Ms S 171: Lydia Clark Abbott Flint Papers
Chiefly letters, written 1814, concerning
student life in Bradford Academy, Bradford, Mass., a female
seminary. (31 items)
These papers were
generated by the descendents of Zebediah Abbott(4), 1695-1767,
great-grandson of George Abbott of Rowley through his son George.
Zebediah had, among other children, Nehemiah(5), 1732-1808 and
Zebediah(5), 1739-1793. Nehemiah(5) married in succession Hannah
Ballard and Lydia Clark. His children, all by his first wife, were
Captain Nehemiah, whose widow endowed Abbot Academy, Hannah I, Abiel
and Hannah II. Abiel(6), 1760-1828 married Hannah Frye, 1767-1821
and then Chloe Hawley. By his first wife he had two children:
Nehemiah(7), b. 1794 and Lydia Clark(7), 1797-1847. Lydia, the
author of most of this material, married in 1822 John Flint of
Andover. He prospered by involvement in the Boston and Maine
Railroad and later in various Andover Banks. He and Lydia had seven
daughters and one son.
Lydia's family was
well-to-do and she was well educated at Bradford Academy, at Rebecca
Eaton's school in Andover and at Pembroke Academy in Pembroke, New
Hampshire, where her father's first cousin Anne Abbott Osgood lived.
She was a teacher as a pupil; certainly a teacher at Pembroke
Academy when she left in 1819. She presumably returned home to nurse
her ailing mother, whose death in 1821 released her to marry Mr.
Lydia's aunt Hannah II
Abbott, b. 1765, her father's sister, married in 1788 Samuel Hawley.
They had two children, Betsey, b. 1789 and Joseph, b. 1791 who enter
into this correspondence.
Another branch of the
family descended from Zebediah(5) Abbott, 1739-1793, the younger
brother of Nehemiah. Zebediah and his wife Rebecca Ballard had three
children: Anna(6), 1767-1826 who married Christopher Osgood of
Pembroke, New Hampshire; Zebediah(6) 1769-1836 who married Sarah
Farrington and Herman, 1771-1858 who married Lydia Farrington, the
sister of the brother's wife. Herman and his wife had six children,
including Joshua(7), 1804-1868 who married, in 1843, Judith
The above notes cover
all the papers from Lydia's immediate family except one from her
nephew Albert. He could not have been an Abbott, but he must have
been a Flint.
There were many other
Abbotts in Andover, also descended from George of Rowley. George(1)
had a son Benjamin whose great-grandson was Jonathan(5), 1740-1821.
This Jonathan had two sons, Jonathan(6) 1776-1843 and Stephen(6),
1779-1835. Stephen(6) was living in Bethel, Maine in 1835. Stephen
David Abbott, 1815-1885 was the son of this Stephen. He was given
the name David at birth, but when his older brother died at the age
of nineteen in 1832, the name Stephen was transferred to the younger
This genealogical note
was compiled from information in Abiel and Ephraim Abbot's
Genealogical Register (1847), Major L.A. Abbott, Descendents
of George Abbott of Rowley, Mass. and other Abbott Families (2
vols., 1906) and typed notes by Charlotte Helen Abbott.
The collection was
given to the Society by Clara Flint Reed in 1947, with much other
material which has been scattered through the manuscript collection.
At the time it was received it given Accession Number 1947.49.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The material has been
divided into six parts by family members. It consists mostly of
letters to Lydia Clark Abbott Flint written by her fellow students
and teachers at various female academies between 1814 and 1817.
The first section
contains a single letter written to Anne Abbott, and older cousin of
Lydia's just before her marriage in 1793. The second section
contains a letter to Lydia's father, Abiel, written in 1821 by
Edward Russell, a lawyer, condoling him on the death of his wife as
well as discussing business.
The third part, Lydia
Clark Abbott Flint's own material, is much more extensive. Lydia
wrote to her cousin Betsey Hawley of Danville, Vermont in 1814, a
letter full of family news. In June 1814, Lydia was not in Andover.
Mary Fay, who seems to have lived in the Abbott household, and who
has been at school with her in Andover, wrote, describing domestic
problems. Lavinia Stafford, Charlotte Hills and Henriett Tenney were
at Bradford Academy with Lydia. Lavinia Stafford, who had been her
teacher, write five letters between 1814 and 1817. Lavinia studied
as well as taught, always looking for opportunities to improve
herself. She fully expected that Lydia would lead the same kind of
life, teaching long enough to earn money to pay for further study.
Henriett Tenney wrote her but one letter, explaining that in 1815
she was much involved in caring for a sick man named James.
Charlotte Hills was another correspondent. Charlotte and Lydia had
attended Bradford Academy, perhaps boarding in the same house, as
Charlotte asked her to do in December 1814. In April 1815 Charlotte
wrote her explaining that the James of whom Harriett Tenney wrote
had indeed died. He had owned the house in which Lydia boarded. In
this same letter, Charlotte announced that she giving up the idea of
school teaching and was going to Newburyport to become a milliner.
In her last letter, written May 1815, she seems to be making slow
progress in learning her new trade, she was lonely and unhappy.
Lydia has done well at
Bradford Academy and was chosen to deliver the valedictory address,
perhaps in 1814. She preserved it carefully, along with some
examples of penmanship. After she left that school she spent at
least one term at Miss Rebecca Eaton's school in Andover. (Miss
Eaton's receipt for tuition payment has been preserved.) Lydia then
went to Pembroke Academy, almost certainly as a teacher. When she
left in 1819, the girl students wrote her poems to which they
attached locks of their hair.
C. P. Pease, who
attended the Andover Theological Seminary, wrote Lydia's family from
Longmeadow, Mass. in 1820. His Sister Cynthia, who wrote from
Blandford in 1821, gave Lydia news of a religious revival in
Longmeadow. Both the letters from the Peases show the evangelical
missionary zeal that was strongly felt at the Theological Seminary.
In 1846, Lydia, now
long since the wife of John Flint, received a letter from Hannah
Russel of North Yarmouth (Maine?), a cheerful spinster who lived
with a cat and knitted stockings for a living. In 1849 her nephew
Albert sent her some dried flowers from Niagara Falls. Their wrapper
has been retained. The family also kept an engagement announcement
from Joshua Abbott, the son of Anne Abbott Osgood's brother Herman.
The second Abbott
family is represented by a letter from Jonathan Abbott, written in
1835 from Bethel, Maine to his brother Captain Stephen Abbott who
had remained behind in Andover. There is also a collection of bills
and receipts which belonged to Stephen David, Captain Stephen's son.
They date from 1830 to 1853.
Sub-group I. Anne
Sub-group II. Abiel Abbott
Sub-group III. Lydia Clark Abbott Flint
Sub-group IV. Joshua Abbott
Sub-group V. Jonathan Abbott
Sub-group VI. Stephen David Abbot.
Processed by Mary F. Morgan,
The Andover Historical Society...
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