Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ William Frederick Harnden, d. 1845 buried at Cambridge, Massachusetts

This memorial was photographed at the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.




WILLIAM FREDERICK
HARNDEN
FOUNDER
OF
THE EXPRESS BUSINESS
IN AMERICA
DIED 0 JANUARY 1845
AGED 31 YEARS

The canopy above the urn is carved with the words FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY and JUSTICE.  There is a large dog symbolizing fidelity below the epitaph, and the other sides show carriers delivering packages.

William Frederick Harden was born 23 August 1812 in Reading, Massachusetts and died 14 January 1845 in Boston, Massachusetts.  He founded Harden & Co., one of the first express companies in the the United States.  He was the first person to send express packages by rail, and had trans-Atlantic service to many European cities by ship.  He died bankrupt in 1845 when his health failed and he could not keep up his service.  Harnden's business was the forerunner of modern express companies like UPS and FedEx.

This monument was erected in 1866 by "the express companies of the United States" in his honor.

You can read all about Harnden and his express company in the book History of the Express Business, including the origin of the railway system in America, and the relation of both to the increase of new settlements and the prosperity of cities in the United States, by A. L. Stimson, New York: Baker & Godwin, Printers, 1881.  This book is available to read online at archive.org.

Or the book William Frederick Harnden: Founder of the Express Business in America! by Alfred L. Hammell, Kessinger Publishing Reprints, 2010, a new release of the 1954 original.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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