Guide to the Wentworth Adams family papers, 1803-1966, n.d. | MC103

Summary Information

Repository
Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library
Creator
Wentworth family
Title
Wentworth Adams family papers
ID
MC103
Date
1803-1966, n.d. 1849-1864
Extent
3.0 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract
The collection contains original and copies of letters of several members of the Wentworth Adams family, including: Edwin Oberlin Wentworth, an itinerant printer and Civil War soldier, to his wife Caroline (Warren) Wentworth and to his father Robert Wentworth of Buxton, Maine; Anna Wenthworth Adams, daughter of Edwin and Caroline Wentworth; and Edith and Edwin Adams, Anna's children. The collection also inlcudes a detailed history of Bates College in the 19th century written by Edwin W. Adams and genealogical material about the Adams family.

Preferred Citation

Wentworth Adams family papers, Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College.

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Historical Note

Four generations of the Wentworth Adams family are represented in the collection, beginning with Robert Wentworth, who occupied a family homestead in Buxton Center, Maine, through his great grandchildren, Edith and Edwin Wentworth Adams, both graduates of Bates College in the 1910s.

Robert Wentworth was born in Buxton, Maine on September 3, 1786 to Jane Merrill and Ebenezer Wentworth, a farmer, blacksmith, shoemaker, and manufacturer of potash. In 1816, Wentworth built a home next to a tavern owned and operated by his father to house his bride, Sally Hardin, whom he married on October 10, 1816. Early in life, he distinguished himself as a maker of fine clocks, producing a handful of tall clocks of iron and brass before 1820. His clockmaking was cut short when he suffered a severe accident while digging a well. The gunpowder he was using to excavate the well discharged prematurely, severing his left hand and possibly his arm. He later operated a foundry. Following the death of his first wife, Wentworth married Eunice Hardin on June 27, 1832. The couple had four children, including Edwin Oberlin Wentowrth. Following Eunice's death, he married for a third time, to Hannah D. Knight on October 21, 1862. Wentworth died on September 30, 1866.

Edwin Oberlin Wentworth was born on September 5, 1833, the oldest child of Eunice Hardin and Robert Wentworth. He worked as an itinerant printer, traveling as far West as Wisconsin to set type for various newspapers. In 1858, he married Caroline Warren. Caroline resided primarily in Turner, Maine, while Edwin continued to travel the Northeast in search of employment, stopping in Worchester, Cambridge, and Springfield, Massachusetts, among many other towns. Facing dire economic conditions, and with concern for the welfare of his wife and infant child, Anna Louise, who was born June 29, 1861, Wentworth decided to join the Union Army. With his wife's blessing, he enlisted on August 5, 1862 while in Springfield, a town which offered a sizable bounty in addition to what the Federal government provided. He served in the 37th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment from September 1862 until May 12, 1864 when he was killed in the battle at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia. His widow received a small government pension and worked as a housekeeper until her death in 1880.

Anna Wentworth worked in a shoe shop in Turner, Maine following her mother's death. She married John Quincy Adams, and together they had two children: Edith Adams, born August 12, 1891, and Edwin Wentworth Adams, born August 13, 1895. Shortly before the birth of her son, Anna left her husband, who did not approve of the second pregnancy. She relocated from Turner to Jackson, Maine, where her son was born. She reared her children on her own, eventually relocating the family to the Lewiston/Auburn area. Anna died on September 11, 1953.

Edith Adams attended Bates College largely on a scholarship, graduating with honors in 1914. She went on to earn a master's degree and moved to Connecticut where she worked as a teacher. She produced an anthology of poetry entitled Yesterday and Today and a bibliography of Lincoln's addresses. She never married, and passed away in February 1990. Her brother Edwin began college at the University of Maine, but transferred to Bates, from where he graduated in 1919. He worked as a chemist at the Lewiston Bleachery and Dye Works, eventually heading the department. He amassed a small fortune through investing well in the stock market, and used his wealth to support scholarships at the University of Maine and to fund the building of a new men's dormitory at Bates, known as Wentworth Adams Hall. He also served as a trustee of Bates from 1937-1984, and received an honorary degree from the college in 1970. He died in January 1985.

Scope and Content Note

The collection is comprised of correspondence of several members of the Wentworth Adams family. It includes original and copies of letters by Edwin Oberlin Wentworth, an itinerant printer and Civil War soldier, to his wife Caroline (Warren) Wentworth and to his father Robert Wentworth of Buxton, Maine. The originals of letters written by Edwin Wentworth while serving in the 37th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment during the Civil War are in the Library of Congress. Handwritten copies of the letters done by Edith Adams before she donated the originals are included here, and discuss soldier life, battles, including Fredericksburg and Rappahannock Station, Virginia, his political opinions, and his concern for the welfare of his family.

The collection also contains letters to and from Anna Wenthworth Adams, daughter of Edwin and Caroline Wentworth, with various people; a detailed history of Bates College in the 19th century written by Edwin W. Adams; genealogical material about the Adams family compiled by either Edwin or Edith Adams, children of Anna Wentworth Adams; the Warren family Bible; tintypes and other photographs; and information about Caroline Wentworth's pension.

