Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Historic Preservation (MHP)


Historic Preservation

Committee Chair/Advisor

Frances H. Ford

Committee Member

Jonathan Poston

Committee Member

Dr. Robert D. Russell, Jr.


This study analyzes the work of Charleston stone carver William T. White in Magnolia Cemetery between 1850 and 1870. The purpose of this study is to survey the creations produced by a mid-nineteenth-century stone carver to better understand the patterns of iconographic styles and personalization of stones throughout his career. The attention of many cemetery studies in America is on the Northeast so focusing on the work of a Southerner’s work contributes to the regional gap in former studies. To perform this study, W. T. White’s signed stones were surveyed and documented throughout the cemetery using Esri’s ArcGIS Survey123, recording various properties of the stones such as the kind of inscription, their design, and iconography. Maps of the cemetery were sectioned regionally to navigate the grounds and understand patterns in the areas where White’s work is found. The results of this study found a majority of his stones were likely precut before they arrived at his stone yard, then personalized with the information regarding the interred and that he used iconography that aligned with the trends of cemetery motifs of the time period, revealing his awareness of what was popular during his career. The same year there was a peak in the number of his monuments, 1859, there was also a peak of the number of possible custom stones created by him, hypothesized by the uniqueness and intricacy of the stones and their iconography. The results of this study are important in understanding cemetery artwork during the period of study in general, as well as its contribution to Southern cemetery studies.



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