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Lesson Plan Slideshow - Daily Life in 1820 - 67 items.

Created by Brittany Cook, MHS Bicentennial Fellow


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Item 15204

Letter concerning organization of new State of Maine, 1820

Letter concerning organization of new State of Maine, 1820 / Maine Historical Society

Henry Sewall of Augusta wrote to his son, William, about the organization of the state, newly separated from Massachusetts. He describes the courts, sheriffs, and other officials, and discusses the militia. He also reports on family news.

 

Item 102202

Letter from Ann King to William King, 1820

Letter from Ann King to William King, 1820 / Maine Historical Society

Ann Nesbeth King was born Ann Nesbeth Frazier in Boston in 1785 and died in Portland in 1859.

She married William King (1768-1852) a Massachusetts Senator and the first governor of Maine from 1820-1821. In this letter from Ann to her husband, she expressed her frustration that King has not returned home, because Maine was not admitted to the Union as quickly as they had expected.

 

Item 10596

 William King, Bath,  ca. 1806

William King, Bath, ca. 1806 / Patten Free Library

This portrait of William King, Maine's first governor (1820-21), was painted by Philip Spooner Harris, circa 1855, from Gilbert Stuart's 1806 portrait of King as a young Bath businessman.

Philip Spooner Harris (1824-1884), a portrait painter and great admirer of Gilbert Stuart, lived in Bath near the end of Gov. King's life. Harris practiced the art of portraiture in the Eliot Block of Bath from 1850-1864 before relocating to New York.

The original Gilbert Stuart portrait of King is part of the Maine State House Portrait Collection in Augusta. The Harris copy is owned by the Patten Free Library in Bath.

 

Item 102199

William Pitt Preble to William King regarding Maine constitution, Portland, 1819

William Pitt Preble to William King regarding Maine constitution, Portland, 1819 / Maine Historical Society

William Pitt Preble (1783-1857) was born in York, where he started a law practice in 1809 after graduating from Harvard. He was appointed County Attorney for York in 1811, and the United States Attorney for Maine from 1814-1820. Preble was also a delegate at the Maine Constitutional Convention. In 1820, he became a justice of the Maine Supreme Court. William King (1768-1852) was a strong supporter of Maine’s independence and became Maine’s first governor from 1820-1821. In this letter to King, Preble made a case for using the Massachusetts Constitution as a basis for Maine’s constitution.

 

Item 102204

Mark L. Hill to William King, Washington, D.C., February 4, 1820

Mark L. Hill to William King, Washington, D.C., February 4, 1820 / Maine Historical Society

Mark Langdon Hill (1772-1842) served as a Massachusetts State Representative from 1819-1821, and from 1821-1823 served in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a strong supporter of the separation of Maine from Massachusetts. The letter is authored to William King (1768-1852) a supporter of separation, a Massachusetts senator and later Maine’s first governor.

In this letter, Hill described the situation in Congress regarding the issue of Maine separating from Massachusetts. At this point, the question of Maine’s statehood had been left open for nearly two months and tied to Missouri’s statehood. Ultimately, it was determined that Maine could enter the Union as a free state only if Missouri could enter as a slave state, an arrangement known as the Missouri Compromise.

Many Mainers were vehemently against their statehood enabling the spread of slavery. Here, Hill is beginning to waiver in favor of the Missouri Compromise and provides justifications for its inevitability to King. Hill also sees the building conflict of North vs. South as the issue of slavery and abolition become more controversial.

 

Item 20813

Samuel Whiting letter on occupation of Castine, 1814

Samuel Whiting letter on occupation of Castine, 1814 / Maine Historical Society

Samuel Whiting of Bangor wrote to William King of Bath recommending militia action to oust the British from Castine.

The British occupied the coastal community during the War of 1812 and Whiting noted that sentiment of residents, who had hoped for financial advantage from the occupation, had shifted.

 

Item 22394

John Holmes, Alfred, ca. 1840

John Holmes, Alfred, ca. 1840 / Maine Historical Society

John Holmes (1773-1843), a prominent lawyer from Alfred, was active from 1815-1820 in efforts to separate Maine from Massachusetts.

