Dear Friend Robert Merry: Letters from nineteenth-century children

How to use this book

1840s: 184118421843184418451846184718481849

1850s: 1850185118521853185418551856185718581859

1860s: 1860186118621863186418651866186718681869

1870s: 187018711872

About the Merry Cousins


Index & gloss


The Cousins’ Greatest Hits

Index & Gloss

Numbers given are those of letters: year.volume in that number(s). All are linked to the letter appearing in this work. Some subjects are explained in a note, with sources.

Page numbers in issues, 1841-1867:

year.1.1-32; January
year.1.33-64; February
year.1.65-96; March
year.1.97-128; April
year.1.129-160; May
year.1.161-192; June
year.2.1-32; July
year.2.33-64; August
year.2.65-96; September
year.2.97-128; October
year.2.129-160; November
year.2.161-192; December

Abbeville, South Carolina

Letter from, 1852.1.126b

Francis Abbot (“Hermit of Niagara”; 1802?-1831), who actually lived at the Falls from 1829 to 1831; he settled in an old house on Iris Island, moving to Prospect Point when a family settled too close. In the evenings he read books in several languages or played music: “It was almost surprising to hear,” Lydia Sigourney asserted, “in such depth of solitude, the long-drawn, thrilling tones of the viol, or the softest melodies of the flute, gushing forth from that low-browed hut, or the guitar, breathing out so lightly, amid the rush and thunder of the never slumbering torrent.” Abbot was a tourist attraction in himself, fascinating visitors by sometimes dangling above the Falls from the end of a long plank, and with the fact that such a well-educated man would become a recluse and a “fervent worshipper” of the Falls, “at every hour of the day or night.” He drowned while swimming. In March 1864, Aunt Sue included a piece on Abbot in her column, “Aunt Sue’s Scrap Bag.”


• Lydia Howard Sigourney. Scenes in My Native Land. Boston: James Munroe & Co., 1844; pp. 154-61.

• Patrick V. McGreevey. Imagining Niagara. Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994.

Aberdeen, Mississippi

Letter from, 1857.2.59a

abolitionist, See John Browneffigies

“About Horses” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; February 1858), with an illustration showing an elegant woman riding, with a dog at her side.


academy, in La Grange, Kentucky, 1849.2.187a

Achilles, Greek hero of the Trojan War. His mother tried to prevent him from going to Troy by sending him in female dress to the court of Lycomedes. Here Odysseus tricked Achilles into revealing his gender by offering jewelry and weapons to the “ladies” of the court; Achilles chose the weapons.


• J. Lempriere. Bibliotheca Classica, 7th American ed. New York: Collins & Hannay, 1832.

activities, of female, 1852.1.125

James Capen Adams (1807-1860), perhaps an alias of John Adams (1812-1860), American showman. Adams pursued several careers before going in 1849 to California, where he made and lost three fortunes in as many years and finally became a hunter of bear, elk, and antelope. Adams captured and exhibited his creatures all over California before establishing the “Pacific Museum” in December 1856. For 50 cents, visitors enjoyed a brass band, twelve bears, elk, deer, ant-eaters, eagles, birds “formerly owned by Lola Montez,” a mammoth pig, stuffed animals—and “Grizzly Adams” himself, who dressed the part in fringed buckskins and moccasins and a deerskin cap ornamented with a foxtail. In January 1860, Adams took his animals to New York City, where he contracted with Phineas T. Barnum to exhibit in connection with Barnum’s museum. An old wound became inflamed as he toured; he died in Massachusetts. The Museum published a section from Adams’ memoirs in September 1865.


• Theodore H. Hittell. The Adventures of James Capen Adams, Mountain and Grizzly Bear Hunter of California, new ed. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1911.

• “Pacific Museum.” The Pacific. San Francisco, California. 21 May 1857.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848): in 1844, Representative from Massachusetts (1831-1848). A vocal opponent of slavery, he was known for fieriness: “The eccentricity of thought and action in Mr. Adams,” Harriet Martineau noted, “… arises from the same honest simplicity which crowns his virtues, mingled with a faulty taste and an imperfect temper.”


• Harriet Martineau. Retrospect of Western Travel. London, Saunders and Otley, 1838; vol 1: 183-184.

Daniel Adams. Arithmetic, in which the principles of operating by numbers are analytically explained and synthetically applied (Keene, NH: J. Prentiss, 1827); also titled Adams’s new arithmetic. A revised edition under the latter title was published by Phillips, Sampson, and Company, Boston, in 1848.



Letter from, 1861.2.120

adults read the Museum, 1854.2.347-3481872.1.294

See also, Merry Cousins—Josiah Cary

“Adventures of a Bubble,” by Alick C. S., 1851.1.96a

“Adventures of a Snow-flake,” 1845.1.186-187

Referred to, 1845.2.285-2861851.1.94

Adventures of Telemachus, novel by Archbishop François de Salignac de la Mothe Fenelon (1699). Accompanied by Minerva in the form of a wise old man, Telemachus searches for his father, Ulysses. During his travels through the Mediterranean world, he encounters almost every deity in the Roman pantheon and learns about wisdom, honor, and the principles of government.


“Adventures of Thomas Trotter”. See “The Travels, Adventures, and Experiences of Thomas Trotter

Aeschylus (c525-456 BCE), Greek soldier and poet, the author of at least 80 plays. His bizarre death was recorded thus by Lemprier: “An eagle, with a tortoise in her bill, flew over his bald head, and supposing it to be a stone, dropped her prey upon it to break the shell, and [Aeschylus] instantly died of the blow ….”


• J. Lempriere. Bibliotheca Classica, 7th American ed. New York: Collins & Hannay, 1832.

Monseigneur Denis-Auguste Affre (1793-1848), archbishop of Paris during the revolution of 1848 whose attempt to talk insurgents into surrendering during a cease-fire ended when shooting started. He was apparently killed by government troops.


• Frederick De Luna. The French Republic Under Cavaignac, 1848. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1969; pp. 148.


anecdote of, 1848.2.1591853.1.130-131, 1857.1.29-30

speech pattern of, 1853.1.130-1311857.1.29-30

speech pattern parodied, 1848.2.63

mulattoes, subject of story, 1848.2.93-94


in Iowa, 1853.1.98a

in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1853.1.131

in Colchester, New York, 1858.2.158-159

Alabama, 1850.2.186

Letters from : 1848.2.159

Blakeley, 1856.1.189-190

Eufaula, 1855.2.125b

Mobile, U. S. Frigate Potomac, 1862.1.27b

Oak Bowery, 1855.2.28b

Rocky Mount, 1852.2.63

Selma, 1855.1.89a1855.2.94a1858.1.1881859.1.92

Spring Hill, 1849.1.160

Wetumpka, 1850.2.186


Letter from, 1852.1.127a

Albion, New York

Letter from, 1856.1.60c

album, sentiment for requested, 1858.2.28-29

Album : Photographic albums were kept by editors John N. Stearns and Susanna Newbould; they quickly filled with photographs of the Cousins


algebra. See That Problem

Alida, Illinois

Letter from, 51.1.158b

“All About Eyes,” by Ichabod, 1856.2.94b

Altior Place, Louisiana

Letter from, 1860.2.124

amateur publication

“Home Casket,” 1858.1.187

American Revolution

Boston Tea Party, 1863.1.121

anagram, subscriber makes of name, 1846.2.123-124

Ancient History extracts (in Robert Merry’s Museum), 1853.1.98c

Robert Anderson (1805-1871), Union commander at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, who refused to hand over the fort to the state of South Carolina after it seceded on 20 December 1860. However, 34 hours of bombardment by batteries outside Charleston, forced him to surrender on 14 April 1861. Promoted to Brigadier General, Anderson commanded the Department of Kentucky and the Department of the Cumberland, retiring in October 1863. He was present at Ft. Sumter on 14 April 1865, at the celebration of its retaking by the Union.


anecdotes, suggested for Chat, 1864.2.185

See also appleBiblecanarycaterpillarchickadeeschickenchildchild’s interpretation of Biblechipping birdCassius M. ClaydogeditorfearfireflyFuseligeographySamuel G. Goodrichhorse; horseback ridingkittenLatinmartinMerry Cousins—MemomerchantreadingRobert Merry’s MuseumRomeo and JulietroosterschoolshoemakersnowsoldiersugarSunday Schoolsweet potatoZachary TaylorSilas Wright

“Anecdotes of Birds” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; May 1849), an illustrated article describing the behavior of everything from sparrows to ostriches.



in Texas, 1854.1.126-127

kindness to extolled, 1858.1.153a

wild, in exhibit, 1858.1.152

Ann Arbor

Letters from, 1859.1.125a

Michigan, 1858.1.125a1858.2.1271859.2.92-93

Anoka, Minnesota

Letter from, 1859.2.126b

Marie Antoinette, sympathy for, 1850.2.188a


anecdote of, 1853.2.127b

in Iowa, 1853.1.98a

Aristippus (c435-350 BCE): philosopher and student of Socrates. Diogenes describes him as a man content with what he had and more concerned with the pleasures of life than with money; Lempriere notes that he “distinguished himself for his epicurean voluptuousness.” A grandson by the same name espoused his philosophy.


• J. Lempriere. Bibliotheca Classica, 7th American ed. New York: Collins & Hannay, 1832.

Arithmetic and Its Applications (Dana Pond Colburn), 1857.1.120a

Aroostook War, in Mathews: “A controversy (1836-39) which threatened war between the U. S. and Gt. Britain over the northeastern bounds of the U. S.”


• Mitford M. Mathews, ed. A Dictionary of Americanisms On Historical Principles. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1951.

art, criticism of, 1867.2.93

Ashtabula, Ohio

Letter from, 1857.2.93b

Asphodel plantation, Louisiana, 1851.1.93

Astor House, New York, New York, hotel built by John Jacob Astor which opened on 31 May 1836. Costing $350,000, it was the wonder of its time, with 309 rooms filled with black walnut furniture, 17 “bathing rooms”, and a staff of over 100. Under the proprietorship of Charles Stetson, the efficiency of the staff astonished travellers: “[T]here is more order and regularity good attendance than in almost any country inn that I ever saw,” said one, “ … yet for board, lodging, and attendance the price is only two dollars a day; it seems to me quite incomprehensible.”


• “Astor House,” The New-Yorker. 1 (4 June 1836): 173.

• Jefferson Williamson. The American Hotel. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1930; pp. 33, 49.

• John Robert Godley. Letters from America. London: John Murray, 1844; vol 2: 36.

• Matthew Hale Smith. Sunshine and Shadow in New York. Hartford, Connecticut: J. B. Burr & Co., 1869; p. 322.

David Rice Atchison (1807-1886): lawyer and U.S. senator from Missouri (1843-1855). Fervently pro-slavery, he fought to neutralize the Missouri Compromise and was influential in passing the Kansas-Nebraska Act. In 1855-1856, he led Missouri border ruffians into Kansas Territory; in Texas during the Civil War, Atchison supported the Confederacy. After the War, he returned to Missouri and became a farmer.


Atlantic, probably the Atlantic Monthly (Boston: Atlantic Monthly Co., 1857-), which published works on literature, politics, and art.


Atlantic cable: After two unsuccessful attempts, a telegraph cable was laid across the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, beginning in 1854. A failure and a break in the cable later, in 1858 2,500 miles of cable had been laid across uneven ocean bottom, in spite of ocean currents. New York celebrated success with fireworks, a torch-light procession, and building decorations. Also, with souvenirs: sections of the cable were incorporated into jewelry, paperweights, the handles of paper-knives, and the heads of canes. The Museum celebrated with two articles.



Letters from, 1852.2.126a

Kansas, 1861.1.91a

Mississippi, 1856.2.123

“Aunt Sally,” by M. S. P., 1852.1.190

Aunt Sue’s Poem: Editor Susanna Newbould offered a long poem in October 1858, answering several riddles; she replied to a subscriber’s criticism of her poem with a worse one: “One would think I had been perpetrating something like this:

‘In that spasmodic region, where mankind

Are deeply synchronous and vaguely blind;

Where elemental anodynes prevail,

And Stygian carboys ventilate the sail; … ’

Now, have I ever done anything as terrible as that?” (1859.1.123)


Aunt Sue’s Puzzle Drawer, 1860.1.187b1861.1.56a1861.1.56-57

Aunt Sue’s Complete Puzzler (New York: T. W. Strong, 1859), a 118-page collection of word puzzles, was advertised in the March 1859 issue of the Museum. Under various titles—including The Santa Claus’ Book of Games and Puzzles (1864)—it was reprinted into the 1880s.


“The Autobiography of a Geranium,” by E. B.C ., 1852.1.127a


collecting, 1843.2.64

requested, 1858.2.28-29


in Connecticut, 1860.1.61

See also, weather

“An Awkward Situation” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; September 1855), paraphrased from a work on British birds. A hunter on mud flats is caught by an abnormally high tide. Jamming his gun into the mud, he clutches this anchor for several hours as the water rises to his neck and then recedes.


Dr. Ayers (spiritualist?), 1856.2.26-27

Mr. Babbit, tutor, Pasture Plantation, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, 1849.2.63

baby, subject of poem, 1856.1.881860.1.92-93

bachelor uncle, image of, 1859.1.94

badge: A pin made available in 1864, which featured an open book with “M” on either page. It was available round or oval, in silver or in gold; engravings appeared in the January 1864 issue. The pins cost between $1.50 and $6; they were also premiums for those finding new subscribers for the Museum. The design was later used for stationery sold by the Museum’s publishers.




in Franklin, Connecticut, 2 October, 1857.2.153-154

in Hartford, Connecticut, 4 July, 1854.2.311

in Detroit, Michigan, 1852.1.94

electric balloon: subscriber “invents,” 1852.1.191b

“Balloon Travels” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1851-1856): “Balloon Travels Around the World.” This series of imaginary balloon trips—Robert Merry felt too old for the real thing—took Merry and five representative readers around the world. At each point, Merry would tell the children about the region’s history and geography. He also found time to advise readers on morality, economics, and the glories of America.


See also Roderick

Baltimore, Maryland

image of during Civil War, 1861.2.92-931862.1.1871862.2.28

during Civil War, 1862.1.187

Letters from, 1855.1.91-921856.1.581857.1.62-631858.1.621859.2.157, 1861.2.92-931862.1.187

Maryland, 1855.2.94b


Letter from, 1846.1.190-192

Nathaniel Banks (1816-1894), member of Congress, governor of Massachusetts, and Union soldier. Because as a child he went to work in a cotton-mill instead of attending school, he was nicknamed the “Bobbin Boy of Massachusetts”; many admired him for becoming educated in spite of incredible odds. Banks entered Congress in 1853, and eventually was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was anti-slavery; his election as Speaker was seen as a major defeat for pro-slavery forces.



joke about, 1856.2.124

P. T. Barnum (1810-1891), great American showman. In 1842, he opened the American Museum in New York, New York. Barnum was a natural showman, masterfully promoting Jenny Lind—a woman he’d never heard sing—and keeping an elephant at his house in Connecticut, to pull a plow whenever a train passed on the nearby railway. In 1871, Barnum opened a circus that became world famous.


Barnum’s American Museum, owned by P. T. Barnum, advertised in the Museum ; a description of it appeared in the magazine in 1857 and 1858. An especially devastating fire in 1868 closed the Museum forever.


baseball: Developing from games played in England, the sport had several versions in the U. S., among them “old cat,” “barn ball,” and “rounders”. In the 1840s and 1850s, two major styles of play—the Massachusetts and New York styles—developed. The New York style spread widely, especially during the Civil War, when many young soldiers became baseball enthusiasts after playing the game in camp.



Letter from, 1861.2.120-121

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Letter from, 1844.2.31-32

battle between the sexes, 1856.2.122a1856.2.122-123

battles: Ball’s Bluff, Virginia (21 October 1861): engagement between Union forces commanded by Col. Edward D. Baker and Confederate forces commanded by Col. Nathan George Evans, at Ball’s Bluff, Virginia, on 21 October 1861. Ambushed after a 45-minute crossing of the Potomac River, Union forces were hindered by the muddy morass of the riverbank and by the fact that quick escape across the river was impossible. They suffered enormous losses: 49 dead, 158 wounded, and 714 captured or missing.


• John S. C. Abbott. The History of the Civil War in America. Springfield, Massachusetts: Gurdon Bill, 1863; vol i: 217, 218.

• Mark M. Boatner The Civil War Dictionary, rev. ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1988.

in Mobile Bay, Alabama (5 August 1864), Admiral David Farragut’s Union fleet captured three important forts here. Alabama’s only seaport, the Bay was guarded not only by well-armed forts, but by two lines of torpedoes that forced ships to pass near Fort Morgan. Farragut’s fleet consisted of four iron-clad monitors—including the U. S. S. Tecumseh, where Henry A. Danker was assistant surgeon—and fourteen wooden steamers lashed together in pairs. As the fleet advanced past Confederate gunboats, it drew heavy fire; at one point, said an observer, “the whole of Mobile Point was a living line of flame.” After the Tecumseh hit a mine and sank with almost all hands, one ship hesitated; Farragut ordered his own ship ahead with words that became famous: “Damn the torpedoes! Jouett, full speed! Four bells, Captain Drayton.” Besides those on the Tecumseh, Union casualties included 52 dead and 170 wounded; casualties in the Confederate fleet included 12 dead and 25 wounded.


• Commodore Foxhall A. Parker. The Battle of Mobile Bay. Boston: A. Williams & Co., 1878.

Turner’s Farm, Virginia (31 May 1864), 1864.2.183

Battle of New Orleans. See Andrew Jackson

Bayou Sara, Louisiana

Letter from, 1855.2.90b

bear, in exhibit, 1858.1.152

beards, 1845.1.189-190

Carl Bedenken, title character in “Carl; or, A Story without an End” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1857-1858). This enthusiastic boy learns the value of study in his quest to understand the natural world he loves, though his big dog, Carlo, remains the wiser of the two. Apparently ending in mid-scene, “Carl” is indeed a “story without an end.”


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), American theologian and writer. A knack for showmanship and oratory made Beecher a magnetic Congregationalist preacher whose sermons were widely published; he contributed pieces to various newspapers, including the New York Ledger, where early chapters of Norwood appeared a year before the complete novel was published.


Beechgrove, Iowa

Letter from, 1858.1.29-30


female: 1861.2.58b1861.2.120-121

appropriate, in Oakhill, Virginia, 1860.1.94b

female compared with male, 1861.2.58a1863.1.58-59

“lady” contrasted with girl, 1861.2.23-24

male compared with female, 1861.2.58a1863.1.58-59

Belvidere, New Jersey

Letter from, 1846.1.60-61

Ben (hunter in Genesee County, New York), 1856.1.31

berries: in East Windsor Hill, Connecticut, 1855.2.29a


as guide for character, 1867.2.91

anecdotes, 1865.1.1561867.2.91

copy from 1608, 1872.1.243-244

pun, 1862.1.26-27

Hammatt Billings (1816-1874), American artist, designer, illustrator, architect, and watercolor painter who exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum, 1859-1873 (George C. Croce and David H. Wallace. The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1957). In 1842, his version of an iguanodon was probably the first dinosaur picture published in an American magazine for children; in 1844 he reimagined the cover for the Museum.



Letters from, 1864.2.126-1271867.2.62

“Biography of a Pin,” by J. M. P., 1845.2.285-286

“Bird Battle” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; August 1858), a poem by Robert Oakley. When a battle between birds is halted by a rain shower, the author suggests that human battles also can be quelled “hydraulically.”



as pets, 1857.1.119-120

nest found in Fort Beaulieu after battle, 1865.1.88-89

See also blue jaycanarychickadeeschickenchipping birdlarkmartinswallows


subject of poem, 1849.2.30-31

gift, 1849.2.30-311855.2.94a

of subscriber, 1851.2.160

Daniel Bixby, bookseller at 142 Merrimack, Lowell, Massachusetts, from at least 1847-1849; in 1849 he was listed as “Bixby & Co.”


The Lowell Directory and Almanac for 1847. Lowell: Oliver March, 1847.

The Lowell Directory and Business Key, for 1849. Lowell: Oliver March, 1849.

Black Rock, New York, village four miles north of Buffalo, New York.


• Samuel Griswold Goodrich. A Pictorial History of America. Hartford: House & Brown, 1848; p. 232.


Letter from, 1856.1.189-190

Louis Blanc (1811-1882), French journalist and socialist theorist. He came to national attention after publishing a work theorizing how workers could create a democratic state. Under the Provisional Government formed in February 1848, he was appointed to head a commission set up to study labor problems, but reaction to the revolution of June 1848 caused him to flee into exile.


blind man’s buff; blind man’s bluff, a game in which a blindfolded player must catch another player and guess her identity.


Bloomfield, New Jersey

Letter from, 1856.2.26

blue jay, 1850.2.127-128

Blue Point oysters, 1849.1.125

Barbara Blythe, title character in “Barbara Blythe”, by Sophie May (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; August 1861). Quick at learning, Barbara enjoys helping a disabled student with his studies, thus allowing him to win a school prize.


boarding school, 1863.2.89-90

female, 1849.1.1561849.2.62-631850.2.187-1881852.2.126b1859.1.189

female orphans, 1853.1.98b

male, 1849.1.61-621850.2.30a

New York, 1855.1.29

in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, female, 1849.2.62-63

in Rome, Georgia, female, 1849.1.156

orphan, female, 1853.1.98b

in Bergen, New Jersey, male, 1849.1.61-62

in Cornwall, New York, male, 1855.1.29

Quaker, 1854.1.159

boat: coal, in Selma, Alabama, 1855.1.89a

Passenger vessels, see Bois d’Arc ; EuropaMaid of KentuckySouth-Western. Military vessels, see CourierGalenaMerrimac #2North CarolinaPatapscoPotomacSonomaTecumsehWinona

Bois d’Arc (steamboat), 182-ton sidewheel steamer built in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1843. In 1844 she landed at Shreveport, Port Caddo, Natchitoches, and Alexandria; her master was J. Smoker. She was lost in 1847.


• William M. Lytle, comp. Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States. Mystic, Connecticut: The Steamship Historical Society of America, 1952; p. 21.

Advertisements of Lower Mississippi River Steamboats, 1812-1920, comp. Leonard V. Huber. West Barrington, Rhode Island: The Steamship Historical Society of America, 1959; p. 11.

Bois de Boulogne, Paris, France, a “thick and beautiful” wood two miles from Paris in 1851. Though “long known as a place for duelling and suicides,” it also was a place “where the most splendid equipages and finest horses of the capital are displayed.”


Galignani’s New Paris Guide for 1851. Paris: A. & W. Galignani & Co., 1851; pp. 511-512.

Dick Boldhero (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1844), protagonist in “Dick Boldhero,” a popular serial. Dick’s father dies after being bankrupted by an unscrupulous business partner, and Dick journeys through South America in search of his wealthy uncle. After adventures teaching the reader about the continent’s land, people, and wildlife, Dick realizes that those who do evil receive retribution. The serial was reprinted in book form in 1845 (Philadelphia: Sorin & Ball).


Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (1808-1873), Napoleon III, emperor of France (1852-1870). After a failed attempt to overthrow King Louis Philippe, he was imprisoned until his escape in 1846. The revolt in Feb 1848 succeeded where he had failed, and Louis Napoleon was elected President of the Republic in December 1848; with the approval of the French people, he seized power in a coup d’état in December 1851. A new constitution soon followed, and the Empire was officially re-established in December 1852.


Napoleon Bonaparte represented by canary, 1850.1.63

bonfire, Independence Day, in Hartford, Connecticut, 1854.2.311

bonnet, straw, 1852.1.127b

books: as Christmas gift, 1856.1.186-187

read by subscriber, 1842.1.89-901842.1.1591843.2.64, 1851.1.128b1857.1.1901864.2.62, 1864.2.921864.2.157a, 1867.2.156-1571868.1.115-116

subscriber earning money for, 1859.1.156-157

book store, in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1848.2.31

Boone County, Missouri

Letter from, 1860.1.92-93

Border Ruffians attack Parkville, Missouri, 1868.1.166


Letters from, 1848.2.631849.2.93, 1849.2.95-961855.2.157-1581856.1.29, 1856.1.1871861.1.56a1861.1.56-57, 1867.1.1221867.2.61a1871.2.243-244

South Boston, 1858.1.1871860.1.187b

botanical garden, Paris, France, 1851.2.63-64

Tuilerie Gardens, Paris, France, and declaration of Republic, 1851.2.92-93. See also gardens

Bottle-Nose (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1848-1850), a character mentioned in “Billy Bump in Boston.” This Native American neighbor of the Bump family gives Billy a raccoonskin cap that gets the boy into trouble on a trip to Boston; he also provides stories of cleverness overcoming brute strength and of the beautiful land awaiting the good after death.


The Boy’s Reading-Book; in Prose and Poetry, for Schools, by Lydia Howard Sigourney (New York: J. Orville Taylor, 1839). This collection of stories, essays, and poems seeks to teach lessons “of republican simplicity, of the value of time, of the rewards of virtue, [and] of the duties of this life”, interspersed with information about such subjects as trees, sea creatures, and insects.


bread making, 1861.2.120-1211862.1.26-27


Letter from, 1855.1.90

briefness of life subject of poem, 1857.2.27-28

British flag complained about, 1855.1.158-159


Letters from, 1846.1.190b1852.1.1901854.2.3761855.1.122a1857.1.154-1551859.1.189-1901860.2.122-1231861.1.881861.1.1841861.2.1821862.1.153a1863.1.591863.2.1221863.2.1241864.1.1251865.1.59a1865.2.154

Connecticut, 1860.2.581860.2.121-122

Michigan, 1851.1.128a

New York, 1853.1.99a1857.1.119-1201860.2.88

Ohio, 1866.1.591866.1.155

U. S. S. Courier, 1864.1.93

Charles Brooks, Elements of Ornithology (Boston: J. Munroe & Co.; New York: C. S. Francis & Co., 1847).


Preston Smith Brooks (1819-1857), rabidly anti-North U. S. senator from South Carolina (1853-1857). Brooks took issue with remarks by Charles Sumner, of Massachusetts, and, on 22 May 1856, physically attacked him with a cane on the floor of the Senate. Sumner was permanently disabled, but a measure to expell Brooks failed to pass with a two-thirds majority. During a later heated debate with a Massachusetts senator, Brooks challenged him to a duel in Canada, but failed to show up, as he would—in his words—have had to “pass through the enemy’s country” to get to the duel. Subsequently mocked in a poem, Brooks resigned; his constituents unanimously re-elected him.


probably 1857.1.119

Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, ed. James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1888. (Repr. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1968.)

John Brown (1800-1859), American abolitionist. In 1855, Brown followed his sons to Kansas, where abolitionist beliefs seized him completely. In October 1859, he put into operation plans to develop a free state for blacks, leading 21 men in a failed raid to seize weapons for his enterprise from the U. S. armory at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Brown was hung after a trial in which he impressed onlookers with his dignity. Subscriber Robert W. North was in the militia group that captured Brown and stood guard at his execution; subscriber P. A. P.’s father was present at the execution.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), English poet who began to publish in 1826.


bubble, subject of story, 1851.1.96a

James Buchanan, satirized by monkey, 1858.1.152

battle of Buena Vista: During the war between the U. S. and Mexico, on 23 February 1847 then General Zachary Taylor led a force of about 5000 Americans into battle against about 20,000 Mexican soldiers. After a day of what Taylor later described as “the severest contest which he had ever witnessed,” both armies held the same position they had that morning; that night, however, the Mexican army retreated. “Few victories … have been more remarkable,” Samuel Goodrich told young readers a year later, “ … what the Americans lacked in point of numbers they were determined to supply by superior skill and characteristic bravery.”


• Samuel Griswold Goodrich. A Pictorial History of America. Hartford: House & Brown, 1848; pp. 793-794.


Letters from, 1853.2.127c1856.1.60a

New York, 1855.2.90a

Billy and Lucy Bump (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1848-1850), characters in “Billy Bump in Boston” (1848-1849), “Billy Bump Off for California” (1849), and three “Letters from Billy Bump” (1850). In humorous letters between Billy and his mother at home in Sundown, country-bumpkin Billy describes his efforts to fit into the social and cultural life of his Boston relatives and to impress his cousin, Lucy. Billy’s adventures allow the author to comment on society and to teach the reader good manners and ethics. A raccoonskin cap given Billy by an old friend temporarily makes him an object of derision, but he gains the respect of his tormentors. He also gained the respect of his readers, who defended Billy’s blunders and his awkward attempts at poetry. When the family fortunes fail, Billy is off for the gold fields of California and for adventures that teach him and the readers the evils of greed and of immoral living.

See also Bottle-Nose

1848.2.1601849.1.62-631849.1.641849.1.951849.1.152-1531849.1.153-1541849.2.641849.2.1271849.2.1881850.1.32a1850.1.32b1850.1.63, 1850.1.63-641850.1.127a1850.1.127-128, 1850.1.1591850.2.311850.2.64, 1851.1.32a1851.1.931851.1.127b1851.1.128a1851.2.95-961851.2.1601852.1.631852.1.941852.1.191b

story inspires bet, 1850.1.32b

Bunker Hill, battle of, anniversary celebrated, 1857.2.56


Letters from Iowa, 1853.1.98a

Vermont, 1855.2.123

Burmah, subscriber born there, 1851.2.95

Robert Burns (1759-1796): Scottish poet. His poetry was full of rustic images and dialect, often beautiful and sometimes very funny. The Museum included two articles on him and reprinted “John Anderson, My John”.


General Benjamin Franklin Butler (1818-1893), U. S. congressman from Massachusetts and Civil War general. He formed a regiment immediately after Fort Sumter was fired upon. His military career was marked by cleverness and controversy: in 1861 he occupied Baltimore, Maryland, with only 900 troops; put in charge of the Union occupation of New Orleans in 1862, Butler preserved the peace, but through controversial actions, and he may have been involved in financial irregularities. In 1863 he commanded the Army of the James.


butter, Glades, in Pennsylvania, 1849.2.94a

“Butterfly and the Frost” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; September 1845), “Peter Parley’s Story of the Butterfly and the Frost.” In this retelling of Aesop’s fable of the grasshopper and the ant, a butterfly who preens before a hard-working ant dies after the first frost. The ant declaims on this fall of “mirth and pride”—and eats the butterfly.


