Thursday, January 17, 2008

Marcia Coburn of Southbridge, Massachusetts

In the holdings of the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library is an autograph album that originally belonged to Marcia Coburn of Southbridge, Massachusetts. The entries cover the years 1831 through 1833, and many are written by students of the Wilbraham Wesleyan Academy. Wilbraham was one of the oldest educational institutions of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Vinton Memorial, available full text at Google Books, tells us that Marcia Coburn married George A. Vinton in 1838. They had four children before Marcia Coburn Vinton died at the age of 38 in Southbridge, June 25, 1854.

Here is a verse written from George Vinton to Marcia Coburn:

"Avoid contention, friendship cultivate,
Respect, but never fawn upon the great:
Aim not to make thy friends his thoughts reveal
With seeming openness they own conceal –
Speak peace where discord reigns, assuage the floods,
And for revenge, persist in doing good.
Let proper objects never want a tear;
Excuse mistakes - in friendship be sincere.
Be envy banished from they generous heart,
Tell not the secrets which they friends impart;
In speaking of thyself, nor praise, nor blame,
And dread to be a slave to common fame."

Yours in true Friendship.

George A. Vinton

Below is another entry which was written at Wesleyan Seminary in 1831.
One of Marcia Coburn Vinton’s daughters, Evan Vinton, was a pioneer resident of Sandusky, Ohio. In 1871 Evan Vinton married Charles E. Bouton, who was elected Mayor of Sandusky in 1895. Though specific details are not known, Marcia’s autograph album was passed down to Lucia McCune, an area resident. Lucia donated the autograph album of Marcia Coburn to the Sandusky Library in 1962.

This hand-tinted cabinet photograph was found inside the autograph book. We do not know who this person is; although it could be Marcia Coburn Vinton, it likely is not, because she died in 1854, before this style of photograph became popular. It could also be her daughter, Evan Vinton Bouton.

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