Posts Tagged ‘children’

Bessie’s Day at the Beach

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Today I am blogging about a fun day on Plum Island with Bessie. She took a walk with her feet in the sand, climbed on rocks, and even went to the top of a lighthouse! Enjoy!

July 31st 1896

“This morning mamma woke me up quite early and asked me if I did not want to go to the beach for it was going to be quite a lovely day. I hopped out of bed and we hurried up and got the work done and at twenty minutes past eight we were on the train for Haverhill. Papa could not go, and there was not time to ask anyone else and so mamma and I had to go alone. We walked from the station to the landing and on the boat we met some people whom mamma knew and so we rode down with them. When we got to Black Rocks mamma asked me if I did not want to go to Plum Island and so we went over in a dory. It does not take but ten minutes to row over and it is perfectly lovely in the water. First we went to the lighthouse and the keeper took (us) up to the top, The light is a very small affair but it can be seen for fourteen miles and as it was the first one I had ever seen it was quite interesting. The house is not very big and from Black Rocks it looks as if it was built of brick and painted white but really it is shingled. Next we walked down the dummy track to the saving station. As they were not training and there was not much to see we went down to the beach. There was not anybody there….but the flies….and we ate our dinner. At two o’clock we went back to Black Rocks and as the dummy did not go for those quarters of an hour we thought that we would walk up to the beach. The tide was high and we had to walk in the soft sand and we were terribly tired before we got to the hotel. There had been a stiff breeze all day and it was rather tiresome and so we went upon the hotel piazza where it was sheltered.  We rode to the landing on the dummy and when the boat reached Haverhill, we were too late to go home in the steam cars and so we had to go on the electrics and we didn’t get home till after nine o’clock.”

This entry in Bessie’s diary makes me wish it were summer! Everything except  the flies and the heat sounds absolutely great. Bessie really did a great job in her descriptions. Plum Island is really is beautiful. The dummy must be some sort of  a public transportation system, sort of  like a bus.  Below is a picture  of a sketch of a small harbor which shows a lighthouse in the distance. It is by an architect who lived in Andover named Addison Le Boutillier. He was not only an architect, but he also made greeting cards, pottery, and lots of sketches and models which can also be found in the Historical Society’s collection.



Exhibit Highlight: Children’s Dress

Thursday, April 5th, 2012


Hidden in one of the upstairs bedrooms of the Andover Historical Society is an exquisite children’s nightgown which is part of the current exhibit, “Common Indecency.” This is one of several pieces of children’s clothing at the Historical Society, but it is one of the most beautiful. Made of white cotton with real lace trim, it would have been one little girl’s dream nightgown, and it is our Exhibit Highlight this week.


Close Up of the Neckline

The nightgown is made of white cotton, and it is full length with from tie closure with long sleeves. There is fine lace trim decorating the neck and sleeves, and a high lace waistband. Also added are several ruffles in the skirt and at the shoulders. This handmade piece of clothing was donated to the Andover Historical Society in 1940 by Mr. William A. Trow, who was born in 1868 and died at the age of eighty-one in 1949. Mr. Trow was married to Miss Florence Gardner, and they had an adopted daughter named Charlotte, who married in 1947 and became Mrs. Charlotte Bowes Trow Young.


Object 1940.122.1

William Trow was an integral part of the community, and served the town of Andover in many different ways. He graduated from Punchard High School, and went on to be part of the Punchard School Board of Trustees. He was a member of the Andover School Committee, and was even a president of the Andover Historical Society from 1936-1947. Mr. Trow enjoyed collecting historical notes, and there is a William A. Trow collection at the Historical Society today, containing mostly information on the Samuel Phillips family during the Revolutionary War.

The nightgown on exhibit now is a beautiful example of children’s nightwear, and how elegant it used to be. I know that as a small child, I would have loved to wear something  like that to bed. I bet the child that was that lucky had magical dreams.


Exhibit Highlight: Children’s Cup

Monday, March 26th, 2012

As a young child, I had many memorable plastic plates and juice cups that were special to me. I will probably never forget the rainbow fish plate or the cup with the crazy straw that squiggled around the outside so you could watch the liquid flow up when you took a sip. The things you eat and drink out of are a big part of your life. They are three meals a day, snacks and drinks at odd hours, and just another thing you remember about being small. This week’s Exhibit Highlight is a childhood memento, and I am sure it was special to someone.

