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Amazing! Maine Stories: 1866-1759

This slideshow contains 53 items
1
Henry Thurston Clark, ca. 1880

Henry Thurston Clark, ca. 1880

Item 14056 info
Maine Historical Society

INCREDIBLE JOURNEY!
TRAINS TAKE VALISE ACROSS COUNTRY


BANGOR, 1873 --A very special valise has completed an incredible journey from coast to coast and back again.


2
Henry Thurston Clark trunk, ca. 1872

Henry Thurston Clark trunk, ca. 1872

Item 16825 info
Maine Historical Society

Henry T. Clark, General Baggage Agent of the European and North American Railway, was determined to prove that checked baggage could be sent quickly and efficiently from one side of the country to the other.

So he packed a small hand trunk with a canteen of Atlantic Ocean water, a bottle of Halifax brandy, a railroad timetable, letters, and newspapers, and sent it on its way.


3
Message from railroad baggage agent, Ogden, Utah, 1873

Message from railroad baggage agent, Ogden, Utah, 1873

Item 13993 info
Maine Historical Society

Just four years after a golden spike completed the much-anticipated and long-delayed link between the coasts at Promontory Point, Utah, Clark's rugged little valise traveled the cross-country railway route.


4
Announcement to baggage agents, 1872

Announcement to baggage agents, 1872

Item 13995 info
Maine Historical Society

The valise covered 4,196 miles on its epic journey west, passing through the hands of twelve railroad companies and visiting Halifax, St. John, Bangor, Portland, Boston, New York, Chicago, Omaha, and Ogden.

It arrived in San Francisco on September 15.


5
Ocean water can, 1873

Ocean water can, 1873

Item 16826 info
Maine Historical Society

Once there, the trunk was opened and the can of Atlantic Ocean water drawn from Halifax Harbor was poured into San Francisco Bay, the first known mixing of the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.


6
Schedule and instructions of baggage shipment, 1873

Schedule and instructions of baggage shipment, 1873

Item 13992 info
Maine Historical Society

A can of Pacific Ocean water was drawn and packed in the valise with a bottle of California wine and local newspapers and timetables.

The valise was then shipped east and made the return trip to Bangor in an unprecedented eight days.


7
Atlantic Ocean water label, 1873

Atlantic Ocean water label, 1873

Item 13982 info
Maine Historical Society

Clark just wanted to prove it could be done.

But already people are marveling about the potential of checking cargo and shipping it between cities and towns and across the country by railroad -- closely tracked by waybill all along the route.


8
Greetings from San Francisco baggage handlers, 1873

Greetings from San Francisco baggage handlers, 1873

Item 13994 info
Maine Historical Society

PORTLAND, 1895 -- Before his death this year, Henry Clark "deposited this can and its valise, with its paper contents and inscriptions, as relics of historic interest, in the rooms of the Maine Historical Society, where they will ever remain."


9
Candlesticks, ca. 1830

Candlesticks, ca. 1830

Item 18090 info
Maine Historical Society

TREASURE UNCOVERED!
WEBB BRASS FOUNDRY
WAS HIDDEN IN HAY;
SCRAP DEALER SAVES HISTORIC TOOLS


WARREN, 1966 -- Digging through piles of scrap is nothing new for William Buckminster of Owls Head. He owns a scrap yard and antique business.

But he had to eat mouthfuls of hay while crawling around a barn in Warren to find his latest treasure.


10
Candlestick patterns, ca. 1840

Candlestick patterns, ca. 1840

Item 18176 info
Maine Historical Society

Tools. Nails and buckle tongues still wrapped in paper. A diary.

All of the treasures Buckminster uncovered were part of a brass foundry dating back to 1805.


11
Buckles and buckle tongue, ca. 1840

Buckles and buckle tongue, ca. 1840

Item 18178 info
Maine Historical Society

William Webb (1773-1868) was an entrepreneur who took advantage of an opportunity to set up business in a part of Maine where he had no competitors.

In 1799, after a failed business partnership in Boston, Webb went to Warren, moving in with his mother and brother.

Webb had begun his brass apprenticeship at age 14 in Boston, then went into business with another brass maker from about 1793-1794.


