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Primary Sources for Finding Katahdin Chapter 5, Section 3

This Document Packet Contains 7 Items


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Item 5545

Zilpah Wadsworth sampler, Portland, 1786

Zilpah Wadsworth sampler, Portland, 1786 / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 5, page 144-145.

Zilpah Wadsworth of Portland made this sampler when she was 8 years old in 1786.

Women were taught to be proficient at sewing and needlework. They made clothes, bedding, and decorative artworks. Most girls took their first stitches on samplers similar to Zilpah's. A sampler are a woven piece of cloth embroidered with alphabets, verses, flowers and other designs.

When industrialization and textile mills came to Maine in the mid-nineteenth century, women were no longer responsible for all the sewing needs of their families.

By 1850, samplers ceased to be a rite of passage into womanhood.

 

Item 4141

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow miniature

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow miniature / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 5, page 144.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a poet, and a member of Maine's cultural elite.

As a boy, Longfellow attended school in Portland. His father, Stephen Longfellow, impressed the importance of education upon all his children from a very young age

In 1875, it was mandated that Maine children spend at least twelve weeks per year in school. This was a burden on the many children who worked to contribute to their family's support.

 

Item 4121

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ca. 1878

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ca. 1878 / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 5, page 144.

Longfellow attended Bowdoin College, and later became a professor at Bowdoin and at Harvard University. He spent the majority of his adult life living and writing in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

Item 7571

Letter from Ted Jewett to Robert Robison, 1829

Letter from Ted Jewett to Robert Robison, 1829 / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 5, page 144-145.

This 1829 correspondence between Ted Jewett of Portland, and his friend Robert Robinson who lived in Savannah, Georgia, describes high society life in early 19th century Maine.

Jewett was a member of the coastal elite, and enjoyed balls, travel, and other luxuries that Portland had to offer.

Transcription

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Item 7575

Lucia Wadsworth's Geometry and Geography School Book, 1794

Lucia Wadsworth's Geometry and Geography School Book, 1794 / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 5, page 144-145.

This Geometry lesson by Lucia Wadsworth in 1794, illustrates her family's liberal attitude toward female education. At this time, schools were not free, and the expense of schooling was most often spent on boys.

Many families could not afford to pay for children to be formally educated at all. It was not required that children attend school until 1875.

Transcription

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Item 7576

Lucia Wadsworth's Geography Notebook, 1794

Lucia Wadsworth's Geography Notebook, 1794 / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 5, page 144-145.

Geography was another subject that Lucia Wadsworth studied. Other subjects included language, music, literature, and writing.

Transcription

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Item 7570

Tabitha Longfellow's writing book, 1788-89

Tabitha Longfellow's writing book, 1788-89 / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 5, page 144-145.

Writing exercises not only practiced penmanship and spelling, but also were intended to instill virtue and morals through the repitition of carefully selected phrases.

 

 

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