Machinist, of Providence, R.I. and Easton, Mass.
Size: 0.25 linear feet
Catalog number: MSS 1107
Processed by: Rick Stattler, October 2002
©Rhode Island Historical Society
Samuel Adoniram Hayward was probably born circa 1842. His parents were probably Samuel K. and Ann M. (Crosby) Hayward of Chelmsford, Mass. He was residing in Brockton, Mass. in February 1882 when he received a job offer as a lathe operator from pump manufacturer J.A. Whitman in Providence. He had daughters named Maude (b.1874?) and Josie, but was apparently not married to the mother. Maude was living with Hayward's parents in Easton, Mass., and Josie (the younger sister) was living with other relatives.
Samuel settled in Providence, residing at a boarding house at 11 Thomas Street. He was known in various circles there as Samuel, "S.A.," "Ad," or "Don." By September of 1883, he had a new position at the Gorham Manufacturing Company, Providence's world-renowned silver plant. He departed for Easton, Massachusetts circa January of 1884, probably because of a factory slow-down. He returned to Providence that March to work at Gorham, boarding at 136 Benefit Street, and left again later that year. Returning to Easton to live with his mother and his daughter Maude, he remained there until at least 1896. Some sort of serious train accident in 1891 apparently rendered him unable to work for much of this time. His later life is unknown. A Samuel M. Hayward aged 86 is listed in the 1930 census for Brockton, which may be the same man.
The names Hayward and Howard are close enough to be variants, and Hayward did have a cousin named George T. Howard (1858-) with whom he corresponded. Another cousin who he corresponded regularly with was Harriet L. Hayward (c1849-1909), a single high school teacher who was the daughter of Joseph E. Hayward (c1813-1884) and Sophia S. Hayward (1812-1890).
Another correspondent, Rosamond C.E. Arnold (c1830-1910), was a single woman who operated a dry goods store on North Main Street in Providence from 1883 to 1900. She died in Johnston in 1910. The 1900 census claims she was born in 1839, but her death record suggests circa 1825.
Mary A. Jencks (1852-1929) was the daughter of blacksmith Arunah W. Jencks (1827-1910) and Hannah (Reynolds) Jencks (1829-1876). She was raised in Providence, and in 1882 after the death of her mother, her father remarried to Nancy Vose (1832-1900). In 1883, Mary was 31, unmarried, working in R.C.E. Arnold's dry goods store, and living with her father and stepmother at 19 Gallup Street in Providence. She later married a Pennsylvanian named George W. Barnes, and had a son named Arunah H.J. Barnes (1894-1968). Her grandfather Hollis K. Jenckes kept a diary which is preserved at the R.I.H.S.
Mary A. Jencks should not be confused with Dr. Mary R. Jenks (1809-1888), a sister of Hayward's aunt Sophia S. (Jenks) Hayward. This Mary R. Jenks lived at 57 Willow St. in Providence, where Hayward once visited for a party. Neither of these should be confused with Dr. Mary A. (Payne) (Bray) Jenks (1833-1909), who married Edward S. Jenks in 1885 and thus became a sister-in-law to both Dr. Mary R. Jenks and Sophia (Jenks) Hayward. This Dr. Mary A. (Payne) (Bray) Jenks also corresponded with Hayward in 1890, and discusses her work as the physician at the Rhode Island Nursery.
As far as I can tell, Mary A. Jencks was not a close relation of Hayward's relatives, Dr. Mary R. Jenks or Dr. Mary A. (Payne) (Bray) Jenks. One hypothetical way to explain this baffling coincidence is that when Hayward arrived friendless in Providence in 1882, he may have been instructed by his family to look up his aunt's spinster sister Mary Jenks. He may have made some local inquiries and been sent to R.C.E. Arnold's store to meet an entirely different Mary Jencks, who turned out to be a younger single woman.
Agnes L. Jaques, another of Hayward's acquaintances, does not appear in the Providence city directories, vital records, or censuses, and remains a mystery. Abigail Sisson (1841-1890) of Westerly, who he courted by mail beginning in 1888, was like Rosamond Arnold an older single woman whose parents (Libbeus and Nancy) were deceased.
Browne, William B. Genealogy of the Jenks Family in America, 130, 165. Concord, N.H.: Rumford Press, 1952.
Howard, Heman. The Howard Genealogy. Brockton, Mass.: Standard Printing Co., 1903.