A 1796 graduate of Brown University, he represented Alfred in the Maine State Constitutional Convention in 1819.

He served as a U.S. Senator for 11 years and was appointed by President Monroe to the commission that negotiated the border dispute between Maine and Canada.

 

Item 9303

Call for a meeting to discuss separation from Massachusetts, April 1816

Call for a meeting to discuss separation from Massachusetts, April 1816 / Maine Historical Society

This paper in the William King papers describes the issues around Maine's possible separation from Massachusetts, and a meeting to be held to discuss these issues for the gentlemen in the counties of Lincoln, Kennebec and Somerset in April 1816.

 

Item 34544

Proclamation of statehood, 1820

Proclamation of statehood, 1820 / Maine Historical Society

William King, president of the convention that drew up a Constitution and proposed statehood for Maine, signed a proclamation announcing that Congress admitted Maine to the Union on March 3, 1820, and that the Constitution, previously adopted by the residents, was in effect as of March 15, 1820.

The proclamation was dated March 16.

 

Item 104603

Map of the State of Maine, 1820

Map of the State of Maine, 1820 / Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education

With Maine gaining statehood in 1820, Moses Greenleaf reissued his 1815 map with the new title, "Map of the State of Maine."

 

Item 12371

Bowdoin College Tuition Bill for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1823

Bowdoin College Tuition Bill for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1823 / Maine Historical Society

This bill is for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's tuition to Bowdoin College for the term ending January, 1823. The poet graduated from Bowdoin in the famous class of 1825, which also included Nathaniel Hawthorne.

 

Item 23905

Nancy Freeman to brother at Bowdoin, 1822

Nancy Freeman to brother at Bowdoin, 1822 / Maine Historical Society

Nancy Pierce Freeman (1796-1825), along with her husband, Charles, her sister Harriot Pierce (1798-1829) and Charlotte Freeman wrote to George Washington Pierce (1805-1835), a student at Bowdoin College in Brunswick.

Nancy Pierce told her brother she hoped he was "improved in your manners, book knowledge, moral principles, but that which would rejoice our hearts most would be to find you a Christian . . ."

She also offers a brief description of her life in Limerick, harvesting apples and the garden and taking care of the horse and cow.

 

Item 23908

George Pierce on Bowdoin studies, 1822

George Pierce on Bowdoin studies, 1822 / Maine Historical Society

George Washington Pierce (1805-1835), a student at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, wrote to his brother Josiah Pierce of Gorham about the subjects he was studying and especially about a book Josiah had recommended he read: The Life of Cicero.

 

Item 23890

Josiah Pierce on gratitude to parents, Brunswick, 1816

Josiah Pierce on gratitude to parents, Brunswick, 1816 / Maine Historical Society

Josiah Pierce of Baldwin, a sophomore at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, wrote to his mother, Phebe Pierce, expressing his gratitude to her and his father for the benefits he has been afforded in life.

 

Item 5511

Bow front chest, Portland, ca. 1809-1816

Bow front chest, Portland, ca. 1809-1816 / Maine Historical Society

This bow-front, four-drawer chest can be found in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House on Congress Street in Portland.

It belonged to Stephen Longfellow IV.

 

Item 13744

Illustrated verse, Limington, ca. 1820

Illustrated verse, Limington, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

This illustrated moral verse is written in puzzle format, with flaps to be opened or closed to reveal the second part of each message. It probably was created in the early nineteenth century. It is in a collection of items belonging to lawyer Isaac Mitchell of Limington.

 

Item 105641

French trellis wallpaper, Portland, ca. 1825

French trellis wallpaper, Portland, ca. 1825 / Maine Historical Society

Decorative wallpapers imitate more expensive materials such as architectural details, painted wall decorations, wood grains, marble, and textiles.

The end of colonial trading restrictions after the American Revolution allowed Americans to import French wallpapers, like this trellis design. Starting around 1820, continuous papers without seams became available.

This wallpaper design is based on an original fragment from the parlor chamber in the Wadsworth Longfellow House in Portland.

