Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Darling Sugar Lump

"Sure as the vine grows 'round the stump,
You are my darling sugar lump."

"When you get married,
And your wife is cross,
Come to my house and eat applesauce."

"Remember me you must, you must,
As long as your teeth can chew a crust."

These charming rhymes come to us courtesy of a number of vintage autograph albums that are on display at the Museum through the end of the year.

Autograph albums came to the United States with German immigrants during the 19th century, and were popular especially among young women from the 1870s through the 1910s. The oldest album in our exhibit dates to 1849. It belonged to Eugenia Zieber, who later married Asahel Bush II. She was a student at a boarding school in Pennsylvania before coming to Oregon with her family in 1851. The people who signed her album copied elegant poetry in their finest handwriting; some of the entries are written in German.

Entries in later autograph albums were shorter but still sentimental, or just silly.

"I wish you health,
I wish you wealth,
I wish you golden shore.
I wish you heaven after Death,
What can I wish you more?"

"When you see a rabbit run up a tree,
Pull his tail and think of me."

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