Providence directories, 1882-1930
Rhode Island Cemetery Database
Rhode Island vital records
Social Security Death Index
1850 U.S. Census, Chelmsford, Massachusetts, page 3 (S.A. Hayward, age 8)
1900 U.S. Census, Rhode Island E.D. 152, page 7: Mary A. (Payne) (Bray) Jenks
1900 U.S. Census, Rhode Island E.D. 10, page 4: Rosamond Arnold
1920 U.S. Census, Rhode Island E.D. 232, page 9: Mary A. Jencks.
1920 U.S. Census, Mass. E.D. 13, page 3: Maude L. Hayward, single clerk, aged 45, in Belmont.
1930 U.S. Census, Mass. E.D. 181, page 22: Maude L. Hayward, single, clerk in registry of deeds in Belmont, mother born N.Y.
1930 U.S. Census, Mass. E.D. 29, page 11: Samuel M. Hayward in Brockton with housekeeper.
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Scope and content:
These letters offer a very personal insight into the life of an itinerant factory worker in Gilded Age Providence. Although Hayward lived in Providence for only three years, he had extended family there, and made several friends there with whom he corresponded for many years.
Hayward's correspondence rarely touches upon the details of his work, although his troubles in finding work are alluded to frequently. Hayward's romantic entanglements are the recurrent theme of the correspondence, with several ladies of Providence apparently vying for his attentions. In particular, young store clerk Mary "May" Jencks and the older owner of her store, Rosamond Arnold, seem to have engaged in a bitter war for his affection. The letters abstracted below give a fuller picture.
A few Hayward of Hayward's letter to his eldest daughter Maude are also included in the collection, as well as letters from his mother, other relatives, and a variety of friends he had made in his various jobs. Hayward and his social circle were mostly from old New England Protestant families which straddled the working and middle classes. They were fairly well educated, though they had little money. Hayward himself did correspond with a Providence dockworker named August Nunes (July 10 1888) who was apparently Portuguese. However, his cousin Hattie Hayward showed strong nativist sentiments in at least two letters, writing that the school she taught at had "no foreigners and it is very appropriately called a 'select school'" (June 14 1882), and later complaining, "I am sick of the whining Irish Catholics who are begging all the time, and perhaps own 2 or 3 houses." (March 14 1894).
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The bulk of these letters were purchased in four lots from Dr. K. Dietrich at Internet auction in 2002. Cherry Fletcher Bamberg purchased an additional lot of nineteen letters from the same source and donated them later in 2002. Ten additional letters dated 1883-1892 were purchased via Internet auction from Carol Wissman in 2002.
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All letters from November 1884 onward are addressed to Hayward in Easton, Mass.
1882/02/24 From Josiah A. Whitman. Offers job trial running fox lathe.
1882/02/28 From John J. Buckley for Josiah A. Whitman. Offers trial.
1882/03/28 To daughter Maude in Easton. "I don't know when I shall come to see you. It is such a round about way now to get home. Old Jack is so slow now it is hard for him to get to Mansfield. I may not stay here if I find a chance handier to you. I wish we could be together more. I don't want my girl to grow up and not hardly know her Papa. It was bad enough at Brockton, but this is worse... Have you answered your sister's letter yet? Did your mother write anything to you? ... Papa don't like city life very much. Too many folks around."
1882/06/14 From cousin Hattie [Harriet A. Hayward]. Welcomes him to Providence, invites him to Sunday School excursion to Oakland Beach. "We have 60 pupils of the brightest class I ever taught. There are no foreigners and it is very appropriately called a 'select school.'" "Father thinks the reason you do not visit me is because you have a girl who makes you call on her every evening."
1883/06/04 From cousin George T. [Howard] of Little Compton. Marriage to Julianna, daughter of Oliver P. Peckham.
1883/06/10 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. "So you 'sometimes' and 'almost think you love H'. Now I do not take such a round-about way to express my state towards you. You say 'if we were not cousins' you would try to win my love. Why so? It is already yours without the effort... I did not dream of your thinking of me other than a plain-looking cousin, wholly bound up in school, and a confirmed old maid... I shall doubtless never marry. My observation of the married relation in my own home has given me no great desire therefor."
1883/06/19 From "May" [Mary] A. Jencks of 19 Gallup St. Invites Hayward to visit next Sunday "if your girl will let you come." Calling card enclosed.
1883/07/01 From Miss R.C.E. [Rosamond] Arnold. Inquiring about "your cool manner toward me," and taking exception to his remark that he "did not wish to marry but wanted to flirt a little." Adds, "Please do not tell Miss Jenckes about this."
1883/07/07 From "Rosie" [R.C.E. Arnold]. Regrets not seeing Hayward, says "your attentions to Miss J. were all right and proper," says "Miss J. is not with me now, as she is not well... I never expect to see her here again to work. She certainly is very ill, and her disease of too serious a nature to recover at once, or ever."
