Rev. John and Margaret Clark Tombstones, Bethel Cemetery


Rev. John and Margaret Clark

Two ledgers marking the grave of a minister of the old Bethel Church and his wife. The inscriptions long ago eroded away, but fortunately the Rev. John’s was duplicated on a bronze tablet.

HERE LIES THE BODY OF THE REV. JOHN CLARK WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE JULY THE 16TH, A. D. 1797 IN THE 79TH YEAR OF HIS AGE.

“IN YONDER CHURCH I SPENT MY BREATH AND NOW LIE SLUMBERING HERE IN DEATH:
THESE LIPS SHALL RISE AND THEN DECLARE AMEN TO TRUTHS THEY PUBLISHED THERE.”

DURING THE WHISKEY INSURRECTION, REV. JOHN CLARK MET WITH THE ANGRY FARMERS AT FORT COUCH ON JULY 17, 1794, IN AN EFFORT TO PREVENT AN ATTACK AT BOWER HILL, ON THE HOME OF GEN. JOHN NEVILLE, FEDERAL TAX COLLECTOR.

Addendum: Here is an account of that same incident from Hugh Henry Brackenridge, who was an eyewitness to many of the most important events of the Whiskey Rebellion:

“Great pains were taken, at Couche’s fort, by an aged and venerable clergymen, the reverend John Clark, to dissuade the people from the object they had in view. It was to no purpose. They considered him as in his dotage; or as having skill in spiritual affairs; but not in the temporal interests of the country. It may be thought from hence, that dissuasion from no one, could have had effect. That does not follow. Regard might have been paid to the representations of those who were supposed to know the law, and to be able to calculate the probable consequences of the act.”

——Incidents of the Insurrection, Chapter III.

Margaret Clark

Unfortunately the inscription for Mrs. Clark was not duplicated before it vanished, partly eroded and partly obscured by the bronze plaque that replaced it.

Margaret Clark
These pictures were taken in 2015, but have never been published here before.

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