1869-1872 autograph album of Octavia Masters Jordan, "Tave", of Thomaston, Maine; some of the autographs were collected while Octavia was sailing with her mother and stepfather Sea Captain James Watts.
Octavia signed another page in the album, toward the middle, in which she described a brush with death after the bark Martha A. McNeil was struck by a steamer off Le Havre, in June 1872.
"Havre, June 17, 1872
"On board Bark Martha a McNeil leaving the dock at half past five P.M. bound to Philadelphia - came in collision with a large steamer, which struck us on our Port bow and raked us fore and aft, making a complete muck of our good bark. The scene cannot be described, but our lives are all spared.
Tave M. Jordan."
The album is approximately 7" x 4-1/4" and contains the sentiments of 40 of Octavia's relatives, friends and mariners she encountered in foreign ports. An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.
Some of the mariners, and there may be others - refer to the list at the end of this post:
- William Reginald Corfield, Gloucester, England
- Charles A. DeCosta, Liverpool, England
- William G. Jones, signed at Le Havre
From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]
Octavia Masters Jordan, "Tave", was born 17 March 1850 at Bath, Maine, the daughter of Sea Captain George W. Jordan and Elizabeth (Masters) Jordan, who were born at Thomaston, Maine, and Bath, Maine, respectively. Tave's paternal grandparents were Captain Ebenezer and Belinda (Dunbar) Jordan. Octavia's maternal grandparents were William and Octavia (Weeks) Masters.
Octavia had an older brother, George E. Jordan, who died before he was two years old.
Octavia's father, Captain George W. Jordan, sailed to England in late 1855 or January 1956 and sold his vessel there, with the intention of returning home on the Steamer Pacific. The Pacific left Liverpool on 23 January 1856 and never arrived at her destination, New York. The mystery of the Pacific's disappearance would not be solved for 135 years, when divers found a section of her bow, not 60 miles from Liverpool.
Widow Elizabeth (Masters) Jordan married Sea Captain James Watts at Thomaston, Maine, on 8 November 1856. He was the son of George and Mary (Giles) Watts of Thomaston, Maine and was the recent widower of Catherine (Woodcock) Watts, who had died 20 January 1856, leaving two daughters. There had been two sons, one of whom died in infancy and the other at about the age of nine.
Capt. James Watts and Elizabeth (Masters) Watts would have one son, James Watts, born 25 October 1862 at Thomaston, Maine.
Octavia Masters Jordan and Clarence Ashley Leighton, who went by the name Ashley, filed an intention to marry at Portland, Maine, on December 26, 1876. Clarence was born 4 February 1849 at Waterville, Maine, son of David and Laura (Evans) Leighton. Octavia and Ashley had a son Edward Kavanaugh Leighton, born 18 September 1878.
Octavia Masters (Jordan) Leighton died in 1935. Her husband Ashley had died in 1916.
Octavia's maternal uncle, Silas W. Masters of Thomaston, Maine, signed a page on November 26, 1871.
Octavia's cousin, Caddie E. Owen of Bath, Maine, signed two pages, one on November 25, 1869, and the other that she didn't date.
Octavia's cousin Mose signed three pages, including one at Thomaston, Maine, on November 25, 1871.
Octavia's cousin George A. Winter signed a page at Providence, Rhode Island, on December 11, 1870.
Octavia's cousin M. E. Winter signed a page at Boston, Massachusetts, on December 3, 1870.
Octavia's cousin "Charl" signed a page.
One interesting page was unsigned but contained a sketch with the caption: "Pleasant by thy dreams".
If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly. Thanks!
List of signers: [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]
- Cousin Mose, to Cousin Tave; Mose signed other pages in the album, one of them at Thomaston, Maine, on November 25, 1871
- C. J. ?, signed on August 15, 1870. Surname is possibly Storrs, or Stone or Thomas or Thorne or ?
- Hester, signed at Saint John, New Brunswick, on June 3, 1869
- Janet, signed at Saint John, New Brunswick, on June 3, 1869; wrote her sentiment in French
- D. Fannel or Fanuel or?, 33 Quai d'Orleans [possibly the Quai d'Orleans at Paris, France]
- Charl; Octavia's cousin. Possibly Charles or Charlotte
- F. Appleton, signed on August 15, 1870. Middle initial might be H or A or ? He may have been Frederick H. Appleton, brother of the signer of the next page, Henry A. Appleton, of Bangor, Maine.
