|Death: ||Dec. 26, 1811|
On Christmas night of 1811, Lieutenant Gibbon went to sleep, and he had a bad dream. When he awoke the next morning, he found himself depressed and restless. His sister, wondering what was bothering him, asked him at breakfast what was wrong. As written in his sister's diary, the Lieutenant responded by saying:
"You all laugh at me I know, but I have had such a horrible dream that it has depressed me. I dreamt I was standing before a closed door about to enter, but conscious of some nameless horror something told me to keep back. The door slowly opened and I went in and found myself in a large hall dark and empty. After a few steps I saw a man's face standing out of the darkness, illuminated by a lurid light. All else was dark, the man's eyes were fixed on me and I was seized with a horror and depression I could not stake off."
Lieutenant James Gibbon was a war hero with the US Navy. He had begged his sweetheart, Miss Sallie Conyers, not to go to the Richmond Theatre on the evening of the tragic fire. His begging was to no avail; their lifeless bodies were found clasped together in a holding brace after the fire had burnt itself out. Viewing his dream as a premonition, Gibbon begged his lover, Sallie Conyers, not to go to the theatre that evening. Miss Conyers refused to abide by her lover's wish, and later that evening she, along with a few acquaintances, went to see the anticipated theatrical performances without him.
Perhaps worried about his lover, during the performance Gibbon went into his parent's box, and he exchanged smiles with Sallie as she sat with her companions. The exchange of smiles was rather short lived, and Gibbon left the theatre before the outbreak of the fire. But, when the Lieutenant, who was nearby at the Capital Square, had heard the screams of fire, he rushed back into the theatre to find Sallie. The next day, two bodies were found clasped together in a loving brace. They were both burned beyond recognition, but the embraced pair was identified as James Gibbon by his naval buttons and as Sallie Conyers by the gold-bead necklace she had been wearing.
and Robert Drucker
Created by: George Seitz
Record added: Nov 25, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 23092552