Banner photograph of St. Thomas Episcopal Church Cemetery, Bath, North Carolina - Taken by Judith Richards Shubert October 2008

There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.
- Thornton Wilder

Thursday, June 25, 2009

JOHN KENDRICK CONVERSE – Necrological Report


/nəˈkrɒl-ə-dʒi, nɛ-/ [nuh-krol-uh-jee, ne-]

- noun, plural -gies.

1. a list of persons who have died within a certain time.

2. a notice of death; obituary.

1720–30; necro-
+ -logy


Presented to the Alumni Association of Princeton Theological Seminary at its Annual Meeting,

APRIL 26, 1881.

This Report contains notices of fifty-four alumni who have died since the last Report was prepared. Of these, the oldest were the Rev. Aaron D. Lane, of Waterloo, N. Y., class of 1816-17, who died in his 84th year, and was, with one exception only, the oldest alumnus of the Seminary at the time of his death; the Rev. Nicholson Ross Morgan, of Eutaw, Ala., of the class of 1817-18, who died in the 92d year of his age; and the Rev. Henry Perkins, D. D., of Allentown, of the same class, who died in the 84th year of his age.

Of the 53 former students, one died at an age beyond 90; six beyond 80; thirty-two beyond 70; forty-two beyond 60; and forty-eight beyond 50. The very remarkable average age of the 53 is 69 ½ years.

Of this goodly company as a band it may be said that they were faithful servants of Christ and of His church, who, having finished their appointed work on earth, departed in the peace and hope of the gospel to enter, through grace, upon a heavenly reward. And looking back upon their lives and labors, now ended, they are a company upon whom, as a whole, this Seminary may look with complacency and pride.

William Edward Schenck,
William Henry Green,
Henry Clay Cameron,
Charles A. Aiken,
Committee on Necrology.


John Kendrick Converse, the youngest son of Joel and Elizabeth (Bixby) Converse, was born at Lyme, N. H., June 15, 1801. He was prepared for college at Thetford Academy (Vt.), under the instruction of the Rev. John Fitch. After spending three years, 1823-26, at Dartmouth College, N. H., he joined the Senior Class at Hampden Sidney College, Va., and was graduated there in 1827. He made his first public profession of religion by uniting with the Congregational Church of his native place, Lyme, N. H., in 1824, at the age of 23. After leaving college, he spent two years 1827-29, in Richmond, Va., associated with his elder brother, the Rev. Amasa Converse, as assistant editor of “The Southern Religious Telegraph,” and “The Literary and Evangelical Magazine.” He entered Princeton Seminary in September, 1829, and took a course of nearly three years, but left before graduation, having accepted a call to settle as pastor. He was licensed by the Windsor (Congregational) Association, at Hartford, Vt., May 28, 1831, and was ordained and installed, August 29, 1832, by an Ecclesiastical Council as pastor of the First Congregational Church in Burlington, Vt. This was his only pastoral charge. He labored here twelve and a half years, with great acceptance and success, until dismissed January 1, 1845, because of a partial failure of his voice. He was then elected Principal of the Burlington Seminary for Young Ladies, of which he retained the charge for twenty-five years, from January 1, 1845, to January 1, 1870, and educated about 2000 young ladies from twenty-six States of the Union and from Canada.

After recovering his voice, and while connected with the Burlington Seminary, Mr. Converse became the acting pastor of the Congregational Church in Colchester, an adjoining town, which he served five years, from January 1, 1850, to January 1, 1855. After this he was stated supply of the Winooski Congregational Church six years, from January 1, 1855, to January 1, 1861. In 1868 he was appointed by the American Colonization Society to be Agent of that Society for Northern New England, the duties of which position he performed with characteristic earnestness and large success. The burden of years and a chronic disease with which he had long struggled, compelled him, some years before his death, to desist from active labor. For several months he had been gradually sinking, bearing his sufferings with cheerful fortitude and Christian hope, until, on Sabbath morning, October 3, 1880, he peacefully entered into rest in the eightieth year of his age. His life was a long and useful one.

Mr. Converse married, May 21, 1834, Miss Sarah Allen, daughter of Hon. Heman Allen, of Burlington, Vt. She died April 14, 1873. He left four daughters and three sons.

John Kendrick Converse Monument



Dulles, Joseph Heatly, Alumni Association, Princeton Theological Seminary, “Necrological reports and annual proceedings of the Alumni Association of Princeton Theological Seminary,” (Online: Google Books digitized Dec 14, 2006) [originally published by Princeton Theological Seminary, A Committee of the Association, C. S. Robinson & Co., University Printers, 1891], page 38,, accessed 23 June, 2009.


Converse, John Kendrick Tombstone, Lakeview Cemetery, Burlington, Vermont. Three Digital Photographs. 2009. Privately held by Judith Richards Shubert, Fort Worth, TX. 2001.

Graveyard Rabbits Carnival – July 2009 Edition


The “challenge” for the July 2009 edition of the GYR Carnival was obituaries. The “rules” were quite simple: Find a grave, then find the obituary, or vice versa. Post your finds to your blog and submit it to the carnival. You will be able to find the other submissions at The Graveyard Rabbit Association.


  1. What a beautiful monument! It is so interesting to read of the many struggles of John Kendrick Converse. Great post!

  2. Thank you, Dorene. I was excited when I found his obituary and wanted to share it. The day I was in this beautiful cemetery snow was just beginning to fall. I would love to visit again someday.

  3. Dorene said it, and I'd like to repeat it -- Beautiful Monument! :-)


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