Person:Isabella Wardwell (1)

Isabella Francena Wardwell
d.ABT 6 MAR 1864 Amherst, Hillsborough, NH
m. 3 MAR 1842
  1. Henry Francis Wardwell1844 - 1863
  2. Isabella Francena Wardwell1846 - ABT 1864
m. 18 Apr 1862
  1. Addie Isabella Hartwell1862 -
  2. Francena H. Hartwell1864 -
Facts and Events
Name Isabella Francena Wardwell
Gender Female
Birth[1] 17 APR 1846 Reading, Middlesex, MA
Marriage 18 Apr 1862 Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United Statesto Albert Amasa Hartwell
Death[2] ABT 6 MAR 1864 Amherst, Hillsborough, NH

Pregnant when she was married at age 16. Died shortly after giving birth to her second child.

Letter to F. Jane (Flint) Wardwell (1) Austin (2) in Reading,Massachusetts from her daughter, Francena Isabella Wardwell who married Albert Hartwell and moved with him to his parents farm near Amherst, New Hampshire. Francena was ftfteen years old when she wrote this letter. There are no alterations in this copy. (

Amherst, August 16th, 1860

My Dear Mother, I received your letter a week ago Wednesday and I believe I was never so glad to hear from anyone before. I do get so impatient to hear from Reading once in a while it seems as though I could not wait for a letter. I have written to Grandmother, perhaps she has told you of it, and I should like to hear from Henry and how he is getting along. Albert thinks some of enlisting in the Navy. Here they begin to talk of drafting and Albert does not want to be drafted for then he would get no bounty and I would not draw anything, while if he enlists he gets a bounty and I draw a dollar a week and two pretty soon so if he thinks he is likely to be drafted, I shall not try to hinder him from enlisting in the Navy for a year although it will be very, very hard to part with him. Amherst has got to send 62 men and there is only 140 to take them out of and that seems like standing a pretty narrow chance. If Albert goes, I shall still remain here as it is his wish. I like here very much and think I shall be contented. I am glad Henry has got his picture taken for me. I shall think a great deal of it. I should like to see the picture of Uncle George on his horse. I wish you would bring it up and show it to me. Have Addie and Isabelle got started for New York yet? I have received no letter from them ye We have got quite a family up here now as brother Henry came home from his school in Bridgewater a week ago last night, and Mary (George's wife) is here with her baby and has been for a week. Mother Hartwell has got a sore heel, and has to go lame, that is quite troublesome to her. Otherwise I believe we are all well. Albert has gone swimming with Bainbridge. He goes swimming most every Sunday morning. Oh Mother I guess I could tell you some news:who do you think called to see Albert and I from Reading last friday.I do not think you could guess so I will tell you.It was Mr.Farmer C & his wife,the lady that used to go by the name of Martha Cook.She had her children with her,she was as lively as could be,and so was he.They seemed real pleased to see us.I think I never saw Martha Cook appear as young and lively before.I guess it agrees with her being married.I treated them with apples and gave them some to carry off with them.They gave us a very polite invitation to come and see them when we came that way and I cannot remember half they said. I have had a letter from Sara Willis.I was glad to hear from her.Tell Elisa Stowell I should think she was a spunky friend pretending to think so much of me and is the very last one to write me.I cannot afford to write first always,you may just tell her so.I don't know if I care much if she writes or not. How is Harris getting along?Does he still drum for the Reading home guards? You asked me about Dr.Dearborn.I thought likely Grandmother was the one who wanted to know the most so I wrote and told her,but perhaps she has not told you so I will.The way he lost his sight was by looking upon the sand at Ship Island.It was very white and glistening and they said they would all lose their eyesight if they did not move,Dr.Dearborn was to start from New Orleans the 16th of August which would be to-day to come home and stay for two months.I thought perhaps if Grandfather was so unwell Grandmother perhaps would be for coming up here.I should like to see her very well but I suppose if she did come she would get Mother off and talk with her a great mess and I do not want her to.Mother knows the whole now and that is enough. What a nice time you must have had up to Andover.How I should have liked to have been with you.How happens it that Hattie Howe went also? Does Henry go with her again?If he does I shall laugh.Did he leave one of her pictures with her?I should think Mary Mead would have to stick her bill in and have a few words to say. I think I shall write to cousin Josephine now.I suppose she was surprised to think I was married.Well I was never so happy before as I have been so far,but if Albert goes off and never returns..... I cannot write much more this morning but I guess you will excuse me.I will try and write more next time.I have not written much news but there is not much to write.I have been right up to scratch[as Alick says] in writing you once a fortnight.I must with much love bid you goodbye.Be sure and write soon.Give my love to Harris and tell him I hope he will not have to go to war.