Object 1940.122.1


The object this week is a small children’s mug, made from porcelain and white stoneware. It is glazed, and decorated with delicate red and blue flowers, as well as gold bands and leaves. The cup has eleven sides and an applied loop handle. On the front is a gold message, “Reward of Diligence.” Perhaps the child received this as a gift after learning something particularly hard or enduring.

The mug was donated to the Historical Society in 1957 by the Estate of Rose Robinson Alden (Mrs. John Alden). Rose was born in 1860 and died in 1950 at the age of ninety. She was a long time member of the Andover Historical Society, and left money to the society when she passed away. In fact, her father, Henry S. Robinson, lived in the house that is now the Andover Historical Society for a time before he died, when his wife passed the house over to her sister Caroline M. Underhill. Rose probably visited the house often while her father was alive, and after.

Rose’s husband, Mr. John Alden, also had many interesting stories. He was descended from another John Alden, one of the original pilgrims to sail over on the Mayflower. In fact, John Alden the pilgrim was one of the signers of the famous Mayflower “compact.” Rose’s husband was born in 1856, and lived until 1916. He was the chief chemist for the Pacific Mills in Lawrence, and was an honored and trusted part of the community. He served on school boards and building committees, and was a trustee of Memorial Hall Library. He was also the clerk of the trustees of Abbot Academy. The couple married in 1883. John Alden the pilgrim and John Alden the chemist, in a strange coincidence, both married women named Rose.

The beautiful children’s mug on exhibit now is a wonderful reminder of childhood. In some year a long time ago, a child was given a present for being diligent, and, judging from the chips in the rim, the child probably loved the cup dearly.


Abby Locke’s Splendid Days: A Teenager’s Diary in 1860s Andover (#43 and final)

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

These are Abby’s last entries for the year 1867.

Thomas Nast's images of Santa first appeared in Harper's Weekly during the Civil War, and by Christmas 1865 had taken on many of the characteristics of the image we know today.

Wednesday December 18: Since last writing E.W.D. has been up 3 or four times. Been to ride with him once. Bob Means came up to invite me to a dancing school party at No. Andover Friday night. E.W. Donald came up to night to make a call with me but I had a cold and did not feel able to go out.

Friday 20: A large wagon carried all the Andover people to No A. It came for me at ¼ to 8. I wore my white tucked muslin, coral jewelry, scarlet sash and fan, and scarlet heels and bows on my white slippers. I had Louise’s white opera cape and lace handkerchief and looked as well as possible. Had a splendid time. Got home at ½ past 3.
Wednesday 25: Willie Donald came up in the afternoon (how nice he is) and took tea. Mother did not get us presents. She says she will New Year’s.

Friday December 27: Spent the evening at Mrs. Morse’s. Had a nice time. Mary M rode down with me. Crowley came for me at ¼ past 10. Was introduced to Mr. Tennis.

In the years immediately following the Civil War, Andover residents celebrated the Holiday Season – which stretched, as it does now, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day – in ways that were sometimes faithful to old New England traditions but also increasingly resembled the commercialism of the “Gilded Age” that was to follow.
The dance that Abby attended on December 20th was probably one of a series of holiday galas hosted by the Master Machinists of the Davis & Furber Company at Stevens Hall in North Andover. The Lawrence American described the hall as “nearly filled with gaily dressed ladies and gents” and “tastefully” decorated with “some forty streamers [diverging] from the ceiling and ‘the flag’ displayed from numerous points in the room. The venue, with music provided by various “Quadrille Bands” from the area, allowed as many as 75 couples to stand up for twenty dances each evening.
Christmas itself would not be designated a federal holiday by Congress and President Ulysses Grant until 1870. In Andover, many people (like Abby’s mother, apparently) still favored New Year’s Day as the more significant observance. But new traditions like Christmas trees and the use of Santa Claus as a secular symbol of gift-giving were becoming ingrained.
Local merchants placed advertisements in December 1867 suggesting their merchandise – books, toys, and various “fancy goods” — as suitable for Christmas and New Year’s gifts. One shop explained that “so universal has become the custom of giving to and receiving from our friends some token of remembrance during the Holidays, that all expect something. “ Another emphasized its superior customer service with the assurance that “the great annoyance and loss of time generally experienced in the selection of suitable articles for presents at moderate prices will be entirely obviated,” and further explained that all purchases were fully exchangeable.
Some Andover churches (Baptist, Christ Episcopal, and South Parish) had a Christmas tree hung with gifts for the children of their congregations on Christmas Eve. Others (Frye Village Sunday School, Free Church, West Parish,) held their “Holiday Festivals” on New Year’s Day, complete with a Christmas Tree, and in one case (the North Andover Unitarians) a visit from “Old Santa Claus” himself.
Santa himself was starting to behave in the manner to which we are now accustomed. The Andover Advertiser reported that “after the children had retired. . . the stocking operation commenced. Santa Claus, as usual, visited their abodes regardless of bolts and locks and dispensed favors. It is strongly suspected that some of the little urchins borrowed for the occasion, stockings of such prodigious dimensions that they could not possibly wear them unless they got into them altogether. They were nonetheless well filled, and the stock of the visitor was not entirely exhausted. “


Abby Locke’s Splendid Days: A Teenager’s Diary in 1860s Andover (20)

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Abby’s entries for May and June 1867 continue:

Winslow Homer's "Croquet Scene" (1866) - from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago

Tues, May 28   Went down to Mrs. Marland’s to play parlor croquet.  Miss Lizzie Punchard, Amasa Clarke and his dog were there.  Had a pleasant time.  Found W.F. at home.  He is going with Father to Richmond on Friday.

Wed. 29   Went to a speaking exercise at Phillips.  Had a nice time.  Saw Miss Palmer.  Mr. G escorted me home.  I like him so much.  Mr. Merriam and Babbitt got the prizes.  I thought Spaulding or Williams should have had it and they are from middle class.  G. is just as splendid as he can be.

Thurs. 30   Saw Mr. Gilmore three or four time to day.  Every time I come or go through town I see him.  Hattie came up after tea.

Fri. May 31   Rainy and unpleasant in the morning.  Cleared off in the afternoon.  Mr. Tyler and Mr. Gilmore called and made quite a long one for they staid till ½ past ten.  Willie Marland was in and Louise was down stairs when they came with W. and of course stayed. 

Sat. June 1Went over to L. in the morning to get a hat.  Went up to Mrs. Paine’s and she persuaded us to stay all day.  Willie Marland asked us to go to boat ride.  We told them we would like to go but mother got angry with us about H’s dress at the supper table and wouldn’t let us go.  Mr. Gilmore called for me while I was gone.  Willie Donald came up in the evening.

Sun. 2:  Went to church at No. Andover in the morning.  Rolled two curls up and in this morn. (Mon) When I took them down they were perfectly straight.  How I laughed.

Mon. June 3   Took a music lesson and took Monestery Bells.  It is old but one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever heard.  Louise, Edie and I took a short ride before tea and E. was up in the evening.

Rules for the modern game of croquet were standardized and published in both England and the United States during the 1860s, and until the game was eclipsed in the next decade by the growing popularity of tennis, croquet was the most popular social pastime among highly fashionable people on both sides of the Atlantic.  One of the game’s greatest attractions was that it could be played by men and women together, but this aspect also led to some criticism from social conservatives on the grounds that it was too strenuous for women, or that it led to immoral behavior.  The Andover Advertiser ran a mildly disapproving description of the game on January 18, 1867:  “[The game is] sort of mixture of billiards and cricket.  Add, with a flavoring of tenpins and attendant circumstances of a military skirmish, and you have it.  When my John wants to go making love, I am determined he shall do it without the intervention of croquet.”   Some people (perhaps Mrs. Marland among them) believed that the game’s indoor variations – Parlor Croquet, Table Croquet and Carpet Croquet – were more appropriate for women to play than the outdoor version.  But perhaps, Parlor Croquet was merely a way to entertain guests on a rainy day.  Abby’s hostess this day was either Mrs. William Marland who lived at the corner of Central and Chestnut Streets (in the house now called “Rose Cottage”) and had been during the Civil War one of the leaders of the Soldiers’ Aid Society or Mrs. John Marland, who was the mother of Abby’s friends Willie and Stewart.  Lizzie Punchard was the adopted daughter of Martha Marland Punchard (and thus the niece of both Mrs. Marlands), and Amasa Clark — the son of another Marland sister – their nephew.

