Of Portraits, Porcelain, and Places
Glimpses of Maria Rogers' Life Beyond her Letters
Bedford Historical Society
Maria Rogers probably purchased the trunk between 1810 and 1825 for her maidenhood travels. Maria's initials changed from M R to M A after her marriage to Joseph Ambler in 1827.
As revealed in Susan Knapp's letters to Maria Rogers, some young middle class women in the early nineteenth century traveled distances as great as hundreds of miles to call on friends, attend religious revivals, or visit tourist attractions. Susan's trip to Saratoga Springs lasted for a few weeks, a time period which alludes to the importance of well-labeled and securely latched luggage to ensure that stylish women, such as Susan and Maria, wore proper attire on reaching desired destinations.
Close-up of riveted M, former R location visible despite missing metal hardware.

The monogram provides a clue to Maria's character as a young woman, that Maria aspired to travel often enough to need and want her luggage personalized.