Vault A55, Unit 2

EXTENT:  Seven volumes in one container (.25 linear feet).

ORGANIZATION:  Albums organized chronologically: Item 1, 1841-1843; Item 1a, 1872-1874; Item 2, 1873-1880; Item 3, 1874-1883; Item 4, 1875-1884; Item 5, 1876; Item 6, 1884-1904.

CONTEXT:  The keeping of autograph books was a popular practice in the nineteenth century.  They were used to collect signatures, and often sketches and verse as well.  Signers usually included the date of their signature.  Owners sometimes used autograph books to record personal details about the people who signed them: for example, in Item 2 in this collection, Mary Wheeler often recorded the date a person died on the page he or she signed.

SCOPE AND CONTENT:  An artificial collection consisting of autograph books kept primarily by Concord, Mass. residents, and including four photographs.  The books contain the signatures of many prominent Concordians, and document the members of the social circles to which the owners of the books belonged.

SOURCE OF ACQUISITION:  Item 1, gift of Sarah Bartlett.  Items 2 and 6 presumed the gift of Esther Howe Wheeler Anderson.  Items 3 and 4, gift of William Towler.  Item 5, gift of Charlotte Johnson, March 22, 1971. Item 1a, gift of Charl Maynard, July 17, 2015.

PROCESSED BY:  Angelina Altobellis, finding aid prepared 4/20/06. Edited 10/07/15.



Item 1. 1841-1843:  Album belonging to Sarah Ann Pratt.  Inscription: “Presented to Miss Sarah A. Pratt / by her Father, July 4, 1841.”  Includes several poems titled “To Sarah,” three signed by Lucy Pratt; E.J. Weston; and Elizabeth Wheeler.  Another inscription is signed by Lorenzo Eaton.  Also contains colored sketches.  This item is fragile, and requires careful handling.

Item 1a.  1872-1874:  Autograph book of Carrie Louise Calrow.  Inscription: “C. L. Calrow. / #23 Moreland St. / Boston Highlands.”  Second inscription: “Carrie L. Calrow. / Lewis School. / Boston Highlands.”  Includes Wayside School (Concord), Lewis School (Boston Highlands), Lasell Seminary (Auburndale), and other Boston-area signatures.  Photograph of Mrs. J. Edwin Bradstreet (C. L. Calrow’s name after marriage) laid in.  Note: C .L. C. B. was born in 1857, married in 1877, died in 1923.  Some loose pages.

Item 2. 1873-1880:  Autograph book of Mary Wheeler.  Inscription: “To Sister Mary / By Her Brother Harvey / Christmas Eve, 1873.”  Contains many signatures from members of her family, as well as classmates and teachers at Concord High School.  Also contains sketches signed by N. Bent, including one of the North Bridge, with portraits of Emerson and a colonial figure.  Stored separately in an envelope are three photographs originally stored loose in the album.  Two show Mary Wheeler in her later years; the other shows a house, labeled on the back: “Brigham Homestead, Concord.”  This item is fragile, and requires careful handling.

Item 3. 1874-1883:  Autograph book of Carrie P. Holden.  Inscription: “Carrie P. Holden from Frank W. Holden.”  Includes signatures of classmates and teachers at Concord High School, and others.  Signatures include Kate P. Buttrick; Mary M. Eaton; Ellen T. Emerson; Ralph Holden; and Abbie F. Wheeler, and others.

Item 4. 1875-1884:  Owner unknown.  Contains possible mark of ownership in pencil on front pastedown endpaper: “Boars Head Mrs. Mitchell.”  Most of the signatures in this volume are from residents of Manchester, New Hampshire, but it was also signed by Concord residents Netta M. Buttrick; Eliza Conant; Emily Conant; Ellen T. Emerson; Carrie P. Holden; Sarah W. Holden; and others.  Contains a sketch of a small child observing herself in a mirror, signed by A.W. Davis.  Also includes signatures of people from Shanghai, China, and others from St. Paul, Minnesota; Parkersburg, West Virginia; Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin; and Chicago.

Item 5. 1876:  Owner believed to have been an aunt of the book’s donor, Charlotte Johnson.  Concord signatures include Carrie P. Holden, Henry E. Holden, Eirene Wheeler, Mary Wheeler, and others.

Item 6. 1884-1904:  Autograph book of Lucie H. Wheeler.  Signatures of Concord residents and members of her family, including her children: Frances, Esther, Priscilla, and Hilda, and sisters Eirene and Mary.  An inscription beneath Fred D. Wheeler’s signature notes his death in Pueblo, Colorado, on October 20, 1887.  Includes colored sketch by B.H. Giles, dated April 16, 1884.

c2006 Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Mass. Not to be reproduced in any form without permission of the Curator of Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library.

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Mounted 26th April 2006. rcwh.