Spring 2011 Madison Historical Society H ISTORICAL H APPENINGS UPCOMING EVENTS Monday, May 9 MHS ANNUAL MEETING 7:00 pm / Scranton Library Communi...
Author: Clare Sharp
4 downloads 2 Views 4MB Size
Spring 2011

Madison Historical Society



Monday, May 9 MHS ANNUAL MEETING 7:00 pm / Scranton Library Community Room Coffee, Tea & Desserts PUBLIC WELCOME Friday, June 3 2011 MHS EXHIBIT MADISON’S CIVIL WAR YEARS: AT HOME & AT ARMS Members Opening & Preview 5 -7 pm / Lee’s Academy

MADISON’S CIVIL WAR YEARS: AT HOME & AT ARMS Beginning in April Connecticut’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War will take place throughout the state with exhibits and events arranged by local entities and communities. Madison’s own contribution, Madison’s Civil War Years: At Home & At Arms, will open on June 3. This exhibit presents Madison before, during and after the war beginning with many insights into the political, economic and racial make-up of antebellum Madison. There are many stories to be told — from the town’s attitude toward slavery and its economic relationship with the South, to the stories of the men who left to fight while the town and the soldiers’ families coped with their absence as well as Madison’s

and papers, much of which financial support of the war was donated to the Society by and its soldiers in the field Madison’s aging Civil War and, later, its veterans. veterans in the first years of Two hundred and seven the Society’s founding, With men have been credited as serving from the town, enlisting mostly in the 14th and 27th regiments. The soldiers participated in many major battles, while their mothers, fathers and wives Battle of Antietam, September 1862, the 14th Conwrote letters, necticut Regiment’s first battle. (Library of Congress) sent food and the guidance of Nancy Basmedical supplies and prayed tian, Archivist, the resources for their sons’ and husbands’ of the Charlotte L. Evarts Arreturn. chives have produced much To produce this exhibit, complementary material to the Historical Society has MHS’ holdings. culled its collection of objects

S U P P O R T F R O M E S S E X S AV I N G S B A N K The Essex Savings Bank has become one of the Madison Historical Society’s

newest supporters. Founded in 1851 by shipmasters and businessmen, the Essex Savings Bank is one of the oldest continuously operating mutual savings banks on the shoreline. And the Madison Historical Society, now nearly a century old itself, is pleased to be the recipient of a donation from an organization with such strong

ties to the surrounding communities and a commitment to contributing to the communities that it serves. The Essex Savings Bank which supports many non-profits and community development projects, encourages community participation by polling its customers for their support of projects proposed to the bank's Community Investment Program.

Page 2

Spring 2011






The Frederick Lee Lectures, designed to reach an audience of learners from ages 10 to 110, has enjoyed special success in its 2011 season. This year's series, focused in general on Civil War topics and specifically on Connecticut's role in the conflict, was created as the first of the MHS's contributions to the statewide effort to commemorate the war's sesquicentennial anniversary. The lecture series is a prelude to the MHS summer exhibition entitled Madison's

Matthew Warshauer--and we Civil War Years: At Home and thank them for their extraordiAt Arms. The three lectures nary contributions to this eduhave attracted record audicational outreach ences and program, which is cohave been sponsored by the generously Madison Beach and publicized in Recreation Departregional mement, which offers dia, from use of Memorial Town newspapers to radio to Hall as the venue. Web-based Look for the anvideo renouncement of MHS’ Rick Spencer with banjo. cordings. plans for the 2012 We deeply appreciate all series of lectures. of our presenters--Rick Spencer, Warner Lord, and

PHASE TWO OF THE RESTORATION OF LEE’S ACADEMY CAN NOW BEGIN The Lee’s Academy Window Drive, phase two of the building’s restoration funding, has reached its goal. In April the fundraising for painting the exterior, the last phase of restoration, will begin. Thank you to the following donors who helped us reach our goal to replace all twentyfour windows. One Pane Peggy Bacon Philip & Alicia Bacon Leo Brennan Dorothy Brooks Paul Bunnell Paul and Alixe Edman Tony & Louisa Dato Robert Dunlop Nancy Farnan Catherine Furguson Dominic Griffin Deb & Russell Heinrich Raymond Hencir Sheila Holdt Marie Jacobs Jongobloed Family Dorothy Kelly Roger LeMontangue Nancy & Donald Liepelt Don & Nancy Liepelt Malcolm MacGruer Joan & Fillmore McPherson Danica Meier

