1832 UTTERLY CHARMING ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN BOOK OF OBSERVATIONS, SAGE ADVICE, INSTRUCTION IN DECORUM, POETRY AND QUOTATIONS OF FAMED AMERICAN ICONS AND PHILOSOPHERS TO HER TWO YEAR OLD GRANDDAUGHTER
On offer is an utterly charming, original 19th Century manuscript book handwritten by an adoring grandmother who offers her sage advice to her 2 year old granddaughter Sarah Seymour. [While she is not named the author will undoubtedly be named by local historians or researchers.] Casual research suggests the girl to be Sarah E. Seymour [later Mrs. James Burton] of Oneida County, New York born in 1828. [See the Bio Notes that follow.] Grandmother imparts age-old advice to her beloved little one. Part common sense, part pious belief and faith, another part solidly pure folksy Americana with entries that include affectionate lessons combined with stories, poetry and prose, quotations from the Bible and invocations of iconic American historical figures like a dying quote from Thomas Jefferson, the wisdom of John Adams, Dr. Watts, Rev. David Brainard, Col. Ogden's toast to General Marquis La Fayette, Solomon, etc., all parts of the important perceptions of life shared through her grandmother's life experiences. The grandmother is an educated, literate and practical woman of the 19th Century and we can only hope Sarah had the benefit of seeing her Grandmother to a ripe old age. Here are some snippets: "Dear Sarah, my darling granddaughter, I am going to write some interesting little extracts that I hope will be pleasing to you. I hope my little girl will, by going to school, receive much instruction which will make you wise. And King Solomon says wisdom is the principle thing. Read often the eighth chapter of Proverbs, there is much wisdom contained in it, & you may remember it as a favorite chapter of your dear grand - mama's." Then grandmother writes a couple of poems, a story of "Moorland Mary" and continues to address Sarah. "Dear Sarah, I cannot bear to have you grow up a tall weed. I want you to appear like a pretty flower. It is observable, that the best of flowers in a garden would in time degenerate into tall dry weeds if not cultivated. Remember my dear Sarah, to ask as few questions as possible, or indeed not any, but where there seems to be a necessity for it. Let cheerfulness, sweetness, pleasantness, be always blended in your countenance & air. This is a charm which is highly predominant in winning the love of every body, whilst a cloudy, morose, & overbearing countenance is the reverse ladies preceptor." Then grandmother writes a few lines from the Bible, and two little interesting stories; one of a little girl; one of a little boy; which are really subtle life lessons for Sarah. "…Adams & Jefferson died the fourth of July 1826. President Monroe died the 4th of July 1831…the last words of Thomas Jefferson were. 'I resign my soul of my God & my daughter to my country.' "Dear Sarah, be affectionate, be kind, be obedient, be diligent, be amiable. Take notice my dear Sarah...Dear Sarah, you being a little girl will like to read this ceremony," and grandma writes of the Danes and Danish customs of dance and German manners, and ladies in England, and a few "pretty verses." "I think my dear Sarah you will like to know what I am going to write concerning Dr. Watts, that great friend to children." The most poignant and moving of entries to Sarah comes toward the end of this incredible little handwritten book, that perhaps took grandmother quite a while to compose, perhaps even over a couple of years with poems, poetry, biblical sayings, proverbs, life lessons and so much more. This entry is toward the end of this book. "My dear little Sarah, I am now writing some lines, your Aunt Hyde has written to be put in the Newspaper, of the death of Mrs. Hull's little children, that you very well knew and that I have seen them here. They were laid together in a little coffin, little sisters & they were buried in one grave. Died at Taberg on Thursday evening last [Jan. 5th, 1832], of the canker-rash. Hariot [Harriet] Eliza aged four years & 6 months, The following Saturday morning, Mary Hyde, aged two years & 6 months, children of Gilbert & Eliza Hull. Their saviour called, their spirits quiet their day, to join the ransomed on the realms of day. Then check each sigh & wipe each falling tear, you wish them out of Heaven to wish them here. Through Jesus's merit, may you reach that shore and meet your lovely babes, to part no more. This Providence, I hope will be profitable to Mary & Sarah Seymour." The Hull children were buried in the Old Taberg Cemetery, Oneida County, New York, in January of 1832. Soft covered handwritten book is in gray wrappers; a bound manuscript book, ink blots to covers only with crisp, clear and legible writing. The 4 x 5 inch book has 44 pages with a few interesting paper labels attached by grandmother inside the front and rear covers. Overall G. BIO NOTES: Sarah E. Seymour Burton; Birth: 1828; Madison County; New York, USA; Death: Oct. 19, 1882; Spouse: James Burton (1825 - 1866); Burial: Evergreen Cemetery, Cazenovia, Madison County, New York, USA.
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