Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday's Cemetery - Who Mourns for the Prisoners

Published in March of 1913 in the Trenton Evening Times out of Trenton, NJ

     Graveyards as a rule are known to be dismal places with a sort of a spooky feeling in the atmosphere and are only frequented by relatives or friends of those interred who wish to place flowers on graves or to pray for the departed ones. The Prison graveyard, located on Cedar Lane, is the potters’ field for convicts. It is an unusually gloomy place.
     Enclosed by a high fence with a stout look to prevent curious people from entering the graveyard contains many dead convicts. Since the electric chair has been placed in the State Prison in 1907, there have been numerous graves added to this cemetery. There are several rows of markers of convicts graves in the rear of the cemetery and many have been decayed by the weather, but mound still remain.
     The graves are never touched. Unlike other cemeteries weeping relatives or friend cannot be seen standing over the graves. There are no tears or flowers for the convict dead.
     The cemetery was formerly located in the Prison yard. Just before the wall was erected around the prison, the cemetery was removed to its present location. All of the bodies interred there were reburied in the new cemetery. The majority of the bodies of convicts, who died at the prison, are claimed by relatives or friends. The officials of the prison do everything possible to locate friends or relative of the deceased prisoners.
     Among the bodies buried in the cemetery is that of Henry Jones of Mercer County, who died in 1906. It will be remembered that Jones, while serving a short term, murdered fellow prisoner and was sentenced to death. Later his sentence was commuted to life in prison. The electrocuted murders are buried in quick lime and within a few hours after interment their bodies are practically eaten away.  

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