Recollections of a Varied Career
CHAPTER VI - MARRIAGE
took the boat for Baltimore, where we heard that the Confederates were crossing the
Potomac, after their victories of the Second Bull Run and Chantilly. I kept on east as
fast as trains would carry me, and reaching Boston Friday, the 12th, learned that my
father and mother, together with Miss Joy (to whom I had become engaged by
correspondence) and her father and mother, were in New York, hoping to meet me on
the arrival of the Guide. Telegrams were sent and they reached home late Saturday
night, when the hardships and perils of war were temporarily forgotten in the pleasure of
Here I should perhaps explain that Miss Joy was the daughter by adoption of the Hon.
David Joy, of Nantucket, Mass., and an old schoolmate at the Hopedale Home School.
Her own father was a descendant of a brother of General Warren, who fell at Bunker
Hill, and her mother was a daughter of Captain Alexander Bunker, who was said to have
brought more oil into Nantucket than any other skipper and had a record of 229 sperm
whales killed with his own hand. Her father and mother both died when she was very
young, and she was adopted, as before said, by Mr. and Mrs. Joy, who were wealthy for
that day and spent their time largely in travel in Europe and elsewhere. Mr. Joy was a
retired ship owner, and had been a member of Governor Everett's Council. Both he
and Mrs. Joy were prominent in reform movements previous to the war, and their
sympathy with such ideas caused them to send their daughter to school in Hopedale.
After her graduation there they traveled in Europe for two years, during which time we
kept up a desultory correspondence, and they returned to America shortly before my
enlistment. The correspondence continued after that event and resulted in an
engagement; and this was our first meeting under the new conditions.
The next day, Sunday, was spent as might be imagined under the circumstances.
After a family council we came to the conclusion that it would be better for us to be
married before my return to the army, since Lilla would then be privileged to visit and
care for me in case I should be ill or wounded. This settled, it was decided that we
should be married the next evening, the 15th of September, as I felt obliged to leave for
the seat of war Tuesday. Monday I visited Governor Andrew at Boston, to transact
certain military business and to obtain, if possible, definite knowledge of the location of
my regiment. Concerning the latter I could learn nothing certainly, but I received an
order to join it with the least possible delay. I was unable to return home till the last train
and did not reach the house till seven P.M., the hour of the wedding being eight. At the
appointed hour, or a little later, the ceremony was performed by my good friend, Rev.
Adin Ballou, of whom I have before written, our immediate families and Mrs. Ballou being
the only wedding guests. My wife, like many other brides, wore a dress from Paris, --
not ordered for the occasion, but purchased by her there a year before, while traveling.
I was arrayed in a new uniform, with huge captain's straps upon the shoulders, a pair of
new cavalry boots and white cotton gloves completing the inventory. We were not
married upon as long notice or in as much style as might be considered desirable to-
day, but I don't think we lived the less happily for want of either. My age at the date of
my marriage was twenty years and five months, and my wife was nearly seventeen
months younger, -- and from my experience I can recommend early marriages.
It may be well to state my pecuniary circumstances at this time, when that kind of
calculation is often made. I had continued my economical living, and sent home my
savings, so that I had about $900 in my father's hands. My wife was promised $1,000
by her father when we should start housekeeping, if we ever did, and my salary as
captain was at the rate of $1,500 per annum. These figures of principal did not seem to
us in the least small, and the income appeared to be, and in fact was, far beyond our
needs, under the existing circumstances. We had more important matters to consider
than those which are vital to most young couples.
The day after my marriage was spent in preparations for departure, and in the
afternoon train I left for the seat of war, my wife and father accompanying me. We
proceeded to New York, via Norwich; arrived at Jersey City early in the morning; and
waited in the depot for the departure of the train. The dreaded time came at last, and,
giving a parting kiss to my newly made wife and a grasp of the hand to my father, I was
borne out of the depot and away toward the South. From the beginning of Chapter
VI, pp. 77 - 79, in General Draper's autobiography, Recollections of a Varied
William and Lilla Draper and their daughter, Edith, for sending it.
Joy. First husband of Charlotte Austin. A prominent whaling merchant and owner of a
candle -making factory. He co-founded the Nantucket Athenaeum in 1833. He and
fellow member Charles G. Coffin of the United Library Association offered to buy land
and build a 'substantial building' for the Association to use. He was elected as
Nantucket's Representative to the General Court in 1834 and 1837; Member of the
Governor's Council in 1838; He was an abolitionist. In 1870 he and his wife moved to
Ventnor, Isle of Wright where he died five years later.You may view his photographic
portrait in the Nantucket Historical Association collection.
CHARLOTTE AUSTIN JOY, of Nantucket Island, should be mentioned amid reformers;
for she was one of the early anti-slavery, temperance, and dress-reform advocates, and
her zeal has never abated. For many years she wore the reform costume, and was
numbered among the vegetarians and hydropathists. Several late years have been
spent on the Isle of Wight (ministering to an invalid husband, Hon. David Joy of
Nantucket, who was in sympathy with all reforms), where she presided over temperance
gatherings, and with her pen and in other ways aided more active reformers. At her
husband's death she returned to America, visited California, and is now at home in
Hopedale, near Milford, Mass., among many noble and earnest reformers who once
formed there a semi-religious community ready for every good word and work.
Source: page 351, Women of the Century, by Phoebe A. Hanaford, 1876.
1816, MI; lived in Nashua, NH; d. 1850, CA) and Lydia Downs Bunker of Nantucket. Her
mother died in 1848 at age 28, when Lilla was only six years-old. Lilla was adopted by
David and Charlotte Joy of Nantucket. Her father then went to California, possibly for
the "Gold Rush," in 1849 and died there a year later.
Lydia’s grandfather, Alexander Downs Bunker, was a whaling captain from Nantucket.
The whaling industry gradually died out with the discovery of electricity. Whale oil faded
out as a lantern fuel. Alexander Bunker retired from whaling to become the first
lighthouse keeper at Sankaty Head Light (1850-1860).
Wounded at the Battle of The Wilderness HOME