1840-1877 autograph album of Sarah Ann Cross of Somerton, Virginia, which is now Suffolk, Virginia, with inscribers from Virginia and North Carolina. Pages were dedicated to Sarah and her nicknames: "Sallie" and "S'lan". Common surnames among the inscribers: Brinkley, Cross, Edwards, Ivey and Smith. Sadly, many inscribers left only given names or initials.
The album was presented to her in 1840 by her brother William H. Cross, whose middle name I found as either Hurley or Hardy.
The album measures approximately 7-1/2" by 6" and contains the sentiments of 80 or more of Sarah's relatives, including many cousins, and friends, a few of may have inscribed more than one page. 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. As noted above, many inscribers had to be assigned to the "unknown surname" category.
Tucked in the album are three scraps: 1) a photograph of missionary Ann Hasseltine Judson, wife of Adoniram Judson; 2) a long clipping containing the transcript of a letter from General Taylor, presumably Zachary Taylor; and a newspaper clipping that mentions the dental services of M. F. Daughtrey, who I believe to have been a relative or in-law of the Cross family.
The album was published by J. C. Riker of New York and contains several hand-colored engravings interspersed throughout. Although the album is in groups of unbound sections, and some pages may be lost, only the title page suffered appears to have suffered water damage.
From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]
Sarah Ann Cross was born March 31, 1819 in Nansemond County, Virginia, the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Copeland) Cross. Other than brother William, Sarah had two siblings, James Augustus Hardy Cross and Mary Elizabeth Cross. There were several inscribers named Mary, and there was one whose name appeared to be Mrs. James A. Cross. A reader familiar with the family history of Nansemond County, however, may be able to identify more family members and will hopefully leave a comment.
On February 17, 1868, Sarah became the second wife of Jesse Eason, son of Solomon and Avis (Riddick) Eason. Jesse had had five children with his previous wife Mary (Riddick) Eason, whose death date I haven't yet found. One page in the album was inscribed by a J. R. Eason, whom I believe to be Jesse's son Joseph Riddick Eason.
Jesse died in 1885 and Sarah in 1889. 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
|B||Danvers||Ivey ||M ?||R ? |
|B ?||E||I ?||Morry||S|
|Bidgood||Eason||J||N||S ? |
|Brinkley ||Edwards ? ||J ? ||N ? ||Scott|
|C||H||Julietta ?||Norfleet ?||Sewell|
|C ?||Holland||L||P||Smith |
|Carstar||Hunter||L ?||P ?||W|
|Cross ||Lee||Willson |
Inscribers in the Album
- Aggy; Sarah's cousin
- Benny; not sure of name; shared the page with B. D. Smith - they may have been the same person.
- Marmaduke, Sarah's cousin. Marmaduke inscribed several pages throughout the album.
- 2-page sentiment by Margaret, inscribed at New Year in 1841
- ?, inscribed in 1868. Written in pencil and having areas that look erased and smeared.
- Zenas ? of R. M. Institute, Gates County, North Carolina, inscribed on September 1, 1868
- 2-page sentiment by Emet Julietta in 1842
- Alice, Sarah's cousin
- Ida, Sarah's cousin
- Maggy, Sarah's cousin
- Alice, inscribed to her "Cousin S'lan"; penciled date of July 2, 1867, but that may or may not have come later than the inscription, which was written in ink. Shared the page with Robert Norfleet
- Mrs. James A. ?; possibly Ross or Cross. Shared the page with Mrs. Hugh Brinkley and ?
- Initials I can't make out. Shared the page with Mrs. James A. ? and Mrs. Hugh Brinkley
- Cornelia, inscribed at Wilmington, North Carolina
- M.; Sarah's cousin. Sarah also inscribed this page.
- ?, inscribed at Gates County, North Carolina on July 29 [no year written]. Shared the page with Miss Maria Smith.
- Anomers; perhaps this meant Anonymous?. Shared the page with someone whose sentiment and name are too faint to decipher.
- Too faint to decipher. Shared the page with "Anomers"
- "By I xx" or "By J xx". Shared the page with Mutton/Mullon and ?
- Mutton or Mullon or ?, inscribed on June 1, 1869
- ? Shared the page with "I xx" or "J xx" and Mutton/Mullon
- 2-page sentiment inscribed by M, at Portsmouth, Virginia, on December 5, 1849. The surname was perhaps spelled out at one time but rubbed out.
- 2-page sentiment inscribed by P. Henry or P. Henry D. at Portsmouth, Virginia, on August 10, 1845. "Lines Written for Miss Sarah's Album On Leaving Va for Texas"
- Pauline, inscribed at Elmwood Center
- Alice; Sarah's cousin. Shared the page with "XXX" and P.K. or P. R.
- "XXX", inscribed at Reynoldson Institute in 1867. Shared the page with Sarah's cousin Alice and P. K. or P. R.
- P. K. or P. R.. Shared the page with Sarah's cousin Alice and "XXX"
- Archibald, inscribed at Suffolk, Virginia, on July 18, 1842; Sarah's cousin
- Dawson, inscribed at Somerton, Virginia
- Name rubbed out; inscribed at Portsmouth, Virginia, on August 25, 1847
- Samba, inscribed at Gatesville, North Carolina, on October 7, 1840; not sure of name.
