1860s autograph album of Ella Frances Blanchard of Medford, Massachusetts.
Ella indicated that she received the album on December 25, 1860. Where some of the autographs were signed before that date, it appears that the gifter collected some autographs before Christmas.
The album is approximately 7" x 5-1/2" and contains the sentiments of 45 of Ella's relatives, friends and schoolmates. An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.
Someone, presumably Ella, added notes with death dates for many of the signers. It's hard for us to comprehend how quickly young adults could die from something that we'd consider relatively minor today.
The album was published by G. G. Evans of Philadelphia and contains four engravings interspersed throughout.
From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]
Ella Frances Blanchard was born 13 April 1848 in New York, the daughter of Sidney and Cordelia M. (Galloupe) Blanchard, both Massachusetts natives.
Ella's parents signed pages in her album. Her father, Sidney Blanchard of Medford, Massachusetts, signed a page on February 7, 1864. When I first saw the page, I wondered if it was signed by Ella's father Sidney or her brother Sidney. But someone, presumably Ella, wrote a note: "Died February 1, 1872. That was the death date of her father Sidney.
Ella's mother, Cordelia M. (Galloupe) Blanchard signed a page at Medford, Massachusetts, on April 28, 1862.
A few of the pages had boxes traced on them, and signers did not write over the lines of their box, which sometimes resulted in missing letters. That was the case with the page signed by Ella's brother Sidney S. Banchard. He managed to get his residence and the date he signed in the box: Medford, June 13, 1864, but his surname was cut off to "Blanc".
On 7 July 1869 at Charlestown, Massachusetts, Ella Frances Blanchard married Nelson Shepard Bean, son of Maine Judge Emery Oliver Bean and Elizabeth Hunton (Craig) Bean. Nelson was born 18 July 1845 at Readfield, Maine.
The couple lived at Malden, Massachusetts, where Nelson ran an express business. The 1880 Census shows that Ella's widowed mother, Cordelia, was living with them. I don't believe Nelson and Ella had any children.
Ella, poor soul, died 31 March 1895 from "exhaustion of an abdominal tumor". Nelson apparently moved back to Maine and was working as an insurance agent when he died of tuberculosis at Hallowell, Maine. His death certificate indicated that he'd had tuberculosis for five years.
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!
One signer, P. E. Bowman, affixed a photograph to her page.
The other engravings:
The inside back cover has an interesting decal.
List of signers: [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]
- W. M. - penned a two-page dedication in the front of the album
- Allie; Ella's schoolmate
- Julia L. R., signed on November 21, 1862
- Isabel S [or Isabel L.], signed at West Medford, Massachusetts, on January 17, 1863
- Ella L. B., signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on January 22, 1864
- "F", the wag, drew some lines and left a note: "Ella, blank verse is my forte"
- Lilla P. Ames, signed December 19, 1862
- Eunice M. Barker, signed on December 22, 1860
- J. E. B., signed June 6, 1862. Someone, presumably Ella, penned a note at the top of the page: "Josephine E.. Belcher, Died May 16, 1869, Age 22"
- Ella F. Blanchard of Medford, Massachusetts; she noted the date she started the album as December 25, 1860, but she may have received it early or some people signed it before she received it.
- Sidney Blanchard of Medford, Massachusetts, signed on February 7, 1864. Ella's father and brother were both named Sidney, but because of a penciled note that reads "Died February 1, 1872", which was Ella's father's death date, the Sidney who signed the page was Ella's father.
- "Mother", signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on April 28, 1862. Ella's mother, Cordelia M. (Galloupe) Blanchard
- Sidney S. Blancard, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on June 13, 1864; I believe this was Ella's brother, not her father. Sidney wrote in a box and cut off his surname as another box was covering it, though that box was unfilled - "Sidney S. Blanc"
- P. E. Bowman; she affixed a gem tintype to the page and sketched a flowering branch
- Henry G. Carey, signed at Malden, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1862. He drew some musical notation
- Chas. Cummings, signed at Medford High School on January 19, 1864; presumably Charles Cummings
- Julia Cushing, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, in June 1862. She wrote something after her name, perhaps 24, which might have been her age.
- Fannie E. Dalton, signed on December 22, 1860
- Jennie E. Dalton, signed December 22, 1860; she wrote on the page upside down
- M. M. Durgin, signed on June 6, 1862
- Fany [or ?]. A note, presumably by Ella: "Frances E. Dyer died November 6, 1863 aged 31 years"
- Louisa F. Gardner, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on January 30 [no year written]; Ella's schoolmate
- Charles E. Gleason of Medford, Massachusetts, signed on October 25, 1861. Charles Edwin Gleason; he shared the page with his wife Carrie F. (Monroe) Gleason
- Carrie F. Gleason, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on October 29, 1860 [perhaps 1861]. She shared the page with her husband Charles E. Gleason
- Charles T. Jacobs; shared the page with Estella M. Stevens; ? [possibly Hannah] N. Sylvester; and Helen A. Stetson
- Ellen M. Lane, signed at West Medford, Massachusetts, on January 21, 1864; shared the page with Ella G. Southworth; and Dora A. Sampson
- Emma J. Leonard
- E. A. Marble, signed on December 30, 1860. Someone, presumably Ella, added a note in pencil: Died December 29, 1871
- Elizabeth A. Marble, signed at Boston, Massachusetts, on December 31, 1860
- Bella Meston, signed on June 14, 1862
- Emma. A note, presumably by Ella: "Emma J. Newcomb died September 27, 1863"
- Annie T. Oliver, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on May 24, 1863
- Ellen M. Pratt, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on December 18, 1862; Ella's schoolmate
- Dora A. Sampson, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on May 16, 1862; shared the page with Ellen M. Lane and Ella G. Southworth
- Evelyn S., signed at West Medford, Massachusetts, on December 19, 1862. A note, presumably by Ella: "Evelyn Smith died January 26, 1865"
- Ella G. Southworth, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on January 26, 1864; shared the page with Ellen M. Lane and Dora A. Sampson
- Anna M. Southworth, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on January 26, 1864
- Helen A. Stetson; shared the page with Charles T. Jacobs; ? [possibly Hannah] N. Sylvester; and Estella M. Stevens
- Estella M. Stevens; shared the page with Charles T. Jacobs; ? [possibly Hannah] N. Sylvester; and Helen A. Stetson
- William B. Stimpson, signed at Boston, Massachusetts, on February 7, 1864. Penciled note: Died
- ? N. Sylvester, possibly Hannah N. Sylvester; shared the page with Charles T. Jacobs; Estella M. Stevens; and Helen A. Stetson
- Mary Symmes
- Abbie Symmes, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on December 20, 1862. A note, presumably by Ella: "Died August 1872"
- Fannie E. Washburn, signed on November 10, 1864
- Jennie W. Waterman, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on January 8, 1864. Shared page with Kate M. Waterman
- Kate M. Waterman, signed at Medford, Massachusetts, on January 10, 1864. Note: "K.M.W. died March 20, 1867 16" [presumably her age]
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