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Digging Up the DeadA History of Notable American Reburials$
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Michael Kammen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226423296

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226423326.001.0001

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Disinterred by Devotion

Disinterred by Devotion

Religion, Race, and Spiritual Repose

(p.165) Five Disinterred by Devotion
Digging Up the Dead
University of Chicago Press

Throughout America's history, there have been cases of reburial involving men of the cloth or laypersons deemed inspirational, such as missionaries. In those instances, reburial equates to enshrinement. In other cases, the figures involved were entirely secular, yet their devoted followers lamented that they were buried without receiving proper recognition, often due to racial prejudice. Indeed, some of the most heated disputes about where people should be buried have erupted as a result of intense feelings about religion and race. This is evident in the burials and interments involving Native Americans and Indians. Even Native Americans debated among themselves on which venue was the optimal or the most appropriate one, resulting in attempts to steal the remains—as in the case of the great Sioux chief Sitting Bull. Early Protestant missionaries to the Pacific Northwest, such as George Whitefield, have been key figures in narratives of exhumation and reburial. Another controversial figure as far as burial is concerned is Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island.

Keywords:   missionaries, religion, race, Native Americans, burials, interments, George Whitefield, Roger Williams

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