Wednesday, February 9, 2011


In "Recollections of My Mother," Rosetta Douglass Sprague described her parents early days of marriage in New Bedford:

The little that they possessed was the outcome of the industrial and economical habits that were characteristic of my mother. She had brought with her sufficient goods and chattels to fit up comfortably two rooms in her New Bedford home – a feather bed with pillows, bed linen, dishes, knives, forks and spoons, besides a well filled trunk of wearing apparel for herself.
In 1872, just after the Douglass house in Rochester burned, Ottilia Assing wrote to her sister Ludmilla (in the same letter, as you will see, in which she clued me in to the possibility that Anna wore a wig):

Eleven thousand dollars in U.S. bonds burnt, probably because this stupid old hag totally lost her head, as it usually happens with uneducated people, for she had plenty of time to save them, and as they were deposited in a light tin box in her bedroom, and it had been forcefully drummed into her head what to safe first in case of an accident, no other explanation is possible. She probably thought more of her wig and some dozen silver spoons.
Same spoons?

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