Pieces of the Past
Artifacts, Documents, and Primary Sources
from Letchworth Park History


 The Jemison Epitaphs

When Mary Jemison was buried in the Buffalo Creek Reservation burial grounds in 1833, a gravestone was erected with the following inscription:


Memory of

The White Woman,


Daughter of

Thomas Jemison & Jane Irwin,

Born on the ocean, between Ireland and Phila., in 1742 or 3. Taken captive at March Creek, Pa. in 1755 carried down the Ohio, Adopted into an Indian family. In 1759 removed to Genesee River. Was naturalized in 1817.
Removed to this place in 1831,
And having survived two hustands and five children, leaving three still alive;
She Died Sept 19th 1833 ages about ninety-one years,
Having a few weeks before expressed a hope of pardon through
Jesus Christ,
"The counsel of the Lord that shall stand."

The original marker bearing this inscription marked her grave for a few years, and then was replace with the granite marker that now serves as the base for the Jemison statue. The image below, taken from a 1906 era postcard, shows the granite marker and the original tombstone, which is just visible to the lower right of the base of the marker. (The building behind the monument was an entrance house Mr. Letchworth erected.) The original inscription was placed on this marker, along with the following additions on two sides of the stone:

To The

Memory of

Mary Jemison,

Whose home during more than seventy years of a life of
strange vicissitude was among the Senecas upon
the banks of this river; and whose history,
inseparably connected with that of this valley, has
caused her to be known as
"The White Woman of the Genesee"


The remains of
"The White Woman"
were removed from the
Buffalo Creek Reservation
and reinterred at this place
with appropriate ceremonies
on the 7th day of March, 1874.


(Please note the dates of her birth, capture, and journey are incorrect. They actual dates as found in the Mary Jemison story have been verified.)


Also see an account of the Reburial of Mary Jemison

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