Maria Jane (Peeples) Publicover, Beverly Farms, Mass. Courtesy of Maria McClellan.
Maria Jane Peeples (nicknamed “Rida” by her family) was the daughter of Thomas Peeples and Jane Rogers of Nova Scotia. She married Willard Binnie Publicover at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Gloucester, Essex, Mass., 24 January 1894, by Rev. John Alvey Mills.
From 1889-1900, she kept an autograph book in which her friends, family members – and a presumably courting Willard B. Publicover (he has several signatures and notes over the years) – signed their names and wrote her notes and poems – funny, poignant, sage, or straight to the point. She began keeping the autograph book while a resident of Gloucester, Mass. – several of her relatives moved to Hartford, Conn., as the autograph book shows. Below are photographs of the individual pages of the book, accompanied by transcriptions.
The autograph book cover:
Cover of Maria Jane Peeples’ Autograph Book, c. 1890-1891
Sister(-in-law) Mary (McCormack) Peeples Autograph, Hartford, Conn. 12 October 1891
I wish you joy, I wish you peace, I wish your friends may still increase and may you ever remain the same unchanged in all except the name.
Your sister, Mary, Hartford, Conn. Oct. the 12, 1891
Cousin Hattie Rogers and E.R.’s autographs
When far from you I go, will you one thought on me bestow. And let your memory often past In good times had in Gloucester, Mass.
From Your Cousin, Hattie Rogers. Aug. 14, 1891
Hap[p]y thoughts makes a pleasant day
E.R. [possibly brother-in-law Ernest Robinson?]
Jennie M Campbell Autograph, 3 November 1891, Gloucester Mass.
Jennie M. Campbell Gloucester, Mass. November 3, 1891
Eldridge Peeples Autograph, 11 October 1891, Hartford, Conn.
Remember me for can you must, as long as you can bite a crust
And when you can no longer bite, think of me if you think it rite.
Eldridge Peeples, Hartford, Conn. Oct. 11, 1891
Madie A. Campbell Autograph, 3 November 1891, Gloucester, Mass.
Madie A. Campbell, Gloucester, Mass. Nov. 3, 1891
J. D. Peeples and Bessie M. Wilkinson Autographs
When scattered abroad are land and sea
’tis if truly we owe to each other
to write a firm line and say something kind
this is the [idea?] of your brother
J.D. Peeples, Hartford, Conn. October 11th 1891. [brother James D. Peeples]
In friendships fond garden
In some sacred spot
Plant for me a fond forget-me-not
Bessie M. Wilkinson, Charlestown, Mass. Aug. 11, 1891
Charles A. Hayden Autograph, 13 November 1889, Gloucester, Mass.
May heaven’s blessing be always yours, I shall ever pray
Your true friend and rector, Charles A. Hayden. Gloucester, Nov. 13th 1889
Richard L. Morey and Rhoda M. Rogers’ Autographs
Let bygones be bygones, I foolishly say
And let you be wise and forget them
But old recollections may be active today
And you can do naught but regret them
Though the present be pleasant, joyous and gay
And promising well for tomorrow
Yet you may love to look back on the years right away
Embalming your bygones in sorrow.
Advice from your friend, Richard L. Morey
Dec. 15th 1889.
May gladness be your portion
May mirth come at your call
May you be glad & happy
And blessed in dower & hall,
Rhoda M. Rogers, #15 Mt. Vernon St., Gloucester, Mass. Aug. 12th 1891
Lewis R. Martin and Mrs. Thomas D. Peeples Autographs
Lewis R. Martin, 55 Elm St., Charlestown, Mass.
Your loving morther, Mrs. Thomas D. Peeples
[U.S. Carried?] N[ova] S[cotia]
Ella F. Welsh and Willard B. Publicover’s autographs
“Let the casket of memory contain one pearl for me”
Yours truly, Ella F. Welsh Gloucester, Sept. 25, 1889
Willard B. Publicover
Brattle Sq. Hotel
32-34 Brattle Sq. Cambridge, Mass.
Mrs. W. Engelhard Autograph, 12 October 1891, Hartford, Conn.
