Thursday, May 13, 2021

1850s Autograph Album of Mary E. Furbish of Wells, Maine; Student at Lewiston Falls Academy, Lewiston, Maine; future Wife of George N. Dockam

1850s autograph album that belonged to Mary E. Furbish of Wells, Maine.  

The album, which measures approximately 8" by 6-1/2", contains the sentiments of nearly 70 of Mary's relatives and friends from Wells, Maine, and beyond, and from her fellow students and teachers at Lewiston Falls Academy in Auburn, Maine.  

An alphabetical list of the inscribers appears at the end of this post.

Surnames in the Album 

?? [12]JJameson [3]SSawyer
BB ?JewettSpear
BriggsKKimball [2]Stinchfield [2]
BurnhamLLeach [2]Stover [2]
CCameLittlefield [9]Strout
ChaseMM ?TT?
CoffinManningTurner
CraneMartinWWoods
DDockamPPackard
EEmeryParker
FFurbish [8]Putnam
FurbushRRankin
GGetchell [2]Rowe
GreenleafRoy [2]

Among the clues pointing toward the album owner's identity was this Acrostic, inscribed by Seth Getchell.


George Woods, an instructor at Lewiston Falls Academy, penned a particularly meaningful two-page inscription for his student Mary.



Mary E. Furbish was born about 1840, the daughter of Manassah Furbish and Elizabeth (Cole) Furbish. Mary had at least two siblings, brothers James C. Furbish and Joshua J. Furbish. 

Joshua, his wife Ruth, daughter Lucy A. and son Arthur J. E. inscribed pages in the album.  On the page inscribed by Joshua, Mary added a note upon the occasion of his death in 1883.


Lucy also inscribed a page shared with her cousin Flora J. Furbish, who was the daughter of James C. Furbish.


Before 1870, Mary became the second wife of George N. Dockam, whose first wife,  Frances Julia Littlefield, had died in 1868.  Mary and George had a son Leonard Manassah Dockam, born in 1874. 

Mary's step-daughter Julia Dockam inscribed the last page in the album.


Mary died of Bright's Disease in 1910. 

