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May 17, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: Snakes, Part II

Harris Cemetery. Green Creek, Albemarle County, Virginia.  Photo by Joanne Yeck.

When exploring family history, the death of children is especially moving. In the case of Buckingham County resident Henry St. George Harris, he lost his only son to a deadly snake bite. In 1862, Harris wrote to his mother, Mary Woods (Harris) Harris, of the death of her grandson, Hampden:

It is my sad and [afflicted] lot to record the death of my beloved little boy Hampden, which took place on yesterday about 4 o’clock in the evening. His death was caused by the repeated bites of a venomous moccasin snake on his foot, the evening before, as he was returning out of the cellar from the supper table.

This awful occurrence has fallen with overwhelming effect, upon every member of my little household. I can scarcely realize the fact that my bright, my beautiful, my lovely little boy, gifted with a degree of intelligence and sprightliness that I have never seen surpassed, has passed away from Earth forever, no more to give joy to our vision or gladden our hearts again. I intend to place his dear little remains today by the side of the loved little ones and their Grandparents, who have gone before. Adieu my mother, my love to all.

Hampden Harris was buried in the Harris family graveyard in Albemarle County, near Green Creek.

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