In honor of our last booksale, today’s artifact is… well, a book.  This slim volume of religious commentary was given to Margaret Beall (1817-1901) in 1832, when she was about 15 years old.  Margaret was the youngest daughter of Upton Beall, whose house in Rockville serves as our main museum.  She lived in this house all of her live (except for some years spent at school in Georgetown), yet this is one of only a very few artifacts we can trace directly to her.  The book, The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation by A. Fuller (it has a much longer title, actually, but that’s the start and the main point) was published in 1809.  The flyleaf is inscribed first with “Rob. P. Magruder 1817” and below it, “Presented to Margaret Beall, W. Magruder, August 1832.”  The book is on display in the museum, but the inscription isn’t visible – thus I thought it would be worthy of a “museum spotlight” post.Margaret's book

This was part of an assortment of books – school texts, children’s stories, literature sets, and the like – that languished for many years in a kind of limbo between the museum and library collections, until I asked a high school intern to start cataloging them.  Fun job, right?  (Well, I do find it fun, but not everyone does.)  She tackled it with enthusiasm, and was rewarded by her discovery of Margaret’s book, which no one still working at the Society knew we owned.  “I think this might go with the house?” was how she phrased it, I believe, and great was our excitement.  As I mentioned in the red cabinet post a few weeks ago, we don’t have much that “goes with the house.”   Every artifact that can help us tell the Beall family’s story is worthy of excitement (although it’s possible we startled our intern). 

p.s.  I have not looked up these particular Magruders yet, as it is a large family.  Any Magruder fans (genealogy fans, that is, although of course fans of the high school can write in too) with input feel free to comment!

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