Search This Blog

Monday, September 24, 2012

"I Acknowledge That I Have Been More Hard-Hearted Than The Sea Monsters": Samuel Ladd and Elizabeth Emerson

The story of Samuel Ladd is an uncomfortable one.  If you read the previous post, you'll recognize him as the Ladd who was killed by Natives during a raid, the Natives afterwards commenting on his sour countenance.  To me, his story illustrates how patriarchal (and I mean that in its worst sense) society was during the time of the founding of the United States.  Most of the information I used to piece together his story comes from these sources:  The Ancestry of Betsey Emerson Wright by Jeffrey Rehm (1996),  "'They Die in Youth And Their Life is Among the Unclean':  The Life and Death of Elizabeth Emerson" by Peg Goggin Kearney (1994, published online), "The Haverhill Emersons:  Revised and Extended" by Jane Emerson James, 1983, and the websites ("1693:  Elizabeth Emerson, article by Robert Wilhelm, author of Murder and Mayhem in Essex County) and ("Colonial Massachusetts and Elizabeth Emerson"). 

My husband's forebear Samuel Ladd was born on November 1, 1649 in Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA.  (Haverhill went back and forth between Mass. and New Hampshire in its early days.)  He was the son of Daniel Ladd Sr., who was a major landowner and  founding member of the town, and his wife Ann (Moore) Ladd.   Like his father, Samuel was a farmer.  He married Martha Corliss on December 1, 1674, at age 25, and as a wedding gift his father built him a house next to his own in the village of Haverhill.  Samuel and Martha had ten children between 1676 and 1697.  As the son of a founding townsman, Samuel had a relatively high social status within Haverhill.

Early Haverhill.

Samuel had a brush with the law in June 1677, three years after his marriage.  He was accused of breaking into a  house, belonging to Frances and Ann Thurla, at night with a servant, entering the bedroom of their daughter Sarah,  and trying to persuade her to leave the house with them by telling Sarah that her aunt was ill and needed her.  When the master of the house awoke to investigate Samuel ran out of the house.  He was found guilty in court of a misdemeanor and fined, but it's unclear what he and his companion were trying to do.  Were they planning to assault Sarah, or was theft their motivation? Fortunately, whatever their plans, they were thwarted before any harm was done.  Samuel was charged with a misdemeanor in the Haverhill court, found guilty, and paid a fine as his sentence required.

The true blight on his reputation though, as far as I'm concerned, comes from his connection with Elizabeth Emerson, an unmarried woman sixteen years younger than Samuel who lived with her parents.  There are hints that the  Emerson household was a violent one even by the standards of the time (and don't forget, this is a culture where men were normally entitled to beat their children and even spouses without fear of the law);  in 1676, Elizabeth's father was charged and convicted of  "cruel and excessive beating...and kicking" of Elizabeth, and was fined three shillings.  Elizabeth would have been twelve years old at the time.

In 1686, at age 22, Elizabeth gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Dorothy.  Elizabeth's father Michael accused a man named Timothy Swan of being the father, but the Swan family denied the charge (Timothy's father went on record saying that he "had charged him [Timothy] not to go into that wicked house and his son had obeyed and furthermore his son could not abide the jade.").  Nothing was ever proven and there are no further records of the child Dorothy's existence.

Five years later, in 1691, Elizabeth became pregnant again, and kept her pregnancy a secret, although she was carrying twins.  She later testified that she kept the pregnancy secret out of fear of  her father's reaction.  She gave birth on May 7th, 1691, in the dead of night, apparently in the same bedroom as her parents slept, so quietly that no one in the family woke up.  The twin boys were either stillborn or Elizabeth killed them at birth.  It is possible that they were premature--especially considering that her pregnancy had not been made public--but we don't know for certain.   She hid the bodies from her parents and three days later buried them on her family's property in a small sack that she had sewn.

A short time later, neighbours who had suspected that Elizabeth was pregnant received a warrant to examine her and search the premises.  While her parents were in Church, the women examined Elizabeth for signs of pregnancy or childbirth, which they found.  The men, meanwhile, discovered the children's graves.  Elizabeth was arrested on a charge of murder.  She named Samuel Ladd as the children's father, and also stated that he was the only man she had had relations with, implicating him as the unacknowledged father of Dorothy as well. Elizabeth claimed that she had a long-term relationship with Samuel Ladd, which took place at a local inn.  Samuel Ladd was repeatedly named as the children's father in the court records.  There seemed to be no dispute about the paternity of the twins, unlike Elizabeth's first daughter Dorothy.

