This 10.25 x 12.25” hardcover book was used for copying letters and practicing penmanship. The book begins with an alphabetical index used to write down letters, speeches, poems, and addresses written or copied by title. The pages are numbered and start at #56 and go to #486, with a little less than half used for copying and practicing handwriting. The pages are very thin, and as such the ink the writer used often shows through the other side of the page or bleeds through. There are also rips and tears, and unfortunately most of the pages have a particularly deep wrinkle or crease down the center of the page. Towards the end of the used pages there are newspaper clippings: one is a 1907 obituary for Edwin Bradbury Haskell, proprietor and former editor-in-chief of The Boston Herald; a 1916 obituary for Silas B. Haynes; and information about a surprise party for the 76th birthday of Charles P. Haynes. Some of the texts copied include one titled “Sambo Johnson’s on Colored People’s Baptism”, which seems to have racist connotations, written alongside such texts as “Address to Abraham Lincoln”, “How two brothers bought a sister”, and the writer’s personal lines and letters.
October-days, must have the praise
Of being crisp, and clear,
The fragrant wood, in best of mood
Hath charms to call us here.
Around the spreading chestnut tree
Some happy children stand
Where chestnut burrs are opened wide
By Jack-Frosts cunning hand.
Beneath the tree, some sheets are spread
To catch the falling nuts
Else they’d be lost among the leaves,
Or fall behind the ruts.
A ladder put against the tree
Was scaled by Tommy Towne
Who stomp’d his feet upon the lims
And nuts came tumbling down.
Now we can fill our pillow slips
With chestnuts fair to see
We’ll eat them raw, or eat them roast,
What e’er our taste may be.
The squirrels gray around us play
With out a speck of fear
And seem to say in sportive way
We’re glad that you are here.
To my wife, June 1. 1911
I’m seventy_two today wife
You’re nearly sixty_one
How rapidly the sands of life
For you and me have run.
VTis more than forty years ago
Since you became my bridge
And here through weal and woe
WE’ve journeyed side by side.
This is a day of memories
That covers many a page
From childhood days unto this [illegible]
From infancy to age.
And as a day of memories
Belongs to me and you
Recalling days and years gone by
To pass them in review
Past joys and sorrows re appear
More freshly in our minds
So you and i can read them dear
Between these written lines
The sun illumes all earthly scenes.
So beautiful and bright.
Earth’s shadow ,night brings out the stars
Those countless worlds of light.
So when the night of life shall come
To dim out earthly eyes
May shadows to our souls reveal
Bright Mansions in the skies.