A Series of Eight Letters from Francis Waterman to Elizabeth Leland, 1924 – 1925.
Waterman was a Hartford resident, and a talented artist. The correspondence begins in December 1924. Waterman addresses Elizabeth as “Dear Miss Leland.” At the top of his letter he draws an ink and watercolor portrait of his house in Connecticut. He speaks of caring for his aged mother, mentions that he is sending Miss Leland a box of Christmas candies, and invites himself to visit her in Bar Harbor the next summer. He also mentions that he is “a worm – that is, a book worm” with a library of “several thousand volumes.” He heads the next letter, still to “Miss Leland” with a pastel or colored pencil sketch of a Gloucester schooner. He has sent her a copy of a Leland genealogy, and speaks of notable Lelands mentioned therein. All this by way of saying that he can find only two Watermans who “had the good sense to marry into the Leland family.” He speaks a bit about Gloucester and we get the sense that it is a place of refuge for him. The third letter, March 22, 1925, is headed with a handsome ink and pastel drawing of “Steam Trawlers in Gloucester Harbor.” The fourth letter, June 12, 1925, is headed by a hand colored drawing of Smith Cover made from Banner Hill. In the fifth letter, headed by the same colored view, he speaks of his impending visit to Bar Harbor. Things must have gone pretty well there, because the next letter, July 22, 1925, with a pencil sketch of Boothbay Harbor, is headed “Dearest Elizabeth.” In the next letter, not illustrated, he reveals himself to be Francis Ely Waterman, architect. This was probably information for some wedding announcement. In the next letter, also unillustrated, he tells her that he’ll be staying at the Hawthorne Inn in Gloucester. The final letter in this series, though written on Hawthorne Inn stationery, is headed with a colored pencil drawing of “View from my Bedroom Window, Boothbay Harbor.” He tells her he has purchased a 22 foot sloop, capable of the sail to Mt. Desert, and hopes she’ll enjoy it. The Waterman genealogy shows that he and Elizabeth were married in September of that year, and that they had two children (This source shows Elizabeth to be 24 years his junior!) A charming series of letters