1883/07/08 From May [Jencks]. Disavows that she wishes to marry Hayward; discusses his daughter, and her own unhappy childhood. "I have been up and seen Miss A and left her, she is very much worked up about it but I could not stand it, I was doing too much work, and getting worn out." "Ad I would advise you not to go to Miss A. again, if you do she may take things differently then you mean."
1883/07/15 From May A. Jencks. Wonders why he has not answered letter.
1883/07/18 From May [Jencks]. Again disavows wishes to marry Hayward; "I am of a passionate disposition and am apt to allow myself to do things I am afterwards ashamed of. I can heartily say I am ashamed of what happened one Sunday evening the first I saw you but it cannot be helped now."
1883/07/25 From R.C.E. Arnold. In full: "Will you please favor me with your presence this evening or at your earliest convenience. Please not mention this to a living soul."
1883/08/07 From May Jencks. Wishes "an explanation of your strange conduct."
1883/09/09 From Charles P. Davis. To Hayward in Easton; business still slow. "I hope you reached home before your little girl had left and found your family well."
1883/09/15 From Cousin Hattie, addressed to "S.A. Hayward, Gorham Mfg. Co." "Your last letter about going to school with the children and thinking over the happy past &c brought tears at once to my eyes... I never was so sorry for a disappointed life before, as I am for yours." Compliments his daughters.
1883/09/27 From mother in Easton. To Hayward at 11 Thomas St. "I don't want you to send any money, we can get along at presant."
1883/10/22 From Agnes L. Jaques. To Hayward in Providence. Declines invitation; "it would be imprudent for me to except a strainger company altho I think you are a perfect gentleman."
1883/11/06 From Cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Addressed to 11 Thomas St. Wonders at length why he is not a Christian. "Your last letter frightened me... You offer to stay away weeks if I think best, when you know I love to see you frequently. What do you mean?"
1883/11/20 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. "I am sorry you have been so annoyed by mysterious letters, but I can give no light upon the subject. I was not aware you had any enemies in the city."
1883/11/20 From L.A. [Agnes] Jaques. "I will be pleased to see you at my house next Thursday evening and then you can tell me whatever you wished to say."
1883/11/22 From mother in Easton. To Hayward at 11 Thomas St. Family news.
1884/02/22 From T.W. Deming. Hayward in Easton, Mass. Offers advice on settling in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
1884/02/24 From friend Louis A. Paull. Work news.
1884/02/25 From T.W. Deming. Confirming address.
1884/03/08 To daughter Maude. Arrived in Providence safely, boarding at 136 Benefit.
1884/04/16 From Hattie [Harriet L. Hayward]. Addressed to Hayward at 136 Benefit Street. Invitation to "Cousin Party" at Louis' house at 57 Willow St. (Dr. Mary R. Jenks' residence). Carrie will be disappointed if he fails to attend.
1884/05/28 To daughter Maude. "This is a hard way to live, both my babies in different places and separated from both... Only a little over a month now to shutting down time then I must take a good look about for a different business. My right eye is failing me fast now."
1884/06/08 To daughter Maude. "I would like to see Josie this summer but I suppose it will have to be as Grandma says... I suppose Grandma feels about used up and don't want the care and trouble of Josie, well I've only seen her once since she was a baby, it seems hard."
1884/07/01 From Will Allen. Apologizes for breaking plans.
1884/07/10 From E.S. Robinson. Factory to remain closed until July 21.
1884/08/24 To daughters Maude and Josie. "I hope Maude that you and Josie agree better than last summer, you are almost young ladies now and people notice how you appear." Moved from Bowen Street to Thomas Street.
1884/11/01 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Addressed to Easton, Mass. Teaching at High School. Difficulties with mother; "On the whole I pity the woman as much as I blame her. I do not love her."
1885/01/14 From friends Walter and --- at 691 Eddy St., Providence. "About that girl W says tell you she is here & living in a private family at present, trying to live a better life." Gorham to start up again in two weeks, work might be available. "I'm not much of a hand to write about the girls, so can't give you much information on the subject, for to tell you the honest truth I've not but very little faith in the most of them toward making an honest man happy."
1885/01/18 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Addressed to Easton, Mass. On letterhead of Providence High School, with large and detailed vignette. Outlook on Gorham jobs is not good. Confidential enclosure offers to help support "Don" with at least $10 per month.
1885/07/12 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Addressed to Easton, Mass. Death of Uncle Bostwick.
