News

Artifact Corner: McKinley Assassination Article

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at a newspaper article that either Fannie or Frank cut out and saved. The article talks about the assassination of President McKinley in 1901. Now, Frank and Fannie were not political people. They stayed clear of politics in their writings and their correspondences. But, the assassination of a president was a huge news story for our country. So, they probably like all other American’s, kept track of the story. So, let’s learn a bit more about this very important moment in US history.

President McKinley was first elected to office in 1896 as the 25th president of the United States. He was again elected in 1900 with an overwhelming majority. Following his inauguration in 1901, McKinley left Washington for a tour of the western states, to be concluded with a speech at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. Cheering crowds throughout the journey attested to McKinley’s immense popularity. More than 50,000 admirers attended his exposition speech. The Pan American exposition was essentially a world’s fair showcasing all of the inventions at the turn of the century. McKinley’s attendance at the end of the Pan American Exposition was to be the capstone of the fair. On September 6th, while President McKinley was greeting members of the public, a man named Leon Czolgosz approached him with a handkerchief over his hand. When Leon finally reached McKinley, he dropped the handkerchief, and revealed that he was holding a gun. He proceeded to shoot McKinley in the chest and abdomen and promptly ran away. McKinley was rushed to a hospital in Buffalo for treatment, and Czolgosz was apprehended. Initially it was believed that McKinley would make a full recovery, so much so that his Vice President Teddy Roosevelt decided to go for a hike up Mount Marcy. Sadly, McKinley’s physicians were not correct, his gun shot wounds became infected, and William McKinley died on September 14, 1901.

The article the Frank and or Fannie cut out says the following about McKinley’s death: “From the height of joy caused by the news of the almost certain recovery of our beloved President, the nation, only a few hours later, was lamenting his death. Last week Thursday came the startling news that the President’s condition was rapidly growing worse. Friends and government officers. were again called to Buffalo, and on Friday night the family and close friends of the great President gathered around his bedside to bid him a last farewell. William McKinley, the third of our martyred Presidents, passed peacefully away at 2:15 o’clock on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 14th. The nation is expressing grief by every token of mourning. The body of the late President has laid in state and been viewed by thousands in Buffalo, Washington and Canton, Ohio, where he was finally laid to rest on Thursday afternoon, in the soil of his own home.”

William McKinley was the third president to be assassinated in US history, so it’s not a surprise that this news would be of great importance to even our non political family. It is a fascinating glimpse into US history, and we are so lucky to have it in our collection. Thanks so much for stopping by.

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: Regency Era Women’s Fashion

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at a lovely miniature portrait of Margaret Bloodgood Hall, by artist Robert Fulton. This portrait was painted sometime during the 18 teens, and is painted on ivory, in a velvet frame. Just by looking at the portrait though, we can tell that it was painted during the Regency period. Her hair style, and her gown are all indicative of the time period. Let’s learn a bit more about women’s fashions in the Regency period.

In the 18th Century, women’s fashions tended towards the opulent with larger silhouettes. The late 1700’s saw the end of the wide panniers, conical stays, and figured silks that were so popular throughout the bulk of the eighteenth century. Fashions had melted into a neoclassical dress that revealed the natural body, with a high waist and lightweight draping muslins. Throughout the Regency, there were certain elements of fashion that remained fairly consistent. Necklines were low and wide, filled in for daytime with fichus, scarves, or chemisettes; a high waistline; a fitted bodice, and fitted sleeves, either short and puffed, elbow-length, or long. Day wear was often a long sleeved gown or chemise dress, made from lightweight white muslin or cotton, that was gathered in the back with a train. Evening wear for a woman in the Regency period was very similar to day dress, but the fabrics could be more elaborate. Light weight silks and satins would be worn, and sleeves could be short and puffed. Outerwear and accessories were essential elements of the period, and were often the way of introducing pops of color. The most important accessory of the neoclassical period was the shawl, specifically Indian kashmiris or cashmere. Lightweight muslin gowns did not provide much protection from the cold, and shawls became a necessary accessory; not only did they provide warmth, they added to the classical draped effect. By the 18-teens the pelisse or redingote, both types of long coats, or the spencer, a cropped jacket were the most common. These garments often displayed the influence of the wars, with a widespread use of military-inspired trim. Braid, tassels, frogging, and cords festooned female outerwear especially. There was a stunning variety of hats, caps, and bonnets. White muslin day caps were worn indoors by married or older women and in the evening, turbans, brought to European fashion through Napoleon’s occupation of Egypt, remained a stylish choice. Outdoor hats and bonnets ranged from the face-shielding poke bonnets to tall conical hats inspired by the shakos worn with hussar uniforms. Poke bonnets could be decorated with flowers, ribbons, bird feathers, cording, and much more.

