Dearborn Women Letter Archive, 12 items total. 1st item: ALS from Pamela Augusta Gilman Dearborn (1802-1880), Houlton, ME, to her brother Joseph Gilman (b. 1809), Dixmont, ME, June 20, 1831. Pamela Augusta begins her letter by describing the 4th of July celebrations in Houlton, including parades, speeches, military salutes, and public dinners and “…on the day but one after Gen [John Ellis] Wool the Inspector General arrived and he was saluted with 11 guns we kept up a pretty brisk fire for a few days…”. She also writes about the weather, her husband Greenleaf Dearborn’s (1786 -1846) garden, and other day-to-day activities, including an impending dinner engagement with Major [N.S.] Clark[e], the officer in command of the military post at Houlton, and Mrs. Bloodgood, wife of Lieutenant Bloodgood, commander of Company E of the 2nd Infantry. Address panel in Pamela Augusta’s hand with traces of red wax seal below. 10″ H x 8 1/8″ W. Biography: John Ellis Wool (1784-1869) was an officer in the United States Army during three consecutive U.S. wars: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. By the time of the Mexican-American War, he was widely considered one of the most capable officers in the army and a noted organizer. He was one of the four general officers of the United States Army in 1861, and was the one who had the most Civil War service. When the war began, Wool, age 77 and a brigadier general for 20 years, commanded the Department of the East. He was the oldest general on either side of the war. (source: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/chron/civilwarnotes/wool.html). 2nd item: ALS from Pamela Augusta Gilman Dearborn, Houlton, MA, to her aunt, Mrs. Hannah Swett Lee Dearborn, Care of General Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn (1786-1846), Boston, MA, dated January 14, 1836. Pamela Augusta begins the letter by discussing her children Annette Maria Dearborn (1833-1910) and Charles Godfrey Dearborn (1826-1845), writing “My dear Aunt While my sick little Annette is asleep, I catch a moment to enclose Charles letter, which I promised he should write. He ruled the paper and wrote it down stairs by himself…When you read the enclosed you must bear in mind all the disabilities of the writer who is not yet nine years old–he was highly gratified by receiving the gold medal left by Genl [John Ellis] Wool for the best scholar. Poor little fellow I hope his b[o]dily deficiencies may be made up, and if he is spared he may become a happy and useful member of society–Thank my dear Uncle for his addre[s]s which I received last week, I was delighted with the perusal of it and felt yet more anxious than ever to have my husband [Greenleaf Dearborn] turn his sword into a pruning hook…”. Address panel in Pamela Augusta’s hand with postmark stamp from Houlton, ME, dated January 15, 1836 with traces of red wax seal either side. 10″ H x 8 1/4″ W. 3rd item: ALS from Pamela Augusta Gilman Dearborn, Fort Preble, ME, to her daughter Annette M. Dearborn, Care of Mr. Albert Kimball, Haverhill, MA, dated June 18, 1850. Pamela begins her letter by regaling the news from New York about the Fox sisters, stating “Mr. [Charles] Jones has been in New York, and say we can scarcely conceive the excitement that exists there with regard to the “mysterious knockings” The young women from Rochester, with their mother have exhibitions every day, and all day, and the rooms are crowded with visitors at $1.00 a ticket. They (the Ny Yonkers) have always laughed at Bostonians for being to [sic] easily humbug’d, but I think they may hereafter hold their peace”. The majority of the letter discusses her social interactions with a myriad of friends and acquaintances. Address panel in Pamela’s hand with postmark stamp from Portland, ME, dated June 19, 1850. 10″ H x 8″ W. 4th item: ALS from Pamela Augusta Gilman Dearborn, Fort Preble, ME, to Annette M. Dearborn Boyd, care of C. H. Boyd, U.S.C.S., East Bowdoinham, ME, dated October 29, 1854. Pamela Augusta mostly writes of her various friends and acquaintances and social functions that she has attended. She mentions that “Cousin Sarah is very miserable indeed, does not sit up but a short time in a day, and little Sarah had just recovered from a fever…”. She also writes of the books she has been reading, including “Glimpses And Gatherings During A Voyage And Visit To London And The Great Exhibition In The Summer Of 1851” by William A. Drew, writing “there is some useful information, but it is genuine Yankee” and that she is currently reading “Life and Character of the Rev. Sylvester Judd” by Arethusa Hall “…which is just out. We find it very interesting. He was a wonderful man, so pure, so devoted and earnest in his work, and so early called to a higher sphere”. Includes envelope with address in Pamela Augusta’s hand, with two black postmark stamps, and a blue three cent stamp.7 3/4″ H x 6 1/2″ W. 5th item: Civil War era ALS from Pamela Augusta Gilman Dearborn, Portland, ME, to Annette M. Dearborn Boyd, wife of Charles Harrod Boyd, Hollis, ME, September 20, 1862. Pamela Augusta begins the letter by recommending a remedy of “some rhubarb and soda powders” for the treatment of a sore mouth. She also mentions that Emily Louis Gerry Dearborn Ayers (1829-1878), Annette’s sister and wife of Union General Romeyn Beck Ayres, was going to Charleston to visit Mrs. Baird. She also mentions the Battle of Antietam, fought on September 17, 1862, writing “What Terrific fighting there is going on_but I saw by a dispatch from Genl [George B. McClellan] that our victory is complete_but such a dreadful loss of life on both sides, so many of our Genls and field officers killed or badly wounded_I hope we may hear good news from [Romeyn Beck] Ayres, soon…”. Includes envelope with address in Pamela Augusta’s hand. 8″ H x 5″ W. Biography: Romeyn Beck Ayres (1825-1888), Promoted to Brigadier General, United States Volunteers, November 29, 1862, he took command of 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, V Corps, Army of the Potomac, April 21, 1863 and led it at Chancellorsville. He commanded the Division at Gettysburg