30 October 2013

Body-Snatchers? In Beaufort?

Page 3 of the September 16, 1886 issue of the Palmetto Post newspaper reported a recent curious situation:

Were They Body-snatchers? Or What?

The attention of a citizen of Beaufort was directed the other night to parties engaged in digging in the yard of the Tabernacle Church near the last resting-place of the wife of Congressman Robert Smalls.  Thinking they were body-snatchers, he informed the police, one of whom proceeded to the scene and found two men in the church yard and another leaning on the fence.  One of the men in the yard, seeing the municipal comet [sic] breaking through the nebulous surrounding, turned and fled to parts unknown; but the other became the lawful spoils of the redoubtable "cop." He proved to be one DeSaussure, colored, known as the ice-house shoemaker and an elderly student of divinity.  We hear that the only explanation he gives is that he was "digging for money." Be this as it may, the colored people have a dozne theories to advance, among others one that DeSaussure, being worked up by his forthcoming ordination at Columbia, has had a dream that money was buried w[h]ere he was found digging.  He has borne a good character and never was known to haunt graveyards before.
Come to the Library to read back issues of the Palmetto Post. We have Palmetto Post microfilm in the Beaufort District Collection, and at Beaufort Branch and Hilton Head Branch libraries.

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