- Pat, inscribed on June 25, 1849; Sarah's cousin
- Pat, inscribed at Portsmouth, Virginia, on January 8, 1847
- Name appears to be rubbed out; inscribed at New Bern, North Carolina, on January 22, 1841
- David, inscribed at Newbern, North Carolina, on January 22, 1841. "Thou Rose of Virginia, farewell, farewell"
- A Friend, inscribed at Gatesville, North Carolina
- Pat, inscribed at Portsmouth, Virginia, as 12 o'clock at night, December 31, 1846 or January 1, 1847
- S. B. The page has faint handwriting which apparently came later than the inked sentiment of S. B.
- There appear to be several names mentioned on the page, one of which is J. D. Bidgood or I. D. Bidgood
- Mrs. John Brinkley of Portsmouth, Virginia, inscribed on July 22, 1877
- Miss Susie Brinkley of Portsmouth, Virginia, inscribed on August 20, 1877; earlier faint handwriting in pencil.
- Mrs. Hugh Brinkley. Shared the page with Mrs. James A. ? and ?
- Mamie and Hugh Brinkley. Shared the page with Bennie Smith.
- L. C. Shared the page with S. B. N.
- Mary F. Carstar of Windsor, North Carolina. Shared the page with Sarah's cousin Alice E. and Robert E. Sewell.
- Sarah A. Cross of Somerton, Suffolk, Virginia; album owner. Her nicknames were Sallie and S'lan
- Sarah's brother, William H. (Hurley or Hardy) Cross, presented the album to her in 1840
- Sandy Cross of ?, North Carolina. Shared the page with C. R. J.
- 2-page sentiment inscribed by Martha R. Danvers at Wilmington, North Carolina, on March 31, 1840
- J. R. Eason. Mentions J. D. Goodman's Spring. Presumably Joseph Riddick Eason, son of Sarah's husband Jesse Eason and his first wife Mary (Riddick) Eason.
- Alice E. of Portsmouth, Virginia, inscribed on July 2, 1867; Sarah's cousin; possibly Alice E. Edwards. Shared the page with Mary F. Carstar and Robert E. Sewell
- Reverse of clipping with photograph of Ann Hasseltine Judson: bears the handwritten name of Alice E. Edwards of Portsmouth, Virginia
- ? W. Holland. Has initials M.L.B.B., P.V. in a box - P.V. perhaps stands for Portsmouth, Virginia.
- Edwin S. Hunter, inscribed at Newbern, North Carolina, on December 6, 1840 - Note: more information on Edwin Smith Hunter in the comments section
- 2-page sentiment by C. Ivey, inscribed at New Bern on January 8, 1841.
- C. Ivey, inscribed at New Bern, on January 6, 1841
- 2-page sentiment inscribed by Eunice A. Ivey at New Bern, North Carolina, on January 7, 1841
- Ivey, Sarah's cousin
- M. A. J., inscribed at Gatesville, North Carolina
- C. R. J., signed in 1878. Shared the page with Sandy Cross
- 2-page sentiment by Emet Julietta in 1842
- Irving L. or Imory L. or Jimmy L. or ?; inscribed at Suffolk, Virginia, in 1851
- Among the bits and pieces on the page is the name R. E. Lee, Confederate States of America, but I don't know if the name was actually written by Robert E. Lee
- Zenas M., September 10, 1867 [not sure of name or last digit]
- Louisa Morry, inscribed at Wilmington, North Carolina, on March 31, 1840
- W. N., inscribed at Suffolk, Virginia, on July 18, 1842
- S. B. N., inscribed at Greenplains. Shared the page with L. C.
- Robert ? of Suffolk, Virginia; possibly Robert Norfleet. Shared the page with Sarah's cousin Alice
- D. C. P., inscribed at Somerton, Virginia
- E. P. R.
- A. R., inscribed at Suffolk, Virginia, on July 18, 1842
- M. R; can't determine middle initial, possibly Z or L or V or ?
- R. H. S.; inscribed to "Cousin S. Ann"
- S. E. S., inscribed at Wilmington, North Carolina, on April 5, 1840
- R. H. S., inscribed in March 1847; Sarah's cousin
- Mary E. Scott, inscribed at Newbern, North Carolina, on December 28, 1840
- Robert E. Sewell. Shared the page with Sarah's cousin Alice E. and Robert E. Sewell
- B. D. Smith - possibly the same person as Benny, who shared the page.
- Miss Maria Smith of Somerton, Virginia, inscribed on July 24, 1874. Shared the page with ?
- Miss Maria M. Smith of Somerton, Virginia. She shared the page with, presumably, Sallie A. Smith, the album owner, but her name looks more like Lallie.
- Bennie Smith of Somerton, Virginia; not sure of name. Shared the page with Mamie and Hugh
- Cornelia Willson, inscribed at Wilmington, North Carolina, on March 30, 1840
- Mary E. Willson, inscribed at Wilmington, North Carolina, on March 30, 1840