 

Item 31781

The Herring 'Mother's Chair'

The Herring 'Mother's Chair' / Guilford Historical Society

This chair made the trip to Guilford in mid-winter of 1806 from New Gloucester with a yoke of oxen and a sled, slow and tedious, but sure. It took a week, involving considerable hardship. Robert Herring, his wife and two-year-old daughter, fit on the sled only a few absolutely indispensable household articles neccessary for every log cabin. The wife's seat was an "old fashioned" kitchen chair which she ever after kept for her individual use, it being known as "mother's chair" as long as she lived. The chair in 1907 was possessed by her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Cynthia (Pratt) Herring of Foxcroft, the posts worn nearly to the lower rungs from constant use, then considerably more than 100 years old. In more recent years, the chair was given to the Pine Tree State Chapter, DAR, and then to the Guilford Historical Society as part of the town's history.

 

Item 11346

Sheraton side chair, ca. 1820

Sheraton side chair, ca. 1820 / Old York Historical Society

This chair belonged to Elizabeth Perkins (1869-1952), York summer resident. It may have been inherited. It is one of a set of four. Hardwood. Horizontal rod back with 2 steam-bent rods and central tablet at top and 3 rods below, just above seat. Octagonal central tablet with hand painted design of grapes, grape leaves and grape vines with dark brown highlights. Rush seat. 2 stretchers on sides and front. 1 stretcher in back. Painted mustard yellow. Repaint based on original design.

 

Item 16480

Pierced Tin Candle Lantern, Houlton, c. 1820

Pierced Tin Candle Lantern, Houlton, c. 1820 / Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum

Pierced tin lanterns were both decorative and functional. While the lanterns cast interesting patterns the limited air flow through the lantern prevented the candle from blowing out.

 

Item 18427

Wallpaper, ca. 1820

Wallpaper, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

This wallpaper was made in France. It was block printed on hand-made sheets.

Wallpaper was commonly used beginning in the early nineteenth century. This wallpaper sat on the shelf of a Portland store for more than 70 years before being given to the Maine Historical Society in 1897.

 

Item 22471

Anne Longfellow drawing, ca. 1818

Anne Longfellow drawing, ca. 1818 / Maine Historical Society

Anne Longfellow (1810-1901) drew this pencil and watercolor sketch of a room interior when she was a child.

She was the daughter of Stephen and Zilpah Wadsworth Longfellow of Portland.

 

Item 104538

Patten family register, Topsham, 1821

Patten family register, Topsham, 1821 / Individual Partner

Jane Patten, who was an 11-year-old girl in 1821, made this needlework sampler.

It lists her parents' marriage date, the names and birthdates of her siblings, her needlework instructor's name, and a memorial to her brother who died at age two. The Patten family lived in or near Topsham.

Acter (or Actor) Patten, Anna Hunter Patten (married Feb 4, 1796), nine children: Peggy, Alexander, Freman, Daniel, Rufus, John, Jane, Penelope, Louisa, Albert Patten, all born between 1796 and 1818.

 

Item 29228

Pincushion Box, Zachiariah Brackett Stevens Tinware, ca. 1820

Pincushion Box, Zachiariah Brackett Stevens Tinware, ca. 1820 / Abplanalp Library, UNE

Made by Zachiariah Stevens for his daughter Emmeline, this tinware pincushion box came from the attic of the Zachiariah Stevens / Cordelia Pierce home, Stevens Plains, Westbrook.

Zachiariah Stevens opened the first Stevens Plains tin shop in 1798. He and his sons were tinsmiths. They made the tinware and peddled it through northern New England and Canada while the Stevens women decorated and painted it.

Zachiariah Stevens and Oliver Buckley, also a tinsmith, donated the original eight acres on Stevens Plains for Westbrook Seminary.

 

Item 14244

Heywood House mirror, Bucksport, 1820

Heywood House mirror, Bucksport, 1820 / Bucksport Historical Society

This 1820 mirror has 13 golden balls that represent the 13 original states. It was in the Phineas Heywood House in Bucksport from 1824 to 1963.

 

Item 26540

Rice specimen penmanship, Portland, 1819

Rice specimen penmanship, Portland, 1819 / Maine Historical Society

Marcia Rice, a student of the Misses Martins’ School in Portland, made this ambitious piece of school work when she was 16.

