Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Tintype of Two Young Men, Jim R?, possibly Rackliff, and Roscoe H?, possibly Hall; possibly Thorndike, Maine

Tintype of two young men identified as Jim R?, possibly Jim Rackliff, and Roscoe H?, possibly Roscoe Hall.  

There's nothing on the reverse and no studio marking. The tintype was found with Maine items, although there's no guarantee it itself is from Maine.

Interestingly, there were a James H. Rackliff (1843-1902) and a Roscoe Hall (1844-1868) in Thorndike, Maine.  If the tintype depicts this Jim and Roscoe, it was taken no later than 1868, the year that Roscoe died.  

James H. Rackliff was the son of Hezekiah Chase Rackliff and Rosanna (Rogers) Rackliff.  James married Ella Martha Coffin.  Roscoe Hall was the son of Mark Hall and Olivia (Decrow) Hall. 

There was also a Benjamin J. Rackliff (1841-1881) born in Thorndike.

If you have another theory as to Jim and Roscoe, or if you recognize either of them from your own historic family photographs, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

c1870 Newspaper Clipping: General Butler Speaking Against The Salem Gazette; Salem, Massachusetts

Circa 1870 newspaper clipping pasted into a ledger turned scrapbook, wherein Gen. Butler derides the Salem Gazette newspaper and its editor, presumably then Caleb Foote (1803-1894).

Gen. Butler is Brigadier General Benjamin Butler (1818-1893), a controversial general in the Civil War, known as "Beast Butler" by Southerners.

Butler started his political career as a Democrat and voted for the nomination of Jefferson Davis for President in the 1860 election. He later became a Republican and represented Massachusetts in Congress from 1867-1875 and from 1877-1879 and, after returning to the Democrat party, served a year as Massachusetts Governor from 1883-1884. He again left the Democrat party and became the presidential candidate of the Greenback Party in 1884.

The clipping appears to reinforce the fact that Butler relished a dust-up.

Charles C. Pettengill - perhaps Charles Coffin Pettingell (1822-1901)

GEN. BUTLER ON THE SALEM GAZETTE. - A meeting in favor of the election of Gen. Butler was held in Mechanic Hall last Friday evening, and it was a very large gathering. The meeting was presided over by Mr. Charles C. Pettengill. Most of the arguments adduced are the same as those given in Gloucester and elsewhere. In the course of the address, the speaker took up the local allusions of his speech. "I have to deal", said he, "with an accuser and an accusation; let me take up the accuser first. It is the Salem Gazette which says I'm a repudiator! Pardon me. 'Let him who is without sin among you,' etc.

I am glad that little dirty seven-by-nine sheet don't represent me, but advises all Republicans to vote for the Democratic nominee. The editor of that paper wanted to have the post office taken away from the soldier to whom I had given it, and because I refused, he and his paper have hounded me ever since. (Applause and hisses.) Shall we believe the utterances of such a man, trying to vilify better men than himself to get their places?  He says I'm a repudiator. In 1868 several thousand scurrilous circulars were issued from the Salem Gazette office, - (not printed there, as their office had not the means to print them.) - as a Salem Gazette extra. Perhaps some of you remember them, and the poor printer who was so unfortunate as to print them, has never yet been paid, and the bills are now in my office for collection. (Applause and hisses.)  Even the candles used in that campaign have not been paid for. (Laughter.)  And yet all the respectability of the opposition is in that party whose name is "Anti," and which has done what I have stated.

I bear no unkind thoughts towards the very honorable and clever gentlemen who have opposed me in this canvass; but only to those men, including the editor of the Salem Gazette, who desert the party and me, and ask the voters to send to Congress a member of a party that has no past by which to be judged, and no future to cling to.  Go, poor devil, I neither love nor fear you. I dismiss him and his accusation forever.

If you have information to share on the men mentioned, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

1812 Mathematics Book that Belonged to Bradford Frost (1800-1866) of New Braintree, Massachusetts

The Scholar's Arithmetic or Federal Accountant, published in 1812, that belonged to Bradford Frost (1800-1866) of New Braintree, Massachusetts, who apparently received it the year it was published, as the second following image shows.

Front end papers:

Rear end papers:

The book measures 8-1/2" by 5-1/4" and contains 216 numbered pages, plus end papers.  