So, how would a woman get dressed in this period? First you would start with the foundations, a short sleeved cotton or linen shift was the foundation garment for every outfit. Next you would put on your stockings, which could be made from wool or silk and would be held in place with a garter tied just below the knee. Next you would have to put on your stays which were your support garment, these were most often corded, made from cotton and laced up in the back. Stays at this point could be waist length or terminate just under the bust. Because the stays were made with cording, rather than boned, they were more flexible than earlier versions. A full length cotton petticoat was worn over the stay to help smooth out the overall look of the garments. Next, you could wear a chemisette, a short blouse like garment without sleeves, could be worn to fill in the neckline of a gown for modesty and protection from the sun. Next you would put on the actual gown. Now you can slip on your shoes, which were flat soled and made from either fabric or leather. And our Regency woman is ready for her day. If she was going out, she could throw on a Spencer jacket and a poke bonnet to complete her ensemble.

Now, this is by no means a comprehensive look at all of the different fashion trends during the Regency period. Just like today, trends came and went quickly. Our little portrait of Margaret Hall shows her white muslin gown, with an empire waist, and it looks like she might be pulling a pale yellow shawl over her one shoulder. This portrait is so perfect for the Regency period, and we are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by!

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: Victorian Syringe

Hi everyone and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we are looking at a piece that was part of Fannie Delord Webb Hall’s medical equipment. This is a syringe that she used to help treat the poor of Plattsburgh. Fannie made it her life’s work to ensure that people without means could still receive medical attention when they needed it. This syringe is made with glass, cork, metal and a thread that was likely soaked in beeswax to act as the plunger. This syringe is likely very late Victorian or early Edwardian. Let’s learn a bit more about the history of syringes.

According to Chambers dictionary a syringe is a medical instrument for injecting or drawing off liquid, consisting of a hollow cylinder with a plunger inside and a thin hollow needle attached or a similar device used in gardening, cooking, etc. The parts of the syringe are as follows: the needle is the sharp hollow tube which pierces the skin and enables medication to be injected into the body, or fluid to be removed from the body. The barrel is where medicine is held in the barrel before injection and is usually transparent. The plunger and piston work together to help control the amount of medicine that you receive for an injection. Now, syringes of multiple shapes and sizes, and made from a myriad of materials have existed since the Roman times. During the 1st century AD Aulus Cornelius Celsus mentioned the use of them to treat medical complications in his De Medicina. In the 9th Century the Iraqi/Egyptian surgeon Ammar ibn ‘Ali al-Mawsili’ created a syringe in the 9th century using a hollow glass tube, and suction to remove cataracts from patients’ eyes, a practice that remained in use until at least the 13th century. Pre-Columbian Native Americans created early hypodermic needles and syringes using “hollow bird bones and small animal bladders.”

