johnncox 12:15am, 31 October 2011
Daniel W. Patterson is the Kenan Professor Emeritus of English and Curator of the Southern Folkart Collection at the University of North Carolina. Prof. Patterson is of the opinion that 18th and 19th Century gravestones are one the most important reservoirs of early American folkart extant and available to the general public. In furtherance of this proposition, he has finished a book tentatively entitled "The True Image: Gravestone Art and the Culture of Scotch-Irish Settlers in the Backcountry of Pennsylvania and the Carolinas." A manuscript of this book has been submitted to and accepted by the UNC Press. The anticipated publication data is Fall 2012. Not only will this book document the evolution of folkart in Appalachia America, it will also show how gravestones reflect how America itself evolved from a collection of clans with common interests to a country with a unified national identity. Keep on the lookout for it if you think you would enjoy an insightful and scholarly analysis of late colonial and early American gravestones.
Sylvain Francois 10 years ago
Thank you for sharing this, johnncox! I hope it will be available in Europe as well. Keep us informed once it is out for sale, if you can!
inetjoker 10 years ago
I will look for it next year...
johnncox Posted 9 years ago. Edited by johnncox (member) 9 years ago
Edit: In my excitement, I overlooked the publisher's note that the book will be available in October 2012. Sorry.

Prof. Patterson's book is available from UNC Press


From the publisher: A thousand unique gravestones cluster around old Presbyterian churches in the piedmont of the two Carolinas and in central Pennsylvania. Most are the vulnerable legacy of three generations of the Bigham family, Scotch Irish stonecutters whose workshop near Charlotte created the earliest surviving art of British settlers in the region. In The True Image, Daniel Patterson documents the craftsmanship of this group and the current appearance of the stones. In two hundred of his photographs, he records these stones for future generations and compares their iconography and inscriptions with those of other early monuments in the United States, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

Combining his reading of the stones with historical records, previous scholarship, and rich oral lore, Patterson throws new light on the complex culture and experience of the Scotch Irish in America. In so doing, he explores the bright and the dark sides of how they coped with challenges such as backwoods conditions, religious upheavals, war, political conflicts, slavery, and land speculation. He shows that headstones, resting quietly in old graveyards, can reveal fresh insights into the character and history of an influential immigrant group.
johnncox 9 years ago
My copy of "The True Image" arrived today. It will take me a while to get through it. But the photographs are great and the discussions are compelling. Anyone with an interest in early American folk art will find "The True Image" interesting. It focuses on a particular style of stone carvering and follows the tradition from Northern Ireland to Pennsylvania, down to Piedmont NC and Upstate SC, and over to Tennessee.
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