Friday, April 3, 2015

1848+ Autograph Album of Harriet Maria Stearns of Winchendon, Massachusetts

Autograph album of Harriet Maria Stearns, "Hattie", of Winchendon, Massachusetts, possibly given to her by H. N. Dunbar at Milton, New Hampshire.  She may have been a student at Milton Academy; inscribers hail from Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The album measures approximately 7-3/4" x 6-1/4" and contains the sentiments of 29 of Hattie's relatives and friends.  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.  It appears that title page and any end pages are missing, as the page above is the first page present.

Three items from a later era were tucked in the album: a cartoon; a booklet of French children's songs; and some stamps ripped from an envelope.

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

Harriet Maria Stearns, "Hattie", was born November 2, 1829 at Winchendon, Massachusetts, the daughter of Amos and Sally (Lake or Lackey ?) Stearns.  Hattie had, I believe, two full siblings; her baby brother died in infancy.  Her full sister Lavina H. Stearns of Winchendon, Massachusetts, inscribed a page on February 6, 1853.  Tucked in that page is a handmade book ribbon.

Hattie's father was married at least twice before marrying Hattie's mother and had about 12 children with his other wives.  I believe Hattie's married was also married previously, to a Mr. Wood.

About 1853, Harriet Maria Stearns married Kilburn S. Porter, son of Charles and Elizabeth (Hinchman) Porter.  Kilburn's death record shows Kilburn's place of birth as Amherst, Massachusetts, as well as that of his mother.  But most Census records have him born in New Hampshire, so perhaps he and his mother were born in Amherst, New Hampshire.

Harriet Maria (Stearns) Porter died in 1900; Kilburn died in 1914.  They're buried at Bellevue Cemetery at Lawrence, Massachusetts.  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.

Surnames in the Album

? [2]JRT
Burk or BushKSW
BurkeKendallSeaverW ? [2]
DMSimmonsWard [3]
H ?PStearns [2]

Inscribers in the Album
  • Unsigned
  • Sarah
  • Elisabeth A. Burk or Elisabeth A. Bush of Bennington, presumably Vermont, inscribed on April 4, 1852
  • A. E. Burke of Bennington, Vermont
  • H. N. Dunbar, whose name appears on an inscription on the dedication page of Harriet's album, inscribed at Milton, New Hampshire on December 20, 1848
  • Georgianna H., inscribed at Milford, New Hampshire, on January 28, 1849
  • Elvira Heald of Solon, Maine, inscribed on April 9, 1852. Middle initial either W or ?
  • Nancy M. Hoyt of Milford, New Hampshire, inscribed on February 18, 1849
  • H. Hutchinson, inscribed at Milford, New Hampshire, on January 23, 1849
  • Elizabeth Jones, inscribed at Lawrence, Massachusetts, on November 6, 1853
  • H. A. Kendall of Milford, New Hampshire, inscribed on August 12, 1849
  • Sarah E. Messer, inscribed on August 5, 1850
  • Josephine C. Moore
  • Celestia W. Pease, inscribed at Weston, Vermont, on August 12, 1849
  • Jinnie Prescott of Monmouth, Maine, inscribed in 1853
  • Ann J. Rutherford of Monkton, Vermont, inscribed on June 9, 1850
  • Lauraett Seaver of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Presumably the woman identified as Lauretta F. Seaver who married Gates P. Frye at Lawrence, Massachusetts on November 5, 1859. She was born about 1828 in Vermont.
  • Mary A. Simmons or Mary A. Simmonson of Haverhill, Massachusetts, inscribed on August 4, 1850
  • Jeanette S. Smith
  • Harriet B. Spalding, inscribed at Wilton, New Hampshire, on February 18, 1849
  • Harriet M. Stearns of Winchendon, Massachusetts; album owner.  It may have been given to her by H. N. Dunbar at Milford, Massachusetts
  • Lavina H. Stearns of Winchendon, Massachusetts, inscribed on February 6, 1853. Harriet's sister. Needlepoint bookmark with the word "Love".
  • Elisabeth Towne of Milford, New Hampshire, inscribed on October 21, 1849
  • H. A. W.
  • S. E. W.
  • George P. Ward of Ashburnham, Massachusetts, inscribed on December 28, 1849
  • Franklin W. Ward of Ashburnham, Massachusetts, inscribed on December 28, 1849
  • Eunice H. Ward of Ashburnham, Massachusetts, inscribed on December 25, 1849. Not sure of the name.
  • Sarah E. Whitney of Bethel, Maine
  • David Wyman, inscribed at Manchester [no state written] on August 5, 1850. Middle initial might be J or G or ?
Winchendon, Massachusetts; Lawrence, Massachusetts; Milton, New Hampshire

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