New York

Madame Jule De Ryther—Early-20th-century American food writer

ArmourIt’s already November, and simply thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas is enough to expand my waistline by several inches. Where did the year go? Blink your eyes and Christmas will be here. Yes, Christmas is coming; the goose is getting fat…

This past year, while perusing old newspapers, I frequently stumbled upon early-twentieth-century food columns written by the exotic- and mysterious-sounding Madame Jule De Ryther (1845-1915). Apart from conveying her opinions on all things culinary, she touched on attitudes and social mores of the day, often with blunt humor, and even covered such topics as bacteriology and the importance of clean dishes and properly washed milk bottles1.

The Concert Singer by Thomas Eakins, 1892. Depicted artist: Weda Cook (Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Expired copyright)

The Concert Singer by Thomas Eakins, 1892. Depicted artist: Weda Cook (Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Expired copyright)

Over time, I quickly grew to admire Madame De Ryther, a ‘Martha Stewart’ of her time, and on further research, I found even more reason to place her on a mental pedestal: before her food career began, she had been a highly regarded soprano, performing in prestigious concerts around the United States. I assume that’s where the “Madame” came from, and while her first name may have been Jule, I suspect “De Ryther” was a stage name. I never found evidence of a marriage.

In her younger years and into middle age, Madame De Ryther was enjoying a busy musical career. She sang regularly at the Church of Divine Paternity and the Anthon Memorial Church (today known as All Souls Episcopal Church) in NYC.

Henryk Wieniawski, before 1870 (Wikimedia Commons)

Henryk Wieniawski, before 1870 (Wikimedia Commons)

She had been the celebrated soprano of the Wieniawski Troupe during its 1873 concerts in California. At that time, Henryk Wieniawski, a Polish violinist and composer, was recognized as being one of the world’s greatest violinists, having been the solo violinist of the Emperor of Russia2.

On August 23, 1874, she sang the Star Spangled Banner at a concert benefiting the Women’s Training School in Long Island, a school supported by Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant. President Grant was in attendance for the event3.

From The Letters of Sidney Lanier (Cambridge University Press, 1899)

From The Letters of Sidney Lanier (Cambridge University Press, 1899)

The 1899 book Letters of Sidney Lanier, which contains correspondence of the famous 19th-century American musician, poet, and author (d. 1881), includes a January 9, 1875, letter describing an upcoming concert in which Mme. De Ryther was to appear: “Our second concert comes off to night and we are to play such beautiful music as makes my heart tremble even to think of. First comes Beethoven’s Second Symphony, one written before the dreadful deafness had come upon his ears and pierced into his heart. […] Then Mme De Ryther, a lady in form and manner and stage appearance much like our dear departed G_______, is to sing with a glorious contralto voice a noble aria, Handel’s little known opera “Rinaldo.”

New York Dramatic Mirror (Credit: FultonHistory dot com)

New York Dramatic Mirror (Credit: FultonHistory dot com)

During its 1879-1880 run at the Fifth Avenue Theater in New York, Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera “Trial by Jury” included the talents of Mme De Ryther who took over the role of Little Buttercup, “a manifest improvement” over the previous performer, according to the New York Dramatic Mirror.

Scene in the Arctic by William Bradford, cir. 1880, De Young Museum, San Francisco (Wikimedia Commons-Public domain in US)

Scene in the Arctic by William Bradford, cir. 1880, De Young Museum, San Francisco (Wikimedia Commons-Public domain in US)

And, in 1886 she performed in a traveling lecture series presented by prominent painter, photographer, and explorer William Bradford (1823-1892) whose seven voyages to the Arctic in the 1860s, accompanied by other prominent photographers, resulted in dozens of images—“the only complete collection of views in existence of the Arctic Regions”4. These images, which provided the basis for many of Bradford’s subsequent paintings, were projected on a large screen. As the images unfolded during the lectures, Jule would sing Eskimo and old Norse songs and hymns “in the native tongue”; her “wonderfully sympathetic voice” was “heard to advantage in this weird music”5. (To view a gallery of Bradford’s paintings, click here.)

William Bradford, painter, explorer, photographer (Image from Wikimedia)

William Bradford, painter, explorer, photographer (Image from Wikimedia)

I’m not sure when Madame De Ryther’s singing career came to a close, but it was likely sometime in the 1890s. The last mention I found made of her musical talent was in The Printing World (pub. 1891, p. 298):

Here is a specimen of musical criticism in California. The San Jose Mercury, in an article on the Wienawski troupe, says of Madame De Ryther: “She is marvellous on the low notes, and she sings with a pathos calculated to lift a sensitive reporter right out of his boots.”

Her first newspaper job was as a society reporter with the New York Recorder. Later she worked for other papers, including the New York Herald and the New York Times. Her food columns started to appear in the New York Evening Mail and the New York Press in the early 1900s6.

