Behavior Cemetery, Circa 1805, Sapelo Island

The tabby sign notes that Behavior Cemetery was established around 1805.

“The graveyard is as irregularly plotted as were the hammocks once scattered over the island…And the uneasy grass is less level than the road under oaks and pines that takes you to the graveyard…Behavior is an odd name for a cemetery, but it makes sense on Sapelo Island …And a visitor to the island doesn’t find it strange, either…Behavior, its grounds uneven and grass-choked, its stones akimbo…suggests life rather than death.”

From Sapelo’s People: A Long Walk Into Freedom, by William S. McFeely, W. W. Norton, 1994.

Folk Art Headstones of Behavior Cemetery

These are but a few examples of the great variety of headstones to be seen in this cemetery.

Boston Gardner (I first thought the name Boston was in reference to the city so known for abolitionists, but a commenter pointed out that that wouldn’t have been the case since the movement was not widely known among slaves. It was known to most, in fact, as a Sapelo resident recently noted; house slaves overheard much talk in their master’s houses and abolition was the hottest topic of the day. For a historian or genealogist to suggest that slaves were unaware of abolition is incorrect. At any rate, the origin of the name might not be related to abolition. I’ll concede that. I appreciate being brought to task on issues like this, but perhaps an email instead of a comment would be a better way to handle it. I edit four websites and have multiple commercial and personal projects going on at any given time and sometimes make mistakes. As anyone who has pointed out an error on my sites will attest, I am always grateful for such information and usually update the post, as I want the site to be the best it can be.

Glasco Grovner (1856-1928)

Mrs. Nancy




Filed under -MCINTOSH COUNTY, Sapelo Island GA

4 responses to “Behavior Cemetery, Circa 1805, Sapelo Island

  1. Nancy Futral

    I love the Mrs. Nancy image especially. Beautiful.

  2. Pingback: Headstones of Behavior Cemetery | Vanishing Coastal Georgia Photographs by Brian Brown

  3. Pingback: Behavior Cemetery, Sapelo Island | Vanishing South Georgia Photographs by Brian Brown

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