Thursday, February 11, 2016

c1850 Letter from Rev. Samuel Lunt Caldwell to Adalaide W. Freeman at Bangor, Maine

c1850 letter from Rev. Samuel Lunt Caldwell to Adalaide W. Freeman of Bangor, Maine, whose 1846-1850 autograph album is featured in another post.

Rev. Caldwell was expressing regret that he hadn't had a chance to include a lengthier inscription in her autograph album.  See a transcript and more images at the end of this post.

 From brief online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions requested[

Reverend Samuel Lunt Caldwell was born in November 1820 at Newburyport, Massachusetts, the son of Stephen Caldwell and Mary (Lunt) Caldwell.   Samuel graduated from Walterville College, now Colby College, in 1839 and began teaching in New Hampshire and at Newburyport, Massachusetts.  He then entered Newton Theological Seminary, from which he graduated in 1845.  He preached in Virginia and Maine and was ordained a minister at the First Baptist Church at Bangor, Maine on August 26, 1846.

Read the Addresses of Rev. Professor George Shepard and Rev. S. L. Caldwell to the California Pilgrims from Bangor, Maine, printed in 1849 by Smith and Sayward Printers of Bangor, Maine.

Rev. Caldwell left Bangor to become pastor at the First Baptist Church at Providence, Rhode Island.  In 1858, he was appointed a professor of church history at the Theological Seminary at Newton, Massachusetts.  By 1870, he was chairman of the Board of Managers of the Missionary Union.   Later, he would serve as president of Vassar College, from 1878 to 1885.

See Rev. Samuel Lunt Caldwell's photograph and short biography of his career here at the Vassar Encyclopedia project.

As for his personal life, on September 17, 1846, Rev. Caldwell married Mary Lenord Richards, daughter of Captain Alexander Richards and Sybil (Smith) Richards.  I believe they had two sons:
  1. William Emery Caldwell, born January 2, 1851; married Meta J. B. Lemon
  2. Samuel Lenord Caldwell, born July 6, 1853 at Bangor, Maine; married Anne Glyde Wells
Rev. Samuel Lunt Caldwell died on September 26, 1889 at Newburyport, Massachusetts, and is buried there, in the Oak Hill Cemetery.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or in the transcription below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.


My Dear Miss Freeman, 
I shall throw myself on your indulgence for my long neglect to dedicate your album, and I know you will not judge me more severely than I deserve.
I could make best a poor apology for the delay, therefore shall make none, but send you your album with the few words I have written on its first page, which if they do not come up to what you might wish, well at any rate serve to remind you of my constant good wishes & desire to serve you.
I pray Our Father that you may go to your new home to find it full of all the happiness you can desire, & copiously of that highest happiness which springs from living ? for your Maker & Redeemer.
Truly [?]
Your friend, S. L. Caldwell
State St.
5th Nov.


  1. There are Caldwell's in my family tree not sure if this is the same family line for me

    1. Newburyport, Massachusetts area? Some accomplished people in this family.