In 1853 we have the invention of what would become the modern hypodermic syringe by Scottish doctor Alexander Wood. His goal was to treat pain in just one area of the body. He attached a hollow needle, an earlier invention by Irish doctor Francis Rynd, to a plunger. Using his newly invented hypodermic syringe he was able to inject pain relief medicine to the area which was causing pain. His first patient was a woman experiencing neuralgia, which causes intense pain after nerve damage. She was injected at the site of her pain with the pain relief medicine morphia. Morphia was a mixture of sherry and morphine, a powerful pain relief medicine. What made this syringe different than others before is the ability to inject small, measured amounts into an area without creating a cut, or incision, in the skin first. The glass sides of Wood’s syringe made it easy to see the dosage, and the plunger allowed more control over dosage of the medication. Soon the syringes were developed further, and measurements were added to the sides, allowing even more control. And the overall design of syringes has changed very little over the last 170 years.

Our syringe is in quite good condition, despite it’s age and use. It does not have a needle installed in it because it is currently on display in our Cumberland Bay Works exhibit where we have a selection of Fannie’s medicine and equipment, and we wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt while checking out the collections. This is a fascinating glimpse into our medical past, and we are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by.

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: British Officer’s Tea Caddy

The origins of tea begin in China. According to legend, in 2737 BCE, the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a tree while his servant boiled drinking water, when some leaves from the tree blew into the water. Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist, decided to try the infusion that his servant had accidentally created. The tree was a Camellia sinensis, and the resulting drink was what we now call tea. The Camellia sinensis is a species of evergreen shrub or small tree that’s leaves, leaf buds, and stems can be used to produce tea. White tea, yellow tea, green tea, oolong, and black tea are all harvested from one of two major varieties grown today of the Camellia sinensis. The leaves are processed differently to attain varying levels of oxidation with black tea being the most oxidized and green being the least. Now, it is really di cult to know whether there is any truth to the story about Emperor Shen Nung. But tea drinking certainly became established in China many centuries before it had even been heard of in the west. Containers for tea have been found in tombs dating from the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) but it was under the Tang dynasty (618-906 CE), that tea became firmly established as the national drink of China.

The word caddy is derived from the Chinese word ‘catty’, spelled c.a.t.t.y., which is a Chinese pound, or a unit of weight equivalent to 600 grams. This is also the measurement by which tea used to be sold. The English picked up the word and started using the word caddy to mean a container for tea. Tea was introduced to Europe from China in the 16th and 17th Centuries and became all the rage particularly in Britain. Tea was an expensive commodity in the 18th and 19th Century, and therefore, it needed to be stored in a way to keep it safe, hence the tea caddy. We can only imagine that the British officer who left this tea caddy behind must have been in quite a hurry, and was probably very disappointed to lose this expensive and likely treasured piece.

This tea caddy is in good condition. The lid has a crack in the veneer, but the piece is still very stable. The lead or tin lining for the tea container itself is starting to disintegrate, but given the pieces age, it’s not surprising. Also, if you have an antique tea caddy, and it is metal lined, do not store tea in it unless you are positive that the lining is not lead! You can purchase lead testing kits online, if you would like to make sure your antique caddy is safe to use. We will not be using this one, and instead, just keeping it safe. This is a beautiful piece and we are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by.

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: Victorian Child’s Gown

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at a lovely child’s gown. This gown is made from white wool and is both machine stitched and hand stitched. It is also beautifully hand embroidered. The fact that there is machine stitching means that it is likely from the late Victorian period. Based on the size of the gown this belonged to a toddler and not an infant. Let’s learn more about this history of young children’s clothing.

The first clothing children wore when they were infants was a long linen shirt or slip, and a cloth diaper. For thousands of years infants were swaddled. Swaddling is the practice of wrapping infants in blankets or similar cloths so that the movement of the limbs is tightly restricted. Babies were taken out of swaddling at between two and four months and put into “slips,” long linen or cotton dresses. The practice of swaddling began to fall out of favor in the late 18th century, and so babies were dressed in slips for the the first few months of their lives. As the children began to crawl and subsequently walk their out ts reflected their need for mobility. The slips or gowns were shortened to ankle length allowing them more freedom of movement. Both male and female children were dressed identically throughout their early years, so all young children wore slips or gowns. This was very practical, because changing a diaper was far easier when all you had to do was lift up a gown. Gowns or slips were also easier to sew, and since most clothing was handmade, it was the most efficient. The most common color for babies and young children’s clothing was white. This was due to it being the easiest to wash and bleach, removing most of the stains that were inevitably going to be all over their garments.