May hope in its surety and peace in its calm
Descend on thy spirit and bring to it calm
Mrs. W. Engelhard, Hartford, Conn. Oct. 12th 1891
Eva Englehart and W. B. Publicover autographs
Go show you that my thought of your still lives
Eva Englehart, Hartford, Conn. Oct. 12th 1891
If you your lips would keep from slips, five things observe with care
Of whom you speak to whom you speak and how and when and where
Your friend, W. B. Publicover
Maggie W. McPhee and Gertie E. Robinson Autographs
Remember me when “far, far off, where the wood-chuck die of the whooping cough”
Maggie W. McPhee, Gloucester, Mass. Oct. 15th 1891
To write in your album dear sister you ask
It’s well it is not such a difficult task
All I can say is contained in one line
May the blessing of heaven forever be thine
Gertie E. Robinson [sister Gertrude E. (Peeples) Robinson]
Images of hands holding birds and flowers, pasted into Autograph Book
Henry A. Calder and Ella E. Peeples Autographs
Henry A. Calder [future brother-in-law Henry Calder]
When you are supping tea with B.
Think of your poor old sister E.
Ella E. Peeples
Sept. 14th 1889 [possibly sister Drusilla Peeples?]
Mrs. Lizzie Adams Autograph, 27 September 1889, Gloucester, Mass.
In memories wreath of roses
Twine one bud for me
Mrs. Lizzie Adams
Gloucester, Mass. Sept. 27, 1889
Helena M. Gilbert Autograph, Gloucester, Mass.
“I shall not die but live & declare the works of the Lord”
Helena M Gibert
Nellie C. Donovan Autograph, Beverly Farms, Mass., 17 February 1900
Nellie C. Donovan
Beverly Farms, Mass.
Feb. 17, 1900
B. Phalen Autograph, 26 September 1889, Gloucester, Mass.
Prove your friends.
Yours, B. Phalen
Gloucester, Mass. Sept. 26th /89
Blank Page in Autograph Book With Print of Girl in Flowers
Maria J. Peeples, Printed Card
[Printed card, perhaps a calling card or dance card?]
Maria J. Peeples
Autograph of “A Friend” (Probably Willard B. Publicover), 12 October 1890
Curved is the line of beauty
Straight is the line of duty
Walk by the last and thou shalt see
The other ever follow thee
October 12th 1890
[appears to be the handwriting of Willard B. Publicover]
J. P. Mac Innis Autograph, 17 August 1891, Gloucester, Mass.
Memory is dearer, when pleasures trouble does mar
Life’s charities, like light
Spread smilingly afar,
Blend us as friends together
With a life of sweet content
And may the future be for you,
In glorious sunshine spent.
J. P. Mac Innis,
August 17, 1891
Blank page featuring print of angel
Maggie A. Martin Autograph, Charlestown, Mass.
Maggie A. Martin
55 Elm St., Charlestown, Mass.
Lena P. Mackie Autograph and Coded Message from W. B. Publicover
[Words in each corner:] Love, Hope, Faith, Charity
Oct. 3rd 1896
Remember me when far away
And your words I cannot hear
But hope that we will meet some day
In our home beyond the skies
Lena P. Mackie
[numbers written in pencil, perhaps Maria’s attempts at decoding the following page:] 111191101718
[note written in code]
Jin. u. a.nsy
W. B. P5bl3c4v2r.
ia. C12v2l1nd. 87.
[possible translation: January, W. B. Publicover, [#?] Cleveland St., Gloucester, Mass.]
Maria J. Peeples and Hattie Rogers Autographs
Maria J. Peeples
One line is sufficient for memory
Hattie Rogers, Gloucester, Mass.
Aug. 13, 1891
Nellie B. B. Phelan and M. C. Pernette Autographs
Not enjoyment and not sorrow
Is our [destined great?] and way;
But to act that each tomorrow
Finds us father than today
Very truly, Nellie B. B. Phelan,
Mill Village, Nova Scotia
Gloucester, Mass. Sept. 26th 1889
Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you is the advice of your friend,
M. C. Pernette
Maria J. Peeples’ Autograph Book with Ruler
Autograph books are a lovely way to capture a better understanding of the community around one person’s life, which can often be difficult to reconstruct when pursuing genealogical research. If anyone out there has additional details or stories about the individuals who signed this autograph book, please feel free to share!