This week, I received a surprising gift from someone who found “Wayland Spaulding” mentioned on my blog. She had purchased a box of stuff at an auction, and found a sort of day book or list that had belonged to Wayland Spaulding. From what she saw on my blog she thought it was the same person, and asked me if I’d like to have it. I said sure. She sent me a small journal with some small loose papers and cards between the pages. Apparently some had been found in the journal and others were found in the box. Yup, it was really neat.
The Spauldings and me
I came to know the children of my 5x grandparents Isaac and Lucy (Emery) Spaulding of Townsend, Massachusetts quite well over the years as I tried to locate my great-great grandfather Edward Baldwin in the 1850 census. He was a 17-year-old orphan and surely, I thought, family had taken him in. My efforts to pin down each of Edward’s (gulp) 19 aunts and uncles resulted in about a year of stalking; I know these people well. I also wrote about proving Edward’s relationship with them here. Edward’s son was my great-grandfather Miles Edward Baldwin and his grandson was my grandfather, Miles Edward Baldwin Jr. Edward’s parents, who both died young, were Eli Baldwin (1804-1833) and Polly Spaulding Baldwin (1806-1839).
While many mysteries remain about Edward, I found that he came from such an interesting family. All four of his great grandfathers – David Baldwin, Reuben Gassett, Benjamin Spaulding, and John Emery – served in the Massachusetts militia; several were serving during the “Lexington Alarm” in 1775. They marched from Townsend down to Lexington at the start of the Revolutionary War. The Spauldings were the most interesting – a long line of teachers, and several Spauldings played important roles in the American Revolution.
Three years ago, I was surprised to find letters from my 4x great-grandmother Polly Spaulding Baldwin and my 5x great-grandmother Lucy Emery Spaulding that had made their way (many decades after they were written) out to Gold Hill, Colorado, an early mining town, and were now in the archives of the Carnegie Branch Library for Local History in Boulder. That story is in How to Use NUCMC to Perform a Miracle.
Those letters were part of a larger set of family correspondence with Polly Spaulding’s niece Hannah Spaulding Guise. And that is how I became more intimately acquainted with the children of Polly’s brother Daniel Spaulding: Hannah, Randall, and Wayland Spaulding.
Wayland’s father Daniel Spaulding (1814-1901) was a local fixture in Townsend, Massachusetts and keeper of his father Isaac’s family farm south of the Harbor, where two of his sisters also lived most of their lives. He married Lucy Wyer Clement in 1837. According to Daniel’s obituary, he was a “farmer, cooper and carpenter.” With only an ordinary education, he was determined to educate his children more fully. Randall and Wayland both graduated from Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, and from Yale College. His daughter Hannah became a teacher and moved to Colorado, his son Randall a school superintendent with a national reputation, and Wayland became a Congregational minister.
During his years at Yale, Wayland boarded with a local minister’s family, the Pecks, and married their daughter Mary Mead Peck soon after graduation in 1874. Despite his father’s efforts Wayland was $2100 in debt at the time of his graduation. He was offered the headship of a private school and accepted the job, and he and Mary lived simply and soon paid off the debts. At that point Wayland decided to enter the ministry and graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1884.
Wayland and Mary had only one child, Leila Clement Spaulding, born 23 Aug 1878. From the letters I saw from Colorado, and this little journal, it seems clear that Leila was the light of their lives. Her little sayings were recorded on some slips of paper, and every reference to her reflects a picture of an intelligent, thoughtful young woman and smiling, doting parents.
Leila, remarkably, graduated from Vassar College in 1899, received a Masters from Columbia University in 1901, and a PhD from Columbia in 1911 in Greek and Latin. She received a Fellowship for study in Athens during her graduate school years and also taught Greek at Vassar, then art and architecture at Bryn Mawr College. In 1911, she took a position as Assistant Professor at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She taught there for three years, then left her position at the time of her marriage and there is no evidence that she taught again. Leila married Edward Winans Kent on 22 Jul 1914 in New York City. They had no children, and Edward also had no children from his first, long marriage to Anna E. Brown (divorced 1912). Edward, older than Leila, retired from real estate in 1921 and they moved to Lake Hamilton, Florida and enjoyed some travel.
Leila and Edward were living in Colorado Springs in 1917 when her father’s health began to fail, and this day book records events from 1917-1918: his increasing illness, Leila’s invitation for her parents to move into her home in Colorado Springs, their move from New York City to Colorado, and their life in Colorado. Activities included some tutoring employment in Classics for Wayland, something he had done since leaving the ministry. For some reason, despite failing health, Wayland was determined to repair his son-in-law’s Columbia bicycle and go out riding. After a ride on a particularly windy day, Wayland had trouble breathing for several days, and the journal stopped on April 9, 1918. Wayland died April 17, 1918.
