Unmarked, senator's rock grave rests in peace
Weak, feverish, hours from death, young state Sen. William A. Jeffreys begged his family not to bury him in the cold, wet clay.
He pleaded from his sickbed for a sturdy grave, a resting place carved inside a 20-foot boulder on his family's Franklin County farm, safe harbor from worms.
Jeffreys got his wish. And in 1846, almost a year past his death at 28, a Scottish sculptor finished chiseling out his rocky crypt.
For more than a century, the legislator's grave drew curious climbers and even vandals who broke the marble grave stone at the boulder's peak. A state historic marker led them there, posted on U.S. 401, bearing an irresistible title:
From Free North Carolina