Organization and Arrangement

Organized into two series: I. Correspondence, and II. Family documents.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston, Maine, 04240
207-786-6354
muskie@bates.edu

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.

Acquisition and Custody Information

Gift of Helen Archambault, 2007. Accession No.: 07-030, 07-074, xx-0.

Processing Information

Processed by Kat Stefko, 2007.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Papers of Edwin Oberlin Wentworth, 1862-1890, Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C.

Wentworth Adams Family Photographs, Maine State Museum, 83 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0083

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States. Army of the Potomac
  • United States. Army. Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 37th (1862-1865)

Geographic Name(s)

  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

Personal Name(s)

  • Adams family--Correspondence
  • Wentworth family--Correspondence
  • Wentworth, Edwin Oberlin, 1833-1864

Subject(s)

  • Fredericksburg, Battle of, Fredericksburg, Va., 1862
  • Military pensions--United States--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Rappahannock Station, Battle of, Va., 1863

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Collection Inventory

 MC103/01 Correspondence 1849-1966, n.d.   1.0 linear foot

Scope and Content Note

Originals and transcripts of family correspondence, including the Civil War soldier letters of Edwin Oberlin Wentworth.

Organization and Arrangement

Organized into two subseries: I. Originals, and II. Transcripts.

 MC103/01.01 Originals 1852-1966, n.d.   0.5 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This series includes original correspondence of several members of the Wentworth family, including letters by Edwin Oberlin Wentworth. Edwin's letters were written while he worked as an itinerant printer traveling throughout New England and the Midwest to his wife Caroline (Warren) Wentworth and his father Robert Wentworth of Buxton, Maine. The series also includes letters to Caroline after her husband's death while fighting in the Civil Warand discussing her pension, and the correspondence of Anna Wenthworth Adams, daughter of Edwin and Caroline Wentworth, and with Edwin and Edith Adams, Anna's children.

Organization and Arrangement

In alphabetical order by correspondent.

Box

Edith Adams to her family. 1934   

1

Edwin W. Adams to Anna Wentworth Adams, with his autobiography. 1916   

1

Edwin W. Adams with Thomas Hedley Reynolds re the presidency of Bates College. 1966   

1

Edwin W. Adams. Misc. letters to him regarding his history of Bates College published in the Lewiston Journal in the summer of 1960. 1960-1962   

1

Clarence Bradbury to Anna Wentworth Adams. 1916   

1

Amy Thomas Ganfield with Anna Wentworth Adams. 1934-1945, n.d.   

1

Eunice Gisburne to Anna Wentworth Adams and Caroline Wentworth. 1875-1879   

1

N. W. Gressey(?) to [Anna Wentworth Adams]. 1891   

1

Abby Healy to [Caroline Wentworth]. 1868   

1

Jane Hoyt to Anna Wentworth Adams. 1876-1877   

1

Randolph E. Ladd to Caroline Wentworth. 1864-1866   

1

Annie D. Merrill to Anna Wentworth Adams. 1876   

1

Katherine Wentworth Thomas with Anna Wentworth Adams. 1935, n.d.   

1

Winfield Wentworth Thomas to Anna Wentworth Adams. 1935   

1

A. S. Tuesley to Caroline Wentworth. 1865   

1

A. S. Tuesley to Anna Wentworth Adams. 1880   

1

J. D. Warren to Anna Wentworth Adams. 1880-1898   

1

J. D. Warren to Mrs. Webster. 1894   

1

Mrs. E. M. Weaver to Anna Wentworth Adams. 1881   

1

Caroline Wentworth to Anna Wentworth Adams. 1873-1877   

1

Caroline Wentworth to Mary Blair, containing lock of Margaret Ayer' hair. 1877   

1

Caroline Wentworth with Eunice Gisburne. 1866-1867, n.d.   

1

Caroline Wentworth with Robert Wentworth. 1860-1862   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth to Augusta Wentworth. 1856   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth with Caroline Wentworth. 1858-1860   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth with Caroline Wentworth. January-September 1861   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth with Caroline Wentworth. October-December 1861   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth with Caroline Wentworth. January-April 1862   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth with Caroline Wentworth. June-July 1862, n.d.   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth to Robert Wentworth. 1852-1855   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth to Robert Wentworth. 1856-1857   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth to Robert Wentworth. 1858-1862   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth to unknown. Undated   

1

Robert Wentworth to Eunice Gisburne. 1858   

1

Robert B. Wentworth to Anna Wentworth Adams. 1882-1885   

1

Ann B. Young and Lizzy Young to Caroline Wentworth. 1866   

1

 MC103/01.02 Transcripts 1849-1866   0.5 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This series is comprised of typed and hand-written copies of letters primarily by Edwin O. Wentworth. The letters cover the period from 1849 to 1866 and were done by Edith Adams, Edwin's granddaughter, before she and her brother, Edwin Adams, donated the orginals to the Library of Congress in 1956.

The transcripts are primarily of letters Edwin O. Wentworth wrote to his wife, Caroline, while serving in the 37th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. He enlisted on August 5, 1862, at the age of 31, in Springfield, Massachusetts and was killed on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia.

