Harriet Robins Scott is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in St. Louis. For many years, her location was not known. Mrs. Etta Daniels had the records and a few people knew but it was not revealed publicly until 2006 when Mrs. Ruth Ann Hager, a certified genealogist was doing research on Harriet and through several attempts concluding with a phone call to Lynne Jackson, she was able to narrow down the many Harriet’s to one, our Harriet at Greenwood. This happened to occur in 2006, a year prior to the 150th anniversary of the Dred Scott Decision in 2007. As Lynne likes to say, “She wasn’t going to miss out on the party!”
The party was the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Dred Scott decision of which she was a co-plaintiff with her husband Dred. She filed her own, separate suit against Mrs. Irene Emerson to gain her freedom as well. (The cases were eventually combined for several reasons.)
Greenwood Cemetery, the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation and other committed individuals sought to create a pleasant environment when the national media’s attention would focus on the famous couple the following year. Dred Scott’s wife died 18 years after his death on June 17, 1876. It was known that Harriet was in Greenwood but not exactly where she was laid. In 2008, Etta suggested that the little mound toward the front of the cemetery could be called Harriet’s Hill. The thought was to put something there (as a cenotaph would be) to recognize her presence on the grounds.
From that Idea, came the dedication on May 22, 2010 of a lovely pink granite headstone donated by Mr. Austin Layne, written by Lynne Jackson and installed by Greenwood. To read more about Harriet’s Memorial Pavilion click here.
Fast-forward to 2023
Harriet’s actual burial spot was discovered, because of anther person.
The new headstone bears the name of that other, a two-day old grandson of Harriet’s who died on October 14, 1876, the son of her daughter Eliza and son-in law Wilson Madison. In almost exactly three months to the day, little Edward W. Madison was interred with his grandmother at Greenwood. One can only imagine the grief the family felt.
The new marker was the initiative of two local organizations who are always community minded and enjoy sharing their part of Scott’s story. The Professional Bus Tour Association and the Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum both raised funds and purchased the headstone for the Harriet Scott headstone.
Our heartfelt thanks go to Ms. Dorris Keenven Franke, (PBTA) and Mr. Dan Fuller (BCA) for spearheading this effort within their organizations.
As time and chance would have it, the marker was presented on October 14th, the date Baby Edward died and only two weeks after the dedication of a new memorial for Dred Scott at Calvary.
Our sincere thanks also goes to Mrs. Shelly Morris and Mr. Rafael Morris for their undying devotion to keeping and managing the grounds at Calvary and making sure this program was a fitting memorial for Harriet and Edward. Also, to the board of the Friends of Greenwood Association for their support. Lynne Jackson encouraged others to continue to seek their family histories as they are all important.