Keywords: letters from home
Contributed by: Westport Island History Committee Date: 1895-06-10 Location: Westport Island Media: Ink on paper
Young men and women in the 19th century often went away from home -- sometimes for a few months, sometimes for longer periods -- to attend academies, seminaries, or schools run by individuals. While there, they wrote letters home, reporting on boarding arrangements and coursework undertaken, and inquired about the family at home.
Letters to and from Sebago soldiers who served in the Civil War show concern on both sides about farms and other issues at home as well as concern from the home front about soldiers' well-being.
Belfast residents responded to the Civil War by enlisting in large numbers, providing relief from the home front to soldiers, defending Maine's shoreline, and closely following the news from soldiers and from various battles.
… (when not helping at home) were reading, writing letters, playing the spinet, and drawing. John, 16, later went to Harvard College.
A note accompanying two buttons sent home says “The S.C. is South Carolina. I cut it from the coat of that Col. Bretton of the 6th S.C. Vols.
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8
Content Area: Social Studies
These lesson plans were developed by Maine Historical Society for the Seashore Trolley Museum as a companion curriculum for the historical fiction YA novel "Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride" by Jean. M. Flahive (2019). The novel tells the story of Millie Thayer, a young girl who dreams of leaving the family farm, working in the city, and fighting for women's suffrage. Millie's life begins to change when a "flying carpet" shows up in the form of an electric trolley that cuts across her farm and when a fortune-teller predicts that Millie's path will cross that of someone famous. Suddenly, Millie finds herself caught up in events that shake the nation, Maine, and her family. The lesson plans in this companion curriculum explore a variety of topics including the history of the trolley use in early 20th century Maine, farm and rural life at the turn of the century, the story of Theodore Roosevelt and his relationship with Maine, WWI, and the flu pandemic of 1918-1920.