Elizabeth's trial took place in a Puritan society, and the law was not her friend.  She steadfastly denied killing the children, saying that they were both stillborn and failed to cry or show signs of life at their birth.  However, it didn't matter--clearly the children were hers and she confessed to burying them in secret, which in itself was a criminal offense punishable by execution.  Although the children's paternity was open knowledge, Samuel Ladd was never questioned in regard to the case.  Many sources attribute this to his social status in Haverhill society, and Elizabeth's lack of status as an unmarried mother coming from a poor family.  In September 1691 Elizabeth was sent to the Boston Gaol  to be hanged for "whore-dom".   Here is a transcript of the sentencing:

"26th Sept. Elizabeth Emmerson single woman Daughter of Michael Emmerson of Haverhill in the County of Essex being indicted by the Jurors for our Soveraigne Lord & Lady King William & Queen Mary upon their Oathes.  for that the sd. Elizabeth Emmerson being with child with two living Children or Infants on Thursday night the 7th of May 1691 before day of Fryday morning at Haverhill aforesd in the house of Michael Emmerson aforesd by the Providence of God two Bastard Children alive did bring forth and the sd. Elizabeth Emmerson not haveing the feare of God before her Eyes and being instigated by ye Devil in her malice forethought, the sd. two infants did feloniously kill & Murther, and them in a small Bagg or cloath sewed up, and concealed or hid them in sd. Emmersons house untill afterwards, that is to say, on sabbath day May the tenth 1691, the sd two Infants in the yard of sd. Emmerson in Haverhill aforesd did secretly bury contrary to the peace of Our Soveraign Lord & Lady the King & Queen, their Crown & Dignity, the Laws of God, and the Lawes & Statutes in that case made & provided.  Upon which Indictment the sd Elizabeth Emmerson was arraigned and to the Indictment pleaded not guilty & put herselfe upon Tryal by God & the Country, a Jury was impannelled being the first Jury, whereof mr. Richard Crisp was foreman, and were accordingly sworne...The Indictment Examination & evidences were read & the prisoner made her defence, The Jury return their Verdict, the Jury say, That the sd. Elizabeth Emmerson is guilty according to the Indictment.  The Court Order, That sentance of Death be pronounced ag. her."  

Elizabeth was to spend two years in the Boston prison before her sentence was carried out.  A 1689 description of conditions there paints a cold, gloomy picture: 

"the old stone gaol on Prison Lane [had]...outer walls...of stone three feet thick, its unglazed windows barred with iron, the cells partitioned off with plank, the doors covered with iron spikes, the passage-ways like the dark valley of the shadow of death."

Now, remember that until this point Elizabeth had never admitted to killing the infants, only to concealing her pregnancy and burying them clandestinely when they were stillborn.  However, it was in Boston Gaol that Elizabeth ran up against that famous confession-extractor, Cotton Mather.  A Puritan Minister and a highly educated and influential man, Mather is best known for his role in the Salem witch trials.  It appears that, along with witches, he took a vigorous interest in the sins of young unmarried mothers.  Mather was well-known for extracting confessions from stubbon women, using emotional, intellectual and physical coercion.  Elizabeth was subjected to many sessions with Mather, and in the end she confessed to the murders of her children.  On the day of her execution, Mather preached a triumphant sermon to a large crowd which included the repentant Elizabeth, and read Elizabeth's confession aloud at the climax.  The sermon was published afterwards both in America and London, and, according to Mather, was "greedily bought up." Here is Jeffrey Rehm's rather tart appraisal of Mather's sermon:

"This sermon which says remarkably little at very great length can be found on microfiche #655 of 'Early American Works.'  Cotton Mather immodestly stated it was one of the greatest sermons preached in America.  I suffered through reading a large part of it and it does not mention murder at all, but dwells at length on different aspects of unchastity.  In fact it begins with a quotation from the Bible which warns against naming or speaking of different forms of "Uncleanness", and then proceeds to name every form of sexual aberration.  It is no wonder it was greedily bought up.  It was the closest thing to pornography of its day."

Cotton Mather, Circa 1700

Cotton Mather discusses Elizabeth's case in his diary:

I had often wished for an opportunity, to bear my Testimonies, against the Sons of uncleanness, wherein so many of my generation do pollute themselves.  A young Woman of Haverhil, and a Negro Woman also of this Town were under sentence of Death, for the Murdering of their Bastard children.  Many and many a weary Hour, did I spend in the Prison, to serve the souls of those miserable Creatures...I accompanied the wretches, to their Execution;  but extremely fear all our Labours were lost upon them, however sanctifying unto many others."

I'm sure the hours spent with Mather were weary ones for Elizabeth as well.  Elizabeth's confession itself is quite remarkable, I think.  I personally suspect that Mather either wrote it himself or dictated it to her.  I can't see a woman in her circumstances, and with her paltry education, creating such a document herself.

"I am a miserable sinner, and I have justly provok'd the holy God to leave me unto that folly of my own heart, for which I am now condemned to die.  I cannot but see much of the anger of God against me in that word of his, 'Evil pursueth sinners!'  I therefore desire humbly to confess my many sins before God and the world;  but most particularly my blood guiltiness.

