Illustrated Album of Poetic Sentiments, Selinda Hill, Peterborough, New Hampshire, with illustrations by her sister, Caroline Hill, 1830s-1870s, Selinda Hill's "little Album" begins with an "Introductory Address," a poem inscribed by her, and opposite a watercolor illustration of a girl in a landscape reading a book. It is followed by 128 pages containing sentimental poetry inscriptions, many accompanied by watercolor and graphite depictions of figures, flowers, birds, fruit, and houses. The poems were written by family, friends, relatives, and likely classmates of Selinda, at the nearby New Ipswich Academy in New Ipswich, New Hampshire. One entry by Selinda's younger sister Caroline, dated February 1835, has a small watercolor depiction of the New Ipswich Academy at the top of the page and is signed by Caroline. The New Ipswich Academy was New Hampshire's second academy, which was chartered in 1789. Two other illustrations in the album were signed by Selinda's sister Caroline. One is a small pencil drawing depicting a house, and one, on the last page, is a watercolor illustration depicting the Hill family titled "An Evening At Home," dated 1831. It shows the family seated in the parlor around the woodstove with the family cat nearby. Their father Job is writing a letter, and one of the daughters, probably Caroline, is painting a picture of a flower, on a tripod candlestand. Their mother Betsy and the other three daughters, Selinda, Mary, and Abigail are shown engaged in needlework while the youngest, brother Charles, is reading a book. The album is a small 8vo with half Morroco binding with gilt spine and marbled boards, 7 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.
Literature: History of the Town of Peterborough, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, by Albert Smith, John Hopkins Morison, 1876, Peterborough, N.H., p. 110., "The Hill Family." Selinda and Caroline Hill were the daughters of Job (b, 1780) and Betsy (Perry) Hill (b. 1782). The Hills married in 1808, and for a time lived in Vermont before arriving at Peterbourough, New Hampshire in 1825, where Job became part owner and managed the village grist mill from 1829-1839. In 1831 he built the first dwelling on Summer Street in Center Village, a brick cottage. Job and Betsy Hill had five daughters and one son, one daughter Betsy died at the age of ten. Betsy the mother, and her daughters all worked periodically at the nearby Phoenix Mill which manufactured cotton sheeting and thread. The daughters featured most prominently in this album are Selinda, the Hills first child, (b. May 26, 1809- 1891) and their fifth child Caroline, (b. November 15, 1816). Selinda married Ephraim Holt in December of 1837. Caroline married Reverend Levi L. Fay, an itinerant preacher, on September 19, 1843 and together they had five children. Caroline died at the age of 37 on October 8, 1854.
The Art of Family: Genealogical Artifacts in New England, by Peter Benes, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002, the cover illustration, a watercolor depicting the Hill family, with their family register hanging on the wall behind them, was done by Caroline Hill.