and during the New York Draft Riots. He fought in subsequent actions of V Corps, commanding 4th Brigade, 1st Division, March 1864, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, from the Wilderness through Cold Harbor, April-June 5, 1864, and commanded 2nd Division, June 6, 1864-January 1865, at Petersburg where he was wounded. He also commanded 3rd Division, Provisional Corps, Army of the Potomac, June 28, 1865, and District of Shenandoah, August 23, 1865-April 30, 1866. He was brevetted for Gettysburg, the Wilderness, as Major General, United States Volunteers,, for the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Jericho Ford, Totopotomoy, Bethesda Church, Petersburg, Globe Tavern, Weldon Railroad, 5 Forks, Brigadier General, United States Army, for war service, Major General, United States Army. He married his first wife Emily on August 14, 1849. (source: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/rbayers.htm). 6th item: ALS from Pamela Augusta Gilman Dearborn, Hollis, ME, to Annette M. Dearborn Boyd, Mrs. C. H. Boyd, South Gardiner, ME, October 9, 1870. Pamela Augusta begins the letter by expressing her thanks for Annette’s letter informing her that Charles, her husband, was recovering from a cold. She also mentions letters that she had received letters from Emeline Hurst Gilman Jones, her sister, and Emily, her daughter and Annette’s sister. She also mentions that while she had been feeling dizzy she was feeling better at the present and that the Doctor who attended her told her that “he was a year in college with our dear Charles [presumably Annette’s husband] and that he was intimately acquainted with him_and he spoke of him with affection and admiration_said he had the handsomest head and the finest intellect he had ever known”. She goes on to say that “Whenever I see a person who was ever acquainted with Charles_I find that young as he was; he left an impression on the minds of men-as one who possessed great intellectual power…”. Includes envelope with address in Pamela Augusta’s hand, two black postmark stamps, and a green three cent Washington stamp. 8″ H x 5 1/8″ W. 7th item: ALS from Pamela Augusta Gilman Dearborn, Portland, ME, to Annette M. Dearborn Boyd, Care of Major C. H. Boyd, U.S.C.S., Topsham, ME, July 27, 1871. Pamela Augusta begins the letter by acknowledging that she had received a letter from Annette. She mentions that she “went to Mrs. Carrolls and found all the young ladies there, Mary and Octavia were ready…waiting for Sarah, who was kept back by Mr. C’s anxiety about her health…”. The majority of the letter discusses her social interactions with a myriad of friends, acquaintances, and relatives, including Annette’s sister Emily. Includes envelope with address in Pamela Augusta’s hand. 8 1/8″ H x 5 1/8″ W. 8th item: ALS from Pamela Augusta Gilman Dearborn, Portland, ME, to Annette M. Dearborn Boyd, Mrs. C. H. Boyd, U.S.C.S. Camp, Topsham, ME, August 12, 1871. She mentions that Annette’s sister Emily will be returning home tomorrow and that she “has been out this morning in search of a girl for her”. She also mentions that Emily’s son Charles Greenleaf (Greenlief) Ayers, who would later become a Lieutenant Colonel, would be staying with them, writing “…I suppose he is to be of some use”. Letter written on stationary with embossed “D”. Includes envelope with address that does not appear to be in Pamela Augusta’s hand, with black postmark stamp from Portland, ME, October 2. 4 3/4″ W. 7″ H x 4 3/4″ W. Biography: Colonel Ayres (1854-1909) was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army by President Grant in 1874 and was assigned to the Twenty-fifth Colored Infantry, and later transferred to the Tenth Cavalry, another colored regiment, with which he served with distinction in the Spanish War, being one of the officers in command of that regiment in the battle of Santiago. He was three times recommended for bravery and was personally commended by President McKinley and Secretary of War Alger. After the Spanish War Colonel Ayres in due course was ordered to the Philippines, returning to the United States in 1907 to find his wife Mary Elizabeth Fairfax Ayres (1859-1950) the central figure in a West Point controversy. Through the course of events and after rodered through a retiring board and found to be suffering from a form of Bright’s Disease he was put on the retired list. His son, Henry Fairfax Ayres (1885-1979), was Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army, a veteran of both World Wars. (source: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/cgayers.htm). 9th item: ALS from Pamela Augusta Gilman Dearborn, Portland, ME, to Annette M. Dearborn Boyd, Care of Major C. H. Boyd, U.S.C.S., Topsham, ME, August 20, 1871. She mostly writes of the previous letter that she received from her daughter that spoke of “the Campbells, Boyds, and Adamses” relatives and other friends and acquaintances. She mentions that she “…called yesterday at Mrs. Carrolls to see Cousin Sarah Dearborn_she says she is well but she looks very feeble_and Mrs C said she almost fainted when she arrived at her house”. Includes envelope with address in Pamela Augusta’s hand, with black postmark stamp from Portland, ME, dated August 21 and a green three cent Washington stamp. Envelope and stationary with embossed “D”. 7″ H x 4 5/8″ W. 10th-12th items: Three (3) empty envelopes addressed to “Mrs. Boyd”, two of the envelopes appear to be in Pamela Augusta’s hand, one with black postmark stamp from New Orleans, LA, dated January 23, at 4:30 P.M., does not appear to be in Pamela Augusta’s hand. Two envelopes with three cent Washington stamps, one red, one green. Note: Some of the later letters (4th-9th items) may have been separated from their original envelopes over the course of time. Letters are cataloged with the envelopes with which they were found. CONDITION: Overall good condition with foxing spots, toning impressions, dampstaining, tears (primarily along fold lines and wax seals) to be expected from age. Majority of signatures in strong, clear condition.
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