Before the birth of my twin-infants, I too much parlied with the temptation of the devil to smother my wickedness by murthering of them.  At length, when they were born, I was not insensible that at least one of them was alive;  but such a wretch was I, as to use a murderous carriage towards them, in the place where I lay, on purpose to dispatch them out of the world.  I acknowledge that I have been more hard hearted than the sea-monsters;  and yet for the pardon of these my sins, I would fly to the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the only 'fountain set open for sin and uncleanness'.  I know not how better to glorifie God, for giving me such an opportunity as I have had to make sure of his mercy, than by advertising and entreating the rising generation here to take warning by my example, and I will therefore tell the sins that have brought me to my shameful end.  I do warn all people and expecially young people, against these of uncleanness in particular."

The confession goes on for several more paragraphs, with Elizabeth alternately bewailing her own "distressed, perishing soul", her "hardness of heart", her disobedience to her parents, and her "haughty, stubborn spirit", and warning her audience to profit from her example.  To me, it just doesn't ring true.   At the very least, I am sure that much of the phrasing must have come from Mather during the many "weary hours" he was "persuading" her to admit to infanticide. 

Elizabeth was hanged in the Boston Common on June 8, 1693, after being taken to hear Cotton Mather's sermon.  The unnamed Negro woman also convicted of infanticide was hanged along with her.  Cotton Mather was in attendance at the execution.  Elizabeth was hanged on a tree known as the "hanging elm" or the "hanging tree".

The Hanging Tree on Boston Common, where Elizabeth Emerson was executed. 

Descriptions of hangings from contemporary sources describe the condemned prisoner being made to climb a ladder leaning against the tree, which was then taken away once the noose was around their neck.   According to custom,  the hanged person's body would be left on the tree to rot away, unless their family or friends paid to claim it and give it a proper burial.  There is no record of anyone doing this for Elizabeth. 
A woman just before execution.

You'll notice how peripheral Samuel Ladd is to this whole sad tale.  After impregnating Elizabeth, he left her to fend for herself during the pregnancy (according to Elizabeth, Samuel was the only person who knew she was with child) and afterwards.  If Elizabeth was telling the truth about Ladd being the father of Dorothy as well, there is no indication that he ever offered support for their daughter.  I am struck by the fiery language the men in positions of power over Elizabeth use against her. The document recording her sentence all but declares that she is in league with the devil, and Cotton Mather clearly never even entertained the possibility that she might be telling the truth about her children's deaths.  Considering that twins are considered a high-risk delivery even today, and that Elizabeth had no one helping with the delivery of possibly premature infants, I think it is possible that the children did not survive their birth.  Of course, it is also possible that, overwhelmed with the knowledge that Samuel Ladd would not acknowledge the children, that her father would be furious and possibly very violent, and that she and the children would be socially stigmatized, she succumbed to depression and desperation and ended their lives.

There's a lot to wonder about with this story.  What does all this say about Ladd's character?  To me, he seems unfeeling and even predatory, but he seems to have received no public censure, so perhaps in the context of his time his actions were not that unusual.  I wonder also what Ladd's wife and children made of all this.  I do try not to judge the people I write about, but I will admit that Samuel isn't my favourite ancestor.    If someone in my husband's family had to get conked on the head with a tomahawk, I'm not sorry it was him.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Native Encounters in Early America

Obscure local history books can be hard to track down, but rich sources of family history if you can get them.  Through google books, I found a little treasure called The History of Haverhill, Massachusetts, From its First Settlement, in 1640, To The Year 1860 by George Wingate Chase.  It was published by the author himself in Haverhill in 1861, and I'm sure that if I'd been researching the family before the age of google, I never would have heard of it.  However, the Ladd family (remember Calvin Palmer Ladd, from the last posting?) were among the very earliest inhabitants of Haverhill, and Haverhill was in fact where our Calvin was born.  The earliest of our Ladd ancestors to settle in Haverhill was Daniel Ladd.  He was born in Dartmouth, Devonshire, England and sailed to America with his brother sometime in the mid-1630s.  Chase's book has a few anecdotes about the Ladd family.

The incident I'm most interested in involves Daniel Ladd's son Samuel Ladd (1649-1698) and Samuel's son Daniel.  To give it some historical context, this incident took place in 1698, and was one of a series of armed conflicts between Native Americans and the colonial settlers in Haverhill, which also involved English and French disputes over ownership of the colonies. This entire conflict is known historically as King William's War.

I should also mention that Samuel Ladd had fought in the Haverhill militia during the previous war with the Natives, King Phillip's war.  He held the rank of Lieutenant.

Artist's rendition of a Colonial-Native conflict.  

