[Freeport, Maine, assumed.]: Circa 1800. Approximately 14 x 10." Iron gall ink on wove sheet with colored decorations. The sheet is mounted on a ca. 1815 newspaper and strips of wallpaper about 1" wide have been applied along the left and right sides. The piece is in fair condition with overall cockling and some water damage. There is a small puncture on the left edge. The ink notations of the birth dates and locations are faded but legible. Item #3738
A nicely accomplished, though primitive, family register of the Seward and Eleanor Porter family. Two colorful plants with birds in their top branches fill the sides of the register. At the top hover two angel-like figures, one bearing an hour glass, the other blowing a horn.
Seward and Eleanor Porter were from Weymouth, Massachusetts, but relocated to Falmouth in the District of Maine in about 1777, and then to Freeport in about 1782. This family register lists the names, birth places and birth dates of the Porter's 13 children from 1778 to 1797.
Their fourth son on the list -- also named Seward Porter -- would become a prominent Maine mariner and entrepreneur. He brought the first steamboat to Maine in 1823. In 1837 he published a now-highly-prized set of charts of the Maine coast.
References: For Seward Porter (the son), see: Tooley's Dictionary of Mapmakers: Vol 3, p. 453, and Guthorn, United States Coastal Charts 1783-1861: p. 29.
[Item no. 3198.].