The Andover Advertiser reported that 13 Phillips Academy students took part in the competition for the Draper Prizes, that Abby attended on May 29. “The judges were Rev. Charles Smith, Prof. E.C. Smyth and William G. Goldsmith.  The 20 dollar first prize was awarded to Alexander R. Merriam of Goshen, NY who recited a piece from Schiller entitled “The Battle” and the second prize of 10 dollars to George F. Babbitt of Barre, who recited a piece from Corneile, entitled “The Results of War.” 

And Abby’s piano assignment was probably the romantic “Nocurne Opus 54 – Les Cloches du Monastere” by French organist Louis Lefebure-Wely (1817-1869.  You can hear a nice rendition at .


Abby Locke’s Splendid Days: A Teenager’s Diary in 1860s Andover (#19)

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Abby entries from May 1867 continue

Tues.  21     Willie Marland came up in the evening and staid till eleven oclock.  He gave me a small white handled pen knife.

Wed. May 22   Sewed nearly all day.  Went to bed in the afternoon.  Did not feel quite well but after taking some hot ginger tea felt better.

Thurs. 23   I went down to D. Moore’s and pulled my wart out while there.  Had my pique dress cut.  Sarah Randall and Aunt Abbie spent the afternoon and evening with us. 

Fri. 24   Went to walk after school with Hattie up to the Mansion House to engage board for Mrs. Goldsmith.  Did not succeed very well.  Mr. Frye was up in the evening.

Sat. 25   Aunt Abbie invited me to come down to see Sarah Randall.  I didn’t want to go and went to walk with Hattie down to Indian Ridge and met Aunt A and Sarah there.  Went I got home I found Frank Bates.  He has been to San Francisco and is going again on a long voyage.  Mother went to New Market to night.

Sun. 26   It rained nearly all day.  Went to church in No. Andover in the morning.  W. and L. Marland came up in the evening.  Perabo is in town and going to play at the Fem Sem. 

Ernst Perabo (1845-1920) moved to Boston in 1866 and became a prominent concert pianist and teacher.

Johann Ernst Perabo was only 22 years old in the spring of 1867, but he was already on his way to becoming one of Boston’s most prominent concert pianists and piano teachers.  He had begun his musical training in his native Germany, and came as an immigrant to New York City with his family at the age of 7.  He made his professional debut in New York in 1854 (when he was 9) before his family moved first to Dover, NH and then to Chicago.  Wealthy patrons from New York sent him back to Hamburg, Germany in 1858 (when he was 13) for more musical education. He remained in Europe for the duration of the war years and after performances in New York, Ohio and Illinois, established himself in Boston in 1866.

Perabo was invited to perform at Abbot Academy by Samuel Morse Downs, the school’s teacher of piano, voice and theory, who was responsible during his forty year tenure for bringing many distinguished performers to campus.  Perabo also performed occasionally at private parties, including one notable occasion in Andover when the artist/musician Charles Wesley Sanderson (then a music teacher at Phillips Academy) hosted Ralph Waldo Emerson and Harriet Beecher Stowe among others in “his rooms.”  Sanderson described the evening as part of a printed tribute to Andover Theological Seminary’s Professor Park.  “At about half past eleven Ernst Perabo was begged to play his own transcription of the great triple concerto of Beethoven for Mr. Emerson.  When midnight was near the pianist hesitated before the last movement of the opus.  At this pause, [Park] remarked, “It is getting very late, Mr. Emerson,” who immediately replied, “Professor Park, there is no lateness.”  Mr. Perabo consequently finished playing the work to the evident satisfaction of our transcendental guest.”


Abby Locke’s Splendid Days: A Teenager’s Diary in 1860s Andover (18)

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Abby’s entries from May 1867 continue

Wed. 15:   Mother and Louise went to L. to spend the day and left me all alone.  Hattie came up to stay with me.  In the afternoon we went up town and met all the Old South.  Had a splendid time.  I was introduced to Mr. Gilmore.  He was with me all the evening and came home with me.  Tucker K. wanted to come home with H. but Mr. F staid so close.  We walked over past the Sem before we came home.  There were not many boys there.

Thurs. May 16:   Went to a Tea Party with H.

Friday 17:   School.  After tea I went down to have the little wart on my forehead taken off.  I met Gilmore and K and after E.  She said they had walked up the street 2 or 3 times while I was gone.  They walk up our street [every] night and ever so many more.

Sat. 18:   Went to see Agnes Donald in the afternoon and made a short call on Mrs. Smith.  B and K walked up our street as usual.  Hattie and I were sitting by the (?).  Went to walk a little.

