really, I wanted to find my picture of the Julian cemetery but I couldn’t find it in flipping through my folders of photos. instead you get this sign that’s on the road between downtown Julian and Menghini & J.Jenkins on Wynola Road.
the cemetery sits atop a hill on the west edge of town. it overlooks the Julian Pie Company, as well as the fire house (put to use defending the town and surrounding area in October of 2007 as the Witch Fire burned through much of central San Diego County). the cemetery was established not long after the town; not surprisingly, the arduous trip west to the mountains of central San Diego county, and the hard life of a gold prospector beat many people and, as the Julian Historical Society puts it “For many pioneers, the toil of hard life ended on the hill above Julian.” for many years, however, the only access to the burial grounds was up the steep slope of the hill facing the main road through town. (here is where a photo would prove superlatively useful and illustrative. look here instead.) they’ve since built another road and parking lot, which access the cemetery some two-thirds of the way up the hill. when one notable resident died one winter, the burial had to be postponed until the ground thawed sufficiently to dig a space for her. there was still snow on the ground when they got her up the hill — something like eight men hauling the funeral sledge up the incline.
going back to an earlier Julian-related post about the sense of history of a place. I’ve uncovered some of the reason I feel so strongly that San Diego has less weight of history than anywhere else I’ve lived. although the state was established at nearly the same time as Wisconsin, that didn’t mean there was anything approaching population centers at the time. it was more a consequence of the Gold Rush, and less the need for governmental services to serve the population. Julian was settled in 1869 and San Diego wasn’t even chartered until 1886. one of the founders of Julian, Drue Bailey, is buried in the Julian cemetery. he arrived in the area at the age of 25 — he was only five years old when Wisconsin became a state, and six when California followed suit. beyond all of this, he died in the twentieth century (in 1921). if your headstone isn’t old enough to threaten toppling, isn’t so abused by the elements that you can barely read the inscription, then I have a hard time granting you any “weight of history.”
the man associated with Derrynane is Daniel O’Connell, referred to by many as The Liberator (or Emancipator) of Ireland. dedicated to gaining rights for the (mostly poor) Catholics of Ireland from the wealthy Protestant majority, O’Connell opposed the violence associated with armed revolts, such as that which occurred in 1798. he studied law in France during the Revolution, and returned to Ireland in time to witness the worst of the bloodshed for the ’98 Rebellion. consequently, he became a ardent supporter of non-violent direct action. basically, he inaugurated the first major non-violent, popular social movement in history. in 1823, he established the Catholic Association, which had a penny-per-month membership fee and championed electoral reform, tenants’ rights and economic development. in part because of his masterful oratorical skills, O’Connell cultivated a massive following. one of his “Monster Meetings” at the Hill of Tara drew 100,000 people.
he was the first Catholic person elected to the British Parliament, despite the fact that Catholics could not hold such positions at the time. apparently, he was only allowed to stand for the election because of a loophole, and it was assumed that he would not take his seat because it would require taking an (anti-Catholic) Oath of Supremacy, and acknowledge the King George IV as head of the Church of England. in order to prevent another uprising, the British passed the Act of Catholic Emancipation.
having extracted rights for Catholics from the British government, O’Connell set out on a campaign to repeal the Act of Union. during this campaign, he was jailed in Dublin for a time. upon his release, the people of Dublin presented him with a magnificent “triumphal chariot,” which is now on display at Derrynane.
O’Connell died during the Famine in Genoa on his way to Rome (in 1847). his time in prison had weakened him and, at the age of seventy-one, the arduous trip to Italy was more than he could withstand. his heart was buried in Rome, and the rest of his body returned to Dublin for burial.
obviously, his non-violent tactics inspired later social movement leaders, including Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. additionally, his Catholic Association shaped politics in the United States, as it was carried over by emigrants of the Famine and used to shape political organizations where large Irish communities were established.
as mentioned, Trim Castle was more or less entirely abandoned during the 17th century and fell into disrepair. that didn’t mean, however, that it ceased to be a destination of interest to some. nearly a century later, visiting historical locations became fasionable as a tourist venture. without the watchful eye of OPW guides or the militant defense of historically significant locations, people felt free to leave their mark. sure, you see that kind of stuff all the time at places like Alcatraz or the Statue of Liberty — names and dates scrawled in pencil or Sharpie. on some level, it’s interesting to think about how future historians might look back on the marks that we leave in such places. at Trim, there are marks — graffiti scratched into stone — from people who visited over two hundred years ago. this one, that our guide pointed out, was the clearest to come out in a photograph, but there were marks like this all over the walls. it reads “Campbell 1743” (the marks were about two inches tall).