The Yale Rector fan
L'éventail du Recteur de Yale
Copyright © 2003 - Place de l'Eventail / C. & P.H. B.
No picture may be used without our approval - Il est interdit d'utiliser les images sans notre autorisation
L'éventail ci-dessous a été acquis auprès d'un antiquaire de Providence (près du célèbre Cap Cod et non loin de Boston, Massachussets). Agréable par lui-même, il nous pose aussi plusieurs questions.... The fan you shall see below was bought from a Providence (MA) antiques dealer.
Pleasant by itself, it is also asking several questions...
Mais tout d'abord, regardons le. Let's have a look at it.
(No picture may be used without our approval - Il est interdit d'utiliser les images sans notre autorisation)
Cet éventail se trouve accompagné de deux papiers anciens (aussi anciens que lui ??)
L'un, séparé de l'éventail, semble assez explicite :
This fan comes with two pieces of paper (as old as it is?)
The first, separated from the fan, seems easy to understand:
s'agit du Revérend Elisha Williams, recteur du Collège de Yale de 1726 à 1739. Même loin des Etats Unis, on connait bien la fameuse université de Yale
Nous empruntons au site officiel de l'Université de Yale (www.yale.edu) ce bref historique :
The Reverend Elisha Williams was rector of Yale from 1726 to 1739.Yale University is well known all over the world.
We borrow to the official Yale University website (www.yale.edu) some historical facts.
Yale University was founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School in the home of Abraham Pierson, its first rector, in Killingworth, Connecticut. In 1716 the school moved to New Haven and, with the generous gift by Elihu Yale of nine bales of goods, 417 books, and a portrait and arms of King George I, was renamed Yale College in 1718. Yale embarked on a steady expansion, establishing the Medical Institution (1810), Divinity School (1822), Law School (1843), Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1847), the School of Fine Arts (1869), and School of Music (1894). In 1887 Yale College became Yale University. It continued to add to its academic offerings with the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (1900), School of Nursing (1923), School of Drama (1955), School of Architecture (1972), and School of Management (1974).
Une recherche un peu moins rapide nous apprend qui est Elisha Williams :
It is a little harder to find informations about Elisha Williams.
Elisha Williams, clergyman, born in Hatfield, Massachusetts, 24 August, 1694, son of Rev. William Williams of Deerfield. was graduated at Harvard in 1711, and studied law. After the Collegiate school of Connecticut (now Yale) was removed from Saybrook to New Haven, seine of the students refusing to obey the rules of government, Mr Williams was chosen to instruct such as wished to withdraw, and taught them at Wethersfield (Connecticut) for two years. He was ordained to the ministry at Newington, Oct 22, 1722, and served the church at Wethersfield till 1726, when he became president of Yale, holding office till 1739
He subsequently represented Wethersfield in the legislature, and was chosen a justice of the superior court. In 1745 he went to Cape Breton as chaplain of the Connecticut troops, and the next year, when an expedition was planned to Canada and a regiment of 1,000 men was raised in Connecticut, he was appointed its colonel. The troops were not called out, and in 1749 he went to England to solicit the royal government to pay the wages of the enlisted men that had held themselves in readiness to march for more than a year and a half. His mission was unsuccessful, but on his return he was employed in several public offices. Dr. Philip Doddridge, who was his intimate friend, said of him: "He possessed an ardent sense of religion, solid learning, and consummate prudence. I look upon him as one of the most valuable men on earth."
On February 23, 1713 or 14, he had married Eunice Chester b. Nov 22, 1685. They had 6 children. Eunice died May 3, 1750. Elisha went to England (or was he still there after his 1749 travel?) and married on 29 Jan 1751 in Norwich, England, Elizabeth SCOTT, daughter of Thomas SCOTT . She was born Abt. 1708, and died 13 Jun 1776.
Elisha Williams died 24 Jul 1755 in Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut.
(Résumé) Elisha Williams, né en 1694, devint clergyman, recteur de Yale puis politicien et même colonel. Il avait épousé Eunice Chester qui mourut en 1750, et épousa en 1751, en Angleterre, Elizabeth Scott. Il mourut le 25 Juillet 1755. Sa veuve épousa le juge William Smith, lui même veuf de Mary Het Smith décédée en 1754. Elisha Williams a laissé des ouvrages et sermons de quelque renom (notamment "The essential rights and liberties of the protestants, 1744) et fut le collègue dans ses activités électives du jeune Benjamin Franklin, que les Français connaîtront bien à la fin du siècle.
His widow Elizabeth married judge William Smith, himself widow of Mary Het, deceased in 1754.
Elisha Williams is still known for his homelies and books, especially "The essential rights and liberties of the protestants", 1744.
He was for a while a colleague of Benjamin Franklin, who was member of Pennsylvania delegation.
Le second papier est plus mystérieux. De la même écriture que l'autre, il se trouve noué par un fil comme on le voit ci-dessus à un brin, juste au dessous de la feuille. Nous n'avons jamais vu cela par ailleurs !!!
Que lisons nous sur ce papier (l'ayant dégagé d'entre les brins, non sans faire un peu souffrir la feuille !) ?
The second bit of paper is more mysterious. Obviously of the same hand than the other, it is firmly tied to a stick, at the junction with the leaf, in a way we have never seen elsewhere.
And after having extracted it from its place between two sticks - which has hurted a little the leaf !- what do we read ?
Les initiales, pour nous français du 21 ème siècle, peuvent être incertaines : J ou G ? ---S ou Y ? - Par contre, le 1751 ne fait pas de doute, et l'on pense donc aussitôt à une date : celle du mariage d'Elisha Williams et Elizabeth Scott.
D'où notre première question : que signifient les initiales ???
Quel dommage que la seconde Mrs Williams ne se soit pas appelée Jezabel ou Jennifer !!! Jezabel Scott Williams, voilà qui sonnait bien !
The initials, for us French people of the 21th century, may be uncertain: J or G ? - S or Y ? - On the other hand, the 1751 leads immediately to think to a date. Of course thatr of the marriage between Elisha Williams and Elizabeth Scott.
But here is our first question : what is the meaning of these initials ???
We would have wished that the second Mrs Williams would have been named Jennifer, or Jezabel !!! Jezabel Scott Williams ! Does'nt that sound well ?
Mais vous vous en doutez, nous avons d'autres questions concernant cet éventail !
Or course.... we have other questions about this fan !
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