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The Remains of Dr. Warren

Over the course of eight decades (1775-1856), Dr. Joseph Warren’s remains were moved at least four times. A great deal of interest surrounding the location of Dr. Joseph Warren’s remains between 1855 and 1856 has led to numerous speculations in recent years. Some historians have claimed that Warren’s remains, including his skull, were removed from the basement vault of St. Paul Church in August 1855 to the Park St. home of General Joseph Warren’s nephew, Dr. John Collins Warren, a prominent Boston physician. 

Yet according to numerous newspaper articles in May 1856 “We are informed by the Sexton of St. Paul’s Church that the remains of Gen. Joseph Warren are still deposited in the family tomb under that church. The report that they had been removed to Forest Hills Cemetery was therefore without foundation.”[1]

 

According to the journal of Dr. John Collins Warren, which was continued by his son James Sullivan Warren after Collins died in May 1856, the urn with General Warren’s remains were removed from St. Paul’s Church on July 26, 1856. Two weeks later the August 8 journal entry read “Took Urns from St. Pauls tomb…to tomb at Forest Hills” where they have since remained beside his family. 

 

[1] Boston Evening Transcript, May 7, 1856. Lowell Daily Citizen and News, May 9, 1856.