This is a small collection with only two maritime related documents. These are seaman certificates of citizenship for Samuel McCutcheon Jr. (1857) and Joseph B. McCutcheon (1866).
The bulk of the collection is McCutcheon family personal correspondence. Letters pertain to Samuel Sr. (father), Mary E. (mother), Samuel Jr. (son), Joseph B. (son) Belle (Annie Isabel, daughter), Arthur (son), Charles W. (son), Emma (daughter), Fred (son) and Lizzie (Elizabeth, daughter). The letters document illness (scarlet fever, canker rash) and death of neighbors, friends and family. They record farm life, holidays, dances, boxing, marriage, worries, homesickness, religious views, female virtue, courting, debt and land sale.
In particular, Mary A. McCutcheon (mother) writes about her children courting (folder 6). On December 6, 1868, she writes that Charles W. travels to Boston to see Mary Christan who he will marry in two to three weeks. Mary also writes on December 13, 1868 that a young man from Portland has a fancy for Josephene and Bell has a suitor named Frank. Mary writes on March 2, 1879 that Kervin called Saturday night for Addie. Kervin took Addie and her friend May to a dance. Kervin and Addie were also at a dance in Winnegance.
Charles W. McCutcheon writes about female virtue in a letter to his mother on December 28, 1864 (folder 4):
“Mother it may be that you do not know the influence a woman has over a young man to do evil especialy a woman that is prone to evil herself I have observed more of human nature sence I left home that before it appears to me that woman has a stronger will and more power to control there own actions than has man but when woman strayes from the paths of virtue She is to be pitied I am a frad there is many very many young girls that are not brought up as they Should be and since I have been from home I have often thought of Eliza if She Should go a stray Mother do try and give her good advice now is the time of her life that She needs it if She wanders now from the path of virtue a life of misery is before her it may be that you do not realize that the snares of temptation that is before a young girl entering the world.”
Mary E. McCutcheon writes on November 8, 1868 (folder 6) about the remodel of her home as well as the burning of the local mill due to Mr. Weber tossing a match in the building after lighting his pipe. In several of the letters, Mary E. McCutcheon and Belle both write to Joseph in the same correspondence. Mary E. writes to Joseph on December 13, 1868 (folder 6) asking if he can spare her two dollars, so she can get a “new calico dress as she only has one dress and cannot keep it clean.” In another letter written by Mary E. on December 6, 1868 (folder 6) to Joseph, she remarks about Captain Parker Oliver and R. Hunt building a small vessel in the captain’s field behind the meeting house.
A distressed Arthur A. McCutcheon writes to father (Samuel Sr.) on May 5, 1865 (folder 3) from Lennoxville [Quebec] about a financial problem:
“I want you to send me some money do for the love of heaven send me one hundred dollars O if you only knew just how I am situated you would not hesitate one moment I am in trouble . . . do not delay for I am in fever until you answer if you knew the consequence you would hesitate answer amediatly.”
Furthermore, on December 13, 1868 (folder 6) Mary E. remarks in a letter about father (Samuel Sr.) getting money for Arthur via a note. In a letter dated March 7, 1871, Samuel Jr. inquires about why family property was sold as there was debt against 650 acres, yet the family planned to sell 1200 acres. (folder 7). It is unclear about the particulars on Arthur’s troubles, but the family tried to help him.
Charles W. McCutcheon writes to mother when in Tangier, Nova Scotia on February 6, 1865 (folder 4). He remarks his brother John was found in a Texas prison and had enlisted (Civil War) in New Hampshire. The letter also confirms Charles W. worked in a mine. He witnessed the death of worker Kenneth McDonald falling down a 100’ shaft.
A telegraph from Charles to Lizzie on November 12, 1876 states that John died and the funeral is Tuesday (folder 4). This is their brother John McCutcheon.
In addition to the McCutcheon papers are the Bryant family papers. There is correspondence written to Lt. O. C. (Orlando Curtis) Bryant from someone who I believe to be his brother Samuel Smith Bryant. A large portion of this document is missing. This writer announces the death of their mother to Lt. Bryant (folder 9). The estate record for their mother, Elizabeth S. Bryant, records S. S. (Samuel Smith) Bryant as involved in settling her estate (folder 10). There are personal invoices and receipts for Samuel S. Bryant dated 1857 and 1861 (folder 11).
Lastly, a Democratic voter canvassing book was found in this collection which records Democratic voters in Ward 1 of Bath, Maine. Joseph B. McCutcheon is listed in this book living on High Street, farmer occupation. A small paper was located in this book, which dates it to the 1860s (folder 8).
The envelope the collection came in when donated to the museum is located with the supporting documents.