Saturday, June 11, 2022







GANSEVOORT Around January 1  Maria Melville writes to her brother Peter, a letter now mutilated, but datable by references to January at least--and it has to be 1862 or 63 or 64 or 65, months after the war started.

          I received your New Year's gift yesterday, many thanks for it . . .

          Mr McCartney preaches for us once a Sabbath he gives us good Sermons, but he is in my opinion, deficient in his duties as a watchful Pastor.

          He seems to think his sermons will do the work of regenerating his congregation . . .

          But he is a cheerful Christian living a life of Trust, equal to the celebrated George Muller.

          His eldest son is now in Harrisburgh in the Hospital, he was wounded in both arms at . . .  he was carried to Richmond as a prisoner, treated shamefully, was parolled after six weeks, & is now unable to do any thing, quite an invalid . . .



BROOKLINE January 1  George Griggs writes a New Year's letter to Susan Gansevoort, a fragment of which survives; with his good wishes he apparently asks for photographs, to be sent to his business address, 5 Court Street, Boston. HP

NYPL-GL Box 154


BATH, ME. January 2  Aunt Lucy Nourse writes to Augusta, at Gansevoort:

          A Happy New Year to you all,--Many thanks for the pretty Collars, which arrived safe & will be worn with pleasure by Aunt Lucy,--

          Your Mother's kind letter was duly received, my love to her & thank her, for her remembrance of me.  We were so glad to hear of Herman's emended condition, to be able to use his arm must be a comfort, their moving to the centre of the town, must greatly add to their enjoyment.  While you were all, one family, it was a delightful residence at 'Arrow Head' but when Herman & Lizzie were left alone, it must have been very lonely, especially in the winter season.  It is no doubt a disappointment not seeing dear Tom this winter, as you expected, perhaps another Summer we may see him in Gansevoort, if he does not visit us in Maine--a pleasure we have long anticipated.  I often hear of Helen from Mary, they see each other frequently.  You know Mary was boarding this winter at the 'Norfolk House' in Roxbury, they having let their house till May.  They like boarding so much I fear they will be unwilling to resume the cares of housekeeping.--

          I had a letter from Aunt Helen a few days ago, they were in usual health, I think the past year, her health has been better.  I spent a week with her in June, which was so pleasant to us both, have seen her [but] twice since,the last time, [was] when in Boston to attend your Aunt Priscilla's funeral.  I can not realize that we shall never see her more.  I regret not having been with her, in her last illness, it seems so sad, to think she had no near friend with her in her last hours.--Aunt Jean was not well, when we heard, hope she is better ere this.  Our own family are well, we hear often from the absent ones.  Uncld D'Wolf is remarkably well, always in good spirits & looking on the bright side, every cloud has a 'Silver lining' for him.--

          Am so glad the Photographs of your Grandparents gave you so much pleasure.  Nancy was so anxious all the grandchildren should have them, they are perfect likenesses.  You do not remember them, but your dear Mother still remembers them with affection.  They loved her as an own child.--I have not yet received your long promised Photograph, Augusta, & am almost offended with you for being so neglectful of your promise.  Helen has not sent me hers.  My book is almost full, if they do not come soon, they will have to be put with friends, instead, of relatives, this threat, will surely bring them.  I have two 'Albums,' one for all my family, & the other for friends.  I have an excellent likeness of cousin Nancy.  You must write her for me, --Uncle Amos sends love--

          Annie I suppose has gone back to New York, she spent Thanksgiving at home, am glad she visits at Allan's, for having left so pleasant a home, she must feel the want of kind friends.  Gerty is to live in New York, Mr. Scudder being established there. 

          Dear girls, I have written a very stupid letter, will try next time to do better.  Yesterday,  I spent the day out & am a little tired.  Do excuse this.  My love to your mother . . .



NEW YORK  First Lieutenant Henry S. Gansevoort (stationed at Fort Hamilton) writes to his cousin Allan Melville:

          The following is exactly what I wish to have done if possible

          I[.]  Leave of absence from my Regiment in the Regular service to take a Command less than that of a Colonel in the Volunteers.


          II[.]  Position on Staff of Major Genl that will give me at least the rank of Major.

Both of these are in the power of the War Dept. and altho I cannot point out any particular vacancies for staff officers, still the Secretary of War could be asked to make such appointment with rank of Major as a personal favor.  The Secretary would attend to the particular vacancy to be filled by the appointment.  I understand Mr Lathers has not yet left for Washington.  Would he undertake to do either of the above.  LC-Lathers


1863  Move to end of 1862 then sort into place by the last battle date

After February 25  Richard Lathers makes a "Memorandum":

Lieut. Gansevoort accompanied his Battery (of 5th Artillery) to Yorktown with Army of Potomac under Genl McClellan and through the Penisula Campaign to and from Richmond--Also under Genl Pope at second battle of Manassas & also at South Mountain and Antietam  At the Battle of Antietam he commanded the Battery and was in Gen; Hookers Corps  He was taken sick shortly before Battle of Fredericksburgh and came home on leave, and as soon as he recovered was ordered by General Brown, Col. 5th Artillery to duty at Fort Hamilton.

          He has the promise of the first vacancy in the line by Governor Seymour in the volunteers, provided he gets leave from War Department.  LC-Lathers



GLENS FALLS January 3  George Curtis writes to his wife's cousin, Augusta Melville:

          Should the skies be any way as genial, on Monday, as this day, you may be sure, I will be over for you--That is, unles Cousin Len claims the pleasure, of which, I doubt, as he is a self sacrificing man.--


BROOKLINE January 1  Helen Griggs writes to her Aunt Susan, a portion of which survives, misplaced in Box 311 NYPL-GL:

          . . . Christmas has gone, and New Years Day is going, and they have not come.  May I thus remind you, that I treasured the promise, and have left spaces in my Christmas gift of a Photograph album, for their reception.

          I am the more anxious, since Uncle De Wolf, who through his wife is in possession of the life like portraits of my Grandfather & Grandmother Melville, had a quantity struck off this winter, and sent them to each grand-child.  And I should feel much honest pride and pleasure in being able to show all four of my grandparents and such grandparents too!

          If I erred in thinking it a serious promise, forgive my presumption . . .

NYPL-GL Box 311



Dan added 5 Feb 98:

GANSEVOORT January 7  Fanny Melville writes to Kate Gansevoort:

          . . . [declines invitation for Maria to visit Albany on the following Sunday, Communion Sabbath saying she "would not be able to leave home again so soon"]

          As for our share of the invitation, Kate, our family is so small that we have declined all our many pressing invitation[sic] to leave home this winter, as it is rather lonely for two in this big house at this season of the year, in this quiet spot.

          Your account of the Sunday School New Year's Eve celebration interested us all.  Those three trees loaded with gifts must have looked finely; how pleasant it is to watch children on such an occasion, they always appear so happy.

          When I was in Lawrence last spring I attended the Easter Festival in the Episcopal church and was exceedingly interested in watching the different expressions of the children as they came forward to receive their presents from the hand of Dr Packard.  In our school here, the children received cards or some little token of that kind, the Sunday before Christmas.  We have always wanted to get up a "tree" on one of these occasions, and hope one of these coming years to be able to . . .

          Did Aunt Susan receive a letter from Helen recently?--She is so anxious about the photo-graphs from our grand parents portraits, that in one of her letters to us she said she was going to write that very day.  I was writing Kate yesterday & told her that you hoped soon to be able to send each of your cousins a set.  As for the different directions you ask for, I will give them now while I think of it--

          Helen's should be, "Care of George Griggs 5 Court Street Boston."

          Kate's, "Care of John C. Hoadley New Beford Mass."

          Cousin Kate Curtis, Care of George Curtis, Glens Falls. N: York.

          As for Leonard and Stanwix the address to Glen's Falls, would be enough  Guert is at the Navy Yard, but as his business takes him all over, I suppose that best way would be to send them to Cousin Kate and she could direct them right.

          I long for the pleasure of placing mine in my Album . . .

          Henry must enjoy his unexpected stay in New York, after his long absence.  Perhaps you will see him again, before he joins the army--Our "World" has just arrived and the "good news" from the West is decidedly encouraging, Gen. Rosecrans has met with complete success!--but how fearful it is to think of the terrible loss of life!  As we do not take a daily paper, we are overwhelmed with the "news" twice a week, & I often find it as much as I can accomplish to read all I wish to do . . .

          Don't forget to send me a set for Tom, as we are getting up an Album for his Christmas Present--

NYPL-GL Box 215



GALENA January 9  A preamble and resolution are presented by Henry Marfield and adopted by Lead Mine Encampment No, 5, I. O. O. F. concerning P. C. P. John S. Melvill, deceased:

          The intimate acquaintance of many years which existed between the deceased and myself, imposes the obligation upon us of calling your attention to this bereavement . . .  Those who were acquainted with our brother P, knew him to respect and love him for his goodness of heart, his nobleness of mind, and his gentlemanly courtesy to all.  The philanthropic principles, inherent in his nature, prompted him at all times to every good and noble deed, made him almost unknown to himself, the friend and sympathiser with his kind . . .

          Resolved.  That the members of Lead Mine Encampment No. 6 [5?], wear the usual badge of mourning for one month for his zealous and untiring devotion to the duties of the Order and Brothers in general, when residing in our midst . . .  unidentified Galena newspaper


January 16  Mrs Mary Melvill writes to Maria Melville:

          I have made several attempts to answer your kind letter, but have found the quiet contemplation of my great loss too much for me, you letter has such a comfort & support, in such times of trial, the sympathy of friends is a cordial to the heart.  I have indeed been stricken time & again, but God is good, and I desire to submit humbly to his holy will, it would not have been so hard if I could have been with my dear son, at the last, but this, I doubt not was also ordered in wisdom & love . . .  George went over [to Chicago] by the first train, and on Christmas morning [returned] with the dear remains, his wife and children, the widow & children are yet with me, they are left destitute but for poor Priscilla's bequest indeed Geroge has nearly supported them for the last year, for poor John has been unable to do much since June, when he ruptured a blood vessel.  I could not in justice to Helen (who is quiet feeble) have them here permanently an on monday they go to board in a very nice family; as Kate [John's widow] is not much of a housekeeper we thought it would be less of a charge on George, who assumes the burthen of their support . . .

          You have indeed, been called to mourned [mourn] repeatedly in the last year, two brothers and then poor sister Priscilla . . .  dear Maria we shall probably meet no more on earth; may we, through the mercy of God, in Jesus Christ, meet at last in that better land where there are no more partings.  Augusta & Fanny letters & tokens of affection, were thankfully received . . .  Helen has made four mourning dresses for Kate, & beside poor little Kennett has been sick for three weeks . . .  I have indeed great cause for thankfulness that Allan [Melvill] escaped from the savages, it was a band of the wretches who committed such atrocities in Minnesota he has had several offers of good situations; but is content to remain at home for the present, as George needs him.  When we last heard from Robert he was loading with government supplies for the army in Tenn. . . .  I have had such very pleasant letters from Helen Maria, which I hope to answer soon, she [is] a jewel of a woman.  We were very anxious about Herman, had heard of his accident but nothing more till Fanny's letter; I am truly glad that he has recovered from the effects of his accident, and that all your children (only less dear to me than my own) are well . . .


ALBANY January 17  Hooliganism in the Assembly over choice of Speaker attracts attention throughout the North, reaching Helen Griggs in Brookline; one member of the Assembly slaps another, one threatens bloodshed, one makes a threat:

A third honorable gentleman declared that "it [the possible election of Callicott] was all right; for those fellows in the galleries had plenty of six-shooters" . . .  We had imagined that this sort of electioneering, by broken heads & braggadocio slang and six-shooters, was monopolized by the legislators of the Washington Congress--The New York Herald, January 20) 


#Have to straighten out a mess here.  Aunt Mary says Maria has lost two brothers in 1862#

Hoadley was going to Illustrate his copy of D'Wolf's narrative-----

DORCHESTER January 21  John D'Wolf writes to Mrs Catherine G.  Hoadley:  NYPLverify##NYPL-GL

. . .  You are now desirous of having my cart‑de visit for your Album and your kind Husband wishes to have one for a frontispiece to his Book, which I now have the pleasure to enclose to you . . . after all they found it difficult to make a Picture of me which entirely satisfies notwithstanding I tryed to look as spruce as I could for I must say I felt some little pride in this matter particularly as I am to become the frontispiece of that Sublime Narrative, but it was no go, they could not make the young man of me that performed that Voyage half a Century ago I was young then, full of Blood & blue veins, every trace of which you see time has obliterated . . .  NYPL-GL


EAST COAST OF CHINA, Lat 291 N. Long 1241 East January 22  Thomas Melville writes to his mother and sisters at Gansevoort:

          . . . had a fine run [from Shanghai] into Yau Chan [#ck old maps, Dan here and below] where I arrived Dec. 17th.  The town is about 20 miles up the river Vorin[#?] but the ships anchor eight miles below at Pagoda Island.  From the mouth of the river up to the anchorage the scenery is magnificent the river is very narrow and crooked the shores steep & in some places almost perpendicular for two or three hundred feet but wherever their is the least chance of cultivation the sides of the hills are laid out in terraces and planted . . .  I of course had a Chinese Pilot, and a smart fellow he was . . . 

          As Captain Winchall of the Clipper ship "Samuel Russell" of New York offered to take a package home for me I made up a box, containing a Blue & white Plaid Pine Apple dress, a Japan Cabinett for Fanny, a Japan work box for Gus, six Yon Chan [?#] soap stone fruit plates for Thomas Melville which you may use till I want them also a Soap stone soap [?] dish and a few curios, also a pair of China deer Horns which I hope that you will take care of as the dar was shot by a great friend of mind, I also sent by a young man named Marsh who belongs to the "Sam. Russell" and who was a friend of A. Bradford and knows Allan a small Box of china tea which he will deliver to Allan as soon as he arrives in New York, which will be about the 10th of April . . .  Capt Winchall always stops at the United States Hotel and Allan will be sure to meet him their at dinner time . . .         

nb Allan dines daily down town at the U S Hotel



NEW BEDFORD John Hoadley sends a hasty note to Helen:

Thursday A.M.--The children are bright this AM.--So Dr. Bartlett says, who has just left.

          Minnie is more quiet . . .  Lottie has peculiar symptoms, and the Dr. does not yet know exactly what to think of her case . . .



BROOKLINE January 25  Helen writes to Augusta and Fanny:

          I have been very anxious about Minnie, & have felt such a painful sympathy with Kate's troublous state, that it really made me nervous for some days.  John was very kind in writing, and it was a blessed releif to hear from George, that he had been in the city on Friday, & that Minnie was out of danger.  I hope Lottie will have it lighter . . .  I wrote Kate to-night, that I did hope one of your would come to her, and yet I should feel sorry for the other that would be left alone, with only Mama, and the factotum Georgia [Georgie?] in that great house . . .

          I had a letter from Allan sending me the photographs of the children, which I had asked for.  He thinks you are very hard on him to accuse him of neglect because he dont write.  He says he is so tired at night, what with his business, and the excitement of politics & the war, he is too exhausted to do anything.

          Tell Cousin Kate  [Curtis], her vignette is a real ornament to my book--an excellent likeness too--it almost tempts me to try again; but Kate's nose gives character to her face; mine is good as far as it goes, but little Miss La Creevy--Dickens'inimitable miniature painter, would never have selected it to put in a picture.

          We are having real Spring weather; the vine on our porch is budding, and the mud, makes me sympathise with the Army of the Potomac . . .

          What a treasure your little sewing machine must be.  I expect to find the sheets tucked, and the pillow-cases puffed, and the table cloths, & napkins, & counterpanes ruffled, or otherwise ornamented by the aid of this magic machine--

          Mackie wrote me a nice letter last week.  He is taking writing lessons he says from a Mr Carter who keeps a writing school, and he really has improved very much.  He says "he likes living in the village first rate."

          Tom's slippers are worked, and look finely . . .

          Did I tell you that I had written Charlotte Ives a long long letter, & I hope she will answer it.

          Are you not ashamed of the proceedings in Albany?  [The whole country is crying shame upon the uncivilized mob law, which holds its on, without let or hindrance, at the seat of Government, forsooth.  I saw by a New York paper last Evening that there was a movement in the senate to remove the capital to a more central portion of the State, and the present state of things which the Governor declines to interfere with, has made the motion more unanimous that it would otherwise have been.

          I don't know anything, & care less if possible, about parties in politics, but I blush for my birthplace, & doubt the patriotism of Governor Seymour.  A cause must be bad, which calls ruffians and rowdies to aid it by threats and insults to peaceable men.  Honesty & truth are self reliant, self-sustaining.  More clamor, noise, and bullying, if I may be allowed to use such an unfeminine word) never helped even a bad cause, and were never yet called in to aid a good one . . .


January 26?  Helen writes again to Augusta:

          . . . it is uncertain how long we may be in his house--George took it until the first of June; but I am in hopes that the family may be detained longer in France.  We have never been so pleasantly situated a winter before, even at Longwood, this house is so sunny and warm . . .  




Dan added 5 Feb 98:

NEW YORK January 26  Allan Melville writes to Kate Gansevoort:

My dear Cousin,

          I understood from Henry that the portraits of our grandparents were about being copied by photographic process, and as I would like one of each I have thought to ask you to send me them, and as an earnest that I will reciprocate a carte of Milie, just taken, is enclosed.  You see she looks quite the young lady.

          Henry's military life seems to have benefited[sic] him greatly . . .

NYPL-GL Box 215


goes after Allan gets the photographs of the Gansevoort grandparents from Kate--

Dan added 12 Feb 98:ckg hp 20 Mar 98]

NEW YORK After January 26  One Friday night Jane Louisa Melville writes to Kate Gansevoort:

My dear Cousin--

Allan leaves tomorrow morning for Albany, it is now past midnight.  Allan has not been well since some time, and I feel quite uneasy about his leaving home alone--but should he be taken ill in Albany I feel sure you will be kind to him, he is far very far from well now.  Many thanks for the photographs of your Grand Father & Grand Mother.  I send the vignettes of the children & portrait of myself hoping you will send me (or us) the Photographs of your Mother, your Father and yourself--I have seen them, and dont know why we, should not have them, we will prize them much--So do send them.  Allan has some of his own taken in Boston, perhaps he may have one with him.  Nearly every Sunday Cousin Henry dines with us.  Last Sunday he came up through all the snow-storm and while it was so cold & stormy outside--We were as bright & cheerful and happy as possible in our good and comfortable home,--we had Cousin Henry, Mr Samuel Shaw, of Boston, and Dr de Marini & his dear little wife, Cousin Annie[Aime?], she is a sweet little woman, she lives quite near us, and we are there every Tuesday night.  They are here as often as they like.  How have you passed the winter?  Have you had much sleighing or skating?--Do you see Mrs Trotter & her sister Mrs Van Vechten?  The children are all well, Kate, your namesake gives promise of being as beautiful a woman as some of her other sisters.  I trust you will write me, it will be a treat for myself--and for the children.  So do let us have the face of our aunt and uncle Gansevoort and of our Cousin Kate.  When will you be in New York again?  I have been asking Allan to take me to Albany while the House is in session, but alas! I fear I shall not go.  How glad we shall be to see you in New York--with my kind regards to your Mother & Father I am yours affectionately Jane L. Melville--

Herman made us a very pleasant visite[?].  Mr Shaw has just gone to Pittsfield.  Mary Curtis has been all month in Brooklyn--Cousin Guert seems to be no where

NYPL-GL Box 215




NEW YORK Early February  Cousin Herman has been spending a few days in New York City.--Col. Henry Gansevoort to his sister, Catherine, February 8)


GLENS FALLS February 3  George Curtis writes to Augusta Melville:

          ##work on this at NYPL--I can't make heads nor tails of it.#


Dan added 5 Feb 98: HP got corrections 20 March 98

NEW BEDFORD February 5  John Hoadley writes to Kate Gansevoort:

My Dear Cousin Kate;

          Mrs. Hoadley received your pleasant letter of the 3d inst, with its much prized inclusions [poss: inclosures], to-day; and being too much fagged out to write, begs me to acknowledge it,--which I most cheerfully do, for the pleasure, if there were no other reason, of addressing you, my pretty cousin, as "My Dear Cousin Kate,"--My Lady Kate has both the photographs in their predestined [20 March 98 I got the undeciphered word] place in her family Album.  They are a great addition,--charming in themselves, and interesting on many accounts--It could be wished that the picture of General Gansevoort were clearer, but it is by no means poor; and that of Mrs Gansevoort is charming--I can trace something of her calm, sweet face, in two Kates' I know of,--and something in Helen, Mrs. Griggs--We both regret, very deeply, General Gansevoort's illness, of which we had already heard, through letters from Mrs. Melville and Fanny.

          I hope he is already better, and that the swiftly passing winter may take away his rheumatism with its own damps and chills, and that the more imminent spring may bring freshness and renewal [dan had revival] of vigor[?] alike to Earth and Uncle Peter--a good, rousing victory;--the capture and obliteration of Charleston, for instance, would make him young again,--nay, would wake a heart beneath the ribs of death--

          I share your confidence in the patriotism of the Hero of Fort Stanwix under all circumstances.  I have no doubt that his sword would be drawn, in any quarrel, on the side of his country, with all the qreat ardor that being[?] [undeciphered word] also the[?] Side of Justice[?].--Immortal Justice, greater than Jove,--greater[?] than all the gods,--for the gods are great only in proportion as they are just,--will over rule the passions, strifes and weaknesses of men to promote the only ends for which this blood-stained earth is worth another hour's probation.

          Certainly it would be consumed by fire in this hour, if wrong to the humblest, poorest, meanest child of God could hope to escape punishment--Justice is exalted exactly in proportion to the meanness of the objects of his protection--and, in the words of the illustrious Mansfield,--fiat justitia, ruer [?] coelum.!

          Our children, thank God! are better.

          Lottie, indeed, is up and about her room, and Kate has dismissed the nurse employed for her during her more severe illness.--Minnie is very weak,--very much emaciated,--but mending--It is twenty three days to-night since she was attacked, and in all that time she has eaten very little--she now craves food, but of course can have but little--Care, good nursing, and God's blessing, will bring her through, but I do not expect to see her out before May, and I doubt if she stands alone in two weeks--. . .

                                                                      J. C. Hoadley--

          Friday A.M.--Children still mending.--

NYPL-GL Box 215




February 7  Col. Gansevoort & M meet. (I saw him yesterday.  He seemed to be quite well.--Col. Henry Gansevoort to his sister, Catherine, February 8)



SHANGHAI February 8 (#work out which goes first)  "About fagged out" from dealing with a collision of his ship (when in the hands of the pilot) and the "Panama," Thomas Melville quickly acknowledges the receipt of a letter from his mother and sisters at Gansevoort dated October 22, 1862.


February 8?  Sunday dinner at the Allan Melvilles' is attended by M & by Col. Gansevoort.  (I . . . dined with him [Henry Gansevoort] at Allan's one Sunday.--M to Catherine Gansevoort, February 17; Herman made us a very pleasant visit.--Jane Melville to Catherine Gansevoort, February 13[?])  NYPL-GL


#ck in NYPL

PITTSFIELD VILLAGE February 10  Bessie writes to her Aunt Fanny:

          Fanny and I go to school now we go to Miss Sperry's, it is so near that we need not start till five minutes before the time . . .  Miss Sperry let me begin a large drawing, it is a house and some trees and a bridge with some water flowing under it, then there are some rocks.  Papa has gone to new York and when he comes home he is going to bring me some drawing paper . . .

          I have been reading a very nice story in a book that Anny More-wood lent me the name of it is Ylolps [###?] over hard places, it is very interesting indeed.


February 11  Elizabeth Melville writes to Augusta, in Gansevoort:

          Herman has been steadily improving, & when he found that he could dress himself without assistance, he began to think of going to New York for a visit--He has been there now about ten days and is enjoying it very much--his health has been better this winter I think, and he has walked a good deal, which I think is better exercise for him than riding so much--he walked out to the farm the other day & back without injury--which he could not have done last summer--& in N.Y. he has walked from Trinity Church to 35th St.--

          The children are all well, though Stanny has the hooping-cough--but so lightly, that only a short time ago, I could decide that he really had it.  They are all getting on nicely at school, their teachers say, and Malcolm has got so far in his arithmetic, that I am sometimes posed, and cannot do the sums without studying up the rules--not being familiar with Banking business.

          The "Harpers Monthly" that Herman sent you was a duplicate number . . .  When the volume is complete we will send you the lot--so you can read the "Serials" together--

          I certainly do thank you very much for your kind offer to come and keep house for me if I could go to Gansevoort--I do not think I shall ever be able to leave home again without someone here to overlook things, and be company for Herman-- . . .

          [P. S.]  Have you heard any of the particulars of John Melville's death?


Dan added 6 Feb 98:

BROOKLINE February 12  Helen Griggs writes to Kate Gansevoort:

My dear Cousin Kate,

          The photographs came safely, and I hereby return my most sincere thanks for the same.  Grandmama's is perfect, and the other, though blurred and dim, serves to bring back vividly to the mind's eye of anyone who has seen the portrait, the features & expression as Stuart portrayed them from the life.  Mr Hoadley who passed Monday night with us, says, that he has known two other instances, where paintings by Stuart have baffled the skill of photographers, and the reason assigned by the artists, was, the predominance in his colouring of yellow, which of course takes black.

          I will try and prevail upon Mr Griggs to sit for his carte; but fear there is little hope of success, to judge by past experience.  However, one might be taken from the excellent daguerreotype I have, and if so, you may expect to see us arrive together at your door, through the post office, some time.

          Our winter has been so mild and spring-like, that sleighing and skating have been hardly vouchsafed for more than twenty-four hours at a time; and while I write, a most promising easterly snow-storm, which had prevailed all day, has turned into a drizzling rain and thick mist, most dismal to behold.

          I understand some enterprising shipping merchants, have sent to the north of Europe a fleet of vessels to bring home cargoes of ice, and perhaps our summer ocean may be frozen, and our lemonade cooled, by Swedish & Norwegian dew, congealed under the shadows of the Dofrafield [?] Mountains.

          Two days last week however were cold enough to suit any lover of "real winter weather," the thermometer did not go higher than 81 below, all day on Wednesday.

          I was glad to hear of Henry's whereabouts, and to know that he was alive and well, at recent dates.  Mama, or some one at Gansevoort, wrote me that he had been home on a visit in December.

          Little Minnie Hoadley has been very ill, almost unto death, with the worst form of scarlet-fever.  She has not left her bed yet, and it is almost a month since she was taken sick.  Lottie has had it in the mean time, but is well and down-stairs again.  All present anxiety is over about Minnie; but the physician says her recovery will be very gradual, great care will be necessary for months to come, and a relapse would be fatal; so poor Kate, who was born with what the Yankees call--"an anxious make," will wear herself to an anatomy I fear, before the poor child slowly picks up her lost flesh and strength.