12
Package of buckle tongues, ca. 1840

Package of buckle tongues, ca. 1840

Item 18177 info
Maine Historical Society

From 1795-1799, Webb, his cousin Robert Homes, and James Pike operated a prosperous coach and chaise-making business in Boston.

Things went wrong, the partners were in debt, and the business folded.

Webb carried the debts with him to Maine, but gradually worked to build his business.


13
Burnishing tools, ca. 1840

Burnishing tools, ca. 1840

Item 18233 info
Maine Historical Society

After spending some time in England in late 1804, Webb returned to Warren and his foundry.

Despite his location in Maine, Webb marketed his oil lamps, andirons, and fire tools in Boston, bypassing competition from Portland brass makers.


14
Soldering lamp, ca. 1840

Soldering lamp, ca. 1840

Item 18234 info
Maine Historical Society

He produced harness and carriage fittings, even designing a one-horse carriage fitting.

The one-horse carriage became more popular after the tight economic times around the War of 1812.


15
Container for polishing powder, ca. 1840

Container for polishing powder, ca. 1840

Item 18235 info
Maine Historical Society

Webb also did some silver work, including communion tankard and cups for the Warren Baptist Church.


16
William Webb andirons, ca. 1830

William Webb andirons, ca. 1830

Item 18084 info
Maine Historical Society

Webb did well enough to survive the burning of his foundry in 1816. He rebuilt it and built a new shop in 1844 as well.

The new building helped the brass worker do his repairs and manufacturers.


17
Eagle casting, ca. 1840

Eagle casting, ca. 1840

Item 18089 info
Maine Historical Society

William Webb's success can be attributed to his resourcefulness in finding available markets and in producing items that were needed -- then shifting as demands shifted.


18
Eagle mold, ca. 1840

Eagle mold, ca. 1840

Item 18088 info
Maine Historical Society

And William Buckminster's resourcefulness and love of old foundries kept William Webb's story alive.


19
Samuel Freeman portrait

Samuel Freeman portrait

Item 7653 info
Maine Historical Society

BOTH PARTIES NOMINATE S. FREEMAN;
WINS SELECTMAN POST


PORTLAND, March 28, 1803 -- Never since Portland's first town meeting in 1786 has such a thing happened.


20
Samuel Freeman postmaster appointment, 1775

Samuel Freeman postmaster appointment, 1775

Item 9222 info
Maine Historical Society

Samuel Freeman, who's involved in just about everything in this city, was nominated selectman by both the Democrats and the Federalists.


21
Silhouette of Samuel Freeman (1743-1831)

Silhouette of Samuel Freeman (1743-1831)

Item 7654 info
Maine Historical Society

He was re-elected to the post nearly unanimously by voters from both parties, getting 641 votes out of 643 cast.

Mr. Freeman is said to be so popular because of his moderate views and his generous and charitable behavior.


22
Waistcoat belonging to Samuel Freeman, c. 1786

Waistcoat belonging to Samuel Freeman, c. 1786

Item 7652 info
Maine Historical Society

PORTLAND, 1825 -- Samuel Freeman, dressed like a relic from an earlier time in his breeches, waistcoat, and shoes with broad silver buckles, an outfit by which he is recognized all over town, laid the cornerstone for the new First Parish Church.

The 82-year-old fixture of Portland's civic life has been deacon of the church for 44 years.


23
Samuel Freeman shoe buckles, ca. 1790

Samuel Freeman shoe buckles, ca. 1790

Item 16828 info
Maine Historical Society

Just two years ago, he published the journal of the Reverend Thomas Smith, his pastor at the church for 50 years.

He pored through 68 years of the journal, deciphering Smith's tiny handwriting and abbreviations.


24
Samuel Freeman's knee buckles, ca. 1790

Samuel Freeman's knee buckles, ca. 1790

Item 16829 info
Maine Historical Society

No task is too great for Judge Freeman.

He was a member of the Provincial Congress during the Revolutionary War. He was named Postmaster in 1775, an assignment he still holds.

He helped found and became president of the Maine Bank, the city's second banking institution.


25
Samuel Freeman snuff box, ca. 1780

Samuel Freeman snuff box, ca. 1780

Item 16830 info
Maine Historical Society

His achievements are too great to list. But he's been involved in nearly every civic organization and been a judge, too.


