Civil War Period Leather Satchel Id’d to a Connecticut Citizen


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Civil War Period Leather Satchel Id’d to a Connecticut Citizen – Although often referred to as a physician’s bag, these leather satchels were most often utilized by civilians throughout the U.S., just prior to and during the Civil War, as a means of carrying their small possessions or securing personal valuables. This smaller suitcase style satchel is constructed of a quality, lacquered leather and lined in a high grade, red, Moroccan leather. The closure clasp is brass, with a figured, American eagle as the integral part of the locking mechanism; the lock still functions and the original key is with the satchel. The bottom of the bag has four large, brass buttons that allow the case to sit upright when it is placed on a flat surface; of interest, is the name inked on one side of the red leather interior of the case:

Mrs. Harriet C. Fish



Mrs. Fish was indeed a citizen of Bloomfield, Connecticut and appears on the U.S. Census of 1870, as maintaining an occupation of “keeping house”. Harriet Fish was born in 1830, in Massachusetts. This bag or satchel appears to date to the mid-19th century. The satchel remains in superior condition; the leather, both exterior and interior is supple, with no breaks or cracks; there is some “alligatoring” in some isolated areas of the bag, but not flaking – the leather finish remains firmly affixed; the handle to the satchel is no longer present.

Measurements: Width – 12.5″; Height – 8.5″

Name Harriet C Fish

Age in 1870: 40

Birth Date: 1830

Birthplace: Massachusetts

Dwelling: Number142

Home in 1870: Bloomfield, Hartford, Connecticut

Race: White

Gender: Female

Post Office: Bloomfield

Occupation: Keeping House

Inferred Spouse: H Goodwin Fish

Inferred Children: Charles G Fish Walter C Fish Edward L Fish

Household Members (Name) Age
H Goodwin Fish 42
Harriet C Fish 40
Charles G Fish 14
Walter C Fish 9
Edward L Fish 2