          I have met Mrs Wales several times this winter, at her mother's, and her sister Lizzie spent a few days with us last month.  Mrs Wales was a pyramid of costly furs, laces, and velvet, on each occasion, and her heavy English-built carriages, brought over among their other European belongings, move ponderously, slow-paced and heavy, over our New England pavements.  But she is gracious & amiable, and getting--quite fat, (this last in a whisper.)  My best love to Uncle & Aunt Susan, & hoping to welcome you sometime in Boston I am, your affct. cousin Helen--

          Remember me kindly to our friends in Clinton Square--

NYPL-GL Box 215


GLENS FALLS February 13  Kate Curtis writes to Kate Gansevoort:

          I am sorry your kind letter containing those valued "photographs" should have been so long unanswered.  But I really have not had one moment I could write . . .

          Grandmama is much more distinct than Grand-papa--why is it?  I think the painting must be a much finer, and better one--

          Now dear Kate, I enclose ou one of myself, at your request, hoping if we should ever meet, you will recognize me as a cousin . . .

          Mary has been in Brooklyn all winter . . .

          Martha our youngest, is now with us, only for a short visit--she returns again to "Clinton" next week . . .

          We are enjoying at present, a visit from our dear Aunt Melville--What a wonderful woman she is--I think she is one of the most remarkable persons I ever [k]new.--I look at her with wonder, and astonishment and can not realize, she is over seventy.--How active she is; and youthful in her feelings--Imust say; she is a splendid old lady--

NYPL-GL Box 215


GLENS FALLS February 13  George Curtis writes to Augusta:

          My Dear Gusta, I am moved, to drop you a line, this morning, mainly for the purpose of . . . congratulation, upon the marked success of your late donation effort, in behalf of your worthy pastor--

          Let Beacon Hill be brought low and for ever, hereafter, hide its diminished head, for verily, thou hast been out donated by the fair Daughters of Gansevoort.  Seriously Gansevoort has done nobly and, if she never pays her debt, to the domine, she has shown herself willing, to give, after all, there is something more Chivalrous in giving, is there not? . . .

          I believe, your good Mother, is writing a few lines, to go with this.  She will "speak for herself" but I will say, that outwardly, seemingly, and to all human [?] appearance, she seems content . . .


Dan verified 5 Feb 98 [Kate]:

Jay had Katherine## ck

February 13??? ck  Maria Melville writes to Augusta and Fanny from the Curtis house:

          I was happy to receive your two packages, I have been made happy by hearing from Tom and dear Tom he is well & as usual much engaged.  I much fear that another year will again pass away before he can be with us.  Leonard says that a new Ship is expected to remain away for three years.

          Herman's letter was quite amusing.  I hope he continues well & that New York will continue to amuse him & that he went to Grace Church to witness the queer couple that were so splendidly attended, & so peculiar in all respects . . .

          The visit to the Dentist proved to be unnecessary, according to his account, he broke off a little sliver that has been irritating my cheek for some few days past but thinks all will become right in time by absorbtion in good time . . .


NEW BEDFORD February 15  John Hoadley writes to Augusta:

          I have the happiness to again advise you of the continual improvement of both my children.  Although Minnie is still far too weak to think of sitting up, she is so much better that Kate has allowed both her nurses to leave . . .  Lottie is . . . eager for Stories--"tan-tan" in her vernacular . . .


FORT HAMILTON Before February 16  The other day, be it known unto you, Incomparable Kate, I went with Allan and his wife to Fort Hamilton, where we saw Lieutenant Henry Gansevoort of the U.S. Artillery.  He politely led us to the ramparts, pointing out all objects of interest.  He looked well and war‑like, cheerfully embarked in the career of immortality.  I saw him upon two other occasions . . .--M to Catherine Gansevoort, February 17  NYPL-GL


Dan added 25 Feb 98:

ALBANY February 16  Kate Gansevoort writes to Henry Gansevoort:

          . . . I rec'd a note from Cousin Kate [Hoadley] the other day--She enclosed me a vignette of herself--She is strikingly like Aunt Melville--

          I also rec'd a note from Helen M. Griggs--They are at house keeping at Brookline & are very pleasantly located.  [repeats many of the details of Helen Griggs's Feb 12 letter to Kate]

NYPL-GL Box 159


adding 24 January 2007

PITTSFIELD VILLAGE February  15 M returns from New York to find mail, including a request from a local man dated February 7, perhaps asking M to autograph a book.


adding 24 January 2007 from DM but dated by HP

PITTSFIELD VILLAGE February 16  M writes to a man in Pittsfield: Dear Sir: Herewith is a Dedication which I hope you will find to answer the purpose you mention in your note received last night. / Very Truly Yours / H Melville


PITTSFIELD VILLAGE February 17  M writes to Catherine Gansevoort:

          Upon returning from New York I was made happy by finding your note enclosing the pictures [of General Peter & Catherine Gansevoort].  The one of our grandmother is clear and admirable.  But alas for the Hero of Fort Stanwix!

          Photographically rendered, he seems under a sort of eclipse, emblematic perhaps of the gloom which his spirit may feel in looking down upon this dishonorable epoch.--But dont let us become too earnest.  A very bad habit.  NYPL-GL


Dan added 25 Feb 98:

ALBANY February 24  Kate Gansevoort writes to Henry Gansevoort:

          . . . In a note rec'd from Cousin Herman Melville he mentioned having seen you, & that you were looking well & very militaire.  Mother & I have just returned from a visit down in the City--we have called on Cousin Jeannie & Cousin Sue & at 103 Pearl St. . .

NYPL-GL Box 159


BROOKLINE February 25  Helen writes to Augusta:

          I went in to Boston this morning, saw Mrs. Shaw.  She sent her love to you all, and said something about Lizzie having some thought of going to New York, instead of coming to Boston, next month.  What does that mean?  Sam Shaw is in New York now, and is to return via Pittsfield, & then we shall hear about it.

          Kate wanted me to price very small checked black & white silks, and what do you think is asked for the narrow, scarcely over half a yd wide, just such as we used to see for 75 & 87 cts--wht [white] $1.50! and better silks in proportion.  Hold on to your silken robes, my dears, you will not be able to increase their number very soon.  Mama's black one at present prices would cost seventy-five dollars.  The commonest coarsest de laines are 33 cts . . .  And "going up every day," the smiling clerks asert by way of consoling the holders of light purses, who are looking grave over the displays in the counters, & sadly counting the cost.  War prices, War prices!

          I had a letter from Aunt Mary at Galena yesterday.  She writes that John's widow & her three little girls, are at board in a quiet family, and that George allows them 600 dollars a year and supported them all for a year before John died, Aunt Mary says "It comes pretty hard on him these hard times, but there is no one else able to do much."  "Helen is not sick, but very weak, and is taking tonics & egg-nogg three times a day, but with little apparent benefit."  "Robert is with the fleet in Vicksburgh, his boat was taken by government for the transportation of stores" . . .

          It is good to hear again from darling Tom.  George made out to see one of the partners the other day, and they say the ship will not be at home before summer.  It will be long to wait, but Tom would enjoy his visit home much more in warm weather . . .

          You speak of the ridiculous furor made about Tom Thumb's wedding.  I saw a great crowd about a photographic saloon, the other day in Boston, & seeing an opening, thought I would take a look, and there was a framed picture of the two little goslings, looking silly at each other--the bride & groom forsooth in their bridal array . . .

          Pauline & a friend staying with her spent a day with us last week, and the next day came Mrs Dearborn & Mrs Coolidge George's sisters . . .

          You need not count on your "bequest" until a year from the testator's decease; but meantime to console the legatees, is this bit of information--the property is all in the best-paying stocks, and is busy accumulating.  At least so much, Mrs Shaw volunteered the other day.  To black Nancy, and Polly, who are old & needy, Lemuel has given from time to time on his own responsibility,--but the rest must wait, until the legal year is completed . . .


NEW YORK  First Lieutenant Henry S. Gansevoort (stationed at Fort Hamilton) writes to his cousin Allan Melville:

          The following is exactly what I wish to have done if possible

          I[.]  Leave of absence from my Regiment in the Regular service to take a Command less than that of a Colonel in the Volunteers.


          II[.]  Position on Staff of Major Genl that will give me at least the rank of Major. 

Both of these are in the power of the War Dept. and altho I cannot point out any particular vacancies for staff officers, still the Secretary of War could be asked to make such appointment with rank of Major as a personal favor.  The Secretary would attend to the particular vacancy to be filled by the appointment.  I understand Mr Lathers has not yet left for Washington.  Would he undertake to do either of the above.  LC-Lathers


After February 25  Richard Lathers makes a "Memorandum":

Lieut. Gansevoort accompanied his Battery (of 5th Artillery) to Yorktown with Army of Potomac under Genl McClellan and through the Penisula Campaign to and from Richmond--Also under Genl Pope at second battle of Manassas & also at South Mountain and Antietam  At the Battle of Antietam he commanded the Battery and was in Gen; Hookers Corps  He was taken sick shortly before Battle of Fredericksburgh and came home on leave, and as soon as he recovered was ordered by General Brown, Col. 5th Artillery to duty at Fort Hamilton.

          He has the promise of the first vacancy in the line by Governor Seymour in the volunteers, provided he gets leave from War Department.  LC-Lathers


PITTSFIELD VILLAGE February 25‑27  Samuel Shaw visits the Melvilles.  (his diary)  MHS-S


#in the collection of George Rovere, Agawam, Mass.  Check in Duban?

March  M pastes a newspaper clipping ("Editorial in London Times") in Gansevoort Melville's copy of Hazlitt's Table Talk; he underscores phrases in the editorial:

          Regular education introduces the mind of the pupil to the difficulties of knowledge, and keeps it in constant contact with them, and it is able to do so because it has all the freshness and strength of the pupil's mind at its command.  Leisure is the nurse of art and scholarship, the gradual untier of knots, the guide that ushers into the depths and mysteris#ck of knowledge, the gradual former [formation?##] of that discrimination and perception which distinguishes the man of high education.  Irregular and anomalous education which can take a hasty advantage of odd moments and the spare attention of a busy life, cannot be expected to produce these effects, because it has in truth, not the whole man, but only a fragment of him at its command.  It takes a sharp mind under such circumstances even to skim the surface; the secrets of the depths below are the prize of a gradual struggle, which it requires time even to commence, for we do not even see our difficulties till we have been a considerable time looking about us. 

M's comment:  How un-American is all this, and yet--

                                                                                          --how true.


March 3  Stanwix writes to his Aunt Augusta:

          I would have written to you before, but, you see, I had other letters to write [to Kitty and Aunt Jenny], when papa came home from New York . . .

          Last Thursday Macky and I went to hear the Minstrels at West's Hall, we went early and got a good seat, but the gentleman that brings the ladies in, turned us out of our seats four times, but we got a good seat.

          The Minstrels were real funny, they told stories and sung songs.  One of the stories were about a dog, one of the darkies would talk just like a white man, the other one would talk like a black man, they were all white men, but painted black.  The first man commenced and addresses the other saying Well! Pompey, I heard something about your dog, I understood it was a very good dog.  The other one said yes, O yes, a very good dog.  What are his qualities, said the other.  He said, why he can read, write, and see, hear, feel, smell, and cypher.  How can he cypher?  Why you see he is lame in one leg, and he puts down three, and carries one.  What do you think of that story?

          We had a very pleasant visit from Uncle Sam.


when were these goings on--not in 1862--maybe HM alone with the girls in 1861?

March 4  Elizabeth Melville writes to Augusta:

We shall be delighted to have a visit from you in June when you come from Kate's . . .  Thanks for your kind offer to let me go off then, but it has slipped your mind that in June I am too ill with my cold to go anywhere--If you can possibly make it out, I wish you could come here for a couple of weeks or so before you go to New Bedford, and overlook matters while I could go to Boston--I cannot leave them and Herman alone--there were such "goings-on" the last time I left them, but then the boys were not at home--and in the village it would be still worse . . .

          Herman enjoyed his visit to New York very much, and it did him good--the children are all well, and send much love.  The boys get your papers, and read them with pleasure.  Macky has vacation next week and will write you then.

          I am glad you have good news of Tom--I can hardly realize that the winter has passed--the time has flown . . .


Dan excerpted 25 Feb 98:

ALBANY March 4  Kate Gansevoort writes to Henry Gansevoort:

          . . . Allan Melville passed through the City on Saturday, Mother & I saw him down town he brought [?] me cartes of the whole family--& a letter from Mrs Meville  She spoke of seeing you quite often--. . .

NYPL-GL Box 159



On hairdos TLS 23 July 99 reviewing Hairstyles and Fashion paraphrases Emile Long, a Parisian coiffeur de dames: "He [Long] traces women's fashions 'to the coquettish instinct of the primitive and barbarous races', and overall, regards clients with a mixture of impatience and obsequiousness.  Any new style is born of exaggeration, eccentricity and the 'freakish whim' of women.  Their urge to be elegant is 'infinitely stronger than any of our institutions and sciences', and it survives even the darkest hours of war" [meaning WW I]  The paraphrase is by the reviewer David Coward.

BROOKLINE March 6  Helen writes to Lizzie:

          Your letter has just been received, and "something has turned up," already, which to my mind, and George's, will enable you to make your visit to Boston as soon as you please.

          Just bring the little girls, with their clothes & their school books, and let them stay with us.  You shall have no more care of them, (& not half so much anxiety) than if they were in Pittsfield, & I will engage they shall not lose any of their lately acquired erudition.  I consider myself competent, with suitable elementary books as aids, to infuse into two youthful minds the very first principles of science, & George can exercise their mathematical faculties.

          Now do, Lizzie . . .

          As to the boys, if with Herman for authority, & restraint, & wholesome correction, if needed--and your household treasure, for the care of their bodies and stomachs, their outer & inner man, or boy--cannot keep said souls & bodies together for a few weeks, without any startling outbreak of boyish outlawry, you had better send said boys to the House of Correction.

          Now dont hesitate about it.  One stout house-dress apiece for the girls, not involving any enormous outlay of either money or time, will suffice, & their silks will do for great occasions.  Just bring them along, and if the worst comes to the worst--there are some old "frocks" of George's in the closet, which will cloth them sufficiently, in a Paradisaical sense.

          The thing is settled.  Just write when we may expect you & them.  Of course you are included, whenever you can spare time from 49 Mt Vernon St. . . .

          I hope Mackie will do himself justice on his first appearance, & not suffer a "stage fright."

          Call'd to see your mother one day this week.  She was well, & has promised to come out & see me some day, much to my delight . . .  Saw Lizzie Dow in her bed-room . . .  It was one of Lizzie's bad days . . .

          Now catch hold of your sewing-machine--& grind out a dress or two for the little girls.  I'll darn their stockings, & sew up any incidental rents which may occur, & if you dont come after all this, it will be because you dont want to . . .

          It is the fashion now to comb back the hair over a high cushion, powder it freely with gold, silver, or diamond powder, and then ornament it, with whole birds, butterflies, & insects of all descriptions.  A lady at the opera wore a good sized nest with eggs in it, on her head, held on by a wealth of humming birds.  Even catterpillars are worn.

          Good bye--Love best love to Herman I am glad he is so much better . . .


CONCORD March 6  Sophia Hawthorne writes to Annie Adams Fields: P.S.  There is a book which was sent to 135 Washington St several weeks ago, directed to Mr Hawthorne.  Does Mr Fields know anything about it.  Will the angel Michel look for it?  It is "Moby Dick."  [BPL]


GANSEVOORT March 7  Augusta replies to Lizzie, returning serials and saying she will come on the 11th and stay two weeks so Lizzie can go to Boston on the 12th  (Augusta's notations on the envelope for Lizzie's letter of March 4)


PITTSFIELD VILLAGE March 8  Elizabeth Melville writes to Augusta:

. . . though it will be rather a "tight squeeze" for me to get ready to go to Boston this week still I think I must try to manage it, or I shall not get another chance--for I should not feel easy to leave Herman and the children without some one here--and I want to go so much.  So if you will come on Tuesday [March 10] or Wednesday, I will get off as soon as possible afterwards.  If you can let us know what day & train, Herman will meet you at the depot, if not you know the house is close by, and a few minutes will bring you to the door.  Bring "plenty of room" with you for I have a precious bundle of "old clothes" for you . . .                Mary will attend to the housekeeping matters, so as not to trouble you much, and you will have a nice quiet time to rest & read while the children are at school--Herman has a great many books in which you would be much interested . . .

          It is a tremendous snow-storm today--the greatest fall we have had this winter--Herman and Malcolm have gone to church but all the rest of us are housed.  Stanny was much pleased with your letter . . .

          Herman says that I must ask you, if you can, conveniently, to bring us some of your nice buckwheat--it is so much better than any we can buy here--It slipped my mind to hand Mama the "bags" when she went home, but I have them all ready for you.  Much love to Mama & Fanny--and to you in which Herman joins . . .

          [P.S.]  If you have done with the file of Harpers containing "No Name" and can bring them, please do so--


March 10  Herman Melville and Elizabeth S. Melville sign a warranty deed conveying Arrowhead ("a certain tract of land together with the buildings thereon standing") to Allan Melville in consideration of three thousand dollars.




details here about their financial arrangements with the tenants and sharecroppers--

there is a "pasture lot" that can be rented--they get "rolls" of the Home Journal

GANSEVOORT March 16  Fanny writes to her sister Augusta, now with M:

          Though it has been so cold, we have had a great deal of company of a certain kind! . . .  Then came "Billy Anderson" wishing to rent the pasture lot; as Mamma was not well enough to talk to him, I had to do the business.  He is to have the use of it for the season, for $28.  Mr Sadler you remember only gave $12.  While we were at tea, Willie Mott brought home a roll of the "Home Journals" with many thanks . . .  The morning of that day [Thursday]. Mrs. Hurd came in & staid a long time, paid her month's rent in advance; she moved at once into the house.  While Mamma was down in the dining-room with her tenant, two girls rang the bell . . .  Friday, "Chalk" came in to have a talk about the next years rent.  It was at last arranged, that he should put the house in good order &c & pay less rent.  Just as we were going to dinner, Mrs Harriman made her appearance with a basket of hens, exchanged them for ours & then taking a seat in the parlor, remained for two long hours.  I thought "son Norman" would never come for her.  Such comical things as she did say about the war & daughter-in-law Maggie, who she informed us belongs to the old aristocracy of Ireland! . . .  Now have we not been very gay?-- . . .  John I hope spent Sunday with you.  Kate says in her letter received to-day that he would stop in Pittsfield on his way from New York . . .  Mamma had a few lines from Allan Friday.  He does not write any thing about "The Repairs"!  Seven, if not more loads of stone have arrived.--Last week we found out the amount of the coming tax, $90!!  Is it not tremendous?  It is to be paid on the 4th of April I believe.  To-day came a note from Lemuel Shaw to Mamma enclosing her Legacy from Aunt Priscilla, $95. (the . . . tax of five per cent took the other five)  He writes that it had been decided to pay the legacies now.  Now, is it not too bad that all of this little gift will have to go for this tax?  I wanted Mamma to have it for her own personal use.  Well, I am glad that we do not have to borrow the money . . .

          I had a note from Mary [Curtis] . . . & she adds "Father & Mother returned from Albany Saturday"  The operation took 3/4 of an hour & was a very painful one.  Cousin Kate [Curtis] was present all through it, is she not a true woman . . .

          Mamma sends love to you & Herman, you must take good care of each other & enjoy yourselves.



Dan added 6 Feb 98:

NEW YORK March 16  Allan Melville writes to Kate Gansevoort:

My dear Cousin.

          Our cousin Guert was not at the Pierrepont [?] house in Brooklyn though I was so informed.  I have since traced him up to the Brandrelt[?] house in this city where he has rooms & have at last delivered your note.  You may know[?] that I have taken a great interest in Henry's desire for state service & I have assisted him as well as I could through Mr Lathers a friend of Mr Stanton secretary of war.  Hearing that Henry had determined to return to his Battery this evening because of no answer from his application for leave I got authority from Mr Lathers to telegraph in his name to the secretary

          I enclose a copy of the telegrams.  You see he has been successful at last.  As yet he does not know the result.  I am expecting him in every moment

          With remembrance to your father & mother I am your servant

                                                  Allan Melville.

NYPL-GL Box 215


[Allan copied the two telegrams for Kate on a single sheet:]

NEW YORK March 16 1863.

Edwin M. Stanton, Sec'y of War. Washington

          Will you be kind enough to reply to my letter of the eleventh instant respecting Lieut Gansevoort.  We feel anxious

Richard Lathers


[center a wavy rule here]

[Centered and double underlined:] Reply

Wash 2.20 Pm. 16 Mch 1863.

The order allowing Lt. Gansevoort to accept the Commission of Lt Col has been made. 

Edwin M. Stanton.

Sec'y War.


Dan excerpted 25 Feb 98:

ALBANY March 17  Kate Gansevoort writes to Henry Gansevoort:

          . . . By this morning's mail I rec'd a letter from Allan Melville telling us of your commission in the volunteer service & enclosing a copy of Mr Lathers telegram to the Sec'y of War with regard to his letter of the 11th instant & the sec'y's answer which states that "the commission of Lt Col has been made" for Lt Gansevoort  I did not understand Henry what your efforts with the Gov. & Adjt[?] were for--but regretted so much hearing that you intended leaving--(for a time) the U.S. Service--for something you are not sure of--But I suppose you know what you want better than I do & only hope you will succeed with your Lt. Cols. commission & that everything will be as you hope for, but I fear not[?]  It is as I understand an unorganized reg't of Cavalry & that you have no regular pay--How are you (to ask a plain question) to support yourself?  It is your intention to unite [?] with some one of the fair sex & "jog along."!!!. . .

NYPL-GL Box 159


PITTSFIELD VILLAGE  M orders from Harper's two sets of his works for his brother Allan.  ($13)  accounts, HCL-M


WASHINGTON March 16  Secretary of War Stanton allows Lt. Henry Gansevoort to accept the commission of Lieutenant‑Colonel.


BOSTON March 19  Stanwix writes to his Aunt Augusta, in Pittsfield:

          I am having a very pleasant time here in Boston.  Yesterday Aunt Carrie, Oakye, and Josie came here.  I went out with Oakye and staid out doors four hours, we went down to the wharves, and to Uncle Lem's Office and Uncle Sam's, and down to the Post Office and pretty near all over the city we had a good time.

          Aunt Helen came in from Brookline yesterday and brought Bessie and Fannie.  Aunt Helen invited, Mamma, Aunt Carrie, Oakye, and I to Brookline this week Saturday.  Oakye and I tried to get up to the top of the State House but it was closed. 

          . . .  Oakie and I went out to Milton . . .  Oakie let me take some of his books to read and he said I might take them home, if I wanted to, and I am a going to, they are the Franconia Stories.

          Give my love to Papa, and Mackey.



PITTSFIELD  Harriet Briggs Bigelow, widowed April 5, 1862, writes to Augusta:

          When I heard you were in town, the wish to meet you was so great, that my first impulse was to come & see you, but I do assure you I . . . have not resolution enough to come, tho' the pleasant memories, of a life that seems all dismal as I see it now, come thronging over me, with thoughts of you, and other members of your family. 



Allan not answering questions about timber and stone--they had been thinking of buying a mangle, a clothes roller device to squeeze water out--

GANSEVOORT March 20  Fanny writes to Augusta, at Pittsfield:

          . . .  It was very interesting to us to hear about Pittsfield people again. . .  Dr Kent was very polite to ask you to ride.  (Oh, was I not pleased that I was not you) . . .  Tuesday Cousin Kate[,] Mary & Stanwix came over early [from Glens Falls] & spent the day.  Fortunately Frances [the "help"] was here & we made out nicely . . .  Mr Curtis is well, but of course the place is not yet healed over.  Len, cousin Kate says, is not well at all.  Stan was the same odd fellow.  Mary brought me two of her new books to read . . .  Wednesday, no Tuesday, I had a pleasant note from Kate Gansevoort, wanting to know when we were coming to make them a visit.  Hannah has another son!  Henry has been making them a flying visit . . .  Not one word do we hear from Allan though Mamma has written several times to tell him, that men have been here asking questions about timber & stone &c.  I would like to give this brother of ours a good shaking, he richly deserves something of the sort.  I have no patience with him.  About the tax--it is to help pay the debt, no the expense, the state has been put to with the soldiers bounty & other items of a war kind.  The sum I believe has been divided among the counties, & this tax has been laid to make it up.  Dont they have such a one in Pittsfield?  You say you have my boots, but I am afraid from what you write, that you have not all leather ones.  I do not like "Lasting" [?].  Then I forgot to ask you to pick out broad soles, as narrow ones are not comfortable for a housekeeper.  I have another want and that is a pretty back comb.  I have broken mine this cold weather . . .  So Malcolm recites to you, during his vacation, a capital idea.  My love to him & tell him to study real hard.

          You & Herman must be having a fine time.  What are you reading? . . .  I have read several of the new books.  As I take life very easy, don't be afraid I will do too much, for you will find things pretty much as you left them; it is so bitter cold.  mind you take good long walks &c.

          Just had a talk with Ma [after her nap]--& I have come to the conclusion, that as taxes are heavy & purse light, the "clothes wringer" will have to be given up for this year.  Mamma sends love to Herman & Malcolm . . .


BOSTON March 21  Lizzie writes to Augusta:

          The children [the girls and Stanwix] enjoyed their ride in the cars very much, though they got rather tired before reaching Boston.  I had a note from Helen today to say that she would come in [from Brookline] tomorrow, and would put the finishing touches to their dresses first.  She was expecting company at ten.  John staid there all night, and reports them lively this morning after a fine romp with Uncle George.  He goes to New Bedford this afternoon and promised to bring Kate up to Boston for a day, before I leave if possible--Herman will tell you what I wrote him about Mr Storrow--poor man, he is a great sufferer.

          I hope you get along comfortably--you know you have only to speak for what is wanted.--Give a great deal of love to Macky, and tell him I hope he is prompt in all his duties.


BOSTON March 22  Lizzie writes to Augusta:

          I am having a very pleasant visit, thanks to you for being the means of my feeling at ease about Herman &c.

          Stanny wrote you a short letter yesterday--he is having a fine time with Oakey--I passed the day with Helen yesterday, Carrie, children & all--we enjoyed it much.  I had a dressmaker on Thursday, and have been very busy, getting my dress in wearing order--It is a fine black alpacca, which is the new thing now, & trimmed with a new kind of alpacca braid, very much after the fashion of your new black one-- . . .  If you write Mama, tell her that her missing black rope shawl is here, & I will bring it home . . .

          I am sorry to hear that one of Mrs Thayer's twins is very sick with lung fever--

          About that card left at the house I can't imagine what it reads unless it is "Miss Rockwell"--you may send the "Harpers Weekly" of March 27 to Gansevoort if you please as I have chanced to see it . . .


