Of Portraits, Porcelain, and Places
Glimpses of Maria Rogers' Life Beyond her Letters
Bedford Historical Society
Maria Rogers' leather covered trunk with metal lock ring, side handles, and decorative rivets on leather trim.

Built for an era of mainly stage coach and some boat travel, the wooden framed trunk offered longevity and sturdiness, while adding great weight to luggage transport. Manufacturers designed the trunk to be carried by two people, as evinced by the two side handles and lack of a center handle on the cover.

Susan's letters rarely allude to Maria's travels other than the occasional reflection on when the two woman last met. But based on Susan's recounted trips, some young early nineteenth century women traveled great distances to call on friends, see such tourist attractions as Niagara Falls and the Erie Canal, and attend religious revivals.
The date of trunk purchase is not known, estimated only to between 1810 and 1815 based on the MR insignia. Maria likely used a similar piece of luggage when she traveled to Bedford to live with her uncle, Benjamin Isaacs, around 1815 and thereafter when visiting her mother in Dutchess County, New York. Whether Maria took such a large trunk when traveling to Greenwich, Connecticut, eleven miles outside Bedford, to see Susan would have depended on the length of her stay.

Wood frame visible beneath worn leather of trunk. Interior possibly originally lined with fabric. The trunk could have been used by Maria for storage of clothing or linens when not used for travel.