Monday, April 20, 2015

1873 Letter from John Owen Patten at Bath, Maine, to friend Amory McLellan Houghton on a voyage to Europe

July 12, 1873 letter from John Owen Patten, "Johnnie", at Bath, Maine, to his friend Amory McLellan Houghton, who was on a voyage and had sent John letters from Liverpool and London, England.  The Pattens and Houghtons were seafaring and shipbuilding families at Bath, Maine.

Johnnie's mother Emma Maria (Owen) Patten included a note that the Houghton house was safe.

See another letter written to Amory on the same day by George H. Patten, perhaps a cousin of John Owen Patten.

See images of the panes of Georgie's letter, which you can enlarge by clicking on them, and a transcript at the end of this post.  Mentioned:
  • Amory - Amory McLellan Houghton
  • Dot - perhaps Amory's dog
  • Mrs. McLellan
  • Mrs. Hart
  • Margaret
  • Auguste Morse - drowned July 7, 1873 with Bertie Anderson - see more below
  • Bertie Anderson - drowned July 7, 1873 with Auguste Morse - see more below
  • Ned Sewall - lent Auguste and Bertie his boat
  • Mort - who fell on a picket fence and "was hurt quite badly but is now doing nicely"
  • Birch Point
  • George/Georgie
  • Johnnie Patten - letter writer John Owen Patten
  • E. M. Patten - Johnnie's mother Emma Maria (Owen) Patten
John, "Johnnie", mentions a sad event, the recent drowning of August Morse and Bertie Anderson, who had borrowed a boat from Ned Sewall [presumably Edward Sewall, the father or more likely his son].  Their bodies were found at Harrington's wharf.  Johnnie noted that speculation was that Bertie had fallen overboard and that August drowned trying to save Bertie.

From an article in the New York Clipper, issue of July 19, 1873:  the boys were Augustus Andre Morse, age 9, son of Captain Warren Morse, and Herbert Maxwell Anderson, "Bertie", age 4, son of Dr. Samuel Anderson.

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

According to his 1892 passport application, John Owen Patten was born at Bath, Maine, on April 20, 1861, the son of sea captain and shipbuilder Gilbert Elbridge Russell Patten and Emma Maria (Owen) Patten.  On February 23, 1886, John married Lucy Weston Larrabee, daughter of Charles Weston Larrabee and Eliza Sophia (Smith) Larrabee.  It appears that that marriage ended, as John married Irene Mary Everett at Melrose, Massachusetts, on August 26, 1897.

John became a journalist and editor at Boston, Massachusetts, and later at Bath, Maine, where he owned the Daily Times.  He died on April 29, 1899 at Phoenix, Arizona.  I didn't find children from either marriage.

Amory McLellan Houghton was born October 11, 1859 at Bath, Maine, the son of ship builder John Reed Houghton and Emma P. (McLellan) Houghton.  Amory's mother was also from a shipbuilding family; her father, James Henry McLellan, owned a large fleet at Bath, Maine.  The Maine Maritime Museum has items of dress she wore at her wedding to John Reed Houghton; they can be seen here.  The information describing the items mentions that Emma died in childbirth when Amory was seven years old.

On March 11, 1890, Amory married Jane McIlvaine, "Jenny", at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Amory and Jennie lived at Bath, Maine, and had three children, a daughter and two sons.  In 1892 Amory applied for a passport, along with Sydney J. Meeker, with the intention of going to Cuba, presumably for business.  On the 1910 Census, Amory listed his occupation as "salt dealer", and on later censuses as a merchant.  He died in 1926 at Bath, Maine; he and his wife, who died in 1945, are buried at Maple Grove Cemetery at Bath, Maine.


Bath, Maine
July 12, 1873
Dear Amory,
I got your letters from Liverpool and London and was very glad to hear of you safe across the Ocean.  Dot [possibly a dog ?] stayed at Mrs. McLellan's first.  She shut him up, but he would not stay there.  Now he is at Mrs. Hart's.  she has followed Margaret here once or twice and often goes to her Mother's.  
I am sorry to tell you that Auguste Morse and Bertie Anderson were drowned last Monday noon.  ? Sewall lent Auguste his boat and Bertie wished to go with him.  It is thought that Bertie may have fallen overboard and that in trying to save him, both were drowned.  Their bodies were found near Harrington's wharf.  Mort fell on a picket fence a day or two ago and was hurt quite badly, but he is doing nicely now and we hope he will be at play with us again soon.  We spent the fourth of July very pleasantly at Birch Point and we missed you and George very much, but we did all we could in the way of firecrackers, as you may guess.  We haven't played base ball as often lately and that as well as the rains, has improved the grass a little.  My tent is there, too, and we have had some good times in it.  I enjoy your letters and will try to answer as many as you will write me.  Love to Georgie and yourself from 
your friend
Johnnie Patten.
My dear Amory.  Johnnie has forgotten to say that Margaret sends you much love and wishes you to know that your house is all safe.  E. M. Patten.

No comments:

Post a Comment