622 HISTORY OF BROOKLYN.
such as gardens with rare flowers and exotics, shady dells, labyrinthine mazes and serpentine walks. The commissioners further suggest the establishment of a race course somewhere in the neighborhood of the park, and also a building for a museum.
In short, all that taste, liberality, and a public noble spirit can suggest, has been devoted to giving to Brooklyn a broad precinct, well kept and guarded from rude intrusion, where genius may bring its offerings, and nature and art blend together to work out images of serene and placid beauty; open equally to rich and to poor, and contributing alike to the pleasure and improvement of the sick and the well, the man of leisure and the man of work.
Carroll Park, intersection of Court and Carroll streets, although of small size, has also been improved, by the Prospect Park Commissioners, in a manner which renders it one of the most attractive resorts in the city.
The successful establishment, in 1831, of Mount Auburn cemetery, in the vicinity of Boston, doubtless inspired the idea of a similar enterprise for New York. The manifold evils attendant upon city interments were already apparent in that great and growing metropolis, where, again and again, in the progress of improvement, the resting places of the dead had been broken up, to be covered with buildings, or converted into open squares; and where, the bills of mortality showed an annual interment of nearly ten thousand human bodies, while calculation estimated with almost absolute certainty that in half a century more, the aggregate would be told in millions. For some years before any public movement was made, it had been a subject of conversation and desire; and, as the island of New York presented no very eligible spot for a cemetery, attention was turned to a large unoccupied tract in Brooklyn, lying near Gowanus bay. The late excellent Jonathan Goodhue, in his frequent rides over this tract, now called Greenwood, often conversed with his friend, the late Stephen Whitney, on the remarkable fitness of the ground for the purposes of interment.
In 1832, Mr. Henry E. Pierrepont, of Brooklyn, returned from a visit to the new cemetery at Cambridge, with the desire that New York and Brooklyn should have a similar establishment, commensurate with their wants, and not unworthy of their greatness. The wooded heights of Gowanus, with every road, lane and bridle-path of which he had been familiar from boyhood, occurred to him as a site peculiarly favorable. During the following year, though absent from the country, his incipient purpose gathered strength while visiting the cemeteries and campus santos of Europe. On