Several years ago, I purchased a small memory book entitled Album of Love from the mid 1800s.
Much like scrap books of today, these books were used to keep memorabilia such as autographs, photos, newspaper clippings, and sometime drawings and water colors. They were elaborately designed and published using fine rag paper and often contained beautiful engravings. In this particular book which belonged to one Mrs. Kitty Lenox of Trenton, New Jersey living in Philadelphia at the time, we find beautiful poems written by friends wishing her well upon a departure. I will share some of these beautiful words with you below. She apparently went by the name Kate. The date in the cover of the book is Sept. 1870, however most of the writings are from 1861 and 1862 during the Civil War. The book also contains several romantic engravings.
Perhaps the most significant poem in the book is one written by a sailor serving in the US Navy who was departing the port of Philadelphia on the Sloop of War, Jamestown, which in October of 1861 was re-commissioned to defend the Atlantic Coast from Confederate privateers.
Parting Words to Kate
Farewell! The (word is hard to make out) trxxxxx ocean calleth me;
The white-sailed vesel awhile my home must be!
Duty far across the ever-rolling main
Has called me — called me not in vain
I go to other lands; yet think ye not,
My own dear friend, you shall never be forgot!
Oh, “twas no easy task to bid my soul
Its memory of sorrow to control!
Farewell! farewell! and Should I no more
Return to my own, my loved, my native shore,
Oh, “in a better country” in the land
Where dwell God’s pure redeemed one, may I stand!
Farewell! the patient hand that hold me here,
Think you I shall not find it everywhere?
Yes, yes, this trust Shall every fear dispel—
God will protect me ever!. Kate — Fare ye Well!
AB Maloney, U S Navy
U.S. Sloop of War Jamestown Sept. 20th, 1862
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