Her illustrated writing documents the range of her studies including English, History, Science, and Botany.

 

Item 105642

Painting of 18th and 19th century fashion dolls, 1919

Painting of 18th and 19th century fashion dolls, 1919 / Maine Historical Society

Demonstrating the changes in women's fashion from 1792 to 1820, this watercolor shows an earlier doll wearing a scoop hat and shawl, and the 1820 version features a fashionable turban and puffed sleeves.

 

Item 48241

Parasol fashion doll, ca. 1794

Parasol fashion doll, ca. 1794 / Maine Historical Society

The dress style advertised by this fashion doll dates to about 1794, with a brocade gown and an open front skirt over a muslin petticoat. A cross-body shawl, also known as a "sontag" (although that name was not popularized until the mid-19th century) added warmth, while it left the arms free for movement. The flower-trimmed hat was common in the period, as were parasols. Such hats were worn over elaborate hairstyles.

Since the Renaissance, fashion dolls were used, often in royal courts, to communicate the latest fashions and fabrics. While this doll represents circa 1794 fashions, it is unclear when the doll was made, perhaps after 1820. It is one in a set of eight fashion dolls spanning circa 1787 to 1820. The doll was dated "1794" by its creator or an early collector.

 

Item 48240

Fashion doll with a chapeau de bras, ca. 1793

Fashion doll with a chapeau de bras, ca. 1793 / Maine Historical Society

Dressed in a period cut away coat and breeches, this doll wears a chapeau de bras hat. Reminiscent of a naval officer’s hat, the style is somewhat synonyms with Napoleon Bonaparte. Very fashionable at the turn of the 18th to 19th centuries, milliners created the hats from felted beaver fur, and silk.

While this doll represents circa 1793 fashions, it is unclear when the doll was made, perhaps after 1820. It is one in a set of eight fashion dolls spanning circa 1787 to 1820.

 

Item 48239

Fashion doll, ca. 1790

Fashion doll, ca. 1790 / Maine Historical Society

Trimmed in pink silk, this doll represents a shift in fashion toward narrower silhouettes inspired by Greco-Roman design. There is evidence this doll once wore a hat, bonnet or wig. Fashion dolls, sometimes referred to as a "fashion babies" or "pandoras" were used to circulate information about the latest styles.

While this doll represents circa 1790 fashions, it is unclear when the doll was made, perhaps after 1820. It is one in a set of eight fashion dolls spanning circa 1787 to 1820.

 

Item 105335

French-inspired silk coat, ca. 1800

French-inspired silk coat, ca. 1800 / Maine Historical Society

At the end of the eighteenth century fashion was international. Members of Maine society kept abreast of trends. Typical dress in Maine featured styles that originated in England. This white or cream twilled silk coat, also known as a pelisse, is an interesting example of that internationalism.

However, this piece does not bear the typical hallmarks of English dress at the time. It lacks a belt, and tied around the waist underneath the coat, which created a distinctive silhouette, with the front hanging straight down--a turn of the 19th century French trend.

 

Item 105342

Zilpah Wadsworth Longfellow's spencer jacket, Portland, 1827

Zilpah Wadsworth Longfellow's spencer jacket, Portland, 1827 / Maine Historical Society

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's mother, Zilpah Longfellow, owned this gold silk walking jacket when she was 49 years old and living on Congress Street. The short-waisted spencer style was seen in fashion magazines of the period. Zilpah's jacket was likely made around 1827, as indicated by handwriting inside the jacket stating: "1827/Mrs. Z.W.L."

The front of the jacket is decorated with 25 covered buttons with golden thread, and the back features a pleated ruffle. The item is pictured with a substitute muslin slip, used for the purpose of photographing the jacket.

 

Item 105293

Madam de St. Felix ball dress, ca. 1820

Madam de St. Felix ball dress, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

Madam Jean Reynaud de St. Felix (Anna Marie), grandmother of Portland resident Julia St. Felix Thaxter, wore this dress to a grand civic ball in Philadelphia on October 4, 1824. The occasion was in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette of Revolutionary War fame, and attended by as many as 1,700 people.

