Friday, January 12, 2018

1852-1879 Autograph Album of Ann Williams of Connecticut, Illinois and New York; before and after Marriage to Amos S. Samson

1852-1879 journal-type autograph album that belonged to Ann Williams, "Annie", who would marry Amos S. Samson in the 1860s.

This album is interesting in that it highlights the people who left Stonington, Connecticut, in 1837 to found Stonington, Illinois.  At least one of the inscribers was a member of the original group - Rev. Benjamin Franklin Chapman.   Read more about the settlers here

Annie's identity was teased out thanks to two inscribers, one of whom made an acrostic that gave her maiden name, and another, Frances E. Donahue of Rochester, New York, who directed her 1879 sentiment to Mrs. A. W. Samson.

The album, published by J. C. Riker of 129 Fulton Street, New York, New York, measures approximately 8" by 6-1/4" and contains several engravings, including three by William Henry Bartlett, and the sentiments of 14 of Annie's relatives, friends and pastor.  An alphabetical list of the inscribers, together with any personal information they offered, appears at the end of this post.

Surnames in the Album
  • ?  [6]
  • Chapman  [3]
  • Donahue
  • Savage  [2]
  • Williams  [3]

Inscribers who gave an address of Stonington, Illinois
  • Rev. Benjamin Franklin Chapman - inscribed his page in 1854
  • Harriet Williams, possibly Harriet Atwood (Wheeler) Williams, wife of inscriber John Pitts Williams, Jr. - inscribed her page in 1854
  • J. P. Williams, Jr., presumably John Pitts Williams, Jr., brother of album owner Ann (Williams) Samson
  • Harriet - inscribed his page in 1854; possibly Harriet Chapman, daughter of T. P. Chapman and Martha Randall (Peabody) Chapman

The page inscribed by Rev. Benjamin Franklin Chapman:

Ann Williams married Amos S. Samson, a native of Vermont, in the 1860s, presumably in Illinois, and had a child there, before they moved back East to Rochester, New York, to farm.  

Inscribers who gave an address of Rochester, New York:
  • Frances E. Donahue - inscribed her page in 1879
  • Rev. E. Savage - presumably Rev. Eleazer Savage, who wrote the Manual of Church Discipline
  • Mrs. E. F. Savage - she was presumably Ellen Savage, second wife of Rev. Eleazer Savage.

The page inscribed by Rev. Eleazer Savage:

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

Ann Williams was born April 17, 1831 at Stonington, Connecticut, the daughter of John Pitts Williams and Cynthia Miner (York) Williams.  Ann's brother John Pitts Williams, Jr., inscribed a page at Stonington, Illinois, in 1854.

I believe Ann and Amos had three children.  In the 1880 Census, Amos was listed as sick from rheumatism.  I'm not sure about his death date but he had died by 1888 when Annie is listed as a widow in the Rochester, New York, City Directory.  The Rochester City Directory of 1925 notes that Annie had died on March 23, 1924.

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.

View of Hudson City and the Catskill Mountains, by W. H. Bartlett and engraved by A. L. Dick

U.S. Federal Censuses
New York Censuses
Rochester, New York City Directories
History of the Town of Stonington, County of New London, Connecticut: From Its First Settlement in 1649 to 1900, by Richard Anson Wheeler, published in 1900
Link to information on founding of Stonington, Illinois, in text above

Inscribers in the Album
  • Johnnie, inscribed at Rochester, New York, on February 13, 1879, to his Aunt Annie
  • Harriet; inscribed at Stonington, Illinois, on September 19, 1853
  • C. E. H.; inscribed on October 9, 1852; Annie's cousin
  • Lizzie; inscribed at Stonington, Illinois, on November 19, 1854
  • Unsigned acrostic that identifies Annie as Ann Williams
  • Unsigned
  • B. F. Chapman; inscribed at Stonington, Illinois, on September 13, 1854.  He was Rev. Benjamin Franklin Chapman was one of a group of 20 families from Stonington, Connecticut, to move to central Illinois, in 1837, with one settlement named Stonington, Illinois.
  • Harriet E. Chapman; inscribed at Pendleton Hill on November 10, 1852; presumably at Pendleton Hill, Stonington, Connecticut, unless a hill was also named Pendleton Hill at Stonington, Illinois.
  • A. B. Chapman; inscribed on November 19, 1854
  • Frances E. Donahue of Rochester, New York; inscribed on February 12, 1879.  Directed to Mrs. A. W. Samson, married name of album owner Ann (Williams) Samson, wife of Amos Stone Samson
  • Rev. E. Savage of Rochester, New York.  Mentions 1846 that his sentiment was written, but that might have been when he originally wrote it, and this a copy from a later year.  Rev. Eleazer Savage, a native of Connecticut, born in 1800.
  • Mrs. E. F. Savage of Rochester, New York
  • Ann Williams, "Annie", album owner.  Annie would marry Amos Stone Samson in the 1860s.
  • Harriet ? Williams; inscribed on November 17, 1854 at Stonington, Illinois.  Presumably Harriet Atwood (Wheeler) Williams, wife of John Pitts Williams, Jr., who was a brother to album owner Ann (Williams) Samson.  However, Ann also had a sister Harriet H. Williams.  The middle name could be At., possibly an abbreviation for Atwood.
  • J. P. Williams, Jr.; inscribed at Stonington, Illinois, on November 17, 1854.  John Pitts Williams, Jr., brother of album owner Ann (Williams) Samson

1 comment:

  1. Pam, thanks for sharing this beautiful album. I hope a family member claims it.