26
Goodhue drawing of Samuel Freeman house, 1895

Goodhue drawing of Samuel Freeman house, 1895

Item 16831 info
Maine Historical Society

This "beautiful town by the sea" owes its recovery from the Mowat burning in 1775 and the difficult times of the early 1800s to Freeman and men like him who took charge and made sure the timber hewing industry, the candle and soap factories, shipbuilding, and shipping, among many others, could operate and help make the city prosperous.


27
Portrait of Lemuel Moody, 1826

Portrait of Lemuel Moody, 1826

Item 5586 info
Maine Historical Society

TOWER TO RISE ON MOUNTJOY NECK;
WILL BRING ORDER TO DOCKS;
REVOLUTIONIZE WATERFRONT


PORTLAND, 1807 -- Sixty-five feet tall! More than a hundred tons of stone rubble to keep it from blowing over! What is this thing?


28
Signal flags, Portland Observatory, ca. 1810

Signal flags, Portland Observatory, ca. 1810

Item 165 info
Maine Historical Society

Moody leads a team of more than 50 investors, mostly merchants and mariners, and will build his tall tower on a barren, wind-swept lot on Mountjoy's Neck (Munjoy Hill).

Agents on shore will be able to monitor the horizon for incoming ships and quickly get word to the waterfront.


29
Signals at the Portland Observatory

Signals at the Portland Observatory

Item 6157 info
Maine Historical Society

Lemuel Moody, Portland mariner and entrepreneur, plans to build the 65-foot observation tower that he claims will help ease the chronic backup of ships at piers along the waterfront.


30
Observatory timber contract, Portland, 1807

Observatory timber contract, Portland, 1807

Item 177 info
Maine Historical Society

The chaos that ensues whenever a ship arrives in the harbor is familiar to any regular visitor to the waterfront -- the scramble to notify the ship's owners, merchants, and investors; the rush to find men to unload the ship; the push to prepare and load outgoing cargo.


31
Commemorative pitcher, 1807

Commemorative pitcher, 1807

Item 187 info
Maine Historical Society

According to Moody, the Observatory, as it is to be called, will save merchants considerable time and money.


32
Signals at Portland Observatory

Signals at Portland Observatory

Item 6156 info
Maine Historical Society

The tower, which will be built from timber and ballasted against winds by 122 tons of stone rubble, will be capped by a dome-shaped observation deck and equipped with a high-powered telescope.

A keeper, who will live on site, will be hired and responsible for manning the structure.


33
Portland Harbor chart, ca. 1825

Portland Harbor chart, ca. 1825

Item 16876 info
Maine Historical Society

The keeper will scan the horizon regularly for incoming ships, identify those vessels by their flags, and then use coded flags to signal merchants on the wharves of the impending arrival.

By the time the ship makes it into harbor, space along the wharves will have been cleared and men made ready to unload the cargo.


34
Signals at the Portland Observatory

Signals at the Portland Observatory

Item 169 info
Maine Historical Society

Moody, a former ship captain once captured by French privateers, says that investors were encouraged to move forward with their plans by the continuing expansion of commerce in the port, as well as by the investment in Portland made by the federal government when it built the lighthouse at Portland Point (Portland Head).

Moody wants a part in the growing city.


35
Commodore Edward Preble, ca. 1805

Commodore Edward Preble, ca. 1805

Item 17993 info
Maine Historical Society

PREBLE'S BOYS BOMBARD
PIRATE STRONGHOLD;
ATTACK TRIPOLI;
MAKE TRADE SAFER


TRIPOLI, August 1803 -- Stop the pirates! That's what Commodore Edward Preble and the new United States Navy are determined to do.


36
Battle of Tripoli, July 25, 1804

Battle of Tripoli, July 25, 1804

Item 14762 info
Maine Historical Society

The Navy has attacked Tripoli on the Barbary Coast of Northern Africa this month hoping to stop pirate attacks on cargo ships.

Barbary pirates have controlled shipping in the Mediterranean for centuries and captured hundreds of European ships, crews, and cargo over the years.


37
Battle of Tripoli, August 3, 1804

Battle of Tripoli, August 3, 1804

Item 13204 info
Maine Historical Society

America and other countries want to trade with the Eastern Mediterranean, especially Greece and Turkey. But they can't because of the pirates.

