Saturday, February 15, 2014

Joseph Cartland House Newburyport, Quaker Ties and John Greenleaf Whittier

New Addition! A story from "The Fisherman" published in 1895-- the Big Cat sent in from Gertrude Whittier Cartland:

According to "The North End Papers" by Oliver B. Merrill and Marge M Motes the heirs of John H. Spring sold the house to Joseph Cartland in 1876. Cartland's cousin, John Greenleaf Whittier (picture below age 49) was a constant presence and he spent his last winter here.

By Augustine Jones (Principal of Friends' School, Providence, R. I.) in American Friend. The most important contribution which any community makes to the world is the character and influence of its eminent men. And the same is true of religious denominations. Joseph Cartland, one of the most distinguished members of the Yearly Meeting of Friends for New England, during nearly half a century, deceased at Newburyport, Mass., Sixth month in, 1898, in his 89th year. Portraits below of Joseph and Gertrude Cartland 

He was born at Lee, N. H., in the Second month, 1810. It is believed that this town received its name from Lee, in Scotland, on the banks of the river Cart, whence John Cartland, the great-grandfather emigrated early in the last century, settling in Lee, N. H., and building the house, which is still in possession of the family. New Hampshire has been prolific in notable men, with sterling character, as firm and rugged as her own mountains, resting like them upon sure foundations. These she has nurtured to noble manhood and excellent citizenship. Joseph Cartland, like so many other American boys, received his early education in the common schools of his native State, and advanced instruction in a private school at Lee, kept by Dr. Timothy Hilliard, a noted teacher. He became a student at Friends' School, Providence, R. I., in 1830, at the age of twenty, where he continued two years. His brother, Moses A. Cartland, who won distinction as an instructor, became a member of the faculty, and remained in the institution until 1835. Joseph returned to Lee in 1833, his father being deceased, to take care of affairs at the homestead, and continued this service until his brother Jonathan was old enough to take his place. He then gave his attention to teaching, assisting Moses at one time in the Clinton Grove Boarding School, at Weare, N. H., and later in a private school at Lee. The educational influence of these schools has been recognized throughout New England. This result was not due so much to new methods of instruction, to endowment, for educational appliances, as to the tact and personal influence of the teachers themselves, who were possessed with rare gifts for training and guiding youth, and for character molding.
The friendship and affection which bound Whittier to his Cartland cousin often found expression, but perhaps nowhere with more pathos than in his lines to the memory of Moses A. Cartland at his decease:
"In love surpassing that of brothers,
We walked, Oh friend, from childhood's day;
And looking back o'er fifty summers,
Our footprints track a common way."

Religion is always the enduring basis of genuine character, and therefore claims the first consideration in the study of a human career. The Cartland homestead was blessed with a Friends' meeting-house all its own, where the family and neighbors regularly met to worship God. The service was simple, with nothing to detract from or interrupt personal communion with God himself, through Jesus Christ his Son. The influence of these meetings could not fail to train the religious thought to deep meditation, and introspection, to create an independence and individuality which required little outward means for religious growth, its reliance being solely upon Him who is the Bread of Life. Thither in 1825 came William Foster, the philanthropist, traveling in the ministry, and his visit was memorable in influencing the life of Joseph Cartland at about fifteen years of age. Thither also came David Sands and other eminent ministers, stimulating his religious aspirations and awakening his attention to the principles of the Society into which he had been born, securing his loyalty evermore to these simple interpretations of primitive Christianity.
He was engaged in mercantile business with his relative, Isaac Wendell, at La Grande, near Philadelphia, when about thirty-five years of age, where he continued a number of years, and his intellectual and spiritual life took a strong coloring from his environment here which it exhibited ever afterwards.
In 1849 he was elected to the faculty of Haverford College, Pa., where he continued until 1853, discharging some of the duties of President, as that office did not then exist in the institution. He was very efficient, and created here, as everywhere, a multitude of lifelong friendships.

He was married in 1855 to Gertrude E. Whittier, who was then Principal of the Girls' Department of the Friends' School (see below) at Providence. This most congenial union continued more than forty years, during which their names were inseparable in public thought and speech, while their lives seemed to blend into graceful harmony.

Joseph and Gertrude W. Cartland became the Principals of Friends' School in 1855, which at once advanced to a higher grade under their leadership. The quality of instruction was improved, and the course of study and graduation of classes established, which have continued ever since. The new impulse in the direction of higher education emanating from them was felt throughout the Society in America. Other men have since entered into their Tabors. This prosperous work was destined after a brief period of five years to be terminated by sickness. They continued to reside in Providence for about twenty years, and then after spending one winter with their cousin, John G. Whittier, at his home in Amesbury, they settled permanently near him in Newburyport. In the summer of 1881, Whittier spent several weeks with them at Intervale, N. H., and continued to be their summer companion among the hills during the remaining eleven years of his life.
This home at Newburyport will be forever memorable to those who were familiar with it. It had especial attraction for members of the Society of Friends, who were possessed of culture the world over, because here was to be found not only the most interesting literary association, but instinct with essential Quakerism. The writer himself passed a night here in 1887 in company with two eminent English Friends, one of whom remarked that he had found here more than almost anywhere else in America the comfort, repose, and simplicity of a true English home.
Joseph Cartland, in advanced life, had witnessed a great change in the Society of Friends in two generations. He had early seized the fundamental thought of Friends with love and admiration, and found little to admire in a movement which seemed, in his estimation, to be retrogading. Joseph Cartland retained to the end of life his remarkable, upright, manly carriage and intellectual vigor, with the same critical instinct and thoughtfulness, examining new literature which lay along the lines of his faith and discharging sacred trusts in it? distribution for the up-building of Zion. During the anti-slavery conflict in this country he was faithful in his efforts to create a public opinion in favor of Emancipation, and the cause of Peace and International Arbitration always claimed his deep and active interest. He regards age as "opportunity, no less than youth itself, though in another dress," and that, "as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars invisible by day." He was in communion with that Divine Spirit which sends the " Gulf Stream of Youth into the Arctic region of our lives." Surely, "the path of the Just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." His gentle, courtly manners, emanating from his real life within, attracted universal attention. Whoever met him was impressed with his generous greeting, and with that chivalric spirit, which, by its genial warmth and sweetness, drew to him the loving notice of all. "E'en children followed, with endeavoring wile And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile." Joseph Cartland had a strong interest in metaphysical studies, and dearly loved generalizations ample and rich, covering all subordinate parts. He was an earnest student of the Holy Scriptures and a firm believer in Christian doctrines of his own Society, but his reading included the writings of the best minds of his age.

GROUP AT STURTEVANT'S, CENTRE HARBORGertrude Cartland at Whittier's left, Mrs. Wade and Joseph Cartland at his right. Mrs. Caldwell, wife of Whittier's nephew, at his left shoulder.



  1. Joseph and Gertrude Cartland are buried in the Whittier plot near Whittier himself in the Union Cemetery in Amesbury.

  2. Melissa, this is going to make my friend Deb Probert SO happy. Clearly, a field trip will be in order early this summer! She has a direct line to Joseph and was delighted when Wayne took the photo of the house in Lee.

  3. Thank you greatly for providing this incredible information about my family. I am Shannon Leigh Cartland Chandler, the granddaughter of Albert L Cartland, continuing back in our lineage.