Madam de St. Felix was 26 years old at the time of the ball. Her dress was made of a fine, transparent Indian cotton muslin with hand-stitched white work embroidery. The inner bodice pieces are missing from this dress. The back is open and has a drawstring tie closure at the neck and waist.

The piece is a good example of the small change dresses underwent in the early 1820's, as skirt bottoms widened and waistlines began to drop.

 

Item 105343

Sarah Bowman Winter's "fancy weave" coat, Bath, ca. 1825

Sarah Bowman Winter's "fancy weave" coat, Bath, ca. 1825 / Maine Historical Society

Associated with Sarah Bowman Winter of Bath and the Anderson family of Windham, this full length coat was crafted of a sage or grayish fancy weave silk. The style suggests that the coat originated in England.

The slim, beautifully quilted coat features a wide detachable quilted collar, three aqua silk ribbons along the front, and a ribbon around the waist to secure the wearer against chilly weather.

Sarah Bowman (1792-1828) married Samuel Winter of Bath in 1814. Their daughter Marcia married into the Anderson family in 1847.

 

Item 105479

Slender cotton gown, Buckfield, ca. 1805

Slender cotton gown, Buckfield, ca. 1805 / Maine Historical Society

The fashions of 1800 to 1805 included slender gowns made of simple white cotton or plain muslin, with woven stripes and embroidered floral sprigs. The style featured high waists, narrow bodices, low drawstring necklines, and skirts with back gathers.

When donated to Maine Historical Society in 1938, this cotton dress with short puffy sleeves and wide square neck line, was said to have been made from the wedding dress of Delphina Keith Parris (1805-1826) of Buckfield, who died Sept. 3, 1826, a week before she was to be married.

However, stylistically, the dress dates to about 20 years prior to Parris' death, which complicates the timeline.

 

Item 48931

Sally Chamberlin comb, ca. 1820

Sally Chamberlin comb, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

Sally Chamberlin, sister of Mrs. Viana Chamberlin Berry of Dover, N.H., wore this tortoiseshell hair comb in about 1820.

 

Item 10886

Captain Parker McCobb, Phippsburg, 1818

Captain Parker McCobb, Phippsburg, 1818 / Maine Historical Society

Oil painting of Captain Parker McCobb of Phippsburg 1818, done by Benjamin Greenleaf.

 

Item 10888

Rebecca McCobb, Phippsburg, 1818

Rebecca McCobb, Phippsburg, 1818 / Maine Historical Society

Portrait of Rebecca McCobb, 1818. Benjamin Greenleaf painted this portrait of the Phippsburg woman.

 

Item 18891

Anna Merrill Pickett, Margaret Pickett, Greene, 1818

Anna Merrill Pickett, Margaret Pickett, Greene, 1818 / Maine Historical Society

Anna Merrill Pickett of Greene and her daughter, Margaret Pickett.

Anna Pickett and her parents were the first settlers in Greene and her wedding to John Pickett was the first wedding in the town.

 

Item 33689

Rufus King of Scarborough, ca. 1820

Rufus King of Scarborough, ca. 1820 / Scarborough Historical Society & Museum

Rufus King, the first child of Richard King and Isabella Bragdon, was born in Scarborough in 1755. He graduated from Harvard College in 1777. In 1778 he served in the Continental Army, in 1780 he was admitted to the bar in Massachusetts. In 1784 he was elected to represent Massachusetts at the Continental Congress. He was a member of the convention that framed the Constitution of the United States in 1787,

In 1788 he moved to New York City after marrying Mary Alsop of New York in 1786. While in New York he served in the United States Senate. While serving in the Senate he worked on the Missouri Compromise.
Rufus King was a "Orator, Statesman, and Patriot". He died in 1827 in New York.

 

Item 49685

Julia Cascaline Dearborn Wingate, Portland, ca. 1820

Julia Cascaline Dearborn Wingate, Portland, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

Julia Dearborn married Joshua Wingate, postmaster of Portland, who was Brigadier General in the Maine Militia, and one of the original members of the Maine Historical Society. She was known for her philanthropy.