Cadets of Temperance, American temperance organization for children, originally founded in Pennsylvania in 1846; in 1847, the organization had 12,000 members in 22 states.


• Ernest Hurst Cherrington, ed. Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem. Westerville, Ohio: American Issue Publishing Co., 1924.

Cæsar, subscriber studies, 1849.2.94a1855.2.29a1856.2.186

Cairo, Illinois

Letter from, 1858.1.127


Letter from, 1855.1.158-159

John Caldwell Calhoun (1782-1850), U. S. vice-president, secretary of war, and secretary of state. He was vice-president of the U. S. twice, the second time under Andrew Jackson. As abolitionism began to take hold of the country, he became one of the South’s strongest advocates; when Congress worked to prevent the spread of slavery to the new territories, Calhoun argued that a citizen moving to those territories was entitled to carry with him any property he owned—even if that property were human.


California: gold rush, 1849.1.154-1551849.2.29-301849.2.127-1281850.1.32a

image of, 1861.2.93b

life in, 1861.2.93b

Letters from : San Francisco, 1858.1.152

San Juan, 1861.2.93b


Letters from, 1845.2.285-286

Massachusetts, 1867.2.93


Letter from, 1849.1.64

Cameron Mills

Letter from, 1858.2.126

Thomas Campbell (1774-1844), English poet who wrote “Gertrude of Wyoming” (1809), a long poem about the Wyoming Massacre which details the childhood and tragic death of its title character in a landscape more Arcadian than Pennsylvanian.



image of, 1846.2.124-125

Letter from : Clarenceville, Canada East, 1846.2.124-125

“Canadian Boat Song” (Thomas More), a cheerful song written in 1805, about traveling to the Grand Portage by the Utawas River. It was written to a traditional boatman’s tune.



in Washington, DC, 1849.2.126

Kanawha, 1851.1.32b

Wabash & Erie, 1854.1.31b


anecdote of, 1851.2.95-96

as pet, 1858.2.126

exhibited in Baltimore, Maryland, 1850.1.63

named for Robert Merry, 1855.2.93b

Cannelton, Iowa

Letter from, 1855.2.126

Cape Lookout

Letter from, 1850.1.190

capitol, of Ohio, dedicated, 1857.1.93

“The Caravan” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; July 1849), story. Opening as a treatise on caravans in the African desert, the piece becomes a romance in which a Persian youth battles bandits and rescues his beloved from slavery. It was reprinted as “The Pearl of the Palace” in in Parley’s Present for All Seasons (New York: Appleton & Co., 1854).



female, 1856.1.187-1881856.1.188

plans: of female subscriber, 1859.1.156b

as writer, 1850.1.157-159. of male subscriber, 1869.1.50

subscriber’s: telegraph operator, 1865.1.94

Carlinville, Illinois

Letter from, 1856.1.157

Carly (dog), 1859.1.154-155

Carmel, New York

Letter from, 1841.2.127

“Carnival of Venice,” an 18th-century Italian folksong that was a 19th-century concert staple; among those who put words to the tune was Thomas Moore.


Kit Carson; Christopher Carson (1809-1868), American guide. At age 15 he ran away from home to join an expedition to Santa Fe. An expedition that roamed the Southwest from 1829-1831 made him a trapper. After the death of his wife, Carson brought his daughter to Missouri to live with his family; here he met John Fremont, whom he guided on the expedition that made Fremont famous. Carson was active in California during the war between the U. S. and Mexico; afterward he ran a farm, dictated his memoirs, and was an Indian agent.



Letter from, 1856.2.30

General Lewis Cass (1782-1866): soldier, governor of Michigan (1813-1831), U. S. senator from Michigan (1849-1857) and secretary of state (1857-1860). Cass bought 500 acres near the mouth of the Detroit River and received 1200 more as a bounty.



Letter from, 1850.2.159

Castleton, Vermont

Letter from, 1852.2.32


1842.1.89-901849.2.31-32, 1850.2.631851.2.1601857.1.91-92, 1859.1.611861.1.1241861.2.120, 1865.2.1211871.2.99

subject of poem, 1851.1.95

subject of pun, 1859.1.61

See also KitkittenThomas Dydimus

“The Cat and the Kittens” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; June 1850), illustrated piece on the value of cats.


caterpillar, in anecdote of child, 1866.2.94

Catiline (c108-62 BCE), Roman noble who after losing a consulship conspired to plunder Rome’s treasury, murder its senators, and destroy the city. He was killed in a battle between his army and Roman troops.


General Louis-Eugene Cavaignac (1802-1857), French general and chief-executive of France (1848). He was a moderate republican: pro-worker, but anti-socialism. Appointed Ministry of War under the Provisional Government formed in Feb 1848, he commanded the forces against the insurgents in June 1848. Faced by mounting violence, the National Assemby declared Paris in a state of siege and gave Cavaignac full executive authority. He halted the insurrection through stern measures. After the crisis was over, the National Assembly reinvested him with executive power until Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was elected; during the six months, he attempted some social reforms.



in Georgia, 1849.1.62-63

in Bergen, New Jersey, 1849.1.61-62

See also Howe’s cave

Cave Spring, Georgia

Letter from, 1849.1.62-63

Cedar Point, Chase County, Kansas, described, 1861.2.93a

Centreville, Michigan

Letter from, 1852.1.64a

Chang and Eng (1811-1874), born joined at the chest by a piece of cartilage. Taken in 1829 to the U. S. from what was then called “Siam,” the young men were such a sensation that they earned enough exhibiting themselves to retire to a plantation in North Carolina, where they married sisters and fathered 21 children between them. Afterward, “Siamese twins” became the common term for conjoined twins.


Charles I (1600-1649), king of Great Britain and Ireland.


Charleston, Tennessee

Letter from, 1856.1.188

U. S. Steamer Sonoma, 1865.1.88-89

shelling of mentioned, 1861.2.25


Letter from, 1857.2.56

the Chat: the monthly letters column of the Museum .

Chat as gathering place, 1861.1.1561862.1.188

as medium of consolation, 1862.1.24-251862.1.155-1561865.1.186-187

as “secret society,” 1865.1.89-90

effect of, 1865.2.27a

long-time subscribers accused of crowding out newer, 1863.2.28

meaning of to subscriber, 1865.2.1231866.1.58-59

reading of, 1867.2.58

subject of poem, 1868.1.164-165

subscriber “drugs” editor to keep from editing letter, 1861.2.59

suggestions for Chat, 1846.1.59-601864.2.185, 1867.1.1221867.2.58-591867.2.156-157

Letters to :

authenticity of questioned, 1851.2.941852.1.64a, 1852.1.128b1853.2.187b1867.1.122

bad, parodied, 1849.2.61

complaints about, 1867.1.122

edited to keep peace in the Chat, 1859.2.60-611866.1.90-91

exchange of, 1863.2.155-156

in form of poem, 1855.1.187-1881865.2.27a1868.1.164-165

written to earn subscription, 1850.2.186

Letter writing described, 1842.1.89-901846.1.190a1850.1.1901855.1.186-1871856.1.31, 1856.1.1881856.2.122a1857.2.153-154

relative writes for subscriber:

cousin, 1852.1.128d

father, 1850.2.188a51.1.158b

mother, 1850.2.159

sister, 1843.2.641850.1.32c, 1853.1.99a1856.2.123

Subscriber’s first letter is written for Chat, 1850.1.127-1281851.2.1601854.2.3141868.1.166

Reactions to letters:

Bella Bassett, 1856.2.26-27

Black-Eyes, 1858.2.155-156

Alice B. Corner, 1856.2.26-271856.2.122-123

Cousin Jennie, 1865.2.156

Lizzy G., 1850.1.631852.2.30

Hawthorne, 1859.2.185b1860.1.60-611860.2.27

Mattie, 1856.2.122b

Nonpareil Smallcaps1850.1.63-64

P. A. P., 1851.2.94

Pansy, 1857.1.63

Sammy Sassafras, 1850.1.32a

Sigma, 1857.1.59-60

Tennessean, 1858.1.126a1858.1.153d1859.1.93a, 1865.1.1571865.2.1201866.1.59

reaction to his unideal wife, 1859.2.60

Wilforley, 1861.1.1231861.1.1241861.1.153-154, 1861.1.1561861.1.1841861.2.23-24

See also “Merry Cousins

Cherokee Nation

Letter from : Park Hill, 1857.1.158

Cherokees, leaving Georgia, 1849.1.62-63

Cherokee subscriber. See Merry Cousins—Cousin Sally

Cherry Grove

Letter from, 1865.1.186-187


Letter from, 1860.1.94a

Chester, New York

Letter from, 1850.2.188a


gift to editor, 1841.2.187

subscriber sells to earn subscription, 1850.2.159

chestnutting, 1857.1.120b

“Chestnutting,” by Cousin Hannah (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; February 1857). Part of a continuing series of stories featuring the Hiram Hatchet family, this illustrated story follows them as they hunt for chestnuts.


Cheyenne nation, in West, 1849.2.127-128

Chicago, Illinois

contrasted with country, 1856.2.1251857.2.185

fair, 1864.1.90

Letters from, 1856.2.931856.2.1251857.2.1851858.1.1221858.1.153d1858.2.1251865.1.1571865.2.27a

chickadees, anecdote of, 1852.1.94-95

Chickasaw, in Texas, 1859.2.60

Chickasaw pony, 1854.1.126-127

Chickasaw subscriber, activities of, 1859.2.60

chicken, 1844.1.125-1261868.1.419

anecdote of, 1845.1.63a1851.2.64, 1856.2.301857.2.58

philosophical question about, 1858.1.92b

Shanghaes, anecdote of, 1858.1.188-189

subject of story, 1845.2.222-223

Jonas Chickering (1798-1853), American piano maker. In 1823 he and a partner formed a piano-making company which eventually he owned. Chickering’s claim to fame was in the improvements he made in manufacturing. In 1851 his factory was on Washington Street, in Boston; when it burned in 1852, he built elsewhere in Boston a factory that was at the time the second largest building in the U. S.



as “pet,” 1867.2.58

anecdotes of, 1842.2.631851.1.96b1858.2.1271859.1.125b1864.2.1851865.1.89-901865.1.931865.1.155b1865.2.251865.2.591865.2.91a1865.2.91b1867.1.911867.1.1881867.2.29-301867.2.581867.2.61b1867.2.126

and Bible verse, 1867.2.91

and cat, 1865.2.121

and caterpillar, 1866.2.94

and firefly, 1865.2.59

and Romeo and Juliet, 1868.1.287

and snow, 1866.2.94

and sweet potatoes, 65.2.91; interpretation of Bible, anecdote of, 1865.1.156

learning to read, 1867.2.60b

of child’s fear, 1865.1.89-90

of school, 1867.2.60a

of school child, 1867.2.61b

younger sister, 1855.2.29b

sister’s reaction to, 1865.1.59b

childhood, importance of, 1867.2.91

“Childhood’s Home” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; April 1849), poem by R. Morris. A man remembers the place where he spent his childhood.


Chili, New York

Letter from, 1857.2.157b

china-tree, 1849.2.94-95

Chinese, in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1853.1.131

chipping-bird, probably the chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina ).


Choctaw Nation, Wheeloch: Letter from, 1852.1.159

Choctaw subscriber, male, activities and belief system of, 1852.1.159

cholera, in Selma, Alabama, 1855.2.94a

chores, 1853.1.35-36

Christianity, importance of, 1867.2.91

Christmas: 1859.2.155-1561861.1.56a

image of, 1860.1.29


in Brooklyn, 1852.1.190

in East Windsor Hill, Connecticut, 1856.1.90-91

in Marksville, Louisiana, 1854.1.60b

in Baltimore, Maryland, 1857.1.62-63

in Hopedale, Massachusetts, 1854.1.60a

in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, 1853.1.66

in Buffalo, New York, 1856.1.60a

in Cornwall, New York, 1855.1.59

in North Carolina, 1853.1.66-67

in Memphis, Tennessee, 1855.1.58-59

in Fredericksburg, Texas, 1854.1.126-127

Christmas Eve, falling on Sunday is celebrated on Saturday, 1854.1.60a • is celebrated on Monday, 1855.1.58-59

gift: 1852.1.1901853.1.661853.2.311856.1.186-1871858.1.1881859.1.93-941859.2.155-1561860.1.29

subscriber uses to pay for Museum, 1852.1.128d

poem: 1855.1.58-591855.1.91-92

recreation: 1865.1.60

stocking: 1859.2.155-1561860.1.291861.1.56a

tree: 1855.1.59

in Brooklyn, 1852.1.190

in East Windsor Hill, Connecticut, 1856.1.90-91

in Marksville, Louisiana, 1854.1.60b

in Hopedale, Massachusetts, 1854.1.60a

in school, 1864.2.126


attendance at, 1867.2.62

Mission Conception, Texas, 1854.1.126-127

Cicero (106-43 BCE), Roman politician, orator, and intellectual. When he gained a consulship Catiline coveted, the latter plotted to kill him and the other senators and to destroy the city of Rome; Cicero confronted Catiline in the senate and saw to the executions of Catiline’s conspirators, a political blunder that led to his temporary exile. Cicero’s four orations on Catiline’s actions are eloquent with ire; “On Old Age” is a calm and well-reasoned exploration of the inherent dignity and pleasures of old age. The Museum published an article on Cicero in February 1847.


Cité Vindé hotel, Paris, France, 1849.2.158-160

city contrasted with country, 1855.2.28a1855.2.60a1855.2.911855.2.126-1271856.2.29

Chicago, Illinois, 1856.2.125

New York, New York, 1860.2.58

Civil War, 1862.1.24

supposed to end by November, 1861.2.182

Images of:

as metaphor for battle of the sexes in the Chat, 1861.2.92

equated with American Revolution, 1863.2.123

as cleansing the nation, 1865.2.58a

Death in, 1865.1.27

as sacred, 1865.2.27b

guerilla activity during in Missouri, 1868.1.166


on Chat, 1865.1.187c

on Southern family, 1868.1.419

End of: 1865.1.1531865.1.187c1865.2.88

and forgiveness, 1865.2.120

Rev. Theodore Clapp (1792-1866), popular American clergyman. Coming to New Orleans in 1822 as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, he became a Unitarian in 1834, but kept most of his congregation when the church was re-organized. The church that C. T. B. visited was owned by Judah Touro, a Jew who gave Clapp use of it free. Ill health forced Clapp to resign in 1857.


• Francis Drake. Dictionary of American Biography. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co., 1872. Supplement; p. 188.

Clarenceville, Canada East

Letter from, 1846.2.124-125

Professor E. Clark (of the High School, Easton, Pennsylvania)


Cassius Marcellus Clay (1810-1903): American politician famous for both his pugnacity and his honesty. Though Clay’s father owned many slaves, Clay developed a hatred of slavery that made him into a crusader who published an anti-slavery newspaper. His turbulent political career included the governorship of Kentucky and a diplomatic post in Russia, from which he retired in 1869. The Museum printed his advice on learning speechmaking in December 1852.


clergy, 1849.1.123-1241850.1.63

in Geneseo, Illinois, 1855.1.123a

lives with parishioners, 1849.1.123-124; Presbyterian, 1848.2.93-941857.1.159


Letters from : 1854.1.31a1855.2.28c

Ohio, 1844.2.95


female, 1861.2.59

male, 1856.1.158

“old-fashioned,” 1856.1.186

coal mining, in Cannelton, Iowa, 1855.2.126

Dana Pond Colburn. Arithmetic and Its Applications; designed as a text book for common schools, high schools, and academies (Philadelphia: H. Cowperthwait & Co., 1855). It went through 10 editions between 1855 and 1871.


Colchester, New York

Letter from, 1858.2.158-159

Cold Water Army, American temperance organization formed in 1835, originally for children. Its members pledged Total Abstinence from alcohol and often wore medals which stated, “Here we pledge perpetual hate to all that can intoxicate”. The Army reached its peak in 1843. (Ernest Hurst Cherrington, ed. Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem. Westerville, Ohio: American Issue Publishing Co., 1924.).


Thomas Cole, punned on, 1864.1.90


Michigan University, Ann Arbor, Michigan, subscriber attends, 1849.2.124-125

West Tennessee College, Jackson, Tennessee, college reorganized in 1843-1844, from the Southwestern Baptist University (itself originating from the Madison Male Academy). The College was known for the high quality of the work done there.


• Emma Inman Williams. Historic Madison, 3rd ed. Np: np, 1986; p. 278.

College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York, founded in 1807.



Letter from, 1857.1.901857.2.154-155


Letter from, 1857.1.93

Ohio, 1856.2.93-94

Christopher Columbus; Christoval Colon, 1856.2.124

Columbus and the egg: an anecdote supposed to exhibit the explorer’s clear thinking. Challenged to stand an egg on its end, Columbus did—by cracking the end of the egg. The Museum printed an illustration of the feat in the October 1855 issue.


“Commentaries on the Gallic and Civil Wars” (Julius Caesar), a description of Julius Caesar’s war campaigns.


Confederacy of Southern States

Northern image of, 1863.2.123

Northern soldier on subscribers, 1861.2.154

soldiers of, in Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1863.1.154

advance into Pennsylvania, 1863.2.59


and sectionalism, 1857.2.184-1851858.1.611858.1.126b

manners and speech patterns of, 1844.1.31


Letters from : 1849.1.159

Brooklyn, 1860.2.581860.2.121-122

Connecticut Literary Institute, 1850.1.32a

East Windsor Hill, 1855.1.87-881855.2.29a1855.2.93a1856.1.90-911858.1.186-1871860.1.611865.1.59b

Franklin, 1857.2.153-154

Hartford, 1854.2.311

New Haven, 1853.2.127b1857.2.156b

Norwalk, 1845.2.286-2871859.1.124

Plainville, 1855.1.187-188

Stamford, 1849.1.63

Vernon, 1850.2.30b

Waterbury, 1848.2.921854.2.348

West Hartford, 1867.2.92a

Woodbury, 1855.2.91

Places in :

East and West Rock, 1844.2.95

East Windsor Hill, academy, 1855.1.87-88

Hartford, Charter Oak: Connecticut’s charter was hidden in an oak tree on 31 October 1687 after the governor of Massachusetts demanded it in a bid to extend his power over all of New England and New York. The oak provided souvenirs even before its death: “Some of its pressed leaves,” Lydia Sigourney noted in 1844, “or small articles made from a supernumerary branch, in the form of boxes, letter-folders, &c., are found to be acceptable gifts both to the antiquarian, and the patriot.” [Lydia Howard Sigourney. Scenes in My Native Land. Boston: James Munroe & Co., 1844; p. 81.] Willie Coleman’s “sketch” was published as “The Charter Oak” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; November 1856).


Stamford, vacationing in, 1849.1.63

Connecticut Literary Institute, description of, 1850.1.32a

consumption, 1857.1.159

convolvulus vine, 1858.1.58


Letter from, 1857.2.123


Letters from, 1855.1.291855.1.59, 1855.2.60b1855.1.123b

New York, 1855.2.125a

Corpus Christi, Texas

Letter from, 1854.1.126-127

“Cosmopolite” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; May 1844): A satirical essay with an illustration of a New Guinea woman, equating the lushness of her hair with the beards worn by American men, who are compared to goats.



growth and processing of, 1847.1.30-31

shipping of, 1845.2.221-222

waste, collected by subscriber, 1855.1.89a1855.2.94a

cotton-gin manufacturer, in Minden, Louisiana, 1859.2.155-156


subscriber spends summer in, 1857.2.93a

country contrasted with city: 1855.2.28a1855.2.60a1855.2.911855.2.126-1271860.2.58

Chicago, Illinois, 1856.2.125

country boy sees contrast with urban subscribers, 1857.2.183b

country girl worries about manners, 1858.1.153b

U. S. S. Courier, a sailing ship purchased on 7 September 1861 and used as a storeship by the U. S. government. It was 556 tons and 135 feet long, with a depth of 15 feet. The Courier sailed from New York City to the Gulf, delivering along the way supplies which rarely included the copies of the Museum that Osceola delivered to George McKinney in 1863. The Courier was a total loss after running aground on Abaco Island, in the Bahamas, on 14 June 1864.


• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 2, vol 1: 67; series 1, vol 21: 476-477, 720, 721.

Cousin Hannah (author in Robert Merry’s Museum), Hiram Hatchet’s “niece”. Between 1855 and 1864, she published at least 22 pieces in the Museum, including the popular “Holidays at Uncle Hiram’s” (1855).


cow, milk, 1860.2.121-122


Letter from, 1849.2.61

Creek Nation/Agency, Tallahassee Mission, Presbyterian mission in the Creek Nation, in what is now Wagoner County, Oklahoma. Having earned the respect of the Creeks, Robert McGill Loughridge was given permission in 1848 to establish at “Tullahassee” a boarding school and mission for Creek children. Eventually the Mission included several missionary families, as well as the Creeks. Robert, jr, may have considered the nearby lake a “pond”, but his missionary father had high hopes for it, hoping to seine it for much of the Mission’s food.


• Robert McGill Loughridge. Robert McGill Loughridge papers, Office of Presbyterian History, Presbyterian Church (U. S. A. ), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Repr. American Indian Correspondence. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1978.

Crimean War, 1855.1.188b

David Crockett (1786-1836), hunter and U. S. Congressman from Tennessee. As a legislator, Crockett relied on his own brand of common-sense to make decisions and generally opposing President Andrew Jackson, which may have cost him re-election. Rejected by his constituents and attracted by the movement for Texas independence from Mexico, he left Tennessee for Texas. Crockett died in the bloody defence of the Alamo.



Letter from, 1852.1.192

“Cuffy,” referring to African-Americans and taken from a traditional West African name; the earliest use listed in the DARE is spelled “Cuffee” (1713).


Dictionary of American Regional English, ed. Frederic G. Cassidy and Joan Houston Hall. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press, Harvard University Press, 1985-2012.

Cumberland Gap, Lee County, Virginia, 1872.2.148

General James Adams Cunningham (died 1892), breveted Brigadier-General in 1865.


• Mark M. Boatner The Civil War Dictionary, rev. ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1988.

currency: 1863.2.29

in Constantinople, 1861.1.124

from state bank, 1850.2.186

“white money,” probably bank-notes, often printed on white paper. Small coins were relatively scarce in the antebellum U. S., and state banks filled currency gaps by issuing notes in various denominations. Though most were for $1 or $5, bills for amounts between 5 and 25 cents also were circulated.


• Neil Carothers. Fractional Money. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1930. (Repr. New York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1967); pp. 103, 79.

cypress vine, 1858.1.58

daguerreotype, 1857.2.57-581859.2.61


Letter from, 1853.1.162

dancing, morality of questioned, 1858.2.60b


Letter from, 1850.2.64

Darnley: Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley (1545-1567), husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, and better known for his physical accomplishments than for his mental ones. Distrusting the Queen’s secretary, Darnley conspired to have him murdered and probably was killed by the other conspirators after betraying them.


Dartmouth, 1867.2.93

Jefferson Davis (1808-1889), U. S. senator (1847-1851, 1857-1861), secretary of war (1853-1857), and president of the Confederate States of America (1861-1865). Captured during the last days of the Civil War, Davis spent two years as a state prisoner in Fort Monroe, at first held in chains. Later, his health having failed, he was given comfortable quarters to share with his family. The Museum published a humorous anecdote about him in September 1864.

Northern view of, 1865.2.120

Southern view of, 1865.2.88

Rev. John Davies (Williamsburg, New York), 1872.1.243-244

John Dabney Dawson (born 1808, Danville, Kentucky; buried 19 July 1892, Missouri), father of T. B. Dawson. John was ordained a minister of the Disciples of Christ; he was the first superintendent of the Kentucky Female Orphan School (1849-1857) and a professor at Christian (now Columbia) College, Columbia, Missouri, for three years before retiring to a farm near Louisiana, Missouri.


• Harry W. Mills, comp. Dawson Family History. 1941.


Letter from, 1852.2.30

Ohio, 1860.1.60a

death: 1865.1.25-261865.1.154

image of, 1864.2.125

subject of poem, 1842.1.159-160

subject of story, 1849.1.153

briefness of life, subject of poem, 1857.2.27-28

in battle, attitude toward, 1862.1.155-1561865.1.88

meditation on, 1865.2.153

of Abraham Lincoln, reaction to, 1865.1.186-1871865.1.187a

of child, poem on, 1845.2.318

of Francis Woodworth, reaction to, 1860.2.157

of pet, 1857.1.63

of relative: 1865.2.58b

reaction to, 1857.1.62-631865.2.120

brother: soldier, 1865.2.27b

younger, subject of poem, 1854.1.31-32

father: 1855.1.123a1862.1.153a1865.2.1551868.1.4191872.1.244

mother: 1857.2.157b1862.1.24-25

sister: 1855.2.94a1857.2.157b1857.1.159

of Samuel Griswold Goodrich, reaction to, 1860.2.581860.2.157

of schoolmate, 1856.2.29

of soldier, 1862.1.155-1561865.1.154

brother, 1865.2.27b

reaction to, 1862.1.188

of subscriber: 1845.1.63b, 1855.2.94b1865.2.1231866.1.591867.2.58-59

subject of poem, 1846.1.190-192. mitigated by story of Eugene Fales1865.1.92

See also, Abraham Lincoln

See also the deaths of subscribers: Henry A. DankerEllaWilliam Forrest OakleyAdelbert OlderStrangerBenjamin Latimer TompkinsViolet ForestCharles F. Warren

“The Death of Little William,” by M. D. T—t, 1845.2.318

Decatur, Georgia

Letter from, 1844.1.1241850.2.127-128

Declaration of Independence

read at Independence Day celebration, 1849.2.94a

in Hartford, Connecticut, 1854.2.311

deer hunt, in New York, 1856.1.31

Professor De Greth (spiritualist?), 1856.2.26-27

Delphi, Indiana

Letter from, 1854.1.31b

Delta, Michigan

Letter from, 1852.2.126c

Democratic Literary Society, in Somerset, Pennsylvania, 1849.2.94a

Demosthenes (c384-322 BCE), Greek orator.

studied, 1867.2.157

“Description of a Boarding-School,” 1849.1.61-62

“The Deserted Village,” poem by Oliver Goldsmith on the depopulation of English countryside (1770). Minnie rewrites lines 215-216, in which the rustics admire the village schoolmaster: “And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,/ That one small head could carry all he knew.” The section with these lines had appeared, with several illustrations, in the January 1859 Museum.


Hernando De Soto (1500-1542), Spanish explorer. He explored the south-eastern U. S. in 1541-1542, traveling as far west as the Mississippi River.


Detroit: 1850.1.1591855.2.90a

Letters from, 1850.1.1591852.1.941862.1.24-25

Michigan, 1851.2.95-961852.2.93

diary kept by subscriber, 1864.2.60-61

“Dilemma” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; February 1860): Henry Usher not only learns what “dilemma” means, but dramatizes it in two examples.


disabled subscriber, 1865.2.184-185

discipline, in school, 1851.2.160

“Discontented Betty” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; January 1843): poem. Hard-working Betty is rebuked for complaining about her life.


District of Columbia, Washington

Letters from : 1844.1.311849.2.1261853.2.187a1856.2.94a

Camp Graham, 1861.2.154

Patent-Office Hospital, 1863.1.23-24

Places and events in :

Concerts, 1856.2.94a

Patent-Office Hospital, 1863.1.23-24

doctor, 1849.1.123-124

Mary Abigail Dodge (1833-1896), American essayist. In pieces alternately humorous, satirical, and sentimental, Dodge covered domestic subjects, the American Civil War, and women’s rights.


dog: 1851.2.1601854.2.376, 1857.1.631858.1.26

behavior of, 1867.1.58

naming of, 1842.1.159

subject of anecdote, 1850.2.32

See also CarlyTrippyFidéleWatchie

“the dog Noble,” dog in a piece by Henry Ward Beecher which may have appeared first in the New York Independent. In this often-quoted work, the dog so intently pursues a squirrel that when it nips down a hole the dog earnestly watches the hole, unaware that the squirrel has escaped out the other end. Beecher used the anecdote to criticize the New York Express, which had printed what Beecher felt were lies about presidential candidate John C. Fremont.


• “Henry Ward Beecher’s Dog Noble and the New York Express.” Supplement to the Courant (Hartford, Connecticut). 21 (16 August 1856): p. 155; via

dolls, 1851.2.1601852.1.190,1857.1.62-631868.1.115-116

Paul Dombey, central character in Dombey and Son, by Charles Dickens; serialized from 1846 to 1848, the novel was published in book form in 1848. Paul’s pensiveness, called “old-fashioned”, presages his early death.


donkey, French, 1849.2.158-160

“Don’t Be Too Positive” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; September 1842), the fifth of “Peter Parley’s New Stories.” The story encourages readers not to speak positively when they may be mistaken.


Frederick Douglass (1817?-1895), American anti-slavery crusader. Born into slavery as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, he fought his enslavers and escaped in 1838, taking the surname “Douglass.” A laborer in the North, he became an agent of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society and in 1845 published the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, going to Great Britain to avoid possible repercussions. He returned to the U. S. two years later to buy his freedom and to establish a newspaper for African-Americans; both actions sparked differences between him and white abolitionists. During the Civil War, he helped to recruit the 54th and 55th Massachusetts black regiments. Douglass remained active until his death, lecturing on women’s suffrage.


Dover, New Jersey, described, 1855.2.126-127

Jack Downing, putative author of The Life and Writings of Major Jack Downing, by Seba Smith (Boston: Lilly, Wait, Colman & Holden, 1833). Jack is a sharp-eyed, sharp-witted, sharp-dealing citizen of Maine whose letters comment satirically on politics, politicking, and state and federal government. Honest, plain-spoken Jack hails from Downingville, a “snug, tidy sort of village … jest about in the middle of down east.” [p. 2].


draft, Union: In 1863, the U. S. government was forced to pass a very unpopular national conscription act in order to bolster Union ranks, which had been filled by volunteers or by men drafted by their states; names were drawn in New York City beginning July 13. For a number of reasons—among them resentment that well-to-do draftees could, like subscriber Wilforley, hire substitutes or purchase exemptions for $300—in New York, the draft sparked violent rioting that lasted close to a week.



Letter from, 1854.1.95a

dream: subscriber dreams of Robert Merry, 1846.1.189-1901850.1.127-128


Letter from, 1857.2.94

drought of 1860, in Kansas, 1861.1.91a


Letter from, 1858.1.188-189

duty as child’s obligation, 1850.2.127-128

E. F. College, 1864.2.126

East Cambridge

Letter from, 1849.2.62-631850.2.187-188

Easton, Pennsylvania

Letter from, 1856.2.61-62

East Rockport

Letter from, 1865.2.120

Ohio, 1865.2.27b

East Windsor Hill

Letters from, 1855.1.87-881855.2.29a1858.1.186-1871860.1.611865.1.59b

Connecticut, 1855.2.93a1856.1.90-91

echo, subject of story, 1849.2.95-96

The Eclectic, probably The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art (1844-1898), a monthly periodical.


economy, in Michigan, 1849.1.152-153


image of, 1859.1.125a1859.2.92-93

receives gifts, 1841.2.187

editors, subject of poem, 1859.1.125c

editor: W. C. Cutter (Uncle Hiram Hatchet), probably William Cutter (born 15 May 1801, North Yarmouth, Maine; died 8 February 1867, Brooklyn, New York); married 29 May 1828, Margaret W. Dicks; they had three boys and three girls. A graduate of Bowdoin College, Cutter attended Andover Theological Seminary before weak eyes forced him out. He became a writer for periodicals; in 1831 he edited The Juvenile Reformer and Sabbath-School Instructor and, later, the Monthly Miscellany (1839). Cutter wrote books for children and published poems anonymously, among them “Who is My Neighbor?” In 1854 he became associated with the Museum, when “Hiram Hatchet” temporarily took Robert Merry’s place in the Chat; Cutter bought an interest in the magazine in Jan 1857. “Uncle Hiram” was a master of the subtle art of the pun and gleefully wielded his imaginary hatchet to cut the Cousins’ ever-longer letters. Cutter’s portrait—as Uncle Hiram—was sent to subscribers in 1864.

described, 1859.2.92

image of, 1860.2.26

subscriber guesses name, 1858.1.57

travels, 1860.1.60-611860.1.123b

visits subscriber, 1859.2.92

• William H. Coleman. “The Children’s ‘Robert Merry’ and the Late John N. Stearns.” The New York Evangelist 16 May 1895: 19.

• Dorothy B. Dechert. “The Merry Family: A Study of Merry’s Museum, 1841-1872, and of the Various Periodicals that Merged with It.” M. S., Columbia University, 1942; pp. 161-162, 166.

• Evert A. and George L. Duyckinck. Cyclopaedia of American Literature. Np: np, 1875; vol 2: 850.

editor: Samuel G. Goodrich (Uncle Robert Merry, Uncle Peter Parley; born 19 August 1793; died 9 May 1860); married 1818, Adeline Gratia Bradley (died 1822), with whom he had a daughter; married 1826, Mary Boott; he and Mary had six children. Goodrich was the sixth of ten children. After working as a clerk for several years, he went into business with George Sheldon, publishing American authors. A visit with Hannah More during a trip to Europe inspired him to write works for children that would educate and entertain them without the violence and nonsense he had despised as a child. His most popular character was Peter Parley, who first appeared in 1827. Goodrich’s talent lay in mixing clear explanations with interesting incidents, and adding illustrations and a dollop of charm; though later generations find the books too didactic, early readers adored them—so much so that he was mobbed by excited fans during a tour of the South in 1846. Goodrich founded Parley’s Magazine in 1833 and Robert Merry’s Museum in 1841; he was responsible for creating the memorable figure of Robert Merry. Goodrich’s portrait was sent to subscribers who paid their subscriptions in advance in 1850 and to all subscribers in 1853. From 1851 to 1853, he was U. S. consul at Paris, where he may have met subscriber Lizzie G., who lived at the same hotel.

anecdote of, 1853.2.127b

tour of the South, 1851.1.128b

in Louisiana, New Orleans, 1853.2.187b

portrait sent to subscribers, 1850.1.127b1850.1.1871850.2.30a1850.2.30b1850.2.641850.2.127-1281851.1.941851.1.127b1851.1.1901856.1.88

anecdote about, 1851.1.96b

of Peter Parley, 1859.1.94

Goodrich sent to Paris, France, 1851.2.941851.2.94-95

subscriber confuses with Robert Merry, 1844.2.63; visited by subscriber’s father, 1852.1.128b

death of, reaction to, 1860.2.581860.2.157

• Emily Goodrich Smith. “ ‘Peter Parley’—As Known to His Daughter.” Connecticut Quarterly: pp. 304-315; 399-407.

• Samuel Griswold Goodrich. Recollections of a Lifetime. New York: Miller, Orton and Mulligan, 1856.

editor: Susanna Newbould (Aunt Sue; born 1821, near London, England; died January 1882, Brooklyn, New York); married John A. Newbould (died 31 May 1871, New York); they had at least three children, two girls and a boy. John was a merchant with $25,000 in real estate in 1850; in 1870 he called himself a “hoop skirt dealer”, with $50,000 in personal assets, $45,000 of it in real estate. Susanna contributed to Woodworth’s Youth’s Cabinet and began to edit its puzzle column in 1852; her portrait was sent to subscribers in 1854, when she became assistant editor. By 1855, she also may have been subscribing to the Museum, which printed her chatty letters and answers to puzzles. When the Cabinet was absorbed by the Museum in 1857, Newbould edited the “Puzzle Drawer”; her portrait as Aunt Sue was sent to subscribers in 1862. As “Aunt Sue”, Newbould was a comfortable, motherly presence not above a very bad pun or two. By 1868, she also contributed pieces to Haney’s Journal. Newbould published at least one collection of puzzles that was reprinted into the 1880s.

daughter’s illness, reaction to, 1864.2.621864.2.87-881864.2.124b

marital status guessed at, 1856.1.901857.1.62

name guessed, 1857.2.154-1551858.1.29-301858.2.281859.2.126-1271860.1.186

name and relation to Robert Merry wondered at, 1857.1.62-63

portrait printed in Cabinet, 1858.2.1261865.1.121-122.

See also Aunt Sue’s PoemAunt Sue’s Puzzle DrawerAunt Sue’s Puzzler

• M432 #517, 72.

• M653. 1860 United States Census; reel #764: 632-633.

• M593. 1870 United States Census; reel #946: 250.

• Obituary of John A. Newbould. Evening Post [New York, New York] 70 (1 June 1871): 3.

• Obituary. Boston Journal [Boston, Massachusetts] 49 (16 Jan 1882): 2.

• Dorothy B. Dechert. “The Merry Family: A Study of Merry’s Museum, 1841-1872, and of the Various Periodicals that Merged with It.” M. S., Columbia University, 1942; pp. 95-96.

• William Cushing. Initials and Pseudonyms. New York: T. Y. Crowell & Co., 1885; vol 1, part 2.

editor: John N[ewton] Stearns (Uncle Robert Merry; born 24 May 1829, New Ipswich, New Hampshire; died 21 April 1896, Greenpoint, New York); married 1854, Matilda C. Loring. Son of Jesse Stearns (born 29 August 1784, Ashburnham, Massachusetts; died 18 November 1866, New Ipswich, Massachusetts) and Lucinda Davis (born 13 February 1791, New Ipswich, Massachusetts; died 9 October 1868); youngest of seven children, three of them girls. He had a daughter. He was the biological uncle of subscribers Abby Marietta Stearns and Flora P. Stearns. Until age 21, John worked on his father’s farm; he then taught school for a time before becoming a magazine agent for Forrester’s Boys’ and Girls’ Magazine. He moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 1851. Around 1855, he became editor of the Museum, first with his brother, then with William C. Cutter. His portrait—as Robert Merry—was sent to the magazine’s subscribers in 1863. Stearns also was a Sunday-school superintendent and was County Clerk of Kings County (1862-1865); it was as County Clerk that he petitioned for a prisoner exchange to release the Museum’s office boy, Eugene H. Fales. Stearns joined the temperance movement as a child, and his interest in the movement can be seen in the temperance pieces published in the Museum under his editorship. Under his editorship, too, the Chat came into its own. In 1866, Stearns sold the Museum and focused on temperance work, editing several temperance publications; at his death, he was a member of the national bodies of the world’s three major temperance organizations.

illness of, 1864.2.88a1864.2.123-124

• Willard E. Stearns. Memoranda of the Stearns Family. Fitchburg: Sentinel Printing Co., 1901; vol 1: 46-47, 543.

• “Noble Life, A: John N. Stearns.” New York: National Temperance Society and Publications House, nd.

• compiled military record—Eugene Fales.

• William H. Coleman. “The Children’s ‘Robert Merry’ and the Late John N. Stearns.” The New York Evangelist 16 May 1895: 19.

editor: Francis Chandler Woodworth (Uncle Frank; born 12 February 1818, Colchester, Connecticut; died 1859) Son of Vanaiah/Veniah (born 14 October 1776, Bozrah, Connecticut; died 14 February 1848, Lebanon, Connecticut) and Lavinia Phelps (born Lebanon, Connecticut); middle of three children. Woodworth often had trouble with his lungs; becoming ill during a lecture tour in Michigan in 1858, he spent months recovering.


portrait of, 1859.1.156b

death of, reaction to, 1860.2.157

Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1858.1.190-192.

• Jeanette Woodworth Behan. The Woodworth Family of America. Np: Jeanette Woodworth Behan, 1988; p. 369.

education: 1863.2.92

importance of, 1867.2.91

subscriber’s attitude toward, 1855.2.123

General, by gender:


boarding school, 1852.2.126b

in Tennessee, 1857.2.155-156

orphans, 1853.1.98b1866.1.123

male, boarding school, 1850.2.30a1854.1.159

Of subscriber, 1842.1.89-90, 1843.1.1841845.1.1871845.1.188-1891845.1.189-1901846.1.190b1846.2.311846.2.125-1261849.1.123-1241849.2.1881850.1.127-1281850.2.1591851.1.9351.1.158b1851.2.1601852.1.64a1852.2.93-941854.1.60b1855.2.29a1855.2.29c1855.2.94b1855.2.126-1271855.2.1561856.1.1581856.2.61-621856.2.1231856.2.1861858.1.1551858.1.186-1871859.2.921859.2.931859.2.185a1864.2.126-1271864.2.157b1867.2.591867.2.1571868.1.419

in Choctaw Nation: The Spencer Academy here was founded by the Choctaws in 1842 and administered by the Presbyterians, beginning in 1845. Before the Civil War, the boarding school had at least 100 students.


• Clifford Merrill Drury. Presbyterian Panorama. Philadelphia: Board of Christian Education, 1952; p. 146.

Northern, 1852.2.32

at home, 1867.2.92b

at Mt. Holyoke Academy, West Hartford, Connecticut, 1867.2.92a

at Dartmouth College, 1867.2.93

at Harvard College, 1867.2.93

in Tennessee, 1859.1.93a

at Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, founded in 1830, when Oberlin, Ohio, was founded, both with a Christian emphasis. The school’s name was changed to Oberlin College in 1850.


History of Lorain County, Ohio. Philadelphia: Williams Bros., 1879; pp. 170, 172.

By gender :

female, 1849.1.1561849.1.62-631849.2.158-1601849.2.187a1852.2.301854.1.95b1854.2.3141855.1.87-881857.1.621857.2.27-281857.2.57-581859.1.1891861.1.91a1864.2.126

boarding school, 1849.2.62-631850.2.30a1850.2.187-188

in Eufaula, Alabama, the Union Female College, organized in 1853 and opened in January 1854. The large building was built of lumber from trees grown in Barbour County and sawed at a mill near Eufaula. On the roof of its chapel stood a statue of Minerva, carved from a pine tree four feet in diameter by a Philadelphia artist. The building later served another college and the public school before being torn down to make way for an infirmary.


• Mattie Thomas Thompson. History of Barbour County, Alabama. Eufaula, Alabama: np, 1939; pp. 262-263.

in Auburn, Kansas, 1861.1.91a

at Indian Orphan Institute (also, “the Orphan Indian Institute”): In 1846, a boarding school was opened at the Presbyterian mission for the Iowa, Sac, and Fox nations. By 1851, the school—near what is now Highland, Kansas, in the northeastern part of the state—had attracted students from several Native American nations. Several were orphans. When the Iowa and Sac were removed to a new reservation, the school became the Orphan Indian Institute, with about 40 students. It closed in 1867, after the U. S. government withdrew support.


• Clifford Merrill Drury. Presbyterian Panorama. Philadelphia: Board of Christian Education, 1952; pp. 142-144.

male, 1849.1.61-621849.2.631849.2.94a1849.2.124-1251850.1.32a1850.1.1591854.1.1591856.1.90-911856.2.261857.1.120a

boarding school, 1855.1.29

in Bergen, New Jersey, 1849.1.61-62

in West Randolph, Vermont, 1855.2.156

See also academyschool


shot, 1857.1.29-30

reaction to: 1857.1.92-931857.2.155-156

Southerner’s, 1857.1.59-601857.1.119

hung, 1857.1.186

elderly, attitudes about, 1842.1.89-901844.1.31

electricity, 1852.1.191b

Verdine D. Ellsworth (born c1794), of Fairfield, Connecticut. In 1850, Ellsworth and his 46-year-old wife, Jane, had 17-year-old Julia and 12-year-old Charles living at home.


• M432. 1850 United States Census reel #38: 5

William Ellsworth, son of Verdine D. Ellsworth

death of subject of poem, 1845.2.318


Letters from, 1850.2.311857.1.281857.1.120b

New York, 1865.1.187a

Elva Seeking Her Fortune,” by “Sophie May” (Rebecca Clarke; Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1865), novel. Unhappy with her adoptive parents, Elva romanticizes her biological parents and runs away to Boston to find them. Instead, she is robbed and must work as a drudge before being rescued.



forced, of Cherokee nation, 1849.1.62-63

of whites

to California 1861.2.93b

to Minnesota, 1858.1.59

to Oregon Territory, 1857.2.91

Empedocles (484-424 BCE): Sicilian poet and philosopher. He described his various incarnations in a well-known poem. Some maintain that his death was due to curiosity about Aetna, while others repeat Stephen’s story; still others said that he drowned in the sea at an old age.


Encyclopædia Americana: Originally, 13 volumes edited by Francis Lieber and E. Wigglesworth (1829-1833), by 1857 it was in its second edition, at 14 volumes.


England: London, described, 1845.1.31b

That Enigma. See That Problem

Eolian Grove

Letter from, 1860.2.26

Epimenides (c600 BCE): epic poet of Crete sometimes listed as one of the seven wise men. The length of his sleep varies: 40 or 47 years; Pliny and Diogenes list it as 57 years. Supposedly he lived to be 289; he was revered as a god after his death. The Museum published a piece on him in May 1855.


Equal Rights Convention, 1867.2.60a


introductions, 1861.2.23-24

railroad, 1863.2.155

social phrases, 1857.2.155

Eufaula, Alabama

Letter from, 1855.2.125b

Europa, wooden-hulled steamship of the Cunard Line. Built in Port Glasgow, Scotland, she was 251 feet by 38 feet, and 1834 tons; she had three masts and one funnel. Her maiden voyage, from Liverpool to Halifax and Boston, was in July 1848. With her paddle wheels, the Europa was capable of 10 knots. She was lost by stranding in 1874.


• Eugene W. Smith. Passenger Ships of the World Past and Present. Boston: George H. Dean Company, 1978; p. 91.

European travel, 1859.2.184

evening activities: 1857.1.90

winter, 1856.1.60a

Evenings at Home (John Aiken and Letitia Barbauld), collection of stories (British: N.p.: London, 1792-96; American: 2nd ed., Philadelphia: T. Dobson, 1797). Emphasizing ethics and practical information, the stories combine discussions of generosity and charity with information on such subjects as Russia, mines, and the people and exports of Spain.


exchange of letters outside the Chat

Museum office provides addresses, 1863.2.1821865.1.941867.2.92b

subscribers send letters to each other, 1867.2.61a


canary, in Baltimore, Maryland, 1850.1.63

at Pacific Museum, San Francisco, California, 1858.1.152

eye-color, of importance and amusement to the “Merry Cousins”: In the “Address to the Reader” introducing Robert Merry’s Museum in 1841, the putative editor addressed his words to “all those young people who have black eyes, and all those who have not black eyes.” As a result, when subscribers wrote to the magazine, they sometimes mentioned the color of their eyes. Some readers added eye color to their names.

subject of poem, 1856.2.94b

Mrs. Eyes. See Merry Cousins—Black-eyes

fair: at Chicago, Illinois, 1864.1.90

at Syracuse, New York, 1849.2.187b

at Belmont, Ohio, 1858.2.155-156


Letter from, 1860.2.182-183

fairy bell, probably Disporum maculatum (also Nodding Mandarin) or Disporum lanuginosum (Yellow Mandarin), members of the Lily Family native to North America. Its 1-inch-long flowers are vaguely bell-shaped; it flowers in April and May.


“Fairy Mignonne” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1849), a three-part fairy tale in which good-hearted Mignonne helps a poor young man win the hand of the woman he loves.


fairy tale: “The Legend of the Echo,” 1849.2.95-96

fairy tales, complaint about, 1849.2.93

Eugene H. Fales (“Eugene Merry”) (born 1840/1843, Thomaston, Maine; died 12 July 1868, St. Paul, Minnesota); married 23 January 1865, Harriet M. Lee; one son, apparently died as an infant. Eugene was the clerk in the Museum’s offices before going to war and enduring adventures that would have done justice to the hero of a romantic novel. Joining Company E, 84th New York Infantry on 18 April 1861, he ended up in Company C., 131st New York Infantry as a lieutenant. John N. Stearns kept the Cousins up-to-date on his activities, telling them in June 1863 that, “ … [Eugene] was in the first battle of Bull Run, and received several bullet-holes in his clothes; he … is now with our favorite general, N. P. Banks, in his triumphant march through Louisiana.” (185) Eugene was one of several hundred who volunteered on 15 June 1863 for a storming party on Port Hudson, Louisiana, but was wounded and taken prisoner. He was confined at Richmond from 14 July 1863 until 7 May 1864, when he was sent to Macon, Georgia; later he was sent to Charleston, South Carolina. Stearns did more than just update the Cousins: he sent boxes to Eugene and worked to have him freed. Eugene escaped on 4 October 1864, by donning a Confederate uniform provided by a rebel deserter and walking out of the Charleston prison. He was hidden by sympathetic South Carolinians, finally making his way to Savannah, where he reported on 21 December 1864 to the Union forces who had just taken the city. In true romantic style, on his return to New York he married before returning to his unit for the duration of the War. His adventures were detailed in the Museum as “Adventures of a ‘Merry’ Boy” (February 1865). In 1867 the former office boy bought the magazine. During his escape, however, Eugene was stricken with yellow fever, from which he never recovered; he developed tuberculosis and died on a trip to regain his health.


as Union prisoner of war, 1864.2.183

reaction to story of, 1865.1.92

• compiled military record.

• RG 15. Records of the Veterans Administration, pension certificate #160591.

• United States War Department. The War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901; series 1, vol 26, pt 1: 64, 57.

• St. Paul, Minnesota. “Mortuary Register, 1866-1884.” Public Health Center, St. Paul; vol 1: 15, 119.

Fall River, Massachusetts

Letters from, 1851.2.951855.2.89


Letter from, Army of the Potomac, Virginia, 1863.1.154


separated by death and illness of parents, 1857.2.157b

Southerner with Northern relatives, 1844.1.1241852.1.126b, 1855.1.89a1856.2.123

Northerner with Southern relatives, 1845.2.2221852.2.321860.2.155-156

family life: 1864.1.188

of only child, 1849.2.158-160

in Brooklyn, 1852.1.190

in Memphis, Tennessee, 1850.1.63-64

in South, 1849.1.123-124

family publication, “Home Casket,” 1858.1.187

family reunion, 1856.1.60a


Cheshire (no state), 1860.1.94b

East Windsor Hill, Connecticut, 1860.1.61

Winton, Maryland, 1849.2.31

Ouquaga, New York, 1865.2.121

Silver Lake (no state), 1857.2.93a

farm boy, 1857.2.123


raises sheep, 1854.1.159

should believe in God, 1867.2.156-157

in West Randolph, Vermont, 1855.2.156

Faubourg St. Antoine, Paris, France, 1848.2.163-166

fear, child’s, anecdote of, 1865.1.89-90

Fanny Fern, Sara Willis (1811-1872), American writer who was the sister of N. P. Willis. Widowed and fleeing a bad remarriage, Sara turned to writing to support her two children: her first essay, the satiric “The Model Husband”, was printed in the Olive Branch on 28 June 1851 and was quickly reprinted. When his wife leaves him for another man, he gives her $100 to set up housekeeping.


Fernandina, Florida

Letter from, 1865.2.26

Fetridge’s Balm of a Thousand Flowers, a liquid soap developed by Dr. Le Fontaine in 1846; because it contained honey, he named it the “Balm of a Thousand Flowers.” Honey was replaced by sugar after the recipe was sold to W. P. Fetridge & Co., but the name remained, and Fetridge sued several manufacturers who attempted to use it. The perfumed mixture of palm oil, lye, alcohol, and sugar was sold in a bottle wrapped in a paper of instructions and of extravagant claims of efficacy.


• Fetridge v. Wells, 4 Abb. Pr. 144 (New York Super. Ct. 1857); Fetridge v. Merchant, 4 Abb. Pr. 144 (New York Super. Ct. 1857)

fever: typhoid, 1865.2.58b

in army, 1862.1.186. yellow, in Woodville, Mississippi, apparently spread to Woodville, Mississippi, from New Orleans. On 6 September 1853 a quarantine went into effect at the Woodville Factory; by 18 October, there were 168 cases and 9 deaths in the area. Woodville had a warm autumn that year, and in November, doctors warned those from the country not to come into town, where one to two new cases occurred every day. The epidemic ended in December, after some hard frosts.


The Woodville Republican, comp. O’Levia Neil Wilson Wiese. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Book, 1992; vol 3: 173, 174, 177, 181.

“Few Days; or, Our Country Now is Great and Free,” a song (Boston: Oliver Ditson, 1854). A Know-Nothing anthem, it urges fighting against “innovation” and “usurpation” and guarding the “ballot-box” from “foreign wiles and treason shocks”


fiction in the Museum : complaint about, 1849.2.93

endless, reaction to, 1858.1.25

“Fidèle’s Day of Misfortunes,” by Annette, 1850.1.157-159

Millard Fillmore (1800-1874), U. S. Congressman and thirteenth president of the U. S. (1850-1853); as Zachary Taylor’s vice president, he stepped into the role of president on Taylor’s death. An anti-slavery moderate, Fillmore was more concerned with preserving the Union than with settling the slave question. As a result, in presidential race of 1852 he was supported by Southern Whigs; however, he failed to win the nomination. In 1856 Fillmore was the presidential candidate of the Know Nothing Party.



Letter from, 1850.2.961851.1.32b

Gustav Fincke (1848-1893), American soldier. Born in Germany, he grew up in New York City and Brooklyn and enlisted in the U. S. Navy in February 1862, at age 14. During action on the Cayuga in April, he was wounded in the left foot; it was eventually amputated. After being transferred back to Brooklyn, he was appointed as a Mate on 1 June 1864 and then attached to the Post Office in 1865. Unfortunately, the appointment was revoked when he was accused of stealing. Soon after, he emigrated to Australia, where he died in poverty.


• Terry Foenander. E-mail correspondence, 4 Jan 2000, 6 Jan 2000.

• Terry Foenander. “Veterans of the American Civil War Buried in Australia.” page accessed 4 January 2000.


Letter from, 1859.1.125b


burns subscriber’s house, 1858.1.29-301867.2.62

in Burlington, Iowa, 16 January, 1853.1.98a

in Ogdensburg, New York, 1855.1.89b

See also Robert Merry’s Museum

“Fire” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; December 1845), an essay on fire, the molten center of the earth, and the care people should take with matches.


firefly, anecdote regarding, 1865.2.59

firemen, at Independence Day celebration, Hartford, Connecticut, 1854.2.311

fire-works, at Independence Day celebration, Hartford, Connecticut, 1854.2.311

“First Love” steel engraving offered as a premium to subscribers paying in advance for 1872; engraved by Willcox from a painting by M. Perrault, it pictured a young girl playing with a cat and its kittens. The Museum printed a poem inspired by the picture in February 1872.


fish. See sturgeon

fishing: Lake Tasse, New Iberia, Louisiana, 1857.1.61

Perry, New York, 1851.2.94-95

flag, British, complaint about, 1855.1.158-159

flies in summer, 1867.2.58-59

flood, in South, 1867.1.155-156

Florence, Italy

Letter from, 1860.1.186


Letters from : Fernandina, 1865.2.26; Madison Court House, 1856.2.122-123

Sheramoore, 1861.1.156

flour, manufactured in Oswego, 1850.2.62

The Flower People: book by Mary Tyler Peabody Mann (Hartford, Connecticut: Tyler & Porter, 1842). In 1836, two chapters appeared in the two issues of The Family School, edited by Mann’s sister.


flowers, in East Windsor Hill, Connecticut, 1855.2.29a

See also geraniummagnoliaVictoria Regia

“The Flying Horse” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; July 1849), a story. A poor boy discontented with his life dreams that he is given all he wishes and realizes that he is unprepared for such good fortune. It was reprinted in Parley’s Present for All Seasons.


Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Letter from, 1859.2.92


for Christmas, in North Carolina, 1853.1.66-67

for journey to California, 1849.1.154-1551849.2.29-30

importance of, 1867.1.155

in tall tale, 1849.1.157

in Tuilerie Gardens, Paris, France, 1851.2.92-93

on journey to California, 1849.2.127-128

at spa, Wisconsin, Madison, 1856.2.61. See also pumpkin pie

football: In the 1860s the game was very much like soccer, though at Harvard it was played more like rugby. In the 1850s, the game often was part of freshman hazing at U. S. colleges.


• David Levinson and Karen Christensen, ed. Encyclopedia of World Sport. Denver, Colorado: ABC-CLIO, 1996.

Commander Andrew Hull Foote (1806-1863), U. S. naval officer. A fervent temperance reformer, he was influential in abolishing the Navy’s spirit ration. At the beginning of the War, he was put into command of naval operations on the upper Mississippi River, though his flotilla was under the control of the Army. In February 1862, Foote was instrumental in the capture of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson; in ill health and slightly wounded, he was forced to leave his flotilla on May 9. Foote died of Bright’s Disease on his way to command the squadron at Charleston, South Carolina.


Forest Dale

Letter from, 1863.2.123

fort, at Marblehead, 1854.2.375

Fort Beaulieu, on the Vernon River; the U. S. S. Winona and Sonoma were part of the fleet that took the fort on 21 December 1864.


• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 1, vol 16: 137.

Fort Benton, Montana Territory: Originally a fur post, Fort Benton was built in 1846 as Fort Clay; it was called “Fort Lewis” in 1847 and named “Fort Benton” in 1850. It lay at the junction of the Missouri and Teton rivers. 1867 saw a lot of steamboat traffic up the Missouri to the fort; subscriber Cis may have been on board the Waverly, the first boat that year, which landed 120 passengers on May 25.


• Joel Overholser. Fort Benton. Fort Benton, Montana: Joel Overholser, 1987.

Fort Dearborn, Illinois, 1856.2.93

Fort Jackson, in the Civil War: The Winona attacked Forts Jackson and St. Philip on 24 April 1862. It was a brutal engagement, and the ship was forced to retreat downstream with crew and officers lying flat on the deck. When the forts were taken by Union forces a few days later, the commander of the Winona took possession of Fort St. Philip.


Fort Kearney: Established in 1848 on the south bank of the Platte River in what is now Nebraska, this fort was the point where several trails from the Missouri River came together and became an important landmark on the Oregon Trail.


• Howard Robert Lamar. The New Encyclopedia of the American West. New York: Yale University Press, 1998.

Fort Kent, Maine

Letter from, 1854.2.252

Fort Lafayette, New York: U. S. Naval Magazine built in 1822 on a small island in the Narrows, in New York bay; was also called “Fort Diamond”. The stone fort was used as a prison during the Civil War.


Fort Martin Scott, Texas, established in 1846 and abandoned in 1853; 1854.1.126-127

Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, fort in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina.


Fort Stanwix, New York, 1850.1.127-128

Fort St. Philip, in the Civil War: The Winona attacked Forts Jackson and St. Philip on 24 April 1862. It was a brutal engagement, and the ship was forced to retreat downstream with crew and officers lying flat on the deck. When the forts were taken by Union forces a few days later, the commander of the Winona took possession of Fort St. Philip.


Fort Sumter, South Carolina: Built on an artificial island in the harbor at Charleston. In 1860, the unfinished fort was commanded by Major Robert Anderson, who refused to hand it over to the state of South Carolina after it seceded; intense bombardment from outside batteries, however, changed his mind. On 14 April 1865, Anderson raised over the fort the same flag he had lowered there exactly four years before. The celebration was augmented by the Union ships—including the U. S. S. Sonoma : in part, their orders read, “When the flag is hoisted on Sumter, each vessel will man yards—or rigging, if without yards—and then give three cheers; then … each vessel will fire a salute of 100 guns ….”

Letters from, 1865.1.122b1865.2.26

• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 1, vol 16: 315-316.

Orson Squire Fowler (1809-1898), American phrenologist. Author of over three dozen books on phrenology and personal life, he edited the American Journal of Phrenology ; he had an office in New York City.


Foxboro, Massachusetts

Letter from, 1852.1.127b

Frank (Maria Edgeworth), collection of simply written tales for young readers (American: Boston: Cummings & Hilliard, 1813). Six-year-old Frank learns—and demonstrates—the values of honesty, of obedience to his parents, of observation, of logical thinking, and of perseverance.


Frankfort, Kentucky

Letter from, 1850.2.188b


Letters from : Connecticut, 1857.2.153-154

Louisiana, 1846.2.125-126

State of Franklin, formed in 1784 from what were then the western counties of North Carolina. Ceded to the newly formed U. S, government to help pay off the nation’s huge debts and worried that North Carolina would not protect it, the area declared its independence so inhabitants could govern themselves during the two years Congress had in which to accept. “Franklinites” established a government with a legal tender that recognized a lack of hard money: taxes could be paid in cloth, furs, sugar, beeswax, tallow, “bacon, well cured,” rye whiskey, “good peach or apple brandy”, and tobacco. Many letters, speeches, and recriminations later, a compromise allowed the counties to resubmit to the laws of North Carolina, with the understanding that they would form their own, new state when more populated—the state of Tennessee.


