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(Carr Family Letters)
Collection of Incoming Correspondence to Kate Elizabeth Carr, of Bradford, New Hampshire and later Salem, Massachusetts, written by family, friends, and her finance, and later husband, Dr. Charles A. Carlton, of Salem, Massachusetts, 1864-1898

Collection of 43 letters, 184 manuscript pages, dated 23 December 1864 to 10 June 1898; the bulk, (33), of the letters date from 1864 to 1873.

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The correspondence in this collection consists of four different groups of letters. The first group is from female friends and cousins writing to Kate E. Carr when she was a single woman (Dec. 1864-Dec, 1872). The second group was written to Kate when she was engaged to Dr. Carlton, these letters being both before and after their wedding (June 1870 to Sept. 1872). The third group consists of miscellaneous letters written back and forth between Kate, her mother, and brother William, then a final, and smaller, fourth group of correspondence between Kate’s brother Frank and his wife Nellie (1888-1890).

       Carr Family of Bradford, New Hampshire

Daniel Carr was born in Newbury, Massachusetts, 2 August 1801. His father, Moses Carr, was born 10 October 1778 and died 10 February 1815, and his mother, Abigail Noyes, was born 11 February 1777 and died 20 July 1863. Sometime after 1801 Moses Carr removed from Newbury, Massachusetts, to Hopkinton, New Hampshire where he purchased a large farm on Sugar Hill. There the rest of his children were born and there he died.

Daniel Carr tired of farming when he was about 14 and set out to seek his fortune. He sought and found employment as a clerk in the store of Lewis Bailey, in South Sutton, New Hampshire. There he remained until 1824 (?). when with the little patrimony received from his father’s estate, he purchased the store and merchandise of Mr. Bailey and commenced business on his own account.

On 20 February 1827 Daniel married Rhoda Bartlett (1800-1836), daughter of Joseph Bartlett, of Warner, New Hampshire. They had one son William A. Carr, born 10 January 1828. William A. Carr appears to have married Harriet Martin (1832-1865) on 10 January 1856. They had several children: William M. Carr, Mabel M. Carr, Charles B. Carr, Frank M. Carr. William M. Carr (1857-) married on 22 February 1882 to Mary L. Hartshorn.

About 1834, Daniel Carr sold his store to his brother Moses Carr, and moved to Concord, New Hampshire. There he went into trade and remained until the death of his wife Rhoda on 29 November 1836. He then moved to Bradford, New Hampshire, buying out the store of John D. Wadleigh, and there he remained in business until July 1854, when his son was admitted as a partner, and the firm was re-named D. & W. A. Carr. This co-partnership continued until July 1875, when Daniel Carr retired.

Daniel Carr’s son, William A. Carr, remained in trade until January 1887, when he turned over the business to his son William M. Carr. The family store, William M. Carr & Company, was a  purveyor of general merchandise. William M. Carr & Co. touted a full line of “Dry and fancy goods, groceries, grain, furniture, carpets, curtains, crockery, glass and silverware, wallpaper, boots, shoes and general merchandise.” The company supplied all manner of goods to south central New Hampshire for over one hundred years.

On 1 January 1839, Daniel Carr was married a second time to Caroline Lucinda Tappan (1819-1898), daughter of Weare Tappan (1790-1868) and Lucinda (1792-1866). Caroline’s brother was Mason Weare Tappan (1817-1886), a New Hampshire state representative, a U.S. Congressman from 1855 to 1861, a colonel during the American Civil War and the New Hampshire Attorney General. Daniel and his new wife had two children, Frank Tappan Carr (1844-1919) and Kate E. Carr (1846-1942).

Daniel Carr died 17 August 1887 at age 86 and was buried at the family plot at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Bradford. Moses Carr, who succeeded Daniel, continued in trade at South Sutton for a time, when he went to Sanbornton Bridge, now Tilton. He died in Ohio 16 September 1876.

Daniel Carr’s son with his second wife was Frank Tappan Carr. He was born 28 October 1844 in Bradford, Merrimack Co., New Hampshire. He died on 27 May 1919 in Bradford and was buried at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Bradford. He married Helen Francis Collins (1850-1928) about 1872 Frank T. Carr appears to have worked as a clerk in the family store and by 1900 was listed as a “retired” merchant. He lived in Bradford his entire life.

Daniel Carr’s daughter with his second wife was Kate Elizabeth Carr. She was born on 2 November 1846 in Bradford, Merrimack Co., New Hampshire. She died on 4 April 1942 in Bradford and was buried at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Bradford. Kate E. Carr married Charles Augustus Carlton, MD, of Salem, Massachusetts on 25 December 1872, in Bradford. Carlton was born 27 February 1841 at Orford, New Hampshire, the son of Rufus Carlton (1802-1882) and Irena Batchelder. He died 12 June 1935. Kate and Charles had at least one son Frank Carr Carlton. Kate and her husband made their home in Salem, Massachusetts.