Sun. May 19:  Went to church in No. Andover in the morning and over to Mr. (?) in the evening – the first time since December.

Monday 20 It rained most of the day.  I stayed at home – called to see H after school.  One of her [teeth] is inflamed very much.  She thinks it is an abcess.  There is to be a meeting of the Trustees of Phillips Academy to day to see about taking the boys back who have been expelled.  22 of the Seniors went off to Lawrence and Boston.  I hope G and K w ill [?] wandering round.  I escorted George R and B into the Gymnastic exercises this morning.  They were on the piazza. 

There was trouble on Andover Hill in the spring of 1867.  The root cause of the trouble was the ongoing attempt by Phillips Academy’s irascible and gout-ridden principal Dr. Samuel Taylor to impose pre-War standards of morality on a post-War generation of students, many of whom were men fully grown, and even veterans whose education had been interrupted by the Civil War years.  But that May (with apologies to Meredith Willson), trouble’s capital “T” rhymed with “B,” and it stood for “baseball.” 

Baseball fever swept the Phillips campus in the spring of 1867, and was partly responsible for a student rebellion in May of that year (Currier and Ives, 1866)

Students at Phillips had played a form of cricket or rounders called “the Boston Game” as early as the 1850s.  The first baseball field was laid out in 1864 and the boys began to play interclass games using “New York style rules” before the War ended.  But baseball fever swept the school in 1866, with the enrollment of 22 year old veteran “Archie” Bush, a semi-pro catcher from Albany, who had been a captain in New York’s 95th infantry.  An enthusiastic schedule of intermural games was begun and  Bush organized a game against a team from Tufts College, which was tolerated by Samuel Taylor only because it was scheduled for immediately after commencement.  The Andover Advertiser (on July 27, 1866) reported on the game played by Bush’s nine against the professional Lowell “Trimountains,”  and Abby noted in her diary that her friends Oliver and Willie Perry played ball in their yard on Central Street. 

By the next spring, the game had become, according to Dr. Taylor, a serious distraction.  Matters came to a head one especially beautiful day when a few seniors decided to cut class.  Two of them – Archie Bush and a friend — travelled to Boston to watch a “league game.”  Dr. Taylor, reportedly suffering that day from an especially bad flare- up of his gout, expelled the truants and set the campus in an uproar.  In protest of Taylor’s actions, nearly half of the remaining seniors left campus without permission and went out for an evening dinner in Lawrence, reasoning perhaps that Taylor couldn’t possibly expel them all.  But he could, and he did.  Many of Abby’s boyfriends  (Cassander Gilmore  of Raynham, Massachusetts and Henry Miles “Tucker” Knowles  of Lowell among them)  were embroiled in this series of events that has gone down in Phillips history as the “Student Rebellion of 1867.”  Newspapers across the country (including the Andover Advertiser) reported on the dispute, and as Abby reports, the Trustees of the school were forced to meet to discuss Taylor’s actions.   

Archibald McClure Bush and his cousin James G.K. McClure were the founders of varsity baseball at Phillips

The repercussions of the rebellion were far-reaching.  Yale University declined to accept any of the expelled students without Samuel Taylor’s endorsement, and Phillips’s old-fashioned classical curriculum did not meet the requirement for any other prominent college.  Many of the boys, including Archie Bush, were tutored over the summer and were admitted to Harvard in the fall.  Taylor was infuriated that Harvard would admit students who had not received his blessing, but in the end the controversy forced Phillips to modernize.  On the subject of baseball, however, Taylor dug in his heels.  All interscholastic and off-campus  games were prohibited until his death in 1871.


Abby Locke’s Splendid Days: A Teenager’s Diary in 1860s Andover (17)

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Abby’s entries for May 1867 continue

Tues. May 7   The night of (?’s) party.  He did not invite either Louise or I and he invited M. Means and Mary Morton.  I think it is real mean and I don’t like him for it.  He says that if he begins to invite he shall not know where to stop and so only invited those [two] beside the Fem Sem.

Wed. 8   It rained very hard all day.  Went up to Mary Morton’s in the [a.m.] to do an errand for Louise and to hear about the party.  Made a hoop skirt cover in the afternoon.  Mr. Frye came up in the evening.

