The cemetery's receiving vault stored bodies prior to their interment within the cemetery.

This communication from A.S. Bates, the City Sexton during the early years of the cemetery (1843-1851), speaks of his constraints in properly burying the bodies that have been waiting in the receiving vault.


June 6, 1851

To the Honorable the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Chicago in Common Council assembled.


         As there are a good many bodies at present in the Vaults, the relations of whom have been waiting now for some time, so as to purchase lots and have them interred, it is necessary that some immediate action be taken by the Council in regard to the sale of lots in the Cemetery, as several of the bodies on account of decomposition cannot remain in the vault much longer.

I am,
                  Your most obedient servant,

                                    A.S. Bates
                                             City Sexton

June 6, 1851

To the Honorable the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Chicago at Common Council assembled.

         By an order of the City Council dated February 17th. The sale of Lots in the Cemetery are suspended until some further action by the Council as to a more efficient plan for the disposal of the Lots. Since that order, there has been a good many Bodies put into the Vault; the relations of whom are waiting until some action be taken by the Council so as they can purchase Lots and have them interred and the weather having now become warmer, it is impossible to keep those Bodies in the Vault any longer.

         As to the disposal of the Lots, I beg to suggest the following plan which I think would keep everything correct. That a person be appointed by the Council to show the Lots when required and to sell the same and give the number of the Lot sold to the purchaser, so, as he may go to the City Treasurer and pay the price of the Lot and on receiving a receipt for the same to file it with the Clerk and get his deed for the Lot and the deed to be shown to the person having charge of the Cemetery before any interment can be made on the Lot.
         The renumerations of the office of having charge of the Cemetery, were a commission of the 10 per cent on the monies collected for Lots sold and Twenty-five cents per rod for grading the alleys in the Cemetery and Two Dollars for each Body removed from the old burying ground to the Cemetery.

         Hoping that for the above reasons you will take some immediate action in the matter, and also at the same time I hereby beg to offer myself to your consideration as a candidate for the office of having charge of the Cemetery.

I am
                  Your most obedient servant
                                    A.S. Bates

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