• J. G. M. Ramsey. The Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1853. (Repr. New York: Arno Press, 1971); pp. 282-300.

“Franklin Institute,” St. Mary’s Parish, Louisiana: the largest of over a dozen schools in mid-nineteenth-century St. Mary’s Parish; it offered courses in everything from ancient and modern history, evolution, chemistry, and astronomy, to French needlework, painting, and piano.


• Bernard Broussard. A History of St. Mary Parish. Np: np, 1977; p. 25.

Franklin Literary Society, Somerset, Pennsylvania, 1849.2.94a

Fredericksburg, Virginia

Letter from, 1849.2.30-31

Jessie Fremont (1824-1902), American writer. Bright, lively Jessie was conversant in three languages and worked with her explorer husband, John, on reports that made him famous. Not averse to taking matters into her own hands, she resorted to subterfuge to ensure that Fremont set off on a planned expedition after he received a summons to Washington, DC. When John ran for president in 1856, her charm was exploited—the first time a woman was featured in a political campaign—and Jessie became as popular and well known as he. For the first time, women (who, of course, didn’t have the vote at the time) began to swell the crowds at political gatherings, and some worked actively for the Republican cause.


“Jessie Circle”, 1856.2.122-123

John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) American explorer and politician. Handsome, daring John developed a taste for exploration when he served in the U. S. Topographical Corps; expeditions west of the Rocky Mountains in the 1840s led to reports written with his wife, Jessie, that made him one of the celebrities of his day. Fremont’s career was rocky: he was court martialed after the war with Mexico; his penalty was remitted by the president, but Fremont resigned and moved to California; a year later he became a U.S. Senator. A national hero, he was the Republican candidate for president in 1856, losing to James Buchanan.


• Pamela Herr. Jessie Benton Fremont. New York: Franklin Watts, 1987; pp. 259-263.

friendship, subject of poem, 1856.2.57b

“Frontier Terribles” (Ogdensburg, New York), group whose capers entertained everyone in Ogdensburg, New York, “from grand sire to babe.”


• “The Fourth of July.” St. Lawrence Republican. 7 July 1857: p. 3, col 3.

Fulton, Mississippi

Letter from, 1852.1.64b

funeral. See Merry Cousins—William Forrest Oakley, funeral of

Henry Fuseli (1741-1825), intellectual and painter. The anecdote Maggie retells appeared in slightly different form in October 1853 as a “Mirror of Apothegm, Wit, Repartee, and Anecdote,” in the Ladies’ Repository


Gala Days, by Abigail Dodge (Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1863), a collection of eight essays—six of which had been published in the Atlantic Monthly—on the serious and the frivolous: from the family canary, to a journey through New York and Canada, to young children and women with loved ones fighting the War.


U. S. S. Galena, Union ironclad screw steamer launched and commissioned in 1862 and re-commissioned in 1864. She was 210 feet long, with a depth of 12 feet 8 inches; with her two engines, six furnaces, and two boilers, she was capable of a maximum speed of eight knots and an average of six knots. The well-armed Galena steamed up the James River with General George Brinton McClellan on board in late June and early July 1862.


• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 2, vol 1: 90; series 1, vol 7: 709.

• United States War Department. The War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901; series 1, vol 11: 223-224.

Galena, Illinois

Letter from, 1845.1.189-190


Letter from, 1865.1.155a

“The Galley Slave” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1852), a two-part story. Years after he ran away to sea, a young man is condemned to the galleys on a minor infraction; he seizes an opportunity to escape, helps his family and wins his freedom through his virtuous actions. It was reprinted as “Edward Maleen” in Parley’s Present for All Seasons (New York: Appleton & Co., 1854).


gambling over story, 1850.1.32b

games: 1868.1.115-116

in Paris, France, 1851.2.92-93

See also blind man’s buff • “I spy” • puss-in-the-corner

Peter Gansevoort (1749-1812), soldier. In spring, 1777, he was appointed commander of Fort Schuyler (Fort Stanwix), at what is now Rome, New York. Here he and his men successfully withstood a siege by a vastly superior British force. The men improvised a flag from white ammunition shirts, a blue cloak taken from the British, and bits and pieces of red fabric, raising the “stars and stripes” in battle for the first time.


“The Garden of Peace” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; May 1842): one of “Peter Parley’s New Stories.” An exquisite garden can be entered only by those who every day do all that they should and nothing that they shouldn’t.


gardens: in Aberdeen, Mississippi, 1857.2.59a

See also botanical gardensTuilerie Gardenszoological garden

“gay old time”, girl not to use phrase, 1861.1.153-154

Genesee County, New York

Letter from, 1856.1.31

Geneseo, Henry County, Illinois

Letter from, 1855.1.123a

geography, anecdote regarding, 1865.2.59


Letters from :

Cave Spring, 1849.1.62-63

Decatur, 1844.1.1241850.2.127-128

Riceboro’, 1846.1.29-301847.1.30-31

Rome, 1849.1.156

Social Circle, 1860.1.60b

Zebulon, 1850.1.127b

Places in :

Atlanta, 1864.2.158

Cave Spring, 1849.1.62-63

Rome, boarding-school, 1849.1.156

Stone Mountain, 1844.1.1241850.1.127b

Zebulon, 1850.1.127b

geranium, subject of story, 1852.1.127a

“German settlement,” 1848.2.125

in Fredericksburg, Texas, 1854.1.126-127

ghost, in Dover, New Jersey, 1855.2.126-127


at Christmas, 1856.1.186-1871859.1.93-941859.2.155-1561860.1.29

at New Year’s, 1851.1.158a1851.1.190, 1853.2.311853.2.127c

East Windsor Hill, Connecticut, 1856.1.90-91

Quincy Adams Gillmore (1825-1888), U. S. soldier and military engineer. Graduating from West Point in 1849, he was commisioned second lieutenant of Engineers, constructing fortifications in Virginia. He also was assistant instructor of practical military engineering at West Point. Gillmore had a brilliant career during the Civil War, commanding troops and inspecting fortifications.


girl, ideal, subject of poem, 1849.2.30-31

The Girl’s Book (Lydia Maria Child; New York: Clark, Austin & Co., 1833), a one-volume collection of games, puzzles, crafts, poems, stories, and instructions in knitting, sewing, and mending. Child intended the book to help educate girls “to fulfil the duties of a humble station, or to dignify and adorn the highest”.


“girls” contrasted with “ladies,” 1857.2.156b

“Glades butter,” 1849.2.94a

Gilbert Go-ahead, title character in “The Adventures of Gilbert Go-Ahead.” It was the Museum’s longest-running serial (1851-1855, 1856). The quintessential Connecticut Yankee, Gilbert relies on shrewdness, pragmatism, luck, and a large collection of aphorisms on his journey through Asia in search of trade. Adventures that include shipwreck, enslavement, escape (once, via hippopotamus), and philosophical arguments with those he meets teach Gilbert and the reader about the lands through which he travels, the value of education, and the evils of greed. Not every reader believed Gilbert’s adventures—especially the hippo ride—but the serial was the most popular in the magazine’s history.


Authenticity questioned, 1852.2.931852.2.126a

See also Grin

God, child sends letter to, 1865.1.155b

Godey’s Lady’s Book ; Ladies’ Book (periodical; 1830-1898): Founded and edited for years by Louis Antoine Godey, the periodical offered stories, poems, articles, needlework patterns, and plates illustrating the latest fashions.


gold rush of 1849, 1849.1.154-1551849.2.29-301849.2.127-1281850.1.32a1852.2.126a

Good English, by Edward Sherman Gould (New York: W.J. Widdleton, 1867). It went through six editions by 1875.


gossip, 1849.1.32


Letter from, 1867.2.91


Letters from, 1856.2.27-281860.2.1551861.2.591862.1.26-27

governess, French, 1849.2.158-160

Governor Claflin (locomotive), named for William Claflin (1818-1905), governor of Massachusetts, 1869-1872.


Graham’s American Monthly Magazine of Literature, Romance, Art, and Fashion (January 1826-December 1858), periodical edited for a long time by George Rex Graham (1813-1894); Edgar Allan Poe edited it with him for a year.


grammar, bad, parodied, 1849.2.61

grandmother, in tall tale, 1849.1.157

U[lysses] S[impson] Grant (1822-1885), soldier and 18th president of the U. S. Baptised Hiram Ulysses Grant, he adopted the name his congressman had mistakenly put in the letter appointing him to West Point. Grant was not especially enthusiastic about a military career—either at West Point, where he ranked in the middle of his class, or after graduating. He resigned from the Army in 1854 and tried several occupations before settling in Galena, Illinois. In 1861, after frustrating attempts to find a niche in the military, Grant was appointed colonel of the 21st Illinois Volunteers and two months later was appointed brigadier-general in charge of a district with its headquarters in Illinois. It was the beginning of a brilliant career, which included the capture of Vicksburg in 1863 and command of the armies of the U. S.. In January 1866 the Museum published an article emphasizing his exemplary nature as a boy.


Grape Lodge

Letter from, 1862.1.155-156

Gratiot, Wisconsin

Letter from, 1857.1.62

great raft, Red River, a massive collection of fallen trees accumulated on the Red River and was dismantled in the 1830s by Captain Henry Miller Shreve; “The great raft on Red river extended twenty miles,” Bartlett wrote in 1848, “and required an immense outlay of money to remove it.”


• John Russell Bartlett. Dictionary of Americanisms. New York: Bartlett and Welford, 1848.

Greytail the squirrel, protagonist of “The Squirrel at Home” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; July 1850), by A. A., which follows hard-working, generous Greytail through fall and winter, into spring. While the end promises another installment, none was printed.


Grin (in Robert Merry’s Museum), orangutan befriended by Gilbert Go-ahead, in “The Adventures of Gilbert Go-ahead.” After several adventures, Gilbert sends mischievous Grin as a gift to his maiden aunt, hoping thus to ensure that she leaves him her fortune. She leaves Gilbert six cents.


Grotto of Jason

Letter from, 1861.1.90-91

Grover & Baker sewing machine, popular sewing machines at the time; the company advertised prominently in the Museum.


guerillas, in Missouri during Civil War, 1868.1.166

gun, 1851.1.127a

female subscriber uses, 1857.1.29-30

Gurella’s picture gallery, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1858.2.93

Gustavus, either Gustavus Vasa (1496?-1560), Swedish king and founder of modern Sweden who led a revolt against the Danes; or Gustavus Adolphus (1594-1633), Swedish king and military genius who made Sweden a major power and instituted reforms.


Emily Hacket, May Queen in Easton, Pennsylvania, for 1856. After being crowned, she “delivered an address, which was very creditably done.”


• “Pic Nic”. Easton Daily Express [Easton, Pennsylvania]. 1 July 1856: p. 2, col 2.

“Hail Columbia” (song), 1858.2.59b

Anna Maria Fielding Hall (1800-1881), British writer. The Museum printed a piece by her in 1845.


handwriting, 1851.1.93


Letter from, 1867.2.157

Happy Family (Barnum’s Museum), exhibit in P. T. Barnum’s American Museum in the 1850s; he purchased it in England in 1844. It was described in the Museum in January 1858: in one cage were displayed a variety of animals, including cats, dogs, mice, birds, monkeys, an ant-eater, and snakes and toads, all apparently living peacefully together. !—! suggested that, were Barnum to learn of the final “submission” of the Merry cousins after the algebra war, he would wish to exhibit them: “I think I hear the showman: ‘Here, leddies and gen’lemen, is one of the greatest nateral cu’osities of the age! The “Merry Family,” consistin’ of critters as wiolent and antagonistic as ever you see, but by great care and patience reduced to their present state of civilization. Walk up, gen’lemen, and don’t be afeard of the hanimal with “black eyes.” She’s perfectly harmless now, though she does look savagewus.’”


Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1857.1.59.

• A. H. Saxon. P. T. Barnum: The Legend and the Man. New York: Columbia University Press, 1989; p. 137.

Harper’s Weekly (1857-1916, 1974-) or Harper’s monthly magazine (1850-).



Letter from, 1859.1.93b

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Letter from, 1863.2.59

Harry and Lucy (Richard and Maria Edgeworth; American: Philadelphia: np, 1805). The story describes the activities of two ordinary children learning about chemistry, physics, and natural history, guided by experiments, by their parents, and by their reading; it is not only a lively explanation of science, but demonstrates a method of education..



Letters from, 1848.2.941856.2.581856.2.122a

Connecticut, 1854.2.311

Wisconsin, 1859.1.61

hatchet, used by girls, 1854.2.314

Hattie Lee (worked in office of Merry’s Museum). See Merry Cousins—Hattie Lee

haunting, in Dover, New Jersey, 1855.2.126-127

Kate Hayes (1825-1861), vocalist. After studying in Dublin, Italy, and Milan, in 1851 this soprano began a tour of at least two years in the U. S.; she then traveled to South America, Australia, and elsewhere before returning to England in 1856..


“The Hazel Dell,” by Wurzel [pseudonym of George F. Root] (New York: Wm Hall and Son, 1853), song eulogizing Little Nelly, who has died: “In the hazel dell my Nelly’s sleeping”..


head cold, subject of poem, 1862.1.155b

Dirk Heldriver (in Robert Merry’s Museum), title character in a story in the series “Bill and the Boys” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1844). After am embezzler cheats his father out of the family fortune, Heldriver travels the world to exact revenge. It was reprinted in A Tale of the Revolution, and Other Sketches (New York: Sheldon & Co., 1845)..


hemlock, as Christmas tree, 1854.1.60a

Henriade, epic poem by Voltaire (1724) extolling French king Henry IV and his struggle to claim his throne; he was forced to renounce his Protestantism in order to rule Catholic France. In true epic style, Henry receives a vision of heaven and of hell, guided by St. Louis, before returning to conquer his enemies..


Hermitage plantation, Louisiana, 1851.1.32a

“The Hermit of Niagara,” by F., 1845.2.375-376


Letter from, 1849.1.125-126

“History of a Drop of Water,” by A. O. B., 1849.1.125-126

“The History of Little Muck” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1853), four-part fairy tale. Little Muck, a dwarf, learns much about human perfidy when he seeks his fortune.


Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881), editor and writer. As “Timothy Titcomb,” he wrote essays of moral advice, first for the Springfield Massachusetts Republican, then, after 1857, in book form.


• Henry Houston Peckham. Josiah Gilbert Holland. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1940.

Holland, subscriber from, 1857.2.27-28

“Hollywood” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1869), seven-part sequel to “Little Pearl”. At boarding-school Cassy and Agnes Marsh learn to persevere, to obey, and to make the most of themselves.


home, description of, 1867.1.188

“Home, Sweet Home,” song with words by John Howard Payne and music by Henry Rowley Bishop (1822). The first line sums it up: “ ’Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,/ Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home!” The phrase “sweet, sweet home” appears in the chorus.


“Home Again”, song by Marshall Spring Pike (Boston: E. H. Wade, 1850). A traveler is home again from a foreign shore.


“Home Casket” (amateur publication), 1858.1.187

Home Guard: Oxford English Dictionary: “a member of a volunteer force”; the earliest example is dated 1862.


homeless man, 1868.1.165-166

Homer, read by subscriber, 1849.1.123-1241858.1.186-187

Thomas Hood (1799-1845), British poet. The Museum published several of his poems.


hoop, 1850.1.157-1591856.2.93-94

Hoosac Tunnel, White Mountains, building and description of, 1871.2.243-244

Hopedale, Massachusetts: Christian commune formed in 1841 and led by the Reverend Adin Ballou. It emphasized temperance, non-violence, and equality of the races and the sexes; at first, women were paid for doing domestic work. Children played at scheduled times and worked for the commune after about age 12; after 1854, they attended the commune’s school. While individuals owned their houses and furniture, the whole commune owned farms and shops. However, W. F. Draper’s father owned the textile business that was an important economic asset. Financial reorganizations and economic problems altered the commune enough that members began to leave; Hopedale ceased to exist as a Christian commune in 1873.

Letter from, 1854.1.60a

• William F. Draper. Recollections of a Varied Career. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1908.

Hopedale Hall

Letter from, 1854.2.347-348

Jack Horner (in nursery rhyme): hero of a nursery rhyme:

Little Jack Horner

Sat in the corner,

Eating a Christmas pie;

He put in his thumb,

And pulled out a plum,

And said, What a good boy am I!


• Iona and Peter Opie, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rymes. Np: Oxford University Press, 1951; rhyme #262.

horse: 1856.2.1241860.1.94b1861.2.120-121

anecdote of, 1860.1.155

elderly, anecdote of, 1852.1.64a

used in lumbering, Aroostook, Maine, 1854.2.252

wild, in Texas, 1854.1.126-127

horseback riding, 1861.2.120-1211863.2.91

anecdote of, 1861.2.155-156

hospital, Patent Office, Washington, DC: From 1862 to early 1863, the Office was used as a Union hospital, with beds fitted between glass cases filled with models submitted by inventors: “It was indeed a curious scene at night when lit up,” Walt Whitman wrote in 1863. “The glass cases, the beds, the sick, the gallery above, and the marble pavement under foot ….”


• Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman’s Civil War. Ed. Walter Lowenfels. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1960; p. 87.

hotel: Hartford, Connecticut, 1848.2.94

Oswego, New York, during Syracuse State Fair, 1849.2.187b

Paris, France, 1849.2.158-160

house, description of, 1867.1.155

household expenses: at Cleveland, Ohio, 1844.2.95

in winter, 1845.1.31a

William Howe (engineer; 1803-1852): American farmer and inventor. In 1838 he designed a new form of truss for wooden bridges, which he patented in 1840 and which he used in the bridge he built for the Western Railroad over the Connecticut River at Springfield. Howe continued to improve the design during his life, building many bridges and roofs.


Howe’s cave, Schoharie County, New York, 1850.1.188-189

Mary Howitt (1799-1888), British writer. Beginning in the 1830s she translated stories by Hans Christian Andersen into English, and wrote a variety of works of fiction, poetry, and natural history; in all, she wrote, edited, or translated at least 110 works. The Museum published four pieces by her in the 1840s and 1850s.


“How Pudding Lane Obtained Its Name,” by Almira, 1849.1.32

Hudson River

boat travel on, 1857.2.184b

description of, 1849.1.61-62

human nature basically loving, 1867.2.157

hunter, in New York, 1856.1.31


in Louisiana, 1851.1.94

in New Iberia, 1857.1.61

ice-cream supper, in Selma, Alabama, 1858.1.188

ice-cutting, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 1852.1.126a

“Iceland and Its Inhabitants,” by F. F. E. (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; May 1872), a description of the island and those who live there.


Thomas J. Iles, 1854.1.31-32

ileus, causes death of subscriber, 1855.2.94b

Iliad (Homer), 1849.1.123-124

Illinois: emigration to, 1856.1.157

Peru, 1849.2.29-30

Letters from : 1862.1.261864.2.158

Alida, 51.1.158b

Cairo, 1858.1.127

Carlinville, 1856.1.157

Chicago, 1856.2.931856.2.1251857.2.1851858.1.1221858.1.153d1858.2.1251865.1.1571865.2.27a

Galena, 1845.1.189-190

Geneseo, Henry County, 1855.1.123a

Jacksonville, 1864.2.124a1865.1.93

Littleton, 1858.1.126c

Mt. Carroll, 1856.1.158

Quincy, 1849.1.95

Rock River, 1844.1.30-31

illness of subscriber, 1858.2.1261863.2.155-156

See also consumptionileustyphoidyellow fever

Independence, Missouri, described, 1849.2.29-30

Independence Day, 1865.2.58a


sounds of, 1858.2.59b

in Hartford, Connecticut, 1854.2.3111856.2.58

in Ogdensburgh, New York, 1857.2.59b

in Pennsylvania, 1849.2.94a

Union soldier mustered out on, 1865.2.58c


Letters from :

Delphi, 1854.1.31b

Terre Haute, 1852.1.128c1855.2.29d


Letter from, 1858.1.153b

Indian Orphan Institute (also, “the Orphan Indian Institute”): In 1846, a boarding school was opened at the Presbyterian mission for the Iowa, Sac, and Fox nations. By 1851, the school—near what is now Highland, Kansas, in the northeastern part of the state—had attracted students from several Native American nations. Several were orphans. When the Iowa and Sac were removed to a new reservation, the school became the Orphan Indian Institute, with about 40 students. It closed in 1867, after the U. S. government withdrew support.

Letter from, 1866.1.123

• Clifford Merrill Drury. Presbyterian Panorama. Philadelphia: Board of Christian Education, 1952; pp. 142-144.


Letter from, 1854.2.314

injury of subscriber, 1859.2.158

“Inquisitive Jack” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1843 and 1844): 16-part serial originally published as part of “Little Leaves for Little Readers.” Jack learns about the natural world by observing instead of asking questions; from the story the reader learns about insects, birds, and plants. In chapter 3 (May 1844), the hero studies and describes the instinctive behavior of birds, especially those in his own poultry yard. The story was reprinted as The Truth-finder; or, The Story of Inquisitive Jack (New York: n.p., 1845). In 1854 the first seven chapters were reprinted in the Museum at readers’ request.


“The Insurrection of June, at Paris,” by Meema, 1848.2.163-166

interior decoration of home, 1867.1.188

invalid subscriber, 1850.1.1591857.1.1581858.1.126c1865.2.184-185


Letters from

Beechgrove, 1858.1.29-30

Burlington, 1853.1.98a

Cannelton, 1855.2.126

Mt. Vernon, 1857.2.156a

Tuscarora, 1850.1.127a

Iowa City

Letter from, 1867.1.58

Ireland, tall tale-telling in, 1849.1.157

“Isabella, of Spain” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; July 1852), an illustrated biographical article.


“I spy”, a game in which a player who is “it” searches for others who have hidden, shouting, “I spy” and the player’s name, at each sighting. “It” then chases the player to an established goal, trying to “tag” him or her with a touch. As Lydia Maria Child described it in The Girl’s Book in 1833, the players called “Whoop!” to announce that they were hidden.


• Lydia Maria Child. The Girl’s Own Book. New York: Clark, Austin & Co., 1833. (Repr. Old Saybrook, Connecticut: Applewood Books, 1992); p. 55.


travel to 1845.1.31b

Letter from :

Florence, 1860.1.186

Jack Frost 1846.1.30-31

“Jack Frost” (in Robert Merry’s Museum): song (January 1841). Jack Frost has caused the birds to leave and winter to come.


jack-snipe, perhaps the common snipe (Capella gallinago ), which winters in the South.


Andrew Jackson (politician), mentioned, 1845.2.221-222

Jacksonville, Illinois

Letters from, 1864.2.124a1865.1.93

Alfred Jaell (1832-1882), Austrian pianist and composer. He toured the U. S. in 1856; 1855.2.157-158

jail, debtors, 1845.1.189-190

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Letter from, 1852.1.126a

James VI (1566-1625), king of Scotland; later, James I, king of England. He became king after his mother’s forced abdication.


James River, sailor serves on, 1863.2.90

Janesville, Wisconsin

Letter from, 1855.2.93b

Jefferson, Louisiana

Letter from, 1851.1.94

“Jenny Lind’s Welcome to America,” by Infanta, 1850.2.128

Jericho, Vermont

Letter from, 1853.1.99b


Letter from, 1859.1.93c

“Jessie Circle,” 1856.2.122-123

Joan of Arc, subject of pun, 1867.2.60b

job, subscriber works for relative, 1858.1.155


on phrase “Be short,” 1856.2.124


Bible, 1862.1.26-27

on Sherman’s march through Georgia, 1865.1.59a

on Joan of Arc, 1867.2.60b

John Winston Jones (1791-1848), American lawyer and politician. He was a Representative from Virginia (1834-1845), serving as chairman of the House ways and means committee and as Speaker of the House (1843-1845).



Letter from, 1857.1.159

Juliet (Clementina Tompkins’ cousin), 1858.1.62

Jumping Rabbit’s story (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1843): a six-part serial. Taken by Kickapoo warriors, the narrator lives in their village for 6 years and runs away to save a white family—the one he was born into. Details of Kickapoo life alternate with scenes of high adventure. Reprinted in Faggots for the Fireside (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1854).


Kalamazoo, Michigan

Letters from, 1854.1.95b1856.1.90

Kanawha canal, 1851.1.32b

Elisha Kane (1820-1857), American explorer of the Arctic. Overcoming a diseased heart, he became a doctor and enjoyed a series of adventures during the war between the U. S. and Mexico. In 1850, he joined an unsuccessful expedition to find British explorer John Franklin, who had disappeared in the Arctic in 1845. Kane led another expedition to find Franklin in 1853; the unsuccessful attempt unexpectedly lasted until summer 1855. During the adventure, Kane came into his own as a strong and intelligent leader; and he became a celebrity in the U. S. Deteriorating health led him to the warmth of Cuba, where he died; as Kane’s body traveled by ship to Philadelphia, thousands gathered at every port along the way to honor him. William Hoyt Coleman wrote for the Museum of meeting one of the dogs from Kane’s expedition and visiting Kane’s boat.



Letters from :

Auburn, 1861.1.91a

Cedar Point, Chase County, 1861.2.93a

Drought of 1860, 1861.1.91a

Jacob Karl (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1845-1847), protagonist of “Take Care of #1!”, a 21-part serial. Jacob learns from his father to take care only of himself. Events—including a stint on a tropical island—teach him that doing good to others is a better philosophy.


katydid, 1850.2.127-128

Bill Keeler: a storyteller whose humorous and moral tales are told in “Bill and the Boys” (in Robert Merry’s Museum, 1844).


“Keep Cool and Don’t Spill the Gravy” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; August 1855), one of the “Anecdotes of Catlin”: traveling with Catlin in Brazil, the author of the piece is cooking over a fire when Catlin says, “Now I want you to keep perfectly cool, and don’t spill your gravy—there is a splendid tiger behind you!” The author must stay completely still while Catlin crawls to their boat to retrieve a rifle and shoot the tiger.



attitudes about, 1850.2.188b

Letters from : 1858.2.59c

Frankfort, 1850.2.188b

La Grange, 1849.2.187a

Midway, 1853.1.98b1854.1.31-32

“Kindness to Animals” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; February 1858), by Meta: an illustrated essay extolling the virtues of being gentle with animals.



Letter from, 1858.1.154

kiss; kisses: 1861.1.881861.1.156

exchange of, 1862.1.155-156

Kit, cat actually named “Gipsey”.


kites, in New Orleans, Louisiana, 1853.1.131

kitten, 1853.1.130-1311856.2.57a

anecdote of, 1855.1.186-187

subject of poem, 1851.1.95

William Ireland Knapp. A Practical Grammar of the French Language. (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1864)


knitting, 1849.1.123-124

for soldiers, 1862.1.153b

“Know-Nothing,” a nineteenth-century American political party seeking—among other things—to restrict immigration to the U. S. and to keep Roman Catholics out of politics.


Lajos Kossuth (1802-1894), Hungarian patriot who visited the U. S. in 1852; the Museum featured two pieces extolling his courage and patriotism (January 1852).


Kriss Kringle, 1860.1.29

“author” of poem, 1855.1.91-92

Labyrinth, puzzle by “Pennsylvania Friends” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; July 1857).


Ladies’ Garland: The Ladies’ Garland and Family Magazine (1837-1846), monthly magazine “Devoted to Literature, Amusement and Instruction, Containing Original Essays, Female Biography—Historical Narratives—Sketches of Society—Topographical Descriptions—Moral Tales—Anecdotes, &c.” It also published music; 1841.2.127

“lady,” behavior of and age at which girl expected to act like, 1849.2.158-160

“Lady-bug, lady-bug” (nursery rhyme),

Ladybird, ladybird,

Fly away home,

Your house is on fire

And your children all gone … 


• [Iona and Peter Opie, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rymes. Np: Oxford University Press, 1951; rhyme #296] The American version substitutes “ladybug” for “ladybird.” After reciting the chant to a ladybug perched on one’s finger, the chanter blows on the insect, which flies away.

La Grange, Kentucky

Letter from, 1849.2.187a

lamb as pet, 1858.1.92a

“Land of Gold.” See California

Edward Langdon (Dover, New Jersey), 1855.2.126-127

lark, subject of poem, 1848.1.114

Latin: anecdote of, 1857.2.57-58

female learns, 1857.2.57-581857.2.155-156

subscriber studies, 1856.2.186

“Latin” poem, 1854.2.375

“Launching a Ship” (in Robert Merry’s Museum), 1855.1.158-159


Letter from, 1859.1.154-155

Henry A. and George W. Lee (merchants, New Orleans, Louisiana): Henry A. Lee (born c1824) and George W. Lee (born c1822), in 1855 commercial merchants at 124 Canal St., in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Cohen’s New Orleans Directory for 1855. New Orleans: Picayune, 1855; p. 142.

• M432. 1850 United States Census; reel #237: 248.

Lee County, Virginia

Letter from, 1872.2.148

“The Legend of the Echo” by S. C., 1849.2.95-96

legislature, Ohio, 1857.1.93

William and Susan Leigh (La Grange Seminary, Kentucky), probably William Leigh (born c1790, Virginia), listed in the 1850 census as a teacher; with him lived Susan Leigh (born c1814, North Carolina).


• M432. 1850 United States Census; reel #216, 163


Letter from, 1846.1.63

“Let Me Kiss Him for His Mother” (John P. Ordway), song (Boston: John P. Ordway, 1859):

Let me kiss him for his Mother,

Let me kiss his dear youthful brow;

I will love him for his Mother,

And seek her blessing now.

The song describes the death of a young man from Maine among strangers in New Orleans.


“Letter from Dr. Darwin’s Cat to Miss Seward’s Cat, Written by Dr. Darwin” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; December 1845), a “love letter” from one cat to the other. Miss Seward is referred to as one whose fingers “hold the pen of science”—hence she is characterized as “blue”; it includes a humorous love song in which Snow pleads for the regard of Miss Pussy, who has ignored his serenades.


“Letter from Santa Claus to Imogen L., Christmas, 1854,” 1855.1.58-59

“Letter to Bennie,” 1855.1.91-92

“Letter to Freddy,” 1855.1.91-92

letter-writing: correspondence kept in portfolio, 1857.2.156b

child sends letter to God, 1865.1.155b

Lewistown, Pennsylvania

Letter from, 1845.2.319


Letters from, 1844.1.1251856.1.186

Virginia, 1851.1.127a

library, town, 1868.1.115-116

life, briefness of subject of poem, 1857.2.27-28

lighthouses, Marblehead, 1854.2.375

Abraham Lincoln, death of, reaction to, 1865.1.186-1871865.1.187a

quoted, 1865.2.88

Jenny Lind (1820-1887): the “Swedish Nightingale” who mesmerized America in the 1850s. Hearing of Lind’s popularity in Europe—though not hearing her sing—P. T. Barnum choreographed a concert tour in America that resulted in a Lind-mania that began before Lind set foot in the country. In August 1850, in the New York Daily Tribune, Barnum offered a prize of $100—later raised to $200—for a piece of poetry to be set to music and sung by Lind. It was won by Bayard Taylor for a poem on very much the same theme as Infanta’s. Accounts of Lind’s doings filled newspapers wherever she went, with one breathlessly describing the newly refurnished rooms Lind occupied in the Revere House hotel during her first concerts in September 1850; among the furnishings was a piano from Chickering’s costing $1,000—considerably more than the Chickering piano P. A. P. named for Lind. Lind sang 95 concerts in 18 cities in 1850 and 1851; Blue-eyed Mary of Ohio could have heard her in one of five concerts in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 14-21, 1851.


poem for, 1850.2.128

• W. Porter Ware, and Thaddeus C. Lockard, Jr. P. T. Barnum Presents Jenny Lind. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980; pp. 5, 14-15, 35-36, 89-90, 185.

Linden Forest

Letter from, 1865.2.59

“Lines, Written When Thinking of Rosie,” 1856.1.156

lint making, 1862.2.122-123

“Little Leaves for Little Readers” (in Robert Merry’s Museum): a special section for young readers (1843). Requested by subscribers new to reading, the heavily-illustrated pages featured brief stories, poems, and informative articles, as well as chapters of “Inquisitive Jack”.


“Little Pearl” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; January-November 1868), 11-part story. In this episodic tale, Agnes Marsh, Pearl’s sister, learns from her example to be patient and selfless. The story’s often-humorous episodes precipitated by four lively children take a serious turn that culminates in fragile Pearl’s death.


The Little Pilgrim, magazine (October 1853-April 1869) edited by Sara J. Lippincott (also known as Grace Greenwood). Publishing stories and poems, it also included contributions from readers and a page of puzzles.


Littleton, Illinois

Letter from, 1858.1.126c


Letter from, 1851.1.64

Lone Star (ship, Evanston, Illinois), 1856.2.125

long-eared or mule-eared rabbit, probably the black-tailed jack rabbit (Lepus californicus ), also called the “jackass rabbit” (Mathews) and the only jack rabbit species found in Texas.


• Mitford M. Mathews, ed. A Dictionary of Americanisms On Historical Principles. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1951.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), American poet. His lyrical poetry was instantly popular. Among his most popular—and parodied—was the epic poem, The Song of Hiawatha (1855). The Museum reprinted two of his poems


Long Island Sound, recreation, 1867.2.59


Letter from, 1861.1.124

Loudon County, Virginia

Letter from, 1851.2.64

Louisiana: image of, 1846.2.125-126

Letters from

Altior Place, 1860.2.124

Asphodel, 1851.1.93

Baton Rouge, 1844.2.31-32

Bayou Sara, 1855.2.90b

Franklin, 1846.2.125-126

Jefferson, 1851.1.94

Magnolia Falls, 1852.2.159

Marksville, 1854.1.60b

Minden, 1859.2.155-156

New Iberia, 1857.1.61

New Orleans, 1853.1.131

Point Coupee, 1851.1.32a

Places in

the Pine Woods 1845.2.221-222

Shreveport, 1845.2.221-222

love, subject of poem, 1856.1.156

“Love’s Melancholy” (painting): Painted by Constant Mayer (1832-1901), it was exhibited at the Forty-first Exhibition of the National Academy of Design, in Boston, in 1866


Elijah Parish Lovejoy (1802-1837), American abolitionist. Liscensed as a Presbyterian minister, in St. Louis Lovejoy edited a Presbyterian weekly paper which he used to attack slavery and intemperance. Protest caused him to move to Alton, Illinois, to edit the Alton Observor ; here, in spite of protests, he published anti-slavery pieces. By Oct 1857, outraged mobs were destroying his presses. In November, an armed mob gathered to destroy a newly arrived replacement press. Lovejoy was shot to death trying to keep the building from being set on fire



Letters from, 1844.1.94-951845.2.223-2241846.1.30-311848.2.31

lumbering, in Aroostook, Maine, 1854.2.252

Martin Luther (1484-1546), German religious reformer credited as “the parent of the protestant reformation.” His friendship with Melanchthon dated from early in Luther’s career as a reformer. In 1844, the Museum printed a two-part biography.


Lynch law, named for Captain William Lynch. Mathews: “The practice or custom by which persons are punished for real or alleged crimes without due process of law; the punishment so meted out.”


• Mitford M. Mathews, ed. A Dictionary of Americanisms On Historical Principles. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1951.

General George Brinton McClellan (1826-1885), U. S. soldier. In 1861, McClellan was appointed major-general in the regular army, in command of the Department of the Ohio. Success led to his appointment to command the Division of the Potomac, where his hard work raised the morale and efficiency of troops demoralized by defeat at Bull Run. Hopes were high. However, McClellan’s career during the War was marked by a frustrating tendency toward inaction, as he consistently overestimated enemy strength. His build-up as “the new Napoleon” and his early failures were ridiculed by Southerners in a popular poem titled “McClellan’s Retreat.”


Confederate view of, 1865.1.121-122

“McClellan’s Retreat,” poem satirizing General George Brinton McClellan. It satirizes General George Brinton McClellan’s retreat from Mechanicsville, Virginia, in June 1862 and seems to have several variations. According to John W. Stevens, McClellan’s “battle cry had been ‘On to Richmond.’ The whole northern press … took up the refrain and it went raging through the north from center to circumference. ‘On to Richmond; break the back bone of the rebellion, hang Jeff Davis on a sour apple tree!’ [r]ang out from every regimental band in his grand army, which was so confidently believed to be invincible.” [p. 31] However, McClellan’s failure to press an advantage led to his army being forced to retreat to waiting Union gunboats on the James River, and “[s]omebody, I don’t know who, but my recollection now is that he was a member of the First Texas regiment, gave expression to the changed condition of affairs, with the new battle cry in verse as follows, which was soon chanted by the boys throughout the command, up and down the line, and known as”


’Twas at Mechanicsville,

As the balls began to fly,

McClellan wheeled about,

And changed his battle cry.


Away from Richmond; down

To your gun-boats, run, boys, run

Never mind your haversack,

Never mind your gun,

This fightin’ ’o the rebels

Is anything but fun. …


• John W. Stevens. Reminiscences of the Civil War. Hillsboro, Texas: Hillsboro Mirror Print, 1902.; pp. 31-32.

McConnelsville, Ohio

Letter from, 1856.1.187-188

Charles McIntire (Easton, Pennsylvania), names of father (c1816-1890) and son (c1849-1899) in Easton, Pennsylvania. Charles, sr, was an architect and surveyor who may have built the first Easton High School; in the 1860 census he was listed as having $3700 in assets, $3400 of it in real estate.


• M653. 1860 United States Census; reel #1147: 418.

• Jane S. Moyer, comp. Marriages and Deaths, Northampton County, 1885-1902: Newspaper Extracts. Easton, Pennsylvania: np, 1976; vol 12: 50.

Maclura, Tennessee

Letter from, 1860.1.123a

the Madeleine, Paris, France, 1848.2.163-166

Madison, Wisconsin

Letter from, 1856.2.61

Madison C. H., Florida

Letter from, 1856.2.122-123


Letter from, 1852.1.160

Magic Square. See puzzles, 1856.1.187-188

magnolia, Altior Place, Louisiana, 1860.2.124

Magnolia Falls, Louisiana

Letter from, 1852.2.159

Maid of Kentucky (steamboat), 192-ton sidewheel steamboat built at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1840. In 1844 she was advertised as a passenger steamer, the “regular Yazoo Packet” landing at Greenwood, Marion, Yazoo City, Satartia, and Vicksburg. She was abandoned or dismantled in 1847.


• William M. Lytle, comp. Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States. Mystic, Connecticut: The Steamship Historical Society of America, 1952; p. 118.

Advertisements of Lower Mississippi River Steamboats, 1812-1920, comp. Leonard V. Huber. West Barrington, Rhode Island: The Steamship Historical Society of America, 1959; p. 45.


life in subject of poem, 1857.2.94

Letters from : 1846.1.59-60

Fort Kent, 1854.2.252

Westbrook, 1855.2.29c

“Maine Law,” in Mathews: “A law forbidding the sale or manufacture of intoxicating liquor in Maine, enacted in 1851. Also any state or local law enacted with similar provisions;” earliest example dated 1852.


• Mitford M. Mathews, ed. A Dictionary of Americanisms On Historical Principles. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1951.

Malays, 1851.1.128c

male subscribers, female on, 1857.2.57-581859.2.1841860.2.25

the manipulator, imaginary object which trimmed letters to the Merry Chat. Early in the Museum’s history, an imaginary hatchet shortened letters printed in the Chat; in 1862 the editors spoke of using the hatchet, some shears, and “a pruning-hook and a hydraulic press”, the latter producing synopses of letters, called “Extracted Essences.” In 1863, the “double-back-action-high-pressure-condensatory-manipulator” was introduced; it was quite noisy, going, “Kerr-clickety-crunch—kerr-clickety-crunch.” (1863.1.120).


Alfred Mantalini, character in Charles Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby (published in parts, 1838-1839; in book form, 1839). Originally named Muntle, Mantalini changes his name when he marries a dressmaker; the costly picture of elegance and style, he lives on his wife’s earnings.


manufacturing, in Marietta, Ohio, 1851.2.94

maple sugar, 1858.2.28

making of, 1865.1.91-92

in New Hampshire, 1855.1.188c


Letter from, 1854.2.375


Letters from, 1861.1.90

Ohio, 1851.2.941852.1.128d


Letters from : Ohio, 1854.1.159

Virginia, 1858.1.126b

Marksville, Louisiana

Letter from, 1854.1.60b

marriage, 1858.1.56b1858.1.126a1858.1.153d1858.1.1541858.2.60-611859.1.189-1901862.1.155a

Black-Eyes on, 1859.2.126-127

Fanny Fern on, 1858.1.188-189

martin (bird), anecdote of, 1849.2.31-32


Letters from : Baltimore, 1855.1.91-921855.2.94b1856.1.581857.1.62-631858.1.621859.2.1571861.2.92-931862.1.187

Winton, 1849.2.311850.1.63

Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587), heir presumptive to the English throne.


Mason Village, New Hampshire

Letter from, 1856.1.91


image of, 1863.1.121

Letters from : 1863.1.58-591865.2.58a

Cambridge, 1867.2.93

Fall River, 1851.2.951855.2.89

Foxboro, 1852.1.127b

Framingham, 1855.2.93b

Harvard, 1845.1.188-189

Hopedale, 1854.1.60a

Jamaica Plain, 1852.1.126a

M., 1870.2.100

Newburyport, 1846.1.160

Springfield, 1842.1.89-901844.1.126-1281846.1.190a

Places in :

Boston, 1860.1.187b1867.2.93

Cabotville, 1844.1.126-128

Chickopee Falls, 1844.1.126-128

Harvard University, 1867.2.93

Hopedale, 1854.1.60a

Mount Holyoke Seminary, 1867.2.92a

Mount Tom, 1844.1.126-128

Matherton, Michigan

Letter from, 1858.1.92a

May Day

activities on: 1855.1.188b


in Boston, Massachusetts, 1856.1.187

in Ohio, 1856.2.26-27

in Palmyra, 1856.2.29

in Easton, Pennsylvania, 30 June, 1856.2.61-62

moving on, 1856.2.29

“May Party in June” (in Robert Merry’s Museum), 1856.2.61-62

May Queen, Palmyra, 1856.2.29

medical supplies, 1862.2.122-123

Philip Melanchthon (1496-1560), German Protestant reformer. He formed a friendship with Martin Luther at Wittemberg, where the two were professors.


• Samuel Griswold Goodrich, comp. Popular Biography. New York: Leavitt & Allen, 1832.


Letter from, 1849.1.153-154


Letters from, 1861.1.56b

Tennessee, 1849.2.94b1850.1.63-641852.1.128a1854.1.941855.1.58-591856.1.186-1871860.2.1571861.2.25

The Mentor: a 32-page monthly magazine (July 1850-December 1851?) edited by Horation Hastings Weld and published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; it was absorbed by Woodworth’s Youth’s Cabinet.


merchant, anecdote of, 1852.1.64a

Robert Merry: the guiding spirit of the Museum. The magazine’s editors traditionally took on his persona and made their announcements in his name. As created by Samuel G. Goodrich, Robert Merry was a distinct personality with a checkered past: having led an undisciplined youth, he spent time in prison and fought in the War of 1812 before going to sea and, finally, retiring to New England to live the quiet life of an old bachelor. In the process, he lost one leg. When John N. Stearns took over, he gave the old man his own children and his own personality, enrolling him as a Son of Temperance. The one-legged Merry pictured on the magazine’s cover now had two legs, and when readers received a picture of the editor in 1863, Robert Merry had John Stearns’ face. When Louisa May Alcott took over in 1868, however, Merry became a nonentity: crisp, but loving, as likely to scold as to praise, with no discernible history or personality, a name on the cover of the Museum.


canary named for, 1855.2.93b

confusion about identity of, 1846.1.631851.2.94-95

image of, 1844.1.94-951850.1.127-1281850.2.30b1852.1.191b1856.1.1861857.2.93b1859.1.94

supposed to look like Santa Claus, 1855.1.122b

poem addressed to, 1852.2.126c

subject of dream, 1846.1.189-1901850.1.127-128

subject of poem, 1844.1.1251846.1.189-190

wooden leg, 1858.1.122

Merry convention: The Cousins met (appropriately enough) in the parlor of editor John N. Stearns in 1865, at the suggestion of subscriber Jasper. The meeting was announced in the December 1865 issue of the Museum ; see 1865.2.1541865.2.183-184


Merry Cousins, the readers

Authenticity questioned, 1862.1.261867.1.1551867.2.59

Disabled, 1865.2.184-185

Emigrating, sends “final messages,” 1864.2.88a

Gender questioned: 1858.2.281861.2.58a

Sybil Grey, 1861.1.153-154

female: mistaken for male, 1857.2.184b

female wrote as male, 1861.2.58a

male posing as female, 1861.1.88

Image of, 1860.2.261861.2.23-241868.1.164-165

Look for each other: not known to each other, 1864.2.88-89

badge, 1863.2.29

mark names on hotel register, 1863.2.62

politeness distinguishes, 1863.2.155

Married, 1860.2.182-183

Meet, see Merry convention

Poor, 1872.1.244

Southern hesitant to return to Chat after Civl War, 1865.1.121-1221865.2.88

Subject of poem, 1868.1.164-165

Too young to write, 1850.2.1591850.2.188a51.1.158b1851.2.1601853.1.99a


Letter from, 1859.1.156a

Mexico (Vera Cruz), in Civil War: When the U. S. S. Potomac arrived here in February 1862 to protect Union interests, it found an impressive British naval force in perfect position to attack the Union blockade of Southern ports, should the order arrive. It didn’t, and the British fleet withdrew by the end of March 1862. The Potomac herself withdrew in May.


• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 1, vol 17: 39; series 1, vol 1: 307-308, 354, 368, 390.


Letters from : 1849.2.127-1281849.2.29-30

Ann Arbor, 1858.1.125a1858.2.1271859.1.125a1859.2.92-93

Brooklyn, 1851.1.128a

Centreville, 1852.1.64a

Delta, 1852.2.126c

Detroit, 1850.1.1591851.2.95-961852.1.941852.2.93

Kalamazoo, 1854.1.95b1856.1.90

Matherton, 1858.1.92a

Mich. University, 1849.2.124-125

Monroe, 1849.1.154-155

Wayne, 1848.1.114

Michigan University, Michigan

Letter from, 1849.2.124-125


Letters from, 1849.2.31-32

Virginia, 1850.1.187

Middlebury, Vermont

Letters from, 1844.1.125-126

Midway, Kentucky

Letters from, 1853.1.98b1854.1.31-32

militia, muster of First Brigade, Massachusetts, 1867.2.125

milking described, and milking machine extolled: L. O. Colvin patented an “improved” milking machine which “imitate[d] the natural action of the calf in a very perfect manner,” in May, 1860.


• “Improved Cow-Milker.” Scientific American, 58 (2 July 1860): 4.

Miller’s Place, Long Island, New York

Letter from, 1865.2.91b


Letters from, 1850.2.1281857.2.184a1872.1.294

Wisconsin, 1853.1.98c

Minden, Louisiana

Letter from, 1859.2.155-156

mineral springs, Fincastle, Virginia, 1850.2.96

mining: iron, in Pennsylvania, 1845.2.319

lead, in Galena, Illinois, 1845.1.189-190


Letters from :

Anoka, 1859.2.126b

Zumbrota, 1858.1.59

mirror, subject of story, 1849.1.31-32

Les Misérables, book by Victor Hugo (American edition: Translated by Charles E. Wilbour. New York: Carleton, 1862). This leisurely novel, as big as the events it describes, focuses on Jean Valjean, imprisoned for stealing bread, and his redemption through his aid of an orphan girl. As much about France as it is about the characters, the novel climaxes with the revolt in 1833.


“Misfortunes of a Yellow-Bird” (in Robert Merry’s Museum), reprinted from the Juvenile Miscellany (July 1845), the autobiography of a bird from its hatching through its being caught, caged, and thus reduced to “slavery” and to luring other birds into the same trap.


mission school, Choctaw nation, 1852.1.159


Letters from : 1868.1.419

Aberdeen, 1857.2.59a

Auburn, 1856.2.123

Fulton, 1852.1.64b

Natchez, 1849.2.94-95

Vicksburg, 1858.2.621858.2.931861.1.89-901861.1.91b

Woodville, 1853.2.187b

See also University of Mississippi

Mississippi River, flooding of, 1867.1.155-156


St. Louis, 1855.2.90a

Letters from :

Boone County, 1860.1.92-93

Otterville, 1862.1.88

Parkville, 1868.1.166

St. Joseph, 1857.2.93c

St. Louis, 1850.2.30a1867.1.155-156

Mobile, Alabama, U. S. Frigate Potomac

Letter from, 1862.1.27b


Letter from, 1857.2.157a

monkey in exhibit, 1858.1.152

Monroe, Michigan

Letter from, 1849.1.154-155


to Silas Wright, 1854.1.32

to soldiers, Frankfort, Kentucky, 1850.2.188b

moral extolled, 1867.2.156-157

Mormon church and Mormons, 1849.2.29-301849.2.127-1281856.2.93-94

“morphine” used to keep editor from shortening letter, 1861.2.59

Mother’s Magazine, a periodical with a complex publication history (1833-?) which focused on child-rearing and Christianity. From 1851 to 1855 it was published by S. T. Allen & Co., which was how Harriet received it instead of the Museum.


motherhood, 1862.1.155a

mound, in Marietta, Ohio, 1851.2.94

“Mound City.” See St. Louis, Missouri

Mt. Carroll, Illinois

Letter from, 1856.1.158

Mt. Morris, New York

Letter from, 1859.1.125c

Mt. Vernon, Iowa

Letter from, 1857.2.156a

Mourir pour la Patrie!  (song), 1848.2.163-166

moving on May Day, 1855.1.186-1871856.2.29


Letters from, 1852.1.1251865.2.88

Tennessee, 1852.1.126c1855.1.921856.1.60b1865.1.121-122


enjoyed by subscriber, 1864.2.62 (note)

printed in the Museum : seeSnow-Bird Song” • “Temperance Life-Boat” • “Those Evening Bells

muster of First Brigade, Massachusetts, militia, 1867.2.125

“My Kitty,” by Truxina, 1851.1.95

“my mamma’s maid”: orange thief in a nursery rhyme:

Dingty diddlety,

My mammy’s maid,

She stole oranges,

I am afraid;

Some in her pocket,

Some in her sleeve,

She stole oranges,

I do believe.


• Iona and Peter Opie, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rymes. Np: Oxford University Press, 1951; rhyme #316.

My Own Life and Adventures, by Robert Merry”: The serialized “autobiography” of “Robert Merry” (1841-1842), which detailed his childhood and early adventures. It was reprinted as Wit bought; or, The life and adventures of Robert Merry (New York: Sheldon & Co., 1844).



Letter from, 1845.1.31a

Nashville, Tennessee

Letter from, 1865.1.122a


Letters from, 1849.2.94-95

U. S. Gunboat Winona, 1862.2.59

Natchez nation, 1849.2.94-95

Native Americans

image of, 1846.1.59-60

Geographical :

Rome, Georgia, burial site, 1849.1.156

Indiana, 1858.1.153b

Louisiana, 1846.2.125-126

Maine, 1846.1.59-60

Winton, Maryland, 1849.2.31

Anoka, Minnesota, 1859.2.126b

Natchez, Mississippi, 1849.2.94-95

New Hampshire, belief system, 1864.1.60

Dover, New Jersey, legend about, 1855.2.126-127

in Ontonagon, as mail-carriers, 1860.1.187a

in Texas, 1854.1.126-127

Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania, 1846.1.60-61

burial site, 1846.1.60-611846.2.123-124

Subscribe to the Museum :

Chickasaw subscriber; Merry Cousins—Choctaw; Choctaw subscriber; Merry Cousins—Cousin SallyMerry Cousins—Tsee-nee-lung-keeMerry Cousins—Wild One

See also Cherokee nationCheyenne nationCreek nationNatchez nationPawnee nationScaghticokeSioux nation

Nero, Lucius Domitius Claudius (37-68), Roman emperor less famous for the promising beginning of his reign than for the tyrannies at the end.


Newark, New Jersey

Letter from, 1865.2.184-185

New Bedford

Letter from, 1853.2.31

Newbern, North Carolina, battle: Newbern was captured by Union forces on 14 March 1862 and remained under Union control for the rest of the Civil War, though there were skirmishes here in 1863 and 1864.


• Frederick H. Dyer. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1959.

• Mark M. Boatner The Civil War Dictionary, rev. ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1988.

Newburyport, Massachusetts

Letter from, 1846.1.160

New Hampshire

Letters from : 1855.1.188c1863.2.155

Mason Village, 1856.1.91

New Ipswich, 1859.1.93-941858.1.122-1231859.1.156-157

Wentworth, 1851.1.96b1864.1.60

New Haven, Connecticut

Letters from, 1853.2.127b1857.1.29-301857.1.92-931857.2.156b1859.1.123-1241860.2.89-90

New Holland, 1844.1.30-31

New Iberia, Louisiana

Letter from, 1857.1.61

New Ipswich, New Hampshire

Letters from, 1858.1.122-1231859.1.93-941859.1.156-157

New Jersey

Letters from :

Belvidere, 1846.1.60-61

Bloomfield, 1856.2.26

Newark, 1865.2.184-185

Places in :

Bergen, Bergen Columbia Academy, boarding school established in 1790 in Bergen, New Jersey. This school, in its two-story stone building, had two departments: one for classical education, the other for elementary. At least at the end of its existence, it was coeducational.


• William H. Shaw, comp. History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1884; vol 2: 1123.

• Daniel Van Winkle. Old Bergen. Jersey City, New Jersey: John W. Harrison, 1902; p. 212.

Bloomfield, Bloomfield Institute, a private academy established by the Rev. Ebenezer Seymour; it was open from 1847 to 1860. The academy had separate departments for young men and women and attracted students from the U. S. and abroad, many of whom went on to college and to the ministry.


• William H. Shaw, comp. History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1884; vol 2: 869.

Dover, described, 1855.2.126-127

New Orleans

Letter from, 1853.1.131

New Paltz

Letter from, 1865.2.91a

newspapers, rented by Parisians, 1851.2.92-93

New Year’s Day, 1848.2.94

celebration, East Windsor Hill, Connecticut, 1856.1.90-91

gift, 1851.1.1901853.2.311853.2.127c1859.1.125a

meditation on, 1865.1.25-261865.1.261867.1.60-61

New York

Letters from : 1842.1.1241850.2.321851.1.128c1851.1.1901853.1.130-1311855.1.186-1871857.2.1551858.1.251858.1.56b1859.1.601859.2.185b1861.1.153-154

Albion, 1856.1.60c

Brooklyn, 1853.1.99a1857.1.119-1201860.2.88

Buffalo, 1855.2.90a

Carmel, 1841.2.127

Chester, 1850.2.188a

Chili, 1857.2.157b

Colchester, 1858.2.158-159

Cornwall, 1855.2.125a

Elmira, 1865.1.187a

Genesee County, 1856.1.31

Miller’s Place, Long Island, 1865.2.91b

Mt. Morris, 1859.1.125c

New York, 1855.2.126-1271856.1.81-831864.2.88a

Orange County, 1864.1.90

Otisville, 1858.1.92b

Ouaquaga, 1865.2.121

Patchogue, 1849.1.125

Perry, 1855.2.93-94

Rome, 1850.1.127-128

Syracuse, 1844.2.63

Places in :

Canandaigua, Ontario Female Seminary, founded in 1825. In 1848 Edward G. Tyler and his wife took charge, enlarging the 2-story brick building in 1852 to accomodate 80 boarding students, over 12 teachers, and a large day school. In 1850 it had about 60 students ranging in age from 13 to 20. The school closed in 1875.


• M432. 1850 United States Census; reel #571: 183.

• George S. Conover, ed. History of Ontario County, New York. Syracuse, New York: D. Mason & Co., 1893; vol 1: 228.

• Charles F. Milliken. A History of Ontario County, New York, and Its People. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1911; vol 1: 283.

Canandaigua Academy, founded in 1791. The building itself was begun in 1796 and was rebuilt in 1836. In 1850 the Academy had twenty-two male students ranging in age from 12 to 18.


• George S. Conover, ed. History of Ontario County, New York. Syracuse, New York: D. Mason & Co., 1893; vol 1: 225.

• Charles F. Milliken. A History of Ontario County, New York, and Its People. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1911; vol 1: 282.

The Academian, March 1916; pp. 13, 15.

• M432. 1850 United States Census; reel #571: 160.

Cornwall, the Cornwall Collegiate School, established in 1853 by Alfred C. Roe. Purchasing a fairly large house in Cornwall, Roe added a schoolroom at the back. At first, the school emphasized a general education; gradually mathematics and civil engineering became the focus, with students surveying nearby land. Roe closed the school after fall, 1863.


• E. M. Ruttenber and L. H. Clark, comp. History of Orange County, New York. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1881. (Repr. Interlaken, New York: Heart of the Lakes Publishing, 1980); vol 2: 765-766.

• Janet Dempsey, et al. Cornwall, New York: Images from the Past, 1788-1920. Np: Friends of the Cornwall Public Library, 1988; p. 23

Cornwall, Idlewild, sixty-acre estate owned by N. P. Willis. In 1851 Willis visited Cornwall and became enamored of the area. On a rugged tract of land, he built a Victorian-Gothic “cottage” designed for the site and altered the landscape to emphasize its ruggedness and beauty; he moved into the house in 1853. While Willis was forced to shut out the hogs people let run wild, he welcomed beauty-lovers: “[T]o shut up a glen, or a waterfall for one man’s exclusive knowing and enjoying … would be an embezzlement by one man of God’s gift to all. A capitalist might as well curtain off a star, or have the monopoly of an hour.” In 1861 the boys at Alfred C. Roe’s boarding school practiced their surveying at Idlewild.


• Lewis Beach. Cornwall. Newburgh, New York: E. M. Ruttenber & Son, 1873; pp. 83-96.

• Janet Dempsey, et al. Cornwall, New York: Images from the Past, 1788-1920. Np: Friends of the Cornwall Public Library, 1988; p. 23.

Fort Stanwix, 1850.1.127-128

New York, New York: contrasted with country, 1860.2.58

life in, 1867.1.155

snow-storm of 5 January 1856, 1856.1.81-83

Letters from, 1855.2.126-1271856.1.81-831864.2.88a

New York Free Academy, school established in January 1849. Designed to offer a “Collegiate course” to male students over age 13, the school required each student to pass rigorous examinations in writing, geography, elementary bookkeeping, U. S. history, and elementary algebra, among other subjects; students then pursued one of three five-year courses of study. It was literally free: No tuition was charged, and all books and supplies were provided by the school. The Museum gave the readers a detailed and illustrated description of the school in May 1855.


Niagara Falls, 1845.2.375-376

Ogdensburgh, St. Lawrence Hotel: Lippincott’s Pronouncing Gazetteer : “Among the hotels, the St. Lawrence Hotel has a front of 132 feet on State, and 94 feet on Ford Street, and contains, besides public halls, parlors, &c., 86 sleeping apartments.”


Lippincott’s Pronouncing Gazetteer, ed. J. Thomas and T. Baldwin. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1855.

Rome, Rome Free Academy, incorporated in 1848. In this two-story brick building were a laboratory, a lecture room, and separate study rooms for girls and boys; the school had male, female, and primary departments. In 1850 the Liberty Street School was built.


• Henry J. Cookinham. History of Oneida County, New York. Chicago: S. J. Publishing Co., 1912; vol 1: 371-372.

Salina, 1844.2.63

Syracuse, 1844.2.63

Marshal Ney (1760-1815), French officer famous for bravery and military skill. Sent with his army to stop Napoleon in 1815, Ney instead joined him; he was condemned to death and shot.


Niagara County

Letter from, 1857.2.183b

Niagara Falls, subject of story, 1845.2.375-376

Letter from, 1852.1.128b

“Nightingale”. See Jenny Lind

North Carolina

Letters from : 1859.1.156b

Wilmington, 1858.1.153a

Wilmington, Sugar-plum Hill, 1859.2.126a

U. S. S. North Carolina, U. S. warship. This wooden sailing ship-of-the-line was built at Philadelphia Navy Yard and launched 7 September 1821. Pierced for 102 guns, she seems to have carried 94. After a lively career in the Mediterranean, she did service in the Pacific squadron until 1839. The North Carolina was a receiving ship in New York harbor until 7 September 1865, when she was decommissioned and sold.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington, DC: Navy Department, Naval History Division, 1959 (at HathiTrust Digital Library); vol 4: 592-596.]