1863--move the persuading mamma into 1862

BROOKLINE March 22 Helen writes to Augusta:

          Yesterday, according to previous arrangements, Lizzie & Carrie, with Josie, Oakie, and Stannie came to pass the day.  We had a very pleasant time, at least I had, & the others, especially the boys, seemed to enjoy themselves highly.  I had asked Willie Griggs to come up and dine with the children, knowing he was such a bright little fellow, he would be a nice guide & companion to the Boston boys, if they wanted to walk or play out of doors.  He is just Fanny's age, but can adapt himself to all other ages, and was quite as old and manly as Stannie, or Oakie, yesterday . . .

          "Being war-times," as I told my guests, desserts & second courses may be properly dispensed with, & that will be an useful idea to act upon with your Gansevoort company next summer.  You know we tried hard to persuade Mama into it, but if it is the fashion, perhaps her mind may change with modern manners--

          Lizzie showed me a letter from Aunt Lucy to her mother, in which it appears that Clara Nourse is sick & Mary has gone on to Cincinnati to be with her . . .

          I wrote Fanny a long letter about the time you left, not knowing you thought of leaving for Pittsfield.  Your presence there must be a great solace to Herman in the absence of wife, and girl-bairns.  Stannie looks rather "peaked" after his hooping-cough, but was in most uproarious spirits, and the three male juveniles together were entirely too much for our middle-aged nerves, we were thankful they could amuse themselves out of doors.

          When George was leaving the house after dinner, the disrespectful young Americans commenced a vigorous onset upon him with snow-balls, Willie the while, bestowing the epithet of "Old Grandather Stove Pipe," upon his worthy Uncle.  The last specimen of school wit, is to denominate bearers by this opprobrious name . . .

          Lizzie will have a nice visit in Boston, she is well, & the weather so far has been beautiful . . .

          My best love to Herman & Mackie, and any amount for yourself . . .


PITTSFIELD VILLAGE March 24  Augusta writes to Fanny, covering many topics including Lizzie's discovery of Mamma's missing shawl; she answers Fanny's question ("What are you reading?"), listing The Pearl of Orr's Island, by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1862), a suggestive book to have in the house with the man who had written The Isle of the Cross.


Lizzie's housekeeping--keeps a slate in the [kitchen?]

BOSTON March 25  Lizzie writes to Augusta:

          . . .  You know my furlough expires on Monday and I was to have the travelling days extra!--So on Tuesday I shall be there without fail . . .  Helen has just come in with the children to pass the day . . .  The children are all bright and lively and enjoying every minute.  Tell Macky that Stany got into the frog pond yesterday, up to his knees.  I am so sorry that Mary [the housekeeper] is sick just now of all times--but I hope Selinia [?] gets along without troubling you much--she must stay till her mother is well . . . 

          Please "jot down" on a paper or my slate the names of the callers to which I should respond . . .



GANSEVOORT March 25  Fanny writes to Augusta:

          . . .  We are glad that you will remain until Lizzie's return, for Herman would be lonely enough, with only Malcolm . . .  Yesterday Mamma received a half sheet from Allan in reply to her questions about the repairs [on the mill].  He says June will be as early as they can commence the work.  He enclosed a photograph of Master Richard Lathers, it is excellent.  I do hope yours will be good, I would keep on trying until you do succeed, for there is no reason why you should not make an expressive picture, if not handsome . . .  Mamma is delighted that her shawl has "turned up" . . .  Mary I hope is able to be about again, it is indeed fortunate that her daughter is with her to attend to things.

          I enclose from my own purse $3.00 it is the last of the $10.  So be careful and prudent!  Mamma sends you $5 making $8.00 in all. 

          You must try & get some yards of red cord for the white drap[e]s in the parlor, these cords (I mean one of them) is worn out.  I don't think we need any thing else . . .  Mamma sends love to you & Herman & Malcolm . . . .        





identify the Wales family--pattern--when she is in Boston Lizzie always goes to Aunt Lucretia Knapp's and does up some fine sewing---

BOSTON March 27  Lizzie dashes off a letter to Augusta:

          I have only a few minutes to write you before dressing to go to Mrs Wales' to dinner (5 1/2 oclock), but I want to say that I received your letter last night, and I have been trying to arrange matters so that I could go home on Monday but, dear Gus, though I do not want to impose on your exceeding good nature, I do wish you would stay till Wednesday--

          You know that Monday will be the anniversary of father's death, and mother seems to feel so sad at its approach.  I think she would feel very badly to have me go,--and it would be a comfort to her to have me here then--And I promised Aunt Lucretia that on Monday I would go and sit a couple of hours with her and do up some fine sewing that she has ready [?] for me, as I always do when in Boston-- . . .  I have a big bundle from Kate, which you will find worth waiting for, and mother's photographs I should have them I hope (they have not come here yet), and then I want to see you so much again, so do stay . . .

          My love to Herman and Macky, and thank Herman for his note . . .


Allan's failing health--

March 28  Fanny Melville writes to Augusta:

          Letter from Allan to-day--all well, that is Jenny & the children, he does not feel very strong himself, he writes that a part of every day "he seems to give up, but comes out bright in the morning."

          Henry Gansevoort has got his leave from Washington (through Mr Lather's influence with his friend Mr Stanton in a great measure) to take position on Lieut Col. in state volunteers.  I had a note from Mary [Curtis] Wednesday.  Leonard had been sick & confined to his room for a week & Stan was staying at the house to take care of him.  They had just received a letter from Ned, saying his resignation had been accepted & they might expect him home soon.  Mary said Cousin Kate looked ten years younger since the new came . . .

          Mamma sends love to Son H. & grandson M. M. . . .

          Be sure that you wear your boots coming home for the walking is fearful. 


NEW YORK? JERSEY CITY? March 29  David Davidson dies at the age of thirty eight.   


NEW YORK March 30  George Long Duyckinck dies at the age of forty years.


NEW YORK March 31  One after the other, alphabetically, the Times lists in its "Died" column two of M's friends:


DAVIDSON.--On Sunday morning, March 29, DAVID, son of Samuel Davidson, Esq., in the 38th year of his age.

          His friends, and those of the family, are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, from the residence of his father, No. 123 Washington-st., Jersey City, on Wednesday, April 1, at 3 o'clock.

                    [Printer's fist] London and Paris papers please copy.


DUYCKINCK.--In this City, on Monday morning, March 30, GEORGE L. DUYCKINCK.

          His relatives and friends, and those of his brother, Evert A. Duyckinck, are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, at St. Thomas' Church, on Thursday, April 2, at 4 o'clock P. M., without further notice.



HOOSICK, NEAR TROY March 31  Oakey Hall writes to Evert Duyckinck:

          In a little town to which business called me: in the midst of a driving snowstorm: just toward dusk: and with everything cheerless about me I learn of the death of George.  It is a great shock: for I did not even know he was ill: & I shall not, I fear, reach town to attend the funeral, but shall try.

          You know Evert I have knocked around the edges of society of all sorts & have for a man of my years seen a great deal of the bad side of life without being in it or of it.  I can therefore well admire & esteem such a meek and unaffectedly just man as was George.  To me he stands out in very bold relief as such a man.  He was guileless, charitable to the failings of others, detesting wrong & deceit.  You see I dwell on the things which to me seem great virtues.  Others will speak of his talents, & literary labors & of his mind & its acumen.  But to me a good man & that my friend is praise above all praise . . .  NYPL-D


JERSEY CITY April 1  The funeral of David Davidson is held from the residence of his father, Samuel Davidson, 123 Washington-st. at 3 P.M.


AMHERST MA April 2  From a stop on a lecture tour old Richard Henry Dana writes a consolation note to Evert A. Duyckinck, recalling George as a silent listener to conversations, but an intelligent listener.  MHS-Dana


NEW YORK April 2  The funeral of George L. Duyckinck is held at St. Thomas' Church at 4 P.M.



they subscribe up there to the N Y WORLD

Dan added 6 Feb 98:

GANSEVOORT April 3  Fanny Melville writes to Kate Gansevoort:

          To-morrow morning bright and early, Mamma will leave for your good city.  Many thanks for your very affectionate invitation to come down with her, I know I would make a delightful visit, but at this busy season of the year, even a few days cannot very well be spared, as Augusta and I are going to take advantage of Mamma's absence to attend to the house cleaning (for alas, "those melancholy days the sad[d]est of the year" as some newspaper poet calls them) & so have all in nice summer order on her return, if the weather will only become more spring like & genial for such operations!

          Have you seen Augusta?  We had a note from her yesterday saying she would be home this evening.  I did not forget your kind message when I wrote to her.  In one of her letters she spoke of having her photograph taken & said if successful this time you should have one, as she had promised long ago . . .

[writes about account of royal wedding from the London Times]

          Did you read the rather sarcastic letter dated Dublin?  I did not know before, that the Prince of Wales, bore among his other titles, that of Earl of Dublin.  What a fearful contrast between these weddings festivities and the need of food, coming from the same country!

          . . . We take the daily "World" at present, but I do not like the spirit of the paper at all--it takes such a very gloomy & depressing view of the state of the country generally . . .

          I hope the weather will be pleasant while "Aunt Melville" is with you so she can walk about, as for some time past, she has not been able to take that kind of exercise on account of the deep snow.

          The last of this month, Augusta is going to New Bedford to spend some weeks with Kate.  Would you beleive [sic] it, it is five years since she has made Helen or Kate a visit.  We hope Kate & the children will be able to return with her & remain a part of the hot season with us.  You see we are beginning to think of our "Summer company" even if the snow is still upon the ground! . . .

          My love to Uncle & Aunt Susan

          (You need not tell me that "Mother is splended," because I know it.) . . .

NYPL-GL Box 215



ALBANY April 4  M is sent a form letter, signed by Peter Gansevoort, a President of the Board of Trustees of the Albany Academy:

          The Albany Academy during the present year completes half a century of its history.  The board of trustees have thought that perhaps this event might not be without interest to the thousands who during that time have been educated within its walls.  They have therefore resolved that the semi‑centennial anniversary of this institution shall in some suitable way be celebrated, and for this purpose they ask that you, as one of in Alumni, should serve as a member of a committee to make arrangements for the occasion.  (Celebration of the Semi‑Centennial Anniversary of the Albany Academy)


1863 but add to 1862 the part about doing extra work last spring

BROOKLINE April 4  Helen writes to Augusta:

          How do you manage about Frances?  Does she come regularly, or by chances?  Now please dont wear yourself out cleaning house.  There is no manner of sense or use in it.  Three nice neat women, and no man with dirty boots, (except Georgie--) and they never mount the lower stairs even) cannot have made a great deal of work for the Spring, and you did so much extra last spring.  For pity's sake, dont go to Kate's, with a long pale care-worn physiognomy, all ready to take cold, and get sick, on the first provocation . . .

          I am glad Herman thought the good people had profited by their sojourn here.  Lizzie did seem to enjoy every moment, and the children certainly did.  I went into Boston to church on Good Friday, & called on Mrs Shaw to tell her they had arrived safely at home, your letter I knew was in advance of anything that Lizzie would have a chance to write--

          Now mind Gus, dont, please dont, pull the whole house to pieces at once, & you on the eve of making a visit . . .

NYPL-GL --Augusta Papers or old GL box?


nb Malcolm picked up "first rate" from Uncle Tom!--Tom as role model--

ALBANY April 7  Maria Melville writes to her "dear girls" at Gansevoort (Augusta and Fanny):

          I have just come up from breakfast, the buckwheat cakes were thought as dear Tom would say "first rate" . . .


After reporting on her encounters with sundry Lansings, Van Rensselaers, Van Vechtens, and others, Maria adds:

          Yesterday I had a letter from Allan.  Mr Lathers has gone to Europe.

          On arriving at the Depo, Samuel [a servant] stood ready to help me out, led to a low dark [?] splendid Carriage took my checks, arranged every thing & jumped on the box we drove up broadway State Street &c on safe [?] dry pavements & a summery look a bright sun--& alive looking people moving about, made me feel young again . . .



they have one black servant in other words

GLENS FALLS April 10  Mary Curtis writes to "dear Cousin Gus," playing upon #verivy# Beast Butler's recent definition of "contraband of war":

          I am very sorry to be obliged to tell you that Mother thinks it will be impossible for her to accept Cousin Helen's kind invitation and go on to Boston this summer.  I have said and done all I could to have her go but she seems to be proof against all persuasion.  We are at present and have been for three weeks, without any cook or servant of any kind excepting a little contraband in the kitchen to wash up pots and kettle.  Uncle Len is much better, he is able to go around the house . . .



Herman is having a fine time in NYC--then came home unexpectedly--

S'liny is the daughter who subbed a while when Lizzie was away in Boston

PITTSFIELD April 16  Elizabeth Melville writes to Augusta:

          I omitted to say what I intended to, about Mary--She had concluded to "give up" you know, but the next day felt much better, so much so, that she thought she would try "a spell longer"--Then I have given her a daily dose of "Bourbon & Bitters" which has so propped her up, that she feels "quite smart again"--"S'liny" has gone to her place, and has not lost flesh so far--when I asked her the other day if she knew about cooking & got along well, she said, "Well I kept house three years, and 'Miss Gusty' did'nt find no fault, when she was here["]!

          I am glad to hear such good news of Tom--where shall we write to him now, and what are the prospects for his return?

Herman is having a fine time in New York . . .  I am reading "No Name"--how provoking to have the numbers missing--if they do not reach you regularly (the Weekly) let me know . . .  I am daily expecting to see Mrs. Brittain though I have not heard a word--Mrs. M. probably will not return for some time . . .  After 4 oclock.  Herman has just come home unexpectedly.


NEW YORK APRIL 17  Allan Melville writes to Augusta:

          Your letter about the boxes on the Samuel Russell was received yesterday.  The ship has arrived.  But the Capt has gone to Connecticut and the mate says he wants an order from him before the box can be delivered . . .  Young Marsh who has the other box in charge is a guest of our neighbour young Mr Bradford as yet I have failed to see him as he was out when I called.  Mrs Bradford told Jenny that he had mentioned having such a box.  I shall endeavor to find him to night.  I send this off to save the mail . . .



Mamma and spring chores--outdoors

GANSEVOORT April 25  Fanny writes to Augusta, who has stopped at the Manor House before going on to visit Helen at Longwood:

Your trip in the cars must have been delightful indeed!  I did not notice the "black coals."  After I had seen the train move off I went slowly home feeling lonely enough and I don't know what the feeling might have ended in, if Mamma had not said it was time for tea! . . .

          Mamma is out & in all the time & is in fine health.  The hot-bed is fixed, the onions planted, the asparagus bed forked & raked & many other things of the kind attended to.  Frances [the help] gets along nicely & is stronger I think than when she came . . .  I also had a letter from Allan this morning saying his note to Captain Wenchall was answered in person & that he had given him a very interesting account of Tom.  The boxes arrived yesterday--now for the contents!  In the first place I was very sorry that you could not have been home at the opening.--Well, I took off the cover & on the top was the blue & white dress.  I enclose a sample, is it not beautiful?  Then came my cabinet . . .  Your work box is very large and is a perfect beauty, it is Japan work not like the one I have; it is inlaid the cover is very rich.

          The fruit dishes are very odd looking different shapes & shades of stone I have placed them on the different tables & they look well.  They are flat & not large . . .  Then there were two round boxes, same stone & style & ten small idols, some six of them wee little fat things.  Now I have tole [sic?] you all that was in the box; as Tom in his letter mentioned to whom he sent the different things, he did not mark any thing but the box of tea for Mamma . . . it was "choice" indeed.  And is now put carefully away to be used for very particular friends.  Tell Helen she shall have a "dish" of it . . .

          Did Mr Van Rensselaer go on to Boston with you, & was George [Griggs] at the depot?  . . .  Did you have a headache on your arrival?  I hope not. 



Dan added 26 Feb 98:

ALBANY April 25  Kate Gansevoort writes to Henry Gansevoort:

          . . . Aunt Melville left us on Monday last after a visit of a fort-night  She seemed to enjoy her visit very much--. . .

NYPL-GL Box 159



fix this all a week later because Lynn and I are sure letter is not 1 May but 7 May=--so fix all along here

PITTSFIELD VILLAGE April 30-31  Allan arrives from New York and summons his family.

(Allan came up last Thursday & seeing that it was such fine weather and dry roads here, he telegraphed to Jenny to come up next day [April 24], and bring all the children, which she did--Lizzie to Fanny, May 7)


LAWRENCE Late April and May  In the Journal and Courier, a running advertisement for the sale by the real estate broker W. D. Joplin of "an eligible house lot on Prospect Street, next north of the estate of J. C. Hoadley Esq., 113 by 150 feet."



Did they go out to Arrowhead so Allan could survey his property?

PITTSFIELD May 2  So you see I had a house full--children enough as Mary said to "shingle a house"--It was splendid weather when they were here, and Saturday we started off in two vehicles--12 Melvilles of us and had a grand picnic, on our old "trailing arbutus" ground where Tom had such "a good time" on one occasion.  We staid the whole day, made fine, boiled tea & eggs--fried ham &c.  The children enjoyed it highly, and we all came home loaded with flowers, a box full of which the children took to N. Y.--Lizzie to Fanny, May 7


make sure it is rested in his room not nested==

May 3  On Sunday we "simmered down" as much as possible and I marshalled the 6 Misses Melville & the 2 Masters Melville into church.  Allan & Jenny went to Dr Todd's (in time to hear the benediction) and Herman rested in his room.--Lizzie to Fanny, May 7


SALEM CHAPEL [VA?] May 3  Captain John DePeyster Douw, son of Volckert P. Douw and Helen L. Douw, and nephew of the [ck sp] eponymous husband of Margaret Van Rensselaer, leads his own company of the 121st Regiment of New York State Volunteers in this day's terrible battle.




GANSEVOORT May 4  Fanny writes to "My dear Gus" at the Hoadley's, in New Bedford:

          Monday Mary [Curtis] came in the afternoon train, she brought me several new books to read . . .  Thursday (Fast-Day) [April 30th] we had no service in either church.  I suppose you went to church.  Cousin Kate [Curtis] & Leonard drove over after dinner, they brought Mamma two fresh shad & oranges . . .  Saturday morning we went into the woods to look for May flowers but could not find one single blossom.  In the afternoon Leonard came for Mary.  I think she enjoyed her visit very much & would have remained longer if her mother was not so lonely Mr Curtis being in New York on business.  From Ned, they have not heard one word & of course are anxiously expecting him every day . . .  Frances did a great many things last week.  Cleaned the basement room--made fine soap & candles & washed the blankets & quilts . . .  Mr Van Rensselaer sent Mamma an envelope filled with choice flower seeds.  Mamma wrote a note thanking him.  Oh, Augusta, Mary told me that about two weeks ago, she read a notice in one of the N. Y. papers of the funeral of Herman Gansevoort Radclift, he died of wounds in one of the hospitals.  What a blow to his parents!  Mary has promised to look for the paper & send it to me. 


Jennie's ostentatious buying--

May 4  On Monday we went to Lebanon and spent the greater part of the day, where I prevailed upon Sister "Sary Ann" to give us dinner--Then we spent some time in the "shop" there,--Jenny made large purchases.  Fortunately Bessie and Fanny had a few days vacation (between the terms), so they could go to Lebanon with us, but on that day the boys had to go to school much to their disgust . . .--Lizzie to Fanny, May 1


May 5  On Tuesday, noon the party took the Hudson train & the boat down to New York--just in time to escape the storm . . .


NEW BEDFORD ---Maria is at Gansevoort and John is home  May 5  John C. Hoadley inscribes a printed copy of his "The sounds I love" (1855):

          Mrs. Melville, / From her affectionate son, / J. C. Hoadley-- / May 5, 1863--


adding awkwdly 25 Nov. 2001

BROOKLINE one Monday in May 1863 4, 11, 18, or 25 Helen writes to Kate and Augusta [in New Bedford, May 1863]:

There is something truly pitiable, to my mind, in the condition of any one, on the eve of moving from one house to another.  No matter whether the move is up or down the ladder of social position, or housekeeping convenience, for the time being their household gods are dishonored, and the outraged Lares & Penates fly shrieking and homeless through the air. 


ALBANY May 7  Kate Berry to Augusta:

What splendid soldiers those Southerners are and they have had all the victory since the war has commenced  It does not appear that any General in our army is competent to be on the Potomac  They have all been defeated one after each other.  Now these abominable Massachusetts abolishionists seek glory  They do not care if this war continues ten years to come  Sumner will clap his hands and sing March again and try to be defeated but he will take good care that he will never die fighting for the restoration of the Union  One of the greatest cowards & hypocrites that we have at the North.



need to fill this out and check--Lynn and I definitely date it May 7  needs to be filled out

May 7  Lizzie writes to Fanny:

          Herman has written to mama about our plans, so no matter about them at present, only to add that possibly Allan & Jenny may come up and occupy the farm house this summer--Jenny is very desirous to do so, but seeing that they will have to transport all their furniture from N. Y. and that it would hardly "pay" for so short a time, I think that Allan will dissuade her--at least, I hope so . . .

          On Sunday we "simmered down" as much as possible and I marshalled the 6 Misses Melville & the 2 masters Melville into church--Allan & Jenny went to Dr Todds (in time to hear the benediction) and Herman rested in his room . . .

                    I saw "the Atlantic Monthly" that you speak of in Boston and think the "Spasm of Sense" [by Gail Hamilton (Mary Abigail Dodge)] capital--wish there was more such sense in the world . . .

          Mrs M. Morewood has not returned yet.  I am expecting her here, have invited her & Mr. B. till their house is ready.  Mr M. staid with us two or three days a short time since he was up to set matters a going at the farm--Abby two[??]###.  He has gone back to Stockbridge our children are getting on nicely at school and improving.  I have not seen any notice of [Herman Gansevoort] Ratcliff's # death--will send if I do . . .

 we move in October Yes.  "Move"--We shall only wash paint & windows--  [NEED more of this and need to work on text]


from Chris Coughlin 4 Dec. 1999 added hp

LAWRENCE May 9  The Sentinel follows a departed citizen with praise:

          Few of our citizens are aware how extensive a business is carried on in this city by our former esteemed townsman, J. C. Hoadley.  His portable-steam-engines have justly earned him a reputation, and are also earning more valuable returns.  About forty men are employed upon them, and he is pressed with orders constantly, not only from Pike's Peak and California and remote parts of our own land, but from Egypt, from Peru, from Eastern Siberia, far up the Amoer River.  The inhabitants of Nuremberg used to boast

                    "Nuremberg's hand

                    Goes through every land."

          So Lawrence, through her enterprising citizens is sending her good works through the world.  Any one who wants an engine, or further information on the subject, can obtain either of Pardon Armington, 142 Essex.


[Allan fleeced Herman again--$3000 for Arrowhead, house and 80 acres} Lewis has been working for Maria

GANSEVOORT May 11  Maria Melville writes to her daughter Augusta:

          By the way did you go to your Uncles when you were in Albany, you said nothing about it, & I have not heard from them since I returned home, do not forget to write me about it . . .  I want to hear how Kate is after her important pleasant, but fatiguing visit.  How does the moving progress I wish you were all settled.  To day Fanny had a long letter from Helen, still uncertain about the house [they] expect a letter every day then they will know whether they can keep the house or not.

          I had a letter from Herman  They go to New York in October, Allan has taken the Pittsfield Farm in part payment.  Sam Shaw was the agent & made the legal transfer of the 26 St House to Lizzie.  Herman seems to be much pleased with the prospect.  He has always liked New York, & is not the first man who has been beguiled into the country, & found out by experience that it was not the place for him.

          Lewis has been here every fair day since my return home cleaned the cellars, looked over the potatoes & worked all round cleaning up, finishing the wood &c . . .  I gave him [George Curtis] some of the Flower seeds Mr Van Rensselaer sent me on his return from Boston . . . 

          I enclose Lizzies letter at her request.  She must have had a fatiguing time with the 6 Miss Melvills two Master Melvills & the four old Fathers & Mothers . . .


mill receipts and cows

Sale of Hoadley house for $8000?  NEED

family phrases---& Critical George

GANSEVOORT May 18  Fanny writes to Augusta, with Kate in New Bedford:

          Your letter was received last Wednesday, the same day probably you received one from Mamma [written the 11th].  I was just putting the pantry in order & as it was late, had only time to add a hasty line as Allan says, to save the mail . . .

          Tell Kate the Lawrence paper came to-day & I have just mailed it to Mary.  To think of eight thousand dollars!  Lawrence forever! . . .

          Mamma was much engaged all last week out-doors directing her man Lewis, the place is getting in nice order & will look very pretty this summer.  The grass all over is beautiful & a number of pretty young elms have been planted out.  This exercise agrees perfectly with our energetic maternal & makes her feel a world stronger & better.  We have had spinages, asparagus and pie-plant . . .[#ck--]

          I long to see the photographs you have for me.  Did you speak to Uncle De Wolf about the grand-parents for Tom's book, his set?  I am glad Mrs Thayer gave those she promised . . .

          . . . don't forget to put in that picture to frame for Tom's room we spoke of . . .  Last week I wrote Helen, so do not send this hop-skip epistle to her for fear that critical George may get a peep at it . . .

          About that woman you might engage, there would be considerable risk about it & Mamma says we "may be away part of next winter"!!  As long as Frances can do what is necessary, she for many reasons is better than any one from a city . . .

          You ask about the Mill receipts, well they continue to be very good; this season of the year you know is the best.  Mamma sends you $5, thinking as your dresses are to be fitted, you will need it.

          About the cows, you may be easy upon that important point, as Mr Landon has the charge of them--is sending us three lbs of butter a week & two quarts of milk a day . . .


PITTSFIELD May 21  An item in the Berkshire County Eagle:

          ALLEN MELVILLE, Esq., of New York, has purchased of his brother, Herman Melville, for a summer residence, the fine place, in this town, recently occupied by him, and known as "Arrow‑head."


HP added 29 April 98

NEW YORK May 21  Henry Sanford Gansevoort writes to his sister Kate:

          Have you heard that Herman Melville has purchased a house in this city.  He has sold his place in Berkshire to Allan who intends I believe spendng the summer there.

NYPL-GL Box 245


PITTSFIELD May 30  Stanwix writes to his Aunt Augusta, with the Hoadleys in New Bedford:

          Mackie and I have got a pair of rabbits, a white one, and a black one, we made a pen out in the garden for them.

          Did you know that Uncle Allan was going to live out at the farm, this summer?  they are coming out some time this week.  All their furniture has come.  Uncle Allan has got a horse her name is Kate.  Mamma bought two Catechisms for Mackie and me, we learn a lesson every Sunday.

          How does the Sunday School come on now?  how many Scholars are they?  Mrs Morewood has got home she spent a night with us.

          Give my love to Uncle John and Aunt Kate and a kiss to Minnie and Lottie . . .



