Autograph book containing approximately 68 autographs, among whom John Greenleaf Whittier, evidently collected by a student at the Friends' Boarding School in Providence, R.I., now Moses Brown
Autograph book containing approximately 68 autographs, among whom John Greenleaf Whittier, evidently collected by a student at the Friends' Boarding School in Providence, R.I., now Moses Brown
Autograph book containing approximately 68 autographs, among whom John Greenleaf Whittier, evidently collected by a student at the Friends' Boarding School in Providence, R.I., now Moses Brown

Autograph book containing approximately 68 autographs, among whom John Greenleaf Whittier, evidently collected by a student at the Friends' Boarding School in Providence, R.I., now Moses Brown

Providence: 1859-61. 8vo, 51 filled-in pages, some pages with several signatures, others have been left blank; the flyleaf has inscription "Mattie from Nellie 1859." A publisher's pebble-grain morocco binding with "Autographs" in gilt on the upper cover, a.e.g.; the spine is perished, 2 or 3 gatherings extended or loose, the whole shaken. A title page, also in gilt, identifies J. C. Riker (New York) as the publisher. In addition to J.G. Whittier's signature, this autograph book contains primarily the signatures of staff and students at the Friends Boarding School in Providence, also known as the New England Yearly Meeting boarding school. The school was first established in 1784, and was the precursor to the present day Moses Brown School. Among the first signatures are Joseph and Gertrude Cartland, the principals at the school. Most signatures include the home city of the signer. The first signature is that of John P[arker] Hale (1806-1873), United States Senator from Dover, New Hampshire, and among the earliest to make a stand in the Senate against slavery. He writes a few lines; "reprise not at any chastening, bear bravely every burden, & rejoice in every trial, however severe...the great lesson of life to know thyself." One of the next signatures is "S. E. Whittier" (Sarah Elizabeth?), or Elizabeth S. Whittier (b. ca. 1836), the twenty-four-year old matron of the school. It is unclear whether or how she is related to the poet. John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) was an influential Quaker poet and ardent advocate of the abolition of slavery. His signature appears as "John G. Whittier 2wk 6th mo 1859." Given his affiliations, it is not surprising that he visited the school, perhaps appearing for the June graduation ceremony. Students at the school were from prominent, many wealthy, Quaker families. The names of several of the Parrish family of Philadelphia appear; Lydia, Hannah, and Sarah. They are likely the half sisters of the noted reformer Helen Parrish (1859-1935) whose work (with Hannah Fox and The Octavia Hill Association which was involved in housing reform for Philadelphia's poor blacks) is well known. "Hannah Fox and Helen Parrish were both prominent Quakers and social activists. Parrish was so passionate about the social component of her work that she would actually go into tenants' apartments to remove liquor bottles and insure other values of thrift, sobriety, and cleanliness" [n.b.: Helen's signature does not appear]. [http://www.octaviahill.com]. Other signatures include Daniel Dana Patten, a Boston lawyer and teacher for two years at the school; Samuel T. Satterthwaite of New Jersey, and Franklin E. Paige, associated with Haverford College (notable Quaker college near Philadelphia), as well as Henry Lunt (1842-1887), a Harvard attorney, plus Mary and Elma Dame of Newport and Mary Emma Congdon of Providence, as well as the mysterious "Bashie Y. Horey" of Boston, of whom we can find no further. There were several students from Mozambique (listed in the 1860 census), perhaps reflecting the school's missionary ties. "Mattie," the keeper of these autographs, may be Martha Rodman, daughter of Daniel and Eliza A. (Brown) Rodman of South Kingstown, Rhode Island -- "Mattie" being a nickname for Martha. She is shown in the 1860 census as being a student at the school. The Rodmans were Quakers who lived on the estate "Mooresfield," and engaged in the manufacture of woolens. Martha later became a school teacher. Item #56881

Price: $450.00

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