Monday, September 29, 2014

1846-1850 Autograph Album of Adalaide W. Freeman of Bangor, Maine

1846-1850 autograph album that belonged to Adalaide W. Freeman of Bangor, Maine.  The album was given to her at Christmas in 1846 by A. M. C.

A. M. C. may have been the A. M. Chandler who signed the first page after the title page.  I had to rule out Adeline Matilda (Price) Chandler, wife of James Nelson Chandler of Bangor, Maine, as they didn't marry until 1854.

The album measures approximately 7-1/2" x 6" and contains the sentiments of over thirty people, most of whom, frustratingly, didn't give their full names.  An alphabetical surname list and an alphabetical list of the signers, together with any personal information they forwarded, appear at the end of this post.  The album was published by J. C. Riker of New York and has several engravings interspersed throughout.

The album has a letter tucked inside.  It was addressed to Miss A. W. Freeman and written by Rev. Samuel Lunt Caldwell, then of Bangor, Maine, and, later, president of Vassar College, who was belatedly responding to Adalaide's request that he dedicate her album.

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

In the 1850 Census of Bangor, Maine, an Adalaide W. Freeman was living in the household of William Henry Vinton, his wife Sarah Ward (Goodhue) Vinton and their children, one of whom would grow up to be the noted artist Frederic Porter Vinton.  Adalaide was given a birth date and place as about 1831 in Maine.  Another woman in the household was a Jane Porter, born about 1815 in New Hampshire.

Interestingly, I believe it was this Adalaide W. Freeman who married James C. Porter on November 12, 1850 at Bangor, Maine.  James was born in New Hampshire, perhaps at Bath, about 1821.  Was he related to Jane Porter?  Is there a connection to Frederick Porter Vinton's middle name?

The album contains a page signed by a J. C. P. and a J. P.  It stands to reason that James C. Porter was in Bangor, Maine during the time the album's sentiments were being acquired.  Below, the two page sentiment that J. C. P. inscribed at Bangor, Maine, on April 15, 1849.  Note that J. C. P. inscribed the page to "Adelaide", though signers called her Adalaide, and her nickname may have been Ada.  James and Adalaide would have a named Ada.

By 1860, Adalaide, James, two children, and a Jane B. Porter who may have been James' mother or other relative, were living at Bath, New Hampshire, where James was working as a tanner.  James was presumably the James C. Porter of Bath, New Hampshire, who appears in a Civil War Draft Registration Record for the New Hampshire counties of Cheshire, Sullivan, Grafton and Coos. Whether he served or not, I don't know.

By 1880, the family, by now with three children, was farming at Stowe, Vermont.

An 1895 Minnesota Census found James C. Porter, "Adelade" F. Porter and daughter Margaret living at Minneapolis.  With them, or near them, were Luther C. Porter, age 71, born in Vermont; his wife Martha W. [Webster] Porter, age 71, born in Maine; and Gertrude Porter, age 20, born in Illinois.  Luther Clark Porter, born February 18, 1824, son of Aaron and Rebecca (Blanchard) Porter, had first married Genevieve Alexander, on September 11, 1856.  Interestingly, Luther's paternal grandmother's maiden name was Chandler; the Chandler name appears in the autograph album, coincidence or no.

Luther and Genevieve had a daughter May Genevieve Porter, born May 1, 1858 at Danville, Vermont.  Genevieve (Alexander) Porter died February 18, 1860.  On August 18, 1868, Luther C. Porter married Martha Webster, daughter of Deacon Eliphalet Webster of Portland, Maine.

By 1870 and through 1880 at least, Luther C. Porter had become a flour manufacturer and landowner at Neenah, Wisconsin.

Gertrude Porter would have been born when Martha was about 50, which isn't impossible.  But it's also possible that Gertrude was adopted or even that she was actually the granddaughter of Luther and first wife, Genevieve (Alexander) Porter.  On the 1880 Census of Neenah, Wisconsin, Gertrude is listed as the daughter of Luther and Martha Porter.  Interestingly, there was another daughter in the household, 20 year old May Porter, presumably May Genevieve Porter.  Is it possible that Gertrude was May's daughter?   May Genevieve Porter married Charles H. Wilson on July 25, 1885.

Perhaps James C. Porter and Luther C. Porter were cousins?