Now 21 March 2000 need to go back and try to get the words better.

NEW YORK June 2  Jane Dempsey Melville writes to her sister-in-law Lizzie:

          I cannot sufficiently thank you for all your kindness and attention in arranging all the little things which are always most troublesome.  Allan & I feel deeply obliged to both Herman & yourself--The "Man" you speak of may do--I trust he will, but when there are so many growing girls, & so many girls as help in a family we cannot be too careful but I trust may still.  It would relieve Papa of a great deal of labour--besides we should be at once settled.  I think to put Matting on my Parlor, or as Mrs Thurston said last evening that carpet was better, perhaps I may put down a pretty little carpet, will you be so kind as to make a drawing of the room (parlor) & measure the recesses, the width of Mantle, the window recesses (if any,) &c let me know--as I can have it cut & made here at half the price upholsterers would ask.--Allan had not told me about the painting, how glad I am that he has thought of it.  Poor Allan!  I do not intend to let him go alone again, we must all go together, and let us each share of labor.  Maria, Florence, & Kitty are great helps in moving, as they would be willing & able to have Papa & I both have them, and all things considered, I think we shall all go together for some day next week--About the stove we think it would be better to wait & select it after we arrive.  You are very kind to offer to get one & to send the coal out and Allan & I think you with all our hearts, but there are many things to be considered, and Allan is particular about our cooking & should like to take our cook to [     d] let her give her experience.  The children are anxious to be at Arrowhead.  [But] shall we have strawberries & all sorts of fruit such as we have here--I do wish we could find a match of size, speed &c--to Raby our horse--as much of our pleasure will depend upon our drives &c &c--I trust the painters [?] have been out to Arrowhead and that the ceiling are all whitewashed by to-day.  We shall use the open fireplace until we buy a stove--can we get eggs, milk &c--about the neighborhood.  I am much obliged for your kind offer about the Ham but I think we can boil one here and get eggs &c there, and we can dine [?] thus for a day or so.  I have some vegetable seeds, & shall bring them  Will you oblige me by getting 3 dozen or 4 tomattoe plants, & 3 dozen egg-plants, & some vegetable oyster-plant, say 1 dozen also--some fine dahlia plants for the garden--& some Petunia Plants to be placed in the front of the house & around the trees, they are hardy, & bloom until November in Boston.  1 doz Dahlia plants or roots of different colors--in front of house & by the piazza, Madeira blue is pretty please get two & plant in sunny place--How soon I shall thank you in person I do not know but you know that Allan & I will reemburse you for any expenses you may be at on our account.  Do get me some dahlias--& any other plant you think pretty.  I am so fond of gardening that Arrowhead would not be so attractive if I could have no garden--I shall have some visits from New York friends who go to visit Mrs Lanman alas what will they think of poor simple Arrowhead--?  I must now close with love to Herman & the children & sympathy in your change of servants or "help" and with many thanks from Allan . . .


##next two entries?

(In this year (at the time of the sale?) M gives Allan his History of the County of Berkshire)



The Hist of the County of Berkshire under HM's signature & date Pittsfield July 16. 1850 (in ink) is (in pencil) "to Allan Melville 1863" poss in Allan's hand?  May well be Herman's hand


PITTSFIELD June 11  Allan Melville arrives.

The great event of the season has transpired.  Allan and the whole family (3 servants) came up last Thursday, the furniture, in part, having been sent up previously--Jennie, Kity & Lucy staid with me that night & Allan and the rest went out [to Arrowhead].--Lizzie to Fanny, June 14)


--Hetty Van Rensselaer --Ck Cuyler Reynolds-- getting married

GANSEVOORT  Fanny writes to Augusta, still with the Hoadleys in New Bedford:

          . . .  Have you received the wedding invitations from the Manor House?  Ours arrived yesterday, it takes place on the 16th of this month . . .  Yesterday came a letter from Jenny which I will send for you & Kate to read . . . 

          Mamm wants you to price a piece of cotton, nice for underclothes.  I will need to make a set of drawers &c this winter & so will you . . .  Allan does not write a word about the Mill repairs perhaps he will attend it after he gets settled at Arrowhead.  Mamma still continues her out-door occupations & is remarkably well & interested in what is doing . . .  How about those headaches?  Silence on such a subject is unkindness!


June 12  (Next day, Allan came in and great news--the purchases of furniture, kitchen utensils, cook-stove &c--Allan and Jenny went out in the evening--Lizzie to Fanny, June 14)


Dan verified 13 Feb 98:  hp ckg 29 April 98

ALBANY June 12  Along with a circular of the celebration schedule, completed by the committee of arrangements, Peter Gansevoort drafts M a personal letter:

          I have much pleasure in sending to you. the Circular of the Com. app[ointe]d for the celebration of the semi centennial anniversary of the Alby Academy--

          You are a member of the Committee; Permit me to indulge the hope, that you will shew your gratitude to the Academy & your appreciation of the services it has rendered the cause of Science by participating in the celebration & favoring us with an expression of your feeling, during the Evening Meeting in the Chapel of the Academy

          I expect to go to Saratoga Sp, next week with Yr Aunt Susan & Kate, to remain until about 4 July--

          However I shall be in Albany on 26th inst & if you come you will find my house open to you

[draft, NYPL-GL Box 54]


PITTSFIELD June 13  (. . . and the children staid with me till last eveg. when Jennie drove in with Milie & Florence and staid so late making purchases that she was afraid to drive home alone, & Malcolm had to go with her (in his Saturday wardrobe) . . .  Among other purchases she bought 3 doz Tomato plants,--lots of material for pickle she will have--Lizzie to Fanny, June 14)


June 14  Lizzie writes to Fanny:

. . .  [Malcolm walked] back this morning long before she [Jenny] was up . . .  I think the lady is somewhat homesick already and should not be surprised if she left the place in a month.  Selfishly speaking, I hope she will--I enclose a specimen of the sort of letters I have been having, which will amuse you, especially the part about Mrs Lanman's visitors--This came when I was in the midst of "cooking my own dinner" do you wonder I was cross on trying to read it?

          Mary left me about two weeks ago, finding my work too hard, and went to Mrs Mills to take care of babies!--where she staid 24 hours, and left.  She is living now at the jeweller Roots, where they say the work is always hard.  I was nearly a week without "help"! for though I had numerous applications, I would not take a woman without a good reccommendation . . .

          The children are all well, & Herman about as usual.  Many thanks for your kind invitation to visit you.  I fear that I shall not be able to accept it, but I shall urge Herman to go--My cold begins to trouble me, but not severely as yet--Aunt Lucy is in Boston.  I have invited her to come and se us--did you know that Clara [Nourse] is to board here this summer, within 3 minutes walk of us.  Much love to Mama in which Herman joins--We should be very glad to see her here and you also, any time you can come.


Dan added 21 May 98:

NEW BEDFORD June 14  Augusta Melville writes to Evert Duyckinck:

          On Mr Hoadley's return home this morning he handed me a little packet bearing my address, & as I recognized the familiar characters, my heart told me what it contained.

          I have just finished reading this beautiful tribute to the memory of one who has been dear to every lover of George Herbert & Bishop Ken, & it has been a Sabbath hour long to be remembered.

          When the sad intelligence of your brother's death first reached me, my heart prompted me to write & tell you how deeply I sympathized with you & I thank you for sending me this beautiful memorial of him, that I may do so now.  His character I have admired & revered since long years ago, a stranger in New York, I learned to know his worth.

          What a loss the Church has sustained in the death of one who thus adorned his profession; & the Sunday-school which he so loved, & for which he so nobly labored. . .

NYPL-D Box 12


Helen calls Jane Madam

BROOKLINE June 14  Helen writes to Augusta, with the Hoadleys in New Bedford:

          Your letter about & concerning the veil, did not reach me until Friday.  Yesterday (Saturday) it rained, but if it is tolerably pleasant tomorrow, I will go in to Boston, & see what can be done about it--then add a postscript to this sheet, & send back this box with the same, or another veil, as the cars [?] may be not being learned in the matters of thread lace veils.  I cannot tell whether this was a deception, or whether the woven on borders are still more expensive, but will make it my business to find out.  At any rate, I have often seen veils worn, with broken places at the point of contact between border and inside, showing that many of them are sewed on.

          I will if possible change it, even if the $200 has to be added to the price, for this would of course not wear as well.  You know all imported goods are higher than ever just now, and even cotton has gone up six cents a yard since the middle of last week, after having gone down.

          I am glad you are going to remain with Kate, for of course you can be better spared when Mama and Fanny have some one with them to take your place.

          George has some idea of taking a holiday on Wednesday [June 17], Bunker Hill day, & going down the harbor for a sail.  It is so seldom that he does such a thing, I should not like to lay a straw in his way, and so shall not go to Gansevoort until Friday--for excursionists are dependent on wind & tide, and it would not be pleasant for either of us, if he should be out all night, (as he was once before, in a dead calm,) & I, waiting to take an early start on the morrow morning.  I will answer Fanny's letter, & tell her to expect me on Friday.

          If I were not going to Mama & Fanny, it seems to me, it would be impossible to reconcile myself to leave this house.  It is becoming a very Naboth's vineyard to me, and so it is full time perhaps, that my removal from such a source of temptation should take place.

          And so Allan is really going to Arrowhead!  How long do you predict that Madam will be satisfied & contented in such a quiet corner of the earth?

          I hope Hattie V. R. will be happy in her change of name and home.

          We shall not hear probably from Pauline until the middle or last of next week, but Mr Wilson whose wife & son, were their compagnons du voyage has heard from the party on their route as far as Chicago and they had been having a delightful journey.  I have not left much room for my postscript, so with love to all John, Kate, & the little ones, I am your


NYPL-GL Augusta Papers


Augusta is in Pittsfield

ARROWHEAD Mid-June? [need to check hot and cold days in BA##] Jane Dempsey Melville sends a note to Lizzie:

          The day is so warm that I dare not attempt to go to the village in our carriage but send two of the children so that one may hold an umbrella.  I want you to take a covered conveyance--and I will pay for it, for Allan, you will be far more comfortable, & I feel certain Herman could not come in an open conveyance to-day.  So to oblige my horse & myself, please take a carriage & be here to dine at 3 P. M.  Then, after dinner we shall be able to go the the Hill.  It would be impossible to go out with any comfort now & as the afternoon is the most agreeable  . . . we will have our dinner at 3, and do as you like afterwards, I trust this will meet your approbation & Augusta's & Hermans.  You might let two of the little girls, or one of the boys come out with Milie.  But come in a carriage yourself by all means, & oblige.  I have no extra preparation--so do not expect it but come & do as you like & enjoy yourselves . . .  Milie will try to bring out some ice, can it be got near your house?  Please let Milie have 3 or 4 large dinner knives.  The children & myself will all be dressed and looking as bright as possible to receive you and our Sister. 



expecting many long letters in SF (as he did in 1860)

GANSEVOORT June 15  Fanny writes to Augusta, with the Hoadleys:

          Tom's letter came this morning, we were becoming quite anxious at not hearing from him--his letter as usual contains the good news of his perfect health but he cannot tell us when he expects to reach home.  He is now on his way to San Francisco, where he hopes to receive many long letters from us all . . .  I shall write Herman about Tom's directions, so he & Lizzie can write.  Mamma had a long pleasant letter from Kate Gansevoort, also to-day.  She says that the wedding at the Manor House is to be small but a magnificent affair & then adds "but you of course know more about it than we do" . . . 


[this is here 1 Oct. 97 to show that Octavius Howe is wrong in AMERICAN CLIPPER SHIPS in saying that Tom commanded the Beverly.

BOSTON June 17  The Daily Evening Transcript reports under "ARRIVED THIS MORNING":

          Ship Beverly, (of Boston) Chase, Calcutta Feb 25 . . .


Herman's jocular letters

GANSEVOORT June 22  After Helen's arrival for a visit, Fanny writes to Augusta, with the Hoadleys:

          John's poem is most beautifully "got up."  I am very proud of my copy & have placed it in the drawing-room.  I am so glad that he sent one to Cousin Kate [Curtis?], the attention will please her I know.  Mamma wants him to mail one to Uncle Peter . . .

          Saturday I had a note from Herman, but I believe I will enclose it it is so funny, mind & send it back.  I wrote to him this morning, saying how glad we were that he was coming & that he must bring one or two of the children with him.  So you will stay a few days at Herman's on your way home.  Lizzie expects you . . .  Ever so much love to John & Kate.  Kiss the darkeys [the sun-tanned children] . . .


Maria Melville writes to her daughter Kate:

          . . .  I have just excused myself to write you a line & to thank dear John for "The sounds I love."  I shall treasure it highly  It is got up in chas[t]ely simple garb & requires immaculate care to preserve its purity.

          I wish John could spare one for Uncle Peter.  Cousin Kate is delighted with hers.  John must come on with Augusta  I should like to see him & to talk to him about business a little . . . 

          We are enjoying Helens visit, & are looking forward to see Herman next week . . .


Dan added 26 Feb 98:

SARATOGA SPRINGS June 30  Kate Gansevoort writes to Henry Gansevoort:

          . . . We find a great many very very [sic] pleasant acquaintances here--Some charming Bostonians.  Mr Peabody of the firm Curtiss & Peabody--under whose supervision Tom. Melville the Capt of the "Bengal"--He is at present at San Francisco & from thence will sail for South America--so as to keep free from the Rebel privateers. . .

NYPL-GL Box 159


even Nilly is down on Jane!

LANCASTER June 24  Mrs Nilly V. R. Thayer to Augusta:

          I hope Mrs Allan will enjoy her quiet country life, but I fancy she will soon tire of it, unless she finds gay society in Pittsfield.


ALBANY June 26  (On Friday Herman went to Albany to join in the Semi. Cen [tennial] Cel[ebration] of the Alumni of the Albany Academy--his name was on the Committee, and Uncle Peter urged him strongly to unite with them--Herman writes that they had interesting exercises at "Tweddle Hall" (to which he marched in the procession) and a supper in the eveg of which he did not partake, though he was present--

          He staid at Uncle Peters alone with him (as the family are at Saratoga) and had a good time. --Lizzie to Augusta, at New Bedford, June 29)


The semi‑centennial anniversary of the Albany Academy:  Gathering in the Hall of the Academy, the Alumni seemed to revive as to the face of an old friend, their associations with lecture and study rooms, and to recall the memories of the long past hour, when the preparation for the realities of life's work was imparted.

          At 10 o'clock the Reunion was duly formed in appropriate order under the direction of Col. FREDERIC TOWNSEND of the United States Army . . .  Precedent moved the Trustees, the Faculty, and the Guests, while the Alumni and Students with them, formed an imposing army, which led by the music of Screiber's band, retraced the streets so familiar in all the incidents of Academical days.  It was a procession which commanded the attention and the respect of the citizens . . .


          [At 3 P.M. a public meeting was held in Tweddle Hall.]


          The meeting was presided over by the Honorable PETER GANSEVOORT, the President of the Board of Trustees, and by his side were his associates and the guests of the festival, among whom was warmly welcomed HERMAN MELVILLE, whose reputation as an author has honored the Academy, worldwide.

          Wetron's Grand March was then performed by the band.

          The Reverend Doctor FERRIS, now the Chancellor of the New York University . . . made prayer to Heaven, the source of that knowledge which shall not vanish away . . .

          At successive periods the exercises were diversified by the music of Home, Sweet Home, of Rest, Spirit, Rest, and of other appropriate harmonies.

          The following Commemorative Oration was then pronounced by the Honorable ALEXANDER W. BRADFORD, LL.D., of New York, a former student of the Academy:

          "You have called me to my birth‑place, the home of my childhood and my education, the land where my ancestors lived and died, through many generations--and I appear at your summons . . .

          "In 1813, Albany was still 'a jewel of antiquity;' 'all was antique, clean and quiet.' Below the Watering place, and above the Patroon's creek, and on the island where we used to bathe, willows and elms skirted the margin of the river.  A short walk, barely a few steps, and you were at Tivoli, or Buttermilk falls.  On the opposite side, the Giant's grave towered to the skies covered with ancient trees.

          "The twilight stroll was to the Willow walk, to the Hay scales, or to the North gate--the Fishing ground, at the dam, or the creek now spanned by the rail road bridges--the literary culture, at the Apprentices' library, the Albany library, or John Cook's reading room, a man noted for keeping Congress water, and for loud sneezing . . .  The streets were quiet, grave and still--carriages or wagons, by an old ordinance, were forbidden to be driven faster than a walk or a step, for fear of accidents, I suppose, to stray children, pigs and cows.  I thought to‑day as I was standing in Market street (Broadway), near Maiden lane, I saw a great long red box, which seemed to be gliding through the air.  I rubbed my eyes to look again--it was gone.  I turned to inquire as to the vision and was told it was a car on a horse rail road.

                          Steterunt que comae

                          Vox haesit faucibus."

          In the evening at 8 o'clock the Alumni gathered in force at the great hall of the Academy [to hear remarks by William H. Bogart & the Reverend Chancellor Ferris] . . .

          As there was present some of the very best vocalists, who were also of the Alumni, it was with the highest satisfaction that the songs which are here given, were heard, as while there was a hearty and joyous union in the chorus . . .

                    We have come again together

                              Here to have a jolly row,

                    And to make these old walls echo

                              With our merry row‑de‑dow.


          Chorus--Cocachelunk, chelunk, chelaly, etc.

                    Loudly, then, upraise the chorus,

                              While to‑night with memory toys,

                    Calling up the hours of pleasure

                              When we all were happy boys.

          Chorus--Cocachelunk, &c.

          And now . . . a recess was taken, to give opportunity for the enjoyment of the collation which the thoughtful liberality of the Committee of Arrangements had provided.  (Celebration)


June 27  Peter Gansevoort's diary:

At 5 P.M.  Left Alby for Saratoga Springs, Herman Melville accompanies me on his way to Gansevoort--  NYPL-GL


(On Saturday he went to Gansevoort to stay a few days--none of the children could accompany him, as the vacations have not begun yet--Lizzie to Augusta, June 29)


GANSEVOORT  Helen writes to Augusta, before M's arrival:

          The enclosed letter came this morning, and also a short letter from Tom, to Mama.  It was dated Manila May 3.  He left Hong Kong on the 14th, arrived at Manila on the 23 April after a very pleasant passage.  Had two passengers; one Mr Holden of San Francisco, who chartered the ship, only went as far as Manila, but the other Mr Hutton of Troy, will go to San Francisco with the ship; the latter is "about 23 years of age, a nice young fellow, and very pleasant company."  While at Manila he received by a mail from Honk [sic?] Kong, yours and Fanny's letters, much to his delight.  He was taking in cargo, which he had found all ready for him, was "about one third loaded, & should leave in about 14 days."

          So good news from our sailor-boy again.

          We are all as usual here.  Cousin Kate came over early yesterday, stayed to dinner & tea, & took Mary home with her.  Mr Curtis, Ned, & Leonard are all on the sick list, & Kate the night before had had one of her old attacks of indigestion, & looked very pale & ill yesterday.  Len thinks of going to New York to get better medical advice than he can command here, & is much alarmed about himself, & with reason . . .

          . . .  One and all of the good people [the neighbors] are in despair at your long absence, and expected you certainly to-night.

          I had a letter from Lizzie, the day Herman left [June 26].  Bessie was better, but was very thin & pale.  How curious that she should be taken sick without any provocation, those children have always been so tough & healthy . . .

          Hattie wrote me soon after their arrival at Faribault, and then John was mending slowly.  I shall expect to hear from Pauline now every day.

          Tell Kate, with my love, that I will write to her one of these days, but Fanny is such a grand correspondant she leaves nothing for other people to do.  My best love to John and the children, & hoping you will be ready to come back before I return to Boston . . .


GANSEVOORT June 29  Fanny Melville writes to Augusta:

          We were all [Helen and Herman as well as Mamma and Fanny] very sorry to hear that you had been "shut up" for several days, but hope that you are well again now.  Being in the hands of careful Kate, we feel sure that you are decidedly well off; & decidedly well taken care of! . . .  The best thing you can do for our sister Hoadly is to get her in nice lazy habits! if you can.  I enclose a letter from Mrs Thayer, & a note from Kate Gansevoort they came Friday.  We have written for them to spend Wednesday here.  Herman came Saturday, he looks well & enjoyed his visit in Albany, stayed with Uncle Peter.  They came up together as far as the Springs.  If Bessie had been well enough Herman would have brought her, but for some time past, she has had headaches & a little fever.  When you return, Malcolm & Bessie may both come on with you to make us a visit.  Mamma had a letter from Allan he says he will be here this week.  Jennie & Milie I believe are now in New York.  The weather in Pittsfield has been cold & wet much to Jenny's discomfort; so Allan sent for her to come down to the city.

          Mrs Morewood, Lizzie writes, is miserable & does not go out at all.

          Tomorrow we expect Mary over, to stay.  Last week they took tea with us three times.   We enjoy their coming over, as we treat them decidedly in a family style . . .

          Mamma & Herman talk of going over to spend a day & night at Glenn's Falls, & they may go to the springs for a day also . . .  The weather is fine & Herman is enjoying his visit.


need to work on words--

Dan  what is the well known story of Greeley and the nigger?

PITTSFIELD June 29  Elizabeth Melville to Augusta:

          . . . Now comes the "new arrangement" and you are to stay till an indefinite time in July--But long or short as may be your tunny[?] I shall count on a visit from you on your return--and if it comes in Macky's vacation, and you desire it, he shall escort you home and pass a week or two with you, as he can come home alone.  Stannys vacation does not begin till August, I think--he was much pleased to receive your letter with the stamps & will write you soon I am sorry to say that Bessie is not well--she had such headaches and was growing so pale and thin that I have taken her out of school for the summer--and she was getting along so "splendidly" to use the teacher's own expression--she had not a better scholar of her age in school, and she was always prompt in her lessons--But I would rather she should grow up a perfect dunce than have her health suffer--And the Dr advised me take her out at once--he thinks that now she has a mild run of low fever, which will take its time to mature, and then she will throw it off and be well again--Fanny has twice the vigor of constitution that Bessie has--she walked out to the farm with Macky the other day, and did not "feel tired a bit" she said . . .

          Did I write you that Clara Nourse was to board in Pittsfield for a good part of the summer? . . .  She is very entertaining and pleasant some of her experiences are "as good as a play" to hear, she is certainly of the "strong minded" order, though I do not mean offensively so.  She took a large house in Cincinati, & furnished it elegantly throughout, a stranger there, and started on the strength of one scholar--Now she has a full school, and has paid all her expenses . . .  She enjoys it . . . or did till she was taken sick--no wonder she "gave up" with so much care--She has now rented her house to Gen. Burnside & staff, till September when her school opens again.  I had a nice letter from Aunt Lucy a short time ago--she promises me a visit before the summer is over.  Clara selected Pittsfield of all other places as a place to recruit, for the bracing air &c--She was very ill you know in the spring.

          Mrs Morewood, I am sorry to say, is very feeble this summer--she has frequent attacks of congestion of the lungs, and also of the head, which are painful & alarming . . .

          The last report from the farm was, that Jenny got very much disgusted with a "cold spell" of weather, and took Milie and went down to New York, for a few days I suppose.  The rest were left "out in the cold"--But they have four servants to take care of them, and now it is warm again.  I must relieve my feelings--Great fool!--say it--or "bust," like "Greel[e]y & the nigger"--

          My love to Kate.  I congratulate you both on getting settled & that the house is so satisfactory--How are the children? and is not Kate coming to see us?--Let me know if John is coming to pass a night with us--we shall be glad to see him--I am sorry to hear that Kate is not well--would not a journey do her good?

          I have got a new "help" as you know, and am more than satisfied with the exchange.  The new Mary is a treasure, so far . . .--Stanwix is already out at Helens? correct the log


BOSTON March 21  Lizzie writes to Augusta:

          The children [the girls and Stanwix] enjoyed their ride in the cars very much, though they got rather tired before reaching Boston.  I had a note from Helen today to say that she would come in [from Brookline?] tomorrow, and would put the finishing touches to their dresses first.  She was expecting company at ten.  John staid there all night, and reports them lively this morning after a fine romp with Uncle George.  He goes . . . [see above]



--need Hoadley obit in the Medical & Surgical Journal 1886 or 1887 and also in American Machinist  [DO I HAVE THE LATTER?]


LAWRENCE? July 6  John C. Hoadley sends a corrected copy of his poem, "The Sounds I Love" (1855), to Peter Gansevoort.


PITTSFIELD VILLAGE  July 4  "The Fourth in Pittsfield":

          The glorious Fourth was celebrated in Pittsfield after an independent fashion.  Not a bell was rung or a cannon fired.  There was neither orator, toast, or jubilant music, procession, or public fireworks; consequently the rain was not a public misfortune, but rather the contrary.--However, the sovereign people thronged the streets and a very liberal display of fireworks contributed by private citizens enlivened the evening.  Many parties spent the day in excursions, notwithstanding the threatening appearance of the sky . . .  During the day, flags--some of them of historic interest--were displayed from various points.  That which floated at the residence of Gen. Briggs was the old flag of the 10th regiment at Camp Brightwood.  One that passed through the fires of Bull Run was displayed at the residence of Col. Clapp; and over the entrance to Lieut. Col. Whelden's store, hung the tattered remains of the original flag which was hauled down at Fort Pike when Louisiana seceded.--  (Berkshire County Eagle, July 9)


July 7  M meets Hoadley and his sister Kate at the depot in a village gone wild at the news from Gettysburg and Vicksburg:

          We did not see Sarah, or any of her family, at the depot [use both accents] in Worcester.

          Mr. & Mrs. Hitchin [?] were on the train going to Springfield.--We reached Pittsfield at 8h 10 ms P.M.--and found Herman & Malcolm at the dépôt, and Lizzie and the girls & Stannie, at the gate.--The village was all ablaze with bonfires, rockets were whizzing, streaming [?], flashing, exploding, and expiring in the air; roman candles popping, flashing and dying away in vanity;--Bengal lights lending the usual effect of their spectral light to trees and houses and the moving [stan has "to the surging"] throng; bells were peeling from every steeple, groups of people on balconies were singing the Star Spangled banner,--and through all these outbursts of joy for deliverance and victory, we drove to the house--After tea, Kate went to bed, and Herman, Lizzie & I, accompanied by Fanny, with Mackie attendant, as skirmishers, sallied out to the Common, to see the spectacle, which was kept up with great spirit to a late hour--(Hoadley to Augusta, keeping his house in New Bedford, from Rochester, July 10) [TRANSCRIBING THIS LETTER TOOK JAY LEYDA, STAN GARNER, AND HERSHEL PARKER, ALL 3]


July 7  An item in the Berkshire County Eagle, July 9:

          The glorious news of the surrender of Vicksburg, following close upon the victories in Pennsylvania, thoroughly roused the patriotism of our citizens on Tuesday evening, and the bells were set ringing merrily, the cannon boomed, fireworks streamed through the air.  Bonfires blazed in North street, to which merchants cheerfully turned out their old boxes and other combustible material.  The streets were thronged, and every man, woman and child was full of patriotic joy.


