Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Albin Kendall Putnam Papers,1821-1850

Finding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, August 1997

Summary Information
Title: Albin Kendall Putnam papers
Creator: Putnam, Dorothy Abbott
Inclusive dates: 1821-1850
Extent: 69 items
Abstract:
The Albin K. Putnam papers contain the scattered correspondence of an Episcopal priest and his family in New England.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1984. M-2165.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

No copyright restrictions.

Provenance:

The central figure in assembling this collection is Dorothy Abbott Putnam, recipient of most of the letters and therefore the original collector. It is unclear how she managed to retrieve her own letters to William Spaulding, but it is possible that they were returned to her following his death. The papers passed to her daughter, Rucina P. Adams, and eventually to the latter's grandson, Albin C. DeMary, who in 1943 was living in Idaho. From here they seem to have passed out of the family. They were acquired by the Clements Library in 1984.

Preferred Citation:

Albin Kendall Putnam Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan.


Biography

On October 1, 1815, Albin Kendall Putnam was born in Cavendish, Vt., the eldest child of Silas and Dorothy (Abbott) Putnam. He was enrolled at Dartmouth College for about one year, beginning in the fall, 1834, during which time he was baptized an Episcopalian and felt called to the priesthood. Leaving Dartmouth for lack of funds, he taught school for several months before entering the University of Vermont, apparently with the assistance of John Henry Hopkins (1792-1868), Episcopal Bishop of Vermont. Putnam lived in the Hopkins home in Burlington, at least temporarily.

Ordained a deacon by Bishop Hopkins in October, 1838, Putnam held the pastorate at Vergennes, Vt., through the end of that year. From 1839 to 1844 he preached at Potsdam, N.Y., where he met and married his wife, Fanny. The couple had three children: Mary (b. 1841), Edith (1843-1848), and Charles (b. ca.1845). In 1842, Putnam earned a master's degree from Hobart College, whose president Benjamin Hale (1797-1863) had been one of Putnam's professors at Dartmouth.

In 1844, Albin Putnam returned to Vermont to accept the pastorate of Emmanuel Church in Bellows Falls, and soon developed a serious illness. As a result, he was forced into early retirement during the summer of 1847, and undertook a trip to New York City to consult physicians. Upon receiving the bad news that he had contracted tuberculosis, Putnam sent his wife and children to live with his parents' in Cavendish. He died in Bellows Falls, November 6, 1847, at the age of thirty-two and was buried in the Emmanuel churchyard.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Albin K. Putnam papers contain the scattered correspondence of an Episcopal priest, documenting a life from its early setbacks in obtaining an education to its early termination in a lingering death. The collection is composed of three main sections. First are letters written by friends and relatives of Dorothy Abbott Putnam, 1821-1830 (29 August 1821-30 March 1830; 10 October [n.d.]), principally on religious topics. Second are letters by Albin K. Putnam from the time of his entry into Dartmouth College in 1834 to his death in 1847 (27 September 1834-3 January 1849). These detail Putnam's years as a student and priest, his illness and death, and his wife's difficult adjustment to widowhood. Interspersed are a few other letters not specifically relating to Albin and Fanny but which provide a more rounded picture of the Putnam family as a whole.

The third series of letters (6 August 1849-5 June 1850) document an intriguing chronicle of an old-age romance, in which William Spaulding, Dorothy Putnam's newly widowed brother-in-law, recalls how forty years earlier, he had wooed Dorothy before marrying her sister. This culminates in a second proposal of marriage, and a second refusal.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Episcopal Church--Clergy.
    • Hopkins, John Henry, 1792-1868.
    • Tuberculosis.
    • Widows.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   1  
    Albin Kendall Putnam papers,  1821 August 29-1850 June 5 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Abbott-Putnam Family genealogy

    • Some of this information is conjectural, and based on an assumption that "brother" means brother, although other interpretations of this word are possible.

    • Mr. Abbott married Sarah, and then died. His widow remarried Benjamin Pike
      • Ruth K. Abbott married Andrew Jacks
      • Daniel Abbott married Sarah
      • Dorothy Abbott married Silas Putnam, married 2d 1850 Mr. Bailey
        • Albin Kendall Putnam, b. Oct. 1, 1815, d. Nov. 6, 1847, married Fanny.
          • Mary Putnam, b. Jan. 21, 1841
          • Edith Putnam b. Mar. 1, 1843, d. autumn 1848
          • Charles Putnam b. 1845/6
        • Rucina D. Putnam married Feb. 26, 1840, Chester Adams
          • Amanda E. Adams, b. Aug. 8,. 1843, d. Apr. 20, 1935, married Mr. de Mary
        • Silas A. Putnam, married by 1844.
      • Charity Abbott married James Ward
        • Marilla Ward, d. Feb. 1843
      • Rebecca Abbott, d. autumn 1849, married William Spaulding
        • Caroline R. Spaulding married Mr. Bridge
    Partial Subject Index
    African-Americans--New Hampshire
    • 27 September 1834
    Baptist Church
    • 26 November 1838
    Catholic Church
    • 14 April 1838
    Childbirth
    • 23 January 1841; 9 August 1841; 2 April 1843; 23 May 1843
    Christmas
    • 25 December 1846; 28 December 1847
    Clothing and dress
    • 2 April 1840
    Corporal punishment
    • 27 November 1841
    Courtship--Vermont
    • 6 August 1849; 9 November 1849; 11 November 1849; 23 December 1849; 2 January 1850; 5 February 1850; 5 June 1850
    Dartmouth College
    • 27 September 1834; 10 November 1834; 21 March 1835; 10 September 1835; 24 September 1835; 10 October 1835; 31 October 1835
    Death
    • 29 August 1821; 12 April 1822; 26 April 1822; 4 September 1822; 16 February 1843; 6 November 1848; 6 August 1849; 9 November 1849; 11 November 1849
    New York (State)--Economic conditions
    • 2 April 1843; 23 May 1843
    Vermont--Economic conditions
    • 10 June 1843
    Emotions
    • 2 July 1842
    Epidemics--New York (State)
    • 2 April 1843
    Episcopal Church--Clergy
    • 10 November 1834; 10 September 1835; 1 December 1836; 30 January 1838; 10 April 1838; 14 April 1838; 25 July 1838; 22 October 1838; 26 November 1838; 9 September 1840; 19 February 1844
    Fires--New York (State)--Potsdam
    • 27 November 1841
    Fires--Vermont--Bellows Falls
    • 25 July 1846
    Graham, Sylvester, 1794-1851
    • 21 March 1835; 1 December 1836
    Hale, Benjamin, 1797-1851
    • 21 March 1835; 1 December 1836
    Health resorts--New York (State)
    • 16 July 1840
    Hopkins, John Henry, 1792-1868
    • 10 November 1834; 10 September 1835; 1 December 1836; 23 May 1843
    Methodist Church
    • 14 April 1838
    Mormons
    • n.d.
    Presidents--United States--Election, 1840
    • 16 July 1840
    Sunday-schools
    • 9 September 1840
    Teachers--New York (State)
    • 27 November 1841
    Tuberculosis
    • 22 September 1846; 31 [January] 1847; 2 October 1847; 21 October 1847
    Ward, Marilla, d. 1843--Death
    • 16 February 1843; 10 June 1843
    Widows
    • 5 December 1847; 28 December 1847; 6 August 1848; 6 Novebmer 1848; 3 January 1849