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

Alphabetical List of Inscribers
  • ?, possibly J.B.B.; 2 page sentiment inscribed at Lewiston Falls Academy during the Farm Term of 1855
  • C. A. M., a 2 page sentiment
  • Augusta, a 2 page sentiment
  • Amanda
  • Addie; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on September 25, 1867
  • Lydia; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on August 24, 1854 [or 1864]
  • M. T.
  • An erased inscription.  There's a story there!
  • Very difficult handwriting, inscribed at Wells, Maine, on July 31, 1858; on a page shared with Manning at Lewiston, Maine
  • Manning, inscribed at Lewiston, Maine, on November 14, 1844; on a page shared with an inscriber from Wells, whose name is missing or hard to decipher
  • Handwriting very difficult to read; inscribed on September 1, 1864
  • No name, but a flourish; inscribed at L. Acd. on November 15, 1855. Lewiston Falls Academy
  • ?, possibly J.B.B.; 2 page sentiment inscribed at Lewiston Falls Academy during the Farm Term of 1855
  • Josephine Briggs; inscribed at Newburyport, Massachusetts on February 13, 1860 [or 1850]
  • S. Burnham; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on November 1, 1861
  • John Mc. Came; inscribed on January 31, 1857. Presumably Dr. John McIntire Came (1835-1900)
  • S. L. B. Chase, a 2 page sentiment inscribed at West Minot, Maine, in November 1855.  Presumably Simeon Lovell Bearce Chase (1835-1889(
  • Abby Coffin, a 2 page sentiment inscribed at Lewiston Falls, Maine, on January 4, 1856
  • M. U. Crane - not sure of middle initial or surname; inscribed at Auburn, Maine, in March of 1856
  • Julia, "your daughter". Julia Ann Dockam (1860-1930), Mary's step-daughter, who would marry Downing J. Hatch
  • Ed. Emery of Sanford, Maine; a 2 page sentiment inscribed on August 11, 1856
  • Arthur Furbish, Mary's nephew. Presumably Arthur J. E. Furbish (1863-1893)
  • Flora J. Furbish; inscribed on April 11, 1875. Florence J. Furbish (1858-1945); would marry Walter A. Libby; shared the page with Lucy A. Furbish
  • Joshua J. Furbish; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on May 7, 1864. Mary's older brother. It was presumably Mary who wrote an after note: "'Entered into Rest' October 22nd 1883 At Lowell Mass."
  • Kate Furbish; inscribed at Brunswick, Maine, on March 22, 1856.
  • Lucy A. Furbish of Oakland, California; inscribed at Amesbury, Massachusetts, on June 24, 1890. Mary's niece Lucy A. Furbish (1859-1937)
  • Lucy A. Furbish; inscribed at Lowell, Massachusetts, on August 29, 1875. Lucy A. Furbish (1859-1937); would marry Hubbard J. Campbell. Shared the page with her cousin Flora J. Furbish (Florence J. Furbish)
  • Mary E. Furbish (1840-1910) of Wells, Maine; album owner; student at Lewiston Falls Academy in Lewiston, Maine
  • Ruth W. Furbish of Oakland, California; inscribed at Amesbury, Massachusetts, on June 24, 1890. Ruth Winslow (Briggs) Furbish, widow of Mary's older brother Joshua J. Furbish and mother of inscriber Lucy A. Furbish
  • Vina C. Furbush; inscribed at Lowell, Massachusetts, on August 8, 1858.  Not sure of given name. Surname a variant spelling.
  • Olive S. Getchell; presumably the same Olive Getchell of Wells, Maine who inscribed a page shared with Lizzie Kimball, Mary's cousin
  • Seth Getchell; an Acrostic of Mary's name: given name, middle initial and surname.
  • Mrs. M. Greenleaf
  • Elsie A. Jameson; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on August 13, 1855
  • E. H. Emery Jameson; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on December 4, 1855
  • Thomas Jameson
  • Han B. Jewett of Elm Farm, Bethel, Maine.  Presumably Hannah Bean Jewett (1838-1869), who married Capt. Henry Wilson Harmon
  • George A. Kimball; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on May 28, 1861
  • Lizzie Kimball, Mary's cousin; shared the page with Olive Getchell of Wells, Maine
  • E. T. Leach, a 2 page sentiment inscribed at Wells, Maine, on May 30, 1855.  She may have been Elizabeth (Thompson) Leach, wife of Rev. Giles Leach
  • L. A. Leach; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on May 31, 1855. She may have been Lucy Ann Leach, daughter of Rev. Giles Leach and Elizabeth (Thompson) Leach, who may have been inscriber E. T. Leach.
  • Abby Littlefield; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on May 29, 1863
  • Abby Littlefield; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on May 29, 1863
  • Alonzo F. Littlefield; inscribed on January 6, 1859
  • E. Littlefield; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on September 2, 1856
  • Lorenzo Littlefield; inscribed at Wells, Maine, in February of 1858
  • Melissa J. Littlefield of Wells, Maine; inscribed on November 20, 1869
  • P. Littlefield, inscribed on September 2, 1856
  • S. A. Littlefield
  • S. E. Littlefield; inscribed at Wells, Maine, on May 26, 1863
  • C. A. M., a 2 page sentiment
  • Manning, inscribed at Lewiston, Maine, on November 14, 1844; on a page shared with an inscriber from Wells, whose name is missing or hard to decipher
  • Henry H. Martin of E. Stoughton, Massachusetts
  • Emilie Packard; inscribed at Auburn, presumably Auburn, Maine, on November 4, 1855
  • Edwin Pond Parker, 2 page sentiment inscribed at Auburn, Maine, on November 11, 1856
  • Rob. W. Putnam; inscribed at Lowell, Massachusetts, on August 8, 1857; Mary's cousin
  • M. H. Rankin, or M. K. Rankin
  • R. E. Rowe; inscribed at Lewiston, Maine, on November 8, 1855
  • Samuel Roy; possibly Rev. Samuel Roy, whose wife Susan C. (George) Roy inscribed the right facing page
  • Susan C. Roy.  Susan C. (George) Roy, whose husband husband Rev. Samuel Roy inscribed the left facing page
  • H. B. Sawyer
  • David D. Spear; inscribed at Maryland Ridge on the 25th of the 5th month of 1863. Presumably the Maryland Ridge section of Wells, Maine. Looks like Speir with a dot, but the dot could be a stray ink drop. Presumably Dr. David Dana Spear
  • E. M. Stinchfield; inscribed at Lewiston, Maine, on November 8, 1855
  • H. P. Stinchfield; inscribed at Lewiston, Maine, on November 6, 1855
  • Eliza M. Stover, a 2 page sentiment inscribed at Cape Neddick, Maine, on January 20, 1859, or 1857
  • S. C. Stover; inscribed at Cape Neddock,  Maine, on January 20, 1859
  • S. M. Strout; inscribed at Maryland Ridge, on April 27, 1857. Presumably the Maryland Ridge section of Wells, Maine.
  • M. T.
  • D. S. R. Turner; inscribed on April 19, 1875.  Presumably Dorcas S. (Roberts) Turner, wife of Rev. Alpha Turner
  • George Woods, instructor at Lewiston Falls Academy at Lewiston, Maine; 2 page sentiment inscribed on November 15, 1856. He described Mary as a student; a very meaningful inscription

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