July 8  M visits Arrowhead and Broadhall.

          . . . On Wednesday, we took a Hack and drove first to Arrowhead, where we saw Allan, Jeanie and the children; and then to Mrs. Morewood's.--Poor lady! she looks very feeble.

          We had a pleasant call there and then to dinner, and after dinner to Mrs. [Harriet Briggs] Bigelow's--She is building a pretty house, very prettily located [?], and expects to be in it by September 15th-- . . .  (Hoadley to Augusta, July 10)


An editorial paragraph in the Eagle of this date on the topic of "Victory":

          One word, one thought, one feeling, has filled all hearts, has been first upon all tongues, has thrilled every hearer.  Victory continued, glorious, almost unqualified has been ours--has been our country's.  It has swept out of sight all political differences between loyal men, has sunk all petty and selfish considerations and made the success of the country the first consideration with all.  We rejoice that it is so--but let us not imagine that the struggle is over, and that no more remains for us to do.  Now is the time for the most strenuous effort.  Whoever has held back before, no man must now withhold his effort.  Victory is own; its fruits must be secured. 


NEW YORK July 15  Captain Guert Gansevoort is detached from duty at the New York Naval Shipyard & ordered to command the Roanoke, now at Hampton Roads.


they have a dog--

GANSEVOORT July 16  Fanny writes to "Gus":

          I had just taken up my pen to write, in time for the evening mail, when I heard the dog bark & looking up, who should I see but our friend "Mary Ann"!  It was near five when she left, made a tremendous call, was really quite chatty.  Mamma & Helen were dressing to take tea at Mrs Buston's when she came in; they went about four, so I had to entertain the lady myself.  I have just finished my solitary tea, & thinking something might prevent my writing to-morrow, take advantage of this quiet hour to make sure of your weekly epistle from home.

          . . . we were all rejoiced to hear that John had insisted upon Kate's going to Canada with him, leaving the children behind the trip will be a real rest.  How do you like housekeeping? . . .  Tuesday Helen & I made 18 quarts of raspberry & currant jam, it is fine.  To-morrow we are going to make shrub.  There never was such a season for the small fruits.  Frances & George [the "help"] went out after dinner yesterday & returned with 14 quarts of splendid raspberries . . .

          You ask about Allan, we have not heard a word from him, in more than a fortnight.  As for the Mill repairs, perhaps he thinks it is best to let it go without any, it certainly will be too late very soon to have it done this year . . .

          What have you been reading lately?


PITTSFIELD July 22  M is listed on the Militia Roll for the last time.  PCH


GLENS FALLS July 24  George Curtis writes to Augusta:

          We had a letter from Mary yesterday, and as you know, the child [?] is getting home sick: whereat, I do greatly rejoice, and am ready to cry out, "bully for our Mountain home"--Kate and Len. join in love to your dear Mother & Fanny . . .


garden--what's in season--

GANSEVOORT July 24  Maria Melville writes to Augusta:

          We shall be much disapointed to give up seeing John & Kate, which if they return home by the way of Halifax as you write us, we shall have to do . . . 

          I want John to see Allan about the Mill business, or rather about the putting under the new sills, before the season is too far advanced.

          I was rejoiced to hear of Guerts appointment to the command of the Roanoke, I saw that she was at some place in complete order--may he be more fortunate . . .  #ck this--Dan ]#

          The garden is full of the best vegetables & small fruits, raspberries are superabundant . . . plenty of gooseberries & currents the peace [pease] never looked better . . .

          Mrs Shaw is coming on to see us with Samuel . . .

          I grieve over dear Toms protracted absence . . .

          Malcolm & Bessie are waiting for you to come here.  I fear Malcolms vacation will be over before you return.


BOSTON July 27  Samuel Shaw's diary:

Left for Pittsfield with mother in the afternoon train.  MHS-S


PITTSFIELD VILLAGE  July 28  Hope Shaw's diary:

Mr Melville took a carriage and carried us to the top of Mount Washington the road was bad but the scenery was magnificent.


FROM Scott Norsworthy January 2005

PITTSFIELD July 30  The Berkshire County Eagle prints this item:

          Mrs. J. R. Morewood has sent a liberal donation of jellies, raspberry vinegar and sweetmeats.  We are requested to suggest that ladies while making up their summer jellies would do well not to forget the soldiers.   It is no small privilege to be able to contribute anything to cool the fevered lips of our invalid heroes.  Mrs. Herman Melville has presented to the Sanitary Rooms a beautiful American flag--to be given to Mrs. Fenn [Fern?] after the closing of the rooms.


PITTSFIELD VILLAGE July 31  Lizzie scrawls a note to Augusta, in New Bedford:

          . . . Mother and Sam are here, and we have been riding about early & late, so that I could not get around to write--so many household duties when I am at home.  They leave tomorrow for Red Hook & Gansevoort--Come on the 4th Aug, by all means, and stay as long as you can--(I think we shall let Macky & Bessie go on before that to Gansevoort as Macky's vacation is nearly [?] over).  Herman will meet you on that day, eveg train.  I always have a place for you somewhere, but do not anticipate having any other visitor but yourself at that time . . .


GANSEVOORT  Helen writes to Augusta:

          Tuesday morning Augustus Peebles arrived in the train from Saratoga & passed the day with us.  He came up to Saratoga in hopes of finding something that would give him an appetite, having been very miserable all this month, and running down fast.  He does indeed look wretchedly; his forehead was green with palor, and the skin clung so close to the muscles around his mouth, it was painful to see him talk.  His mother and wife are well.  Cousin Kate and Mr Curtis particularly drove over about two o'clock, and Gus seemed to enjoy his visit very much . . .

          Mama wrote to Herman a week ago urging the coming on of the children, Malcolm Bessie, & Milie alone, as your coming on had been put off so long, but we have had no reply of any kind . . .


August 1 [M'S 44th, birthday]  Samuel Shaw's diary: 

From Pittsfield to Red Hook via Hudson.  MHS-S


GANSEVOORT Early August?


August 5  The Valuation Book for Pittsfield is completed; the last estimate is made for:

   Melville Herman & Wife

                    1 [poll]                             2 [tax on Poll]

          [Description Taxable Cash Assets:]

          21 [Shares] Am[erican Ins[urance] Co                             1729

           8 Shares Conn[ecticut] R.R.R.                               528

           1       "         Boote Cotton Mills                                                   113

          10      "         Boston F[ire] & M[arine] Ins Co.                   2250

           1 Carriage                                                                          60

[Aggregate of each Person's Ratable Personal Estate]  4,680  PCH



Monday morning

August 10  M and Lizzie begin a second honeymoon, passing one night of it at the home of Milo Smith [not Caleb Smith--the man M told Sophia Hawthorne was "quite a gem"]  (--You know Hermans plan that I told you of--well on Monday morning we started off in a buggy--having first seen Stanny and Fanny off on their way to Arrowhead where Jenny was kind enough to receive them in our absence--We dined at Great Barrington and reached "Smiths" near the Dome of Taconic by night fall & passed the night there.--Lizzie to Augusta, August 16)


August 11  [In a letter written earlier?] M orders Harper's to send three copies of Typee to R. T. Greene.  accounts, HCL-M



Hans Bergmann's discovery 20 July 2000

Morning of 11th? [ 12 was Wednesday ]

MILO SMITH HOUSE August 11? 12?  M inscribes the register:

                                        Aug. 12th 1863

          Mr & Mrs. H. Melville

                                                  Pittsfield Mass.

Good Time.


DOME OF THE TACONIC to BASH-BISH August 11 and 12 [12 and 13?]  M and Lizzie proceed:

Next day we drove to Bash-Bish which I need not describe to you--staid there over night, and turned into "York State" to get back to Barrington by a new route--Dined there, and took an easterly turn into Hampshire Co. and northward to Monterey (in Berkshire Co.) where we passed the third night--(Lizzie to Augusta, August 16)


Dan  check--Lemuel should probably be Samuel--}

NEW BEDFORD August 13  John C. Hoadley writes to Augusta:

          We were much interested in your travels in Berkshire, and in your accounts of scenes and incidents on your arrival in Gansevoort, and since [?]--I am truly happy to learn that Allan has arranged satisfactorily about the Mill, so that our dear Mother's mind may be at rest.--

          Dear Augusta, I must return you the bank note, $5.00--which you generously sent me--I appreciate the delicacy which prompted you to send it;--but permit me to assure you that I feel so well convinced that the account between us is either all settled, or should show a heavy balance in your favor, that I cannot accept more--

          I think I shall get back the $1.00 from the Rail Road Co.--having stated the facts in a letter to Mr. Phillips, the Superintendent.--

. . .  I regret that you just missed seeing Mrs. Shaw and Lemuel [Samuel?]--Again with love to my lady Mother, to Helen and to Fanny . . .


MONTEREY August 13  From thence [Monterey] we continued a northerly course through North Becket till we came to a very mild mountain spot very thinly settled, and slept at a place called Peru Hill--


LANCASTER August 14  Nilly V. R. Thayer to Augusta:

You paid a long visit in New Bedford.  I was beginning to think Father's prophesy might prove true & that a [New Bedford] whaler had caught you at last . . .  Has Mrs Allan honored you yet, how does she flourish in the seclusion of Pittsfield? though at this season I suppose she finds Society enough there.


PERU HILL, SAVOY HOLLOW, PITTSFIELD  AUGUST 14-15  Lizzie's itinerary continues:

from there [Peru Hill] next day we drove through East & West Cummington a most charming drive along the Westfield river and finely wooded, and passed the fifth night at Savoy Hollow--And reached home about noon yesterday, both Herman and myself having enjoyed it very much--


PITTSFIELD VILLAGE August 16  Elizabeth Melville writes to Augusta:

          I suppose Malcolm received my pencilled letter from Bash. Bish the other day--mailed at Copake--and I shall look for him and Bessie tomorrow, so he will be ready to go to school on Tuesday--And now to recount our adventures of the past week-- . . .  We passed through some of the wildest and most enchanting scenery, both mountain and valley and I cannot sufficiently congratulate myself that I have seen it before leaving Berkshire.  Mary kept house and all went on well . . .  It has been a very hot week, but we were so high on the mountains most of the time that we always had a fresh breeze . . .  Is there anything left of Helen?--If so, tell her I do wish she would bring it along to Pittsfield as soon as possible--How glad I should be to see her with the children tomorrow.  I am sorry that you have been obliged to dismiss your woman and wish much that I could transfer my Mary to you, but as she is a devout Catholic she would not be willing to go anywhere, where she could not worship at her own Church, and of course would not consent to have Willie put under other than Catholic influences.  I do hope you will get a good "help" before long--should think you might perhaps, at the break up of the Saratoga season--By the way, "old Martin" came home on Thursday in a high state of disgust at the crowded state of the hotels there, & did not go to Lake George via Gansevoort as he proposed!

          I have a letter from mother announcing her safe return, & expressing great appreciation of her hospitable reception at Gansevoort--She was much overcome by fatigue & the excessive hot weather, but I think she must find benefit from her travels--She writes that Aunt Jean was quite ill with dysentery.  All well at the farm.  Allan came up yesterday.  Our "49th" are on their way by water from New Orleans and are expected daily.  I am glad that the children will not miss them--the triumphal arches were put up yesterday--the frame work--Herman sends much love to Mama & sisters, and so do I--we shall hear from you tomorrow--Saw Mrs. Brittain in church this morning.  Mrs M. is pretty well just now.  They were much pleased with Malcolm's and Bessie's letters--they enjoyed the Saratoga visit immensely--I hope Herman will be able to take the other youngsters [Stanwix and Frances] to see Grandma before cold weather . . .


PITTSFIELD ##ck date August 17  M pays his Town, County & State Tax for 1863: $32.89 (less $1.64 discount); & his Fire District Tax of $3.90 (less 19 cents discount) : a last Total of $34.96.  [ledger, PCH]


NEW YORK August 20  Former students pay Mrs. Charles Sedgwick the high compliment of signing a tribute to her on the occasion of her recent publication of A Talk with My Pupils; the letter takes due note of the death of the Sedgwick son Major William D., "who fell, fighting nobly, at the battle of Antietam."


August 22

          Last Saturday saw the return of the long looked for 49th [Regiment] to Pittsfield . . .

          The interval before the arrival of the 49th was occupied in inspecting the street decorations . . .

                                     South Street . . .

                           Herman Melvill.--Flags and festoons.

                                    (Berkshire County Eagle, August 27)


         He rides at their head;

           A crutch by his saddle just slants in view,

         One slung arm is in splints, you see,

           Yet he guides his strong steed--how coldly too . . .


         There are welcoming shouts, and flap;

           Old men off hat to the Boy,

         Wreaths from gay balconies fan at his feet,

           But to him--there comes alloy . . .


         . . . all through the Seven Days' Fight,

            And deep in the Wilderness grim,

         And in the field‑hospital tent,

            And Petersburg crater, and dim

         Lean brooding in Libby, there came--

            Ah heaven!--what truth to him.

                                       ("The College Colonel")


          The residence of J. R. Morewood, Esq., was handsomely illuminated, and there was a fine display of fireworks on his grounds, on Saturday evening, in honor of the return of the 49th, and of the Colonel of the Regiment, his worthy guest.

          The Pittsfield Liederkranz serenaded Col. Bardett [Bartlett--##] at the residence of J. R. Morewood, Esq., on the evening of his arrival, and were very handsomely entertained by Mrs. Morewood.  (Pittsfield Sun, August 27)


Summer?  Lizzie does volunteer work:

My only remembrance of the Civil War, is, that your grandmother took beef tea to the sick soldiers (Pittsfield) and we all scraped old linen to make "lint"--to be used in dressing wounds--M's daughter Frances to her daughter Eleanor Thomas Metcalf, April 30, 1925)  HCL-M



About fifty [of the wounded] were taken to the hospital, where they received all the attentions that patriotism allied to Christianity, working through women's hearts and hands, could inspire.  None made questions of rank or residence, nothing but the measure of illness and necessity.  Of Mrs. C. T. Fenn, Mrs. L. F. Sperry, Mrs. W. Carpenter, Mrs. M. Y. Lee and daughters, Mrs. P. Allen, Mrs. D. J. Dodge, Mrs. H. Melville, Mrs. J. P. Rockwell, Mrs. J. Gregory, Mrs. D. Wilson, and Miss Sandford, many a stricken soldier will ever think with gratitude, and many a soldier's widow will, in her loneliness, invoke Heaven's blessings on them who so tenderly handed their loved ones to God and His mercy.  (Life with the Forty-Ninth Massachusetts Volunteers, by Henry T. Johns (Pittsfield, 1864).



PITTSFIELD VILLAGE September  M writes an entry in his Bible's "Family Record":

Stanwix, Elizabeth, and Frances Melville were baptized by Rev. Orville Dewey in Pittsfield Village, Mass. Sept. 1863  [Bible Record, NYPL-O]


20 March 98--won't take time now but must make sure the year is right--

Dan added 6 Feb 98:

GANSEVOORT September 11 [someone pencilled in 1863, not Maria's writing]  Maria Melville writes to Kate Gansevoort:

[starts with invitation for Kate, Anna & Abe to come visit at G.]. .

          I wish your Father Mother & Aunt Sarah would also come the weather is beautiful we have plenty of chickens to boil, & sweet corn to boil & a profusion of garden vegetables to cook in the most approve'd manner,

          George shall be ready equipt to wait upon you. . .

          I have this moment received a letter from Allan, he writes that Henry is staying with him in 35 St. that Henry[sic] health is improving, & hopes soon to be able to join his regiment, altho the Doctor thinks he should not go yet.

          You ask me if I have any commissions for you!

          If you will purchase for me rich jet black silk sufficient to make a fashionable hat, for me, ribbon for strings, a black ruche & a foundation I will be forever obliged to you.

          I wear the same size as your mother.  A fashionable shape remember, & every thing of the best quality. . .

          Helen & Fanny returned home yesterday . . .

          I enclose five dollars.  should more be required you will please supply it & we will settle when we meet.

NYPL-GL Box 215



FIRE ISLAND September 13  Evert Duyckinck writes to his wife:

          The company is very good--chiefly men of business with fortunes who take the world easily . . .  At the end of the table is a fine figurehead of a gentleman at ease in bushy white head and beard with a ruddy glow of good cheer in his portly presence--a Mr. Willoughby who married a Brooklyn fortune and has his home in Saratoga.  When he is not telling stories or chuckling or talking with his boy Hugh who has a French governess &c he is reading Moby Dick and is just such a reader as Melville would be delighted with and make a chapter of.  NYPL-D


Dan added 26 Feb 98:

ALBANY September 17  Kate Gansevoort writes to Henry Gansevoort:

          . . . From Aunt Melville we learned you were staying in 35th[?] St with Allan Melville.  But as he is now at Pittsfield I suppose you have removed [?] & there for [?] direct this to [you at: added above line] your friend Dr Woodward.

          . . .  Last Tuesday (the 15h) Anna Lansing & I spent at "Gansevoort," & we had a delightful day.  They all (Aunt Melville, Augusta Fannie & Helen Griggs) enquired for you.  They seem to live very pleasantly, & certainly their location is very delightful  But Henry it must be rather lonely in winter I confess . . .

          . . . Edwin Booth the great Tragidian[sic] is here--I saw him Monday Eve as Hamlet--he is magnificent as an actor & such a handsome man.  Truly Byronic in his style he reminds me of that portrait of Lord Byron that we saw in New Stead Abbey  Do you remember it?. . .

NYPL-GL Box 159


ck date of writing# hights = sic;glamor= magic spell#

SPRINGFIELD September 17  The Republican prints an effusion "Berkshire Woods--Hills and Valleys" by Caroline S. Whitmarch, newly arrived in Pittsfield from Boston; one of the "fair women" she mentions is Sarah Morewood (?):

          These Berkshire woods are flashing with such brilliant tints as promise a glorious autumn.  Here and there, some tree is like a vivid bouquet, but oftener the woodsides or lakesides hang out a single bough of crimson or of orange, against their green, that seems to attract and intensify the sunshine.  The swamps are tulip beds; the roadsides are radiant with golden rod, and occasionally an aster or fringed gentian.  The hills and lakes are blue as sapphires; we haunt their borders, we climb their hights, we are too happy to describe our joy.  It is as if we were received into the peace of the immortals.  What an unspeakable quiet there is among the hills! . . .  Here the lake sleeps in the shadow of mountain and pine, hills sleep in a dreamy haze, and we lie under the pines and dream that earth is heaven.  Days spent in the woods are a Pittsfield institution; not pic-nics, not out of doors for the sake of eating dinner there,--but eating dinner there for the sake of being out doors.  A day under green boughs,--did you ever try it?--with such as dare be silent, and know how to speak; a poet or two, an artist or two, fair women and brave men; a landscape, a sky-scape, beds of fern, borders of flowers, lakes, autumn roads.  I think that, in Bocaccio's time, there was nothing more fitted for "making a poet out of a man."

          One windy day we scaled a hight called Perry's Peak; and looked down on the glory of the world.  At our right, through the haze lay a scene almost Alpine in the multitudinousness of its billowy hights; before us, a smiling landscape of woodland and meadow, with towns strewn along the hillsides, Pittsfield being most prominent.  Behind, in the haze, a little lake shone like a silver shield; and a silver stream wound silently away to lose itself amid the enchantment of the hills.  Not a moving thing else was visible, man, cow, or horse, or sheep.  The place seemed like the sleeping palace of the fairy prince; and we turned homeward, half dreading the glamor.

          Then came a sunset that changed the distant mountains to amethyst, the haze to gold, the lakes to roses and rubies, and brought out the utmost possibility of color in every little flower that starred the hillsides.  Amid such scenes our days melt and vanish themselves like sunsets and moonrises; while the rest of the year seems in contrast, like the dull gray sky to which they give place.


NEW BEDFORD September 21  An item in the Mercury:

PERSONAL--J. C. Hoadley, Esq., of this city, leaves this afternoon for New York, whence he will sail, on Wednesday next, for Liverpool, in the steamer Scotia.


NEW YORK September 21  John Hoadley stays with Allan and Sophia Melville?


NEW YORK September 22  The Scotia is cleared to sail for England, John Hoadley aboard.  (The New York Times, September 23, 1863).


SPRINGFIELD September 24  The Springfield Daily Republican prints a description of the Hoosac Valley Fair under the heading "Notes by the Way," which includes an account of the ordeal of travel:

          Strange as it may seem, it takes nearly a week to get a circulation of anything in this cold blooded country.  Let me be more explicit.  Your correspondent wished to journey from Springfield to North Adams.  To do so, he took the evening train west, reaching Pittsfield at about 9 p.m.  There was no extra train as there should be in our time, and no regular till 10:35 a.m., the next day.  The consequence was, we had the honor of a crib and stall in Berkshire's shire [?] town, for nearly fourteen hours.  (The Housatonic railway connections are still worse.)  It gave me an opportunity to examine, reflect and jot down conclusions.  You shall have the original: "Pittsfield is a very fine place naturally, perhaps by grace above the average. The most striking points to a stranger are rugged sidewalks and accommodating rail connections.  Her chief arractions are public men, and an old one-armed elm.  Her shades, like those of all New England, are receiving the first flushes of autumnal bearuty, and the blending of green and crimson among her foliage atones for minor defects."  Pittsfield enjoyed her second frost that night.  The ground slightly crusted, and water froze to the thickness of common window glass.  The American hotel near the depot is undergoing repairs and additions to the tune of about $3000, and when complete will be four stories high, have a tasteful three story piazza, and it is hoped have its present portly and courtly landlord.


xerox cuts off some--ck all in NYPL-GL  Jane had seen her in July 1860 at Red Lion says that is the only time

ARROWHEAD September 25  Jane Dempsey Melville writes to her mother-in-law at Gansevoort:

          I fear we shall not, indeed I know we cannot get off for home before Wednesday or Thursday next week.  But rest assured, if it is possible, I shall bring the children to see you on our way home.  Allan will not be able to go with us.  I do wish he could, but if I must go without him, I must.  Allan is in New York--we expect him on Saturday tomorrow.  It is becoming quite cold & Allan writes it is very cold in New York.  Do not expect too much from your Granddaughters they are I am happy to say still children, all of them.  They look forward with pleasure to a visit to you, and are hoping it will still be made.  What a dear old lady Aunt Lucy is! & Dr Nourse is so amusing & kind.  They took a sort of dinner or Lunch with us.  Herman will I presume be going down [to New York] in a few days.  Lizzie I trust will make my house her home for as long as she finds it convenient.  I shall be sorry to miss Mrs Griggs.  I have never seen her but once.  Dr [Henry] Thurston is in N. Y.--he has taken Rachie on a visit to Washington for a few days.  They are both Roman Catholic I believe.  Give my love to Augusta & Fanny, & with love from the children to yourself--& Aunts, believe me affectionately yours, Jane L. Melville


ck Republican for Adams corresp bashing Pittsfield a little earlier than this#

PITTSFIELD September 28  From the village (or staying with Sarah Morewood?), Caroline S. Whitmarsh writes a long letter to the Springfield Republican; the opening paragraph depicts the village as it was when the Melvilles were preparing to leave it:

          In spite of the laughable sorrows of your Adams correspondent [need to ck in Republican#], Pittsfield is a good town and a growing one.  Ruskin would have artists paint only such trees as tell their history; so he would paint Pittsfield entire.  The first drive through the village reveals all,--broken off spires, low ware-houses, station in a cellar, and the bald old elm holding out one green bough as a warning to all that dare meet the mountain wind; mills at every bend of the wild little Housatonic, and ambitious private residences--these go together; vehicles tied up and down the principal street, like a fair,--these show how the hamlet is scattered up and down the hillsides.  Hills surround us everywhere, yet not enough to be intrusive.  I doubt if anything could be more charming than their soft slopes, as they stand now, touched with every brilliant hue which the painter's palette can boast, with tints and shadows and quivering lights, which no painter's pencil could copy.  They preach to us luckless Unitarians, who have no other preaching here; how jubilant were their voices yesterday [a Sunday], saying, "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about them that trust in him" . . .

                                      ARTISTS AND HOW THEY WORK

          Here Mr Gray of New York, has spent several summers, catching from lake and sunset hills the beautiful tints for which his pictures are famous.  Another New York artist haunts these borders--Mr Inman, a son of the Inman,--the Inman himself one would say, on seeing his pictures.  He paints flowers so that a bee would mistake them for real; and landscapes so that a child would recognize and praise.  Like bees we hover around his easel, as he dashes off his quick sketches, snatching tint after tint from the palette, explaining the how and why of everything, with good nature that never tires.  The mountains are purple as pansies, the lake blue as the eyes of a child, the brave woods glow above; we lean against the tree trunk, and sit in the grass, holding brushes and pencil boxes,--so genius holds its court!  The facility with which Mr Inman paints is wonderful.  I have seen him in twenty minutes, on a wager, begin, finish and frame a landscape more elaborate than half of those in the stores:--snow on the Alps, sunshine on the woods, reflections in the lake, lichens on the pine, haze in the hollow, and shadow under the cottage eaves!  Ah what an artist treasures in his brain, that we do not even see; and compared with him, how we grovel!  (The Springfield Republican, September 30)


ck ironing


Kate's peculiar, obsessive ways

NEW BEDFORD September 29  Helen writes to "Gus & Fan":

          Kate seems to be quite bright since the cook arrived, said cook is short & curly-haired, smart & active, and will do, probably, if she condescends to stay when the lady requires her sheets to be folded the lengthwise of the article, a thing "never heard of in New Bedford."  Likewise the children's stockings to be stretched in the width before ironing, "which no other lady in New Bedford would ask a girl to do!" . . .

          George came again on Saturday evening, & passed Sunday with us.  He handed me a note from Lem with the same enclosures as yours.  I signed the receipt, and wrote him a note in answer . . .  

          Now George will probably take the Eustis House, & have possession the first of October, and he wants to get there as soon as possible, for he is tired of boarding.  So Fanny, come as soon as you can after this week, for I shall have much to do to get the house ready, and it is time to be about it . . .  it is the only furnished house to let in Brookline . . .



CHATSWORTH HOUSE, MALVERN October 1  James McConnel writes to his wife's nephew, William Barlow Morewood:

          I have to thank you for a letter, all to me, and therefore agreeable to me.

          Besides, it gives me pleasure to take note that the handwriting of your letters, & the spelling also, and in addition the manner of expressing your ideas are all improving.  Boys of 12 or 13 write thus.  "I am well, I hope you are well.  My brother John cut his finger; but it is improving" and so on.  You have quite got out of that style, and put your facts through your mind and bring them out with colouring from your mind.  A very young boy gives merely an outline of facts in his letters; you & I try to make our letters into something like a coloured drawing; only we must mind that the colouring is quite accurate & not contrary to truth . . .