"The next year, the Indians commenced their incursions unusually early.  On the 22nd of February, a party fell upon Andover, killed five of the inhabitants, and captured as many more.  On their return, the same party killed Jonathan Haynes and Samuel Ladd, of this town, and captured a son of each.

Haynes and Ladd, who lived in the western part of the town, had started that morning, with their teams, consisting of a yoke of oxen and a horse, and accompanied with their eldest sons, Joseph and Daniel, to bring home some of their hay...While they were slowly returning, little dreaming of the present danger, they suddenly found themselves between two files of Indians, who had concealed themselves in the bushes on each side of their path.  There were seven of them on a side [i.e. 14 Natives altogether].  With guns presented and cocked, and the fathers (sic), seeing it was impossible to escape, begged for 'quarter'.  To this, the Indians twice replied, 'boon quarter!  boon quarter!'  (good quarter.)  Young Ladd, who did not relish the idea of being quietly taken prisoner, told his father that he would mount the horse, and endeavor to escape.  But the old man forbid him to make the attempt, telling him it was better to risk remaining a prisoner.  He cut his father's horse loose, however, and giving him the lash, he started off at full speed, and though repeatedly fired at by the Indians, succeeded in reaching home, and was the means of giving an immediate and general alarm."

I think Chase got one of the names confused--Jonathan Haynes' oldest son was called Thomas--Joseph was a younger son.  Other sources name Thomas as the son who was with his father during this incident. When I first read this it sounded to me like Daniel had made a break for safety on his father's horse, but after re-reading I realize that the horse itself sped for freedom and gave the alarm.  Smart horse.

" Two of the Indians then stepped behind the fathers, and dealt them a heavy blow upon the head.  Mr. Haynes, who was quite aged, instantly fell, but Ladd did not. Another of the savages then stepped before the latter, and raised his hatchet as if to strike.  Ladd closed his eyes, expecting the blow would fall--but it came not--and when he again opened them, he saw the Indian laughing and mocking at his fears.  Another immediately stepped behind him and felled him at a blow.

The Indians, on being asked why they killed the old men, said they killed Haynes because he was 'so old he no go with us;'--meaning that he was too aged and infirm to travel;  and that they killed Ladd, who was a fierce, stern looking man, because 'he so sour.'  They then started for Penacook, where they arrived with the two boys."

Daniel Ladd, having seen his father mocked and killed, makes plans to escape.  Unfortunately, he doesn't think it through very well:

"Young Ladd soon grew weary of his situation, and one night after his Indian master and family had fell asleep, he attempted to escape.  He had proceeded but a short distance, when he thought that he would want a hatchet to fell trees to assist him in crossing the streams."

Bad idea, Daniel!  Don't go back!  Just wade across those streams, for crying out loud!

"He accordingly returned, entered a wigwam near his master's, where an old squaw lay sick, and took a hatchet.  The squaw watched his movements, and probably thinking that he intended to kill her, vociferated with all her strength.  This awakened the Indians in the wigwam, who instantly arose, re-captured him, and delivered him again to his master, who bound his hands, laid him upon his back, fastened one of his feet to a tree, and in that manner kept him fourteen nights.  They then gashed his face with their knives, filled the wounds with powder, and kept him on his back until it was so indented in the flesh, that it was impossible to extract it.  He carried the scars to his grave, and is now frequently spoken of by his descendents as the 'marked man'.  

I can see why the Natives may have assumed he was planning to kill someone, what with the hatchet in his hand.  It doesn't sound like he was adopted into the tribe as much as enslaved.  It also sounds like he was tattooed, but without knowing more about the culture of the Native tribe Daniel had entered into it's hard to know the significance of this.

"Some years after, he found means to return, and his scarred and powdered countenance produced many witticisms at his expense.  He was one day walking the streets of Boston, and a parrot observing his 'marked' features, vociferated, 'a rogue!  a rogue!' 

I'd like to have more information about Daniel's captivity.  Did he and Joseph stay together the whole time?  Did he learn a native language?   Did he finally escape or was he released?   It's hard to imagine the insensitivity of people who would mock his scars, but Daniel still managed to find a wife, so I imagine he reintegrated into Haverhill society despite his changed appearance.   His fellow captive, Joseph Haynes, was eventually bought back by his family.  It's interesting what Chase says about this:

"Haynes remained a prisoner of the Indians some years, and was at last redeemed by his relatives.  When Haynes was about leaving the Indians, his master, in token of his good will and esteem, presented him his best cane.  This cane is now in the possession of Guy C. Haynes, of East Boston, a descendant.  The upper half is ornamented with diamond-shaped figures, cut with a knife."

