On the evening of March 21, 1878, Franklina finally married her "dear Mr. Bartlett." As Franklina had planned, the wedding was a small affair. Witnessed by a dozen friends and family members, Franklina and William stood in the bay window of the mansion known today as Camron-Stanford House and were married.
They were surrounded by the art Hewes collected on the Grand Tour, ensuring that the couple was "married in the midst of the reminders of the old world" that Franklina loved.
(Pictured: The wedding invitation of Franklina Gray and William S. Bartlett, 1878, Camron-Stanford House Collection, gift of Tracey Bartlett, 2018)
Determined as she was to do more than what was expected of women in her day, Franklina did not let marriage get in the way of her educational goals. While abroad she wrote to William:
I propose studying the history of art, not its technicalities. I do not intend teaching, I propose giving art lectures, say twice a week to a class of young ladies. It is a deplorable need in our country."
Letter, Sunday, May 27, 1877, Paris, France
Following her return to Oakland society, Franklina joined the Ebell Society for the Advancement of Women. The Ebell Society originated in Oakland in 1876 and was the country's first self-education club for women.
Excited to apply and expand her Grand Tour education, Franklina agreed to teach the group's Art Section. She also presented art lectures at nearby Mills College.
(Pictured: Franklina C. Gray at her writing desk, circa 1878, Camron-Stanford House Collection.)
Franklina was also approached about having her travel journal published as a book.
Mr. Hewes has been to see about having my diary published. They ask a thousand dollars for a thousand copies. The book will have to be re-written first, a charming work for this winter. I feel impatient to be at it."
Letter, Friday, October 5, 1877, Boston, MA
Though it was not accomplished in her lifetime, Franklina's Grand Tour era diary and letters were indeed published in 2019 by the Camron-Stanford House. One wonders how she may have felt about this – in 1876 she wrote:
The whole thing is so utterly personal, so much of me and mine that it would seem like putting myself quite before the public."
Letter, September 1876, Vienna, Austria.
(Pictured: Front page of Franklina C. Gray's Grand Tour journal, 1875, Camron-Stanford House Collection, gift of Tracey Bartlett, 2018. Inscription reads: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;" xxxxx "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.")
One of Franklina's greatest struggles was the battle between her own ambitions and her roles as a daughter and, later, as a wife. Hoping that a warmer climate would do something to ease Matilda's continuing bad health, the Heweses and the Bartletts moved to Orange County in 1881.
Franklina and William purchased the house pictured here, and named it "Fenton Knoll" in homage to Franklina's grandmother's estate in Virginia.
In her letters, Franklina often wrote to William of her desires for a "home, however humble." The once-poor banker clearly did well for himself and his wife, as Fenton Knoll was certainly grander than the "little cottage," Franklina claimed to have settled for.
(Pictured: Fenton Knoll, Los Angeles, CA, courtesy of the USC Digital Archive.)
As William advanced his banking career, Franklina resumed writing for publication. Her articles and stories appeared in the Overland Monthly, among other publications.
Perhaps her acquaintance with Charles Stoddard while traveling in Egypt was the catalyst for her entry into Southern California journalism as it was Stoddard who co-founded the Overland Monthly in 1868.
Keeping to her dedication to women's education, Franklina interested her new friends in starting the Ebell Society of Sana Ana Valley. Franklina served as the club's director and president.
That said, Franklina managed to balance her homely duties with her career goals. She and William had three children together: Lanier, Matilda Franklina, and Gordon.
(Pictured: Franklina Bartlett with her son, Lanier, and daughter, Matilda Franklina, circa late 1880s, Camron Stanford House Collection.)
Franklina survived her mother, her youngest son (passed at only 17 years old), her husband (died of heart failure in 1914), and her much-admired step-father (Hewes lived to the age of 93!). Franklina remained at Fenton Knoll for another 20 years, surrounded by family and friends, enjoying life as a mother, grandmother, writer, and local civic and social leader. She was at home, what she had "longed for, after the constant worry and annoyance of this wandering life."
At the time of her death, on December 27, 1934, the young Victorian woman who had struggled to reconcile her personal ambitions with her familial responsibilities had succeeded, admirably.
(Pictured: Franklina C. Gray, age 21, in a Milanese Lace Mantilla, purchased in Milan during her Grand Tour. Camron-Stanford House Collection)
Franklina C. Gray: The Grand Tour
An Online Exhibit Presented by Camron-Stanford House
Online Exhibit Curated By: Rowan Robertson-Smith
Based on the original Camron-Stanford House Exhibit, 2019.
Gratitude to Ann Swift (Research/Story Development and Curator)
Many thanks to the original Exhibit Committee: Iliana Morton (Objects Curator, Exhibit Coordinator), Jenny Heffernon (Preperator), Chris Read (Installation), Rebecca LeGates (Graphic Design), Chelsea Burton, Vicki Jacobs, Linda Nack, Katherine Purev, Alisa Thorp (Exhibit and Book Development)
This exhibit made possible by generous contributions from Tracey Ann Bartlett, Ann Swift, Jean and Jeff Wieler, The Grand Parlor of the Native Daughters of the Golden West, and the members of the Camron-Stanford House Preservation Association.
Camron Stanford House, 2021 www.cshouse.org