The following pages have handwriting, presumably that of Bradford.

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

Bradford Frost (1800-1866) was born  27 August 1800 at New Braintree, Massachusetts, son of Seth Frost and Abigail (Gould) Frost. Another record shows his year of birth as 1801.  

Bradford applied for a passport in 1850; use the forward arrow at the upper left of the image to advance to two more images of his file, including a page that lists his physical features.

Bradford died of dysentery on 21 September 1866 and is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in New Braintree. A mention in the New York, U.S., Death Newspaper Extracts, 1801-1890 (Barber Collection) notes that he had been a merchant in the City, presumably New York City.

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

Westbrook Seminary, Class of 1900, Mimeographed Copy of Class Prophecy by Richard E. Harvey

Mimeographed copy of the Class Prophecy for the Male Graduates in the Class of 1900 at Westbrook Seminary, which exists today in Portland, Maine, as a campus of the University of New England.

Transcription appears at the end of this post.

It's signed by the author, Richard Eric Harvey (1879-1968)
See another post that features the 1900 Commencement Issue of Westbrook Seminary, which includes this Prophecy, as well as one written for the Female graduates.
R. E. Harvey, author Richard Eric Harvey (1879-1968)
"Spud" Palmer
"Reddy" Wilson
Leighton, president of the class - Frank H. Leighton
"Jim" Sennett - James E. Sennett
"Stubbie" Watson
"Willie Frye" White - Willard Frye White (1880-1939)

If you can identify more of these young men, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.


Class Prophecies - By Richard E. Harvey

Time,  - September, 1900.  Place, Portland, Maine

While waiting for the Boston train to be made up, I strolled through the station, picturing in my mind the many beautiful scenes that I was to behold during my journey through the West. On passing the reading room my attention was drawn to a scholarly looking gentleman reading a newspaper. Thinking I had seen him before, I approached and found my old friend "Spud" Palmer.  I was somewhat surprised on learning that he was no longer a minister, but was at the time Supt. of an Old Ladies Home in Springfield, Mass., but the loud voice of a crier announced the departure of my train, so I bade him good-bye.

After enjoying a pleasant trip on the cars, I arrived in due time in Boston. Hurrying through the busy station for the purpose of getting an early car up town, my bag struck a chappie dressed in the height of fashion.   His demeanor and carriage impressed me vividly.  In an instant I recognized Both, another member of the 1900 class. Returning, I apologized for the slight mishap and enjoyed a long talk with him. At his proposal to take a walk, we started off and eventually reached Howard Street. A short distance down this thorough-fare we stopped before a brilliantly lighted hall, where a fellow was calling out to the passer-by to enter and see the wonders he had on exhibition. The chap seemed so well up in his calling that we went in out of mere curiosity. We were not long seated, when Both turning to me explained, “Why, old boy, don't you recognize that fellow?” and on answering in the negative he said, “That is ‘Reddy’  Wilson”. And sure enough it was the all-round stage-carpenter and theatrical manager. It appeared that Wilson tiring of the clergyman's work, had entered the show business to which, I am sure, he is certainly adapted. During the performance it dawned upon me that Both had not revealed what he was doing. Upon asking him, he smiled and replied: “Well, Dick, the fact is I am doing nothing but acting in the role of a ‘man ‘bout town’”. 

He went on and told me how, by the death of a distant relative, a fortune was left him so that he could live the life of which he dreamed, while sleeping in Roberts’s room those fine, spring afternoons. After leaving the theatre, we started for my hotel, arriving there at six in the evening. I left him here, and went to my room to plan for my long journey of the morrow.