Gregg and Alicia Mirando Bill & Arline Morrissey Brenda & Gary Naegel Mary Ouimet Ms. Frederick Parker Lawrence Pepper Catherine Petroni Pfizer Foundation Matching McPherson Betsey & Harry Piner Richard and Anne Rohleder Rob Stevens Arthur Symonds Ian & Christine Taylor Gloria Thiela Audrey Thompson Lucy & Dennis Van Liew Patricia Wallace-Christian Owen & Dorothy Walsh Buzz & Jeannine Wierzbinski David & Bonnie Young

Four Panes First CC Women's League Lynn Friedman Pam Gallagher Dwight & Linda Juliani Beverly Montgomery Norton Morrison Veronica Murphy Eleanor & John Perkins Eric Berg & Carole Woodring

Two Panes In memory of Greg Schoenleber Barry Haigis Peter Olberg & Gardner McFall Sylvia Morrison Seymour and Linnea Page Sally Parker Anne Sherman Judith Brooks Wiley Dani Woods

Whole window Kim & Rich Agresta Bob & Shirley Green John & Diana Herzog

Three Panes Loretta & John James

Half Window Anne Hicks Bill & Paulette Kaufmann Gail Erickson & Christa Rice Lewis Scranton Five Panes Tim & Ginny Millhiser Gene & Patty Schoenleber Guilford Savings Bank

$1000-5000 Bauer Charitable Trust Fund Michael D. Johnson Jack & Helen Davis (Grove Foundation) Summer Hill Foundation New Alliance Bank

Historical Happenings

Page 3

2010 MHS A N N UA L A P P E A L MHS is extremely appreciative of the support we received from the following donors to the 2009 Annual Appeal. Friends Liz Attebery Sara Caraszi & John Jepson Robert Cairns Leighton Carlson & Duane Mellor Alice Castelli Deborah Cocco Clare Conover Scott & Nancy Conover Janice DiSesa ? Furth Robert Goldenberg Henry Griggs Richard & Isabelle Hahn Joel Helander Peter Horton Jongobloed Family Peter & Barbara Knapp

Garry & Nancy Leonard Sylvia Morrison Connie Piccione Mary Ouimet MaryJo McDonald Sally Parker Sheila Patterson Antony & Denman PierceGrove Harry & Betsey Piner Lawrence Pepper Wm. H. Smith Robert Stimpson Arthur Symonds Kate Truax Patricia Wallace-Christian Cy Wastcoat Dani Woods Charles Young Partners Robert Dunlop Lynn & Peter Friedman Pam Gallagher

Patricia & Richard Gedney Dominic Griffin Mary Jean Hale John & Diana Herzog Bill & Mary Johnson Bob & Brenda Klein Norton Morrison Dwight & Linda Juliani John & Jody Perkins John & Eleanor Perkins Mr & Mrs Gene Schoenleber Ted & Kathy Sloan Richard & Marueen Snell Tricia & Rick Royston Sponsors Guilford Savings Bank Bill & Mary Johnson


Patrons Bill and Paulette Kaufmann

Madison Historical Society

MHS ANNUAL MEETING ON MAY 9 The Madison Historical Society will hold its Annual Meeting at the E. C. Scranton Library on May 9 at 7:00 pm. Following the business part of the meeting, Greg and Stephanie Lesnik, the new owners of the c. 1720 David Field House on Green Hill Road, will discuss living in this particular 18th-century house. Since their return to Connecticut, the Lesniks have been taking cues from the home’s 18th-century origins

while they establish a living farm on which they are raising sheep, chickens, turkeys, and goats in addition to tapping maple trees for the syrup, and managing an organic garden with their children’s help.

