Miss Bella Chapman
By R.H. Bundy
Albany, October 3rd, 1878.
193 Elm Street
From this handwritten inscription, we assume that this album was a gift to Arabella in the year 1878. She would have been just shy of 20 years old. It turned out to be a prized posession, one that was preserved over generations. But who was it that gave the young woman such a meaningful gift. The signature says “R.H. Bundy,” and while the gift seems to have been bestowed in Arabella’s home town of Albany, there is no sign of such an individual in that city.
One clue comes from the U.S. Census for 1880 and 1900 where we find an African American barber by the name of R.H. Bundy reported living in New York City, Manhattan to be precise. Might Bundy have been a family friend, someone who traveled to Albany from time to time? Only further research might tell.