1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Caroline Smith Page Family Papers

1867-1905

PDF Version

Abstract

Autobiography and photos of Caroline Smith Page who was an early student at the New York State Normal School. She later taught in Troy, NY and Natchez, MS.

Summary

Creator:
Page, Caroline Smith
Date Coverage:
1867-1905
Quantity:
0.17 cubic ft. (about 0.17 boxes)  7 Digital Files

Caroline Smith Page was born in Spencertown, Columbia County, New York on November 30, 1823 and died in Boone, Iowa, in May of 1913. She was the daughter of William Smith and Alice McIntyre. William Smith was one of two brothers born in Rye, Westchester County, New York, who grew up as orphans. Alice McIntyre was the descendent of John McIntyre and Abigail Jackson. McIntyre was a Scotsman who immigrated to the United States after the Revolutionary War following a brief stop in the West Indies, near current day Havana, Cuba. The McIntyre family settled in Chenango, Greene County, NY. After John McIntyre’s death while attempting to return to Scotland to claim an inheritance, Abigail remarried a Hoyt.

Caroline taught “family school” at fourteen, and subsequently in the district common school. She was a member of the first class at New York State Normal School at Albany, entering in December of 1844 at the age of twenty. She graduated with the first class, receiving a Diploma on August 27, 1845. After graduation Caroline taught for four years in Troy, New York, public schools until 1849, when she accepted a teaching position at the Natchez Institute, Natchez, Mississippi. Caroline subsequently taught as a preceptress in an Episcopal ladies’ seminary in Natchez until 1852 when her teaching career was ended by marriage.

On September 7, 1852 Caroline Smith married Stephen R. Page, the son of a New Hampshire governor, John Page. Stephen Page was a graduate of Union College, New York and a fellow teacher in Natchez. Caroline gave birth to a son, Henry Lawrence Page, on June 22, 1853. Stephen Page continued to teach in Natchez until June of 1854 when the family left for Chicago. Stephen Page entered a partnership with a Mr. Fernald in Chicago, Illinois, and conducted a feed and grain business until the death of his partner in 1859. One daughter was born in Chicago while the family resided on Prairie Avenue. The family then moved to Champaign, Illinois, where they owned forty acres of land. Two more daughters were born in Champaign. After eight years in Champaign’s malarial climate, Stephen Page’s health failed. The family moved to Boone, Iowa, in 1867, the home of a relative, and purchased a farm. In Boone, Stephen’s health revived. Stephen Page was actively involved in the school system, served as County Supervisor, was a pillar of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Boone school building was named for Stephen Page after his death in August of 1894. Caroline Smith Page lived in Boone until her death in May of 1913.

Since Caroline Smith Page’s death in 1913, members of the family have served as teachers, engineers, bankers, doctors, and dentists. Succeeding generations can be found in Iowa, California, and Virginia.

The Caroline Smith Page papers consists of a nine page typed transcription of autobiography of Caroline Smith Page, two photographs of Caroline Smith Page, circa 1867 and 1890, a photo of Stephen R. Page circa 1890, a photo of the Page farmstead in Boone, Iowa, a copy of Stephen Rice Page’s obituary from the Boone County Democrat, August 29, 1894, and the transmittal letter of Anne and Edward McCarthy accompanying the deposit. Caroline Smith Page’s autobiography outlines her family background as a descendent on her mothers side of John McIntyre, a Scotch immigrant to the United States after the Revolutionary War, who settled in Chenango, Green County, NY, where he married Abigail Jackson. Brief note is made Abigail’s subsequent remarriage to a Hoyt after John McIntrye’s death. Her mother was Alice McIntrye, the daughter of John and Abigail. She traces her paternal descent to William Smith of Rye, Westchester County, NY, who, with his brother John, were left as orphans. The brothers were adopted by an unnamed farmer who apparently took their inheritance. There is a brief description of Caroline Smith’s education in the first class of the New York State Normal School at Albany, where she graduated in September 1845, and her subsequent teaching in public school in Troy, NY for four years.

Of interest to researchers is Caroline Page Smith’s description of racial relations in the South (5 typescript pages) after being hired to teach in the Natchez Institute in Mississippi in 1849. Her observations on the “negroes” who “wooded up” the steam boats on the Mississippi, the “servants,” Southerner’s term for slaves, who worked in the homes and fields, or the “black boy” who preceded white women riding to open gates for them, are particularly revealing. She gives a description of slavery on two plantations near Natchez, the Boyd plantation and the Leslie plantation. While she characterizes the Boyd plantation as one where there was “no whipping of slaves”, she details the brutality of the neighboring Leslie plantation where a slave killed his brutal master with an axe, the subsequent trial, and disappearance of the slave. As a northerner in the South, Caroline Smith Page felt some reluctance to speak on the issue of slavery with Southerners. She mentions the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the effect that it had on popular opinion, anti-slavery agitation in the North and that “colored preachers” in the South “were prophesying war between the North and the South, and the slaves would be freed....” Smith tells of an 1854 Yellow Fever epidemic in Natchez. Discomfort with slavery caused her and her husband Stephen to leave the South for Illinois.

The Autobiography contains brief accounts of the Page families stays in Chicago (1854-59?) and Champaign, Illinois (1859?-67), their eventual settling in Boone, Iowa (1867-)

The deposit letter from Anne (a great great grandniece of Caroline and Stephen Page) and Edward McCarthy provides information about the careers of descendants of the Pages in Iowa and California, including Isabel Brown Parker, great granddaughter of the Pages, her brothers who were doctors, engineers and bankers, and the grand children who work in Silicon Valley, California, including Dr. Christopher Parker, of Sacramento, who retains the family photo album.

This collection has no series.

All items in this collection were transferred to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives by Anne and Edward McCarthy.2001 August 21

Processed by: Geoffrey P. Williams in 2016.

Collection record created by: Gregory Wiedeman

Published: 2016 May 3

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Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Caroline Smith Page Family Papers, 1867-1905. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Caroline Smith Page Family Papers).