will be your abode.; as sure as I once was in life so sure you will pass the valley of the shadow of death,
Adieu, thou son, the stars and moon,
No longer shall I need your light;
My God’s: My Sun; He make my noon;
My day shall never change to night.”
To learn more about the history of Rehoboth, Massachusetts follow the link below: