Kiah Sewall account of escape from Mobile, 1864

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Kiah Bayley Sewall, a native of Edgecomb, wrote a sentimental, third-person account of his escape from Mobile, Alabama, in August 1864.

Sewall (1807-1865), an 1829 graduate of Bowdoin College and son of noted minister Samuel Sewall, had lost money in land speculation after his graduation. In 1836, he married Lucretia Day of Portland. They lived in New York for a time, then she returned to her parents' home in Portland where, in August 1837, she gave birth to their first child, Eunice Day Sewall.

Kiah Sewall remained in New York, trying to get out of debt and studying law, until February 1839 when ill health prompted him to go south. He settled in Mobile where he practiced law until his escape in 1864.

The Sewalls had nine more children while in Mobile, although Lucretia and some of the children spent part of their time in Portland. Some of the children went to school in Maine.

Sewall escaped from Mobile, leaving his family behind, because he was forced to sign up for a local militia unit and did not want to serve in a Confederate unit.

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About This Item

  • Title: Kiah Sewall account of escape from Mobile, 1864
  • Creator: Sewall, Kiah Bayley
  • Creation Date: circa 1864
  • Subject Date: circa 1864
  • Town: Mobile
  • County: Mobile
  • State: AL
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 20.5 cm x 13.5 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 105, Box 2/2
  • Collection: Sewall family papers
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

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

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