2011 KUHL AWARD MHS is requesting nominations for the fifth annual Jane R. Kuhl Award for Historic Preservation. The Award is given in memory of Jane R. Kuhl in recognition of her outstanding commitment and contribution to historic preservation in Madison. The award recognizes those individuals, corporations or organizations who, by deed or example, exemplify Jane’s leadership, vision and dedication in preserving Madison’s heritage. Nominations may be sent by mail to MHS, PO Box 17, Madison, CT 06443 or by email to: www.madisoncthistorical.org.

MHS will announce the recipient at MHS’ Annual Meeting in June. Previous winners were Peter Gulick in 2007, John and Diana Herzog in 2008 and John Lind, Garry Leonard and Beth Vogel in 2009.

2010 Board of Directors PRESIDENT


Paulette C. Kaufmann TREASURER


Connie Piccione DIRECTORS

Doe Boyle Sue Frankenbach Pamela D. Gallagher Robert M. Green Bill Johnson Lucinda Juliani Frederick P. Murphy Mary Rourke Tricia Royston STAFF

Mary Rourke, Asst. Curator Kelly D’Annolfo, Book-keeper Betsey Piner, Office Manager

Madison Historical Society Founded 1917 P.O. Box 17 Madison, CT 06443 (203) 245-4567 www.madisoncthistorical.org MHS offices are open in the ca. 1821 Lee Academy at 14 Meetinghouse Lane on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9am—1 pm For a tour of MHS’ ca. 1785 National Historic Register Property, the AllisBushnell House, call (203) 245-4567 The MHS newsletter is published quarterly in Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall Editor: Paulette C. Kaufmann




Spring 2011



CATHARINE FOWLER HAND (1802-1865) AN UNCONVENTIONAL 19TH-CENTURY WIFE PART TWO When the Federal Census taker came around in 1860, most of the women in Madison, Connecticut listed their occupation as “House Work,” but fifty-nine year old Catharine Fowler Hand stated her occupation as “Lady.” Descending from a family of ministers, lawyers and politicians Catharine and her children considered themselves one of the most elite families in town and labeled most of their Madison neighbors as “plain people.” Catharine was just forty-two when her husband, Joseph Winborn Hand, died on May 25, 1844 in Washington, D.C. The Hand family was living in Washington in a three -story brick house now the site of the Cannon House Office Building, just south of the Capitol Building. The Hands were ensconced in Washington society, but Joseph’s death left debts and with no further income from her spouse’s employment, Catharine had no choice but to sell the Washington house and return to the homestead of her deceased father in Madison. Accompanying Catharine were four of her children: Kate, age fourteen; Elizabeth, age twelve; Charles, age nine; and Emily, age four. Her oldest son, sixteen-year-old Chauncey Meigs Hand, was living in Massachusetts with his uncle, while attending Amherst Academy. With no husband and no income, the prospect of raising and educating five children was overwhelming for Catharine. So she turned to her older brother, William Chauncey Fowler, for guidance. Fowler, himself, had recently lost his wife, Harriet, daughter of Noah Webster. But as the last adult male in the family, he accepted the responsibility for helping his sister. It was probably with his advice that Catharine sold all of her deceased husband’s property in Madison while retaining only the Fowler homestead as a place for the family to reside. In a town comprised mostly of farmers, it was rare for mid-nineteenth century Madison families to send their children away from home to private academies. Local Lee’s Academy was considered a fine place for William Chauncey Fowler (1793-1881) “fitting out” a son for Yale from History of Durham, 1662-1866 or other universities, but Catharine wanted her



children to be educated with the sons and daughters as befitted their class. Once again she turned to her brother, William, who, in his revered position as recent Professor of

Amherst Academy, funded in 1814 by a group of town leaders which included Noah Webster, is now the Emily Dickinson Museum. Jones Library Special Collection.

