Lucy Skinner was born in Granby, Connecticut in about 1801. Twenty years later she married Alexander H. Griswold (1792-1881), also a native of Granby. The only other detail about Lucy’s life I have been able to find is that she died in 1845. For women’s history, this is fairly average.
Women’s history may be hidden, but it does exist. Tucked within a collection of Alexander’s Griswold’s papers (Ms 74356) are two lists of items owned by Lucy Skinner Griswold. Of the two lists, only one is dated. The first list is labeled “Distributed to Lucy Skinner.” A two page document, each line contains a description of an item, how many are included, and the value. Some of the items she received were a bird’s eye towel (50¢), 2 1/4 yards of tow towels (at 30 cents/yard, 67.5¢), a striped Italian lutestring gown ($6), and a white-faced cow ($21). Several promissory notes, of various amounts, are also listed. Based on her belongings, Lucy Skinner came from a well-to-do family. This may also be illustrated by the land she was given, 17 1/4 acres estimated at $799.50.
On April 9, 1829 Lucy Griswold’s father compiled a list of property set off to his daughter. No reason for the gift is given; perhaps he would no longer be keeping house. The items listed range from a 6¢ tin funnel to $23.38 worth of bed quilts, blankets, and similar. She also received a tin pail. Not just any tin pail, but the best tin pail, valued at 67¢.
These lists paint a picture not often available, but certainly of value. The other papers in Alexander’s collection include deeds, bills and receipts, papers referring to the local school district, and a list of notes due to him. All of this is open for research. Come visit!