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Alexandria, Virginia: Female Stranger Grave

A woman identified only as "a Female Stranger" died in 1816 and was buried beneath a wordy tombstone. This long-time tourist attraction has been immortalized on postcards for over 100 years.

St. Paul's Cemetery

601 Hamilton Ave., Alexandria, VA
St. Paul's Cemetery. Southwest side of the city. From US-1/S. Patrick St. turn west at the stoplight onto Wilkes St. Drive a quarter-mile, then turn left at the sign for St. Paul's Cemetery (and several other cemeteries). Drive down this narrow lane until you see a sign on the left for St. Paul's Cemetery. The grave is just down this gravel path on the right: a horizontal slab elevated on four posts.
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Female Stranger Grave.

Female Stranger Burial

The grave of the Female Stranger is a local landmark in Alexandria. This unknown young woman arrived by ship already sick and passed away while rooming at a local tavern. The attending doctor was warned by the Stranger's husband to not ask about their identities, swearing all involved to secrecy. Even today the identities of the husband and wife are unknown, with the husband paying for her burial with a counterfeit bank note before disappearing.

The text on the grave marker reads: "To the memory of a FEMALE STRANGER whose mortal sufferings terminated on the 14th day of October 1816 Aged 23 years and 8 months This stone is placed here by her disconsolate Husband in whose arms she sighed out her latest breath, and who under God did his utmost even to soothe the cold dead ear of death."

[Jody High, 03/16/2023]

Nearby Offbeat Places

National Inventors Hall of Fame MuseumNational Inventors Hall of Fame Museum, Alexandria, VA - < 1 mi.
George Washington Masonic National MemorialGeorge Washington Masonic National Memorial, Alexandria, VA - < 1 mi.
Skinny Spite HouseSkinny Spite House, Alexandria, VA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Theodore Roosevelt Island, Washington, DC - 7 mi.

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