Having had a good night's rest, I arose early in the morning and boarded a car for the Union Station, from which place I departed for Salt Lake City. Three days I spent in travelling and arrived there the fifth day of September. While wandering one beautiful morning through the streets, I noticed on one of the most fashionable avenues, a stately mansion. Seated at one of the windows was a middle-aged man whom I recognized as my old friend and president of the class, Leighton. Time had wrought some changes, but his side-curls seemed to be as finely trained as ever. I at once mounted the stairs and rang the bell; a servant answered my summons, and I was ushered to the presence of my classmate. A cordial greeting followed a hearty handshake, and I was not surprised when he informed me that he had become a Mormon, for I knew we always was an admirer of the fair sex. He, moving about in the best society, and being a lawyer of great renown, had taken unto himself fourteen wives. When asked if I would like to meet some of his help-meets, I, of course, accepted his invitation, and he lead me to a handsome private parlor. There, reposing on couches, were the most beautiful women my eyes had ever feasted on. We next went to the smoking-room and while enjoying some cigars, talked over old college days. He told me that “Cut” Cutten had a flourishing Baptist Parish in Los Angeles Cal., and that the minister was in the best of health. Dinner having been served, my bade my friend farewell, as it was necessary for me to leave Salt Lake City that afternoon. 

When I had visited several of the larger cities, St Louis, Chicago and others, I returned east to New York. I arrived in this great metropolis early in the afternoon and having no friends there, decided to go to the Broadway Theatre, where the “Rivals” was being played. On looking over the cast, I was startled to find that “Jim” Sennett took the part of Sir Lucius O’Tregger and another college chum, Doble filled the role as Faulkland. I enjoyed the production and to say that O’Tregger and Faulkland did well would be putting it mildly. I met both after the performance and took luncheon with them. During our conversation they informed me that Wescott had a lucrative position in a ribbon store in Caribou, Me. I left them at a late hour and went to the Holland House for the remainder of the night. I was aroused from my heavy slumbers at six in the morning to take my train for Providence.

Having arrived at Providence at 10 in the forenoon, I made plans to visit some friends at Brown University, and while strolling along towards my destination, I noticed a poster which read as follows:


At Goddard Hall,

Lecture on expansion,



Being interested in the subject which the lecturer had chosen, I made arrangements to hear him in the evening. I arrived at the hall that night and took a seat in the rear. Shortly after eight o’clock the speaker and others came upon the stage, and to my surprise the lecturer was none other than my former class-mate Witham. I listened to his wonderful oratory, and was amazed at his eloquence. “Withie” is no doubt a born speaker, as was made clear to me at the class meetings and debates while we were at school.  

Not wishing to remain longer in Providence, I left for Boston on the midnight train

It was in this city of classical people that I met “Stubby" Watson. During my conversation with him he informed me that he was president of a co-educational school in Columbia Falls, Me. He passed me one of the catalogues and I found that the rules of his school place no restriction upon the students about going off in couples or smoking when and where they pleased. Just like “Stubby”. The catalog contained the names of ten students; but he gave me to understand that the institution was growing all the time. Speaking of our old chum, “Willie Frye” White, he tells me that “Bill” is carrying on a quiet little business  in North Anson, Maine, that he has joined the church, and is trying to earn money according to the principles of political economy

After a delightful trip I returned to Portland, glad to have met so many of my former classmates, for in their welfare I shall always be deeply interested.

R E. Harvey

Published “The Messenger”

Commencement 1900

Westbrook Seminary

Monday, December 27, 2021

1840 Letter from Col. Henry Stanton (1779-1856), then Asst. Quartermaster General, in New York City; to Capt. James Ramsey Irwin (1800-1847) in Philadelphia

1840 letter from Col. Henry Stanton (1779-1856), then Asst. Quartermaster General in New York City, to Captain J. R. Irwin, Assistant Quartermaster in Philadelphia, acknowledging receipt of military clothing brought by the barge Shark.

Asst Quartermaster Gen's Office

New York, June 10, 1840
I have received in good order the packages of clothing etc shipped to my car on board the Barge Shark of the Merchants Transfer Line, agreeably to the Bill of Lading enclosed with your letter of 6 Instant.

I am Sir
Your Obt. Servant
Henry Stanton
Asst QuarterMaster Gen.

To Captain I. R. Irwin - more likely J. R. Irwin
Asst Quartermaster


Col. Henry Stanton
New York
June 10, 1840

Advises receipt of packages of Mil. Clothing advised of per letter of 6th inst.

Recd. June 12, 1840

Colonel Henry Stanton (1179-1856), a Vermont native, son of David Stanton and Olivia (Galusha) Stanton, participated in the Seminole Wars and the Mexican War; he was promoted in 1847 to Brigadier General during the War with Mexico.

