Stephen Hartshorn (1737-1812) and his son Charles Hartshorn (1765-1832) were gravestone carvers in Providence, Rhode Island. They come from a tradition of stonecutting; Stephen's great grandfather being Lt. John Hartshorn of Essex Co., MA and Norwich, CT, the first of the shist carvers of eastern Connecticut in the early eighteenth century.
Stephen's work is quite varied but his most common motif is a portrait-like
winged effigy. The face is pear shaped with a wig, often with a knot on
the top. He usually added a drilled hole in the center of each pupil. He
worked from 1864 to 1888 when he removed to Johnstown, NY. He
carved seven gravestones in the Williams Family Cemetery in Roger Williams
Park that are dated 1719-1761. These were probably commissioned about 1770
and backdated to the death date.
Charles was not a prolific as his father and not as skilled a carver.
His winged effigies have a round face and a full wig.
(Photo by John Sterling)
For more information on these carvers see "Stonecarvers of the Narragansett Basin: Stephen and Charles Hartshorn of Providence" by Vincent F. Luti in Markers II, a publication of the Association for Gravestone Studies.
Return to the Rhode
Island Gravestone Carver Page
Return to the Rhode Island Cemetery Database Homepage