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Girod Cemetery

Girod Cemetery, S. Liberty St. between Cypress and Perilliat Sts., the oldest Protestant cemetery in the city, is hidden away in the railroad yards at the head of Girod Street. Christ Church came into control of it through a purchase from the city in 1825. It has not been used much in recent years, and the luxuriant vines and shrubs with which it is overgrown give it a haunted appearance. Gnarled fig trees push their way through the bulging sides of some of the old tombs, and the wall 'ovens' are damp and green with maidenhair fern. Many famous people of former days are buried here, including Glendy Burke, prominent citizen and financier of antebellum days, and Col. W. W. S. Bliss, survivor of many battles in the Mexican War. Another tomb is that of John David Fink, founder of Fink Asylum for Protestant Widows and Orphans, who, according to tradition, excluded maiden ladies from his charitable enterprises because of having once been refused by a girl who preferred working out her own destiny as an old maid.

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The Girod Cemetery has the appearance of age, but whether from lapse of time or from neglect cannot be ascertained. It is located in the first district, between South Liberty, Perrillat, Cypress and Magnolia streets. It contains some interesting tombs, notwithstanding its dilapidated appearance, among them that of Colonel W. W. S. Bliss, General Taylor's son-in-law, and chief of staff during the Mexican war. Colonel Bliss survived all his battles, and sleeps peacefully beneath a monument erected to his memory by his friends at West Point. This cemetery also contains the monument of the Marine Association and the splendid temple of the few Lusitanos, as well as several well constructed tombs belonging to various colored societies.


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In Girod Cemetery there is a forgotten tomb in which Jane Placide, the once-famous actress of the American Theater, rests. James H. Caldwell, manager of the theater and notable for many activities in early New Orleans history, had her tomb built and selected the epitaph. They were lovers, and Caldwell's tribute, in the verses of Barry Cornwall, were often on the lips of romanticists:
There's not an hour
Of day or dreaming night but I am with thee;
There's not a breeze but whispers of thy name,
And not a flower that sleeps beneath the moon
But in its hues or fragrance tells a tale
Of thee.

There is one that sounds like the language of the Jabberwock: Alas that one whose dornthly joy had often to trust in heaven should canty thus sudden to from all its hopes benivens and though thy love for off remore that dealt the dog pest thou left to prove thy sufferings while below.

Sacred to the memory of Robert John, a native of this city, son of Robert and Jane Creswell died June 4, 1845 age 26 years, 7 months (Girod Cemetery).

Here also may be found what is probably the briefest epitaph in the city 'D. J. C. 1839.'

STANDARD HISTORY OF NEW ORLEANS. EDITED BY HENRY RIGHTOR THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY CHICAGO 1900. CHAPTER X. OLD BURIAL PLACES. BY A. G. DURNO.
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New Orleans History, 1897-1917


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