Thursday, February 21, 2013

“Immortality Lies in Being Remembered by Family and Friends” re: Nancy and Joseph Carpenter

[As mentioned in my post of January 27, 2013, it is my belief that “Immortality lies in being remembered by your family and friends!”   In a sense, the largest part of this blog is devoted sharing memories, images, stories and facts about ancestors and relatives that contribute to their immortality; but a special series I am developing is devoted to occasionally focusing on an individual or individuals on the anniversary of some meaningful event (birth, death, marriage, graduation, etc.).  I call the series simply, “Immortality.”  This is the second in that series.]

Allow me to introduce to you today the groom, Joseph Carpenter, and his bride, Nancy Mason Bullock.  Like Jack and Rose in the movie Titanic, Nancy and Joseph are dancing together again today . . .

Two Hundred years ago this very day (February 21, 1813), Joseph Carpenter and Nancy Mason Bullock were married in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.  Joseph was born in Rehoboth to James Carpenter and Lucy (Bliss) Carpenter on September 8, 1789.  Nancy was the daughter of Abel Bullock and Lois (Mason) Bullock.  Nancy was born in Rehoboth on December 10, 1793.  Joseph was 23 years at the time of their nuptials and Nancy was 20.

For the next sixteen years after their marriage, Joseph and Nancy lived in Rehoboth where they started their family.  The family eventually grew to include 14 children – of whom all but four lived to adulthood.

1.              James Mason Carpenter (1813-1892)
2.              George Moulton Carpenter (1815-1883)
3.              Nancy Mason Carpenter (1818-1901)
4.              Sarah Martin Carpenter (1820-1846)
5.             Jonathan Bliss Carpenter (1822-1857)
6.              Lucy Bliss Carpenter (1824-1910)
7.              William Wallace Carpenter (1826-1877)
8.              Jane Buffum Carpenter (1828-1830) – Samuel’s twin sister
9.              Samuel Carpenter (1828-1904) – my 2X great grandfather
10.          Newton Francis Carpenter (1831-1907)
11.          Jane Buffum Carpenter (1834-1836)
12.          Joseph Carpenter (1835-1836)
13.          Albert Norton Carpenter (1837-1838)
14.          Edward Everett Carpenter (1840-1900)

In or around 1829, the family moved to Attleborough, Massachusetts* and in 1842 they were living in Providence, Rhode Island for a time.  [See the post on the Aplin/Carpenter correspondence of 1842.]  In the 1850, 1860 and 1870 Census, Joseph was reported to be employed as a “farmer” -- at age 60, 70 and 80 respectively.

In 1863, Joseph and Nancy celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with most of their family in attendance.  A poem and a toast were written for the occasion . . .

[The images above are of the original handwritten poem pages from 1863.  The original pages were shuffled in the repository where they were discovered a couple of years ago.   There were also what appeared to be two working versions of the poem resulting in overlapping verses.  I have restored the order of the pages and verses as best as can be determined.  I have also transcribed the writings.  The transcription of the poem and toast will be the subject of the next post and it will include some background explanatory annotations.]

Nancy and Joseph were married for 67 years before they both passed away in 1880 within six months of one another.  Nancy died on May 4, 1880 at age 86 and Joseph died on November 12, 1880 at age 91.  They were living in Attleborough at the time.

Joseph and Nancy’s long marriage and large family produced many descendants.  Among their children, grandchildren and other descendants are men and women of considerable achievement and education -- to include a federal district court judge, a noted early feminist/ suffragette and a famous anthropologist (some of whom will be subjects of future blog posts).   

So . . .  please join me this evening in raising a glass in toast to Joseph and Nancy Carpenter, newlyweds 200 years ago today!

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In 1914 the town of Attleborough was reincorporated as the City of Attleboro.

The toast and poem were discovered among the Ann Garlin Spencer Papers (DG 034), Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Photo of Nancy Mason Carpenter's gravestone posted on Find-A-Grave by Ginny DeLong on June 29, 2011.

Photo of Joseph Carpenter's gravestone posted on Find-A-Grave by Susan on March 26, 2009.
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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