Another Porter living at Bangor was Rev. Charles Greenleaf Porter, son of Capt. Greenleaf and Elizabeth (Barrett) Porter.  Rev. Porter's wife, Deborah H. (Cushing) Porter was memorialized by Anne T. Drinkwater in 1848.   Was Rev. Porter another of James' relatives?

The children of James C. Porter and Adalaide W. (Freeman) Porter:

1)  Ada I. Porter, born about July 1853; married Howard Thomas on March 17, 1881 in Vermont; later lived in Wisconsin.  Her widowed father lived with her in his later years.

2)  Edward Freeman Porter, born November 26, 1858 at Bath, New Hampshire; Yale Law and Engineering graduate; married Rachel Kalauokealoha of Hawaii.  Below, from the "Bismarck Weekly Tribune" of January 11, 1895

3)  Margaret Porter, born about June 1878 in Vermont
By the time of the 1900 Census of Superior, Wisconsin, James was living with his daughter Ada and her husband Howard Thomas and family; he called himself a widower.  I haven't yet determined where Adalaide is buried or the year of her death, though it must have occurred between 1895 and 1900.

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

?  [13]
French  [2]

Signers in the album
  • I. M. P., signed at Bangor, Maine, on December 25, 1846
  • Sarah; surname initial might be F or T.
  • "A Friend", signed at Bangor, Maine, on April 15, 1849
  • May, signed at Bangor, Maine, on May 5, 1849
  • P. M. M., or S. M. M., signed at Bangor, Maine, on March 14, 1849
  • 2 page sentiment by J. C. P., signed at Bangor, Maine on April 15, 1849.  Presumably Adalaide's future husband, James C. Porter, whom she married on November 12, 1850 at Bangor, Maine.
  • C. H. B. or C. H. P., signed at Blue Hill, Maine
  • Susan
  • 2 pages inscribed by J. P.
  • 2 pages inscribed by L. I. C, at Bangor, Maine in 1847; not sure of middle initial
  • C. L. or C. T. or ?, signed at Bangor, Maine, on June 30, 1847
  • E. G. or E. T. or ?
  • "By a Californian", signed at Bangor, Maine, on June 24, 1849 [not sure of day; could be 26 or ?]
  • Elizabeth
  • 2 pages inscribed by Caroline at Bangor, Maine, on May 14, 1849
  • A. M. J. P., signed at Bangor, Maine, on November 7, 1850
  • Unsigned, inscribed at Bangor, Maine, in March 1849
  • Bernice, signed at Bangor, Maine, on November 25, 1849
  • Anna, signed at Bangor, Maine, on March 25, 1846 [not sure of last digit]
  • Mary, signed at Bangor, Maine, on April 1, 1848
  • Unsigned
  • I. W. G., signed at Bangor, Maine, on March 9, 1850; not sure of initials
  • Unsigned
  • M. H. Bryant, signed at Bangor, Maine, in December 1847 [15th or 18th, I think]
  • A. M. Chandler, signed at Bangor, Maine, on December 25, 1846. Presented the album to Adalaide.  A. M. C. was presumably the A. M. Chandler who signed an individual page.
  • Bernice Dickey, signed at Bangor, Maine in 1849.  Presumably Bernice Perry (Smith) Dickey, wife of Bangor hotel owner John Calvin Dickey.
  • Adalaide W. Freeman of Bangor, Maine; album owner
  • E. S. French, signed at Bangor, Maine, on June 21, 1847; middle initial could be L.  Perhaps Ellen Sophia French, daughter of Ebenezer and Sophia Carr (Barker) French.
  • F. B. French. Perhaps Frances B. French, born June 8, 1830 at Bangor, Maine, daughter of Ebenezer and Sophia Carr (Barker) French. Frances would marry Charles W. Adams at Bangor, Maine, on December 16, 1852, and would die at Galveston, Texas in October 1853.
  • Caro Liscomb, signed at Bangor, Maine, on September 30, 1850. Presumably Caroline Liscomb, born about the same year as Adalaide, on September 20, 1831, daughter of Thomas and Deborah Allen (Lowdon) Liscomb.
  • C. A. S. Low, signed at Bangor, Maine, on January 20, 1847
  • 2 pages inscribed by E. J. Maltby or E. G. Maltby or ?
  • E. J. Miller, signed at Bangor, Maine, on February 9, 1849
  • Susan Parsons, signed on March 6, 1849; middle initial perhaps T. Perhaps a member of the Nathan Parsons family.
  • S. L. Porter

Bangor, Maine

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