While on a visit to an historic cemetery in western Arkansas with another genealogist and close friend, I was hoping to find ancestors gravesites, who onced lived there at one time. Instead we came upon a headstone in the old "colored" section. It was a beautiful hand made stone, and the work and care that went into the stone captured my attention. It was the grave of Amanda Douglass. Clearly her survivors could not afford an elegant marker, yet her own marker still spoke to me. In its humbleness, it is also elegant, reflecting the care and concerns of her family to insure that her final resting place was marked. The very elegance of this stone told me stories---of loved ones who cared for Amanda and wanted to insure that her final resting place would not be forgotten.
My colleague later found descendants of Amanda Douglass, and learned more about the stone. After
Amanda died, in 1904 one of her sons, located this stone and worked on it so that the base was formed into a point. He then chiseled her name onto the stone and then placed the base of the stone with the pointed end, at least 3 feet into the ground, and tightly packed the soild around it, so that no windstorm would ever topple the stone. Still after more than 100 years, her marker quietly stands in peaceful dignity reflecting the love of her children and grandchildren. And to this day, visitors still come to the resting place of this woman, born on the cusp of freedom in 1865.