Apparently this was the second time in his life that Haynes survived Native captivity.  His entire family (except his mother), had been captured two years earlier in 1696.  During that incident, father Jonathan and his sixteen-year-old son Thomas escaped.  Three other children, Mary (age 19), Jonathan (age 12) and Joseph (age 7) were taken to Quebec and sold into slavery there.  Mary was redeemed for 100 pounds of tobacco, and the two boys stayed in Canada and eventually became french-speaking farmers.

This is what Chase has to say about the end of the conflict:

"Peace being declared between France and England, the governor of Canada informed the Indians that he could no longer support them in their war against the English, and he advised them to bury the hatchet, and restore their captives.  This they concluded to do, and a treaty was at last made with them at Casco. 

During this war (from June, 1689, to May, 1698), five hundred and sixty-one persons were killed, eighty-one wounded, and and one hundred and sixty-one captured by the Indians, in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, including Schnectady.  Soon after peace was declared, a general contribution was taken in the province, for the relief of those who were prisoners with the French and  Indians." 

Now this is clearly a very anglo-centric account of things.  I don't think Chase is including Native casualties in his numbers.  The Natives in this region of New Hampshire were part of the Penacook confederacy, an Algonquin people.

When Europeans first arrived in New Hampshire around 1620, the Penacook population numbered at 10,000, the people living in several different tribes.  Because of smallpox, influenza and diptheria epidemics which arose from European contact, they had dwindled to 2,500 by 1630, and by 1674 their population count was at 1,250.  Clearly the new balance of power was not working in their favour, although evidence strongly suggests that for many years after contact Penacook leaders were respectful of their new European neighbors.  During King Philip's War (just prior to King William's War) most of the Penacook and their leaders remained friendly to the English settlers until a Major Waldron unexpectedly attacked them and captured 200 people, whom he placed "in servitude" (or slavery).  Many of the Penacook at that point fled their homeland, some successfully making it to Canada and some attempting to go west.  The Penacook going west were pursued and overtaken and many of them killed.  The survivors settled in New York.  But remember the 200 Native people originally captured by Waldron?  They got a grisly revenge.  Evidently some of them eventually escaped, captured Major Waldron, and tortured him to death.

 This whole incident, and particularly the initial English attack,  seems to have been the decisive turning point for the Penacook people, who from then on allied themselves with the French and against the English in the still-undecided conflict over ownership of North America.  By the time of King William's war they had been devastated by disease, and had seen their people attacked, enslaved and killed, and the survivors scattered.  Chase's History of Haverhill discusses quite a few raids by natives around this period, generally upon isolated families, where people, including young children, would be ambushed.  Generally adults and older children would be captured and either stay with their Native captors (they would sometimes be ransomed back) or sold into servitude in Quebec.  (I had no idea that white people were sold into slavery in early Canada--I'd like to learn more about that.) Younger children and babies would be killed immediately, usually by "dashing their brains out" against the nearest tree.  Unfortuately, Samuel and Daniel experienced the fallout of almost eighty years of deteriorating Colonial/Native relations.  But don't feel too sorry for Samuel, the "sour" father--he was no paragon of virtue himself, as I'll talk about in my next post.

Memorial Statue to Passaconaway, Leader of the Penacook
Peoples until his death just before King William's War.
Now located in Lowell, Massachusetts.
The part about him embracing Christianity is, to my knowledge, not true. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Great Exhibition of The Works of Industry of All Nations, London, 1851

The Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, 1851

Variously known as the Great Exhibition, the Hyde Park Exhibition, and the Crystal Palace Exhibition, this mammoth international event took place in Hyde Park, London, England, from May 1st to October 15th in the year 1851.  Organized by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, its goal was to showcase the fruits of the industrial revolution in the Western World (particularly Britain), as well as to showcase the artistic and cultural accomplishments of 19th century Britain, her colonies, and Europe.  A spectacular exhibit hall made of iron and glass, the Crystal Palace, was custom-built for the great event. The Exhibition was a huge success, attracting six million visitors and thirteen thousand exhibits from a variety of countries, including Canada.  Among the visitors were Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the rest of the British royal family, and celebrities such as Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Lewis Carroll, and George Eliot.  Among the exhibitors representing Canada was Calvin Palmer Ladd, inventor, iron-worker, and my husband's great-great-great grandfather.

View of the Interior of the Canadian Division at the Great Exhibition of 1851. 

"Canada" in Dickenson's Comprehensive Pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851",
from the originals painted for H.R.H. Prince Albert 

Now, you'd think that it would be a fairly simple task, here in Canada, to discover a lot of information about our participation in this famous event.  You'd be wrong.  The National Archives has some engravings (see above), a few medals and some correspondence to and from Lord Elgin, who seems to have been involved in an organizational capacity.  But where are the photographs?  Where are the committee minutes?  Where is the record of the triumphal return?  There's so much I want to know.

Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue of the Great Exhibition, p. 968.
"151A.  Ladd, C.P., Montreal.  Patent balance-scales to weigh 20 cwt.; various chopping-axes".

A search at the Quebec archives tipped me off to the fact that Quebec had chosen its contributions by hosting an industrial exhibition of its own, on October 17th, 1850.  Monetary prizes were offered for items in a variety of categories, and the goods of the first prize winners would be considered for display at the Crystal Palace.  A guide-book for this event mentions Ladd (he is given the title "C.P. Ladd, Esq.") among the Executive Committee organizing the expedition to London.  Ladd was rubbing shoulders on this project with the likes of Georges Etienne Cartier,  one of the fathers of Confederation.  Apart from Cartier and the Hon. E. P. Tache, it's a very Anglo list.

List of Prizes for the Provincial Industrial Exhibition:  to be held at Montreal on
Thursday, the 17th October, 1850, with a view to the collection and selection
of articles, the production of Canada, for transmission to the Great Exhibition
of the Industry of All Nations, to be held in London, in 1851. 

Ladd was definitely the inventive one in the family.  He seemed to specialize in improving implements which were already in use.  Here are some of Ladd's patents, in no particular order.  The first is for an improved lamp wick:

An improved lamp-wick.  US Patent # 123,917.  Feb. 20, 1872.

This next one is for an improved felting-machine.  I'm in awe of the complexity of the design:

An Improved Felting-Machine.  U.S. Patent # 110,574.  Dec. 27, 1870. 

A heddle frame for looms.  (According to Wikipedia, a heddle is made of cord or wire suspended on the shaft of the loom, and is used to "separate the warp threads for the passage of the weft".)

Heddle for Looms.  U.S. Patent # 407,078.  July 16, 1889.

Canadian patents include the weighing-machine, or scales (these may have been the scales Ladd took with him to exhibit in London):

And my own personal favourite, the Canadian sarcophagus (or "metallic burial case"). Here Ladd is patenting a coffin design.  It looks quite form-fitting.

In Montreal, Ladd was mostly known for the manufacture of stoves.  The McCord Museum has two illustrations of his products.  They are both marked as patented designs, but I haven't yet found these particular patents.  Looking up old patents isn't as straightforward as you might think.

Catalogue Illustration of a C.P. Ladds Stove, 1850-1885, 19th century
Ink on paper on supporting paper, wood engraving, John Henry Walker. 

Catalogue Illustration of a C.P. Ladd's Stove, 1850-1885, 19th century
Ink on paper on supporting paper, wood engraving, John Henry Walker.  

Here are a few advertisements for Ladd's Montreal companies (originally called City Foundry, later called Ladd & Ellsworth).  These are taken from the Montreal Business Directory, 1849-50 (pg. 30)  and MacKay's Montreal Directory  (p. 276).

I'd love to know if Ladd was inspired by his trip to the Great Exhibition.  He must have met a great many other inventors and manufacturers--wouldn't it be wonderful to have a diary or letters from this time in his life?  There is an unconfimed report on a Ladd family website that Calvin received a medal from Prince Albert during his participation in this event.  A number of medals were given out, so it's very possible.  At some point I'll try to get Ladd's will to see if he left it to anyone in his estate.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Bulmer Family at the McCord Museum

The Notman photography collection at the McCord Museum of Montreal contains not only masses of Rutherford portraits, but also some portraits of the Bulmer family.  Specifically, they seem to belong to the family of Henry Bulmer, the older brother of our ancestor John Bulmer.  Henry Bulmer was born in 1822 to Thomas Bulmer and Mary (Bowling) Bulmer in Hatfield, Yorkshire, and moved to Canada with his parents and five siblings when he was ten years old.  John Bulmer, his younger brother and the husband of Elizabeth Ladd, was born in 1836 in Three Rivers, Quebec, when Henry was fourteen years old.  Henry married Jane Maxwell and had five sons:  Henry, Edward, William, John Archibald, and Frederick Thomas.

Again, I am hoping someone in the family can positively identify these portraits, since (who knows?)  there may have been more than one Henry Bulmer in Montreal during the mid-to-late 1800s.   The census records are on our side, however--they only show our family's Henry, and later on, his son Henry (Thomas and Mary Bulmer's grandson), living in Saint Antoine's Ward, Montreal. 

In 1865 Henry would have been 43 years old, and in 1866-7 he would have been 44-45, which looks right for these portraits. 

Henry Bulmer, Montreal, QC, 1865

Mrs. Bulmer, Monteal, QC, 1865

Henry Bulmer, Montreal, QC, 1866-67

Mr. Henry Bulmer, Montreal, QC, 1866-67

Mr. Henry Bulmer, Montreal, QC, 1866-67

Mrs. Henry Bulmer, Montreal, QC, 1866-67

Mrs. Henry Bulmer, Montreal, QC, 1866-67

Here's a little older Henry, around 58 years old.  Quite distinguished. 

