Picked this up last weekend, mainly because of it's age, I admit. It did not pass through the mail system but seemed to be sent by favour. It is quite fragile, so I've scanned it and have placed it in a plastic sleeve. A letter from a brother to his sister. I'll try to transcribe later. But I love how he calls New York 'this great city of Gotham'.
Didn't see it until I scanned the inside, but interesting note about delivery.
'Direct you letters No. 26 Nassau St. care of B.E. Bliss it would be better to send them by Mr. Duychuich whenever he goes to Newark and father will send them to us thereby save postage'
Even then trying to do an end run around the post office.
I have been looking into this one. Was stonewalled on google, but contacted the New Jersey Postal History Society. A very nice woman has been in touch and given me a bunch of clues and info. First she found a genealogy website which lists the Duyckinck family near Lamington NJ. The area is full of Dutch settlers. This site lists Horace Holden (Horatio, our letter writer) as well as his sisters Emma Holden and Hannah Duyckinck who married Richard Bancker Duyckinck at Lamington. Hannah and Emma are listed at the end of the letter. The dates on the genealogy site match up with the people in the letter Hannah would have been 21 years of age, Emma 19, turning 20 the following august and Horace/Horatio would have been 17yrs old. Though Lamington is not mentioned in the letter there is a Sornerton or Lornerton Farms. The nice lady for NJPHS found some period newspaper articles mentioning a farm for sale in the area called Lomarton. I think variations in spelling were pretty common. The Holden's father, Levi, was a lieutenant in George Washington's bodyguard, later moving to Newark. I've transcribed the letter as best I can, and it describes landmarks in the area. Another interesting aspect of this letter is that the Lamington farm where the Duyckinck family lived passed down through a number of generations, the property being sold in 1917 to the Cowperthwaithe Family. In 1939 they built a new house, to be called Lamington House on the site of the old Duyckinck home. The Cowperthwaithe's maintained the property until 1981 when it was purchased by John DeLorean. When he declared bankruptcy in 1999 the property was purchased by a guy named Donald Trump. Oh, did I forget to mention that the property is in Bedminster Township? Mr Trump built his Bedminster golf course on the site. Lamington House became the clubhouse. Of course it's now known as his 'Summer Whitehouse'. So the bottom line is, this letter, delivered by hand in 1811 makes a connection, albeit rather tenuous, between US President Washington (#1) and US President Trump (#45). Further research is warranted!
OH, and I failed to mention, reference to New York City as Gotham appears, according to Wikipedia, to come from a Washington Irving book (the Salmagundi Papers) in 1807. This from Ms. Jean R. Walton, Secretary of the New Jersey Postal History Society. Thank you Jean, for everything!
Hey all! Remember the Duyckinck family of New Jersey? Picked up this letter today an it adds to this story, sort of. This letter, no envelope sadly, is addressed to Horace and Emily Duyckinck of Lamington NJ, Horace being the fourth child of Hannah and Richard mentioned in the letter shown above. It was sent in 1850 by their nephew Aaron L Stillwell, who was studying for the priesthood. Aaron would achieve his goal of becoming a minister but would sadly shuffle off this mortal coil at the age of 36 in 1864, according to Find-a-grave. It's interesting reading this letter how much he sounds like his great uncle Horace, in the 1811 letter.
Purchased from the same dealer I purchased the 1811 letter from last year. She has several other letters circa 1850-54 to Aunt Emily. I'm really tempted to complete the set, but she's not letting them go cheap, so I'm really going to have to think on it. I'm becoming very heavily invested, mentally, emotionally and financially in this family I've never met!
Oh! Did I ever tell you folks that I wrote an article about the 1811 letter for the New Jersey Postal History Society? Sorry, I may have neglected to do so. The last several months of my life have been a little topsy turvy. I suppose I should submit it to our local journal, but I think it would take a lot of editing down and concern about the sources of some images. So, since I'm so lazy, I'll post the link here to the society's website and you can read the article for yourselves, if you wish. You already got the synopsis above. Cover story! it starts on page 3