Women’s Work

The Work of Grief

Martha Carter was born in Warren at the turn of the 19th Century. When she was 23 she married Gustavus Rouse and they had 6 children. From the time she was 32 until her death in 1886 she bore the grief of burying her husband and all of her children save one.
While war always bring great technological change, one innovation of the Civil War affected Martha Rouse directly. When her youngest son, Lucien, succumbed to diphtheria while serving the 19th CT Volunteers in Alexandria, VA his body was embalmed so that he could be returned to his family rather than on the battlefield. Lucien’s gravestone in the Old Warren Cemetery really does mark his final resting place.
The inscription on Martha’s only monument reads: “She hath done what she could.”

A Piece of Warren History

The Warren Historical Society is eagerly seeking issues of The Warren Observer. At present we have but 2 copies in our collection. These were an eagerly anticipated weekly publication and contain many items of local historical interest. If you have some but don’t want to donate them, no problem. We’d be thrilled if you would allow us to scan them.


Women’s Work

Mary Wadsworth Carter 1815 – 1893

By mid-century, Mary Wadsworth Carter had been married to Edmund Swift for nine years and they had two daughters. Although being a Carter and married to a Swift, Mary would have enjoyed a higher standard of living that most of her contemporaries, these pair of shoes which she wore at her wedding show that they had not been worn for just one occasion.
Made of fine tan kid leather with a square toe which became fashionable in the late 1820’s, the shoes were made with a straight last without right or left definition and no heel. Heels had fallen from use after the French Revolution. Heelless-ness obviously made the political statement that all people were created equal.

Women’s Work

Clarissa Bassett was born in Litchfield in 1801, the daughter of Nathan Bassett and Mehitibel Buel. When she was 28 she married George Pomeroy Tallmadge, the son of John Tallmadge who owned the Warren General Store.
As the wife of a prominent Warren businessman, farmer, postmaster and even legislator, Clarissa had a young woman in service to the household. Nancy Cable was a free person of color who lived with and worked for the Tallmadges. It would have been Nancy who would have churned the butter and used a wooden butter mold such as this.

Women’s Work

The theme for the Warren Historical Society for 2019 is Made by Hand in homage to the skills mastered by early Warren residents. Over the next few weeks, and maybe even months, our blog posts will be devoted to the work of women. Each week the life’s work of one woman from Warren will be highlighted.
Rhoda Payne Strong, the first child of European ancestry to be born in Warren, will be introduced first.

Rhoda was born in September of 1739 to Stephen Payne and Sarah Leach. She married Philip Strong at the age of 20 and together they produced a family of 15 children. To say her days were full is an understatement.

Aside from caring for her 15 children, tending the kitchen garden, making and repairing clothes for the household including spinning, weaving, knitting and dyeing, laundering which included fetching water, making soap, boiling the wash and then drying it, cooking, baking, preserving, tending the ill including preparing medications, Rhoda Payne, as a Puritan woman, would have been expected to devote herself to spiritual concerns. She learned to read as a girl so that she could read the Bible. This is a book of sermons which she purchased in November 1796.

Letters and Letter Writers

Civil War Veteran, Lucien Rouse

Sometimes a much-anticipated letter brought very sad news.
Nineteen year old Lucien Rouse had enlisted in the 19th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers on August 4, 1862 and had been sent to Virginia to safeguard Washington, DC. In early December he had written to thank his parents for a “care” package they had sent with goodies, but by early the next month they had been advised that he was gravely ill and not expected to recover. This letter written by the sergeant in his regiment informs his family of his death on January 8, 1863 in the Regimental Hospital, Alexandria, VA due to diphtheria.

The Lucien Rouse letters are a new addition to the Warren Historical Society’s collection and are a poignant glimpse into the effects of the Civil War on the homefront.

Letters and Letter Writers

Dilly Curtiss’ letter from 1814 was found among papers collected by the first Warren Historical Society from the Warren Congregational Church. It would have arrived during the pastorate of Peter Starr. We have only the one letter but Mrs. Curtiss appears to have been excommunicated, a state to which she is objecting to in the strongest possible terms and which may have been in effect for five years.
Dilly or Della was born December 27th, 1770, in Warren, the daughter of Joseph and Dolly [Owens] Peters who had a lease in the College Farms. On November 24th, 1788, she married Milton Curtiss. She and her husband are buried in the Old Warren Cemetery although their monuments do not remain.

