Grave Marker

Description (Brief)
For many years, iron stake number 72 marked the final resting place of either Sarah Savage, an African-American woman, or Nathanial Cowart, a European American man, in the cemetery at the State Hospital at Milledgeville, Georgia. The ambiguity is because administrators used numbers more than once and the stakes were removed from the ground in the late twentieth-century. When Savage and Cowart died in 1880, their graves were located by a number rather than their name or dates. This stark record-keeping practice was common in state institutions across the country. Former patient in-mates, their families, and descendants have been replacing such markers with proper recognition in an effort to restore their humanity.
Currently not on view
Object Name
grave marker
date made
Cowart, Nathan
Savage, Sarah
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
overall: 51 cm x 10 cm x 1 cm; 20 1/16 in x 3 15/16 in x 3/8 in
overall: 1/2 in x 2 5/8 in x 19 3/4 in; 1.27 cm x 6.6675 cm x 50.165 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Health & Medicine
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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