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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Eighty-seven: Impressions of Charleston, South Carolina > Gadsden tomb, St. Philips Graveyard, Charleston, South Carolina, 2013.
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Gadsden tomb, St. Philips Graveyard, Charleston, South Carolina, 2013.

I originally photographed this tomb to make use of the encroaching foliage as it reaches forward to both embrace and obscure the symbolic elegance of the huge sarcophagus. Once again, I am exploring man’s desire for to be forever remembered, the relationship between life and death, and the role of nature’s lifecycle. Later, however, I noticed that one of the people entombed within bears the name Gadsden, who lived from 1806 to 1853. He certainly was not was the famous James Gadsden (1756-1858), who is known for the “Gadsden Purchase” deal with Mexico that made Southern Arizona and New Mexico part of the United States in 1853. Yet an Internet search tells us that this famous name from American history is certainly buried in this cemetery. Could he also lie within this very tomb as well? And what about Christopher Gadsden (1724-1805), the Revolutionary War patriot who designed the famous “Don’t Tread on Me” flag? He is also listed as being buried in this historic graveyard. Could he also be interred within this tomb? I’ve always tried to make images that ask questions and demand answers. I think I might have stumbled on to one here.

Panasonic LUMIX G5
1/200s f/5.3 at 100.0mm iso400 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
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