• John Robert Godley. Letters from America. London: John Murray, 1844.

North Tewksbury

Letter from, 1845.1.63b


Letters from, 1846.1.189-1901858.1.126a

Connecticut, 1845.2.286-2871859.1.124


Letter from, 1852.1.63

Norwood (Henry Ward Beecher), serialized in the New York Ledger before being published in hardcover (New York: Charles Scribner & Co., 1868). A handful of Yankee eccentrics, a couple of love stories, the Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln rub elbows with discussions philosophical and religious.


“Noses” by Know-Nothing, 1856.2.94-95

referred to, 1856.2.122-123

nurse, Patent-Office Hospital, 1863.1.23-24

oak, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1854.1.95b

See also Charter oak

Oak Bowery, Alabama

Letter from, 1855.2.28b

Oak Hill, Virginia

Letters from, 1860.1.94b1860.2.91

Robert Strong Oakley (Wilforley’s father; baptized 26 February 1812, New York; died January 1862); husband of Mary Ellen (born c1815, New York) and father of at least eight children, the oldest, William Forrest Oakley. Robert was the president of a bank note company. He died at his home on Washington Ave., Brooklyn, New York, of “fatty degeneration of the heart,” aged 49 years, 11 months.


• M653. 1860 United States Census; reel #767, 272.

• “Records of the South Reformed Dutch Church in Garden Street, in the City of New York,” transcribed Royden Woodward Vosburgh. New York City: np, 1921; p. 2.

• Brooklyn, New York. Certificate of Death; #473.

Oak Wild Lodge

Letter from, 1858.1.30-31

Oberlin, Ohio

Letter from, 1857.2.27-28


Letters from, 1855.1.89b1857.2.59b1858.1.601858.1.1551859.2.611859.2.158


Letters from :

Ashtabula, 1857.2.93b

Brooklyn, 1866.1.591866.1.155

Cleveland, 1844.2.95

Columbus, 1856.2.93-94

Dayton, 1860.1.60a

East Rockport, 1865.2.27b1865.2.120

Marietta, 1851.2.941852.1.128d

Marion, 1854.1.159

McConnelsville, 1856.1.187-188

Ostrander, 1867.2.61b

St. Clairsville, 1858.1.56a1860.1.60-611863.2.155-1561866.1.62

Tremainsville, 1858.1.31-32

Zebraville, 1861.1.123

Places and events in :

Belmont, fair here, 1858.2.155-156

Columbus, State House opens, 1857.1.93

Marion, Marion Academy, The Marion Academy—the first of its kind in Marion County—opened in 1841 by John J. Williams, with 35 pupils, in the Masonic Hall; a new building was finished in 1844. The Academy focused on fitting its students for college. After free schools opened in Marion, the academy declined; it closed in 1853.


Old Church, Virginia

Letter from, 1849.1.123-124

An Old-Fashioned Girl (Louisa May Alcott; Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1869), book serialized in the Museum before being published in hardcover (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1870). Sweet Polly earns the admiration of all with her obliging simplicity and her eagerness not to take on the trappings of adulthood just yet; she embodied the ideal of unsophisticated childhood that Alcott was not alone in promoting at that time.

reaction to, 1869.1.484

“Old Man in the Corner” (in Robert Merry’s Museum), collection of four pieces (1844). Purportedly left in Robert Merry’s office by an old man who looked like Peter Parley, the works include a “scientific” discussion of melancholy, the reminiscences of a cotton rag, a story in which a boy learns not to be lazy, and a tale in which a philosopher’s daughter argues him into believing in God.


“Old Oaken Bucket,” by Samuel Woodworth, “The Old Oaken Bucket”: “The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,/ The moss-covered bucket, which hung in the well.” The Museum printed the poem in August 1843, praising it for its emphasis on home.


E. H. Olds, daguerreotypist. In 1857 he had a “Daguerreotype, Ambrotype & Photographic Picture Gallery” at 8 Eagle Block, Ford St., Ogdensburg, New York; he advertised that he did not “intend to keep any but the best of material nor let any but First Class Pictures go out of his gallery.”


• Ogdensburg directory: James, Hopkins & Foster. Ogdensburgh Business Directory, 1857. (Repr. Ogdensburgh (New York) City Directories. Woodridge, Connecticut: Research Publications, 1980-1984); p. 18.

old woman in the shoe, overburdened mother in a nursery rhyme: “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,/ She had so many children she didn’t know what to do.”


• Iona and Peter Opie, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rymes. Np: Oxford University Press, 1951; rhyme #546

“old woman … tossed up in a blanket,” English nursery rhyme:

There was an old woman toss’d in a blanket,

Seventeen times as high as the moon;

But where she was going no mortal could tell,

For under her arm she carried a broom.

Old woman, old woman, old woman, said I!

Whither, ah whither, ah whither so high?

To sweep the cobwebs from the sky,

And I’ll be with you by and by.

A popular variant substitutes “basket” for “blanket.”


The Annotated Mother Goose. Ed. William S. Baring-Gould and Ceil Baring-Gould. New York: Clarkson N. Potter Inc., 1962; p. 50.

• Iona and Peter Opie, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rymes. Np: Oxford University Press, 1951; rhyme #545

omnibus, 1864.1.601865.1.155b

“On a Dead Rabbit,” 1842.1.159-160

Onondaga Valley

Letter from, 1852.1.191b

Ontonagon, Lake Superior, subject of poem, 1860.1.187a

Orange County, New York

Letter from, 1864.1.90

orange tree, 1853.1.131

Oregon Territory

Letters from : Santiam, 1857.2.911858.1.91-92

orphans, education of, 1853.1.98b

Ostrander, Ohio

Letter from, 1867.2.61b


Letter from, 1849.2.187b, 1850.2.62

Frederick Louis Otho (1815-1867), King of Greece (1833-1862). After the newly independent state of Greece established itself as a monarchy under a protectorate exercised by Bavaria, Otho, second son of King Ludwig of Bavaria, was chosen as king. He took absolute power in 1837; but in 1843 an uprising led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. In March 1845, the Museum included his portrait and an article about him, tactfully declining either to praise or to condemn him.


Otisville, New York

Letter from, 1858.1.92b

Otterville, Missouri

Letter from, 1862.1.88

Ouaquaga, New York

Letter from, 1865.2.121

“Our Baby,” by Minna Columbine, 1856.1.88

oxen, used to clear road, 1868.1.165-166


Letter from, 1856.2.186

oysters, Blue Point, 1849.1.125

“P. G. question”/ “p. g. war,” a facetious contest inadvertently launched by Daniel H. Burnham to discover the “prettiest girl” among the subscribers, using photographs the Cousins were sending to each other. In a way, it helped to alleviate the tensions caused by the Civil War.


Packwaukee, Marquette County, Wisconsin

Letter from, 1864.2.1831865.1.88


Letter from, 1859.1.189


Letter from, 1859.1.62


Letter from, 1856.2.29

Panic of 1857, 1857.2.183a

repercussions of, 1858.1.92b

Panthéon, Paris, France, 1848.2.163-166

parade, Independence Day, Hartford, Connecticut, 1854.2.311


Letter from, 1860.2.60a

The Parent’s Assistant (Maria Edgeworth; British: 1796; American: Boston: Monroe & Francis, 18—). This collection of tales—revised several times—emphasizes moral education, especially the values of honesty and hard work. It presents such characters as Rosamond and Susan, some of Edgeworth’s most realistic.


parenthood, philosophical question of, 1858.1.92b

Paris, France

Letters from : 1848.2.163-1661849.2.158-1601850.1.157-1591851.2.63-641851.2.92-931859.2.184

Places in :

Bois de Boulogne, 1849.2.158-160

Garden of Plants, the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, France, a collection of natural history libraries and exhibits founded in 1635. In 1851 it consisted of a botanical garden with greenhouses; galleries with zoological, botanical, and mineralogical exhibits; an animal menagerie; a natural history library; and an amphitheater for free public lectures.


Galignani’s New Paris Guide for 1851. Paris: A. & W. Galignani & Co., 1851; pp. 469-473.

Tuileries, 1849.2.158-160

Revolution of June 1848, 1848.2.163-166

Republic declared, 1851.2.92-93

George Parish (Ogdensburg, New York), 1859.2.61

park: Hartford, Connecticut, 1854.2.311

Cleveland, Ohio, 1854.1.31a

Park Hill, Cherokee Nation

Letter from, 1857.1.158

Parkville, Missouri

Letter from, 1868.1.166

Peter Parley: the extremely-popular character created by Samuel G. Goodrich; beginning in 1827, Peter Parley directly addressed young readers in books calculated to educate them about the world and its inhabitants. Children reacted immediately, loving the old man with the gouty foot so much that unscrupulous publishers appropriated Parley for their own works. Frustrated by the flood of counterfeit Parleys, Goodrich actually “killed off” his creation in Peter Parley’s Farewell, a study of metaphysics published in 1840, and announced his death in the Museum in 1841—to the surprise of several readers. Parley was “resurrected” in 1845, when Parley’s Magazine was absorbed by the Museum. He joined “Robert Merry” as a putative editor of the magazine.

1842.1.89-901842.1.1591843.2.641844.1.94-951844.1.126-1281844.2.31-321845.1.189-1901845.2.223-2241846.1.631848.2.921849.1.62-631849.2.31-321849.2.631850.1.127b1850.2.30a1850.2.62 • 51.1.128 • 1851.2.941851.2.94-951851.2.951852.1.631852.1.128b1853.2.187b1856.2.581859.1.941859.1.125c1868.1.115-116

Books read by subscriber, 1851.1.128b1851.1.128c1851.2.95

portrait of, 1859.1.94

seen by subscriber, 1851.1.128b

in Buffalo, New York, 1850.2.62

Biography of, 1856.2.58

Peter Parley’s Method of Telling About Geography to Children, 1849.2.158-160

Peter Parley’s Universal History, 1849.2.63

Tales of Peter Parley About America, by Samuel Griswold Goodrich (Boston: Carter, Hendee & Co., 1827), 1844.1.126-128

Parley’s Cabinet Library, a collection of books published from 1844 to 1845. The Library totalled 20 volumes, six each in the “Biographical Department” and the “Historical Department”; the other eight included works on geology, natural history, literature, and sociology.


Parley’s Magazine: periodical (16 March 1833-1844), founded by Samuel G. Goodrich. A precursor to the Museum, Parley’s emphasized non-fiction, poetry, and moral fiction; articles covered geography, biology, astronomy, manufacturing, anthropology, and biography. Though the magazine ceased publication in 1844, its merger with the Museum was not officially announced until August 1845.


Art of Pen Making” (article) 1842.1.89-90

the parlor, the imaginary room in which the Merry Cousins “met” each month. Hiram Hatchet first used the image in 1854, when he took over the Chat and greeted readers as if they were all together in a room, each waiting to speak; in later columns, references were made to furnishings and Cousins began to offer each other seats: “Commodore, there is an empty chair on this side of the room, if you are not too bashful to sit among the girls,” Sallie offered in 1858. (1858.1.127)


image of Cousins in, 1861.2.23-24


of endless story, 1850.2.32

of illiterate letter-writer, 1849.2.61

of The Song of Hiawatha, 1856.1.189-190

party, in Ogdensburg, New York, hosted by George Parish’s mistress, Madame Maria Helena Amerigo Vespucci (died 1866), who left the town soon afterward. Refreshments included oranges and bananas—exotic treats for the party-goers. The party was one of the most memorable events in 19th-century Ogdensburg.

11 June, 1859.2.61

St. Lawrence Republican. 14 June 1859.

• Gouverneur, New York. City Clerk’s Office. Return of Town Clerk: Births in the Town of Gouverneur … 1850.

Passe L’Outre, on the Mississippi River. The U. S. S. Winona cruised near it in March 1862.


• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 1, vol 18: 817.

Pasture Plantation, Louisiana, 1849.2.63

U. S. S. Patapsco, single-turret wood and iron monitor built in 1862. She was sunk by a torpedo off Charleston, South Carolina, on 16 January 1865.


• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 2, vol 1: 171.

Patchogue, New York

Letter from, 1849.1.125

patriotism, American, expressed, 1855.1.158-159

Paul and Virginia: An Indian Story (Jacques Henri Bernardine de Saint-Pierre), book (British: 2nd ed. London: Vernor & Hood, 1796; American: Baltimore: Bonsal & Niles, 1800). Their childhood on Madagascar is simple and idyllic; when Virginia’s mother tries to ensure her daughter’s wealth, the result is tragic. In 1852 the novel was abridged in the Museum in three parts as “An Interesting Story.”


Pawnee nation, 1849.2.127-128


Letter from, 1852.2.126b

Peale’s Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Charles Willson Peale established a gallery of art and natural curiosities in Philadelphia in 1784; in 1846, it was incorporated as Peale’s Philadelphia Museum and Gallery of Fine Arts, managed by Charles’ grandson until financial difficulties forced him to sell it in 1849. (Charles Coleman Sellers. Mr. Peale’s Museum. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1980.)


pecans, Texas, 1854.1.126-127

Pelopidas, Theban general. After a Spartan oligarchy was established at Thebes, he disguised himself and 11 men, not as women, but as hunters, in order to get into the city and kill the tyrants.


• J. Lempriere. Bibliotheca Classica, 7th American ed. New York: Collins & Hannay, 1832.

• Charles Anton. A Classical Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1856.

pen names, and sectionalism, 1858.1.25

Pennsylvania: invaded by Confederacy, 1863.2.59. Letters from :

Easton, 1856.2.61-62

Harrisburg, 1863.2.59

Lewistown, 1845.2.319

Philadelphia, 1845.1.31b

Smithfield, 1848.2.93-94

Somerset, 1849.2.94a

Places in :

Delaware Water Gap, 1848.2.93-94

Wyoming Valley, 1846.1.60-611846.2.123-124

periodicals: agent sells, 1845.2.286-2871848.2.31

compared with Museum, 1868.1.115-116

edited at Harvard College, 1854.2.375

literary, proposed, 1860.2.88

periodicals merging with Museum, 1857.2.183a

read by family:

in Norwalk, Connecticut, 1859.1.124

in Bayou Sara, Louisiana, 1855.2.90b

in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1855.1.92

read by older sister, 1852.2.93-94

read by subscriber: 1868.1.115-116

in Union Square, 1856.1.122-123

in Chicago, Illinois, 1858.1.122

rival to Museum, criticized, 1856.1.60b

subject of quarrel, 1852.1.63

See also Godey’s Lady’s BookGraham’s Magazine“Home Casket”Ladies’ GarlandLittle PilgrimMentorMother’s MagazineParley’s MagazineRobert Merry’s MuseumSaturday CourierSchoolfellowSpiritual TelegraphTrue SouthernWoodworth’s Youth’s Cabinet


Letters from, 1851.2.94-95

New York, 1855.2.93-94

Peru, Illinois, 1849.2.29-30

“The Pet Chicken” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; December 1856), the story of how a boy profits from his care of an injured hen. The “slander” mentioned by Willie Phelps may refer to what is said about why the injured chicken is abandoned by the others: “Chickens do not show much affection for each other, and never seem to care much if one of their companions is hurt; they probably do not know any better.”


Petersburgh, Virginia, 1842.1.159

occupied by Union forces, 1865.1.153


Letter from, 1845.2.222

pets, 1856.2.301857.2.157b

on farm, 1865.2.121. See, catcanarychickenkittenlambpony


Letters from, 1858.2.28-291865.2.58c

Pennsylvania, 1845.1.31b

philosophers, Greek, described, 1845.1.188-189

photographs exchanged, 1861.1.1841861.2.58a1861.2.921861.2.1821862.1.1231862.1.1241862.1.153a1862.2.281863.2.155-1561863.2.1821865.1.88-891865.1.121-1221867.2.58-59

physician, 1849.2.31-32

New York, 1853.1.130-131

piano, 1851.2.94

made by Chickering, 1851.1.127a

subscriber learning, 1858.1.621859.2.157

picnic, Sunday school, in Chicago, Illinois, 1856.2.125

Franklin Pierce (1804-1869), 14th president of the United States. A lawyer, he was United States Representative from New Hampshire (1833-1837) and U. S. Senator (1837-1842). In 1842 he resigned from the Senate to practice law, but in 1850 he returned to politics and was elected president in 1852. Pierce respected states’ rights and tried to ban sectionalism from his government, but his attempts to act on his policies failed, and many in the North felt he sympathized too much with the South. After his presidency, Pierce lived quietly in New Hampshire; his opposition to Abraham Lincoln’s administration made him unpopular.



Letter from, 1855.2.124

pin, subject of story, 1845.2.285-286


Letters from, 1849.2.1271851.1.158a

Plainville, Connecticut

Letter from, 1855.1.187-188

plank roads, 1850.2.62

plantation life, Louisiana

East Feliciana, “Asphodel,” 1851.1.93

Parish of Point Coupee, “Hermitage,” 1851.1.32a

Jefferson Parish, “Pasture Plantation,” 1849.2.63

play, with dolls, 1868.1.115-116

Playfellow, an heroic dog belonging to Henry in “Mother’s Plan is Best,” by Minnie (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; June 1851). When Henry has no one to play with one half holiday, he finds Playfellow a good companion; the dog later rescues two boys who fall out of a boat and is yearly honored as a hero.


plays, subscriber requests, 1848.2.125

“Plea for Cats” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; May 1856), by “Pansy” (Frances Adeline Seward), a piece asking readers not to break their pets’ trust by treating them harshly.


Pleasant Valley

Letter from, 1860.2.60b


bad parodied, 1860.2.89-90

Christmas, 1855.1.58-591855.1.91-92

for Jenny Lind1850.2.128

Latin, 1854.2.375

letter in form of, 1865.2.27a

parody of The Song of Hiawatha, 1856.1.189-190

requesting stories for young readers, 1849.1.127-128

sent as payment for the Museum, 1849.1.152-153

Subjects of, see briefness of lifethe Chatcolddeatheditorseye-colorfriendshipgirl, idealkittenKriss KringlelarkloveMaineRober MerryMerry CousinsMerry Cousins—William F. OakleyOntonagon, Lake Superiorpresidential electionrabbitRobert Merry’s MuseumSanta Claussewing machinespringstarwinter

Point Coupee, Louisiana

Letter from, 1851.1.32a

Point Green

Letters from, 1864.2.1251865.1.26

politicians: “Doephace and Fauner,” 1855.2.157-158. See also individual politicians

politics. See presidential election

Poly Boys, perhaps students at the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute, on Livingston Street in 1864


Pompeii, 1845.1.31b

Pompey (106-48 BCE), Roman warrior famous for his triumphs in the field; around 60 BCE he formed a triumverate with Crassus and Caesar.


pony: 1852.1.128c1854.1.95b1859.1.92

sold to buy Museum, 1859.2.155-156

Chickasaw, 1854.1.126-127


Letter from, 1862.2.61

postal system: 1858.1.91-92

Southern, after Civil War, 1865.2.156

mail carried by Native Americans, Ontonagon, Lake Superior, 1860.1.187a

Post-Office Bill: A statute titled “An act to reduce the rates of postage,” dated 3 Mar 1845 in part reduced postage to five cents for a single letter sent under 300 miles and to 10 cents for a letter sent over 300 miles.


The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845, ed. Richard Peters. Boston: Charles C. Little & James Brown, 1846; vol 5: 732-739.

U. S. S. Potomac, Union wooden sailing frigate launched in 1822 and commissioned in Aug 1861. Built by the U. S. Government, she was 1,708 tons.


Letter from, 1862.1.187-188

• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 2, vol 1: 182-183.


Auburn, Kansas, 1861.1.91a

Boone County, Missouri, description, 1860.1.92-93

precocity of subscriber deplored, 1862.1.88-89

presidential election, 1855.2.157-1581856.1.291856.2.1211856.2.122-1231856.2.123

subject of poem, 1848.2.63

Pride of China or China tree, according to Mathews, also called the “pride of India, the China tree” (Melia azedarach ), the chinaberry or bead tree. This deciduous tree, native to Asia, also grows in the tropics and the subtropics.


• Mitford M. Mathews, ed. A Dictionary of Americanisms On Historical Principles. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1951.

Princeton, Virginia

Letter from, 1858.1.125b

printer in Missouri during Civil War, 1868.1.166

prisoner of war, 1864.2.126

Union, 1865.2.124

See also Eugene FalesMerry Cousins—Adelbert Older

“prize trial,” puzzle announced by Aunt Sue in April 1860: “I propose … to offer a gold pen (to subscribers ) for the greatest number of words made out of any word of one syllable ….” (1860.1.126)


That Problem: appeared in February 1855. It seems simple enough: x2 + y2 = 8 (x = 2 and y = 2). The difficulty, however, lies in proving the equation; for months the Chat contained proof after proof—all pooh-poohed by the Museum’s readers. By the time “that problem” was solved, the tone of the Chat had changed, and the column had been taken over by its readers. Reprinting the puzzle in Merry’s Book of Puzzles, the editor noted dryly, “If any choose to work this out algebraicially, it will be found to be no trifling puzzle. See Merry’s Museum for 1856.” (Those interested in the solutions should also see the following in copies of the magazine: 1855.2.95-96, 1855.2.124-125, 1855.2.153-155, 1855.2.185, 1856.1.56-58, 1856.1.90, 1856.1.124-125, 1856.1.189) In 2002, Matthew McIrvin pointed out that probably subscribers had difficulty solving the equation because there are at least two solutions.



Letter from, 1863.2.90


Letters from, 1856.1.881864.2.123-1241865.1.25

pseudonym, subscriber takes, 1856.2.27-28

Pukkwana, title character in “Pukkwana,” by Susanna Newbould (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; April 1858). When a white farmer helps save the life of a Native American woman’s son, years later she returns the favor.


pumpkin pie, 1850.1.32c


Bible, 1862.1.26-27

on cat, 1859.1.61

on Sherman’s march through Georgia, 1865.1.59a

on Joan of Arc, 1867.2.60b

on temperance, 1867.2.60a

“Puss” (Robert Handy; in Robert Merry’s Museum ; January 1871), a discussion of intelligence in cats, which asserts that they can be trained as well as dogs.


puss-in-the-corner, game which usually involves at least five players and a lot of running: one player stands in each corner of a room, with one player—the “puss”—in the center. At a signal, the corner players switch corners, while “puss” tries to get into a corner first.


• Lydia Maria Child. The Girl’s Own Book. New York: Clark, Austin & Co., 1833. (Repr. Old Saybrook, Connecticut: Applewood Books, 1992); p. 28.

Quaker boarding school, 1854.1.159

quarrel, over Museum and rival periodical, 1852.1.63

Queen City

Letter from, 1857.2.57-58

“Queens”: candidates for the “pretty girl” contest inadvertently sparked when subscriber Daniel H. Burnham asked, “Will the best-looking cousin in the Chat favor me with his or her carte?” (1862.2.28) The candidates included Fleta Forrester and Winifred.


See alsop. g. contest

“The Question Settled,” by J. S., 1848.2.63

Quincy, Illinois

Letter from, 1849.1.95

rabbit, subject of poem, 1842.1.159-160

See also long-eared rabbit

radish, as subject of tall tale, 1849.1.157

raft, Red River, a massive collection of fallen trees accumulated on the Red River and was dismantled in the 1830s by Captain Henry Miller Shreve; “The great raft on Red river extended twenty miles,” Bartlett wrote in 1848, “and required an immense outlay of money to remove it.”


• John Russell Bartlett. Dictionary of Americanisms. New York: Bartlett and Welford, 1848.

railroad: etiquette, 1863.2.155

travel, 1855.2.90a

Geographical locations :

Georgia, 1850.1.127b

Moline, Illinois, 1857.2.157a

Wabash Valley, Delphi, Indiana, 1854.1.31b

Springfield, Massachusetts, 1844.1.126-128

Detroit, Michigan, 1850.1.159

Oswego, New York, 1849.2.187b1850.2.62

Lines :

Central Ohio, 1860.1.123b

Lynchburg & Tennessee, 1851.1.32b

Rutland & Washington, 1852.2.32

Wabash Valley, 1854.1.31b

“Ralph and His Chickens” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; September 1855), story reprinted from the Playmate. After Ralph persuades his father to buy him a rooster and some hens, he learns to take care of them and earns not only money, but the ability to work and to persevere.


Robert Rambler (pseudonym), an alias with several possibilities: “Robert Ramble” was the pseudonym of John Frost (1800-1859), American educator and compiler; “Rambles of Richard Rover” appeared in Parley’s Magazine, founded by Samuel Goodrich, in 1836.



Letter from, 1845.2.375-376

reading, 1844.1.30-31

anecdote of, 1867.2.60b

five-year-old’s, 1862.1.88-89

purpose of, 1852.1.63

subscriber enjoys, 1856.1.186-1871861.1.91b

subscriber reads Homer, 1858.1.186-187

See also books

Recollections of a Lifetime (Samuel G. Goodrich), published in 1856 (New York: Miller, Orton, and Mulligan). At two volumes of over 500 pages each, it was hardly appealing to children; an abridged version for children, Peter Parley’s Own Story (New York: Sheldon and Company), was published in 1864.


“Reconstruction,” Southerner’s parody of, 1865.2.156

unabashed Southerner faces outraged Northerner,

Tennessean, 1865.1.121-122

Cousin Jennie, 1865.2.27b

Tennessean, 1865.2.88

Cousin Jennie, 1865.2.120, & reaction, 1865.2.155

Tennessean, 1865.2.156

Cousin Jennie, 1866.1.59, & reaction, 1866.1.61

Tennessean, 1866.1.90-91

Cousin Jennie, 1866.1.155

recreation, 1849.1.61-621849.1.1591849.2.94a1853.1.35-361854.1.95b

evening: 1849.1.123-1241849.2.94-951855.2.1231856.1.60a1857.1.901859.1.61

in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1854.1.95b

in Brooklyn, New York, 1854.2.376

female, 1863.1.58-59

outdoor, 1852.1.192

in New York, 1856.1.31

See also chestnutting

Geographical locations :

Georgia, 1846.1.29-30

Evanston, Illinois, 1856.2.125

on steamboat, Red River, 1845.2.221-222

Paris, France, Tuilerie Gardens, 1851.2.63-641851.2.92-93

Seasonal :

spring, Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts, 1856.1.187

summer: 1842.1.89-901844.1.126-1281845.1.1871846.1.59-601849.1.631850.1.188-1891857.2.1851864.1.188

Long Island Sound, 1867.2.59

Cornwall, New York, 1855.1.29

Fincastle, Virginia, 1850.2.96

winter, 1845.1.31a1846.1.1601846.1.189-1901846.1.59-601846.2.311849.1.123-1241849.1.61-621849.2.124-1251850.1.63-641852.1.64a1855.2.1231856.1.60a1856.1.60c1859.1.123-1241860.2.89-901861.1.571864.1.1881864.2.157b1865.1.60

Connecticut, 1856.1.90-91

Detroit, Michigan, 1852.1.94

Wentworth, New Hampshire, 1864.1.60

Cornwall, New York, 1855.1.29

See also horseback ridingswimming

Red River described, 1845.2.221-222


Letter from, 1850.1.188-189

Rhode Island

Letters from :

South Portsmouth, 1861.1.185-186

Warren, 1865.1.155b

Riceboro, Georgia

Letters from, 1846.1.29-301847.1.30-31

Richmond, Virginia

Letters from, 1851.1.128b1865.1.187b1867.1.93

Occupied by Union forces on 3 April 1865; 1865.1.153

riddle: about George Washington, 1849.2.126

about sun, 1845.1.189-190

David Rizzio (1533?-1566), secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots. When he began to influence her in her drive to take control of her own political life, noblemen consipired to have him killed; he was stabbed 56 times.