Mr. Henry Bulmer, Montreal, QC, 1880

Mrs. Bulmer, Montreal, QC, 1880

Now these couldn't possibly be the children of the Henry Bulmer born in 1822, as these kids are far too young--and also, Henry and Jane had no daughters.  I'd guess they're his grandchildren, the children of his son Henry Bulmer Jr.

Mrs. Bulmer's Children, Montreal, QC, 1881
Mrs. H. Bulmer's Group, Montreal, QC, 1880

And just to round things out, here's an engraved print of Henry Sr.:
M. Henry Bulmer, Ink on Newsprint, Wood Engraving, 1860-1880, John Henry Walker

Friday, September 7, 2012

William Rutherford and Sons at the National Archives of Quebec

Every other province in Canada has a provincial archive, but not around for the Quebec provincial archives and you'll find something called Archives Nationales du Quebec.   It is a very nice website, I must admit.  And it has a snazzy blue online engraving of the industrial headquarters of Wm. Rutherford and Sons, the company that made William Rutherford Senior a minor baron of Montreal industry!  Here it is:

Dated 1894, it comes from a publication called Montreal Illustrated 1894, published by the Consolidated Illustrating Co.  I find it a rather spartan building, especially for the time period.  I'd love to know if it still stands.

I think this is text from the same publication.

It's not easy to read online, so I'll transcribe the significant parts.

"This is the house conducted by Messrs. Wm. Rutherford & Sons, manufacturers of sashes, blinds, stair-work, and general mill-work, and hardwood finish of every description, occupying the site, No. 85 to 95 Atwater avenue.  This flourishing concern was originally established by the present head of the firm, Mr. William Rutherford, some forty years ago.  His operations were primarily of a comparatively modest character:  year after year, however, widening the scope of his endeavors until to-day the house ranks as one of the leading industrial establishments of its type in the province of Quebec.  Mr. Rutherford's first efforts were restricted to the business of contractor and lumber merchant:  in 1880 the trading title became William Rutherford & Co., and in 1887, being joined by his sons, Messrs. Thomas J., William Rutherford Jr., and Andrew Rutherford, the present firm style was assumed.  The spacious premises occupied (which, by the way, are about to be enlarged in the spring of 1894, in order to meet the demands of an increasing trade connection) cover a ground area of 338 x130 feet, with lumber yards on the canal bank, having dimensions of 800 x120 feet. The working plant consists of mills, drying kilns and storage sheds.  The mills for sawing, planing and general wood working are abundantly supplied with the newest and best machinery in use, operated by a steam engine of one hundred horse power.  The kilns have a holding capacity of 60,000 feet of lumber, and a force of from ninety to one hundred skilled workmen is employed in the various departments of the business.  The range of manufacture embraces an extended range of wood work, including, as it does, sashes, doors and blinds, stair-work and turning, prepared lumber of all descriptions,  packing cases and boxes, besides many specialties in hardwood finish and interior work peculiar to this house.  These are produced in great quantity and variety....Noted for its enterprise, probity and business integrity, the firm of Messrs. William Rutherford and Sons possesses most deservedly the confidence of Montreal's leading commercial and financial circles in the highest degree."  

The article also mentions that William Rutherford Sr. was a member and ex-president of the Mechanics' Institute of Montreal.     

Photos from Archives Canada: Are These Ours?

Yay for the digitization of archival material!  For those of us with highly restricted travel opportunities, it's a godsend.  The National Archives of Canada has four photographs online which I strongly suspect belong to our family.  Here they are:

Miss Harmon, Feb. 1871, Ottawa, Topley Studios

Miss Harmon, May 1869, Ottawa, Topley Studios

Mrs. Harmon,  December 1869, Ottawa, TopleyStudios.

Mrs Harmon, December 1869, Ottawa, Topley Studios. 

These all seem to be photographer's proofs from Topley Studios, the same studio which took photographs for Abby Maria Harmon when she was putting together her school prospectus (see previous post).  Despite the fact that the first name of the sitter is not included and one set of  proofs are marked "Mrs. Harmon" while the other two are "Miss Harmon", I believe these are all portraits of Abby Maria.  I think all the portraits strongly resemble each other in figure, face, hair and dress, and my eagle-eyed husband noticed that the sitter is wearing the same necklace in three of the portraits.  We have one confirmed photograph of Abby Maria Harmon (again, see previous post) and, although these photos are from a few decades earlier, I see many strong similarities.  I have emailed the Archives to see if they can identify the sitter any further, and am awaiting their reply.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Miss Harmon's School for Young Ladies

Abby Maria Harmon was the youngest child of Daniel Williams Harmon, fur trader and author of Harmon's Journal, and his partly native wife Lisette Duval.  She was born in Vermont in 1838, after Daniel had left the fur trade.  Daniel moved his family from Vermont to Montreal in 1842, and in 1843, when Abby Maria was just five years old, he  died of smallpox.  The Harmon family had been accompanied by their eldest daughter Polly's husband Calvin Ladd,  and it is probable that the Ladds and the Harmons lived together while the children were growing up.  The 1861 census shows Abby Harmon living in Montreal on Beaver Hall Road, and lists her occupation as teacher.  She was then 23 years old.

