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[p. 11] The story of the clock Brooks received from his mother, who was Elizabeth Albree, daughter of John Albree. She received the clock in the division of the estate of her father, Joseph Albree, in 1777. At the same time, her brother, John Albree (1757-1842), received a silver spoon marked with the initials of the original John Albree and his wife: I. A. E. Each of these heirlooms has come down, and each has its particular injunction associated with it; that with the clock being that it shall always remain in the female line, and that with the spoon, that it shall always pass to the oldest son. The fact of these parallel heirlooms suggests that they have a common origin, which is readily seen to have been when the property of John Albree's only son was divided in 1777. Furthermore, that these were thus created heirlooms shows that they were then regarded as valuable relics of John Albree, the weaver, and as the date of the son's death was less than twenty years after that of the weaver, we find the traditions both as to spoon and clock existing at that time. Thus, we are pretty near to getting confirmation from the weaver himself. But these parallel traditions, each confirming the other, are not the only evidence, and in following the other lines, we get an insight into time keeping of two hundred years ago. Stated in its simplest form, the tradition is: ‘The orphans brought this clock.’ Different people would expand this statement in different ways, according to which word, orphans or clock, made the deeper impression. To Charles Brooks' sympathetic nature, the word orphans appealed. His history shows what a delightful man he was, always thoughtful and considerate of others. A series of family letters confirm impressions given by his history. Fortunate indeed is the man who can unconsciously, yet naturally, leave such an index of his character. But if the story were expanded on the word clock, it might be asked if there was anything strange or worthy of notice that the orphans should have arrived with a
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