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Richard Dillingham
Birth: Jun. 18, 1823
Morrow County, USA
Death: Jun. 30, 1850
Davidson County
Tennessee, USA

Quaker abolitionist. He was teaching school in Cincinnati in 1848 when he agreed to go to Tennessee to aid the escape of three slaves. The escape was thwarted and Dillingham was arrested for helping the fugitives. He was sentenced in April 1849 to three years in the old Tennessee State Penitentiary on Church Street in Nashville. He was first put to work sawing stone, then put in charge of the prison hospital, where he was working in the summer of 1850 when cholera struck the inmate population. According to his fellow Quaker Levi Coffin, "Richard Dillingham dealt out medicines, and was unwearied in his attentions to his fellow prisoners." Dillingham himself was stricken on the morning of June 30, a Sunday, died, and was buried the same day. The exact location of his grave is not certain. The prison maintained a cemetery on the prison grounds. Given the fact that he was buried the day that he died, it seems likely that he was laid to rest in the prison cemetery, which was in an area now occupied by shops and apartment buildings. He was celebrated as a martyr to the abolitionist cause by Levi Coffin and by Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." The Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote the poem "The Cross" in Dillingham's honor.  (bio by: Michael Walter) 
Old Tennessee State Penitentiary Cemetery
Davidson County
Tennessee, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Michael Walter
Record added: Apr 28, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10867012

- Ryan Curtis
 Added: Jun. 30, 2014

- Sharon
 Added: Jun. 30, 2014
- Mike Caldwell
 Added: Jun. 18, 2014
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