The practice of little boys leaving o gowns or dresses was the practice known as breeching. This was when boys would start wearing trousers or pants, and typically happened between the ages of three to four years old, or around the time the child was no longer in diapers. After WWI this practice started to change, and the breeching process started to get earlier and earlier. By the 1920’s clothing for children started to tend more towards colors and less stark white. One piece garments, like rompers became all the rage in the 1920’s as well. For girls, dresses remained the fashion, but were shortened to allow more freedom of movement. Now dress or gown lengths went to just below the knee, rather than to the ankle, and would be worn with long socks to keep their legs warm. Today, we are spoiled for choice, as we have endless options for colors, materials, and designs. The children’s clothing industry is projected to make $279 billion dollars worldwide in 2024, and those figures are projected to rise in the next five years.</p

This gown is in good condition. There is almost no staining, and looks like it was either rarely worn, or laundered very regularly. There are a few small holes, but overall it is in fantastic condition. The hand embroidery is really quite lovely. This is a darling glimpse into the world of children’s clothing in the late Victorian period, and we are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by.

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: Choice Receipts

Hi Everyone and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at a cook book from 1875. This book was published in Boston by James R. Osgood and Company. The book is titled Choice Receipts, and as you can see from the picture, it was clearly used pretty heavily. There are a bunch of additional recipes pinned to the pages, and the back of the book has a number of blank pages, which recipes were also written down for future use. The beginning of the book deals with pastries and breakfast foods, which were mostly baked goods. We thought it might be interesting to look at breakfast, and what people ate for their first meal of the day. Let’s learn a bit more about the history of breakfast!

The word breakfast literally means to break the fasting you have done from the previous day, and refers to the first meal of the day. Ancient peoples also ate breakfast, but it wasn’t as hearty an a air as we have in America today. Ancient Egyptians breakfast was usually a simple meal. This would commonly have included bread, along with some fruits, vegetables, or dairy products like cheese or yogurt. Beer and wine were also consumed, although not exclusively during breakfast. The ancient Greeks also had a light meal for the breakfast, which usually consisted of bread or porridge. The ancient Romans were also of the mind that breakfast should be a small meal, usually eating a piece of salted bread with some wine or milk. Most Romans though did not eat breakfast. They believed that there should only be one major meal a day and that was better for your digestive health. The Romans had a small breakfast called the ientaculum in the morning and then a huge meal called the cena around two in the afternoon, then another small meal called the vesperna later on in the night.

Breakfast in the Middle Ages in Europe was also a light affair. The most common breakfast was bread, cheese, and some type of ale. This meal was often enjoyed after morning chores had been completed. In the 15th, 16th, and 17th Centuries, breakfast was a small, simple meal, generally consisting of cold foods, as the cook res were just being lit as the breakfasters were rising. Leftovers, eggs, butter, bread and small beer were commonly taken with breakfast. Building a re and preparing a large meal first thing in the morning was impractical, and so reserved for dinner. In both Europe and America in the 18th Century, the most common breakfast was of porridge made from cornmeal, oats, or even beans. Bread and tea were also common at the breakfast table. The 19th Century saw a more hearty breakfast become the norm. They would have bread and meat, or leftovers, like a slice of cold pie. They also ate porridge, but would accompany that with bacon and eggs. Today, we place a lot of emphasis on breakfast. Here in the US it is considered the most important meal of the day, but that is a very modern concept. For thousands of years, breakfast was a very quick and light meal.

This book has obviously been heavily used and loved, but is still in good condition. The pages have pin holes in them, and have been creased and bent, but this shows how much our family relied on the book for creating the dishes they would enjoy at their table. It is a lovely glimpse into Victorian cooking, and we are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by!

