Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Concord, MA
United States
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Landscape Information

Consecrated in 1855 and designed by Horace W. S. Cleveland and Robert Morris Copeland, the design of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery was inspired by the writings of romanticists Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau. In the same year that Copeland delivered his address, The Usefull [sic] and The Beautiful, wedding his ideas of the naturalistic, organic garden design to Emerson's Transcendentalist principles, Copeland and Cleveland were engaged by the Concord Cemetery Committee, of which Emerson was an active member, to design the cemetery. The steeply graded native woodlands include a bowl-shaped glen as its central landscape feature. The cemetery also includes a monument designed by Daniel Chester French, Mourning Victory (1908), in memory of three brothers killed in the Civil War. Emerson gave a dedication speech at the opening of the cemetery in 1855 in which he referred to its design as “the garden of the living.” He was buried there a decade later, as were writers Louisa May Alcott and Henry David Thoreau.  The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.