Advisor(s) - Committee Chair
Carol Crowe-Carraco, Francis Thompson, Lowell Harrison
Department of History
Master of Arts
Through the ages, survivors have experienced loss due to the deaths of their contemporaries. Between 1870 and 1910, the people of south central Kentucky (Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Logan, Monroe, Simpson and Warren counties) used significant expressions of grief. Combining oral history with primary correspondence, journals, scrapbooks and mementos, this study determines the importance that area residents placed on deathbed accounts, the care given the deceased's body, the funeral service, obituaries, resolutions of respect, memorial poetry, condolence letters, photography, memorial cards and pictures, hair wreaths, mourning attire and jewelry, the gravesite, and the tombstone. In almost every instance, south central Kentuckians incorporated into these expressions the themes of the peaceful departure, the existence of a blissful Heaven where the deceased awaited reunion with the survivors, and the ultimate dependence of the mourner on God's omniscience. Acceptance of these beliefs, which were echoing the hymns and popular literature of the period, allowed the bereaved family and friends to accept death as they experienced it between 1870 and 1910.
Anthropology | Arts and Humanities | Folklore | History | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social History
Arnold, Sue Lynn, "Expressions of Grief in South Central Kentucky, 1870-1910" (1983). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 3037.