In an 1828 publication, Anne Royall described the 47-year-old Julia Wingate, "Mrs. W. was attired in the plainest manner possible; a simple morning wrapper was all that distinguish this dignified female, her head was unadorned with aught but her glossy raven locks; her face was graced with an intelligent smile, which displayed her ivory teeth; her face was round and full, though richly diffused with the bloom of the rose – she was a tall, stout woman, youthful and familiar, she would pass for thirty years of age; with the best Boston education, a strong mind, and a heart of matchless benevolence, joined to every female grace, Mrs. W. is certainly unrivaled, she is the delight of every eye and the theme of every tongue; nature’s self has not less art, her liberal hand is ever spread to the needy ad distressed; well may Maine be proud of her, the patron of genius, worth, and merit, she does more good in a day, than all the black coats and Missionaries that ever scattered a Tract. Instead of scattering Tracts, she scatters bread and meat, and clothes to the poor, and by her example she teaches them religion; I do not know to what sect she belongs, nor will it be asked of her when she gets to heaven, whether she was a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Universalist, or Jew, there is but only thing needful, and she has chosen that."

Charles Bird King (1785-1862) painted the portrait of Julia Cascaline Dearborn Wingate (1781-1867), the daughter of General Henry Dearborn of Portland.

King, born in Newport, Rhode Island, began studying portrait painting at the age of 15. He studied in New York and London until settling in Washington. He ran his own studio and was well known for his Native American portraiture and works of politicians.

 

Item 20175

Mary Frances Woodford, ca. 1825

Mary Frances Woodford, ca. 1825 / Maine Historical Society

Oil painting of Mary Frances Woodford (1788-1871) done in about 1825. She was married to Ebenezer Woodford, who lived in Westbrook in 1820.

 

Item 18711

Mary L. Deering, Portland, ca. 1815

Mary L. Deering, Portland, ca. 1815 / Maine Historical Society

Mary Louisa Deering (1805-1878), the tenth of eleven Deering children, lived all her life in the family mansion in Portland. Her father, James Deering (1766-1850), was a leading Portland merchant and patron of the arts.

William Bache made this silhouette in about 1815.

 

Item 48977

Chapeau-bras, ca. 1820

Chapeau-bras, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

A chapeau-bras -- a flat bicorne hat -- made of beaver felt belonged to Peleg Wadsworth (1793-1875).

Wadsworth was the son of Peleg Wadsworth (1748-1829) and Elizabeth Bartlett Wadsworth ( -1825).

He served as a general in the militia of Maine and lived in Hiram.

 

Item 1325

John Neal, ca. 1820

John Neal, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

Portrait of Portland, Maine author, John Neal (1793-1876).

 

Item 6888

Miniature of Margaret Stetson, ca. 1820

Miniature of Margaret Stetson, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

This miniature of Margaret Stetson is made of watercolor on paper and shows her facing right, middle aged, wearing a black dress with ruffled collar. Brown hair in a bun with a comb and earrings.

 

Item 18952

Rebecca Padelford Deane, Ellsworth, ca. 1820

Rebecca Padelford Deane, Ellsworth, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

Rebecca Padelford Deane (1790-1872) married John Gilmore Deane in 1810. The couple had eleven children.

 

Item 13295

Silhouettes of the Famous Class of 1825, Bowdoin College

Silhouettes of the Famous Class of 1825, Bowdoin College / Maine Historical Society

Reprinted from the Special Bowdoin Edition of the Lewiston Journal, June 25, 1902, this print shows the silhouettes of the Bowdoin Class of 1825.

First Row: Nathaniel Hawthorne, John S.C. Abbott, George W. Pierce, Elisha Bacon, Richmond Bradford, Jeremiah Dummer, Cyrus Hamlin Coolidge.

Second Row: Henry W. Longfellow, Patrick Henry Greenleaf, Jonathan Cilley, Alden Boynton, Frederic Mellen, Samuel Page Benson, Mark Haskell Newman.

Third Row: David Shepley, William Hale, David Haley Foster, Alfred Martin, Nathaniel Dunn, Seward Wyman, Gorham Deane.

