Hopedale History
    February 15, 2005
    No. 32
    Wartime Wedding

    The second annual Crystal Ball, sponsored by the Friends of Historic Hopedale, was held at the
    Radisson Hotel in Milford on January 29.  It was quite a success and raised over $4000 for the Little
    Red Shop restoration and other historic projects in Hopedale.

    A few weeks ago, the Milford News printed a story about the early days of Aerosmith.  I’ve added it to
    the website.  It’s at http://www.hope1842.com/aerosmithknowall.html

    A book about Wickliffe Draper, the son of George Albert and Jessie Preston Draper, was published in
    2002.  It’s titled The Funding of Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund and you can
    read it online at   http://www.press.uillinois.edu/epub/books/tucker/ch1.html

    Click here to  read a story about the South Hopedale School, built in 1855.

    Click here to read about the dedication of the General Draper Library at Hopedale High School,

    On the first of November I sent a story about the Draper family feud.  I recently added a couple of items
    to the website about the end of the rift.  One is an article from the Worcester Telegram concerning
    rumors that Princess Boncompagni was trying to end it and the other is a letter from Dorothy Draper
    Gannett to the Princess.  (I’ve been doing a lot of typing lately.) Click here to read them.


    General William F. Draper’s autobiography, Recollections of a Varied Career, has a good many
    interesting stories and I expect to send more of them in the future.  Here’s his account of his marriage
    to Lilla Joy, a few months after he had enlisted in the army.

    I sailed on the Guide the 9th, and on the 11th reached Hampton Roads.  There we took the boat for
    Baltimore, where we heard that the Confederates were crossing the Potomac, after their victories of
    the Second Bull Run and Chantilly.  I kept on east as fast as trains would carry me, and reaching
    Boston Friday, the 12th, learned that my father and mother, together with Miss Joy (to whom I had
    become engaged by correspondence) and her father and mother, were in New York, hoping to meet
    me on the arrival of the Guide.  Telegrams were sent and they reached home late Saturday night, when
    the hardships and perils of war were temporarily forgotten in the pleasure of reunion,

    At this point, I’ve cut a bit about Lilla’s family.  Click here for the entire story.

    Both Mr. and Mrs. Joy were prominent in reform movements previous to the war, and their sympathy
    with such ideas caused them to send their daughter to school in Hopedale.  After her graduation there,
    they traveled in Europe for two years, during which time we kept up a desultory correspondence, and
    they returned to America shortly before my enlistment.  The correspondence continued after that event
    and resulted in an engagement; and this was our first meeting under the new conditions.

    The next day, Sunday, was spent as might be imagined under the circumstances.  After a family
    council we came to the conclusion that it would be better for us to be married before my return to the
    army, since Lilla would then be privileged to visit and care for me in case I should be ill or wounded.  
    This settled, it was decided that we should be married the next evening, the 15th of September, as I felt
    obliged to leave for the seat of war Tuesday.  Monday I visited Governor Andrew at Boston, to transact
    certain military business and to obtain, if possible, definite knowledge of the location of my regiment.  
    Concerning the latter I could learn nothing certainly, but I received an order to join it with the least
    possible delay.  I was unable to return home till the last train and did not reach the house till seven P.
    M., the hour of the wedding being eight.  At the appointed hour, or a little later, the ceremony was
    performed by my good friend, Rev. Adin Ballou, our immediate families and Mrs. Ballou being the only
    wedding guests.  My wife, like many other brides, wore a dress from Paris, -- not ordered for the
    occasion, but purchased by her there a year before, while traveling.  I was arrayed in a new uniform,
    with huge captain's straps upon the shoulders, a pair of new cavalry boots and white cotton gloves
    completing the inventory.  We were not married upon as long notice or in as much style as might be
    considered desirable today, but I don't think we lived the less happily for want of either.  My age at the
    date of my marriage was twenty years and five months, and my wife was nearly seventeen months
    younger, -- and from my experience I can recommend early marriages.

    It may be well to state my pecuniary circumstances at this time, when that kind of calculation is often
    made.  I had continued my economical living, and sent home my savings, so that I had about $900 in
    my father's hands.  My wife was promised $1,000 by her father when we should start housekeeping, if
    we ever did, and my salary as captain was at the rate of $1,500 per annum.  These figures of principal
    did not seem to us in the least small, and the income appeared to be, and in fact was, far beyond our
    needs, under the existing circumstances.  We had more important matters to consider than those
    which are vital to most young couples.

    The day after my marriage was spent in preparations for departure, and in the afternoon train I left for
    the seat of war, my wife and father accompanying me.  We proceeded to New York, via Norwich; arrived
    at Jersey City early in the morning; and waited in the depot for the departure of the train.  The dreaded
    time came at last, and, giving a parting kiss to my newly made wife and a grasp of the hand to my
    father, I was bourne out of the depot and away toward the South.

 Draper Menu                  Hopedale History Ezine Menu                HOME