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: WH Bartlett Landscape

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at a painting done sometime in the late 1830’s to early 1840’s. This is a pastoral scene of a saw mill and a log cabin. There are also some people seen down by the river, and a man walking a ox cart up a lane. You can also see some boats in the distance. This painting is attributed to the artist William Henry Bartlett, who was principally famous for his engravings. Let’s learn a bit more about this fascinating artist.

William Henry Bartlett was born on the 26th of March 1809 in Kentish Town (London), second son of William and Ann Bartlett. He was the son of middle-class parents, attended a boarding-school in London from 1816 to 1821 and in 1822 was apprenticed to the architect and antiquarian, John Britton, whose establishment in the parish of St Pancras (London) offered the boy an education that was both theoretical and practical. Bartlett studied and copied architectural drawings of the past and present and, with Britton, visited noted ruins in England from which he made detailed sketches to be engraved for some of Britton’s own publications. Bartlett continued to work for Britton as a journeyman after his apprenticeship ended in 1829, although he also provided sketches for other London publishers. On July 6th, 1831 he married Susanna Moon and thereafter his career was increasingly directed towards providing a livelihood for himself, his wife, and their five children. For the rest of his life Bartlett’s travels were extensive and continuous, and they led to illustrations for works on Syria, the Holy Land and Asia Minor, the Mediterranean coast, northern Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, Scotland, Ireland, the coastal areas of Britain, the Bosphorus, the Danube, the United States, and Canada. Bartlett became an accomplished traveler.

William Henry Bartlett was both author and illustrator of numerous other works, including two books about the United States for which he undertook a fourth visit to North America in 1852. Although little is known about Bartlett’s itinerary in North America, a map in American scenery suggests that his travels during 1836–37 began in New York City and took him north to the White Mountains of N.H., west to Niagara Falls, N.Y., and south to Washington, D.C. His itinerary in the Canadas in 1838 and the observations he may have made also remain obscure because none of his letters from this period has been found. His route appears on a map in Canadian scenery illustrated: he seems to have traveled from Quebec City westward to Niagara Falls, and then by way of the Erie Canal to visit Willis at Owego, N.Y., before sailing for England in December 1838. No written record survives of Bartlett’s visit to the Maritimes. The dates of the engravings in Canadian scenery illustrated seem to indicate that he went there in 1841 after another visit to the United States. Bartlett’s biographer said of him that he was “a warm-hearted, sensitive, rather reserved Englishman who was devoted to his family and to a
small number of intimate friends.” Bartlett was returning from his last trip to the Near East when he suddenly took ill and died of fever on board the French steamer Egyptus o the coast of Malta in 1854. It’s likely he died of cholera. His wife Susanna survived her husband by almost 50 years, passing away in London in 1902.

This portrait is beautiful, but in need of some repairs. There are three holes in the painting, and it could definitely use a good cleaning. Regardless, it is a beautiful piece of artwork, and we are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by!

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: Victorian Curling Iron

Hi Everyone and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at this all metal curling iron or curling tong. This is from the late Victorian period, and was designed to curl your hair. Hair styles in the late Victorian period were voluminous, and curls were tres chic. But, if you weren’t born with naturally curly hair, you needed a way to remain in vogue, so, the curling iron or curling tongs were invented. Let’s learn a bit more about the history of curling irons, and women curling their hair.

Women and men have been curling their hair for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, curling tongs have been found in serval tombs. In Greece, damp hair would be wrapped around smooth straight sticks in order to achieve the much desire cork screw curl. The Romans also liked their hair curly, but they decided to use heat to curl their hair. They used hollow metal rods, called calamistrum, which they would heat in a re, and then roll them in their hair. We don’t know much about women’s hair styles during the early Medieval period, but we know that curly hair continued to be fashionable throughout the Middle Ages. Women also used heated curling rods, copying Roman fashions. They would also braid their damp hair with scraps of fabric to achieve waves in their hair. Women in the 16th, 17th, and 18th Centuries also used hot rollers, scraps of fabric with damp hair, and early curling irons to keep their hair looking fashionably coiffed.