Fourth Row: Horatio Bridge, Thomas Ayer, Edward Joseph Vose, Charles Snell, Eugene Weld, John Dafforne Kinsman, George Barrell Cheever.

Fifth Row: Joseph Jenkins Eveleth, Joseph Stover Little, Hezekiah Packard, Alfred Mason, Charles Jeffrey Abbott, Stephen Longfellow, James Ware Bradbury.

Sixth Row: Edward Deering Preble, William Stone, Cullen Sawtelle.

 

Item 18710

John Holmes, Alfred, ca. 1823

John Holmes, Alfred, ca. 1823 / Maine Historical Society

William King created this silhouette of John Holmes (1773-1843), a noted lawyer and U.S. Senator. Holmes was active from 1815-1820 in efforts to separate Maine from Massachusetts.

Cut silk tracings of a person's silhouette were a way to remember loved ones, since the technology to create photographs was not available until the 1840s.

 

Item 48949

Charles Poland, Cumberland, ca. 1825

Charles Poland, Cumberland, ca. 1825 / Maine Historical Society

Charles Poland of Cumberland (1795-1867) posed for a portrait in about 1825. He is holding a telescope.

Poland married Eunice Harris in 1817. The couple had nine children, four of whom survived to adulthood. In 1865, after Eunice's death, he married Susan Chenery of Falmouth.

The artist is believed to be Joseph Greenleaf Cole (1806-1858)

 

Item 18894

Olive York and Isaac Sturdivant, Cumberland, ca. 1810

Olive York and Isaac Sturdivant, Cumberland, ca. 1810 / Maine Historical Society

Olive York (1790-1827) married Isaac Sturdivant (1784-1858) in 1810.

These painted silhouettes, framed together in a fancy reverse-painted glass frame, may have served as their wedding portrait.

 

Item 26536

Abigail Babson theorem purse, ca. 1820

Abigail Babson theorem purse, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

Abigail Babson created this theorem purse in about 1820.

Theorem paintings involved the use of stencils and often were school assignments that taught young girls hand skills and promoted a sense of design and color.

 

Item 26537

Sewall cornucopia theorem, ca. 1825

Sewall cornucopia theorem, ca. 1825 / Maine Historical Society

A cornucopia shaped theorem, a type of painting done with the use of stencils. Theorems often were school assignments for young girls.

This one was painted by a member of the Sewall family.

 

Item 26539

Young girl, Portland, ca. 1820

Young girl, Portland, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

An unidentified member of the Longfellow family made this drawing in about 1820.

Drawing from life and even making copies of prints published in a wide range of books and periodicals was part of the academic education of many young women during the early 19th century.

 

Item 36415

Watercolor of Eliza Jane (Trafton) Sewall, York, ca. 1830

Watercolor of Eliza Jane (Trafton) Sewall, York, ca. 1830 / Old York Historical Society

Eliza Jane (Trafton) Sewall (1817-1880) of York was the daughter of Noah and Lavinia (Moore) Trafton. In 1840 she married Captain Joseph Sewall (1811-1892) of York, the son of Joseph Abigail H. (Gray) Sewall.

Eliza lived in the Elizabeth Perkins House, one of the historic buildings administered by the Museums of Old York building, after her marriage.

Note that the details of her book, her dress's collar and facial features are composed of pencil.

 

Item 7956

Sarah Lewis Merry's penmanship exercise, 1817

Sarah Lewis Merry's penmanship exercise, 1817 / Maine Historical Society

Sarah Lewis Merry's penmanship exercise, Nov. 1817, with watercolor decoration. Includes the topics 'The Virtuous Woman', 'Important Branches,' 'On Death,' 'On Wisdom', 'Virtue', 'On Content', and 'On Passion'.

 

Item 26545

Turner quilt, Palermo, 1818

Turner quilt, Palermo, 1818 / Maine Historical Society

Delphos Turner was 18 when she made this quilt in 1818.

She spun and dyed the wool, wove the cloth, sewed the quilt, and proudly embroidered her name in the center “Delphos Turner of Palermo.”

