Friday, March 28, 2008

A Vintage Autograph Album

Here is an Autograph Album from the 1890's that I was privileged to view. You can imagine how thrilled I was to read all the poems and marvel at the beautiful handwriting, and wonder about the people who wrote in this little book! I spent a good afternoon reading it.

The Album was a present to Miss Caroline Jacobsen by her brother, John. It looks to me to be a Christmas gift.

Here is a picture of Caroline, who was born in 1879.

Her brother John wrote in it first:
"Dear Sister Carrie,
Within this book so pure and white,
Let none but friends presume to write;
And may each line with friendship given,
Direct the reader's thoughts to heaven.
Your Brother, John H. Jacobsen."

I was struck by the neat handwriting of the above, and then I read the poem!
"Dear Carrie,
Remember me
When far far off
Where the woodchucks die
With the whooping cough.
Your Friend,
Minnie Foster"

Most of the poems are sweet instead of joking. Here is one I liked:
Dear Carrie,
May you be happy,
May you be blessed,
With a neat little cottage,
And the one you love best.
Your friend,
Abbie Erickson."

As the book spanned so many years (into the 1920's), I could not help but wonder if Caroline's future husband may have written in the book? He did, and here is what he had to say:

Friend Carrie
For album scribbles I feel grieved
Such nonsense oft is said
One half will never be believed
The other never read.
Your Friend,
Jacob Peterson."
(The note says that Caroline married Jacob around 1902)
I'm glad to prove him wrong, for I read it all and believed most of it!

The last entry, written on a leaf in the back, was done by Caroline's youngest daughter, Ruth. It is especially sweet when you understand that this little girl died the year after she wrote this.
"Dear Mother,
I just ask a little spot
To write the word
Your daughter Ruth P."
As a Pleasant Times treat, I will share a few of these album leaves with my readers, and I think I will call this feature, "Dear Carrie."

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