Frenchman Marcel Grateau is acknowledged as the official inventor of the curling tong. In 1872, Grateau revolutionized hair styling when he invented the “Marcel Wave” as alternative hairstyle to the long curls that were in trend at the time. The curling tong he invented, and used to create the “Marcel Wave,” still closely resembled the curling irons used by ancient civilizations. Over time, only the handles of curling tongs and the size of the metal barrel varied from one tool to another; handles would often be made of different types of wood, or more expensive models would have nickel-plated handles and oral embellishments. The curling tongs were designed to be heated over a gas burner. Now, this is incredibly dangerous for a multitude of reasons. You have open flames, a really hot piece of metal, and people not wearing heat protective gloves. There was also a very real risk of heating the tool up too much and burning your hair off, which happened, a lot! Women would try to take some protective measures, by wrapping the hair they were curling in paper first, but that didn’t prevent burning if the iron was too hot.

Thankfully today, we have electric curling irons, and most of them have temperature gauges. According to Redkin’s website, your curling iron should not exceed a temperature of 200 degrees, otherwise you might burn your hair. Our curling iron is in good condition, but none of us at the museum will be using it anytime soon. It is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of women in the late Victorian period, and we are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by!

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: Honeymoon Journal

Hi Everyone, Happy 2024, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at the honeymoon journal of Frances Henrietta Delord Webb. She wrote this journal while sailing across the Atlantic and traveling across Europe with her husband, Henry Webb. The journal begins with her departure from Plattsburgh in August of 1832. She and Henry then travel south to visit his family in Connecticut. They then headed to New York to board a vessel bound for the coast of France. Frances writes about the journey across in some detail. Here is an excerpt from her journal:
“We have occasionally seen some of the productions of the deep – our attention has been called to the shouting of whales, and the playing of porpoises about the ship – I last evening witnessed quite a singular phenomena, the emitting as if it were sparks of fire in the wake of the vessel – it appeared something like riding through fire – how it is produced I am not philosopher enough to tell, but it strikes me it may be a sort of electricity.”

It seems like what Frances is discussing when describing “riding through fire” is what we today call bioluminescence. Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by living organisms. It is a form of chemiluminescence. Bioluminescence occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as in some fungi, microorganisms including some bioluminescent bacteria, and terrestrial arthropods such as fireflies. She also describes hearing whales and seeing porpoises playing in the wake of their ship. The vessel they were on was called the Rhone, and was a sailing vessel. While the first steam vessel crossed the Atlantic in 1819, steam transport did not become commonplace until the 1840’s.

Frances’ next quote comes the following day, “Also among the deeds of yesterday we spoke a vessel bound for Quebec – there is something very pleasant in falling in with a vessel – like the passing of a compliment with a friend – Another day has passed over us finding ourselves in longitude 19 – latitude 48-23 – here sits my dear husband and myself driving our pens famously.”

This passage was a bit of a challenge. It took us a fair amount of time to try to locate the coordinates that Frances lists in her journal. After some calculations, we believe their ship was closing on the coast of France, but still had not passed Britain. The navigational system that the ships captain was using was called a chronometer, which were first developed for marine navigation, being used in conjunction with astronomical observation to determine longitude. By the time of their voyage chronometers were almost 100 years old, and a very reliable tool for navigating open water. The coordinates she lists were a bit wonky, but with some sleuthing, we were able to see where they were in the Atlantic when Frances was writing that passage.

The journal Frances wrote is incomplete. It is believed that she left a portion of it in Europe. It is a fascinating document detailing life and traveling in the early 1830’s. The journal is in good condition, given it’s age, and the shear miles it traveled during their Honeymoon. We are so lucky to have this document in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by!

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles