William Frederic Harnden pioneered the idea of express service, and his monument, designed by Thomas A. Carew in 1866, serves as an emblem of Harnden’s vision.
Harnden died in his early 30s, and his original monument was a simple marble stone. The Express Companies of America raised money for a new, more elaborate monument that would memorialize Harnden’s contributions to the express industry. Thomas A. Carew, who had shown work in Boston in the 1840s and 50s, was chosen to execute the design.
The design features a slew of symbols: a half-draped urn, a sign of mourning; two bas relief panels illustrating the sending and receiving of packages; and most notably, an English mastiff dog, a symbol of fidelity and security on the journey into the afterlife. The words faith, hope, justice, and charity are inscribed around the granite canopy of the monument.
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