Thurs. 9  Took a music lesson.  After supper Gilmore, Mcready & Knowles walked up the street as usual.  I went down to Hattie’s.  Met Jody Tyler twice and Davis.  I wish he would come up.

Friday May 10   Went to ride with Hattie after supper.  Enjoyed it ever so much.  Edie came up to our house after supper.  Mr. Frye was up and gave me 3 tickets for Gilmore concert for Louise, Hattie and I.

Sat. 11   Went to ride with Hattie after supper.  Willie Marland and a friend called at the house but I did not go down stairs.  Crimped my hair all around tight.

Sunday 12   Mr. Frye came up in the afternoon and took tea with us.

Tues. 14   Dull and rainy.  Went to the Gilmore’s concert in the evening.  It was perfectly splendid and I enjoyed it more than any concert for a long time.  Mr. F was unable to come for us but escorted us home.  

Patrick S. Gilmore was the most prominent and celebrated band master of the 19th century.  An Irish immigrant, he was not related to Abby’s friend and Phillips Academy student Cassander Gilmore Jr. from Raynham, Massachusetts (who had walked up her street “as usual” earlier in the week). 

P.S. Gilmore and his band played their signature song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," when they played in Andover in 1867.

The more famous Gilmore had settled in Boston in 1848 and played in various bands to growing acclaim during the 1850s. He was the originator of a giant Fourth of July concert on Boston Common (in 1856) and organized the next year a series of summer “promenade concerts” at the Boston Music Hall.  At the outset of the Civil War, he and his band enlisted in the Union Army, accompanying the 24th Massachusetts Infantry to North Carolina where they entertained the troops during quiet periods and worked as hospital aides in times of battle.  They were discharged in 1862 and resumed a concert schedule in Boston and the surrounding towns.  In 1863, Gilmore wrote the lyrics to what would be his most popular song, the rousing “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” 

The immediate post-war years were lean ones for Gilmore.  He organized two epic-scaled National Peace Jubilee concerts in Boston in 1869 and 1872, which featured a 2000 piece orchestra, a 20,000 voice chorus, synchronized cannons, church bells, and an “anvil chorus” played by 50 firemen.  Viennese waltz king Johann Strauss made his only U.S. appearance at the second of these concerts.  The concerts drew large audiences, in halls constructed specially for the events, but they were a financial disappointment for Gilmore.   In 1873 he was lured to New York City by promises of bigger audiences and bigger paychecks.  His home venue in New York was “Gilmore’s Concert Garden,” which became eventually the first Madison Square Garden.  He played at the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1886 and in 1888 started the tradition of a New Year’s Eve concert in Times Square.


Abby Locke’s Splendid Days: A Teenager’s Diary in 1860s Andover (16)

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Abby’s entries from May 1867 continue.

Fri. 3   Went to ride with Hattie after tea and to meet father at seven.  All the boys were at the depot.  They were going to a concert in Lawrence and we had a jolly time

Sun. 5   Hattie went to church with me in the morning.  Went to a missionary concert in the evening.  No boys were there at all. 

Mon. 6   Went for a walk with M. Gleason after supper.  About 6 or 7 boys came up the street and went to sit to smoke on the wall.  I sent down for Hattie.  I did not know how long they would stay but before she got up they had gone.  I did not appear as I was alone I should think and the boys would call Hattie and I the Siamese or some such name for we are very rarely seen apart. 

    One of the most interesting things about Abby’s diary is how familiar, even modern, much of her language and many of her references are to us.  When she says that the boys called her and her best friend Hattie ‘the Siamese,” we know exactly what she means. 

The rich and varied lives of Chang and Eng Bunker are shown in this Currier and Ives lithograph from 1860.

    Chang and Eng, the most famous set of conjoined twins, were born in Siam in 1811.  They were brought to Boston in 1829, and after successful and profitable tours of the United States and Europe, they became U.S. citizens and retired to a plantation in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.  In 1843, they married two sisters and raised large families – Chang fathered 10 children and Eng 11. Their tobacco plantation was a large enterprise, employing as many as 33 slaves, but the need for cash to send their sons to college forced the twins to come out of retirement for a six-week engagement at Barnum’s Museum in 1860.  The War further devastated their fortunes (they each had a son who fought for the Confederacy) and they resumed touring until their deaths in 1874.

Millie and Christine McCoy were born into slavery in North Carolina in 1851, but survived to tour the world, and eventually purchased the plantation on which they were born.

