Friday, February 20, 2015

1860-1905 Autograph Album of Louisa Barr of Erie, Pennsylvania; 1861 Student at Cleveland Female Seminary, Cleveland, Ohio


1860-1905 autograph album that belonged to Louisa Barr of Erie, Pennsylvania.  She attended the Cleveland Female Seminary at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1861 and possibly through 1862 and acquired many sentiments from her schoolmates.

The album measures approximately 8" x 5-1/2" and contains the sentiments of 69 of Louisa's friends and schoolmates.  An alphabetical surname list and an alphabetical list of the inscribers, together with any personal information they offered, appear at the end of this post.

Any presentation or ownership pages that once existed are no longer present; nor is the title page.  Fortunately, one inscriber mentioned the owner's surname, and another mentioned her given name.  L. R. F. Hammatt inscribed a page at Ipswich, Massachusetts on July 9, 1862, and mentioned "Dear Miss Barr".  I believe the inscriber was Lucy R. (Farley) Dodge Hammatt, widow of Abraham Hammatt.


Inscriber Helen J. Chamberlin of Cleveland, Ohio, mentioned "Lou" in her June 24, 1861 sentiment, "One year ago tonight, Lou".


I'd like to know the connection between Louisa and Ipswich, Massachusetts, as four other inscribers from the Ipswich area left sentiments.  One of them, Helen M. Sheldon of Lynn, Massachusetts,  a student at I. F. S., presumably Ipswich Female Academy, inscribed a page on June 12, 1862.  It's possible that a young lady from Essex County, Massachusetts, attended the Cleveland Female Seminary and invited Louisa home for a visit.


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

Louisa W. Barr, possibly Louisa Wright Barr, was born in Pennsylvania about April 1843, the daughter, I think, of Matthew Robinson Barr and Laura (Wright) Barr.  The 1850 Census gives Louisa's surname as Wright, so there's a possibility that Louisa was born before Laura and Matthew were married, but it's also possible that the enumerator meant to indicate that Wright was Louisa's middle name, after her mother's maiden name, and Wright was interpreted as her surname.

Below, a page signed by members of a club, "S.A.C.; F.A.E." at Cleveland Female Seminary, with one of them possibly being Louisa Barr herself.  Sorry about one of the nicknames, which ruins the fun.


About 1866, Louisa married Henry Solomon Seaman, first nicknamed "Sollie" and later "Harry", son of John Farmer Seaman and Cleora Augusta (Stevens) Seaman.  Harry and Louisa are mentioned many times in a biography of Henry's sister, Civil War nurse Lucy Elizabeth (Seaman) Bainbridge, in which Louisa Barr is described as a "sweet and sensible girl", a boarding student, presumably at Cleveland Female Seminary, whom Lucy often brought home.  It was Lucy who encouraged a courtship between the shy Harry and sweet Louisa.

Louisa and Henry were married about 1864, though I haven't found a record of it.  Louisa's father welcomed Henry into the family stove manufacturing business at Erie, Pennsylvania, and the new family prospered.  At some point, Harry sold his interest in the stove business and moved out west where he eventually lost his money.  The family returned to Erie, Pennsylvania, in much reduced circumstances, and later moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Harry worked for Standard Oil, having met John D. Rockefeller at the Second Baptist Church.

Louisa and Harry had, I believe, four children:
  1. Augusta L. Seaman, born March 3, 1865
  2. Laura A. Seaman, born about November 1867
  3. Charles F. Seaman, born about 1869; he does not appear in the 1880 Census
  4. Walter L. Seaman, born about April 1871
Harry died in 1920; Louisa had predeceased him some time after 1910.  If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the inscribers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Two pages in the album were inscribed long after the 1860s, one in 1878 and one in 1905.   H. R. Palmer inscribed a page on October 10, 1878: In remembrance of the convention at Erie."  I believe this was a reference to a musical convention, as H. R. Palmer was a musician, and Louisa was described by her sister-in-law Lucy Elizabeth (Seaman) Bainbridge as a pianist.

The page inscribed in 1905 was that of Mary Evans, a student or faculty member at Lake Erie College, who signed her page at Painesville, Ohio, on November 23, 1905.  It's the last inscribed page in the album.


