Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Tillinghast document surfaces

No doubt, Lovecraft was fixated on the Tillinghast name. Here are some brieft excerpts, and a real life Tillinghast document. Looking at it, and others like it, one quickly sees the leap of weird imagination that Lovecraft employed. It's an innocent clerical document, but HPL would have churned some insidious plot of madness from it's faded ink.
Ward's great-great-grandfather Welcome Potter had in 1785 married a certain 'Ann Tillinghast, daughter of Mrs. Eliza, daughter to Capt. James Tillinghast,' of whose paternity the family had preserved no trace. - The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

Horrible beyond conception was the change which had taken place in my best friend, Crawford Tillinghast. - From Beyond

... the swarthy Etienne Roulet, less apt at agriculture than at reading queer books and drawing queer diagrams, was given a clerical post in the warehouse at Pardon Tillinghast's wharf, far south in Town Street. - The Shunned House

Description: An original large printed and manuscript completed document dated June 8, 1797 transfering property in Providence, Rhode Island, from Silas Covell and his wife Rebeckah of Troy, New York to Squire Thurber of Providence. The property in question located in area of Constitution and Benefit Streets, near what is today Brown University. Also attestation of Rebeckah that she agrees to surrender the Right of Dower and Power of Thirds to which she is entitled to allow this transfer to occur, witnessed by Justice Thomas Sickels. A fine example of a property transfer from a day when women and wives had few legal rights. Notice of recording by Providence Town Clerk George Tillinghast. Size 13 x 16

Tillinghast's signature is seen in bold script in the bootom right of one page above.

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