Capt. J. R. Irwin was Captain James R. Irwin (1800-1847), who graduated from West Point in 1825 and died in Mexico City in 1847, during the War with Mexico. He was a Pennsylvania native, son of Archibald Irwin and Mary (Ramsey) Irwin. 

If you have information to share on either officer, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

1838 South Berwick, Maine, Document: Joseph Doe, Esq; Dr. Charles Trafton

October 11, 1838 receipt from South Berwick, Maine, where Dr. Charles Trafton acknowledges receipt of payment for services by Joseph Doe, Esquire.

Joseph Doe, Esq, South Berwick Oct 11th 1838

To Charles Trafton - Dr
To Amt of your Bill for Medicines & Attendance from May 3d 1836 up date Date $7.10
Recd Payment in full, Charles Trafton


Joseph Doe, Esquire - several possibilities in York County, Maine, and across the border into New Hampshire

Dr. Charles Trafton - presumably Dr. Charles T. Trafton (1787-1855)

If you have information to share on either of these men, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

Undated Letter from Frederick G. Payne, Clarinetist with Maine Symphony Orchestra to Miss Vinal, a Singer from Vinalhaven, Maine

Undated letter where Frederick George Payne, a clarinetist with the Maine Symphony Orchestra compliments a Miss Vinal on her singing at an event in Vinalhaven, Maine.

The reverse shows the identification of the letter writer in a contemporary hand.  Mr. Payne was presumably Frederick George Payne (1856-1919) or, possibly, his son Maine governor Frederick George Payne (1904-1978).

If you have a theory as to the identity of Miss Vinal, presumably from Vinalhaven, Maine, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

Vintage Photograph Album from the Calais, Maine Area

Vintage photograph album with text on the cover: Photographs, Souvenir of Calais, Maine

The album contains 23 photographs of people, places, gardens and an antique automobile, then presumably a contemporary one, which might help date the album.

Sadly, the photographs are glued to the pages, so it's unknown if any identifications are includes on the reverse.

The album presumably belonged to the couple shown in two of the photographs below, as one or both of them appear in several of the other photographs.  If you recognize this couple, please leave a comment so that this blog post can be amended.

Two photographs, below, that show scenes a reader might recognize:
  • top left photo of the near page below appears to be a walking trail along the water
  • right photo in the bottom page shows a woman with a house in the background, perhaps downstream past the mouth of the St. Croix River into Passamaquoddy Bay.

Two pages that show multiple people, perhaps relatives of the primary couple:

If you recognize a person and/or a place, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

All pages in order: click on any image to enlarge it.


Sunday, December 26, 2021

1841 Phillips, Maine, Promise to Pay: by Charles Peas to ? Bonney: names of Gammon & Albert

Phillips, Maine, document dated February 26, 1841.  

For value received of A. H. Bonney [not sure of initials], I promise to pay him on order twelve dollars the seventeenth April next & interest. Charles Peas."

The reverse shows that Charles paid two installments, $4 on March 29, 1841, received by Gammon and $6 on April 10, received by Albert.

If you have corrections for the transcription or have information to share on any of these four people, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

Friday, December 24, 2021

1861 Letter from Lewis W. Campbell, Student at Washington Academy in East Machias, Maine, to Friend James in Company C, 6th Maine Infantry

June 2, 1861 letter from Lewis W. Campbell (1841-1926), a student at Washington Academy in East Machias, Maine, to his friend James, serving with the 6th Maine Infantry in the Civil War.  

Like untold other Mainers, Lewis would move to Minneapolis and become an influential citizen there.

The letter mentions:
  • James, the recipient of the letter - there were several men named James in the area who enlisted in Company C, 6th Maine Infantry
  • Machias, the next town over, where I believe Lewis W. Campbell's family lived
  • Isaac - is he married yet or not - could not find a record; perhaps Isaac is a middle name or he married later on
  • the Captain of the 6th, looking for more men
  • Washington Academy in East Machias, Maine
  • Eastport, Maine - perhaps the recruits shipped out of there
  • Henry Leighton - also presumably serving with the 6th - perhaps Henry Hudson Leighton (1840-1916), who enlisted into Company C, 6th Maine Infantry
  • a young lady who sends her regards
  • Clark Hughs - perhaps Clark Perry Hughes (1839-1862), who enlisted on 15 July 1861 into Company C, 6th Maine Infantry. He was discharged for disease in September of 1861 and died in January 1862. 
  • Mr. Coffin, sick with the measles
  • Mr. Sanborn preached - perhaps New Hampshire native John L. Sanborn (1813-1895), Baptist clergyman, who was living in East Machias, Maine, at the time of the enumeration of the 1860 Federal Census.
A transcription appears at the end of this post.

