Preface (3)

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Behold those Children at their play!
Lovelier than summer flowers,
Bright as the smiling face of day
And active as the hours.
Tell me your names, dear little child,
Tell me your brother’s too,
Those gentle one’s with feature’s mild,
Hearts innocent, and true: –
My name is Joseph. Alfred his,
And Peter, is this little boy;
We are our Mother’s greatest bless: –
Our father’s dearest joy.
O happy Parent’s! lead them in
The path-way of the just;
Teach them to shun the haunts of sin,
In God (ever) to trust.
April, 1833. Charles

The contributor of this poem is the ambiguous “Charles,” who writes of Amy Cassey’s children Joseph, Alfred, and Peter, whom she had with her first husband, Joseph Cassey. The poem begins as praise of her children and concludes with a reminder of a parent’s responsibility to lead a child along the correct path. Throughout the poem, the author’s voice switches to the child Joseph’s voice and back again, seeming to indicate at least an acquaintance between the author and the Cassey children. In evoking them as characters, the contributor has expanded the scope of the album to include her immediate family. As a result, Cassey’s personal identity, in addition to her social and political personas, influence the content of her album as well.

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