Album of Love [Mystic, Connecticut Friendship Album, published c. 1850s with 1859–1861 entries].
1850s woman’s friendship album from Mystic, Connecticut with a gilt decorated, trade cloth bookbinding. ‘Album of Love’ with 21 pages of handwritten poems.
Album of Love is an apt title for this friendship album from Mystic, Connecticut. From the poetical Dedication inscription written by E. S. Stanley:
This book goes forth to gather Souvenirs from friends, / So that when gathered in and friends are gone or dead, / They may afford a joy,—a pleasant passing hour, / To one who loves keepsakes, though but a transient thought. / Go then! yet count no one thy friend but those whose thoughts / Are pure;—whose words are sincere offerings of the soul.
This dedication was likely written by Reverend Edwin Samuel Stanley (1819–1899), a Methodist Episcopal Church clergyman, licensed to preach in 1857. He served the communities—a partial list—of Cumberland, East Mansfield, East Glastonbury, Mystic, South Manchester, East Greenwich, New Bedford, and Newport. Stanley was a Free-Soiler and an abolitionist.
Friendship albums did indeed go forth. This album containing approx. 21 pages of manuscript was kept by a young woman named “Jennie” (“Jane” to her cousins) in Mystic, Connecticut. Jennie lent this album to her friends and family in Mystic and nearby Greeneville (Norwich) and they neatly inscribed poems and other sentiments of love and friendship.
The writing can be light at times and challenging to read, but still an interesting 1850s woman’s friendship album from Mystic, Connecticut with a gilt decorated, trade cloth bookbinding. The plates are engraved by H. A. Ritchie, Sartain, etc.
Description: Album of Love [Mystic, Connecticut Friendship Album, published c. 1850s with 1859–1861 entries].
New York: Leavitt & Allen [c. 1850s]. Frontispiece, engraved title leaf, ff. +  plates. Friendship Album. 7¾ x 6¼ inches. Royal blue textured cloth with blind and gilt decorations and 15 applied colored paper decorations; variously colored text leaves; tissue guards; all edges gilt. Approx. 21 manuscript pages; not all leaves used. Binding with minor rubbing; foxing to title-page and plates; handwriting is quite light at times and challenging to discern; very good.
N.B. Within the album is a poem by Marietta F. Stanley, later Marietta Stanley Case (1845-1900). She was the daughter of Rev. E.S. Stanley and moved with the family from pastorate to pastorate. She was a graduate of East Greenwich Academy in Rhode Island and in 1868 married paper manufacturer A. Willard Case. She was a prolific newspaper poet and the author of the book Poems (Boston, 1901). She also lent her pen to the cause of temperance. After marrying she moved to Manchester, where she lived out her days. (See Willard and Livermore, A Woman of the Century (Chicago, 1893), p160.)