• [Wealthy Boston Merchant Family] Early 19th Century Boston Woman Touts Joys Of Hampton Beach, Sadness Of Insane Friend

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    The history of Hampton Beach [NH] dates back 375 years when colonists arrived in the area. The area was not used for recreation and relaxation until the 19th century at which point the area became the recreational center of the region, where many wealthy people vacationed.

    4 pp, 7 3/4 x 10, Mrs. Upham of Boston writes to Mrs. H. Rogers, July 15th, 1828, offering information on many topics including Hampton Beach and a friend who has been sent to the insane asylum as a maniac.  Mrs. H. Rogers was possibly related to the wealthy Boston merchant family of Daniel Denison Rogers (1751-1825) and his second wife, Elizabeth Bromfield Rogers (1763-1833). The family papers are housed at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

    In small part, “...Miss Joy received a letter from Mrs. Pearson yesterday saying she & your Mother are very happy & very well at Hampton Beach. They are delighted with the place, think it a ‘second Eden’ & find the daughters of Eve’s excellent assistants, good cooks & neat maids. There is a fair trio in constant attendance on them...They have written to request this Beacon with friends to join them...

    “Poor Edward Emerson is now in the insane hospital, a maniac. He...is painfully conscious of his situation...He has a complaint in the heart that soon terminate his existence. It is the most melancholy case I have ever known.

    Folds, very readable. Very nice integral address leaf, addressed to Miss H. Rogers in care of H.B. Rogers, Niagara Falls. Three additional letters included with a mixture of content, one regarding Niagara Falls.  One is in pencil and another having several fold tears.

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    Research from Massachusetts Historical Society:


    This collection consists of the papers of the interrelated Rogers, Mason, and Cabot families, primarily those of Elizabeth Rogers Mason Cabot and her mother Hannah Rogers Mason. It includes family correspondence, personal papers, diaries, genealogical papers, and printed material.


    Elizabeth Rogers Mason Cabot (1834-1920) was the daughter of William Powell Mason (1791-1867) and Hannah Rogers Mason (1806-1871), and the sister of William Powell Mason (1835-1901) and Edward Bromfield Mason (1837-1863). Known as "Lillie," she lived in Boston and summered in Walpole (N.H.) and at Blue Hill, near Canton, Mass. After her marriage to Walter Channing Cabot in 1860, she lived in Brookline and Manchester, Mass. She was a member of the Federal Street Unitarian Church (later known as the Arlington Street Church), actively supported Boston's Home for Aged Colored Women, and was a director of the Children's Aid Society. She also served on the executive committee of the Woman's Education Association of Boston, which promoted educational training for women and helped to found Radcliffe College. Lillie and Walter Cabot had five children: Henry Bromfield Cabot (1861-1932 ); Ruth Cabot Paine (b. 1865); Elise Cabot Forbes (b. 1869); Walter Mason Cabot (b. 1872); and Mabel Cabot Sedgwick (1873-1937).


    Walter Channing Cabot (1829-1904) was the son of Samuel Cabot (1784-1863) and Eliza Perkins Cabot (1791-1885). He graduated from Harvard in 1850 and later studied civil engineering in Paris. After his return to the United States around 1859 he briefly ran a business in factory heating and ventilation. For most of his adult life, he owned and managed cattle farms. In 1860, Walter married Elizabeth Rogers Mason and the couple had five children. He died in 1904 after many years of illness.


    Hannah Rogers Mason (1806-1871) was the daughter of wealthy Boston merchant Daniel Denison Rogers (1751-1825) and his second wife, Elizabeth Bromfield Rogers (1763-1833). Her siblings were Elizabeth Rogers Slade (1797-1826), John Rogers (b. 1800), and Henry Bromfield Rogers (1802-1887). She attended the prestigious Boston Lyceum for the Education of Young Ladies on Beacon Hill in 1823, and received numerous school awards for her compositions. In 1831, she married prominent Boston lawyer and wealthy landowner William Powell Mason (1791-1867), her second cousin. The couple had three children: Elizabeth Rogers Mason Cabot (1834-1920); William Powell Mason (1835-1901); and Edward Bromfield Mason (1837-1863).


    William Cushing Paine (1834-1889) was the son of Charles Cushing Paine (1808-1874) and Fanny Cabot Jackson (1812-1878). A member of the Harvard Class of 1854, Paine graduated first in his class at West Point in 1858. He served as assistant to the chief engineer of the Army of the Potomac in Washington, D.C. and later as chief engineer under Gen. Don Carlos Buell in Kentucky, resigning because of disability in Nov. 1863. Paine owned and managed a farm in Beverly, Mass. and was a shareholder in several Massachusetts whaling ships. He served for many years as president of the Boston Chess Club. Paine married Hannah Hathaway Perry in 1860 and had one child, Robert Treat Paine II, who in 1890 married Ruth Cabot, the daughter of Elizabeth Rogers Mason Cabot.