Iconic Slate Stones, Nathaniel & Miriam Lewis
Nathaniel Lewis (1691-1752)
Miriam Draper Lewis (1701-1757)
Born in Dedham on May 25, 1697, Nathaniel Lewis was the son of Barachiah Lewis and Judith Whiting Lewis. He was one of nine children.
On January 16, 1728, Nathaniel married Miriam Draper, also of Dedham. She was the daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth Draper. Miriam was born on July 16, 1701. Nathaniel and Miriam had six children: Merriam, Nathaniel Jr., Rebecca, Timothy, Mehitable, and a second Merriam (born two years after their first daughter died).
Owners of a small farm, the Lewis family remained in the South Parish of Dedham until their deaths. Nathaniel Lewis died on May 13, 1752 “of ye small pox,” a disease that was endemic to the area during the 18th century. Miriam Draper Lewis died on November 15, 1757.
Although they stand side-by-side, their gravestones were carved by two different stonecutters.
Nathaniel Lewis’s stone was completed by John New of Wrentham. New was born in 1722 in Wrentham and married in 1742. He had a sporadic career; the most prolific periods were from 1753 to1755, and 1758 to 1768. He was known to use an innovative, modern style. The oddly shaped face/figure on this stone’s tympanum is an example of his inventive design-work. John New spent his later years with family in North Attleboro; he died in 1811.
Daniel Farrington carved Miriam Draper Lewis’s stone. Born in 1733 in Wrentham, Farrington had a long and productive career. His workshop stood on South Street, today’s Rte. 1. According to gravestone scholar Vincent Luti, Farrington’s personal style emerged around 1768-1770. He carved winged skulls and effigies, and round, doll-faced effigies with bold staring eyes. Farrington died in Wrentham in 1807.