Maine & Maritime Canada Genealogy

Researching Downeast Maine and Maritime Canada Families Together

1880s/1890s Autograph Album of Daughter of Gen. Henry P. Cotton of Nobleboro, Maine


Autograph album from the 1880s and 1890s era that I believe belonged to a daughter of General Henry P. Cotton of Nobleboro, Maine.  Most online sources have the General as Henry Pike Cotton, but a clipping of his obituary tucked into the album has him as Gen. Henry Page Cotton, which may or may not have been in error.

Henry P. Cotton was born at Cotton Mountain, Wolfboro, New Hampshire, on 8 December 1812, son of William and Mary (Page) Cotton.  On 2 July 1833, he married Emeline Seiders, daughter of Daniel and Nancy (Dunbar) Seiders.  Emeline was born at Newcastle, Maine, on 5 September 1809.

One of the pages has the 1889 autographs of Charles Sylvester, his wife Emma R., the signatures of two of their three children, George W. Sylvester and Frank B. Sylvester and the name of their youngest child, then 5-1/2 months, William Cotton Sylvester.

The parents refer themselves as the album owner's brother and sister. Charles had a sister Viola, but I don't think this was her album.  Instead, as most of the signatures are from the Boothbay area, I believe this was the album of one of Emma's several older sisters: (another sister died in childhood)

  • Matilda Henrietta Cotton, born 12 September 1834 at Nobleboro
  • Ardelia Maria Cotton, born 22 July 1836
  • Sarah Haley Cotton, born 15 August 1843
  • Abbie Haley Cotton, born 22 October 1845

Because many of the clippings and other items found inside the album refer to Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Hall and Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Brown, I believe this was likely the album of  Matilda Henrietta Cotton, who married Captain A. S. Hall, or Abbie Haley Cotton, who married William Lermond Brown.  I'm leaning toward the latter.

Abbie Haley Cotton was born 22 October 1840 in Maine, the daughter of Henry Pike Cotton and Emeline (Seiders) Cotton.

Her paternal grandparents were William and Mary (Page) Cotton.  Her maternal grandparents were Daniel and Nancy (Dunbar) Seiders.

Below, a clipping referencing the diary of Abbie's great grandmother Mrs. Priscilla Dunbar and the terrible storm of April 18, 1785 which brought three feet of snow and terrible cold resulting in a snow crust that could support the weight of horses and teams of oxen.

This scrap of paper that contains the names of A. Brown and Priscilla Dunbar may have originally accompanied the diary:

According to a Bible record, Abbie married William Lermond Brown on 8 January 1860.   William Lermond Brown was born 11 October 1835 in Union, Maine, the son of Edward and Mary (Clark) Brown.  He became a beloved minister in various Maine towns, including Bangor, Belfast, Corinth, Clinton and Waldoboro.

The couple had three children:

  • Henry William Brown, born 30 March 1861 at Camden, Maine
  • Nettie Azubah Brown, born 7 September 1862 at Round Pond, Maine
  • Clive Augustus Brown, born 17 March 1866 at Searsmont, Maine

Rev. William Lermond Brown died at Hampden, Maine on 18 January 1900.  Abbie died in February of 1915.

This sketch, tucked inside the album, may have been intended to portray Rev. Brown:

The page below was signed by Henry William Brown, son of Rev. William Lermond Brown and wife Abbie Haley (Cotton) Brown:

A clipping found in the album explains why Henry William Brown was in New Hampton, New Hampshire in 1890:

Another clipping, with photograph:

And a clipping of Professor Brown's marriage to Una Estella Cross, pasted on a page in the album:

Many of the clippings tucked inside refer to the family of Abbie's older sister, Matilda Henrietta Cotton, who married Albert S. Hall on 14 August 1851.

Here is an interesting clipping about Albert's marriage proposal:

A poem written for Albert S. and Matilda Henrietta (Cotton) Hall:

Mrs. Hall's high tea:

Their daughter Clara Hall married her cousin Clive Augustus Brown, son of Abbie Haley (Cotton) Brown and husband Rev. William H. Brown.

Clive Augustus Brown wrote this letter touting the virtues of Waldoboro, Maine:

Other clippings included obituaries for Matilda Henrietta Cotton's and Abbie Haley Cottons's father Henry P. Cotton and family members:

Obituary of Dudley P. Cotton

 Lucy Cotton's Burial

Other items tucked in the album:

Clipped autographs tucked in, including Susan B. Anthony and noted theologians:

Complete list of signers in alphabetical order:

H. W. Brown of New Hampton, New Hampshire

Charles Sylvester and wife Emma Rebecca (Cotton) and their three children

Eva A. Farnham of East Boothbay, Maine

James L. Folsom of Augusta, Maine

Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Gatchel

Fred S. Hagan of East Boothbay, Maine

Julia B. Low of Boothbay, Maine

M. C. B. Mason of Newport, Maine

S. Gertrude McDougall of East Boothbay, Maine

A. S. Meserve of East Boothbay, Maine

Sara D. Meserve of East Boothbay, Maine

Hannah T. Pratt of Augusta, Maine

Charles A. Price of Augusta, Maine

A. Lena Seavey of East Boothbay, Maine

R. J. P. Seavey of East Boothbay, Maine

Edith V. Webber of East Boothbay, Maine

G. H. Webber

In addition, three pages contained multiple signatures, a couple of which had U.S.S. printed next to them.

Scans of all of the album pages in page order:

Items tucked into the album:

Letter written by P. H. B. from Callio in South America, to someone in New Hampshire whom the writer hopes will mend his financial situation.

 This scrap of paper, scanned on both sides, might have accompanied the diary at one point:

Clipped autographs found tucked in the album, including those of Susan B. Anthony and some noted theologians:

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