Letters and Letter Writers

Flora Skiff Sackett

Flora Skiff was born 23 Apr 1808 in Sharon. She married Homer Sackett on December 1, 1827. Before marrying, Flora Skiff lived in the Ellsworth section of Sharon with her parents, Asa and Susanna Skiff.
After their marriage, the couple lived on Sackett Hill Rd. in Warren.
Polly Woodward, a teacher, was Flora’s cousin.
The collection of her incoming and outgoing correspondence was acquired by the Warren Historical Society in 2010 as part of the Augustine Sackett Family Papers.


Letters and Letter Writers

The Lost Art of Letter Writing
Before email, messaging and posting to social media there were letters. At one time, a letter was the only way to bridge the gap between individuals, forge bonds, and express thoughts. Their history goes back thousands of years and letters are considered a primary source when looking at a particular period in history.
In the next few weeks we will feature letters found in our archival collection and provide glimpses  into the lives and times of the letter writers.
Can’t wait? Visit our display case in the lobby of Town Hall for our exhibit on letters and those who wrote them.

Connecticut 169 Club

Sunday, January 27, 2019 Warren Town Hall
Connecticut author Marty Podskoch will read from his new book, Connecticut 169 Club, a compilation of local history
East Hampton, CT Author and Historian Marty Podskoch will share snippets of his latest book, The Connecticut 169 Club: Your Passport and Guide to Exploring Connecticut.  Mr. Podskoch will guide us off the interstate and onto Connecticut backroads to meet and merge with fascinating neighbors and uncover cool curiosities tucked into the 169 towns and cities in the Nutmeg State. WHS Vice President was Warren’s contributor. Bring your own anecdotes to add to a lively discussion.
Refreshments and book signings will follow the talk.

Veterans of the French and Indian War

The Seven Years’ War was the first world war with armies and naval forces engaged in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Called the French and Indian War in the colonies, it was the greatest military challenge faced by the Connecticut colony between the time of King Philip’s uprising and the American Revolution.
Jonathan and Ann Filer Sackett sent two of their sons into the conflict.  28 yr. old Jonathan Sackett served for 2 months under Captain James Peck of New Haven in the Fall of 1755 and his younger brother, Reuben, who served in the company of Capt. John Marsh’s Company of Litchfield for the relief of Fort William Henry in August 1757.

Warren in the Revolutionary War

Twenty eight veterans of the Revolutionary War are buried in Warren’s Old Cemetery, but many other Warren men served. At least one fell in the Siege of Fort St-Jean, 12 miles southeast of Montréal, and never returned to Warren. Major Eleazer Curtiss who enlisted in May of 1775 was at the Battle of Ticonderoga and at the Battle of Ridgefield where he caught General David Wooster as he fell mortally wounded from his horse. It was Major Curtiss who recommended the newly incorporated town take the name of Warren as the namesake of the fallen hero, Joseph Warren.
He served as Warren’s very first First Selectman.

Veterans of the War of 1812

With the Revolutionary War barely 31 years in the past, the young United States became ensnared in the War of 1812 because of her alliance with France and Great Britain’s embargo of trade ships leaving U.S. ports and the impressment of U.S. sailors into the British Navy.
William Kidney, just 18 yrs. old, probably the son of Peter & Polly Kidney, enlisted in the infantry on February 24, 1813. He served as a private and served in the northern theater. His service was short. On December 31 of the same year he died of dysentery at French Mills, NY.

The Mexican War 1846 – 1848

A border skirmish on the Rio Grande sparked the beginning of the Mexican War. It was the first armed conflict that the United States fought on foreign soil. It was the intention of President James Polk to extend the borders of the United States to the Pacific Ocean and at the conclusion of the war,  the new territories of the United States included nearly all of present-day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.
A career soldier, Hamilton Hopkins, re-enlisted in October 1843 in Company E 3rd Artillery. We know he was 27 years old at the time of his re-enlistment, that he had blue eyes and brown hair and that he was an artificer or skilled mechanic. Although he was born in Warren, there is no record of his birth or his parents’ names.


Civil War Veterans











Most of Warren’s Civil War veterans served in the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery. Known as the Litchfield Regiment it assembled in September 1862 and trained at Camp Dutton in Litchfield. Minor Strong enlisted in August of that year with his cousin, Homer Curtiss . He eventually achieved the rank of sergeant.
After his military service he ran the clover mill in the Lake District and raised a family with his wife, Lucy Curtiss.
He died in February of 1922 and his buried in New Warren Cemetery.