          I notice your solicitude about the length of the coat tails of your new coat and the possession of a watch, both which you deem emblems of respectability in the big school . . .

          A word into your ear about your conduct in the big school.  Be what is right; do what is right; and then you will also look what is right.  But it is far more manly to be and to do right, than merely to sham right.  It is not the appearance of the thing but the reality which gives respectability.  A man who is hollow at heart but puts on a specious outside is found out very soon; if not in an hour or two, at least in a day or two.  Do not brag; people pull down a story or two from a bragger, and in consequence he is less lofty than if he had not boasted about himself or his belongings.  Swallow this pill, and it will do you good, as the doctor says.  I will give you no more medicine at present . . .  RUTH AND WILLIAM MOREWOOD  


SPRINGFIELD October 1  Two items in the "Berkshire County" section of the Republican:

          The Berkshire pleasure park at Pittsfield will be opened to the public for the first time on Tuesday, and horse trots will occur on that and the following day.  A skating pond in connection with the park is in contemplation.

          Mrs Herman Melville, daughter of the late Chief Justice Shaw, has presented to the Berkshire bar a statue of her father, made some 15 years since [1839] by an eminent Boston artist.  The statue will occupy a prominent position in the court house at Lenox, and will keep in mind the memory of a man pre-eminent for judicial learning.


PITTSFIELD October 1  Two items in the Berkshire County Eagle:

          J. C. HOADLEY, formerly of Pittsfield and Lawrence, and now agent of the New Bedford copper company, has gone to England for two months to inspect the cannon and other munitions of war, manufacturing there for the state of Massachusetts.

          MRS. HERMAN MELVILLE has presented to the Berkshire Bar a fine bust of her father, the late Chief Justice Shaw . . .  It was executed about twenty years ago [1839] by Clevinger, a young Vermont artist, then very popular in Boston . . .


Dan --need American Machinist

          (In 1862 [1863] the Governor of Massachusetts gave him a captain's commission and sent him to Europe to examine coast fortifications and report a plan for the defense of the Massachusetts shore.--clipping of an obituary in the American Machinist signed C. J. H. W., 1886 or 1887.)      


I have this in 2 places--decide whether it is before or after the last drive to Bashbish--

PITTSFIELD Early October?  A last gathering of guests for Sarah Morewood:

          As I drove with Mrs Morewood a few days ago, a characteristic incident occurred.  We were passing through some woods on her husband's estate, when a group of horses left their grazing to gather about us.  Calling each by name and carressing it, she said to an old white horse, "Why, Bob, you must not grow fat; they will laugh at me for bringing you here to die."  "To die?"  "Yes; it is one of a pair of carriage horses that have served Mr Morewood's brother so faithfully, I could not bear to have them killed now they are past use; and so we brought them on from New York to loiter about here in their old age; and you like it, don't you, Bob?" turning to the horse and hardly thinking she would be the first to sleep.  Then we drove on to a lake where her guests were assembled for a picnic,--poets, artists, scholars, saints,--the highest society on earth.  How she gloried in the beautiful scenery of Berkshire.  Every hight, vale, stream, deserted road and tangled path and vista was familiar to her, and she was never so happy as when pointing out their beauty to others, dipping her hands in the stream, bending over the flowers, looking up through leaves at the sky, or dreamily across the lake, with a true lover's love.  She looked at such times like a wood nymph . . .


THE BERKSHIRES Between October 1 and 5?  Accompanied by Caroline S. Whitmarsh, the artist John O'Brien Inman, (and others?), Sarah Morewood makes a last pilgrimage through the autumnal scenery:

          How she gloried in the beautiful scenery of Berkshire.  Every hight, vale, stream, deserted road and tangled path and vista was familiar to her, and she was never so happy as when pointing out their beauty to others, dipping her hands in the stream, bending over the flowers, looking up through leaves at the sky, or dreamily across the lake, with a true lover's love.  She looked at such times like a wood nymph . . .

          We are not rested yet,--she never was to rest except in death,--from the fatigue of her last excursion among the hills she loved.  In the beautiful October weather, we took a drive in her carriage, of 85 miles to the falls of Bashbish and back, over the steep, hard roads of Berkshire.  She had always battled with disease, but it was too late now; pleading in vain for the return, watching her interrupted breath and flickering color, we hardly hoped to bring her home alive.  Yet even there she thought of others, and rejoiced in beauty; at each new turn of roads she knew so well, her sunken eyes would grow brilliant, and when too tired to speak, her languid hand pointed or grasped ours tightly; the little thin hand that had led so many toward happiness, and lifted so many from the dust.  I feel it now!

          Arrived at Bashbish intending to linger for the night, we found the hotel closed; and for rest, only a rough board seat around the piazza.  There she lay, hardly willing that we should fold shawls together for a pillow, for it was her choice not to be ministered unto but to minister; lay in the sweet October afternoon, too tired to brush away the curls that fell over her face, but looking unspeakably happy, as she watched the waterfall spring whitely over the sheer perpendicular front of the mountain, bounding and rebounding till it twirled like a spiral plover and lost itself in the dense shade underneath.  We succeeded in opening the house, and there was a couch within.  "No, let me live in the light and air; and if I am to die, there is no sweeter place.  I should like to die here.  Go, go,--show Mr I. the path, and stay there while he sketches; the waterfall is company enough for me."  When we returned, the curls fallen again over her face, she was giving the proprietor minute directions for the relief of a sick infant.  As we smoothed the curls back, she murmured, "I have had so much happiness in my life, I have seen so much glory, I have been so indulged, if it were not for others, I should be satisfied.  But it is suicide to stay in this dampness"--and we journeyed on, through that road above the river, the beautiful gorge lit all up its sides by trees radiant as autumnal change and the gilding of slant autumnal sunshine could make them.  Golden and orange elms and hickories, deep red oaks, wild cherries with their twinkling leaves, white birches, the half-bare boughs strewn with "patinas of bright gold," maples, "pure madder lake," as our artist companion exclaimed; and we passed out into the meadow and the sunshine departed, a long row of willows stretched along the distance, the light and shade exquisitely distributed over them, in "old Correggio's fashion."

          At the long hill between Stockbridge and Lenox, some of us alighted to relieve the horses; and bringing bright leaves to Mrs Morewood as the carriage overtook us, she whispered, "Pick more, and find me some mosses; I will make a great fernery for the sanitary fair: and do not pass by any milkweed down; I should like to fill a pillow or two for those poor fellows in the hospital; I can do so little for them now."  Many a poor soldier on his hospital cot will brush away a tear as he learns that she is gone; for few New England women have taken a more active part in all that pertains to the comfort and safety and happiness of our army in the field.  How her library table was strewn with the photographs and grateful letters of soldiers who had been strangers to her till the war began; and some of whom have been strangers to every cultivated woman until she found them out, and sent comforts as from home, and words of praise and sympathy, which were more than the month's pay to nerve a soldier's arm . . .  (Caroline S. Whitmarsh, "A Representative Woman" [a play on Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1850 Representative Men] in the Springfield Republican, October 21.)   



Dan added 6 Feb 98:

NEW BEDFORD October 5  Helen Griggs writes to Kate Gansevoort:

My dear Cousin Kate,

          My sister Kate has requested me to write to you, and enclose the accompanying vignette of Mr Hoadley, for your collection, in place of the one you now have.

          This was taken the Monday before he sailed for England, and she thinks it is the best that photography can do.  Please return the other, so that Kate may feel sure you have inserted the improved one in your book.

          I suppose you know that John has gone to England, by request of the Gove[r]nor, to inspect cannon now in progress, and which may ultimately be bought for Massachusetts "coast defense," Our grand old State has voted one million for that purpose, and I suppose our own arsenals and work-shops are too busy to supply any extra demand.  He is to be gone two months, and I came here to await Fanny's arrival, who is to be here this week.  John begged us not to leave her alone.  It is so near Boston that George comes up every two or three days, & has passed the two Sundays with us. We were to have possession of a furnished house in Brookline on the first of this month; but the family have not yet vacated it, so it happens very well for Kate.

          Mr. Griggs has been induced to sit for his photograph, and you shall have one when mine comes home to accompany it on its travels.

          Here is Kate's miniature taken on tin; have you seen this Yankee notion yet?  Eighteen are taken at once on a plate of metal, almost instantaneously, & you pick out your dozen for the small sum of seventy-five cents.  The advantage is, that the face has not time to stiffen into the unnatural lines, which a few more seconds of forced quietness always produces, and they are almost always satisfactory resemblances--

          My love, our love to Uncle & Aunt Susan.  Remembrances & kindly greetings to our friends in Clinton Square, & beleive[sic] me your affectionately

                                                  Helen M. Griggs

NYPL-GL Box 215



PITTSFIELD October 6  Sarah Morewood attends the Cattle Show  (. . . only last week, on Tuesday she was up on the Cattle Show grounds all day about as well as usual apparently--Elizabeth Melville to Augusta, October 16)


NEW BEDFORD October 6  An item in the Mercury:

J. C. Hoardley [Hoadley?], Esq., of this city, has been commissioned an Assistant Quartermaster (with the rank of Captain) for the State militia.


PITTSFIELD October 6  Caroline S. Whitmarsh writes her account of "The Cattle Show at Pittsfield," "First Day--The Cattle:

          An artist must have had a hand in selecting the place and time for the Pittsfield cattle show.  The place, the society's park on a commanding eminence a mile and a half north of the village, and the time at that season of nature's gorgeous adorning in crimson and gold and red, when the forest trees on every hill-top hold assembly, vieing with each other in the brilliancy of their array, while the golden rose in hedges and the gentian by the way-side publish countless editions of blue and gold, and the Sweden asters distill from the last rays of a summer's sun colors a painter's hand could never mix.  No wonder the people of Berkshire flock to their annual cattle show in crowds, or that this year notwithstanding the new park and the recent show, they came in bigger flocks than ever . . .

          The Berkshire pleasure park is in process of inauguration to-day . . .  The park is almost two miles east of the village, on the old road to Springfield, and is gotten up and managed by an association of Berkshire gentlemen, with Robert Pomeroy of this village for president . . .  (Springfield Republican, October 8.)


NEW YORK October 6  Harper & Bros sends its 15th account to M:

                          Balance due Harper & Bros.          $262.06  accounts, HCL-M


PITTSFIELD October 7  In Caroline S. Whitmarsh's report on the Hall on the second day of the Cattle Show:

          There were some good things in the department of fine arts.  Two little paintings of flowers by J. O. Inman, who has been spending the summer in Pittsfield, were real gems.  Mr Inman is a son of the Inman, a worthy son of a worthy sire . . .  (The Springfield Republican, October 8.)


BROADHALL After October 7?  Sarah Morewood gives a last party at Melville Lake (while M is away in New York City?):

          More than that meager word in the death notices should be said of Mrs Morewood of Pittsfield.  Not only was she the very dryad of Berkshire hills and woods, but one who sought beauty and excellence everywhere, and encouraged it with her whole generous heart.  Her house was the resort of men and women of genius; her library, pictures, grounds, vehicles, materials for every conceivable art, were placed at their service with a hospitality which made them feel the givers and not receivers of bounty; and the poor and the wicked claimed from her as tender a pity as if she were one of themselves . . .

          As I drove with Mrs Morewood a few days ago, a characteristic incident occurred.  We were passing through some woods on her husband's estate, when a group of horses left their grazing to gather about us.  Calling each by name and carressing it, she said to an old white horse, "Why, Bob, you must not grow fat; they will laugh at me for bringing you here to die."  "To die?"  "Yes; it is one of a pair of carriage horses that have served Mr Morewood's brother so faithfully, I could not bear to have them killed now they are past use; and so we brought them on from New York to loiter about here in their old age; and you like it, don't you, Bob?" turning to the horse and hardly thinking she would be the first to sleep.  Then we drove on to a lake where her guests were assembled for a picnic,--poets, artists, scholars, saints,--the highest society on earth.  (Caroline S. Whitmarsh, "A Representative Woman" [a play on Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1850 Representative Men] in the Springfield Republican, October 21.)      


LENOX October  Henry T. Tuckerman writes "Authors in Berkshire," including a section on M.  (American Literary Gazette and Publisher's Circular, November 16, 1863.)


If this is ONLY a reprint, reverse--give full version earlier#

NORTH ADAMS October 8  The News and Transcript starts its "County Gleanings" with this item:

          Mrs. Herman Melville has presented to the Berkshire Bar a fine bust of her father, the late Chief Justice Shaw, similar to those in marble in the Boston Court House and Athenaeum.  It was executed about twenty years ago by Clevinger, a young Vermont artist, then very popular in Boston, and deservedly so if we may judge of his genius by the perfection with which he has in this bust preserved those lines in the features of the late distinguished Chief Justice, which best indicated the great traits of his character.  The bust is to have an appropriate place in the Court House.  We may add that Chief Justice Shaw was himself so well satisfied with it that he declined to sit for another.


PITTSFIELD October 8  The Berkshire County Eagle lists the prizes for "Paintings and Works of Art" exhibited in the Hall at the Cattle Show and Fair:

          For very fine oil paintings to J. O. Inman, Pittsfield, $3; fine representations of Pittsfield fruit and maple leaves to Mrs. Blanche of Pittsfield, [$]2 . . .


BOSTON October 9  Hope Shaw writes to Augusta:

          I have just received your note and I immediately answer it, and say it will give us much pleasure in seeing any branch of your family here.

          Allow me to urge Fanny's staying a few days with us before she goes to New Bedford . . .  Next Tuesday I shall anticipate the pleasure of seeing her.

          No doubt you have seen the death of Dr George Hayward,--he has been our family Physician and a warm friend of the family.

          He was perfectly well the night before he died--and next morning, just after taking a bath he complained of a violent pain in his head & died in a few moments.  Tomorrow he is to be buried in a private manner . . .


1863 NEW YORK October 12  Allan Melville writes to Augusta:

          Enclosed is balance after paying for the advertisement your girl Ellen wished put in the Herald.  It appeared in today's paper & I send you a copy of the paper & return herewith her letter.  I found I could not make any improvement on the document as you sent it . . . 

          Herman is busy with his house.  He expects to go up on Thursday and bring Lizzie & the children down next week.

          So Fanny leaves you tomorrow . . .


NEW YORK October 12  In the Herald, under "Personal," a message:

INFORMATION WANTED--OF JOHN WALSH, who left his home in Tipperary May 17 and landed in New York June 19, from the ship Chancellor.  It is thought that he may possibly have enlisted.  Should . . . [his companions] who came over with him, know anything of him, they will please communicate it by letter to Ellen Walsh, Gansevoort, Saratoga county, N. Y., who will relieve the anxiety of his family in Ireland.


PITTSFIELD October 15  The Sun lists the prizes awarded at the Cattle Show and Fair, including J. O. Inman's $3 first prize for "very fine Oil Paintings."



BROADHALL  October 16  Roland Morewood writes to his son Willie, in England:

          I write you these few lines from your dear Mamma's bedside, and I am afraid you must now prepare yourself for receiving the news, when you next hear from me, that she is no more, so far as this world is concerned.  She is just alive, and that is all, but she has not been conscious for the last three or four hours, though till then, she had been perfectly so all through her illness.  I do not think that she has suffered much actual pain for the last few days, but it has been difficult for her to change her position, or be comfortable in bed, and it is wonderful how very patient she has been through it all.  We knew yesterday that she was dying, and for a few moments after she was told, was a little excited, using the words of the Psalmist "Lord spare me a little, that I may recover my strength, before I go hence & be no more seen."  She was almost immediately afterwards, however, quite calm, & continued so up to the time, when she became unconscious.  Even after she was unable to speak this morning, when I took her hand, she pressed it, and smiled.

          Almost providentially, as it would now seem, Mr Inman an artist was here, & painted her portrait just before this illness.  She told me that it was for you more especially, that she sat for it, and that you were to have it after her death.

          Dear Willie, I cannot write more to-day.  May God comfort & keep you, and bear always in your mind that, though you are not likely to see her again on this earth, there is another world, where you may again meet your Mother, if you rightly guide your own steps through life.

                    Ever most affectionately your Father


Aunt Ellen, Ally, & Annie all send their love to you.  The two little ones have been [here JRM broke off, leaving the line unfinished]

          3 o/clock P.M.  I have just written so far, when a change came over your dear Mamma's breathing, and she has now passed to the World of Spirits.  The mail closes so soon that I cannot write you more.  May your Father in Heaven bless and keep you till me meet again--

                                                            Ever your loving Father




BROADHALL October 16  Mrs Sarah Morewood dies of consumption at the age of 39.


PITTSFIELD October 16  Elizabeth Melville writes to Augusta:

. . . you will not be surprised to hear that our dear friend Mrs. Morewood is no more--For the last three days she has been rapidly sinking, and this morning when I walked out there (directly from the breakfast table) I found her in a dying state--perfectly unconscious, and suffering no pain--Dr Cady then thought she could live but a few minutes--and told me that Mr Morewood and Mrs Brittain desired me to come up to her bedside.--This was about nine o'clock, but from that time till half past two, we waited & watched expecting that every breath would be the last--then her respiration grew fainter and fainter, and so placid was  her death, that no one knew exactly when she ceased to breathe--Dr Cady came in for the third time, felt her pulse, & listened for a heart-beat & pronounced it over! . . .  She had frequently expressed a wish that none but friends should perform the last sad offices for her--that no professional person should come about her--So Mrs Lee was immediately sent for, and she and I, with assistance from Margaret a favorite servant, did all that was to be done preparatory to laying her in her coffin--It has been a very solemn and eventful day to me, for it is the first death I ever witnessed--And I feel that I have lost a very dear and much attached friend--for thirteen years we have been on the most intimate terms without the least shadow of a break in our friendship--Poor Mrs Brittain feels the blow most keenly, it came to her as to us all, most suddenly, for Mrs Morewood had been ill and up again so many times, that it was impossible to realize that this was the last--and only last week, on Tuesday she was up on the Cattle Show grounds all day about as well as usual apparently.  She was much surprised herself when she knew that her hours were numbered--said she did not want to die, but was calm in view of it, and left messages for Willie & gave instructions to Mr Morewood on various matters . . .

          In the beginning of her sickness she suffered a great deal of pain, but none at all for two days past . . .  I do not yet know about the funeral, or where she will be buried--I do not feel as if I could write this all over again, so will you send it to Kate & Helen and Fanny will see it-- . . .  Herman I expect home tomorrow.  I feel that my delay here has been providential, for I feel that my presence there today has been a comfort to Mrs Brittain, and I should not have felt right to be absent . . .  I send Herman's photograph, and will replace the others as soon as you send them without fail-- . . .  Did you know that Dr Hayward left me a legacy of three thousand dollars?  Nothing could have been more unexpected.  NYPL-GL


SPRINGFIELD October 19  After staying up "till the small hours" writing a letter to Sarah Morewood, Caroline S. Whitmarsh sees her death notice in the morning Republican and begins an essay with an Emersonian title, "A Representative Woman":

          More than that meager word in the death notices should be said of Mrs. Morewood of Pittsfield.  Not only was she the very dryad of Berkshire hills and woods, but one who sought beauty and excellence everywhere and encouraged it with her whole generous heart.  Her house was the resort of men and women of genius; her library, pictures, grounds, vehicles, material, for every conceivable art, were placed at their service with a hospitality which made them feel the givers and not receivers of bounty; and the poor and the wicked claimed from her, as tender a pity as if she were one of themselves . . .

          I will not apologise for filling with this record a column which has been devoted rather to belle lettres than biography.  There is a genius that rears temples and writes epics; there is a better genius that makes all earth its temple, and all existence special.  Such had Mrs. Morewood.  Her mistakes were nobler than some who criticised her; if she ever failed, it was thereafter to feel a more tender pity for the failing; her face while below was set toward the light into which she has not disappeared.  It is good to lay up the treasures of such a friend in heaven . . .  (The Springfield Republican, October 21.)


NEW YORK October 20  Joseph Greenleaf reports to Mrs Maria Melville the results of a commission given to him:

Yesterday I sold your gold & silver, and got very good prices for it.  You will notice that the "Spanish milled dollars" sold at a higher rate of premium [?] than the gold . . .  Sixty three 51/100 dollars I will hold for you.  Will you please direct me how to dispose of the balance after payment for the Tea.


MEMPHIS October 20  Richard Tobias Greene writes to M:

          I was home on leave of absence when your letter reached Vicksburg . . .

          . . . Herman has grown a fine tall boy, and Richard Melville Hair is a Lieutenant in Gen Banks Army, at New Orleans.

          . . .  We have done a clean job on the Mississippi, and I think we are going to help Rosecrans in this State.  HCL-M


NEW BEDFORD October 21  Fanny writes to Augusta:

          Your letter came last evening enclosing Lizzie's.  It was indeed a shock to us to hear of Mrs Morewood's death . . .  Kate has decided to go to Lawrence next Wednesday . . .  This is a lovely season of the year & she will enjoy seeing all her old friends & come home quite lively.  Helen will meet her in Boston & then they will decide upon & buy the silk dresses.  This is indeed a beautiful city.  We go out after dinner & look about at the fine houses . . . 

          The boy has just brought in a letter from John to Kate's great joy.  He writes that he had a pleasant voyage & is well, was to start for London that night . . .  About Herman's photograph, be sure you receive in return as many as you send.  Take the one out of my book . . . 


PITTSFIELD October 21  Elizabeth Melville attends Sarah Morewood's funeral:

          Mr Stearns & Mr Parker of Stockbridge read the Episcopal Burial Service at the church, & that was all--no address, & nothing to mark it from any funeral of any indifferent person in the parish . . . as the church regulations admit of no extemporaneous prayer (a great deficiency it seems to me) no mention was made of the absent son or any of the relatives . . .  The coffin was of rosewood studded with silver, and covered with flowers, was borne into church on the shoulders of six pall bearers-- . . . (Herman was one of the first chosen but he was not here)--I had sent to Sam to send me an appropriate wreath & it came the day before--it was very beautiful, and I know the attention pleased them.  I felt that it was the last thing I could ever do for the friend who has been so kind to me, and that were I in her place & she living,  it would be the very first thing she would think of for me, and I could not help doing it--Then Herman sent up from New York another wreath, smaller, all white, and Allan and Jenny sent a cross . . .  Willie was not sent for, because she grew ill so rapidly . . .  (Elizabeth Melville to Augusta, October 28.) 


Caroline S. Whitmarsh's prophetic description written October 19:

          It would need no better epitaph than to see the procession of mourners who in spirit or in the body, will gather about that little Pittsfield grave on Wednesday, from the men of genius and valor whom she inspired, the orphans whom she cherished, the outcasts whom she screened and saved, to

                            "The poor hack that drops down on the flints,

                                   Upon whose eye the dust is settling."

that found a shelter under her generous care,  If it be true that "a good life is better than pictures or statues, it is the finest of the fine arts."  (The Springfield Republican, October 21.)


PITTSFIELD October 21  Annie Morewood writes to her brother Willie after Sarah Morewood's body is placed in a temporary vault:

          mama was buryed this morning at Eleven oclock she looked so sweet that I did not want to have her buryed but I had to see her buryed some time or other she was put in the coffin this morning she was buryed from the church and we went up to the cemetery and saw the box shut up and put in the vault for a few days untill Papa can get a plot to put Mama.

          Dear Mama had a beautiful Coffin and beautiful flowers

          Mama looks so so natural she looked as if she ought not to be buryed.  Dear Dear brother I must now say

                                                            Good bye

                                                  your very aff sister




PITTSFIELD October 22  The Berkshire County Eagle belatedly prints "C. S. W. on Pittsfield.  The Town in Gross," Caroline S. Whitmarsh's letter to the  Springfield Republican dated Pittsfield, September 28, containing an annoying paragraph on "Pickles":

          The ladies in Pittsfield are engaged in making sweet pickles.  It is the universal and exciting topic; however dignified or silent, you should see their eyes sparkle, as soon as the one subject is introduced--how they boast!


Sonja, write to Springfield and Worcester--do Whitmarsh's papers survive#


NEW YORK October 26  Joseph Greenleaf writes to Augusta Melville:

I enclose the bill for $39.03 . . .  I shall also enclose my check on the "Bank of New York" of this date, payable to order of your Mother for $24,48 . . . making together the sum of $63.51 the proceeds of sale of the gold & silver.--Whenever you feel inclined to enter into the gold speculation with the capital you have in hand, please inform me, and I shall go into the market again with much pleasure.


NEW YORK October 27  Joseph Greenleaf writes again, to Augusta or her mother:

          I could not spare the time to write out the check yesterday.  I now enclose it. . . .


a new carte de visite of Herman--maybe the date is a year off in other records?

PITTSFIELD October 28  Elizabeth Melville writes to Augusta:

          I expect Herman home tonight, and if he comes, I know I shall have no further time for letter writing for some time . . .  I am out of all patience living in this forlorn uncomfortable condition, carpets up window shades down, & every thing in boxes, but it could not be helped and I hope we shall get settled before long.

          Mrs Morewood's death was on Friday (16th)  Mrs Lee staid with Mrs Brittain till after the funeral (the Wednesday following) . . .  Mr Morewood has gone back to N. Y. for a few days.  Alfred has gone to Stockbridge to boarding school & Annie goes to the Institute as a day scholar--Mr M. wished every thing to go on as before, as far as possible, & Mrs Brittain is to stay there this winter & to ask any one she pleases to be with her . . . 

[P.S.] How did you like the new "carte" of Herman that I sent you--send me the one I gave you for Tom, and I will exchange it--I am delighted at the potato & buckwheat prospects--we will let you know when to send with much pleasure & many thanks . . .


Added at top of first page:

(Herman ret[urned] this eve'g go on Tuesday or Wednesday [November 3 or 4])


PITTSFIELD October 29  The Berkshire County Eagle reprints Caroline S. Whitmarsh's tribute to Sarah Morewood from the Springfield Republican of October 21.


PITTSFIELD November 1  Sarah Morewood is buried, in the presence of the Melvilles.

          (I went up to Pittsfield on Friday last, the 30th Oct., and on the following day I had the remains of your dear Mamma removed from the vault where they had been temporarily placed, to their final resting place in Earth, in a plot of ground which I have bought in the Pittsfield Cemetery.  Mr Stearns, our clergyman, read a short service at the grave, as on previous occasion, the whole service had been in the Church, and Mr and Mrs Herman Melville, and a few others of her intimate friends were present, besides ourselves.  Thus the last office that we can perform for her on earth has now been done, and we must for the future think of her only as a dweller in another and happier home, where we may hope to meet her hereafter, if we too faithfully strive to do our duty in this life, till GOD in his Providence shall ordain that we, like her, shall "rest from our labours."  Try, dear Willie, to keep your mind & heart fixed upon that future meeting, and may the influence of that dear Mother, who so loved you in life, be still over you, now that she is separated from you, so far as flesh or sense are concerned, though not, as I trust & believe, in spirit.--J. Rowland Morewood to his son Willie, in England, November 6.)  ARROWHEAD


NEW YORK November 1  Maria (Milie) Melville writes to her Aunt Augusta:

          As I was coming out of the pew . . . Mrs Topping came up to me and asked me how my Grandma and aunts were, and if I had seen them lately.  She sent her love to you.  Miss Maria Topping is in our class and is rather older than me.