Robert Merry’s Museum, 1856.2.58

Anecdote of, 1842.2.63

lateness of subject of poem, 1857.1.28

mailing of: 1843.1.1841844.1.30-311845.2.223-2241848.2.1591850.2.188a1857.2.156a1858.1.91-921858.1.1551858.2.155-1561866.1.58-591866.1.62

South after Civil War, 1865.2.88

to Union sailor, 1862.1.1571865.1.88-89

mergers, 1857.2.183a

with Cabinet, subject of poem, 1857.1.154-155

new ownership, reaction to, 1866.1.155

raises price, 1863.2.155-156

subject of poem, 1842.1.1241844.1.94-951849.1.152-1531860.1.60a1868.1.164-165

Physical magazine :

bound by subscriber, 1843.1.1841844.1.125-1261846.1.1601855.1.89a1859.2.157

described, 1845.2.223-224

illustrations, 1858.1.122-123

used as art models, 1852.1.125

Office of :

burns, 1860.1.1551861.1.153-1541861.1.155-1561861.1.1841861.2.23

described, 1858.1.122-123

distributes medical supplies, 1862.2.122-123

letters exchanged through, 1862.1.187-188

provides addresses for exchange of letters, 1863.2.1821865.1.941867.2.92b

subscriber visits, 1857.1.62-631858.1.56b1858.1.591858.1.122-1231864.2.88a1865.2.184-185

Magazine’s meaning to and use by subscribers :

as education aid, 1868.1.419

credited for subscriber’s reading skill, 1853.2.187a

credited with “saving” subscriber, 1872.2.November cover

illustrations used as art models, 1852.1.125

meaning to reader, 1863.2.155-1561865.2.1231868.1.115-1161870.2.1001872.1.52

place among juvenile magazines, 1868.1.115-116

sparks subscriber’s interest in school, 1851.2.160

story re-enacted by subscriber, 1856.2.61-62

subscriber defends physically, 1852.1.63

quarrelling in, 1856.2.1571857.1.29-30

Subscribers to : 1848.2.1601849.1.641849.2.62-631852.1.127b1852.1.160

in England, 1851.1.64

in Texas, 1857.2.184-185

See also the Merry Cousins

adult who took as child now takes for own children, 1863.2.155-1561865.1.155a1866.1.611870.2.100

readers: adults, 1854.2.347-3481872.1.2941872.2.November cover

reading pattern of, 1846.1.59-601851.1.128a1852.1.126b1852.1.126c1852.2.126c1854.1.95b1855.1.87-881855.1.901855.1.188c1856.1.60c1856.1.881856.1.901857.2.93c1856.2.123, 1862.1.88-891866.1.1231868.1.4191872.1.52

read by family:

read in military camp, 1862.1.124

read in school, 1856.2.61-62

read to subscriber, 1852.2.126c

subscriber loans to others, 1852.1.64a

subscriber reads to others, 1850.2.31

to mother, 1846.1.29-30

to younger brother, 1849.2.631852.1.126b

will read to younger sister, 1853.1.162

Subscribing to :

process described, 1865.2.184-185

agent sells, 1845.2.286-2871849.2.94a1850.1.127-1281861.2.58b

unscrupulous agent rumors demise of, 1848.2.31. book store sells, 1848.2.31

subscribed to after fight, 1852.1.63

as replacement for disappointing magazine, 1853.1.99b

library takes, 1853.1.131.

school has subscription, 1853.2.187a1856.2.61-621866.1.123

subscription shared, 1869.1.196

father takes, 1860.2.155

sibling takes, 1850.1.63-641853.1.98a

sibling relinquishes, 1852.1.128d1852.1.1921852.2.93-941853.1.99a1855.1.58-591858.1.122

Subscription is gift: 1846.1.29-301846.2.311848.2.1591850.2.30a1854.2.347-3481865.2.184-185

Christmas gift, 1859.1.93-94

New Year’s gift, 1853.2.127c

from aunt, 1859.1.125a

from father, 1851.1.190

Of relative:

aunt, 1859.2.92-93

brother, 1859.1.124

father, 1849.1.1591851.1.64

in place of Jenny Lind ticket, 1851.2.94

New Year’s gift, 1851.1.190

grandfather, 1872.1.243-244

grandmother, 1848.2.93-94

uncle, 1852.1.126b

Of Robert Merry, 1848.2.93-94

To poor reader, 1872.1.244

to relative, 1844.1.1241845.2.222

to sibling, 1860.1.123a

Subscriber pays for:

earns, 1850.2.1591851.1.128a

by giving up coffee and tea, 1848.2.941859.1.93b1860.2.60b

by learning song, 1858.1.125b

by writing letter, 1850.1.127b1850.2.186

earns money for, 1841.2.1271844.1.94-9551.1.158b1853.1.99a1853.2.127a1854.2.2521855.1.89a1855.1.89b1855.1.123b1859.1.125b1869.1.1961872.2.November cover

by selling pony, 1859.2.155-156

by speaking, 1860.2.60b

earns prize money for, 1857.2.60

gets money for from Union officer, 1868.1.166

pays for with poems, 1849.1.152-153

raises chickens to earn, 1868.1.419

saves for, 1848.2.94

sells pet for, 1858.1.92a

trades dahlia bulbs for, 51.1.158b

tries to win, 1854.2.348

Subscriber receives money for, 1851.1.158a

as birthday gift, 1855.2.94a

as gift, 1858.1.188

as Christmas gift, 1852.1.128d1853.1.661853.2.311859.2.155-156

as New Year’s gift, 1853.2.31

from father, 1858.1.92b

Rumor that magazine will fail, 1855.2.125a

Frontispiece for 1844, 1844.1.125-126

Cover for 1845, 1845.2.223-224

Subscription price for 1852, 1852.1.64a

Woodcuts reused, 1856.2.58

Cover for 1859, 1859.1.61

Robert the Bruce (died 1329), descendant of kings who overthrew English rule to became king of Scotland.



Letter from, 1858.1.26

Rock Island City, 1857.2.157a

Rock River, Illinois

Letter from, 1844.1.30-31

Rocky Mount, Alabama

Letter from, 1852.2.63

Rocky Point

Letter from, 1857.2.91-92

Roderick (character in Robert Merry’s Museum ; January 1853), the son of peasants in the Pyrenee Mountains, Roderick serves a wicked king. After the luxury-loving king spends a bad night at the village where Roderick grew up, he orders the village burned; Roderick dies trying to save his parents. The story exemplifies one of the Museum’s enduring themes: the inherent evil of monarchy.


Alfred C. Roe (born 1823), American educator and clergyman. Educated in Cornwall, he had a school here before buying a larger building and establishing the Cornwall Collegiate School. In autumn 1863, Roe was ordained by the Presbytery of North River; he closed the school soon after and became a chaplain in the Union army. After the Civil War, he did mission work in New York and Massachusetts. In 1877, Roe returned to Cornwall and established a school for young ladies.


• E. M. Ruttenber and L. H. Clark, comp. History of Orange County, New York. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1881. (Repr. Interlaken, New York: Heart of the Lakes Publishing, 1980); vol 2: 765-766.

Rollo’s Tour in Europe (Jacob Abbott), a 10-volume series, “Little Rollo in Europe,” which took its young protagonist across the Atlantic through the countries of western Europe, giving young readers education in geography, history, and propriety. It was advertised in the March 1859 issue of the Museum, which also reprinted two sections from the series.


“Romance of Manufactures” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; January 1846), a piece extolling the fascinating aspects of factories, including a painstakingly detailed description of needle-making reprinted from the London Penny Magazine.


Rome, Georgia

Letters from, 1849.1.156

New York, 1850.1.127-128

Romeo and Juliet, subject of anecdote, 1868.1.287


Cochin China, raises chicks, 1857.2.58

Shanghae, anecdote of, 1858.1.188-189

rope-skipping, 1849.1.123-1241850.1.157-159

“Rosalie,” Washington Allston (1850), a poem describing the “maiden reverie” of “gentle Rosalie,” listening to “that sad, unearthly strain” played by “him who stole/ In music to her soul”.


Rose Glen

Letter from, 1846.2.31

Rose Villa

Letters from, 1859.2.185a1860.2.123


Letter from, 1848.2.1601851.2.160

John Ruskin, 1867.2.156-157

William Henry Russell (1802-1873; politician), Having served in the Black Hawk War, he was appointed U. S. marshal of the District of Missouri (1841-1845). By this time he had acquired the courtesy title of “colonel.” In 1846 Russell joined a wagon train of emigrants to California and explored the Great Salt Desert, joining John Fremont in California. Russell did return to California in 1849; here he practiced law for a time.


Russian salve, a basic medicinal ointment in 19th-century America.


sailor, Union, 1863.2.90

requests letters, 1862.1.187-188

See also Merry Cousins—JasperMerry Cousins—OsceolaMerry Cousins—Tommy


Letter from, 1871.2.99

salt making, in Syracuse, New York, 1844.2.63


Letter from, 1843.1.184

Sanford and Merton (Thomas Day), a triple-decker novel published in England from 1785-1789. The story of city child Tommy Merton’s redemption at the hands of Harry Sanford’s bucolic family is filled with both intellectual and moral educational material. The novel has an unofficial (but well-earned—believe me) reputation as the dullest novel so far written in English.


San Francisco, California

Letter from, 1858.1.152

Sanitary Fair, in Brooklyn, New York: Organized to raise money for the Sanitary Commission, the Fair opened on George Washington’s birthday and featured tableaux and exhibits honoring the spirit of 1776. Among these was the New England Kitchen, which served such “New England delicacies” as crackers, doughnuts, pies, pickles, apple-sauce, cider, and pork and beans. Paintings, engravings, and mechanical devices were exhibited in several buildings, along with a 336-pound bale of Sea-Island cotton, “the product of free labor”; and a bazaar offered “more than 10,000 sofa-cushions” and, probably, “a pin-cushion for every pin in the city.” Susanna Newbould took part in the Fair, appropriately enough in the “Post-Office”—“where any body can find as many letters as he desires—postage not paid.”


Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1864.1.122.

• “Brooklyn Sanitary Fair.” Harper’s Weekly, 8 (5 March 1864): 152-158.

San Juan, California

Letter from, 1861.2.93b

Santa Claus: 1855.1.591856.1.90-911860.1.291861.1.56a

“author” of poem, 1855.1.58-59

“author” of poem, 1855.1.91-92

Robert Merry supposed to look like, 1855.1.122b

Santiam, Oregon Territory

Letters from, 1857.2.911858.1.91-92

Saturday Courier: Perhaps the Philadelphia Saturday Courier (1831-?), a popular weekly newspaper offering its readers stories and poems—most copied from other periodicals; one contributor of original material was Edgar Allan Poe.


• Mary Noel. Villains Galore. New York: Macmillan Company, 1954.

Saugatuck County

Letter from, 1849.2.64

Sault Ste Marie Canal, 1865.2.155

Scaghticoke, a village in Connecticut established either by a Paugusett in 1730, or by Potatuck hunting groups previously. Native Americans of various groups came to live there; by 1744, some lived near the Housatonic River, while others lived on 2,000 acres in the mountains. The number of people and amount of land they controlled dwindled drastically in the face of white encroachment.


• Bruce G. Trigger, ed. Northeast. Handbook of North American Indians. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978.

Anne E. Schliecker (Bennie Tompkins’ aunt), 1855.2.94b


anecdote of, 1867.2.60a1867.2.61b

classical, 1849.2.94a

discipline in, 1851.2.160

exhibition, speaking at, 1860.2.60b

singing, in Zumbrota, Minnesota, 1858.1.59

subscriber enjoys, 1861.1.91b

See also academyboarding schooleducation

Schoolfellow, magazine published in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1849; it was absorbed by the Museum in 1857. †*†’s letter is the earliest indication that the merger took place; the Museum’s title did not expand to read Merry’s Museum, Parley’s Magazine, Woodworth’s Cabinet and the Schoolfellow until 1859.


Scotland, tour of, 1861.1.185-186

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), Scottish writer. His extremely popular works included poetry and historical novels; the Waverly novels were especially popular. Late in life, Scott literally wrote his way out of debt. The Museum published several pieces on him, and one of his poems.


Sea Island cotton, growth and processing of, 1847.1.30-31

seamstress, 1865.2.184-185

“Secessia,” in Mathews: “The land of the secessionists or the Souther Confederacy.” The earliest use is dated 1861.


• Mitford M. Mathews, ed. A Dictionary of Americanisms On Historical Principles. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1951.

secession, 1861.1.90-911861.1.156 (note) • 1861.2.23

Southern subscribers asked about, 1861.1.56-57

Southerner answers about, 1861.1.90

Southerner leaves Chat, 1862.1.27a

reaction to, Northern subscribers, 1861.1.1841861.2.119-1201861.2.155-1561861.2.1821862.1.581862.1.123

sailor will seek out Confederate subscriber, 1862.2.59

winter as metaphor for, 1865.1.121-122

sectionalism, 1858.2.59c. East-West: 1858.2.60a1858.2.1251859.2.921860.1.123a

North-South: 1856.2.27-281860.1.123a1860.1.186-1871860.2.271861.2.25

battle of the sexes and, 1859.2.60-61

retracted, 1859.2.185b

deplored, 1858.1.61

horseback riding and, 1858.1.126b

in Congress, 1858.1.61

in pen names, 1858.1.25

Northerner: 1854.2.2521858.1.126a1858.2.60a1860.2.591860.2.89-90

on “exclusiveness” of Southern readers, 1860.2.122-123

on ideal Southern wife, 1859.1.123-124

reaction to, 1856.2.93-941860.2.122-123

to Hawthorne, 1860.2.155-156

to post-War Southerners, 1865.1.157

See also family, Northerner with Southern relatives

Southerner: 1849.1.1601850.1.127b1851.1.127a1852.2.1591854.1.941857.1.59-601857.2.155-1561857.2.184-1851858.1.581858.2.59b1858.2.931859.1.93a1861.1.89-901861.1.156

reaction to, 1860.1.186

claims Southerners don’t write, 1860.1.60b

Hawthorn on Southern girls, 1860.1.186-187

post-War Southerner is not a rebel, 1865.1.122a

Southerner on North, 1860.1.186-187

Southerner’s closing, 1858.1.57

Westerner on, 1860.2.27

Use of term “Yankee,” 1848.2.1591849.1.951850.1.127-1281851.2.941852.1.1601852.1.631854.1.941855.1.89a1855.2.29c1858.1.291858.1.571858.2.281859.1.125c1861.1.56b1862.2.591863.1.1211867.1.93

Catherine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867), American writer. In 1822 she began publish her very popular domestic novels using material from everyday life in her native Massachusetts; she was one of the earliest American writers to use American material in this way. The Museum printed two pieces by her in the 1840s.


Selma, Alabama

Letters from, 1855.1.89a1855.2.94a1858.1.1881859.1.92

servants, 1853.2.127a

Irish, 1855.2.90a

settler, Euro-American in Wisconsin, 1852.1.191a

sewing, 1851.2.160

sewing machine, importance of, 1867.1.155

subject of poem, 1858.1.29

“The Sewing-Machine”, by Somebody’s Daughter, a poem probably inspired by “The Sewing-Machine” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; December 1857), which praised the machine for freeing women from the toil of hand sewing for families.


sexism deplored, 1856.1.187-1881857.2.57-58

William Shakespeare, subject of anecdote, 1868.1.287

Shanghae chicken, anecdote of, 1858.1.188-189

Wilson Shannon (1802-1877), American lawyer and politician. While a member of the U. S. Congress, he voted for the Kansas-Nebraska Act which provided that the territories of Kansas and Nebraska would to choose whether to be admitted as slave or free states. In August 1855, he was commissioned governer of Kansas Territory. At first, Shannon was friendly toward the pro-slavery Missourians, but soon he realized he could not control them or the situation; they pillaged the town of Lawrence while he was governor. Realizing that his attempts to keep the peace in Kansas were doomed, he resigned in August 1856 and never again sought public office.


sheep, at Syracuse State Fair, 1849.2.187b

Sheramoore, Florida

Letter from, 1861.1.156

Philip Henry Sheridan (1831-1888), U. S. soldier. Before the Civil War he served in the West. Sheridan’s career during the War was brilliant, and eventually he was given command of the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac. Soon he was engaged in a number of important battles and actions and in 1864 was given command of the Army of the Shenandoah. Sheridan’s forces laid waste to the Valley, thus cutting off supplies to Confederate forces. By the end of the War, he was major-general of the regular Army and had been instrumental in forcing the surrender of the Confederate Army.


William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891), U. S. soldier. A graduate of West Point, he was superintendent of the military college which would become Louisiana State University, leaving when Louisiana seceded from the Union in 1861. Sherman’s career during the Civil War included command at Bull Run and a prominent part in the battle of Shiloh. After Atlanta, Georgia, was taken by Union troops on 2 September 1864, Sherman’s headquarters here was a house formerly occupied by subscriber Louisa J. Neal. (Though her father repurchased the house after the War, the family never lived there again.) In November Grant’s forces started the controversial—but effective—march through Georgia. In early 1865 his forces marched north through the Carolinas;

1864.2.1581865.1.261865.1.59a, 1865.1.122b

March through Georgia, subject of pun, 1865.1.59a

• Franklin M. Garrett. Atlanta and Environs. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc., 1954; vol 1: 127, 572. vol 2: 127, 638-639.

shipping, at Ohio, Cleveland, 1844.2.95

shoemaker, anecdote of son, 1867.2.91

Captain Henry Miller Shreve (1785-1851), U. S. steamboat captain. Shreve traded on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers before being appointed superintendent of western river improvements (1827-1841); he designed the first steam snagboat, which pulled from the waters the sunken logs that menaced navigation. In the 1830s he dismantled the raft that had impeded navigation on the Red River; the camp he established during this operation grew into the town of Shreveport.


“Siamese twins”, see Chang and Eng

“The Siberian Sable-Hunter” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1841-1842), a 14-part series . The son and daughter of a Russian exiled to Siberia work hard and succeed because of their goodness and patience. The story includes education on matters geographical and moral, punctuated by hair-breadth escapes.


sibling of subscriber

brother: older satirized, 1855.1.58-59

younger, 1849.2.30-311856.1.186-1871858.2.1271860.2.155-156

sister: 1849.2.30-31

younger, 1842.2.631849.1.62-631852.1.128a1859.1.125b1860.2.155

Sigma: name taken by two correspondents in the Chat. The first was female; see Merry Cousins—Fleta Forrester. The second was male; see Merry Cousins—C. M. E.

General Joshua Woodrow Sill (1831-1862), U. S. soldier. During the Civil War he participated in operations in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, commanding a brigade after November 1861. He was killed at the battle of Stone’s River, near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


Silver Lake

Letter from, 1857.2.93a

Singer sewing machine: Isaac Merritt Singer began his business in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1851. He made a number of improvements in the basic machine, including adding a treadle and a motor


singing-school, in Zumbrota, Minnesota, 1858.1.59

Sioux nation, 1849.2.127-128

skating, 1859.1.123-1241860.2.89-901861.2.58a1864.1.1881864.2.157b

as healthy exercise, 1862.1.88-89

in Wentworth, New Hampshire, 1864.1.60

Skating—Woman’s Rights” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; January 1857), poem by Hiram Hatchet. Six times he asks, “Why may not a woman skate?” and answers that there is no reason; skating is good exercise that strengthens the ankles and is “right good fun”.


sled, used to get to school, 1856.1.91

sledding, 1861.1.57

sleighing, 1846.1.1601852.1.64a1859.1.621859.1.93c1859.1.154-1551860.2.89-901861.1.571862.1.155a

in Brooklyn, 1852.1.190

in New York, New York, 1856.1.81-83

smallpox, 1849.2.29-30

Mike Smiley, title character in “Mike Smiley”, a six-part serial by William Cutter (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1857-1858). Observing the misery around him as a result of alcohol, Mike—and the reader—learn that hard work, temperance, and perseverance are the key to success.


Richard M. Smith (born c1819): school teacher. In 1850 he was the husband of Elen H. and the father of Rebecca D. and William W. S. In 1850 Smith may have owned a school in Warrenton, Virginia; he is listed as owning real estate worth $17,000. At this time the school employed three other teachers and had sixteen students ranging in age from 12 to 23.


• M432. 1850 United States Census. reel #943: 262.

John Chapin Smith, map of the United States: created by John Chapin Smith, of Sherman & Smith in New York. One printed in 1843 included Canada and much of Texas and measured 44 by 71 cm.; an updated version in 1845 measured 44 by 68 cm.


Smithfield, Pennsylvania

Letter from, 1848.2.93-94

Captain J. Smoker (of Bois d’Arc ), master of the Bois d’Arc in 1844.


Advertisements of Lower Mississippi River Steamboats, 1812-1920, comp. Leonard V. Huber. West Barrington, Rhode Island: The Steamship Historical Society of America, 1959; p. 11.

snow: as symbol, 1862.1.155a

in anecdote of child, 1866.2.94

Francis M. Snow (Frank Snow’s cousin; born 2 March 1829; died 28 September 1861, Buffalo, New York); married 1856, Julia F. Miller (born 4 July 1832, New York, Buffalo; died 16 March 1911, Buffalo, New York); their son was Francis Albert. Frank was a dealer in dry goods by 1854. He died of typhoid.


• George Burwell Snow, comp. The Richard Snow Family. Np: np, 1923; p. 293.

snow-flake, subject of story, 1845.1.186-187

snow storm, in New York, New York, 5 January 1856, 1856.1.81-83

2 March 1868, 1868.1.165-166

“The Snow Storm” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; January 1850), story. Heedless of her father’s warnings about sudden snowstorms, Cornelia goes nutting with her friends. When snow begins to fall and her friends disagree about the path home, she stubbornly strikes out by herself and almost dies in the storm.


social activities, in Selma, Alabama, 1858.1.188

Social Circle, Georgia

Letter from, 1860.1.60b


asks for letters from subscribers, 1863.1.59

attitude toward, 1862.1.241862.1.26-271862.1.187

camp life, 1861.2.154

child of, Museum as gift to, 1865.2.184-185

illness of, 1863.2.91

in anecdote, 1865.2.25

life of, 1863.2.124

mustering out, 1865.2.58c

picnic given to, 1863.2.89-90

relative, 1862.1.24

death of, 1862.1.155-156

Union, description of, 1863.2.89-90

Union, see also Merry Cousins—Henry A. DankerMerry Cousins—Adelbert OlderMerry Cousins—Oliver Onley

Soldiers’ Relief Association, New York, New York, 1862.2.122-123

Solomon, as intelligent as Peter Parley1849.2.31-32

Somerset, Pennsylvania

Letter from, 1849.2.94a

“Something About Cotton,” by Francis Woodworth (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; February 1859). A description of cotton and its harvest praises the cotton gin, developed by “a genius sprung up out of obscurity.”


song, subscriber learns, 1859.2.157

to earn Museum, 1858.1.125b

The Song of Hiawatha (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), poem published in 1855. Like many readers, the Merry Cousins found the poem’s rhythm a good vehicle for parodies.

parody of, 1856.1.189-190

reaction to, 1856.2.26-27

The Song of the Snow-Bird” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; January 1858), accompaniment by S. N. (perhaps Susanna Newbould), words and air by Francis C. Woodworth. A chickadee sings merrily despite the cold, for God has given it what it needs to stay warm. The song had already appeared twice in Woodworth’s Youth’s Cabinet.


U. S. S. Sonoma, Union wooden steamship launched 15 April 1862 and commissioned 28 Sept 1863 for the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She was 233 feet long, with a depth of 12 feet; with her single engine and two boilers, the Sonoma was capable of a maximum speed of 11 knots and an average of 9 knots. In February 1865, she was sent to South Carolina as part of an expeditionary force “against the rear of Charleston”. After the fall of Richmond, Virginia, on 3 April 1865, the Sonoma was ordered to Ft. Sumter, South Carolina, for the raising of the Union flag over the fort by Major-General Robert Anderson on the fourth anniversary of his surrender of that fort.


• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 2, vol 1: 210; series 1, vol 15: 9, 254; series 1, vol 16: 239, 315.

Sons of Temperance, fraternal organization founded in New York City in 1842; it soon became an international organization. It inaugurated the Cadets of Temperance.


South after Civil War

description of, 1867.1.155-156

postal service, 1865.2.88

Southern family reduced to poverty by Civil War, 1868.1.419

South Carolina

Letters from : Abbeville, 1852.1.126b

Fort Sumter, 1865.1.122b

Southerner loyal to Union, 1865.1.187b

Southerners in Chat, reaction to, 1865.2.27b

See also sectionalism

South Meadow, Hartford, Connecticut, 1854.2.311

South Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Letter from, 1861.1.185-186

South-Western (steamboat), 202-ton sidewheel steamship built in New Albany, Indiana, in 1839. Until 1844, she regularly made trips from New Orleans to Natchitoches and Alexandria; she was abandoned or dismantled in 1852.


• William M. Lytle, comp. Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States. Mystic, Connecticut: The Steamship Historical Society of America, 1952; p. 177.

Advertisements of Lower Mississippi River Steamboats, 1812-1920, comp. Leonard V. Huber. West Barrington, Rhode Island: The Steamship Historical Society of America, 1959; p. 62.

E. D. E. N. Southworth: Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth (1818-1899), American author of over fifty novels. Lush with sentiment, incident, and exclamation points, the works sold millions of copies.


souvenir, of Charter Oak, 1856.2.1211856.2.122a

spa, in Madison, Wisconsin, 1856.2.61

Spectropia, or Surprising Spectral Illusions Showing Ghosts Everywhere, and of Any Color, (New York: James B. Gregory, 1864). By staring at the book’s 16 plates and then at a blank wall, the reader can entertain herself with “ghostly” after images.


speech given by subscriber, 1850.1.127-128

speech pattern

English through a stuffed nose, 1862.1.155b

of African-American, 1853.1.130-1311857.1.29-30

parodied, 1848.2.63

of baby, 1865.1.59b

of farmer in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, 1849.2.127

of illiterate, parodied, 1849.2.61

of “lady,” 1861.1.153-1541861.1.1841861.2.58a

of members of Congress, 1844.1.31

Regional :

Hartford, Connecticut, 1854.2.311

Mississippi, 1858.2.93

Rhode Island, 1861.1.185-186

spelling, bad

complaint about, 1849.2.64

parodied, 1849.2.61

Spiritual Telegraph (1852-1860?), a weekly magazine on the subject of spiritualism edited by S. B. Brittan and Charles Partridge.


• Frank Podmore. Mediums of the 19th Century. New Hyde Park, New York: University Books, Inc., 1963; vol i: 204.

spiritualism, 1857.1.91

joke about, 1855.2.157-158

See also Dr. AyersProfessor De Greth

sports. See baseballfootballskating

spring (season), 1851.2.95-961855.1.123b

in East Windsor Hill, Connecticut, 1858.1.186-187

See also, weather

“Spring,” C., 1849.1.152-153


Letters from, 1845.2.222-223

Massachusetts, 1842.1.89-901844.1.126-1281846.1.190a

Spring Hill, Alabama

Letter from, 1849.1.160

squirrel, reader sends to editor, 1841.2.187

The Squirrel” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; December 1841), a celebration of the fact that every living thing is adapted to its environment and of squirrels themselves: “[H]ow pleasing, as an object of mere beauty, is the squirrel! How graceful his form—how cheerful his aspect—how seemingly happy his existence!” An illustration of a squirrel, used as frontispiece when subscribers’ issues were bound, was included in this issue.


St. Andrew’s

Letter from, 1861.2.92

St. Clairsville

Letters from, 1858.1.56a1863.2.155-156

Ohio, 1860.1.60-611866.1.62

St. Joseph, Missouri

Letter from, 1857.2.93c

St. Louis, Missouri

described, 1849.2.29-30. Letters from, 1850.2.30a1867.1.155-156

St. Nicholas, 1855.1.591860.1.29

See also Kriss KringleSanta Claus


in Tennessee, 1850.1.63-64

travel in, 1857.2.184b

Stamford, Connecticut

Letter from, 1849.1.63

Edwin McMasters Stanton (1814-1869), U. S. attorney-general and secretary of war. Though Stanton distrusted Abraham Lincoln, he became Lincoln’s secretary of war in 1862. His tenure was marked by efficiency and honest management, and by severe censorship of the press (though he never censored the Museum … ). Stanton retained the post until 1868.


star, subject of poem, 1852.2.93

Starry Vale

Letter from, 1858.2.28

“Star-Spangled Banner”: Francis Scott Key, “Defence of Fort McHenry” (1814): “Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave/ O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” Soon renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner”, this patriotic song was a standard at Independence Day celebrations, and its tune was borrowed for presidential campaigns, such as the campaign in 1856; it was adopted as the anthem of the United States in 1931


states’ rights, 1854.1.94


taken by emigrants to California, 1849.2.29-30

burns coal, 1855.2.126

Travel in, 1843.2.641855.2.90a

on Arkansas River, 1857.2.156-1571858.1.153c

on Chatahoochee River, 1848.2.159

on Mississippi River, 1849.2.94b

on Red River, 1845.2.221-222

Geographical locations :

Detroit, Michigan, 1850.1.159

East River, New York, 1848.2.125

Cleveland, Ohio, 1844.2.95

See also Bois d’ArcEuropaMaid of KentuckySonomaSouth-Western

Charles Cummings Stearns (Flora P. S.’s brother), 1857.2.153-154

George Milton Stearns (Flora P. S.’s brother), 1857.2.153-154

Charles A. Stetson (1810-1888), hotel-keeper of the Astor House from 1837 to 1868. Stetson was known for generosity: during the Civil War he gave the stewards of the hospitals free run of the kitchen and kept open house for Union soldiers.


• Matthew Hale Smith. Sunshine and Shadow in New York. Hartford, Connecticut: J. B. Burr & Co., 1869; pp. 313-314.


Letter from, 1851.1.96a

stilts, 1855.2.93a


hung at Christmas, 1855.1.58-591855.1.91-92

hung at Christmas Eve, 1855.1.59

Stone’s River, battle of, fought at Stone’s River, Murfreesborough, Tennessee (31 December 1862-3 January 1863). Union losses included 1,730 killed.


• Frederick H. Dyer. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1959.


endless, parody of, 1850.2.32

of Tom Titmouse, parody of, 1850.2.32

serialized, reader requests, 1849.1.64

Subjects of, see bubblechickensdeathdogdrop of waterEchogeraniumgossiphermit of Niagara Fallsmirrorphilosophers, Greekpinsnow-flake

“Story of a Looking-Glass,” by J. C. F., 1849.1.31-32

Story of Philip Brusque” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1841-1842): Poorly educated Philip doesn’t believe in government; but after a shipwreck he learns the value and weaknesses of several forms of government. The story was reprinted as A Home in the Sea; or, The Adventures of Philip Brusque (Philadelphia: Sorin & Ball, 1845).


“Story of the Three Little Chickens,” by M. S., 1845.2.222-2231845.2.222-223

Straits of Mackinac, 1865.2.155

strawberry supper, in Selma, Alabama, 1858.1.188

John Henry Stringfellow, (1819-1905), doctor and politician. He settled in Kansas as one of the proslavery forces, editing the Squatter Sovereign in 1855. That year he also was elected to the territorial House in Kansas, elected Speaker by his colleagues. When the Civil War broke out, Stringfellow was living in Virginia; not unsurprisingly, he served in the Confederate army.


• Charles F. Ritter, et al. American Legislative Leaders, 1850-1910. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989.


Letter from, 1860.2.25

“Stubbs and Stebbins”, “Doephace and Fauner” (parody politicians), 1855.2.157-158

The Student’s Manual: designed, by specific directions, to aid in forming and strengthening the intellectual and moral character and habits of the student, by John Todd (Northampton: J. H. Butler, 1835). This self-descriptive work went through 21 printings by 1856; a “new revised” edition was published in 1883.


sturgeon, subject of tall tale, 1852.1.127c

substitute soldier, subscriber to hire, 1863.2.122


in anecdote of child, 1865.2.91a

making, in Louisiana, 1844.2.31-32

maple, 1858.2.28

making, 1865.1.91-92

in New Hampshire, 1855.1.188c

summer, 1867.2.58-59

recreation, 1857.2.1851864.1.188

Long Island Sound, 1867.2.59

See also, weather

sun, riddle about. See riddle

Sunday, Santa Claus doesn’t work on, 1855.1.58-59

Sunday school

anecdote of, 1860.1.155

attendance, 1867.2.62

festival, Ogdensburg, New York, 1858.1.60

picnic, Chicago, Illinois, 1856.2.125

“Sunshine,” by H. H. (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; March 1856), one of three sets of lyrics (another is “Voices”) which can be sung to the same tune. All is sunshine when one’s lips speak kindness and one’s heart is full of love.


sunshine in home, importance of, 1867.1.188

surveyor, subscriber as, 1867.2.157

swallows, 1861.2.120

sweet potato, subject of anecdote of child, 1865.2.91b

swimming, 1864.1.188

Cornwall, New York, 1855.2.60b

Swiss Family Robinson (Johann Wyss), novel (Zurich, 1812-1813). Armed with ingenuity and perseverance, a family of Swiss emigrants shipwrecked on a lush island makes a new life. The work emphasizes the values of education, moderation, and obedience to God’s word, while introducing young readers to the flora and fauna of the area near Australia.