 

Item 33891

Four Birds of Native Species, 1820

Four Birds of Native Species, 1820 / Jonathan Fisher Memorial, Inc.

Four species of North American birds with insects painted in a woodland setting. The writing on the lower left says, "King Wood pecker golden cappd w- pecker slate sided song? bird ? Oct 1822 J. Fisher. Maine."
Three of the birds are the pileated woodpecker, chickadee, and junco.

 

Item 25965

Lottery sign, Portland, ca. 1820

Lottery sign, Portland, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

A lottery sign, made by an unidentified artist, belonged to Major William Francis who operated a lottery business on Union Street in Portland from about 1810 to 1830. He advertised his location as "Fortune's temple."

Lotteries were a common way to raise money for private efforts to build bridges, canals and roadways.

 

Item 26526

Weathervane rooster, Scarborough, ca. 1820

Weathervane rooster, Scarborough, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

The weathervane rooster sat atop the Libby family barn in Scarborough for many years. The maker is unidentified.

 

Item 28790

Mineral covered box, ca. 1820

Mineral covered box, ca. 1820 / Hamlin Memorial Library and Museum

An old wooden box, hinged on one side, is covered with stones and minerals which include quartz, smoky quartz, rose quartz, black tourmaline and mica. The stones are held to the box with cement. The box was in the attic of Hannibal Hamlin's home in Bangor which was given to Bangor Theological Seminary in the will of Ellen Emery Hamlin. It was with a collection of other Hamlin artifacts which included photographs, desk items and old books belonging to the Hamlin family.

Hannibal Hamlin's older brother Elijah discovered the first tourmaline in North America on Mount Mica near Paris Hill. He mined tourmaline and other minerals with his cousin and later his son Augustus. The rocks and minerals which decorate this box are plentiful in the area around Paris Hill.

 

Item 16130

Sally Sayward Barrell Keating Wood, ca. 1820

Sally Sayward Barrell Keating Wood, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

By local legend this is a portrait of Sally Sayward Barrell Keating Wood (1759-1855), also known as Madame Wood, of Kennebunk. Madame Wood was Maine's first fiction writer. This portrait was most likely painted after she had settled in Kennebunk and lived with her granddaughter.

Sally Wood (1759-1855) published the first books of fiction in the District of Maine. She was born in York.

 

Item 18272

Battle of Lovell's Pond poem, ca. 1760

Battle of Lovell's Pond poem, ca. 1760 / Maine Historical Society

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was fond of reading and at thirteen he wrote his first poem, "The Battle of Lovell's Pond," which appeared in the Portland Gazette Tuesday, November 21, 1820.

 

Item 33959

Capt. Daniel Clough's Sea Box, Blue Hill, ca. 1820

Capt. Daniel Clough's Sea Box, Blue Hill, ca. 1820 / Blue Hill Historical Society

This box was taken to sea by Capt. Daniel Clough, a Blue Hill sea captain. It most likely held important papers, maps and letters.

 

Item 12470

Headstone of Joshua Allen, 1805, Portland, 1966

Headstone of Joshua Allen, 1805, Portland, 1966 / Maine Historical Society

This headstone marks the grave of Joshua Allen, buried at Eastern Cemetery in Portland in 1805. The sun-like face probably represents the everlasting life of the soul.

Portland stone cutter Bartlett Adams (1776-1828) carved the headstone.

 

Item 12462

Headstone, 1806, Priscilla Slater, Portland, 1965

Headstone, 1806, Priscilla Slater, Portland, 1965 / Maine Historical Society

This photograph shows the detail on the headstone of Priscilla Slater, who died in 1806 and is buried in Eastern Cemetery in Portland.

The anchor is a symbol of hope, or was sometimes used on mariner's graves. A woman's figure usually represents sorrow. Flowers are signs of immortality.

The stone was carved in the shop of Bartlett Adams by Alpheus Cary.

 

Item 17528

Orramel Hinckley Throop business card, ca. 1820

Orramel Hinckley Throop business card, ca. 1820 / Maine Historical Society

Orramel Hinckley Throop, a Portland engraver, had a fancy business card with a combination of classical images, Portland from the waterfront, and the seal of the new State of Maine.