Surnames in the Album

? [6]CHP
ACanfieldHammattPaige
AllenCareyHopkinsPalmer
Andrews [2]ChamberlinHoytPerkins
ArbuckleClaxtonHugginsR
BCousensHulburt [2]Richardson
B ? [2]Cowles [2]HurlbutRiddle
BaconCraneHusseyS
BairdDKSanford [2]
BarneyDavisKelley [2]Sheldon [3]
BattlesEKendallShepherd
BenedictEdwardsLSilloway
BenneyErieLanphearSmith
BinghamEvansLowSwart
BishopMT
BlytheMathewsThayer
BrownMoodyV
BurrellMunnVan Boskerck
BurtonOVanness
Orne

Inscribers in the Album    [Given names within a specific surname might not be in alphabetical order.]
  • "Codfish", signed at the Sparrow's Nest on October 26, 1862.  Page is entitled "S.A.C." and "F. A. E."
  • "Little Dutchman", signed at Blue Room on October 26, 1862.  Page is entitled "S.A.C." and "F. A. E."
  • Great Western alias Aunt Betsey, signed at Blue Room on November 16, 1862.  Page is entitled "S.A.C." and "F. A. E."
  • "Nig", signed at Sparrows Nest on October 26, 1862.  Page is entitled "S.A.C." and "F. A. E."
  • Mr. Sparrow-tail, signed at Sparrows Nest on October 26, 1862.  Page is entitled "S.A.C." and "F. A. E."
  • Lucy, signed on November 16, 1862
A
  • Theresa R. Allen of Kinsman, Ohio, signed at the Cleveland Female Seminary on June 22, 1861
  • Clara E. Andrews of Gambier, Ohio, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 22, 1861
  • India Andrew of LaPorte, Indiana, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 25, 1861
  • Lou Arbuckle of Erie, Pennsylvania, signed on April 5, 1862.  Shared the page with Roxy C. Cowles; Helen A. Hulburt; Susy A. R. Cowles; and Millie Burton
B
  • I. S. B., or J. S. B., signed on November 15, 1861; written on the inside front cover.
  • Levi B.; rest of sentiment obscured.  Shared the page with Jennie E. Battles; S. N. Sanford; M. L. H. Sanford; and Hannah B. Smith
  • Mollie E. Bacon of Pontiac, Michigan, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 23, 1861
  • Silla J. Baird of Ashland, Ohio, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary. Possibly Lilla J. Baird.
  • Cora Barney of Sandusky City, Ohio, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary, "Map Cap Hall", No. 29 [or 27 or 21], on June 22 [no year written]
  • Jennie E. Battles [not sure of given name].  Shared the page with Levi B.; S. N. Sanford; M. L. H. Sanford; and Hannah B. Smith
  • Mollie W. Benedict of Cleveland, Ohio, signed on June 24, 1861
  • Louise M. Benney of Valparaiso, Indiana, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 22, 1861
  • Carrie Bingham of Cleveland, Ohio, signed on June 25, 1861
  • Sarah M. Bishop of Cleveland, Ohio, signed on June 25, 1861
  • Ellen H. Blythe of Hanover, Indiana, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 11, 1862.  Shared the page with Kate S. Claxton
  • Kate Brown of Erie, Pennsylvania, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 23, 1861
  • Julia E. Burrell of Erie, Pennsylvania, signed on July 15, 1863; alias "Biddy". 
  • Millie Burton of Cleveland, signed on June 24, 1861.  Shared the page with Roxy C. Cowles; Helen A. Hulburt; Susy A. R. Cowles; and Lou Arbuckle
C
  • M. Josephine Canfield of Cleveland, Ohio, signed on June 26, 1861. Possibly Marianne Josephine Canfield.
  • Alice Carey of Cleveland, Ohio, signed on June 22, 1861
  • Helen J. Chamberlin of Cleveland, Ohio, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 24, 1861. "One year ago tonight, Lou".
  • Kate S. Claxton of Rochester, New York, signed on June 25 [no year written].  Shared the page with Ellen H. Blythe
  • Hattie S. Cousens of Newton Centre, Massachusetts.  Shared the page with Abbie M. Orne and Anna H. Silloway.
  • Roxy C. Cowles of Ipswich, Massachusetts, signed on June 11, 1862.  Shared the page with Helen A. Hulburt; Susie A. R. Cowles; Millie Burton and Lou Arbuckle
  • Susy A. R. Cowles of Ipswich, Massachusetts, signed at Ipswich, on June 1, 1862.  Shared the page with Roxy C. Cowles; Helen A. Hulburt; Millie Burton and Lou Arbuckle
  • Ellen C. Crane of Fall River, Massachusetts, signed on July 16, 1862
D
  • Emma L. Davis of Trenton, Michigan, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 25, 1861
E
  • Helen M. Edwards of Trenton, Michigan, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary
  • Libbie H. Erie of Ashland, Ohio, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary
  • Mary Evans of Lake Erie College, signed at Painesville, Ohio, on November 23, 1905
H
  • L. R. F. Hammatt or L. A. F. Hammatt, signed at Ipswich, on July 9, 1862; presumably Lucy R. (Farley) Dodge Hammatt, widow of Abraham Hammatt
  • Julia S. Hopkins, signed at Cleveland, Ohio, on June 25, 1861
  • Zidda Hoyt of Cleveland, Ohio, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 25, 1861
  • Julia L. Huggins of Granville, Ohio
  • Helen A. Hulburt of Philadelphia. Shared the page with Roxy C. Cowles; Susy A. R. Cowles; Millie Burton and Lou Arbuckle
  • Dayton W. Hulburt of Philadelphia, signed on January 7, 1862
  • Clara L. Hurlbut or Hurlburt, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 25, 1861
  • Anna M. Hussey of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1861. Not sure of surname.
K
  • Libbie Kelley of Port Huron, Michigan, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 23, 1861
  • Sallie M. Kelley of Erie, Pennsylvania, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 23, 1861
  • Mattie L. Kendall of Valley City, Michigan, signed on June 25, 1861
L
  • Alice Lanphear
  • Mate Low of Erie, Pennsylvania, signed on July 2, 1861
M
  • Fannie H. Mathews of Pontiac, Michigan, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 23, 1861
  • Jennie R. Moody of Ashland, Ohio, signed on June 22, 1861
  • Ellen M. Munn of Medina, Ohio, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 22, 1861. Not sure of surname
O
  • Abbie M. Orne of Marblehead, Massachusetts.  Shared the page with Anna H. Silloway and Hattie S. Cousens
P
  • Celina Paige, or Alina Paige, of Madison, Ohio, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 22, 1861
  • H. R. Palmer, signed on October 10, 1878. "In remembrance of the convention at Erie"
  • Maria A. Perkins of Akron, Ohio, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on 22 June [no state written]
R
  • Cornelia A. Richardson of Omaha City, Nebraska, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 25, 1861
  • Florence Riddle of Cleveland, Ohio, signed on June 24, 1861
S
  • S. N. Sanford at Cleveland Female Seminary.  Shared the page with Jennie E. Battles; Levi B.; M. L. H. Sanford; and Hannah B. Smith
  • M. L. H. Sanford at Cleveland Female Seminary.  Shared the page with Jennie E. Battles; Levi B.; S. N. Sanford; and Hannah B. Smith
  • Nannie Sheldon of North Beverly, Massachusetts, signed on April 29, 1862
  • Martha Sheldon of Lynn, Massachusetts, signed on April 29, 1862
  • Helen M. Sheldon of Lynn, Massachusetts, signed at I. F. S. on June 12, 1862. Perhaps Ipswich Female Seminary.
  • Eliza Shepherd, signed at Cleveland, Ohio, on June 23, 1861
  • Anna H. Silloway of Boston, Massachusetts.  Shared the page with Abbie M. Orne and Hattie S. Cousens
  • Hannah B. Smith of New Canaan, Connecticut.  Shared the page with Jennie E. Battles; Levi B.; S. N. Sanford; and M. L. H. Sanford.
  • Mrs. E. F. Swart of Meadville, Pennsylvania
T
  • Belle M. Thayer of North Adams, Massachusetts, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 25, 1861
V
  • Mollie S. Van Boskerck, or Mollie S. Van Buskerck, of Joliet, Illinois, signed at Cleveland Female Seminary on June 22, 1860
  • George L. Vanness of Erie, Pennsylvania, signed in 1862



2 comments:

  1. Pam, I'm always hoping I'll see a familiar name in your posts. This time I did, although not a relative, but an author. Abraham Hammatt wrote a small book called the Hammatt Papers (about Ipswich) which I used several times. I always love your maps, and try to learn something each time I see them.

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    Replies
    1. Neat that you recognized the name Abraham Hammatt! I would love to know how his widow and Louisa Barr connected. If it weren't for Mrs. Hammatt's inscription, I wouldn't have known who owned this album. In fact, before I noticed that she had written "Miss Barr", I had initially wondered if the owner was Lucinda Pierce Sheldon of Lynn (I think or at least Essex County) based on the three Sheldons who inscribed pages.

      About the maps - have always loved them, from neighborhood to cosmic, and it's fun to have a reason to play with maps every time I do a post.

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