European navies have repeatedly attempted to subdue the Barbary pirates but to little effect.

In fact, Spanish and British fleets have suffered some of the great disasters of naval history at the hands of the Barbary pirates.


38
Edward Preble quadrant, ca. 1780

Edward Preble quadrant, ca. 1780

Item 16875 info
Maine Historical Society

Commanding the seven-ship squadron from the decks of the U.S.S. Constitution, Commodore Preble, a Portland, Maine, native, has shown fine instinct and leadership.

Preble first went to sea aboard a privateer out of Massachusetts at the age of 16. He served with distinction during the Revolution, gaining a reputation for bold thinking and undaunted courage.

He then served in the merchant service for fifteen years before being appointed to the new U.S. Navy in 1798.


39
Commodore Preble pitcher, ca. 1805

Commodore Preble pitcher, ca. 1805

Item 17014 info
Maine Historical Society

Commodore Preble and his "boys" -- the captains of his squadron so called for their youth and relative inexperience -- have boldly taken the fight to the shores of Tripoli.

The U.S. Navy has made up for its small size with pluck and courage, bombarding the city, raiding ships in the harbor, and sinking many enemy vessels.

A treaty with the Dey, the ruler of Algiers, is seen as imminent.


40
William Ladd, Minot, ca. 1830

William Ladd, Minot, ca. 1830

Item 16150 info
Maine Historical Society

MINOT MAN FORMS
GROUP DEVOTED TO PEACE;
CALLS WAR IMMORAL


NEW YORK, May 8, 1828 -- A year of intense travel and lobbying has paid off. William Ladd today became the founder of a new group devoted to promoting peace. But he won't be the president of the new American Peace Society.

Ladd, a former sea captain, now spends his time in "the diffusion of light respecting the evils of war, and the best means for effecting its abolition."

It seems that his group is part of a wave of new ideas -- temperance, abolition of slavery, and better treatment for the mentally ill -- that are taking the country by storm.


41
William Ladd residence, Minot, ca. 1850

William Ladd residence, Minot, ca. 1850

Item 16971 info
Maine Historical Society

But why would a man who only wants to devote time to his farm in Minot take on such a monumental task? It all started in 1819 when he heard Bowdoin College President Jesse Appleton, who was dying, urge support of peace societies.

William Ladd decided Appleton was right and started working for peace. He already was committed to the abolition of slavery. Both positions were moral issues for Ladd.

His first talk on peace was at a blacksmith shop in Minot, where he lives.


42
Letter from William Ladd to the Baron de Roenne, 1840

Letter from William Ladd to the Baron de Roenne, 1840

Item 16151 info
Maine Historical Society

Ladd has spoken before peace societies and other audiences in Maine and Massachusetts. He also has published an "Essay on Peace and War" in the Christian Mirror in Portland.

MINOT, 1841 -- William Ladd, the Apostle of Peace, died after having to deliver his last lecture on bended knee, due to exhaustion.

Ladd, who became a minister in 1837, advocated selling public lands in order to free slaves, opposed defensive and offensive war, and argued that pacifism and feminism were related.


43
Sally Sayward Barrell Keating Wood, ca. 1820

Sally Sayward Barrell Keating Wood, ca. 1820

Item 16130 info
Maine Historical Society

DOMESTIC DUTIES DID NOT SUFFER,
CLAIMS 'LADY OF MASS.;'
HAS PENNED NOVEL


YORK, 1800 - What are we to make of a woman who strays from her proper scope of activity to write books? And fiction at that!

This woman, who calls herself "A Lady of Massachusetts," insists "that not one social, or one domestic duty, has ever been sacrificed or postponed by her pen."


44
Barrell Family pitcher

Barrell Family pitcher

Item 9993 info
Maine Historical Society

The "lady" novelist is a widow from a Tory family in York, District of Maine. Her name is Sally Sayward Barrell Keating.

Despite the impropriety of a woman writing books, her friends and neighbors praise her.

The book in question is Julia, and the illuminated baron: a novel founded on recent facts, which have transpired in the course of the late revolution of moral principles in France.

The heroine is a proper domestic woman, but the events of the French Revolution affect her life and do not allow her to retreat into her home.


