59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the Serena P. Hall Correspondence, 1801, 1841-1859

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard Museum, Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
Call NumberRU 442
Creator Hall, Serena P., 1809-
TitleSerena P. Hall correspondence
Date1801, 1841-1859
Extent1/2 box (0.252 cubic feet)
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractThe collection was created by Serena P. Hall, who was born in Edgartown in 1809 and moved with her family to Ohio circa 1820. It contains correspondence sent to island relatives and a copy of a journal kept during an 1855 visit to Martha's Vineyard.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to the library's staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 442, Serena P. Hall Correspondence.

Acquisition Information

The immediate source of acquisition and date of accession are unknown.


Hall, Serena (Pease Dunham). "A Native Returns to the Island in 1855 to Find…Cousins by the Dozens, but Not Enough Praying." In Dukes County Intelligencer 47:2 (November 2005): 39-61.

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Insley Julier March 2013. Machine-encoded by Nathaniel Janick April 2014.

 Creation of this finding aid was sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Index Terms


  • Correspondence
  • Diaries

Geographic Name(s)

  • Amelia (Ohio)
  • Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)--Description and travel
  • Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)--Religious life and customs
  • Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)--Social life and customs

Personal Name(s)

  • Pease, Jeremiah, 1792-1857
  • Pease, Isaiah Dunham, 1786-1862


  • Religion--Massachusetts--Martha's Vineyard

Biography/Historical Note

Serena Pease Dunham Hall was born in Edgartown, Massachusetts, on July 21, 1809 to Mahala Pease Dunham, 1777-1850, and Seth Dunham, 1778-. Around 1820 the family left the island, moving to Ohio, where Hall grew up. In 1828 Serena Dunham married Sylvanus Hall, 1787-1846. It was Sylvanus Hall's second marriage. The pair had three children; Mahala, William and Lavina. They lived in Amelia, Ohio. Widowed by 1855, Serena Hall returned to the island of her birth for a visit. Staying for a few months, she spent much of her time calling on family members and attending religious services. She returned to Ohio via South Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where she stayed with relatives. Hall's 1855 trip was her last known visit to the island. She remained in Ohio until her death, which occurred sometime between 1860 and 1870. Her exact death date is unknown.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection created by Serena P. Hall of Ohio contains correspondence, 1841-1859, sent to relatives living on Martha's Vineyard, and a copy of a diary kept during an 1855 visit to the island. The bulk of the correspondence is addressed to Serena Hall's cousin, Isaiah D. Pease. There are also two letters to other family members, namely Hall's uncle, Noah Pease, 1754-1841, and a cousin, Silvanus Pease. These two letters are also signed by Serena Hall's mother, Mahala Dunham. Additionally, there are two letters from Serena Hall's son William, addressed to Isaiah D. Pease, informing the latter of Serena Hall's 1855 departure from Ohio to Martha's Vineyard. The copy of Hall's 1855 diary, which she sent to her cousin Isaiah D. Pease, describes island outings, religious services and the many relatives that Hall encountered during her visit. The 56 page diary is littered with religious exhortations and prayers, and Hall shows particular concern regarding the religious values of those around her. Excerpts of this diary copy have been reproduced in a November 2005 issue of the Dukes County Intelligencer.


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Collection Contents


Wilde, Samuel S. to Fales and Athearn, 1801 


Note: This letter does not appear to be related to the collection.,  

Pease, Noah, 1841 


Pease, Silvanus, 1844 


Pease, Isaiah D., 1846-1859, undated 


Copy of a Diary of a Voyage to Martha's Vineyard, 1855