Switzerland, travel to, 1845.1.31b


Letters from, 1856.2.121

New York, 1844.2.63

State fair, 1849.2.187b

A System of Natural Philosophy (John Lee Comstock): A system of natural philosophy, in which the principles of mechanics, hydrostatics, hydraulics, pneumatics, acoustics, optics, astronomy, electricity, and magnetism are familiarly explained (Hartford: D. F. Robinson, 1830). This work went through at least 218 editions before 1860.


“Tale of a Tulip”, five-part serial (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1851) Set in Holland during the tulip-madness of the seventeenth century, the story is built around the development of a black tulip; the reader learns not only history, but the evils of vanity. It was reprinted in Parley’s Present for All Seasons (New York: Appleton & Co., 1854)


Tales from Shakespeare (Mary and Charles Lamb; London: Thomas Hodges, 1807), a collection of retellings of Shakespeare’s plays, ostensibly in language children could understand.


Tallahassee Mission, Creek Nation

Letters from, 1857.2.156-1571858.1.153c

tall tales, 1849.1.157

about sturgeon, 1852.1.127c

Tamerlane (1336-1405), conqueror of Persia, India, and Syria, among other countries


Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), soldier and 12th U. S. president. He became a national hero during the war between the U. S. and Mexico, especially after the battle of Buena Vista, and a movement began to elect him president. Taylor, however, disliked politicking and declared that he would become president only as a result of the will of the voters; on his election in 1849, the Museum reprinted a puzzle that announces “Taylor is our president” no matter how it is read. As president, Taylor worked for sectional peace.


tea, 1862.1.88-89

teacher, 1863.2.921864.2.157a

in anecdote, 1867.2.60a

Northern, introduces Christmas tree in Marksville, Louisiana, 1854.1.60b

recreates with students, 1854.1.95b

subscriber as, 1867.2.29-301867.2.61b

teaching, advice on, 1867.2.58

U. S. S. Tecumseh, single-turret wood and iron monitor launched in 1863. At 7:40 a.m. on 5 August 1865 it was struck by a torpedo in Mobile Bay, Alabama, and sank in 30 seconds: “A few of her crew were observed to leap wildly from her turret; for an instant her screw was seen revolving in air—and then there was nothing left to show that the Tecumseh had ever formed one of that proud Union fleet but a small boat washed from her deck, and a number of half-drowned men struggling fiercely for life in the seething waters which had closed over their vessel forever.”


• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 2, vol 1: 220-221.

• Commodore Foxhall A. Parker. The Battle of Mobile Bay. Boston: A. Williams & Co., 1878; pp. 89, 26

teenage years

appropriate female behavior, 1861.2.120-121

characteristics of, 1859.1.601860.2.89-90

male, 1860.2.90

telegraph: subscriber wishes she could send a gift by, 1849.1.160

telegraph operator, 1865.1.94

Telemachus: protatonist in Adventures of Telemachus, novel by Archbishop François de Salignac de la Mothe Fenelon (1699). Accompanied by Minerva in the form of a wise old man, Telemachus searches for his father, Ulysses. During his travels through the Mediterranean world, he encounters almost every deity in the Roman pantheon and learns about wisdom, honor, and the principles of government.


temperance, 1844.1.126-1281856.2.301867.2.91

Cadets of Temperance, subscriber a member of, 1849.2.94a

society, subscriber establishes, 1865.1.122b

“Temperance Life-Boat,” song reprinted from The Temperance Melodist (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1859). Temperance workers “ply the oar” across “life’s glittering waters” to “save/ Brothers from filling a drunkard’s grave.”



Letters from : 1852.2.93-941857.1.59-601857.1.1191857.2.155-1561858.1.571859.1.93a1866.1.90-91

Charleston, 1856.1.188

Maclura, 1860.1.123a

Memphis, 1849.2.94b1850.1.63-641852.1.128a1854.1.941855.1.58-591856.1.186-1871860.2.1571861.1.56b1861.2.25

Murfreesboro, 1852.1.1251852.1.126c1855.1.921856.1.60b1865.1.121-1221865.2.88

Nashville, 1865.1.122a

Places in : West Tennessee College, Jackson, 1850.1.63-64

Terre Haute

Letters from, 1855.2.29d

Indiana, 1852.1.128c


Letter from, 1853.1.35-36

Texana, Texas

Letters from, 1857.2.184-1851858.1.61


Letters from : 1859.2.60

Corpus Christi, 1854.1.126-127

Texana, 1857.2.184-1851858.1.61

Places in :

Alamo, Fort Martin Scott, Fort Mason, Fort Merrill, 1854.1.126-127

Greenwood, 1845.2.221-222

Mission Conception, Nuestra Señora de la Purisima Concepcion de Acuna, established in 1731 and famous for its frescoes.


Port Caddo, Shreveport, 1845.2.221-222

textbooks, as gambling debt, 1850.1.32b

Sigismond Thalberg (1812-1872), pianist and composer who in 1856 toured the U. S. He composed many popular piano pieces, including variations on “Home, Sweet Home.”


Thomas Dydimus (cat), 1859.1.61

Thomas the Rhymer, title character in “Thomas Rhymer,” a British ballad (Child #37). Meeting the queen of Elfland at the Eildon Tree, he kisses her and must serve her for seven years before returning to the world.


“Thorwald, the Norwegian Rover” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1850: eleven-part serial. Set during the 800s, the story follows young Thorwald as he searches for his father, first in Iceland, then in North America. His adventures allow the author to not only teach geography, but to comment satirically on human nature, European social customs, and the miseries of alcoholic intemperance.


“Those Evening Bells” (in Robert Merry’s Museum), 1853.1.98c

Tiffany’s Monthly (1856-1859?), periodical on the subject of spiritualism edited by Joel Tiffany and apparently published by Brittan and Partridge; it focused on to both “the investigation of spiritual science” and “the investigation of the science of mind.”


• Frank Podmore. Mediums of the 19th Century. New Hyde Park, New York: University Books, Inc., 1963; vol i: 204.

“To a Lark,” by Maria L. Gage, 1848.1.114

“To a Star,” by Trevanion, 1852.2.93

tobacco, use deplored, 1857.2.156a

“To Mary ——,” by “Pansy” (Frances Adeline Seward), 1856.2.57b

“Tom Titmouse” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; September 1849), a humorous piece that begins as a chatty treatise on a titmouse, and winds through anecdotes of the narrator’s old friends, nostalgia about old times, and a bit of poetry about childhood before not reaching a destination. A sequel is promised, but not delivered. Reprinted in Faggots for the Fireside (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1854).


“To My Sister” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; May 1849), poem by Florence. Though sometimes Florence’s angry words hurt her sister, “Passion’s words are faithless things,/ And Love disowns them ere they fall”; “[E]re the weapon reach thy heart,/ My own has felt the wound it gives!”


“To My Sister on Her Birthday,” by C. H., 1849.2.30-31


Stamford, Connecticut, 1849.1.63

Europe, 1859.2.184

Italy, 1860.1.186

Boston, Massachusetts, 1867.2.93

Niagara Falls, New York, 1857.2.184b

Scotland, 1861.1.185-186

White Mountains, 1863.2.621864.1.60

Fincastle, Virginia, 1850.2.96

tournament, mock, in Virginia, 1845.1.187


boy’s, see stilts

girl’s, 1850.1.32a1850.1.32c

See also dollhooprope-skipping. outdoor, Massachusetts, Boston, 1856.1.187

trapper, in New York, 1856.1.31

travel, 1855.2.891855.2.90a

at Christmas, 1855.1.59

Geographical areas :

Arkansas River, 1857.2.156-157

Europe, 1845.1.31b1859.2.184

Illinois, 1865.2.155

Red River, 1845.2.221-222

Routes :

to California, 1849.1.154-1551849.2.29-301849.2.127-128

to Creek Nation, 1858.1.153c

Midwest, 1864.1.90

Buffalo, New York, to St. Louis, Missouri, 1855.2.90a

Tennessee to Illinois, 1856.1.157

Texas, Fort Mason to Corpus Christi, 1854.1.126-127

Ohio to Wisconsin, 1857.2.184a

Methods :

boat on Hudson River, New York, 1857.2.184b. stagecoach, 1857.2.184b

in Tennessee, 1850.1.63-64

railroad, Buffalo, New York, to Missouri, St. Louis, 1855.2.90a

steamboat, 1843.2.641855.2.90a

on Arkansas River, 1858.1.153c

on Red River, 1845.2.221-222

“The Travels, Adventures, and Experiences of Thomas Trotter” (1841-1842) and “Travels and Adventures in Circassia, by Thomas Trotter” (1845-1846): fictionalized geographies which alternate adventure and humor with descriptions of the landscape and culture of Europe and of the Middle East.


tree: named, 1851.1.127a

planted at subscriber’s birth, 1850.2.127-128

See also Charter Oakchina treeChristmas treehemlockmagnoliaoakorange treepecan

Tremainsville, Ohio

Letter from, 1858.1.31-32

Trippy (canine correspondent), a dog belonging to the family of William H. Seward. When Seward’s family moved from their home in Auburn, New York, to more cramped quarters in Washington, DC, Trippy was given to a family member.


tropics, reader dismisses as home, 1852.2.93-94


Letters from, 1865.2.251866.1.58-59

Tom Trudge and his wife (in Robert Merry’s Museum): peddler and his wife in the satirical “The Lottery Ticket.” When Tom wins the lottery, his wife’s ambitions and her quest for “jinnysyquaw” soon bankrupt the family. It was reprinted in A Tale of the Revolution, and Other Sketches (New York: Sheldon & Co., 1845).


The True and the Beautiful in Nature, Art, Morals, and Religion (John Ruskin), comp. by Mrs. L. C. Tuthill (New York: Wiley & Halsted, 1858), a selection from John Ruskin’s works that included sections on beauty, nature, architecture, art, and morals and religion; the title Beauties of Ruskin appeared on the spine of the book. It went through three editions by 1859.


True Southern, a vehemently pro-slavery newspaper published in Vicksburg, Mississippi; a writer in The British Controversialist and Literary Magazine pointed out in 1864 that the editor of the Southern had promoted Southerners’ argument for slavery when it “proposed ‘to offer a prize for the best sermon in favour of free trade in human flesh.’ ”


• W. R. “Was Slavery the Real Cause of the American War?” The British Controversialist and Literary Magazine. 1864 vol: 287-294; p. 292; via

“Truman Lane; and All About What He Wanted to be, and How Well He Succeeded” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; December 1852), story reprinted from the Youth’s Casket. Truman wants to be a hermit, but homesickness and bad weather soon drive him home, and he learns to think through his whims before acting on them.


Tuilerie Gardens, Paris, France, gardens laid out in 1665 near the Tuileries Palace. In 1851, the flower gardens, statues, fountains, and groves of elms, limes, and chestnut trees spread over 67 acres. It was a favorite place for Parisians, who gathered near a terrace where orange trees were set every year: “On Sunday afternoons, … the alley of orange trees frequently forms a compact mass, presenting every variety and colour of dress …. The garden … is also the favourite rendezvous of children … [who] come come there for exercise and air.… ”


Galignani’s New Paris Guide for 1851. Paris: A. & W. Galignani & Co., 1851; pp. 167-70.

tunnel, Hoosac, building and description of, 1871.2.243-244

Turner’s Farm, Virginia, battle, a skirmish fought on 31 May 1864. Subscriber Adelbert Older was wounded in the battle and subsequently captured by Confederate troops.



Letter from, 1859.2.93

Tuscarora, Iowa

Letter from, 1850.1.127a

tutor on plantation, 1849.2.63

twin subscribers, 1846.2.124-1251848.2.92

“Two Friends” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; December 1842): story reprinted from an English periodical. Poor John is mocked by all but rich Paul, who reaps his reward when he is kidnapped and John helps him.


Edward G. (born c1817) and Mary C. Tyler, American educators. Parents of Maria L. The Tylers moved from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in July 1848 to run the Ontario Female Seminary; Edward may have owned it, as in 1850 he is listed as owning real estate worth $13,000. Tyler remained connected with the Academy until 1867.


• M432. 1850 United States Census; reel #571: 183.

• George S. Conover, ed. History of Ontario County, New York. Syracuse, New York: D. Mason & Co., 1893; vol 1: 228.

• Charles F. Milliken. A History of Ontario County, New York, and Its People. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1911; vol 1: 283.

typhoid fever, 1865.2.58b

in army, 1862.1.186

uncle, bachelor, image of, 1859.1.94

“Uncle Frank’s Monthly Table-Talk”, Francis Woodworth’s editorial column, carried over from Woodworth’s Youth’s Cabinet. As in the Chat, letters from subscribers were printed, though Uncle Frank gave less space to letters than to his own editorials.


Uncle Hiram’s Pilgrimage” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1857-1860), 30-part serial following Hiram Hatchet on a journey through New York City, a place as alien as a foreign country.


Union, extolled, 1860.1.60a

sympathizer, Southern, 1865.1.187b

“Union schools,” in Mathews: “A school serving two or more contiguous school districts”; the earliest example is dated 1851.


• Mitford M. Mathews, ed. A Dictionary of Americanisms On Historical Principles. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1951.

Union Square

Letter from, 1856.1.122-123

Union Ticket: in Mathews, a phrase used since 1813 to denote a political ticket including candidates of different political views; in 1860, a political ticket purporting to support the Union; in the Museum, a ticket suggesting the editors as president and vice-president


As metaphor for marriage, 1862.1.26-27

• Mitford M. Mathews, ed. A Dictionary of Americanisms On Historical Principles. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1951.

University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, founded in 1840. In 1855, under A. B. Longstreet’s presidency, it had 134 students and 6 instructors; the library contained 2,450 volumes.


Lippincott’s Pronouncing Gazetteer, ed. J. Thomas and T. Baldwin. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1855.

“The Unrepaired Shoe,” by Almira, a tale of tragedy that includes a pathetic heroine of the type often created by amateur writers


“A Valuable Hint” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; September 1852), 1852.2.126b

Rip Van Winkle, title character in Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle,” published in The Sketch Book (1819). Relaxed about life, Rip wanders into the Catskills and falls under the influence of some strange little men—and their supernaturally strong liquor. He sleeps 20 years, waking to return home when he is “at that happy age when a man can do nothing with impunity.”



Letters from : 1863.2.91

Burlington, 1855.2.123

Castleton, 1852.2.32

Jericho, 1853.1.99b

Middlebury, 1844.1.125-126

West Randolph, 1855.2.156

Weybridge, 1854.1.32

Places in :

Castleton, Castleton Medical College, chartered in 1818; it taught everything from anatomy to operative obstetrics and medical jurisprudence before closing in 1861.


History of Rutland County, Vermont. Syracuse, New York: D. Mason & Co., 1886; pp. 235, 536-537.

White River Valley, 1855.2.156

Vernon, Connecticut

Letter from, 1850.2.30b

Mount Vesuvius, ascent of, 1845.1.31b

Vicksburg, Mississippi

Letters from, 1858.2.621858.2.931861.1.89-901861.1.91b

Victoria Regia lily, a type of water lily originating in South America, famous for its huge leaves and large, fragrant flowers.


vines as symbol of Union, 1858.1.58

violin, subscriber plays, 1861.2.154

Virgil, subscriber studies, 1855.2.29a

C. S. S. Virginia 2, an ironclad, was built in Richmond, Virginia, in 1863 in place of the first Virginia. The first Virginia was built on the remains of the U. S. S. Merrimack, burned by retreating Union forces; the second Virginia was sometimes referred to as the Merrimack 2 by officers on both sides. It patrolled the James River in July 1863. Confederates blew it up on 4 April 1864.


• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 2, vol 1: 271; series 1, vol 17: 548, 549; series 1, vol 9: 116.


Letters from :

Falmouth, Army of the Potomac, 1863.1.154

Fredericksburg, 1849.2.30-31

Lee County, 1872.2.148

Lexington, 1851.1.127a

Loudon County, 1851.2.64

Marion, 1858.1.126b

Middleburgh, 1850.1.187

Oak Hill, 1860.1.94b1860.2.91

Old Church, 1849.1.123-124

Petersburgh, 1842.1.159

Princeton, 1858.1.125b

Richmond, 1851.1.128b1865.1.187b1867.1.93

Warrenton, 1845.1.187

Winchester, 1858.1.58

Union advance into, 1862.1.186

Places in :

Fauquier White Sulphur Springs, 1845.1.187

James River and Kanawha canal, 1851.1.32b

Lexington, academy, 1851.1.127a

Richmond, General Hospital #21, 1864.2.183

Virginian loyal to Union, 1865.1.187b

“Voices,” by W. C. (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; March 1856): one of three sets of lyrics (another is “Sunshine”) which could be sung to the same tune. Beginning “Listen to the roses”, it lists natural “voices” which speak of God’s nearness.


Voyage of the Salt Mackerel” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; May-June 1872), two-part serial by Charles Barnard. Inspired by stories in the Youth’s Banner (presumably, a story paper), two boys build a raft and set out for adventure in a humorous parody of sensational fiction.


Sir William Wallace (1272?-1305), patriot who led the uprising of the Scots against the English in the 1290s; he was captured and executed. Many legends concerning him have arisen.


walnut tree, 1855.2.124

war, attitude toward, 1862.2.59

War of the Queens. See Queens

War with Mexico, 1846-1848; it resulted in the annexation of Texas by the U. S..


Warren, Rhode Island

Letter from, 1865.1.155b

Warrenton, Virginia

Letter from, 1845.1.187

George Washington: in New Jersey, 1849.1.61-62

in poem, 1850.2.128

subject of riddle, 1849.2.126


Letter from, 1865.1.156

Washington, DC. See District of Columbia, Washington

Watchie, a dog belonging to the William H. Seward family. After the dog was poisoned, Fanny Seward—writing as “Pansy”—wrote a small eulogy titled “Our Watchie,” published in the December 1856 issue.


Waterbury, Connecticut

Letters from, 1848.2.921854.2.348

water drop, subject of story, 1849.1.125-126


Letter from, 1857.1.120a

Wayne, Michigan

Letter from, 1848.1.114

weather, 1858.2.59a

Chronological :

1851: July, Paris, France, 1851.2.92-93

1852: January 18, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 1852.1.126a

1853: February, Wisconsin, 1853.1.98c

1853-1854, winter, Aroostook, Maine, 1854.2.252

1854: January, 1854.1.126-127 • July 4, Hartford, Connecticut, 1854.2.311

1855: May-June, Terre Haute, Indiana, 1855.2.29d

1856: January 5, New York, New York, 1856.1.81-83 • February 7, Mason Village, New Hampshire, 1856.1.91 • February 13, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1856.1.90 • March 4, Memphis, Tennessee, 1856.1.186-187 • March 13, Union Square, 1856.1.122-123 • May, Ohio, 1856.2.26-27 • July 4, Hartford, Connecticut, 1856.2.58

1857: January 27, Columbia, (no state), 1857.1.90 • June 17, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1857.2.56 • September, Columbia (no state), 1857.2.154-155

1858: 1858.2.59a • September, Tremainsville, Ohio, 1858.1.31-32

1859: January, New Ipswich, New Hampshire, 1859.1.93-94 • March, Lecovia (no state), 1859.1.154-155 • November 13, Painsville (no state), 1859.1.62 • December, Jerseyville, Illinois, 1859.1.93c

1860: Kansas, drought of 1860, 1861.1.91a • April, 1860.1.186-187

1861: March 9, Longmeadow (no state), 1861.1.124 • August 8, Batavia (no state), 1861.2.120-121

1862: February, Wisconsin, 1862.1.155a • November 5, Gouverneur, New York, 1862.1.26-27

1867: winter, 1867.1.60-61

1868: March 2, 1868.1.165-166

see also Letters from individual geographical locations

Daniel Webster (1782-1852), American lawyer and politician who represented Massachusetts in the U. S. House and Senate. Intellectually brilliant, he was a gifted orator; his “now and forever, one and inseparable” was quoted several times in the Chat


Quoted, 1858.1.581858.1.611858.2.59b

Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, 1867.1.58


Letter from, 1855.1.122b

Wentworth, New Hampshire

Letters from, 1851.1.96b1864.1.60

Westbrook, Maine

Letter from, 1855.2.29c

West Hartford, Connecticut

Letter from, 1867.2.92a

West Point Military Academy, subscriber requests information on, 1858.2.62

West Randolph, Vermont

Letter from, 1855.2.156

Wetumpka, Alabama

Letter from, 1850.2.186

Weybridge, Vermont

Letter from, 1854.1.32

whaling, 1845.1.31a

What Ben and the Twins Did for Chicago” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; September 1871), story by Sara Conant. The title characters work hard and hold a fair to earn money for the homeless after the Chicago Fire.


Wheeloch, Choctaw Nation, 1852.1.159

White Mountains, New Hampshire, 1864.1.60

excursion: In 1871, 22 male subscribers and at least one editor travelled to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Starting on 24 July from the Museum’s office in Boston, the group traveled by steamship, train, and foot to Mount Washington, climbed it, and took a stagecoach, train, and steamship back. The trip of several days cost each traveller about $16. It was written up as “The White Mountain Excursion” in the October issue.


wife, ideal: Chickasaw subscriber’s, 1859.2.60

ideal Southern, image of, 1859.1.123-124

unideal, 1859.1.93a

reaction to, 1859.1.123-124

Marinus Willett (1740-1830), soldier. One of the Sons of Liberty, he took part in several operations against the British before serving in a New York regiment. In 1777 Willett was second in command under Peter Gansevoort at Fort Schuyler (Fort Stanwix).



Letters from, 1848.2.1251861.1.155-1561872.1.243-244


Letters from, 1863.1.1211864.2.126

“Willie We Have Missed You,” by Stephen C. Foster (1854), a sweetly sentimental song about the return of a husband to his family.


“Willie H. Coleman’s Letter,” by William Hoyt Coleman, 1856.1.81-83

N. P. Willis (1807-1867), American writer and brother of Sara Payson Willis (“Fanny Fern”). N. P. established several literary journals, but is best known for his lyrical poetry. He bought land on the Hudson River and moved into “Idlewild” in 1853. Works like Out Doors at Idle-wild brought public attention to the wild beauty of the area.


• Lewis Beach. Cornwall. Newburgh, New York: E. M. Ruttenber & Son, 1873; pp. 83-96.

Marcius Willson (1813-1905), American educator and writer. Husband of Frances A; in 1850 father of Caroline A., Pierpont, Frances E., and Robert. A former student of the Canandaigua Academy, Marcius was its principal (1849-1853); he wrote several histories and readers to be used in schools.


• M432. 1850 United States Census; reel #571: 160.

The Academian, March 1916; p. 15.

• George S. Conover, ed. History of Ontario County, New York. Syracuse, New York: D. Mason & Co., 1893; vol 1: 225.

• Charles F. Milliken. A History of Ontario County, New York, and Its People. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1911; vol 1: 282.

Wilmington, North Carolina

Letters from, 1858.1.153a

Sugar-plum Hill, 1859.2.126a

Winchester, Virginia

Letter from, 1858.1.58

wine, in Iowa, 1853.1.98a

U. S. Gunboat Winona, Union wooden steamship launched 26 November 1861. This gunboat was 158 feet long, with a depth of 12 feet, and had an average speed of seven knots. In 1862, when Tommy was on board, the ship was often engaged on the Mississippi River: it cruised near Passe L’Outre in March 1862 and attacked Forts Jackson and St. Philip on 24 April 1862. The latter engagement was brutal, and the ship was forced to retreat downstream with crew and officers lying flat on the deck. When the forts were taken by Union forces a few days later, the commander of the Winona took possession of Fort St. Philip. The ship went on to New Orleans at the end of April 1862 before steaming upriver to join in the attacks on Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi. It went out of commission June 1865.


• United States Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. DC: Government Printing Office, 1894-1922; series 2, vol 1: 242; series 1, vol 18: 226-227, 490-491, 817, 820-821.

winter, 1846.1.30-31

as character-building, 1856.1.91

as metaphor for secession, 1865.1.121-122

extolled, 1855.1.188a

subject of poem, 1844.1.94-951860.1.187a

family life in, 1850.1.63-64

recreation in, 1856.1.60c1859.1.123-1241860.2.89-901861.1.571864.1.1881864.2.157b1865.1.60

Connecticut, 1856.1.90-91

Wentworth, New Hampshire, 1864.1.60

evening recreation, 1855.2.1231856.1.60a

See also skatingsleighing

Geographical location :

Georgia, 1846.1.29-30

Louisiana, 1851.1.94

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, 1852.1.126a

Detroit, Michigan, 1852.1.94

New York, New York, 1856.1.81-83

Wisconsin, 1853.1.98c

See also, weather


Letter from, 1849.2.311850.1.63

“A Winter Evening in the Country,” by M. T. B., 1844.1.94-95


Euro-American settling, 1852.1.191a

Letters from : 1852.1.191a1862.1.155a

Fond du Lac, 1859.2.92

Gratiot, 1857.1.62

Hartford, 1859.1.61

Janesville, 1855.2.93b

Madison, 1856.2.61

Milwaukee, 1850.2.1281853.1.98c1857.2.184a1872.1.294

Packwaukee, Marquette County, 1864.2.1831865.1.88

Places in :

Madison, Lake-Side Water-Cure, medical spa built by the company of George Delaplaine—Blanche’s father—in June 1855. Ninety-two by 40 feet, it was four stories and could accomodate from 80 to 100 guests. Steam heat warmed the spa and heated the water for its many baths (one two-story wing was mostly bath rooms). The spa was not a success; it was made into a popular public house and by 1874 had become a summer hotel.


• Daniel Durrie. A History of Madison. Madison, Wisconsin: np, 1874; pp. 241-242.

wolf, black, Texas, 1854.1.126-127

prairie, in Wisconsin, 1857.2.185

“Wolsey Bridge; or, The Boy Bachelor,” Agnes Strickland (in Robert Merry’s Museum), two incidents in the life of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey: the story emphasizes the benefits—and hazards—of perseverance in the face of impossible odds, as Wolsey earns a bachelor’s degree by age 14 and almost loses his life crossing a stream in flood.


woman, Euro-American married to Native American, 1849.1.156


attitude about, 1845.2.221-222

image of, 1849.1.321849.2.30-311860.2.271860.2.59

“proper” behavior of, 1867.2.91

women’s rights, 1856.2.26-271856.2.93-941857.1.621857.1.901867.2.60a

championed, 1856.1.187-188

deplored, 1856.1.187-1881860.2.25

extolled, 1860.2.25

“Wonderful Trees” (in Robert Merry’s Museum ; 1849-1850), 10-part series of illustrated articles. Each article combines physical description with a discussion of the plant’s use by humans. Included were the baobab, willow, orange, maple, juniper, almug, plane, rubber, and cypress trees, as well as the aloe plant.


Woodbine Lodge

Letter from, 1861.2.58b

Woodbury, Connecticut

Letter from, 1855.2.91

Wood Lawn

Letter from, 1853.2.127a

Woodville, Mississippi

Letter from, 1853.2.187b

Woodworth’s Youth’s Cabinet: magazine founded and edited by Francis C. Woodworth (1846-1857). It printed stories, songs, poems, and articles with an emphasis on morality; “Uncle Frank” had his own letters column, which emphasized his editorials rather than letters from subscribers. When the Cabinet was absorbed by the Museum, the latter was sent to “Cabinet-makers” to fill out their subscriptions; several continued to refer to the magazine they received as the “Cabinet.”

father took for family, 1858.2.28

merger with Museum, subject of poem, 1857.1.154-155

older siblings relinquish, 1859.1.156a

reading pattern of, 1859.2.92-93

subscriber credits, 1858.1.125a

subscriber reads at school, 1859.1.156a

work: subscriber works in father’s store, 1850.1.63-64

World’s Fair, New York, 1855.2.89

Silas Wright (1795-1847), U. S. Congressman (1827-1828, 1834-44) and governor of New York (1844-1846). As a Congressman he was known for his integrity, his knowledge of the subjects of debate, and his cool reasoning ability.


writer’s block, 1856.1.188

writing, female subscriber attempts, 1856.1.188

writing utensils: pen-making, 1842.1.89-90

Wyoming Massacre: Only about 300 Continental soldiers were in the Valley to defend colonists when Tories and their Native American allies attacked in 1778; but the soldiers went on the offensive in a skirmish in which over 200 died. Many women and children died in the subsequent looting or in trying to escape. In one incident, an infuriated Catharine Montour—one of the Native American leaders—killed 16 captives by placing their heads against a boulder and crushing them with a tomahawk. A granite monument raised over the grave of those slain in battle was finished in the 1830s.


“Yankee Doodle” (song), 1858.2.59b

yellow fever epidemic, Woodville, Mississippi, 1853.2.187b

“You’d scarce expect … ”, David Everett, “Lines Spoken at a School Exhibition, By a Little Boy Seven Years Old”: “You’d scarce expect one of my age/ To speak in public on the stage.” The next lines beg indulgence for not being a Cicero or Demosthenes. The poem gained popularity after being published in Caleb Bingham’s Columbian Orator (Boston: Manning & Loring, 1797); it was one of the most popular pieces in American schools.


The Youth’s Companion (periodical), long-lived American children’s magazine (1827-1829). Founded by Nathaniel Willis, the Companion grew out of the children’s section of the Recorder, a religious newspaper. Under Willis, the magazine focused on religion. After he sold the Companion in 1857, the emphasis gradually shifted to entertainment, and it became one of the most famous family magazines published in the U. S., printing the work of the many important writers of the time. It absorbed the Museum in 1872.


Zebraville, Ohio

Letter from, 1861.1.123

Zebulon, Georgia

Letter from, 1850.1.127b

zoological garden, Paris, France, 1851.2.63-64

Zouaves, regiments—both North and South—whose elaborate uniforms and precise drills were modeled on those of the original Zouaves of the French colonial armies.


• Mark M. Boatner The Civil War Dictionary, rev. ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1988.

Zumbrota, Minnesota

Letter from, 1858.1.59

a flourish

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