The rest of the book
And this is where the book gets really interesting. With about 75% of the book unused, and with Wayland’s widow Mary staying on in Leila’s home until her death in 1928, it’s clear that Mary spent some time recording family history information in the book for Leila’s sake. She recorded some childhood memories, and she explained the various episodes of their marriage as they moved from place to place, with Wayland taking new church positions.
Towards the back, Wayland seems to have built a sort of timeline for the years of their marriage, perhaps by using the other six journals that I don’t have. The dates were so exact, he was definitely not writing it from memory. Some of the notes were very sweet: Grampa Spaulding sending a violin to Leila, Leila’s address at the Vassar commencement, buying a new parlor carpet. Even, in 1904, “Fra Diavolo” gone to “Kitty Heaven.”
There was some genealogy in the midst of this. A slip of paper details the earliest settlement in America of their Clement ancestors. The back of a bible title page records all of Mary’s church memberships. A list of Wayland’s church positions is pasted to the front of the day book.
And then, we’re at the Battle of Bunker Hill
Two tiny slips of paper are randomly pasted into the binding of the timeline section. With writing scrawled on both sides it was hard for me, at first, to know which side was being saved. Then I realized it was Revolutionary War recollections, perhaps noted in an earlier journal, and saved here for Leila’s possible use. Edward Kent’s first wife had been a prominent D.A.R. member in Colorado Springs; perhaps Leila’s loyal parents thought she may want to hold her own in that world someday.
It reads as follows:
Leila C. Spauldings line = Leila, Wayland, Daniel, Daniel’s mother = Lucy Emery. Her father, John Emery, was in battle, Bunker Hill. At order “fire” his musket did not go. The British leaped over breastworks + Americ-s [?]. Not wishing to lose his shot – he turned, aimed at a red-coat who was just mounting ridge. The man plunged head-long, doubtless killed. This account was told to Dan’l Spaulding by his grandfather, the John Emery who did shooting. This proves [?] direct Revolutionary line.
I know quite a bit about John Emery’s service, but have only found one mention of him at the Battle of Bunker Hill (testimony of Jedediah Jewett in John Emery’s widow’s pension file). His service at Lexington in subsequent weeks is better documented. Although these words “prove” nothing, I suspect they are true because of the testimony.
But it was so interesting to hear an actual recollection from John Emery, who was Leila’s 2x-great grandfather and my 5x-great grandfather. Such a distant time; we don’t often think of those Massachusetts Minutemen sharing their memories with their grandchildren, but of course they did. We don’t always think of someone finding an old notebook and bothering to look for someone who will value it, but of course they do. And this story, today, is why. Thank you all.
On Daniel Spaulding:
“Townsend. Death of Daniel Spaulding.” The Fitchburg Sentinel [Fitchburg, Mass.] (21 November 1901): 10. Image copy. Ancestry.com : 2016.
Spalding, Samuel J. Spalding Memorial: A Genealogical History of Edward Spalding of Massachusetts Bay and his Descendants. Boston: Alfred Mudge, 1872. Image copy. Hathitrust.org. http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008650976 : 2016.
On Wayland Spaulding:
“Wayland Spaulding, B.A. 1874.” Bulletin of Yale University: Obituary Records of Yale Graduates 1915-1920 16: 11 (August, 1920) : 637-639. Image copy. Mocavo.com. http://www.mocavo.com/Obituary-Record-of-Yale-Graduates-1915-1920-Volume-1915-1920/397676/652#651 : 2016.
A General Catalog of the Trustees, Teachers and Students of Lawrence Academy, Groton, Massachusetts, from the time of its Incorporation 1793-1893. Groton, Mass: 1893. Image copy. Hathitrust.org. http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008650976 : 2016.
On Leila Spaulding:
Hershey, Charlie Brown. Colorado College, 1874-1949 (Colorado Springs: 1952). Image copy. Hathitrust.org. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.b4572983?urlappend=%3Bseq=137 : 2016.
Varnell, Hannah and Robert D. Loevy. “A History of Gender at Colorado College.” Robert D. Loevy, editor. A Colorado College Reader: 255-256. https://faculty1.coloradocollege.edu/~bloevy/ccreader/ : 2016.
“Wedding of Vassar Woman. Miss Leila Clement Spaulding Becomes Bride of Edward Winans Kent.” Poughkeepsie Eagle [Poughkeepsie, N.Y.] (04 August 1914): 5. Image copy. NYS Historic Newspapers. http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn91066542/1914-08-04/ed-1/seq-5/ : 2016
On 1912 Edward Kent divorce:
“New of Local Courts.” Colorado Springs Gazette Issue 11685, (10 September 1912): 12. Image copy. GenealogyBank.com. http://www.genealogybank.com/ : 2016.
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