Amherst,May 31,1862

Saturday Evening

My Dear Mother,

I write again this soon to let you know I received your very kind and welcome letter,and was glad indeed to hear from you,but felt sorry to hear that my Brother Henry had once more started for the South.I think there was quite a turn-out from a neighborhood of so few houses.I think it is very strange that Uncle Charles did not go as he has had the war fever,and so many times.I hope Henry will return as safely as he started but I fear that after they have guarded the city of Washingtn for a while and got nicely drilled,they will be sent forward and others sent to fill their places.Mother I do not wonder that you feel lonesome with both of your children so far away when they should be so near you all their lives.I should think you would be.I am all alone up in my room tonight.Albert has gone to Milford with his father to buy me a pair of shoes. I should like to run in and spend the evening with you. Last Thursday evening,Father,Mother and I went up to Chestnut Hills to see sister Mary,Georges's wife.She is very pretty.I had a nice ride but got pretty tired.It is a distance of 6 miles from Amherst village. This morning I got up at half past 4 and rode over to Milford with Father.He goes every morning with milk and,if you please,you may direct your letters to Milford instead of Amherst as I shall be liable to get them quicker as father goes to the Office every morning. I get up at five o'clock every morning and take breakfast and then go right about my morning work and get to sewing before 6 o'clock.I call that doing pretty well for me.Father and Mother call Albert and I their babies.Mother made us a little pumpkin pie for luncheon. Mother and I have been out to walk tonight down in Father's cow pasture after checkerberry.We found plenty of young checkerberry,but the birds have stolen all the nice berries.When I first came up here we could go out and pick a quart of beautiful large checkerberries very easy,sometimes finding 9 and ten on one stem.You cannot think what a multitude of strawberries there is going to be all round up this way.I tell you,I shall have the fun when they get along. You asked me about my Baltimore jacket and the rest of my clothes looked when I reached here.I found them looking very nicely indeed.Albert shook them out for me and hung them up in my long closet and I certainly should not know now that they had ever been rolled.There is not the slightest wrinkle in my Baltimore jacket. I am very sorry indeed to hear that Uncle George is sick.I suppose Grandmother feels quite worried about him. Tomorrow is Sunday and Albert and I are going down to Bainbridges to spend the day.Bainbridge cannot be at home any other time but Sunday as he is off at work a number of miles from home and cannot come home only Saturday nights.Mother as a general thing does not hold to visiting Sundays but as it is Alberts's own Brother and he cannot see him any other time,she advises us to go.If she did not I should stay home. I have got one of my chemises all trimmed and it looks real handsome.I wish I could show it to you.I know you would be pleased,but you are coming up in September or October and then I can show you all my things. I hear the clock downstairs striking 9 and I should like to have Albert come,but I guess he will be here very soon.I can hear the sounds of distant drums beating over in Milford,also the bell for 9 o'clock,but I know it is not Harris pulling the bell-rope.Please give my love to him and tell him I have not forgotten him. Have you seen anything of Elisa Stowell since I came off.If you do see her give her my love and tell her to write to me and direct her letters to Milford,N.H.If she says anything against writing first,please tell her I say she has no husband to take care of and can get more time.Give my love to Hattie Howe and all the rest who may be kind enough to inquire for me and particularly remember me to Carrie Myers and tell her I should have been very happy to call on her before I left Reading for my new home,but I started so much sooner than I expected that it left me no time. Have you been up to Grandmother's since I came away?If so how does it seem not to have any Francena cutting over the house.I think it must seem "kinder odd" to use one of Jonathan's phrases.When you see Jennie you tell her I thank her for her scissors.I expected to have to buy a pair but on looking in my workbox when I got here I found hers.They have saved me some expense.If I had any way to send them to Re.I would do so as no doubt she will need them herself. I went over and spent the afternoon with Aunt Katy last Wednesday.She seems to like to have me come very much. Next Wednesday is Election up here and we are going to have a grand time.You can imagine us with the house full of Aunts & Uncles & Cousins,Brothers,Sisters,etc.You may imagine me with my little green and white plaid dress and strutting around,for I am going to wear it. I have worn one of my long nightdresses a fortnight and I am going to wash it Monday.I should like to have you see me at the washtub.I guess you would laugh.Albert laughed right out when he saw me,and I suppose I was quite a laughable sight with my little tunic and dark calico skirt on running around,but now I tell Mother that is not so bad a suit after all if it is my washing suit.I like it ever so much.Mother has got her a purple and white gingham mixed like the gray goods.I think it is real pretty.She is cutting and making it herself.I have got to make Albert some shirts next week I suppose.I bought the cloth down here in Amherst and gave only 12 1/2 cents a yard and it is real nice. As I am drawing to the bottom of my page,I must close for this time.Albert is just coming.I can hear the wagon ascending the hill,so a kind good night from your daughter.

(Francena H.)

Please give my love to Addie,Isabelle,Grandmother and keep a very large share yourself. Albert sends his love to you and says he shall not forget his Mother down to Reading.We want you to be very sure and come up this fall.You will hear from me again in a fortnight as I promised you when I left you.

  1. Reading, Massachusetts Vital Records.