McLain brothers correspondence 1857-1865
Collection Scope and Content Note
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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.