At some point Abby Maria moved to Ottawa and began her own school.  It was a great success, attracting young women from upper class families (apparently Sir John A. MacDonald's granddaughter was a student at one point).  According to Urbsite,

"Maria Harmon had started a small co-educational school for the children of lumber kings at a private home in Uppertown during the mid-1860s, when public education in Ottawa was still a dodgy business. The school moved to Wellington Street a few years later and became girls-only. Miss Harmon's went into a larger stone structure at 49 Daly Avenue (a building still used by the Union Mission for men). The date of the incorporation refers to the establishment of its final phase at Elgin and Maclaren."

Here is a photo of the school exterior:

And here are some interior shots:

A very uncomfortable-looking classroom in Miss Harmon's School

A much more inviting classroom with lots of sunlight

The music room.  Music was a school specialty.

The dining room.  I love the beautiful paneled doors.

Abby Maria's drawing room, where she would entertain.

These photographs were taken in 1894 by the photographer William James Topley, and they can be found, along with several others of the interior of Miss Harmon's School, on the LAC (Library and Archives Canada) website.

This is what the website Ottawagraphy has to say about Abby Maria:

"Following forty years of teaching, Miss Harmon, President of the Harmon School for Girls, founded Harmon Home in 1891. Miss Harmon’s school increased in success, to grow from a day school for girls to The Harmon Home and Day School for Young Ladies with School and Music. It earned recognition throughout the Dominion and the United States. Her curriculum reflected the educational trends of the period, emphasizing music, elocution, literature and other appropriate subjects. Miss Harmon was also the President of the Women’s Foreign Mission Society of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church [Jeffs 1994]."

I also found a report in the Ottawa Daily Citizen, June 20, 1889, on a Harmon School recital.  Here is a partial transcript:

"A large and influential audience greeted Miss Harmon yesterday afternoon at the closing exercises of her deservedly popular school.  The drawing-rooms presented a charming appearance with the floral decorations, and groups of sweet-looking young girls dressed in white.  They merited the applause which they received, for every part of the programme was well carried out, and gave pleasure to all who were present.  

A very excellent programme was offered by the students, both musical and literary, including some admirable selections...The recitations, both in French and German, were distinctly rendered,  and the pronunciation of the young ladies in each language showed that they had received careful instruction from their teachers, Mons. Guignard and Fraulein von Janstch.  The musical numbers were well rendered, the careful fingering and expression showing that they were well and thoroughly drilled.

....After the distribution of prizes Mr. Jas. Fletcher, Dominion Entomologist, who has taken a great interest in developing a taste for botany among the oldest schools, delivered a most interesting, practical address, in which he spoke in the higher terms of the literary excellence of the compositions read, and of the work done in the school.  He gave the young ladies some good advice about studying, that "earnestness, perseverance and method" were essential qualities for every true student to possess, without which success could not be achieved..."

It beats me why the Dominion Entomologist was promoting Botany as a subject.

The article concluded by giving a list of prizes. It appears that Miss Harmon's School for Young Ladies taught and gave prizes for practical arithmetic, mental arithmetic, algebra, physical geography, botany,Ancient History, English history, Scripture history, penmanship, grammar, composition, rhetoric,  Music, Latin, French and German.  Except for the sciences, it sounds like a very complete and real education, not simply a finishing school.

But wait!  Miss Harmon's School is mentioned in Ellen Easton McLeod's book  In Good Hands:  The Women of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild.  

"Rosina J. Barrett's Ottawa School of Art Needlework also trained women for the workforce.  Barrett, who had a diploma in Art Needlework from the Chicago World's Fair, also taught "Kensington Embroidery"  at Miss Harmon's  Home and Day School for Young Ladies and Little Girls.  Incorporated in 1892, Miss Harmon's School added china painting to the curriculum for 1903 and 1904, but seems to have folded, soon after."  (pg. 75)

China painting?  Kensington Embroidery?  That seems a little less academically rigorous. 

Abby Maria was apparently well loved by her former students, but her story ends sadly.  Despite her great career success, she committed suicide by drowning herself on September 19, 1904.  Her remains were taken to Montreal and buried in her mother's grave (she was the only Harmon child to outlive her mother, to whom she was very close).  Abby Maria and Lisette are buried together in the Mount Royal Cemetery in area G 11.