Tuesday, October 14, 2014

1846-1847 Autograph Album of Harriet Bliss Jordan of Thomaston, Maine; student at North Yarmouth Academy

1846-1847 autograph album of Hattie Bliss Jordan of Thomaston, Maine, with some autographs acquired while she was a student at North Yarmouth Academy.

Her pastor, R Woodhull, who inscribed a page at Thomaston, Maine, on July 11, 1847, was considerate enough of a researcher some 167 years in the future to work Hattie's full name into an acrostic.  He was Richard Woodhull, born in Connecticut in 1802, son of Captain Abraham Cooper Woodhull and Eunice (Sturges) Woodhull.  He married Sarah Forbes of Bangor, Maine.

The album measures approximately 7-3/4" x 6-1/2" and contains the sentiments of 23 of Hattie's pastor, teacher, friends, schoolmates and possibly relatives.  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.  Sadly, many people signed with first names only or initials.

The album is a beauty, printed by J. C. Riker and containing six hand colored engravings of flowers, with black and white background scenes.  The title page, below, one of the more muted designs.

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

Harriet Bliss Jordan, "Hattie", was born April 27, 1831 at Thomaston, Maine, the daughter of Capt. Oliver William Jordan and Susan C. (Oakes) Jordan, both Thomaston, Maine, natives as well.  Capt. Jordan was a shipmaster and, after he gave up the seafaring life, a banker.

Harriet had, I believe, eight siblings, but I don't know if any of them signed pages in her album.  A family researcher might have better luck looking at the list of the signers at the end of this post for likely prospects among those who didn't give their surname or who used a married name.

Apparently Hattie attended North Yarmouth Academy, at least during the year 1846.  Several people indicated that they signed pages at the Academy or at North Yarmouth, Maine.  One of them might have been an instructor or administrator there, Samuel Woodbury Mitchell, who later became a college professor down South.  He inscribed a page at North Yarmouth, Maine, on November 6, 1846.

I wonder if Harriet Bliss Jordan was the Harriet who was living at Saco, Maine, at the time of the 1850 Census and apparently working at a mill.  It doesn't seem likely that the daughter of a sea captain and banker would be working at a Saco, Maine, mill, but I suppose it's possible.

On 30 May 1853 at Thomaston, Maine, Hattie married Captain Raymond Leeman Gillchrist, son of Capt. Joseph and Sarah (Carney) Gillchrist.  Hattie's happy days were not to last long, for she died at New Orleans, Louisiana, on February 11, 1854, from natural causes, from the climate or from childbirth, I would like to know.

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]

Signers in the album          [Note: Given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]

  • M. R. P.
  • Mary
  • 2 page sentiment of John, signed at Thomaston, Maine, on January 24, 1847
  • G. C. Lorenso of North Yarmouth, Maine. The page is written in Spanish, and the name may be inverted.
  • E. M., signed at North Yarmouth, Maine, on November 17, 1846
  • C. F. O. B.; not sure of F
  • Webb, signed at Thomaston, Maine, on January 20, 1847
  • F. H.
  • Carrie, signed at Thomaston, Maine, on July 1847
  • Ellen B., "your friend and schoolmate"
  • Frank
  • D, signed at Thomaston, Maine, on February 9, 1847; not sure of ornate initial
  • Mary W., signed at North Yarmouth, Maine, on November 15, 1846; middle initial might be B or R
  • Mary E. Baker
  • D. T. Bradford
  • George H. Chadwick
  • Ellen M. Dunham
  • Henry D. Johnson
  • Harriet Bliss Jordan,"Hattie", of Thomaston, Maine; student at North Yarmouth Academy in 1846.  Daughter of Sea Capt. Oliver William Jordan and Susan C. (Oakes) Jordan; future wife of Capt. Raymond L. Gilchrist
  • Inscribed to "Miss Jordan" by S. Woodbury Mitchell, at North Yarmouth, Maine, on November 6, 1846. Presumably Samuel Woodbury Mitchell, born September 20, 1819 at North Yarmouth, Maine, and presumably an instructor or administrator at North Yarmouth Academy in 1846.
  • Mary G. Prince. Presumably Mary Gray Prince, daughter of Sea Captain Cushing Price of North Yarmouth, Maine. After graduation, she and her sister Isabella Graham Prince moved to Japan and taught in a domestic arts school. One of their students was Princess Fushimi, who favored a western life style. When the sisters retired in their 80s, they were honored by the Japanese nobility. They moved back to Maine and are buried at Yarmouth, Maine.
  • 2 page sentiment of Sarah C. Torrey, signed at North Yarmouth Academy on November 6, 1846; not sure of month
  • Huldah G. True
  • R. Woodhull, signed at Thomaston, Maine, on July 16, 1847. "Your affectionate friend & pastor". Richard Woodhull, born in 1802 in Connecticut, son of Capt. Abraham Cooper Woodhull and Eunice (Sturges) Woodhull and husband of Sarah (Forbes) Woodhull of Bangor, Maine.

Thanks for stopping by!

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