Lewis himself would enlist, on 11 August 1862, into Company B, 11th Regiment, Infantry, as a private and was eventually promoted to sergeant. He was wounded in 1864 at Deep Bottom Run in Virginia, but he survived the war, rising to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant at Appomatox.

See a CDV of Lewis W. Campbell, in uniform, taken about 1864 - on the Maine Memory Network.  Read a letter Campbell wrote in 1864.

Lewis W. Campbell moved to Minneapolis and became a miller and a citizen of note, such that his biography is included on page 267 in A Half Century of Minneapolis, published by Horace Bushnell Hudson in 1908.

From this biography, which includes an engraving of Campbell, we learn that he was born in Harrington, Maine, the son of Dennison Campbell. Lewis' grandfather was a signer to the Constitution of Maine, and his great grandfather a colonel in the 6th Massachusetts during the American Revolution.  Lewis' mother was (Martha Wakefield) Campbell, according to his Minnesota death record.

Lewis married New Hampshire native Sarah G. Fisk in Minnesota in 1871. They had at least two children, both daughters.


East Machias, June 2d, 61
Friend James
I receive your letter of May the 29 last Wednesday & I was glad to hear from you to hear that you were well & in good spirites. I should have written before but I wanted to go to Machias first to see what was going on over there. I was over yesterday. I am well and hope that these few lines will find you the same. I think judging from your letter that you are truly Patriotic and I hope that you will ever feel so until the glorious Flag of our Union shall wave again over ever nook and corner of the 34 states. You do not know how bad I feel to think I am not with you but you know the reason that I did not go and so all I can do is to bid you success. Bear in mind that you are engaged in a good cause - engaged in a cause which every true Son of America should be engage in and is it not expected that you will prevail over your foes. Of course you will for I believe that the right will always prevail. I told you I was over to Machias yesterday but I do not know of any news there. Now probably you here of all that is transpiring there before I do because there are so many writing there so often. Whether Isaac is married yet or not I do not know. I heard last week that he was & then I heard that he was to be married tonight. It appears to me as if he is in a ____ but then he might as well enjoy himself while he can. I did not see anyone to inquire how the Division is a getting along. Bye the way do you have a chance to go out evenings & do you go to the Division there. I hope that you all do who belong to this Division. I saw your Capt. here the other day. I heard that he was after more men. I am getting along quite well with my studies and have quite a good time. I am not so lonesome since I got acquainted with some of the folks. The School went to walk last Thursday afternoon about 25 or so with our Preceptor to lead us. We we went about 6 miles & back & had a good time as our Precepter approved of that and so does the scholars. I can not think of any more news to write you this time although I am assured by what I have heard the people here say that your company  have there best wishes & your company got some good compliment the day that you past through here on our way to Eastport.  Give my best respects to all of the boys. I can not mention any in particular for it would take me to long to name them all. Tell Henry Leighton that I should be glad to here from him as soon as he can find time to write. & also all of the rest of the boys. There is a young ladie here in town that that I told I was writing to you today & she sends you her love & best wishes for your success. Chark Hughs told me to send you & all the rest of the boys his best respects & wanted me to tell you & them to write as soon as they could. By the way, I forgot to tell you that Mr. Coffin has been sick with the measels. He has got better so he has been out 2 or 3 days. I have been to Church all day. Mr. Sanborn preached over here today. I do not think of any thing more at present. You must excuse bad writing & spelling for I have been in an awful hurry for I did not have much time.
Write to me as often as you can & tell me all about the boys & what your prospects are. I must close by saying good bye.
Yours truly
From your friend
Lewis W. Campbell
Washington Academy
East Machias

If you have corrections and/or information to share on any of the people mentioned, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.