   Abby also may have known of “the Carolina Twins”, Millie and Christine McCoy who were born slaves in North Carolina in 1851 and were exhibited in the United States and England, both before and after the War and their emancipation.  Fluent in five languages, they were accomplished pianists, singers and dancers who were frequently billed as “the Two-Headed Nightingale.”    


Abby Locke’s Splendid Days: A Teenager’s Diary in 1860s Andover (15)

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Abby’s entries from April/May 1867 continue.

Tues. 23     The night of the Seniors’ lecture.  I went down for Hattie to go but as we intend to go to Boston tomorrow concluded not to go.  The Seniors are waging quite a war with the middlers about the posters.

Wed. 24     H. and I went to Boston today.  It rained hard but we enjoyed ourselves.  Called on Willie Donald.  He met us again at Childs and Jenks.

Thurs. April 25   Took a music lesson.  W. and L. Marland called but I did not come down.  My new sacque [came] today – quite pretty.

Fri. 26   Father started for Philadelphia to day.  Went to walk a little way with Clara after tea.  Met Mr. Barker and ever so many boys.

Sat. 27   Mr. Frye came up in the evening.  Louise received a letter from Rosa Franks.  She is engaged to a gentleman in Arkansas.

Sun. 28   Did not go to church all day.  Was afflicted with a horrid cold in the head.  Mother’s birthday.  Gave her a [pack] of stamped paper and envelopes. 

Mon. 29   Willie Marland came up in the evening and was quite entertaining more so than usual.  Did not go to school in the afternoon. 

Tues. 30   Went to walk a little way before school with Hattie Baker.  Met ever so many boys.

Wed. May 1   Maytie’s birthday, [her] fifth.  Flossie made her the funniest looking [doll] and made it out of (?) cotton.  She was delighted with it.

Thurs. 2   As I was coming home at noon, I met E. Raymond walking out with Miss F. Abbot.  He looks very pale and sick I think.  He got home yesterday.  She has been in Boston with him nearly all the time. 

     The fashionable art gallery of Childs & Jenks was located at 127 Tremont Street in Boston in 1867, facing the Boston Common and the Massachusetts State House, among a neighborhood of similar businesses.  Before the opening of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1870, this promenade was “the favorite resort of our art-loving community,” according to the city’s Evening Journal.  Public displays of new paintings, sculpture and even “large photographic portraits”, by both American and European artists, drew large crowds during and after the War. 

     The author Lydia Maria Child wrote about a work she saw at the gallery (1867 c.). “Among the beautiful works of art always on exhibition at the store of Childs & Jenks, my attention was soon attracted by Bellows’ fine picture called ‘The Echo.’ One returning soldier is wakening echo with his bugle, while in another part of the boat a pale and wounded comrade is lying down with his head in his mother’s lap.”  At the stern, [a freed slave] is taking care of the ample folds of a U.S. flag.”  This painting, by Massachusetts painter Albert Fitch Bellows (1829-1883) has been lost – perhaps when the artist’s studio burned in Boston’s 1872 fire. 

Walter Landor Raymond (1846 - 1864) served in the Massachusetts 44th regiment and died in a Confederate prison camp at the age of 18. (Memorial Hall Library)

     We don’t know if Abby saw Bellows’ painting, but a week later she saw a returned veteran, “very pale and sick” in the person of Edward Greenleaf Raymond, the older brother of her friend and classmate Edith (or Edie) Raymond.  The Raymond’s family story is one of Andover’s saddest.  Edward Raymond had enlisted in the Massachusetts Forty-fourth Regiment at the age of 19, and was joined soon after by his 16 year old brother Walter.  Both brothers were discharged in July 1863, but the younger Walter reenlisted in a cavalry regiment, was captured by the enemy, and died of starvation and neglect in a Confederate prison on Christmas Day in 1864.  The family’s bereavement became well-known.  Christ Church’s rector, Benjamin Babbitt, published his 1865 sermon on the occasion of the boy’s death, and Harriet Beecher Stowe included “an account of the martyrdom of a Christian boy of our town of Andover” in her 1868 collection “The Chimney Corner.” There is no record that Edward Raymond was wounded, but his 1867 debility was probably a recurrence of the malaria that afflicted many veterans of the Forty-fourth.  Edward Raymond married Frances Abbott in 1870 — three years after Abby meets them “walking out.”