- Henry A. Appleton, signed on August 15, 1870. He may have been the Henry A. Appleton of Bangor, Maine, and the F. H. Appleton who signed the previous page may have been his brother Frederick H. Appleton.
- Frank W. Averill, signed on August 15, 1870. He may have been the Frank Averill who sailed schooners out of Rockport, New York, Baltimore, Providence and Boston.
- L. A. Bliss, signed at Bangor, Maine, on August 10, 1870
- Charles E. Bliss. "Naughty". At sea, August 7, 1872, Long. 67.30. Bark Martha A. McNeil"
- Thomas R. Cartland of Portland, Maine, signed on February 16, 1874. Not sure of surname.
- Edward O. Chase, signed on August 27, 1870; he pasted a chromolithograph and wrote his name on it.
- C. W. S. Cobb of Rockland, Maine, signed on September 30, 1874. Charles W. S. Cobb
- William Reginald Corfield of Gloucester, England; Ship "Avonmore". Read about his fascinating life here: http://corfield.port5.com/web/1305.htm
- Charles A. DeCosta at Claremont House, G Crosby, West Liverpool, presumably a member of the DeCosta shipping family.
- A. A. Folsom, signed at Boston, Massachusetts, on December 11, 1870
- Gae Gabancho, signed at Havana, Cuba, on February 9, 1872
- William G. Jones, signed at Havre on June 26, 1872
- "Octavia M. Jordan of Thomaston, Maine; album owner. She signed a page in the album about a potentially fatal accident at sea. ""Havre, June 17, 1872
- ""On board Bark Martha a McNeil leaving the dock at half past five P.M. bound to Philadelphia - came in collision with a large steamer, which struck us on our Port bow and raked us fore and aft, making a complete muck of our good bark. The scene cannot be described, but our lives are all spared. Tave M. Jordan."
- Thomas B. Jordan, Saint John, New Brunswick
- O. M. Jordan, signed on January 18, 1870. "The Blonder", C. W. Owen - 2-38 on the road
- Mary E. Land, signed at Boston, Massachusetts, on December 2, 1870
- S. W. Masters, signed at Thomaston, Maine, on November 26, 1871 "You will find me at my barn on Green St." He was Silas W. Masters, younger brother of Octavia's mother Elizabeth.
- Caddie R. Owen of Bath, Maine, signed on November 25, 1869; Octavia's cousin. She married Josiah W. Thompson at Bath, Maine, on 25 December 1872
- Henry Rankin of Saint John, New Brunswick, signed on June 4, 1869
- William Edgar Rivers, signed at Thomaston, Maine, on April 23, 1870
- C. C. Rivers of Boston, Massachusetts, signed on August 5, 1869
- Anna M. Robinson, signed on August 15, 1870. Mentions Bangor, Maine; Pushaw [pond near Bangor]; Jane Lyder; Lou Schwartz on Ohio Street [presumably Bangor, Maine]; Bliss domicile
- Edward P. Roche, signed in January 1870
- Daniel P. Rose, signed at Thomaston, Maine, on April 23, 1870
- Fannie T. Scott of Wiscasset, Maine, signed June 3, 1869 at Saint John, New Brunswick; "your sailor friend and companion in misery"
- Fannie Scott of Wiscasset, Maine - "We will meet again in Liverpool"
- Kate S. Spalding of South Thomaston, Maine, signed on "May Day", 1870
- Luke Stewart, signed on June 3, 1869
- James Stewart of Saint John, New Brunswick
- Mary Stewart, signed at Saint John, New Brunswick, on June 3, 1869. It's tempting to think that she was the namesake of the barque Mary Stewart that sailed from Saint John in 1871; ran aground in 1881 on the Shingle Sands in the Princess Channel on a trip from North Shields to Baltimore.
- C. W. Watters, signed on 5 June 1869
- J. C. Winter, signed at Boston, Massachusetts, on December 12, 1870
- George A. Winter, signed at Providence, Rhode Island, on December 11, 1870; Octavia's cousin
- M. E. Winter, signed at Boston, Massachusetts, on Dec. 3, 1870; Octavia's cousin