Sarah Belville early nineteenth-century friendship album

Biographical and Historical Notes

Sarah Louisa Belville was born on November 1, 1804, in New Castle, Delaware. As a young woman, she resided in Christiana, Delaware.

In the late 1820s or early 1830s, Belville married Horace Pease, a miller, and moved to Dayton, Ohio. Her children, all of whom were born in Ohio, include Walter Belville Pease, Charles Edward Pease, Mary Josephine Stockstill, Harriet Buchanon Clegg, and Anna Elizabeth Phillips. Her son Francis Pease died in infancy in 1835.

Sarah Pease died on May 15, 1862, and was burried in the Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum in Dayton, Ohio.


"Sarah Pease," U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current., accessed April 25, 2017.

"Horace Pease," U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current., accessed April 25, 2017.

"Francis Pease," U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current., accessed April 25, 2017.

1850 United States Federal Census., accessed April 25, 2017.

Additional information derived from the collection.

Scope and Contents

The Sarah Belville early nineteenth-century friendship album is filled with poems, tributes, and classical quotations from Belville's friends, who sometimes sign or initial, give their location, and date their contributions. The contributors are largely located in Wilmington, Delaware, or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An entry from July 1829 is titled, "To Miss Belville on her leaving Wilmington." This may mark her marriage to Horace Pease or move to Dayton, Ohio.

The front page bears the title: "Sarah Belville of Christianna, Delaware." Underneath is the dedication, "This Book presented by a particular friend To Sarah Louisa B." Written in cursive or decorative calligraphic hands, the bulk of the text is in ink, with some seemingly later additions in pencil. Several of the entries have decorative titles, such as one titled “The Album,” that includes a small color illustration of a friendship album at the top.

The passages focus on themes of nature, solitude, religious imagery, love, and friendship. The later pencil additions include notes from Belville’s daughter “Hattie” and son “WM. Pease.” Entries begin in 1828 and continue into the 1830s. However, the last entry is dated May 20th, 1852, from Mary Josephine Pease, Belville’s daughter.

The volume has red leather cover boards with a framed gold motif on both sides and marbled endpapers. “SARAH BELVILLE” is stamped in gold on the cover. The page of the first entry is cut into a decorative pattern. A pressed flower can be found towards the front of the volume.