[Autograph Album kept in 1858 by Marshall Chambers at Lancaster County Normal School in Pennsylvania].
Schoolboy autograph album in a gilt and blind decorated Philadelphia trade binding published by Hayes & Zell. The album was kept by Marshall B. Chambers, likely while a student at the Lancaster County Normal School in Millersville, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
After Chambers’ calligraphically decorated ownership inscription, the first autograph is by the Lancaster County Normal School’s founder and principal, James Pyle Wickersham, who encourages Chambers to “Be a man.”¹
The album is fully filled on the rectos by a variety of sentiments penned by his fellow students and friends (both women and men) there or in nearby Chester, Montgomery, or Bucks counties. A few calligraphic drawings enliven the album’s neat pages.
One lengthy sentiment is notable as it describes how some albums came to be autographed: “The swift wing of time bids me cease writing since there is a large number of autographs besides me waiting with open mouth to receive a sentiment” (Lizzie H. Dunlap)
Carrie Hickman asks Marshall to remember their first meeting on a stage coach that upset and landed the two classmates in the gutter, further asking “Will you ever forget the molasses-cups which we each day beheld when we entered the dining room?”
Mary A. Reed: “I take my pen in my hand to stain this pure white page with my scribbling….”
Maggie A. Large: “Friend Marshall I think this is about the ninth time that I have been asked to write in your autograph and that I did not want too but it is so near our great examination that time is very very precious ... Did the Professor ever talk to you about going around the ladies side of the house? ... I hope you will succeed in learning how to sing bass, as you know it breaks the harmony for gentlemen to sing soprano….”
One sentiment asks Marshall to “remember that afternoon we spent in the Daguerreotypist’s though I had not the good luck that some had…”
Description: [Autograph Album kept in 1858 by Marshall Chambers at Lancaster County Normal School in Pennsylvania].
[Lancaster County Normal School, Millersville, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. 1858]. ff. comprising approx. 75 pages with manuscript entries (most brief, some full-page; one to a page), accomplished mostly on rectos. Full blind and gilt stamped black sheep; stamped in gilt “Hayes & Zell, Philada.” below the title Autographs on the upper cover; all edges gilt. Some foxing and handling; very good.
Note. 1. Wickersham, A History of Education in Pennsylvania (Lancaster, Pa., 1886), p551ff.