Rhetoric, Oratory and English at Amherst College, was able to open doors for his young nephews and nieces and oversee their education. While attending school at Amherst Academy, the Hand children lived with their Uncle William and his daughter, Emily. William is mentioned often in the family letters and appears to give advice not only to his sister, but to his fatherless nieces and nephews. As a well-known minister, professor, author (and later a Connecticut State Senator) William Fowler was in a position to make sure his young relatives had all the advantages of an excellent education. In 1845, William’s nephew Chauncey graduated from Amherst Academy and entered Williston Seminary in East Hampton, Massachusetts. He later attended Yale College where he began his degree in Law, completing his studies in New York City. Although an excellent student, Chauncey’s private law practice in the city was not successful and after pursuing studies in theology he was licensed to preach in 1862. Fifteen-year-old Kate arrived at Amherst Academy in 1845 where one of her classmates, Emily Dickinson, proclaimed her “a very fine scholar.” But it was at this time that Kate’s mental illness became apparent. She left Amherst and returned to Madison where a summer of rest left her well enough to attempt returning to school at Miss Dutton’s in New Haven, but her illness once again forced her to leave school. In October of 1848, Kate was installed at the Hartford Retreat for the Insane. For the next five years, she was in and out of schools and the hospital. Finally, in October, 1853, Kate’s mother reported, “Kate

H i s t o r i c a l H a p p e n i n g s / H i s t o r y P a ge s

left this morning for Hartford [Retreat.] I think we have little hope of restoration.” Kate died a year later on September 5, 1854. Elizabeth (Lizzie), though not as scholarly as her older sister, attended the John L. C. and Jacob Abbot’s School in New York City, then Pittsfield Academy for Females in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Upon graduation, she became a teacher in Virginia and South Carolina. Charles, the youngest son, attended Williams College, after which he followed the call of the ministry and enrolled in Andover Theological Seminary from which he graduated just as the Civil War was beginning. Catharine’s youngest daughter never had the chance to attend school anywhere but in Madison. When she was eleven years old, Emily Joanna became sick with a “bilious infection” and died in June of 1851. Three infant daughters had been buried many years ago in Washington, but Emily was the first of the Hand children to be buried in West Cemetery in Madison, later to be joined by her older sister, Kate. Bearing the sadness of losing five of her eight children, Catharine must have been greatly uplifted when her daughter, Lizzie, married Rev. Asa Fiske in 1860. Asa was the brother of Madison’s beloved Congregational minister, Samuel Fiske, and had recently established himself in St. Paul, Minnesota as the minister of the Plymouth Congregational Church. With Lizzie settled as a minister’s wife, and her sons, Chauncey and Charles, well on their way to becoming ministers, Catharine might have taken a moment to stand back and be proud of her children and se-

Spring 2011

cure in their futures. But, the Civil War quickly changed everything. Both Charles and Chauncey Hand enlisted in the Union Army. Charles was wounded at Beverly Ford while serving as an enlisted man in the Second United States Cavalry followed by a relatively uneventful year as a captain in the Sixtythird United States Colored Infantry. Chauncey, who enlisted in the Second New York Cavalry, was twice wounded in battle. Neither Charles nor Chauncey recovered from their wartime experiences. At the end of the war, both sons returned to Madison to be nursed by their mother. Catharine’s brother, William Chauncey Fowler, later said of his sister that she died by over-taxing herself by nursing her sons. Their sixty-three year old mother had literally worked herself to death by July of 1865 while caring for her boys. Chauncey died a few months later in October of “mania.” Charles lived a troubled life, finally dying in a military hospital for the insane in 1874. Although Catharine Hand was born into a family of scholars and married into a family with social prestige, that didn’t insulate her from suffering the same pain as many other mothers of her era, and perhaps even more. Of Catharine’s eight children, only Lizzie lived to marry and have a family of her own. After Catharine’s death, her brother stated, “She had in her what the heart looks for in a woman, a ready sympathy with others in their afflictions and patient fortitude in bearing her own.” —- Lynn Friedman

Sources: Guilford, CT Land Records. Guilford, CT Town Clerk’s Office Madison, CT Land Records. Madison, CT Town Clerk’s Office Guilford, CT Probate Records. Guilford, CT Probate Office Madison, CT Probate Records. Madison, CT Probate Office United States Federal Census Records. Ancestry.com Madison’s Heritage. Edited by Philip S. Platt, Madison Historical Society, Madison, CT 1964

The John Aldrich Stephenson Collections of the Hand, Fiske, and Aldrich Families Paper. A Register of the Collection in the Library of Congress. Prepared by Oliver H. Orr. Memorials of the Chaunceys: including President Chauncy, his ancestors and descendants. William Chauncey Fowler. Googlebooks.