Saturday, February 7, 2015

1857-1878 Autograph Album of Josephine M. Hamilton of Des Moines, Iowa Area


[Post amended February 8, 2015 with a reader's new information; revision in bold below.]

1857-1878 autograph album that belonged to Josephine M. Hamilton, with sentiments acquired from before and after her marriage to John Thompson Ware.  Only one of the pages was inscribed after the late 1850s/early 1860s era - from 1878, when apparently the album resurfaced.

It's likely that Josephine was a student at Yellow Springs College at Kossuth, Iowa, as at least two of the sentiments were left by students or faculty there.

The album was presented to Josephine by David H. Harper as a New Year's present.


The album measures approximately 8-1/2" x 7" and contains 23 sentiments, with one person possibly inscribing three of them.  An alphabetical surname list and an alphabetical list of the signers, together with any personal information they offered, appear at the end of this post.  I didn't notice that any of the inscribers mentioned a family relationship to Josephine, but it's possible that some of them were related to her.

Entitled "The Souvenir Album", the album was published by Leavitt and Allen of New York; it contains three engravings interspersed throughout.


In addition, several of the pages inscribed by Josephine's friends are works of art, such as the page inscribed by M. T. King at Wapello, Iowa, on July 9, 1857.


From brief online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions welcome!]

According to unverified sources, Josephine M. Hamilton was born October 22, 1840 at Ross, Ohio, the daughter of John and Sarah Hamilton, Ohio natives.   I haven't found more information on them as yet.

On August 23, 1860 at Des Moines, Iowa, Josephine married future Civil War veteran John Thompson Ware, son of John Detter Ware and Susannah Elizabeth (Heizer) Ware.  John and Josephine had as many as seven children or more.  I found one reference to Josephine's death in 1885, but I haven't found a record to verify that yet.  John Thompson Ware, I believe, died at Sawtelle, California, in 1904.

One page is signed by a person whose name looks like W. M. Van, but could possibly be Ware, the surname of Josephine's husband John Thompson Ware.


The last inscribed page in the album inscribed by Belle at Boone, Iowa, on April 10, 1878, when the album apparently came to light.  Note the initials in the upper left corner, possibly C.S.A., with a line through the C.  [An eagle-eyed reader has determined that the C is either a bass clef or cent symbol, and the S is actually an 8.  He suggests that, with the letter A, these might comprise an anagram.]


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.

Surnames in the Album

? [5]GL
BG ?Lucas
B ?HP
Bell [3, possibly the same person]HainesPierce
BradleyHamiltonS
CHarperStrain
CampbellKV
CreightonKilpatrickVan ?
FKingW
FoggWare ?

Signers in the Album        [Given names within a specific surname might not be in alphabetical order.]
  • Will, Jr., signed on June 13, 1859
  • Miss Lottie
  • Reid
  • Sim, signed at Kossuth, Iowa, in April 1859
  • Belle, signed at Boone, Iowa, on April 10, 1878; initials in one corner: "C.S.A."; the C has a line through it running vertically.  [An eagle-eyed reader has determined that the C is either a bass clef or cent symbol, and the S is actually an 8.  He suggests that, with the letter A, these might comprise an anagram.]
B
  • F. E. B. of, or signed at, Franklin, New York, in Delaware County
  • Thomas S. Bell, signed at Wapello, Iowa, on July 12, 1857.  Possibly the same Thomas S. Bell who inscribed other pages.
  • Thomas S. Bell from W. A. Fogg, signed at Wapello, Iowa, on July 12, 1857. One of those names may have been the author of the lines of poetry written. Possibly the same Thomas S. Bell who inscribed other pages.
  • Thomas S. Bell, signed at Wapello, Iowa, on July 12, 1857;  possibly the Thomas S. Bell who inscribed other pages.
  • A. V. Bradley, signed at Yellow Springs College on October 13, 1859. Yellow Springs College was located at Kossuth, Iowa. The site is currently Chautauqua Park.
C
  • Thomas Campbell, signed on March 22, 1859
  • H. L. Creighton
F
  • W. A. Fogg; either the author of a poem selected, or an actual inscriber, whose name appears with that of Thomas S. Bell on a page inscribed at Wapello, Iowa, on July 12, 1857.
G
  • 2-page sentiment of N. D. G.; not sure of initials.
H
  • William H. Haines, signed at Wapello, Iowa, on July 10, 1857
  • Josephine M. Hamilton, album owner. Presented the album as a New Year's present by David H. Harper on January 1, 1857
  • David H. Harper; he presented the album to Josephine at New Year's in 1857
K
  • Daniel Kilpatrick, signed at Kossuth, Iowa, on March 14, 1859
  • M. T. King, signed at Wapello, Iowa, on July 9, 1857; not sure of middle initial. Beautifully designed page.
L
  • H. W. Lucas of Des Moines, Iowa
P
  • L. B. Pierce, signed at Kossuth, on March 5, 1859; presumably the Kossuth in Iowa.
S
  • Miss L. O. Strain, undated but inscribed to Mrs. J. M. Ware, so after Josephine's August 23, 1860 marriage.
V
  • W. M. Van, signed on July 15, 1859; not sure of surname and wonder if it could be Ware, the surname of Josephine's future husband John Thompson Ware.
W
  • W. M. Van, signed on July 15, 1859; not sure of surname and wonder if it could be Ware, the surname of Josephine's future husband John Thompson Ware.
Ross, Ohio, to Yellow Springs, Iowa


Thanks for stopping by!

2 comments:

  1. Under magnification, the CSA shows up as the following: the first is either a bass clef or cent symbol, the S is actually an 8 and the A is still an A, all between quotation marks. It looks like it could be an anagram.
    Mike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great sleuthing, Michael! I'm amending the post with your new information; many thanks.

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