          Papa and Mamma and cousin Anne have gone to Central Park in a carriage this afternoon . . .

          I have seen Nellie Thayer, but I have never spoken to her.  She is in two or three of my classes . . .

          Uncle Richard [Lathers] came to see us Thursday evening.  He gave us an account of some of his travels in Scotland.  He say[s] that the Scots or people of Scotland I should say are very kind friends and showed a great deal of kindness both to him and to a lady and gentleman who happen to be with him, because they thought they were his friends . . .

          Uncle Richard also told us of Dr. Simpson of Edenburgh to whom Aunt Carrie went you know.

          It seems that he has a great many visitors and never sits down to even breakfast without twenty people or more.  He can talk on any subject under the sun.  Uncle Richard thought he would not know much about the oil springs lately discovered in Penn. and he began to talk on that, when a dispute arising among some persons, the Dr. brought out five or six bottles filled with the oil in different stages. 


November 3 or 4?  The Melvilles go to live in New York City  (--Lizzie to Augusta, October 28)  


PITTSFIELD Early November

. . . the Pittsfield school system consisted simply of the High and the common district schools and there was no grading beyond this; no Grammar schools such as we now have having then been instituted.  The public schools--of the town were clearly not such as to invite to it new residents or retain old ones who had children to educate.  If Mr. Melville left Pittsfield on that account, his is not the only instance in which it lost or missed getting valuable citizens by its delay in providing the best possible schools and libraries . . .  Two other circumstances favored his removal to New York.  Chief Justice Shaw died in 1861 . . . leaving his daughter, Mrs. Melville, a moderate fortune, which enabled the purchase of the very pleasant and convenient house, 104 East 26th Street.  (Smith, Evening Journal, December 24, 1891)


Elizabeth Melville's memoir of M:

Lived there [in Pittsfield] till Oct. 1863 when he moved into a house in New York 104 East 26th, st bought from his brother Allan giving 7,750 and the Arrowhead estate valued at 3000 and assuming a mortgage of 2000 to Mrs. Thurston which was afterwards paid off Dr Hayward's legacy to me of $3000 in May 1864--about $1000 Aunt Priscilla's legacy was spent in repairs.  [In earlier numbering address was 60 East 26.]


After leaving Pittsfield . . . M[alcolm] went to boarding school in Newton Centre-‑Stan[wix] went to school in Gansevoort, B[essie] &  F[rances] went to Quaker School, Stuyvesant Sq. [New York]  [Metcalf]


NEW YORK November 5  Julia Blatchford to Augusta:

. . . and it seems wrong to me that when so many brave soldiers are suffering, so much money should have been spent upon this unnecessary testimonial I could rather have had it given to the Sanitary Commission.


November 6  On black bordered stationery J. Rowland Morewood writes to his son Willie, in England:

          I have heard from Ally since he has been at Great Barrington, and I am glad to say that, so far, he likes his school there very much . . .  Annie remains at home with Aunt Ellen, and is quite well and happy.  She goes to school every morning, and I think really enjoys it while she is there . . .  ARROWHEAD


BROOKLINE November 9  Helen writes to Maria Melville:

          Yesterday we went to Hingham!  Aunt Helen has been very ill, so much so, that her physician wrote to some of the family . . .   Today I went into Boston, & called at Aunt Jean's and Mrs Shaw's . . .

          Mrs Shaw told me that Lizzie is staying at Allan's, & they are deep in furniture getting, and fixing generally.  It costs as much to carry their goods through the city to the house, as it did to bring them from Pittsfield to the city.


HP adding for a sample of his letters 29 April 98

BATH, MAINE November 15  "Uncle Amos" Nourse writes to Augusta Melville:

          Somebody, or something, (I trust a good angel,) has whispered in my ear that you would not spurn a loving epistle from your "Uncle Amos."  This, to be sure, is not quite as palpable a "hint" as that on which the Moon ventured to speak, as well he might, but it will serve my turn.

          I have frequent reminiscences of the good time we had at Gansevoort, never forgetting, of course, the trip to Saratoga, that xxx [ruey?] new in favor, nor our good fortune in getting back in season to escape a sound castigation from the irate parson.  That trip to Saratoga was in every respect all I could desire, save in a single particular--I meant to have had another swig at the water.

          I said that I had many reminiscences of you--I am sorry to add that the associations which call them up are not always of the most pleasant character.  That ugly foot, which you so kindly prescribed for, has been bothering me ever since, & even now, though I pronounce it "convalescent," I make even a more ludicrous figure in walking that when we were hrruying, as if for dear life, to get in season to the cars at Saratoga.

          Well, "no great evil" they say, "without some small good."  I believe I was never so devoted in my attentions to your aunt Lucy, as during the last six or seven weeks.  Except in two instances, I have not left her more than [an] hour or two at a time, during all this while.  But oh! the books that I have read, & the letters I have written!  Among the latter was one to Miss Fanny, to which I hope to receive a speedy answer.  I am not aware that any apology is required for indulging myself in such a pastime, but I have a mind to tell you how it came about.

          Last friday week Mrs N. left me to visit her sister Helen, who is very seriously ill, & just before that, she had received a charming letter from Miss Fanny, & deputed me to reply to it.  So as her requests are always law to me, when they are both reasonable & agreeable, I was not long in fulfilling the injunction.  In the midst of my other reading, I have not failed to read & admire several of Mr Robertson's sermons.  Many thanks to you for enj[oini]ng [?short word inging meaning allowing ] your aunt to bring the volume home with her.  In those that I have yet read, heretic though I be, I have found nothing to offend. [he is funny]

          You will be glad to know that George has reported his safe arrival in Nevada, having left his wife in San Francisco to recruit a while before travelling over the rough mountains.  When he has secured a tenement wherein to bestow her, he will go down & help her to finish her journey.  She had a sorry time of it on board the boats, have [having] been compelled to keep her berth all the while, in order to escape terrible sea-sickness.

          Your aunt Lucy returned on friday after a week's absence, & tells me she did not find Helen quite as feeble as she expected, but doubts if she shall ever see her again.  She bids me join her love with mine both to your mother & yourself, & to say that she will reply to your mother's kind letter speedily, as you doubtless will to this.  Letters are not often so precious in my eyes as now . . .

NYPL-GL Box 308


NEW BEDFORD November 16  Fanny writes to Augusta (emphasizing a point with a variation of Gan's phrase, "that is a positive fact"?):

          I have just finished a long letter to Tom & will send it off as soon as Kate adds her note . . .  Saturday I had a note from Kate, saying she would leave Lawrence in the noon train to-day & that Helen would meet her in town & they would go to see Aunt Jean & then go out to Brookline & stay there until time to take the last New Bedford cars Tuesday (if pleasant).  We did not have letters from John last week, he had left London on a weeks absence and that was the reason.

          Friday, I was delighted & surprised by receiving a letter from "Uncle Nourse."  He wrote that Aunt Lucy had been sent for to Hingham as Aunt Helen was very ill . . .  To-morrow I shall reply to "Uncle Nourse" & tell him about Tom's letter . . . 

          Why does not Mamma write, I really think she might.  Oh, about my going to New York.  I have determined not to go this time.  I do not want to go & why should I make a martyr of myself.  After I have made Helen a short visit I am coming straight home and that is a fact-- . . .

          I have just received a letter from Mary, she says it will be three or four weeks before Ned will be able to go down stairs.


19 Sept 99 text here [except for that on HM] is from Berkshire County Eagle reprinting--needs to be proofed to original

PHILADELPHIA November 16  Publication, in the American Literary Gazette and Publisher's Circular, of "Authors in Berkshire," [by Henry T. Tuckerman], dated Lenox, October 1863, which celebrates some of the "intellectual benefactors" associated with the area:

          At Sheffield, a little agricultural town just within the borders of Massachusetts, dwells the Rev. Dr. Dewey, in the old farmhouse of his childhood.  Since he retired from active professional life to the salubrious air and quiet sequestration of Berkshire, this eminent divine seems to have renewed his youth; seldom is age attended with such hale conditions and mental freshness and freedom.  They take a very narrow view of Dr. Dewey's claims to honor as an American author, who rank him exclusively among the literary representatives of liberal Christianity; his writings have a far broader scope than as expositions of Unitarian theology.  Their great significance is ethical and aesthetic.  Dr. Dewey is a man of profound moral sensibility and strong philosophical tendencies . . .

          There is a little red house, on a slope near the head of Stockbridge Lake, where Nathaniel Hawthorne dwelt during his novitiate as an author.  It is an humble little domicile, with a few acres of not very fertile land attached to it; but it commands a beautiful mountain landscape, and a fine clump of fir trees shade its approach. . . .  As I looked upon the little old farm house, the other evening, when lake and woods reflected the soft radiance of a brilliant autumn sunset, and the surrounding mountains glowed with the hues of gorgeous and variegated foliage, I thought it would be difficult to find, in New England at least, a spot better fitted to inspire and content a poetical mind. . .

          Not far from his [Holmes's] old residence lives Herman Melville, author of "Typee," "Omoo," "Moby Dick," and other adventurous narratives, which have more of the genuine Robinson Crusoe spell about them than any American writings.  The first and second were entirely new subjects, treated with a mingled simplicity and spirit that at once made the author's name a household and a shipboard word; the last, for curious and eloquent descriptions and details about the whale and whale fishing, rivals Michelet's brilliant and copious brochures on the sea, woman, and other generic themes; but Melville is more scientific as to his facts, and more inventive as to his fiction.  "Moby Dick," indeed, has the rare fault of redundant power; the story is wild and wonderful enough, without being interwoven with such a thorough, scientific, and economical treatise on the whale; it is a fine contribution to natural history and to political economy, united to an original and powerful romance of the sea, Melville has written other and more casual things, indicative of great versatility; witness his "Life of Israel Potter," and his remarkable sketch of a Wall street scrivener ["Bartleby"] in "Putnam's Monthly."  Impaired health induced him to retire to this beautiful region, and in the care of his fruits and flowers, and the repose of a domestic life, he seems to have forsworn the ambition of authorship, but we trust only for a time.


LONDON November 18  John Hoadley writes Kate from England, announcing the conclusion of his military mission for the Union Army and his imminent departure for home  (Kate had a famous long letter from John dated Nov: 18 London.  We do not yet know if he did sail [for home] on the first [of December]. --Fanny Melville to Augusta, December 8)


NEW YORK Late November?  Lizzie writes to Augusta:

          If I were not so tired this evening, I would write you more than this pencilled line or two--I have been "up to my eyes" in work lately [?] fitting window-shades, which of course will none of them fit the new fixtures.  I am getting along steadily but dear me what a world of things are to be done!  "It is a great move to move" as one of our country neighbors said the other day!--We are all well, & hope for a visit from one or all of you before long . . . 

[P. S.]  I have a lovely basket of old clo' for you [to give to the poor]!


NEW YORK? November 26  Allan Melville labels an object which he places in an envelope:

          Enclosed piece of cloth given to me by my cousin Annie Downer DeMarcini.  It came from my grandmother Melville and lint was taken from it during some of the Revolution Battles.  See the name Melville on it.  BA


PITTSFIELD November 26  The Berkshire County Eagle responds to Caroline Whitmarsh's criticisms in the Springfield Republican:

          The street lighting movement is making progress which will gratify C. S. W. who, the next time [she] visits Pittsfield, will not, on the main street at least, be liable to run on to the horns of a cow or into the arms of that still more horrid creature, a man, owing to our more than Cimmerian darkness.  East st. is now well lighted, and it requires only one more light to render South St. passable as far as East Housatonic st.  North st. needs a few more north of the business line, and it would do no harm to have a few lights in front of the stores.  A more systematic and general mode of lighting the streets would have been better, but what has been done is better than nothing, and will soon lead to a general illumination of our dark ways.


BROADHALL November 30  Ellen Brittain writes to her nephew, Willie Morewood, in England:

          . . . how often I have heard her say, when speaking of you, "Willie is a good boy," and if I live he will be a great comfort to me.

          She talked very little during her illness, but was cheerful & happy, to Margaret who was rubbing her feet, She said, Margaret, do you know I am going to die, yes, going to die--I do not fear death, "God is Merciful" I do not suffer.

          When she could no longer speak, She smiled her thanks for our attention; "God" was "Merciful" and gave her a quiet & happy death.  No stranger hands were around her, but those she loved (Mrs Melville & Mrs Lee) prepared her for her last sleep & she rests in a lovely spot in our Villiage Cemetary . . . .


NEW YORK December 2?  J. Rowland Morewood calls on the Melvilles and receives from Elizabeth a photograph of M   (J. Rowland Morewood to his son Willie, December 4?)


December 4?  On black-bordered stationery, J. Rowland Morewood writes to his motherless son Willie:

          Mr. & Mrs. Herman Melville are now living in New York with their family, and the night before last Mrs. Melville gave me a carte de visite of her husband to send to you, with her love.  I enclose it to you, and think that you will value it for its associations . . .  ARROWHEAD papers


NEW BEDFORD December 8  Fanny writes to Augusta:

          It was good news indeed to hear that Mamma liked her hat & that it was becoming.  I thought she would be hard to please if she did not.  So all the various articles in the hat-box all gave satisfaction?--that is good--Mrs Drew [the seamstress] has been here several days & I hardly think will get through before Friday night, if then, so you know how busy we have been & will be all this week.  Kate's new silk is to be made and that is a very particular job.  Tell Mary when you see her again, that the brown dress is made & looks like "bran new."  I have it on now for the first.  Oh, Gus, I want you to send me in your next letter, the narrow lace off that old grey silk, you said you were going to rip up.  You may remember I had some on my light silk & now I need more, about a yard or so . . .

          Sunday Kate had a famous long letter from John dated Nov. 18 London.  We do not yet know if he did sail on the first.  He enclosed his photograph taken in his overcoat it is excellent.  John speaks of being invited to attend an American dinner on Thanksgiving day, had accepted.  He had visited Bath & several other places [#ck in NYPL]


December 10  M writes to Miss Sophie Van Matre, Cincinnati:

          Owing to my recent return to this, my native town, after a twelve years' visit in Berkshire, your note was delayed in reaching me.

          Though involved in a thousand and one botherations incident to a removal of one's household a hundred and sixty miles, the fitting up &  furnishing of a house &c &c, I yet hasten to respond.

          I shld be very happy indeed to comply with your request to furnish you with autographs from old letters, were it not that it is a vile habit of mine to destroy all my letters.  Such as I have by me would hardly be to your purpose.

          With lively remembrances of our pick‑nicks, & the warmest wishes for the success of your Fair . . .  [Pleadwell]


PITTSFIELD December 10  The Berkshire County Eagle reprints Tuckerman's article, with an editorial note of correction:

Mr. Melville did not come to Berkshire to secure health but to enjoy it.  He has now removed to New York to secure its restoration.


NEW YORK December 15 [Henry Gansevoort's 29th, birthday]  M writes to George McLaughlin, Cincinnati:

          The Sanitary Fairs to be held in several of the larger cities will do an immense service to our soldiers.  God prosper them and those who work for them and the great Cause which they are intended to subserve.  [transcript . . .]



NEW BEDFORD Before Christmas  Fanny writes to Augusta:

          Kate sent you . . . this beautiful house shawl for a Christmas present . . .  She also sends "Beatrice Cenci" to hang in your room . . . 


[#this is a fragment of a letter--ck in NYPL--Uncle is sick--can it be Peter, who is sick in Jan--where is Gus? Is the John referred to John Hoadley, back from England? And does he carry prunes to Uncle Peter?--#make sure this is not a letter from Glens Falls]



NEW BEDFORD December 24  John Hoadley returns for Christmas Eve with his family.  (J. C. Hoadley . . . returned home Thursday last"--New Bedford Mercury, December 28, 1863.)


Dan added 21 May 98:

NEW YORK December 24  Allan Melville writes to E.A. Duyckinck:

          My children have a Christmas tree this evening, one which has been got up with considerable care.  Wont you come & bring your boys to see it.  Come by 7 oclock or what is better to a cold cut at 5 1/2

NYPL-D Box 12


NEW YORK Late December  Evert Duyckinck sends M a book for review.


NEW BEDFORD December 28  An item in the Mercury:

PERSONAL.  J. C. Hoadley, Esq., of this city, who has been absent for some months in Europe on business for the state, returned home Thursday last.


NEW YORK December 31  M replies to Evert Duyckinck:

          I return the book, thinking you may want it.  I have read it with great interest.  As for scribbling anything about it, tho' I would like to please you, I have not spirit enough.

          We are going to have Allan & his family here to night, with Mrs [Ellen] Brittain from Pittsfield, & one or two other friends, who will come early, stay socially & go early.  If convenient, pray, join us.  [NYPL]


                      .    .    .    .    .


M responds to a request from John P. Kennedy, in Baltimore, to contribute a manuscript, to be reproduced in facsimile in a volume entitled Autograph Leaves of our Country's Authors; he sends a poem:


                 A glory lights an earnest end;

In jubilee the patriot ghosts ascend. 

          Transfigured at the rapturous height

          Of their passionate feat of arms,

          Death to the brave's a starry night,--

          Strown their vale of death with palms.

                            HERMAN MELVILLE


PARIS  Nouvelle Biographie Generale is published (edited by Dr. Hoefer) with a biographical sketch of "MELVILLE (Herman), romancier americain . . ." (condensed from the Cyclopaedia of American Literature).




need to put this gathering in the LOG--a few days before Sarah's death--does HM attend????



ALBANY? 1863?  Kate Gansevoort gives to her cousin Helen Melville Griggs their teacher Mrs. Charles Sedgwick's A Talk with my Pupils, new edition (New York, 1863); by the 1920's the book has passed into the possession of Charlotte Hoadley1.  (VHP's list, NYHS)





why do I say July 16?

PITTSFIELD July 16?  A book is transferred to mark a change in ownership of Arrowhead:

The Hist of the County of Berkshire under HM's signature & date Pittsfield July 16. 1850 (in ink) is (in pencil) "to Allan Melville 1863" poss in Allan's hand?  May well be Herman's hand





Shd be Dr Cady

          About October 13 Sarah began to sink rapidly, and by the


DORCHESTER 1863  John D'Wolf inscribes a copy of his Narrative [ck title] to Sam C. Richmond, Esq.  REESE


GLENMONT? 1863  Born, this year, to Kate and Elisha P. Hurlbut, a son, Ernest Cole Hurlbut, who lives until 1953, unconsulted by the first two generations of Melville scholars.  (Inscription in the Hurlbut lot in the Albany Rural Cemetery, copied by Frances Broderick in July 1996)


LONDON Before year's end?  Thomas Low Nichols's Forty Years of American Life appears, containing this recollection:

          While in the office, as the American lawyer's chambers are called, a younger brother and partner told me they had a third brother, whom I had never seen.  He had been a little wild, and some years before had run away to sea . . .  I met Herman Melville often, after I read "Typee," both before and subsequent to its publication.  He was a simple-hearted, enthusiastic, gentlemanly sailor, or sailorlike gentleman.  His subsequent works have been marked by certain eccentricities, but have, on the whole, sustained the promise of his maiden production.  He married . . .


work in at end of 1863

Cousin Kate says that Maria Melville was very ill for three months in the winter of 1863-1864



                                   TO MARIA GANSEVOORT MELVILLE

                             BEFORE 10 FEBRUARY 1863 ;+ NEW YORK


Unlocated.  A letter from Melville is cited in Maria Melville's 13 February 1863 letter from Glens Falls, New York, where she was visiting relatives, to her daughters Augusta and Frances at Gansevoort.  Melville was in New York at this time and had written to his mother and sisters at Gansevoort.  Maria Melville, commenting on his letter that Augusta and Frances had forwarded to her, remarked: "Hermans letter was quite amusing I hope he continues well & that New York will continue to amuse him & that he went to Grace Church to witness the queer couple that were so splendidly attended, & so peculiar in all respects" (NYPL-GL).  The "queer couple" were Tom Thumb and his bride Lavinia Warren, who were married at Grace Church on 10 February 1863.  Melville had probably commented on some of the newspaper accounts of the lavish wedding preparations.  It is not known whether he joined the large crowd that witnessed the event.  For Melville's portrayal of Grace Church in 1853-54, see his piece "The Two Temples," NN Piazza Tales volume, pp. 303-15.



                                      TO ELIZABETH SHAW MELVILLE

                             BEFORE 11 FEBRUARY 1863 ;+ NEW YORK


Unlocated.  A letter from Melville to his wife during his stay in New York (see the entry just above) can be inferred from an 11 February 1863 letter that Elizabeth Melville wrote to her sister-in-law Augusta at Gansevoort.  Reporting on Melville's recovery since his accident of 31 October 1862, she noted: "Herman has been steadily improving, & when he found that he could dress himself without assistance, he began to think of going to New York for a visit  He has been there now about ten days and is enjoying it very much  his health has been better this winter I think, and he has walked a good deal . . . & in N.Y. he has walked from Trinity Church to 35th St." (NYPL-GL).  Although Elizabeth Melville does not specifically state that she had received a letter from her husband, she clearly had had news of his stay, and it is most likely that Melville himself, rather than his brother Allan, conveyed this news.



                                        TO CATHERINE GANSEVOORT

                                    17 FEBRUARY 1863 ;+ PITTSFIELD


The photographs of Melville's maternal grandparents‑-General Peter Gansevoort and Catherine Van Schaick Gansevoort‑-for which he thanks his cousin Catherine (Kate) in this letter were probably of portraits by Gilbert Stuart (see p. 000 for a reproduction of an engraving of General Gansevoort taken from the Stuart painting; for more about his grandfather's victory at Fort Stanwix, see Melville's letter of 7 November 1851, above). 

          Lieutenant Henry Gansevoort, Kate's older brother, whom Melville had visited in New York on 7 February, was at this time temporarily assigned to Fort Hamilton, in New York Harbor, while recovering from a fever he caught after fighting at the second battle of Bull Run and at Antietam.  He never returned to his battery during the war, but accepted the rank of lieutenant colonel of volunteers in the Thirteenth New York Volunteer Cavalry (see John C. Hoadley, ed., Memorial of Henry Sanford Gansevoort [Boston: Rand & Avery, 1875], pp. 77-78).


My Dear Cousin Kate:

          Upon returning from New York I was made happy by finding your note enclosing the pictures.  The one of our grandmother is clear and admirable. But alas for the Hero of Fort Stanwix!  Photographically rendered, he seems under a sort of eclipse, emblematic perhaps of the gloom which his spirit may feel in looking down upon this dishonorable epoch.  But dont let us become too earnest.  A very bad habit.

          The other day, be it known unto you, Incomparable Kate, I went with Allan and his wife to Fort Hamilton, where we saw Lieutenant Henry Gansevoort of the U.S. Artillery.  He politely led us to the ramparts, pointing out all objects of interest.  He looked well and war-like, cheerfully embarked in the career of immortality.  I saw him upon two other occasions, and dined with him at Allan's one Sunday.

          With best rememberances to your mother and father, in which Lizzie joins,

                                                                           Beleive me Incomparable Kate

                                                                                 Affectionately Your Cousin


Pittsfield Feb. 17th 1863



ALS on a 25.3 ;x 20.4 cm sheet, folded in half, of blue laid paper, embossed with the manufacturer's shield-like stamp enclosing the name "carson's congress".  Melville inscribed the first and third pages, in ink, and addressed the envelope "Miss Catherine Gansevoort ;b  Care of Hon. Peter Gansevoort  ;b Albany ;b N.Y."; it was postmarked in Pittsfield on 17 February.  Another hand has noted on the envelope "2-17-1863" and "1863" in pencil.


Location: NYPL-GL.


Publication: Paltsits, pp. 18-19.  Davis-Gilman 164.


Textual Notes:  eclipse] miswritten eclipsse ;* the gloom] after canceled what ;* embarked in] possibly embarked on ;* career] miswritten carreer ;* Pittsfield . . . 1863] at the bottom of the otherwise blank second page; placed here editorially ;* Feb.] written over wiped letters



                                      TO ELIZABETH SHAW MELVILLE

                              BEFORE [27?] MARCH 1863 ;+ PITTSFIELD


Unlocated.  A brief letter from her husband is cited in a hurried [27?] March 1863 letter from Elizabeth Melville to her sister-in-law Augusta, who was staying with the family in Pittsfield while Elizabeth visited her stepmother in Boston.  At the close, she writes, "My love to Herman and Macky and thank Herman for his note" (NYPL-GL).



                                   TO MARIA GANSEVOORT MELVILLE

                                   BEFORE 7 MAY 1863 ;+ PITTSFIELD


Unlocated.  A letter from Melville is cited in Maria Melville's 11 May 1863 letter to her daughter Augusta, who was visiting Catherine and John Hoadley in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  Along with other family news, Maria Melville reports, "I had a letter from Herman[.]  They go to New York in October, Allan has taken the Pittsfield Farm in part payment.  Sam Shaw was the agent & made the legal transfer of the 26 St House to Lizzie.  Herman seems to be much pleased with the prospect.  He has always liked New York, & is not the first man who has been beguiled into the country, & found out by experience that it was not the place for him" (NYPL-GL).  Melville's letter is probably the same one cited in Elizabeth Melville's 7 May 1863 letter to Frances Priscilla Melville at Gansevoort, in which she briefly states, "Herman has written to Mama about our plans, so no matter about them at present" (NYPL-GL).  The New York house, like the farm at Pittsfield, was placed in Elizabeth Melville's name, since her father had bequeathed his mortgage on the farm to her in his will (see the headnote to Melville's 22 May 1856 letter to Judge Shaw, above).




                                            TO PETER GANSEVOORT

                                   AFTER 12 JUNE 1863 ;+ PITTSFIELD


Unlocated.  On 12 June 1863 Peter Gansevoort wrote to Melville inviting him to attend the semicentennial celebration of the Albany Academy, where Melville had gone to school in 1830-31 and 1836-37 (see Letters Received, pp. 000-00).  Since he was present at the celebration on 26 June (see the entry for his unlocated letter to his wife written before 29 June, below), he presumably answered his uncle and accepted the invitation to stay with him.  Davis-Gilman Unlocated 378.



