In Milford, New Hampshire is a gravestone that just won’t shut up. It belongs to one Caroline Cutter, who died in the mid-1800s. It’s simple, white, and rectangular, and is crammed with about 150 words of painstakingly etched accusation, courtesy of her husband, Dr. Calvin Cutter.
The gravestone says, in part, that Caroline Cutter was “Murdered by the Baptist Ministry and Baptist Churches.” Specifically, a deacon and a reverend accused her of lying in a church meeting and then another deacon somehow “reduced [her] to poverty,” two instances in an apparent range of conspiratorial efforts to keep Cutter “down.” These church staff members are called out by name on the stone. The grave goes on to state that “The intentional and malicious destruction of her life and happiness, as above described, destroyed her life,” and finished with a quote from Caroline herself, “Tell the truth and the iniquity will come out.”
According to New Hampshire historian Fritz Wetherbee, the Cutters were kicked out of the church referenced on the gravestone because Dr. Cutter was bullying members into funding the construction of another church in town that he had pushed to be built and had so far himself funded just on his own empty promises. Caroline apparently took the expulsion pretty hard.
The grave is located in Elm Street Cemetery, about 20 paces from the opening. A large memorial boulder with a plaque sits on the plot a mere foot or so in front of Caroline’s headstone. The boulder is a memorial to Carrie Cutter, the daughter of Calvin and Caroline. The plaque states that Carrie was the “first female to enter the service of her country in the Civil War, the first that fell at her post, and the first to form organized efforts to supply the sick of the army.” Adapted with Permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker