Sunday, December 10, 2006

The RootThat Ate Roger Williams

I've not found where HPL mentioned this, but he does say on 14 May 1936:

"On May 4th the R.I. Tercentenerary observance began ... acting & costumes ... fancy the bygone era returned ... with the intervening 160 years a dream ... Gov. Vurley or Mass. presented to Gov. Green of R.I. a copy of the recent resolutions ... rescinding the banishment on Roger Williams in Oct. 1663. After 3001/2 years, Mr. Williams no doubt highly appreciates this delicate mark of consideration!" (1)

When Roger Williams died he was buried at his farm. Years later, the Rhode Island Historical Society exhumed him for a more elaborate burial, Willaims was gone, bones and all. However, the ancient apple tree hadenterend the coffin, and absorbed the brain, spine, arms and legs, including the feet. It is supposed that it is still in the basement of the Society, not wishing to throw it away, but feel it is too morbid to display. (2)

(1) The Letters of H P Lovecraft and Donald Wandrei, S T Joshi, Night Shade Books, 2006, p. 376-377.
(2) The Tree Root That Ate Roger Williams, John Brown House, 52 Power Street; from www. roadsideamerica. com/ attract/ RIPROtree. html

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