Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Huldah's 1830/1840s Autograph Album, Signed by Rhode Island & Massachusetts Students at Fryville Seminary, Bolton, Massachusetts


1830/1840s autograph album that belonged to Huldah, who was presumably a student at Fryville Academy at Bolton, Massachusetts.  

If you have a theory as to the owner Huldah's identity, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!


The album is approximately 7-3/4" x 6-1/4" and contains 41 pages signed by Huldah's friends and fellow students at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts.  From what I could find online, Fryville Seminary was founded by members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers.  

Most signers made use of the entire page for their sentiments.  An alphabetical list of the students appears at the end of this post.

The album was printed by J. C. Riker at 15 Ann Street, New York City, and contains five illustrations interspersed throughout.  See images of them after the list of signers.

Two items were enclosed in the album.





One signer, "C.", made use of the illustration "Death of Hassan" by quoting Shakespeare on the left facing page.  The illustration was based on the painting by Emile Jean-Horace Vernet and was engraved by George B. Ellis.




The album has a note on the first end paper indicating the name of artist Mary Blood Mellen, who studied with Fitz Hugh Lane.  I found evidence where Mary Blood Mellen attended Fryville Seminary, but she didn't sign a page in the album as Mary Blood or Mary Blood Mellen, and it doesn't seem likely that her nickname was Huldah.  Perhaps the person who left the note was simply connecting a well-known person to Fryville Seminary.



Two signers had the surname Fry: Sarah and John E.  They may have been siblings Sarah Congden Fry and John Eddy Fry, children of Thomas and Mary (Eddy) Fry of Bolton, Massachusetts, of which Fryville is a village.





One page was signed by Susan Almy at Fryville Seminary, and another looked to be Susan Almy Jr., also at Fryville.  Their handwriting is similar, so they may be the same person.  Perhaps what appears on one page to be "Jr." is not that at all.  I wasn't able to find a Susan Almy with a mother named Susan, but may have missed someone.




A few pages presented names that were hard to decipher.  If you have a suggestion for any of the names shown in the image below, please leave a comment.  The name below looks like Santa Andrew of Waltham, Massachusetts, but I didn't find any references to such a person.  Perhaps the "Santa" was referring to a person whose first name was Andrew.



The name below looks like Ect Richards, but could be Ed Richards or something else entirely.



The name below has me stumped.  Looks like "A. bexan" but could be "A Texan" or "Alexan" or ?



List of signers:  [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]

  • Huldah, album owner
  • Catharine G., signed at Manville [presumably Manville, Rhode Island}, on August 8, 1841
  • George W. B., signed at Lonsdale [presumably Rhode Island], on November 23, 1839
  • Louise or Louisa, signed at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts, in November 1838 [looks like 1828 but album was printed in 1835]
  • Santa Andrew of Waltham, Massachusetts, signed on August 25, 1838
  • C, signed on November 4, 1839; wrote "Death of Hassan" from Shakespeare, with the right facing page being an engraving by George B. Ellis of the Vernet painting "The Death of Hassan"
  • Looks like "Written by A. bexan" or "Written by Alexan" or "Written by A Texan" or ?
  • Susan Almy, Jr., signed at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts; not sure of "Jr." or given name; either this person or another named Susan Almy signed a page
  • Susan Almy, written at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts, on July 2, 1838; could be the same person as Susan Almy Jr. who signed another page.
  • Roby Smith Bellows of Burrillville, Rhode Island, presumably the daughter of William and Martha (Mowry) Bellows
  • Mary Ann Bentley of Holden, Massachusetts, signed at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts, on July 2, 1838
  • Lewis W. Briggs, signed at Mansville [presumably Rhode Island], on April 12, 1840
  • Cyrel Bullock, Jr., of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, signed at Fryville [presumably Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts] on December 5, 1838
  • John Carter of Boston, Massachusetts, signed at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts
  • F. L. Cook, or F. L. Cooke, signed at Lonsdale [presumably Rhode Island] on November 1, 1839; not sure of initials
  • John S. Crooks of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, presumably the son of Samuel and Emeline Crooks
  • Sarah Darling of Millville 
  • Eliza A. Darling of Millville, signed at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts 
  • Sarah C. Fry
  • John E. Fry, perhaps John Eddy Fry of Bolton, Massachusetts, son of Thomas and Mary (Eddy) Fry
  • Martha Gulley, signed at Smithfield [presumably Rhode Island], on January 12, 1841; can't decipher middle initial
  • Freeman Hurd of Smithfield [no state given, but presumably Rhode Island], signed at Bolton, Massachusetts, on December 8, 1838
  • Lucy Jones
  • Clarissa Jones, signed in 1838
  • Earl Joslin of Douglas, Massachusetts, signed at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts, on December 5, 1838
  • Alfred Knight of Manville [presumably Rhode Island], signed on March 28, 1841.  Possibly the son of Richard and Rebecca (Brayton) Knight
  • George C. Lawton of Watertown, Massachusetts, signed at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts, on December 9, 1838
  • Artemas Longley, signed at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts, on December 2, 1838
  • S. C. Maxfield
  • C. H. Merriam of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, signed at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts, on October 30, 1838.  Perhaps the Charles Henry Merriam born in Vermont and later a resident of Leominster, Massachusetts
  • Isaac Nelson of Upton, Massachusetts
  • Abigail J. Newton, signed July 4, 1838.  Possibly Abigail Jackson Newton of Boston, Massachusetts, daughter of John and Abigail Newton
  • Moses Nichols of Fall River, Massachusetts
  • Fidelia G. Owen of Gloucester, Rhode Island, written at Lonsdale, Rhode Island, on April 7, [1837 or 1839]
  • Sarah D. Peirce of West Boylston, Massachusetts
  • ? Richards; looks like Ed Richards or Ect Richards
  • Willard Southwick of Berlin, Massachusetts, signed at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts
  • Electa J. Stoddard, written at Fryville Seminary at Bolton, Massachusetts, in 1838
  • Sarah Sweetser
  • Velorous Taft of Upton, Massachusetts
  • ? Weston, signed at Lonsdale [presumably Rhode Island] on December 8, 183x [could be 1837, 1838 or 1839]
  • Alexander H. Young of Manville, Rhode Island







Fryville in Bolton, Massachusetts


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