K.B. Sewall to son on changing schools, Mobile, 1860

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Kiah B. Sewall wrote to his son Somers, who was at school in West Chester and wanted to leave mid-year. Sewall (1807-1865) told his son he needed to stay through the end of the year -- and spend the school vacation there.

Sewall, a native of Maine, was a lawyer in Mobile, Alabama. He and his wife, Lucretia Day Sewall, had eight children -- with another on the way.

Sewall had been involved in land speculation in Maine in the 1830s and been heavily in debt. He apparently recovered while practicing law in Mobile, but frequently told his children, a number of whom went to school in Maine or elsewhere in New England, that he did not have money to send them, or that money was in short supply.

He suggested Somers (1843-1867) stay at school over vacation and for the rest of the year because of the expense of a change.

He also suggested his son not go through the "usual college course." Sewall, an 1829 graduate of Bowdoin College, wrote, "Judging from my own experience & observations the majority of College graduates fail of success in life -- and fail in health."

He thought Somers, who would be 17 years old, could find a mercantile position the following fall -- and learn a profession there.

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About This Item

  • Title: K.B. Sewall to son on changing schools, Mobile, 1860
  • Creator: Sewall, Kiah Bayley
  • Creation Date: 1860-02-17
  • Subject Date: 1860-02-17
  • Town: Mobile
  • County: Mobile
  • State: AL
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 20.5 cm x 13 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 105, Box 1/5
  • Collection: Sewall family papers
  • Object Type: Text

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Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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