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The Graves of Academe

The University of Mississippi keeps discovering mass graves on its property. They seem to have been the unmarked burials of various groups of people. For instance, inmates at a mental asylum that used to be on the land.

“[T]hose buried on the plot could [also] include tuberculosis patients, former slaves, and Civil War casualties.”

It’s a complex, delicate, and expensive problem. The university had wanted to build a parking lot on this land (that’s why they’d been digging); those plans are now shelved as administrators consider how to deal respectfully with the bodies.

Margaret Soltan, February 13, 2014 4:06PM
Posted in: the rest is silence

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3 Responses to “The Graves of Academe”

  1. Stephen Karlson Says:

    I recall a poem giving the perspective of English dead whose bodies were relocated to make room for St. Pancras Station in London. Sorry, further details escape me at the moment.

  2. Dom Says:

    “The Levelled Churchyard” by Thomas Hardy, possibly.

  3. charlie Says:

    Back in the 30’s, San Francisco decreed that no cemeteries would be allowed in The City. They dug up the corpses and moved them to Colma, purportedly due to health concerns, although actually the land was needed for speculation.

    My grandfather was part of the silent exodus; he had been a numbers runner and drug dealer in The Tenderloin. His name was Charlie, they beat him and fractured his skull. Initially taken to the drunk tank, when he began to bleed out of his ears, the LEO’s realized what had happened, but it was too late, he died a few days later. He was placed in a pauper’s common grave, actually a large man-made hill, somewhere in Colma, buried with unknown number of others who were unwanted or unknown. My mom never told me, it was left to her brothers to recite the story after her death. It wasn’t just the Deep South….

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