1886/02/06 From cousin Elizabeth A. Nye of Westerly. Invites Adoniram and children to visit.
1887/01/30 From Cyreneus Crosby of Boston to Lizzie [Nye], forwarded to Hayward. Will come to Westerly if "I can get some good looking girl or midling age laday like yorself to care for me for a short time ... write me a few lines about that young layday if she aint all rady gorne up the tree for she will hav to stand it or climb cleare to the toop to get out of reach."
1887/02/20 From Elizabeth A. Nye in Westerly, to Adorinam Hayward c/o Samuel K. Hayward in Easton. "I want to say this if possible for you to make up with the mother of your children do so; from experience there is know sepration where there is a child and for there sake let nothing but death separate you... I had a letter from Uncle witsh I will in close."
1887/03/18 From Elizabeth A. Nye in Westerly. Plans to sell farm; her brother may be dead.
1887/07/01 From N. Bliven of Westerly. Encourages Hayward to correspond with Abigail.
1887/08/17 From cousin Mary --- in Westerly. Just arrived at Lizzie's with Miss Mill. "I have burned your letters all of them, hope you have done the same." "My girl is going to take me to call on your lady friend so I will do all I can, if they ask you here come. My girl thinks that Miss Sisson likes you." Her handwriting does not appear to match either Mary Jenckes or Mary Jenks.
1887/08/27 From Mary E. Cannell of West Quincy, Mass. "I receved you kind letter and I wood hav raght before bot Miss Niy sead that you hode gan to Boston with that lady to get a hoose and take logers so I think you wast to be maride to har and I did nat dare to right bat I wood like to see you and hav a tark and then I will know what is gain an far you know that I think of you bat I am a fried to right so if you kent marde don't be in a hure bot wate a little while and see what can be don. I am goin to Boston in 4 weeks and see what I can doe a bot geting a house and take boards. I want right any more till I hear frame you. Please right soon as you get this." Encloses newspaper clipping, "Free 10 secrets showing how to flirt..."
1888/07/10 From August Nunes of Providence. "I am working on the down river boats."
1888/08/12 Unsigned, from Phebe --- of Fall River, Mass. "If you would like to see me, I would like to see you, I don't think you need to make any great sprawl about it." Initials erased, appear to be "P.R.D."
1888/08/15 From Abigail Sisson of Westerly. Her mother recently died. "In one sense you are stranger to me but talk I've heard about you, they don't come here at all now. I've heard of there having a mess of gab over me, there lies is not worth looking up nor repeating."
1888/11/20 From Phebe --- of Fall River, Mass. Will not be able to visit.
1889/06/05 From Henry A. Sparks of Warren [N.H.?]. Describes new home.
1889/07/19 From Abigail Sisson of Westerly. "I often think what you said of sitting lonely the same to myself, who does care for you when your parents are gone?"
1889/12/19 From Eva Lee [Keser?] of Walnut Hill Farm [Kentucky or Indiana?]. Argument over who had broken off their correspondence, and other news.
1890/02/15 From M.A. Jenks [Dr. Mary A. (Payne) (Bray) Jenks]. Pleased with her visit to Easton; offers to return to "make a professional call to try out my 'healing' art. Ha! Ha!" Invites him to visit her at the Rhode Island Nursery at 22 Burnside St., where she is apparently a physician caring for nineteen babies.
1890/02/18 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Thanks for hospitality.
1890/04/24 From Abigail Sisson of Westerly. "The doctor called on me one day, he said you must go away from here or will die... I don't want to save for any body, nobody to look out for but my self." Discusses recent death of uncle. She died on May 20 at the age of 49, less than a month after writing this letter.
1890/05/18 From Rosie C.E. Arnold of Auburn. R.I. Has not heard from Hayward since 1886. Gave up business in 1888, moved to Auburn. Brother recently died. Describes improvements in Providence, and new Gorham Manufacturing plant in Auburn.
1890/09/16 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Thanks him for being tower of strength to Aunt Maria. "Very soon now, Maude will graduate from High School and begin teaching." Suggests returning to Providence to work at new Gorham plant.
1890/10/12 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Suggests daughter Maude "must have experience in some country place before getting a city school."
1890/11/21 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. "Does Phoebe think of trying to get Nahum out of Hospital?... He will not live with her and he threatens your life... I am thankful he was not hurt and did not kill anyone before being carried away... I think everyone in Easton wondered he was allowed to be at liberty so long."
1891/02/24 From Rosie C.E. Arnold. "Am completely discouraged; I only wish my work was done on earth." Was sued for endorsing Harriet Chace's note. "I think that Miss J. you saw in my store was a perfect demon in disguise, and was sent there to injure me, and I think I had a narrow escape. I think she was well skilled in the 'Black Art.'" "I buy my own food, and earn the money with my needle and sewing machine. Bring and carry my work to and from the city, walking to and from the depot." "I thank you for your kind interest and friendship and if I had sufficient means, would like to adopt you... though I am some ten years your senior."
1891/04/11 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Eleven-page letter. Discusses her influenza at length. Wants Maude to attend teacher's convention with her. Thinks the Old Colony Rail Road owes him a large settlement for his injuries.
1891/05/17 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Suggests George J. West as a lawyer; "he is the best criminal lawyer in this city, they say."
1891/07/19 From Rosie C.E. Arnold. Has left the old farm in Auburn, moving into Providence. Legal battle with aunt and cousin over the land; fears they may try to poison her. "I think that Jencks girl was the indirect means of following and annoying you, for her plan was to get you for herself."
1891/09/13 From Rosie C.E. Arnold. Stays sometimes in Auburn, sometimes at a Benefit Street boarding house. "Those persons who annoyed you in Providence must have been some of that dressmaker's clique or her chosen deputies, for her aim was to get you, and destroy me; for she imagined I was an obstacle in her way." Hopes his injury suit against the railroad goes well.
1892/01/03 From Rosie C.E. Arnold. Electric cars will soon pass her estate in Auburn. Inquires about his broken ribs. Comments on the trial of Dr. Graves for the murder of the widow of J.B. Barnaby.
1892/04/10 From Rosie C.E. Arnold. Has moved to 363 Westminster Street in Providence. Shares thoughts on marriage at length; has turned down a proposal from a widower last year. May visit Easton; "you know it is leap year this year, and it would not be considered a breach of etiquette for a single lady to call upon a single man... If I had means and it was agreeable to your family and yourself, I would like to board with you a few weeks in the summer."
1892/06/24 From Rosie C.E. Arnold. Selling farm.
1892/07/21 From Rosamond C.E. Arnold. Progress of lawsuit; hopes to come to Easton.
1892/10/07 From cousin Hattie [Harriet L. Hayward] of 115 Wilson St. Family news.
1892/12/21 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Cannot visit for Christmas.
1894/03/14 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Maude has good prospects teaching in Cambridge. Has been helping out a poor family in Olneyville - father lost all his toes in an accident and is almost blind, mother supporting all eleven children. Sunday School class is attempting to pay their bills. "The reason I like to help this family is that they do not beg or complain and they are protestants who will not apply to the city for aid. I am sick of the whining Irish Catholics who are begging all the time, and perhaps own 2 or 3 houses." "The eldest boy of the family has been working for 90 cts per day but on account of the strike was thrown out of employment. He did not strike."
1895/09/08 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Congratulations on Maude's teaching certificate from Hyde Park.
1895/09/27 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. "I am very sorry to hear that Phoebe found Nahum worse again but of course it agrees with what the doctors have said all along, that he was really no better."
1896/10/04 From cousin Hattie [Hayward]. Inquires about missing ring. Moving to 1039 Elmwood Avenue.
----/07/11 From Dr. M.A. Jenks. May visit sister in Mobile in fall; "I cannot well leave my babies in hot weather." Apologizes for assuming "too much freedom for a short acquaintance."
----- From Essie[?] --- of Frankfort, Indiana. "One I have never seen I can't quite love, but we can learn much of each other on paper, and a first meeting would then decide all."
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Arnold, Rosamond C.E., ca. 1830-1910
Barnes, Mary A. (Jencks), 1853-1929
x Bray, Mary A. (Payne), 1833-1909
Courtship - Rhode Island
Gorham Manufacturing Company (Providence, R.I.)
Hayward, Harriet L., ca. 1849-1909
Hayward, Maude L., 1874-a1930?
Howard, George T., 1858-
Irish-Americans - Rhode Island - Providence
Jaques, Agnes L.
x Jencks, Mary A., 1853-1929
Jenks, Mary A. (Payne) (Bray), 1833-1909
Machinists - Rhode Island - Providence
Mental illness - Massachusetts
Nye, Elizabeth A.
Portuguese Americans - Rhode Island - Providence
Providence High School
Providence, R.I.- Social life and customs
Pumping machinery industry - Rhode Island - Providence
Sisson, Abigail, 1841-1890
Teachers - Rhode Island - Providence
Westerly, R.I. - Social life and customs
Whitman, Josiah A.
Women physicians - Rhode Island - Providence
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