Caroline Cutter Headstone – Milford, New Hampshire - Atlas Obscura

Caroline Cutter Headstone

A New Hampshire grave with a grudge. 


In Milford, New Hampshire, there’s a gravestone that just won’t shut up. It belongs to one Caroline Cutter, who died in the mid-1800s. It’s simple, white, and rectangular, and is crammed with about 150 words of painstakingly etched accusation, courtesy of her husband, Dr. Calvin Cutter.

The gravestone says:

Caroline H., Wife of Calvin Cutter, M.D. Murdered by the Baptist Ministry and Baptist Churches As follows: Sep’t. 28, 1838; aged 33 She was accused of lying in church meeting by the Rev. D. D. Pratt and Deacon Albert Adams. Was condemned by the church unheard. She was reduced to poverty by Deacon William Wallace. When an exparte council was asked of the Milford Baptist Church, by the advice of their committee, George Raymond, Calvin Averill, and Andrew Hutchinson They voted not to receive any communication on the subject. The Rev. Mark Carpenter said he thought as the good old Deacon said, “We’ve got Cutter down and it’s best to keep him down.” The intentional and malicious destruction of her character And happiness as above described destroyed her life. Her last words upon the subject were “Tell the Truth and The Iniquity will come out”

According to New Hampshire historian Fritz Wetherbee, the Cutters were kicked out of the church referenced on the gravestone because Calvin was bullying members into funding the construction of another church in town that he had pushed to be built, and had so far himself funded only on his own empty promises. Caroline apparently took the expulsion pretty hard.

The grave is located in Elm Street Cemetery, about 20 paces from the opening in the first row of graves. A large memorial boulder with a plaque sits on the plot a mere foot or so in front of Caroline’s headstone. The boulder is a memorial to Carrie Cutter, the daughter of Calvin and Caroline. The plaque states that Carrie was the “first female to enter the service of her country in the Civil War, the first that fell at her post, and the first to form organized efforts to supply the sick of the army.”

Adapted with permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker

Know Before You Go

You'll find the graveyard at the address listed above. The grave will be directly in front of you on your right, and easily visible. There's free parking at the Keyes Memorial Park next to the cemetery.

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