Tuesday, June 30, 2015

1873 Letter from Georgie H. Patten at Bath, Maine, to Amory McLellan Houghton on Voyage

July 12, 1873 letter from young George H. Patten, "Georgie", to his friend Amory McLellan Houghton, who had previously written to George from Quebec, while presumably on a voyage with his father, sea captain John Reed Houghton.  The Pattens and Houghtons were seafaring and shipbuilding families from the Bath, Maine, area.

See another letter written to Amory on this same day by John Owen Patten, perhaps a cousin of George H. Patten, who may have been the Georgie mentioned in John's letter.

Read more about the ancestors of the Patten family in midcoast Maine here.

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 in the letter:
  • Amory - Amory McLellan Houghton, son of John Reed Houghton and Emma P. (McLellan) Houghton
  • Dot - presumably Amory's dog
  • The Harts - the family with whom Amory's dog Dot has been staying
  • Margaret
  • Mort - who fell on a picket but survived and enjoyed the write-up in the Bath and Portland papers
  • Georgie - another Georgie, not the letter writer
  • Clara Gannet - who died the previous day
  • August Morse - drowned with Bertie Anderson
  • Bertie Anderson - Herbert Maxwell Anderson, son of Dr. Samuel Anderson - drowned with August Morse
  • Mrs. Richardson - talks of a trip to Moosehead Lake
  • Aunt Kate, cousin Georgie and cousin Cad
  • Georgie H. Patten - letter writer George H. Patten
  • Nan and Mort
George H. Patten, "Georgie", 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 requested!]

George H. Patten was born May 12, 1860 in Maine, the son of George M. and Fredericka (Camp) Patten.  He served in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of captain and was injured in the line of duty.  He died in 1832 and is buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery with other members of the Patten family.

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.


I received your letter from Quebec and was glad to hear from you.  Last week I was examined for the High school, and got in on a rank a good deal lower than some of the others, but I got in, and I shall study hard to keep up.  Dot stays at the Harts, your grandmother tried to keep him there, but he did not stay.  He followed Margeret once or twice.  The other day Mort fell upon a picket and hurt him pretty bad.  It was put in Portland & Bath papers and Mort had them cut out and feels quite proud of them.  I received Georgie's letter yesterday.  Were you sick going over?  I suppose you were. Clara Gannet died yesterday.  She has been sick a long time before you went away, I believe.  Do you remember August Morse?  He took a boat and was going out to sail when Bertie Anderson asked to go with him and after teasing August let him go, they were both drowned.  They were grappled for and were both found dead the same night.  The dancing school ball is to be Monday night.  Do you think of us the 4th?  I do not suppose that you spent your fourth much the same way we did.  I miss you both very much and I do not know what to do without you.  It is awful dull.  I shall write to Georgie next week.  I would this week but there is not enough happens for two letters.  Mrs. Richardson talks some of going to Moosehead Lake this summer.  I do not believe we shall go up there because I have got in the High school and I cannot go any way.  I suppose you are having splendid time and seeing and doing everything.  Do you suppose you will go Brighton and see Aunt Kate and cousin Georgie and cousin Cad.  We have got a new croquet and we play about all the time.  I have written quite a long letter so I must close.  Your affectionate friend Georgie H. Patten.
P.S. Nan and Mort send their love.

No comments:

Post a Comment