45
Barrell Grove, York, 1800

Barrell Grove, York, 1800

Item 16930 info
Maine Historical Society

PORTLAND, 1854 -- Madam Wood, known as "A Lady of Massachusetts" and subsequently "A Lady of Maine," has died.

Now that America is more used to women writing novels, Sally Sayward Barrell Keating Wood is celebrated in Portland and elsewhere as Maine's first novelist.

She has published four novels and one collection of tales and still remains the defender of woman's role as wife and mother, but acknowledges that the world intrudes on their homes and women must be educated to make wise and moral choices.


46
Miniature portrait of Persis Sibley Andrews and daughter, 1844

Miniature portrait of Persis Sibley Andrews and daughter, 1844

Item 1288 info
Maine Historical Society

THIS WOMAN LIKES CHEMISTRY,
POLITICS, TEMPERANCE
& HER DOMESTIC LIFE


DIXFIELD, 1844 -- Women might not have the right to own and control property, to vote, or to participate in civic activities. Many say they belong in the home, providing havens for their husbands and moral guidance to their children.


47
Persis Sibley theorem fan, 1832

Persis Sibley theorem fan, 1832

Item 16857 info
Maine Historical Society

But Persis Sibley Andrews hasn't let those ideas stop her.

This lively woman has taught school, read and studied voraciously, and enjoyed an active social life.

She read all of Shakespeare's plays one year, attended lectures on chemistry and other subjects.

"I take too much interest in legislation for a lady," she once wrote.


48
Collar made by Persis Sibley, ca. 1840

Collar made by Persis Sibley, ca. 1840

Item 16856 info
Maine Historical Society

Just three years ago, she wrote that life was so pleasant without marriage that she liked being an old maid.

But that didn't stop her from marrying Charles Andrews ("the handsomest lawyer in Augusta") on June 22, 1842, when she was 28.

Mr. Andrews has even stood for the United States House of Representatives.


49
Persis Sibley theorem painting, 1831

Persis Sibley theorem painting, 1831

Item 16858 info
Maine Historical Society

Now the happily married couple subscribe to The Democratic Review and Graham's Magazine, and get at least five newspapers a week that they read and discuss together.

And they have a daughter, Charlotte, born July 15, 1843.


50
Card painted by Persis Sibley, ca. 1831

Card painted by Persis Sibley, ca. 1831

Item 17363 info
Maine Historical Society

Mrs. Andrews has kept her former interests, too.

But she says her family are "sources of heartfelt enjoyment that more than recompense" for the "luxurious abundance of other days."


51
Card painted by Persis Sibley, ca. 1831

Card painted by Persis Sibley, ca. 1831

Item 17362 info
Maine Historical Society

ROXBURY, MASS., October 21, 1917 -- Persis N. Andrews, daughter of Persis Sibley Andrews Black, donates a miniature portrait, embroidery, and other items relating to the life of her mother to the Maine Historical Society in Portland.


52
Molly Ockett's purse, ca. 1785

Molly Ockett's purse, ca. 1785

Item 6802 info
Maine Historical Society

INDIAN GIRL SURVIVES ATTACK;
FRENCH AND INDIAN OUTPOST CRIPPLED;
MOLLY OCKETT HAD LIVED AMONG ENGLISH


SANIT-FRANCOIS, CANADA, October 4, 1759 -- Many Abenaki Indians were killed or forced to flee when Major Robert Rogers and his Rangers attacked the mission at Saint-Francois (Odanak), but one smart young woman survived the destruction.

Molly Ockett, 15, hid behind a bush and escaped the British attack.

She knows the British well. In 1747, when her father and others tried to make peace with the British, she was sent to Boston with her family.

She learned to speak English.

But she and others knew peace was not possible this time. The British wanted the Indian lands and Indian scalps, so the Pequawkets of the upper Saco River in western Maine went to Canada for peace and shelter.


53
Birch bark box, Molly Ockett

Birch bark box, Molly Ockett

Item 1474 info
Maine Historical Society

Now the French are defeated and Molly Ockett and other survivors of the attack will have to find a way to live among the British.

ANDOVER, August 2, 1816 -- Molly Ockett is dead.

The Pequawket healer helped many people in this area. She knew the properties of local plants and used them to cure fevers, infections, dysentery, and other afflictions.

The Americans will miss her and her skills.


This slideshow contains 53 items