       Sample Quotes:

“Home Sunday Eve Nov 25, 1866

My Darling friend Kate,


I wanted to write you last Sunday all day and have every day since, but I have not seen one unoccupied moment in the whole time. I guess you will ask what I have been doing, well, I have not done any thing that amounted to anything. I have had company almost every day and night.


I wanted to hear from you ever so much before I got you last dear welcome letter. I was afraid you were sick and thought I would write you just a word, but must give the same reason as I give for not answering the letter, viz/ want of time. I am so sorry you have been sick and all your friends too, what a serious time you must have had. I hardly know how you managed to get along…


Last night my cousin came in and wanted I should go to prayer meeting with him, and as I did not attend church, I thought I would go just to keep my name up for attendance to all these things. Really, I don’t enjoy the prayer meetings as much as I did when I had you here to go with me, and her Br. Atwood ‘hold forth,’ Oh Katie! How much I did enjoy that term. I know I never can be as happy if I live a hundred years as I was while I went to school. I did not think when I bid you and all the girls ‘good bye’ that I should never go to school again, but now I do not expect to. Think I shall take music lessons a few more quarters. I cannot give that up.


Have you any new music? I presume you will practice ever so much this winter, while I shall not at all. My school commences next Monday and I do dread it so much. I am afraid I shall not get along well. Don’t expect to stay more than a week, it is called a hard school, but I did not know when I engaged…


With ever so much love for thee…Mary”


“Salem, June 10, 1870, Friday evening


Darling Katie,

I saw the death of Mrs. Sanborn in the paper this morning and I have thought of you all day with your sad heart -my poor Katie, and have longed so much to be with you. I have wanted to see you more than ever today. It seemed as if I could not be denied. My darling I have such a lonely feeling come over me every little while now that I am separated from you. It makes me irresolute – sometimes and I feel almost as if I would give up my prospects for success here, and be content in a more humble situation in life if we could only be together.


I know darling that such feelings are wrong, and that we could never have been as happy as I hope we shall be sometimes now. I hope you have been to Concord to see poor Sue and Mary; it would be such a comfort to them but what could you say to them?


It seems too bad that it must be her, that she must die now after all these long months of anxiety. I felt some disappointed not to get a letter today, but I hardly expected it. I hope I shall tomorrow.


Oh Katie, I am so disappointed that I could not have had the whole evening to write to you, but I had a caller just as I began and he has but just gone and I have only a few minutes before the mail closes. I fear you would not be satisfied with these few words if I should send them, but perhaps they will be better than nothing.


I am very much better today. I am nearly well again. I will send a paper with this that has got my card in it. I want you to write me a long loving letter Sunday. I cannot feel reconciled that I could not send you a good letter today. I am going out to mail this and then come back and write to you. I should not feel so bad about it if tomorrow was not Saturday and you would have to wait so long for word. Good night dear darling Katie and many many kisses from your own Chas.”



“Salem, June 20, 1871 Tuesday evening


Dear darling Katie,


…Dr. Pierson has just called to ask me to go to Danversport with him tomorrow to assist in a surgical operation. It is for ‘hair lip’. I am glad to go to see the operation and I shall enjoy the side so much too. I helped Dr. Shreve set a broken arm this morning. I have been very busy all day. Kelly went around with me this afternoon to see a few patients. Yesterday I had a very good day’s work. I charged ten dollars and collected four of it. Today I have not had quite as much private business it has amounted to fived dollars. Yes, my business has been increasing ever since I was in Bradford the last time. Of course I cannot expect it to continue to be as good all of the time as it has been this month for I have had so many cases I should be happy enough if I could do as much all of the time, but we have every thing to encourage us darling and I know we shall have a nice home together sometime.


Oh, dear Kate I long for it. You do not know how hard it is for me to live here alone away from you but I would not ask you to come darling until I can do everything to make you happy. I must leave the rest until next time. I will answer all of your letter then…


...Your loving Chas”


“Friday evening


My precious Darling,


…We have just been interrupted by calls. Mrs. Stanly and a Miss Sweatt. I did not like to be hindered. I tried to write this morning. I hurried to make my calls, helped Dr. Shreve in on operation then I went with Nell & Frank down to the Williams. We returned about three o’clock. I had not lost any calls but a man was waiting in the office to have me amputate his finger. Jesson came up to help me. He was a strong man and struggled, so I got dreadfully tired holding him while he was taking ether. Since the operation I have made three calls so I have had a good day’s work...


…many loving kisses yours Chas”