In his letters, Wentworth describes life in the military in great detail, including his feelings before and after battles, his evolving political opinions, especially regarding Abolition, his frustration with not being paid and the lack of adequate supplies, the actions of his regiment at the battles of Fredericksburg, Rappahannock Station, Virginia, and other campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, and day-to-day activities, such as writing and receiving letters, buying supplies, suffering illnesses, and setting up camps. He also discusses his domestic affairs, especially his concern for the financial and emotional well-being of his wife Caroline, and their infant daughter Anna. Letters after Wentworth's death pertain to a pension for his widow and child.

Organization and Arrangement

In chronological order, with typescripts proceeding manuscripts.

Box

Edwin O. Wentworth and other Wentworth family letters. Typescript. 1849-1856   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth letters.Typescript. 1857-July 1862   

Edwin O. Wentworth and other Wentworth family letters. Manuscript. 1849-1853   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth and other Wentworth family letters. Manuscript. 1856   

1

Edwin O. Wentworth letters. Manuscript. 1857   

2

Edwin O. Wentworth letters. Manuscript. 1858   

2

Edwin O. Wentworth letters. Manuscript. 1859-1860   

2

Edwin O. Wentworth letters. Manuscript. 1861   

2

Edwin O. Wentworth letters. Manuscript. January-July 13, 1862   

2

Edwin O. Wentworth Civil War letters. Manuscript. July 20-September 1862   

2

Edwin O. Wentworth Civil War letters. Manuscript. October-December 1862   

2

Edwin O. Wentworth Civil War letters. Manuscript. January-March 1863   

2

Edwin O. Wentworth Civil War letters. Manuscript. April-August 1863   

2

Edwin O. Wentworth Civil War letters. Manuscript. September-December 1863   

2

Edwin O. Wentworth Civil War letters. Manuscript. January-February 1864   

2

Edwin O. Wentworth Civil War letters. Manuscript. March-May 1864   

2

Wentworth family letters after Edwin O. Wentworth's death during the Civil War. 1864-1866   

2

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 MC103/02 Family and other documents 1803-1960, n.d.   2.0 Linear feet

Scope and Content Note

This series is comprised of a variety of family documents, inlcuding the Warren family Bible, photographs, including an image of the Wentworth family home in Buxton, Maine, a deed for property, and genealogical information about the Wentworth and Adams families. It also includes an extensive history of Bates College in the 19th century written by Edwin W. Adams.

Organization and Arrangement

In alphabetical order by title or subject.

Box

Account book. 1880   

3

Bible of Warren family. 1803   

4

Biographical sketch of Edwin O. Wentworth. Undated   

3

Book of private devotion signed by Caroline Wentworth with a lock of hair. 1856   

3

Calling cards. Undated   

3

Clipping of Edwin W. Adams obituary [OVERSIZE] 1985   

5

Clippings. 1883-1934, n.d.   

3

Clippings regarding Adams and Wentworth family genealogy (1 of 2). 1954-1959, n.d.   

3

Clippings regarding Adams and Wentworth family genealogy (2 of 2; OVERSIZE). 1954-1959, n.d.   

5

Deed for land in Woodstock, York from Eunice Harding to Eunice Wentworth. 1830   

3

Diplomas, Edith Adams (OVERSIZE). 1910, 1914, 1927   

5

Diplomas, Edwin Wentworth Adams (OVERSIZE). 1914, 1919   

5

Envelopes (empty) addressed to Anna Wentworth Adams. 1890, n.d.   

3

Envelopes (empty) addressed to Caroline Wentworth. 1862, n.d.   

3

Fabric samples of Caroline Wentworth(?). Undated   

3

Financial records regarding estate of Caroline Wentworth. 1882, n.d.   

3

Grand Lodge of Maine certificate, Edwin Wentworth Adams (OVERSIZE). 1920   

5

History of Bates College during the 19th century, by Edwin W. Adams. 1960   

3

Inventory of letters written by Edwin O. Wentworth while in the Civil War. Undated   

3

Lock of hair, Eva Phillips. May 30, 1874   

3

Notes. Undated   

3

Notes regarding Adams family genealogy. Undated   

3

Photograph of Wentworth homestead in Buxton Center, Maine (OVERSIZE). Undated   

5

Photographs. Undated   

3

Photographs of Edwin W. Adams [OVERSIZE] Undated   

5

Receipt for gravestone made out to Anna Wentworth Adams. Undated   

3

School records of Anna Wentworth Adams. Undated   

3

Scrapbook of articles published by Edwin O. Wentworth. 1854-1861   

3

Sketches by Edith Adams. Undated   

3

Stamp collection of Adam Wentworth Adams(?). Undated   

3

Valentine's Day card (blank). Undated   

3

Writings of Augusta Wentworth, "The Drunkard's Bride. A True Story." November 1853   

3

Writings of Augusta Wentworth, "Sincerety." 1849   

3

Writings of Augusta Wentworth, "Tribute of Affection." Undated   

3

Writings of Caroline Wentworth, "Wine is a Mocker." Undated   

3

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