Twelve letters, 1890-1894, from General John W. De Peyster, publisher H.O. Houghton, Jr., William Bancroft and others to Mary Allerton Leach of Philadelphia.
Twelve incoming to Mary A. Leach from the following correspondents: Baptist clergyman Frederick B. Greul; Camilla Leach; John Mackay; Adjutant General of New York John Watts de Peyster who authored Personal and Military History of Philip Kearny, Major-General United States Volunteers. (1869) and is profiled extensively in the DAB; G.E.B. [clerk to General De Peyster]; silversmith William Bancroft; publisher H.W. Houghton, Jr. of The Riverside Press; editor of the Atlantic Monthly, H.E. Scudder; Henrietta Ritchie; Theo.; and John Clement.
From Bancroft’s ALS he writes:
“The State Librarian of Mass. is trying to rescue from oblivion something of every one who has ever been in our legislature! The task is Herculean, as…to Mass. until 1820. It is a coincidence that last evg. I had a letter inquiring after another Benj. Parsons who was in the legislature from this town [Chesterfield, Mass.] in 1805, 6, 7, & 8. Whether he was a descendent or relative of your old friend I know not. This one was a lawyer here previous to 1814 when my father came here& bought him out & succeeded to his place & bus. The most precious piece of furniture I have is an old armed writing chair who came to my father with the bus. & office fixtures. Between the two…tons of old fashioned & inferior fools cap paper has been ruined by being badly soiled with homemade ink, spread upon quill pens. This last Parsons must have gone to Boston somewhere 1814/20 where I have always understood he married a rich lady & if so this probably finished him for he came no more save once to show is bride. About the elder Benjamin I can give you not the least information unless it be to advise you to write Mrs. Mary P. Webster Goshen Mass.. She was in my school days a half century since a beautiful Miss Parsons, & it is from some of her connections that our VP Morton [U.S. Vice President Levi P. Morton] obtained his middle name of Parsons.”
There are three letters from John Watts de Peyster, including one written on his behalf by his clerk. On August 14, 1892, General de Peyster writes from his home in Tivoli, New York:
“You may think me forgetful of your request and my promise, but I am neither and I will try to explain. I am over 71 years old and up to within about a month I never felt the weight of my years. Within that time however we have had the hottest spell (so said) ever known in this region which completely used me up. My clerk who has been with me for a generation has not been within reach and he alone knows where my papers are and I do not. Today I had a little leisure and felt able to go use it and I went through the iron chest in my library to try and discover books and papers of which I was in quest. I was not able to do so. ... Now the only place where my genealogical papers can be must be my large iron chest that my old clerk put in order this June, I think, and he alone knows what is there or where to find what he placed there. ... With December 1889 my troubles began and I have had to give up all my own individual pursuits to attend to business unavoidable and most distasteful relating to others. I have been hazed to and fro by business & became disgusted because instead of the peace to which I looked forward I have no peace. ... Formerly I could lay my hands on anything I wanted in the dark; now everything is in the dark to me.”
The majority of the content concerns genealogical content.
Description: Twelve letters, 1890-1894, from General John W. De Peyster, publisher H.O. Houghton, Jr., William Bancroft and others to Mary Allerton Leach of Philadelphia.
Rochester, Boston, Tivoli, New York, Chesterfield, and elsewhere. 8vos, quarto. 25 handwritten pages. Some letters with traces of scrapbook mounting or small paper flaws; overall, very good.