                                              TO THOMAS MELVILLE

                                   AFTER 15 JUNE 1863 ;+ PITTSFIELD


Unlocated.  A letter to Melville's brother Thomas, then bound for San Francisco from the Orient, can be inferred from Frances Priscilla (Fanny) Melville's 15 June 1863 letter to their sister Augusta, in which she states that having received a letter from Tom she is writing to "Herman about Tom's direction, so he & Lizzie can write" (NYPL-GL).  Fanny's letter to Melville is unlocated, but her insistence in her 15 June letter that Augusta as well as their sister and brother-in-law, Catherine and John Hoadley, with whom Augusta was visiting, "write at once" was probably repeated in her letter to Arrowhead, and presumably heeded.



                                    TO FRANCES PRISCILLA MELVILLE

                                       [18?] JUNE 1863 ;+ PITTSFIELD


Unlocated.  A letter to Melville's sister Frances Priscilla (Fanny) is cited in her 22 June 1863 letter to their sister Augusta, who was still visiting in New Bedford with their sister Catherine Hoadley.  Along with the recent news from Gansevoort, Fanny wrote, "I send you a letter from Lizzie received last week.  Saturday I had a note from Herman, but I believe I will enclose it it is so funny, mind & send it back.  I wrote to him this morning saying how glad we were that he was coming & that he must bring one or two of the children with him" (NYPL-GL).  After attending the semicentennial celebration at the Albany Academy (see Letters Received, p. 000), Melville was planning to visit his mother and sister Fanny in Gansevoort.



                                      TO ELIZABETH SHAW MELVILLE

                               BEFORE 29 JUNE 1863 ;+ GANSEVOORT


Unlocated.  Melville wrote to his wife from Gansevoort, New York, after attending the semicentennial celebration of the Albany Academy (see Letters Received, pp. 000-00).  In a 29 June 1863 letter from Pittsfield, Elizabeth Melville summarized his letter for Augusta Melville in New Bedford:  "On Friday Herman went to Albany to join in the Semi Cen. Cel. of the Alumni of the Albany Academy , his name was on the Committee, and Uncle Peter urged him strongly to unite with them.  Herman writes that they had interesting exercises at `Tweddle Hall' (to which he marched in the procession) and a supper in the eveg of which he did not partake, though he was present.  He staid at Uncle Peters alone with him (as the family are at Saratoga) and had a good time.  On Saturday he went to Gansevoort to stay a few days  None of the children could accompany him, as the vacations have not begun yet " (NYPL-GL).



                                             TO RICHARD T. GREENE

                              BEFORE 20 OCTOBER 1863 ;+ NEW YORK


Unlocated.  Melville's Harper account on 11 August 1863 lists the charge "3 Typee to R T Green" (HCL-M).  Greene, then with the Union army at Vicksburg, acknowledged receiving the books in a 20 October 1863 letter (see Letters Received, pp. 000-00).  The account suggests that the Harpers sent the books directly from their store, but Greene's reply also acknowledges a letter from Melville, which probably advised him that the books had been ordered.  Davis-Gilman Unlocated 379.




                                             TO SOPHIA VAN MATRE

                                    10 DECEMBER 1863 ;+ NEW YORK


In November of 1863 Melville and his family moved to 60 East Twenty-sixth Street (renumbered 104 shortly thereafter) in New York, where he lived for the rest of his life.  As a result of the move, the now unlocated letter from Sophia Van Matre, soliciting from him any autograph letters in his possession that could be sold at the December 1863 Great Western Sanitary Fair in Cincinnati, was delayed in reaching him.  (For a similar letter from George McLaughlin and more about the sanitary fair, see the headnote to the next letter.)

          Sophia Van Matre was listed as twenty-five years old in the 1860 census, the oldest daughter of Daniel Van Matre, a Cincinnati lawyer, and Maria Van Matre, a member of the Fruits and Flowers Committee of the Horticultural and Pomological Department for the Cincinnati Sanitary Fair (see Charles Boynton, History of the Great Western Sanitary Fair [Cincinnati: Vent, 1864], p. 63).  Sophia Van Matre had apparently attended a number of Berkshire picnics, probably as a guest of Sarah Morewood, who had other friends in Cincinnati (see the headnote to Melville's letter of [12 or 19?] September 1851, above).  Although Melville did not supply her with any "autographs from old letters," she placed his letter in an album with some sixty other letters from figures such as Washington Irving, General Grant, and Henry Ward Beecher, which she had collected for the sanitary fair auction, where two of Melville's other letters were also sold separately (see the headnotes to his 6 February 1854 letter to George P. Putnam and his 15 December 1863 letter to McLaughlin).  According to Charles Boynton, cited above, Miss Van Matre's "magnificent" album  was sold to "M. Addy"‑-possibly Matthew Addy, a prominent Cincinnati businessman at the time‑-for $21.75.  But according to the annotated auction catalogue now at The Newberry Library, it was sold for the same price to "Adae"‑-possibly Carl F. Adae, head of the German Savings Institute in Cincinnati.



                                                                                   New York Dec. 10th 1863

My Dear Miss Van Matre:

          Owing to my recent return to this, my native town, after a twelve years' visit in Berkshire, your note was delayed in reaching me.

          Though involved in the thousand and one botherations incident to a removal of one's household a hundred & sixty miles, the fitting up & furnishing of a house &c &c, I yet hasten to respond.

          I should be very happy indeed to comply with your request to furnish you with autographs from old letters, were it not that it is a vile habit of mine to destroy nearly all my letters.  Such as I have by me would hardly be to your purpose.

          With lively remembrance of our pick-nicks, & the warmest wishes for the success of your Fair, Beleive me

                                                                                           Very Sincerely Yours

                                                                                                    Herman Melvill

Miss Van Matre,




ALS on a 25.3 ;x 20.4 cm sheet, folded in half, of blue laid paper, embossed with the manufacturer's shield-like stamp enclosing the name "carson's congress".  Melville inscribed the first and third pages, in ink.


Location: The Philip H. and A. S. W. Rosenbach Foundation.  Provenance: Great Western Sanitary Fair Auction, 15 March 1864, in lot 572; "M. Addy" or "Adae"; the album was then broken up and the letters sold separately at the Hawaiian Book Exchange; Frank L. Pleadwell sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, sale 1840, 7-8 October 1958, lot 349.


Publication:  Log, II, 664.  Davis-Gilman 165.


Textual Note:  visit in] in written over to



                                           TO GEORGE McLAUGHLIN

                                    15 DECEMBER 1863 ;+ NEW YORK


George McLaughlin was on the Committee for Coins and Autographs of the Great Western Sanitary Fair in Cincinnati (see Boynton, History of the Great Western Sanitary Fair, cited below, p. 62).  Established to raise money for the medical care of wounded Northern soldiers, the sanitary fairs were held in many Northern cities.  Unlike Sophia Van Matre (see the letter just above), McLaughlin apparently had written to Melville asking only for a reply that could be sold at the fair.  According to Boynton, Melville's reply sold for fifty cents at the sanitary fair auction, where many of the single letters sold for less than a dollar.  It was bought by "R. Clarke," who also purchased Melville's 6 February 1854 letter to George P. Putnam for twenty cents (see the headnote to that letter).  Robert Clarke was the founder of the Cincinnati publishing firm Robert Clarke & Co., which published the catalogue by S. G. Hubbard for the sale.  The actual purchaser at the sale, however, was, according to an annotated copy of the catalogue (in The Newberry Library), a Mr. Barney‑-presumably Roderick Barney, listed as an employee of Clarke's in the 1864 Cincinnati directory.  Since Clarke had advertised on the inside cover of the Hubbard catalogue that his company would purchase items "without charge, for those who can not personally attend the sale," Clarke may have bought the letter on behalf of another collector.



                                                                                     New York, Dec. 15, 1863

Dear Sir:

          Owing to my change of residence, back to this, my native place, your letter was delayed in reaching me.

          The Sanitary Fairs to be held in several of the large cities, will do an immense service to our soldiers.  God prosper them, and those who work for them, and the great Cause which they are intended to subserve

                                                                                              With much respect

                                                                                                         Yours Truly

                                                                                                  Herman Melville

Geo. M. Laughlin Esq.



ALS on a 25.1 ;x 20.4 cm sheet, folded in half, of blue laid paper, embossed with the manufacturer's shield-like stamp enclosing the name "carson's congress".  Melville inscribed the first page, in ink.  It was later glued on the fourth page to another sheet, but has since been removed.  A penciled dealer's mark "osek ;b 26500" is on the fourth page.


Location: UV-Barrett.  Provenance: Great Western Sanitary Fair Auction, 15 March 1864, lot 353; Robert Clarke & Co.; Charles Hamilton catalogue 9 (28 November 1956), item 208.


Publication: Charles Boynton, History of the Great Western Sanitary Fair (Cincinnati: Vent, 1864), pp. 187-88.  Davis-Gilman 166.



                                            TO EVERT A. DUYCKINCK

                                    31 DECEMBER 1863 ;+  NEW YORK


The book Melville returned with this letter to his old friend Evert Duyckinck is unidentified.  No longer directly associated with a literary journal since the Literary World ceased publication in 1853, Duyckinck had nonetheless remained active in literary circles and probably recommended that Melville write a review for one of the New York magazines.

          Two notable absences from Melville's list of guests mentioned in this letter at his New Year's gathering were Duyckinck's brother George, who had died in March, and Ellen Brittain's sister Sarah Morewood, who had died in October.



                                                                                                 Last Day of 1863

Dear Duyckinck:

          I return the book, thinking you may want it.  I have read it with great interest.  As for scribbling anything about it, tho' I would like to please you, I have not spirit enough.

          We are going to have Allan & his family here to night, with Mrs Britton from Pittsfield, & one or two other friends, who will come early, stay sociably & go early.  If convenient, pray, join us.


                                                                                                                    H. M.



ALS on a 25.2 ;x 20.4 cm sheet, folded in half, of blue laid paper, embossed with the manufacturer's shield-like stamp enclosing the name "carson's congress".  Melville inscribed the first page, in pencil, and addressed the unstamped fourth page "Evert A. Duyckinck Esq. ;b 20 Clinton Place"; it was apparently hand-delivered.  Duyckinck later noted on the fourth page in pencil "Herman Melville".


Location: NYPL-D.


Publication:  Log, II, 665.  Davis-Gilman 167.


                                     FROM CATHERINE GANSEVOORT

                                BEFORE 17 FEBRUARY 1863 ;+ ALBANY


Unlocated.  A "note enclosing the pictures" of Melville's and Catherine Gansevoort's grandparents is acknowledged in Melville's 17 February 1863 reply to his cousin.



                                   FROM ELIZABETH SHAW MELVILLE

                                  BEFORE 21 MARCH 1863 ;+ BOSTON


Unlocated.  A letter from Elizabeth Melville in Boston to her husband in Pittsfield is cited in her 21 March 1863 letter to Augusta Melville, who was also in Pittsfield at this time.  She states briefly, "Herman will tell you what I wrote him about Mr Storrow  poor man, he is a great sufferer " (NYPL-GL).  "Mr Storrow" may have been Charles S. Storrow (1809-1904), an eminent Boston engineer, who signed John Hoadley's 19 March 1861 petition to Abraham Lincoln on behalf of Melville's effort to obtain a consulship in 1861.



                                          FROM PETER GANSEVOORT

                                 ON OR AFTER 4 APRIL 1863 ;+ ALBANY


Unlocated.  Melville's uncle Peter, as President of the Board of Trustees of the Albany Academy, which Melville had attended in 1830-31 and 1836-37, apparently wrote to his nephew after Melville was appointed to the "committee of arrangements" for the academy's semicentennial celebration.  He did so on or after 4 April, the date on the printed circular which he enclosed.  Whether Melville attended the committee meeting on 8 April is not known; he did attend the celebration (see the entry just below).  Other members of the "committee of alumni" included: Alexander W. Bradford, a long-time friend of the Melville family (see Melville's 23 May 1846 letter to him); Abraham Lansing, who later married Peter Gansevoort's daughter Catherine; and William B. Sprague, Jr., son of the Reverend William B. Sprague, who had asked for Melville's autograph soon after the publication of Typee (see Melville's 24 July 1846 reply). 





                                                                                                Albany Academy}

Dear Sir:                                                                       ;fsAlbany, April 4, 1863}

          The Albany Academy during the present year completes half a century of its history.  The board of trustees have thought that perhaps this event might not be without interest to the thousands who during that time have been educated within its walls.  They have therefore resolved that the semi-centennial anniversary of this institution shall in some suitable way be celebrated, and for this purpose they ask that you, as one of its Alumni, should serve as a member of a committee to make arrangements for the occasion. 

          This committee is requested to meet for organization and business, on Wednesday evening, April 8th, 1863, at the library of the Academy.

                                                                                                Peter Gansevoort,

                                                                           President of Board of Trustees.

David Murray,




Original enclosure not located.  Text from first publication.


Publication: Celebration of the Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the Albany Academy (Albany: J. Munsell, 1863), p. 4. 



                                          FROM PETER GANSEVOORT

                                            12 JUNE 1863 ;+ ALBANY


With the semicentennial celebration of the Albany Academy drawing near (see the preceding entry), Melville's uncle Peter enclosed with this letter a circular dated 26 June  (Melville's copy of the circular is now unlocated).  As the circular indicates, Melville's friend Alexander W. Bradford was to give an oration, and an evening meeting was to be held in the chapel, "at which addresses [were to] be made by various distinguished speakers," one of whom, Peter Gansevoort evidently hoped, would be Melville.

          Melville's reply to this invitation is also unlocated, but he did attend the celebration on 26 June and stayed with his uncle (see the entry, p. 000 above, for his unlocated letter to his wife from Albany).  The memorial volume of the celebration (cited below) does not mention whether Melville gave "an expression of [his] feeling" during the evening meeting in the chapel, but it did single him out as accompanying his uncle: "The meeting was presided over by the Honorable Peter Gansevoort, . . . and by his side were his associates and the guests of the festival, among whom was warmly welcomed Herman Melville, whose reputation as an author has honored the Academy, world-wide" (p. 11).



                                                                                          Albany 12 June 1863

My dear Herman

          I have much pleasure in sending to you the Circular of the Com. appd for the celebration of the semi centennial anniversary of the Albany Academy 

          You are a member of the Committee; Permit me to indulge the hope, that you will shew your gratitude to the Academy & your appreciation of the services it has rendered the cause of Science by uniting in the celebration & favoring us with an expression of your feeling, during the Evening Meeting in the Chapel of the Academy

          I expect to go to Saratoga Sp. next week with yr Aunt Susan & Kate, to remain until about 4 July

          However I shall be in Albany on 26th inst & if you come you will find my house open

                                                                                    Yours very affectionately

                                                                                                                     P. G.

Herman Melville Esq

Pittsfield Mass




                                                                                               Albany Academy,}

Dear Sir:                                                                             ;fsJune 26th, 1863.}

          The Albany Academy has completed the fiftieth year of its existence.  It was chartered, by the Regents of the university of the state of New York, March 4th, 1813.  During this period over five thousand students have been received and educated within its walls.  It has been thought that perhaps such of the former students and officers of this institution as still survive, might deem it a privilege to unite in celebrating this occasion in some suitable way. 

          To this end, the undersigned, who have been appointed by the board of trustees as a committee of arrangements, earnestly solicit your attendance at Albany, Friday, June 26th, 1863, at the following


                                                             of the

                                          semi-centennial anniversary

                                                             of the

                                                 ALBANY ACADEMY.

          At 3 p. m. a public meeting of the Alumni of the Academy will be held at Tweddle hall.

          Honorable Alexander W. Bradford, LL. D., of New York, will pronounce a Commemorative Oration.

          Orlando Meads, LL. D., will read a History of the Institution.

          At 8;fc1/2 o'clock in the evening a re;a4union of the Alumni and Officers of the Academy will be held in the chapel and rooms of the Academy building.  Refreshments will be provided.

          Music has been kindly proffered by vocalists and artists of the Alumni.

          During the evening a meeting will be organized in the chapel, at which addresses will be made by various distinguished speakers.

          It is proposed to publish as the result of this celebration a memorial volume, which shall contain besides proceedings of the mmetings, a complete catalogue of the students of the Academy from its commencement.

          From those not residing in the city of Albany, an answer to this communication is respectfully solicited, and may be addresses to David Murray, Esq., Principal of Albany Academy.

          The committee have endeavored by every means in their power to obtain the addresses of the former students of the Academy, and to send invitations to them; but there is no doubt that with all the diligence they have employed that many will have been omitted.

          They will, therefore, be under great obligations if any gentleman to whom these invitations may be sent, will extend the same invitation to others.

          N. B.  The Alumni and officers are requested to assemble at the Academy building at two o'clock, in order to proceed to the Hall in a body.


                                                committee of alumni.

          Hon. John V. L. Pruyn, LL. D., Albany.

          Hon. John Van Buren, New York.

          Joseph Henry, LL. D., Washington.

          Hon. Alexander W. Bradford, LL. D., New York.

          Rev. J. Trumbull Backus, D. D., Schenectady.

          Hon. George W. Clinton, Buffalo.

          Herman Melville, Pittsfield.

          William H. Bogart, Aurora.

          Prof. Isaac W. Jackson, LL. D., Schenectady.

          Peter Cagger,                            Albany.

          John Tayler Hall,    do.

          Franklin Townsend,          do.

          George W. Carpenter,       do.

          David I. Boyd,                             do.

          Robert H. Waterman,       do.

          James Cruikshank, LL. D.,        do.

          William B. Sprague, Jr.,   do.

          Charles H. Strong,            do.

          John T. McKnight,   do.

          Abraham Lansing,                      do.

          Frederic P. Olcott,             do.


                                               committee of trustees:

Orlando Meads, LL. D.,                                                   ;fsThomas Hun, M. D.,

Christopher Y. Lansing,                                         ;fsHoward Townsend, M. D.,

                                                     David Murray.



Original letter and enclosure not located.  Text of letter from draft letter on a 28.6 ;x 23 cm part-sheet (torn along the top), folded in half, of white wove paper.  Peter Gansevoort inscribed the draft to Melville on the second page, in ink, and drafted a similar letter to "Hon. G. W. Clinton" on the third page.  Text of enclosure from first publication.


Location (of draft): NYPL-GL.


Publication (letter): (partial) Log, II, 659; (enclosure) Celebration of the Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the Albany Academy (Albany: J. Munsell, 1863), pp. 6-8.


Textual Notes:  much] inserted above caret ;* I expect] below canceled Aunt Susan ;* go] inserted above canceled take ;* to Saratoga] after canceled yr Aunt Susan & Kate ;* about] inserted above caret ;* However] H written over word-start ;* I shall] inserted above caret over canceled will ;* open] before canceled for you



                                 FROM FRANCES PRISCILLA MELVILLE

                                 AFTER 15 JUNE 1863 ;+ GANSEVOORT


Unlocated.  A letter from Melville's youngest sister is cited in her 15 June 1863 letter to their sister Augusta in New Bedford, which reports that their brother Thomas was "on his way to San Francisco, where he hopes to receive many long letters from us all."  She added, "I shall write Herman about Tom's direction, so he & Lizzie can write" (NYPL-GL).  Presumably Melville acted upon his sister's letter and wrote to their brother (see the entry for Melville's unlocated letter, p. 000 above).



                                 FROM FRANCES PRISCILLA MELVILLE

                                       22 JUNE 1863 ;+ GANSEVOORT


Unlocated.  Frances Priscilla Melville's letter written in reply to a "funny" but now unlocated "note from Herman" that she received on 20 June 1863 is cited in her 22 June 1863 letter to their sister Augusta (for more about Melville's earlier "note," probably written on 18 June, see the entry on p. 000 above).  After praising the humor of it, she continues, "I wrote to him this morning saying how glad we were that he was coming & that he must bring one or two of the children with him" (NYPL-GL).  Melville did visit his mother and sister in Gansevoort, after attending the celebration at the Albany Academy, but could not bring his children, who were still in school (see the entry, p. 000 above, for his unlocated letter to his wife from Albany).



                                FROM MARIA GANSEVOORT MELVILLE

                                BEFORE 31 JULY 1863 ;+ GANSEVOORT


Unlocated.  Maria Melville's letter to Melville is cited in Helen Melville's 31 July 1863 letter to their sister Augusta.  Probably because Melville had been unable to bring any of his children with him on his visit to Gansevoort in late June 1863, a July visit had been proposed for two of his children‑-Malcolm and Elizabeth (Bessie)‑-as well as for Allan's daughter Maria (Milie), to be accompanied by their aunt Augusta.  Apparently all was not going according to plan, however.  Helen wrote Augusta, "Mama wrote to Herman a week ago urging the coming on of the children: Malcolm Bessie & Milie alone, as your coming on had been put off so long, but we have had no reply of any kind" (NYPL-GL).



                                          FROM RICHARD T. GREENE

                                       20 OCTOBER 1863 ;+ MEMPHIS


Melville's 6 October 1863 statement from the Harpers shows that on 11 August 1863 he ordered "3 Typee" to be sent to "R T Green."  Greene's acknowledgment of those books is the last known letter that he wrote to Melville.  Since May 1861 he had served in the Union army, first as a surgeon's orderly in the Sixth Missouri Volunteer Infantry Regiment, then, after deserting briefly, as a private in Company K, Eleventh Illinois, and finally after another brief desertion, in the Sixth Missouri, again, as a clerk on General Grant's staff (Grant had on 4 July 1863 taken Vicksburg, Mississippi, where Melville's unlocated letter announcing the books was apparently sent or forwarded).  Shortly thereafter in the summer of 1863 he was sent home on sick leave and had just returned on 16 October.  He found a clerical position in General Sherman's Fifteenth Army Corps, then doing a "clean job" in Mississippi in the operations leading to the surrender of Vicksburg in the summer. In September he was sent to Memphis to help General William S. Rosecrans in the defense of Chattanooga (Rosecrans, however, had been relieved of command the day before Greene wrote this letter).  Greene stayed with the corps as a clerk until his enlistment expired on 24 June 1864 at Big Shanty, Georgia.  He then returned to Chicago only to reenlist with the First Illinois Volunteer Light Artillery and served until 3 July 1865 in Battery A, then on garrison duty.  Whether he made the visit he proposes at the close of this letter is not known. 

          The 1880 census shows Richard T. Greene, a "chemist," living with his wife and son, a "physician," in Fulton, Illinois, with several relatives.  His death in Chicago five months after Melville's, in 1892, was reported in prominent obituaries, such as the one in the 26 August 1892 Chicago Tribune, because of his fame as the "Toby" of Typee.  Nine of his obituaries were preserved by Elizabeth Melville (HCL-M).  Greene's son, Melville's namesake, died 19 April 1914, and was also buried in Rosehill cemetery in Chicago.  For Greene's nephew, Richard Melville Hair, on whom Greene also reports here, see Hair's 13 February 1861 letter to Melville.


                                                                                                     Memphis Tenn

                                                                                                    Oct. 20th 1863

Dear Melville

          I was home on leave of absence when your letter reached Vicksburg.

          The "Typees" came in good order; they are very nice copies too.  I thank you a thousand times.  I wanted a copy for your namesake.  I found him and Mother well when I met them.  I had been absent 27 months;sp  Herman has grown a fine tall boy, and Richd Melville Hair is a Lieutenant in Gen Bank's Army, at New Orleans.

          We are removing the Headqts to some other field, perhaps Nashville cant say though.  We have done a clean job on the Mississippi, and I think we are going to help Rosecrans in this state 

When I get out of this Army which will be in June next, I shall certainly make you a visit

                                                                                                          Yours truly



ALS on a 12.8 ;x 20.5 cm part-sheet (torn along the left edge) of white laid paper.  Greene inscribed both sides of the leaf, in ink.


Location: HCL-M.


Publication: (partial) Log, II, 663.



                                          FROM SOPHIA VAN MATRE

                            BEFORE 10 DECEMBER 1863 ;+ CINCINNATI


Unlocated.  Sophia Van Matre's letter requesting "autographs from old letters" to be auctioned at the Great Western Sanitary Fair in Cincinnati is cited in Melville's 10 December 1863 reply.



                                        FROM GEORGE McLAUGHLIN

                            BEFORE 15 DECEMBER 1863 ;+ CINCINNATI


Unlocated.  George McLaughlin's letter requesting Melville's support of the Great Western Sanitary Fair in Cincinnati is cited in Melville's 15 December 1863 reply.


   12 June 99

Found this in Jay's papers--page from a letter of Mamma's to probably Augusta.  I am going to type it  here rather than an earlier decade and look at it:--Pearl St is in Albany, not NYC


little black dog are all a sham

          When we left Miss Lansings we went to a Mr O Brien, to look at Straw hats a great [?] milinary establishment in Pearl St.  /50 [= fifty cents or 50 shillings?] to block & shape each, extra for additional braid.  Kate looked at an Empress hat [?] straw [?] talked about bird of Paradise in front, & flowers &c.  Their [?] shapes are not pretty.  I think they are very little different from my black hat.  On our return we had dinner & then it was five O Clock, too late to write.  Mr Van Rensselaer called during the morning I was sorry not to see him & give your package.  On Sunday morning I felt dismayed at seeing two inches of snow on the ground, & it was still falling.  We rode to Church, spoke to Eugene in the Porch, & to Mr V. R. in the entrance, to Mrs V. R. in coming out at the close of the services, she looked very lovely.

          On leaving the Church I found the walking good, the sun, the glorious sun had shone forth warmly & dried the


Where is the rest??????




Interesting--Mrs. Metcalf got the description of Kate as being of an anxious make from Helen, verbatim,--not from her own memories unaided--Helen even had the Yankee idiom specified


[symbol for degrees] Alt 167




They were subscribing to the semiweekly edition of the World at Gansevoort


Tom was not home this year--looks as if he was in N Y on May 9 1863---could possibly be a 5-- 1865 or 1867?


Augusta Papers--need a Feb letter transcribed--Hoadley to Augusta--only a fragment here


Civil War--Allan Melville subscribes to the New York Times (at least 1862-64) and the New York Herald (at least 1861-65); the World (probably 1861-65); the Tribune (at least 1861), the Evening Post (at least 1861), the Commercial Advertiser (at least 1861) and the Troy Daily Whig (May 15 1865)


work into 1862


NEW YORK  First Lieutenant Henry S. Gansevoort (stationed at Fort Hamilton) writes to his cousin Allan Melville:

          The following is exactly what I wish to have done if possible

          I[.]  Leave of absence from my Regiment in the Regular service to take a Command less than that of a Colonel in the Volunteers.


          II[.]  Position on Staff of Major Genl that will give me at least the rank of Major.

Both of these are in the power of the War Dept. and altho I cannot point out any particular vacancies for staff officers, still the Secretary of War could be asked to make such appointment with rank of Major as a personal favor.  The Secretary would attend to the particular vacancy to be filled by the appointment.  I understand Mr Lathers has not yet left for Washington.  Would he undertake to do either of the above.  LC-Lathers



early 1863

maybe Lawrence on the previous letter is a mistake--ck Log  

NEW BEDFORD February 15  John Hoadley writes to Augusta:


but if she is so sick in 1864, move this letter--1863?


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