Jule was born in Little Falls, New York. Her father Albert W. Churchill was the proprietor of the Benton House (later known as Garvan House) in Little Falls. He managed a number of hotels in Rome NY from 1858-1870: the American Hotel, Stanwix Hall, the Railroad House, and Curry’s Eating House7. Her mother was Susan E. Churchill. Jule’s early education was in Little Falls; she later moved to NYC to study vocal music under Madame Seguin8. Jule had four siblings: Fred B. Churchill; Emma Churchill Belden; Frances Churchill Waters; and Cornelia Churchill Russ. She died of pneumonia at age 69 on March 14, 1915, at the Hotel Vanderbilt in NYC9. Funeral services were held two days later at the Church of the Transfiguration in NYC, and she was buried in the Churchill family plot in Little Falls10. When I discovered that last bit of information, I created an entry for her on Find a Grave, and did my best to link the Churchill family together.

Besse,_BesseI have accumulated many of Madame De Ryther’s columns, many of which were likely read by our ancestors who lived at that time, so, in her memory, between now and Christmas, I am going to publish “Madame De Ryther Monday” posts (on Mondays, of course!), with or without commentary on my part. I may actually attempt some of her creations, and if I do, I will surely tell you about it. Perhaps, by Christmas you will have as much admiration as I do for this wonder woman of yesteryear!

Here is the first article, from October 11, 1903: “Madame De Ryther’s Receipts for Two Excellent One-Dish Dinners”

Oct 11, 1903 - Part 1

Oct 11, 1903, Part 2

Oct 11, 1903 - Part 3

Oct 11, 1903 - Part 4

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END NOTES:
1. “The Subject of Clean Dishes”, The Springfield Union, November 20, 1913
2. Reported in the Sacramento Daily Union, July 1, 1873
3. Reported in the New York Herald, August 24, 1873
4., 5. “The Bradford Recitals,” Elkhart, Indiana, Daily Review, October 19, 1886
6. Jule de Ryther Obituary, Utica Herald Dispatch, March 15, 1915
7. William Churchill obituary, Rome Citizen (NY), January 23, 1885
8. Jule de Ryther Obituary, Utica Herald Dispatch, March 15, 1915
9. Jule de Ryther New York Times Obituary, March 15, 1915
10. Jule de Ryther funeral announcement, Rome NY Daily Sentinel, March 16, 1915

Categories: Bradford Wm. artist explorer, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Grant, Holidays & Festivities, Little Falls, Madame Jule de Ryther | Tags: , | 9 Comments

We love our dogs

The Evening Telegram - New York, Monday, 15 September 1912 (Credit: Fulton History dot com)

The Evening Telegram – New York, Monday, 15 September 1912 (Credit: Fulton History dot com)

We humans sure love our dogs. Take a look at the above 1912 headline about “Mike” who went missing from 70 West 57th St. in Manhattan nearly 103 years ago. Even private detectives were put on the trail. I’m sure the article helped sell some papers, and hopefully it, and all the hoopla surrounding his disappearance, got him found. I know I’d be as grief-stricken as this poor lady if any dog (or cat) of mine went missing.  Not long ago, I watched PBS’s fascinating NOVA show “Dogs Decoded” which really helps explain our remarkable 10,000+-year-old bond with Canis familiaris. As life goes on, I’ve discovered that it’s hard to have a really bad day when you have a dog.

Luigi

Luigi

I was going to post last week about my own little Pomeranian dog, Luigi, who’s marking an anniversary this month, but then I thought it would be better not to mix the blog anniversary post with his story. And now that over a week has gone by, I’ve decided to give you the very abbreviated version, since all that really matters is that he is still alive and doing well.

We’ve been blessed to have Luigi since 2006. He came to us as a toothless rescue dog who’d been abandoned by a breeder who had no more use for him. He is in his 19th year and was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension when hospitalized two years ago for acute pneumonia. At that time, the options were to put him down straight away or put him on medication (Sildenafil & Vetmedin) and see how long he’d last. The doctor gave him 6 months and said to monitor for seizures, fainting, or any other clearly alarming development. With TLC, Luigi slowly rebounded. Six months came and went. Then a year. Then 18 months. And just about now, we are at the two-year mark. A week ago Friday, we thought we’d hit the final bump in the road with him, and almost had him put to sleep. But, thank heavens, it was a false alarm, and we are back to sailing calm waters again.

Luigi enjoying an Atlantic beach, 2011

Luigi enjoying an Atlantic beach, 2011

So, this month we’re marking his two-year anniversary of surviving with pulmonary hypertension—an anniversary we never expected to see. When his time does come, it will be too difficult to talk about it—you’ll probably just see a brief RIP here—so let this post speak to how much this little guy is loved and cherished.

Resources:
“Why Every Man Should Own a Dog” by Jim Thornton for Men’s Health dot com
“Man’s Best Friend” in the Economist online
“Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend Thanks to Bonding Hormone” in the Guardian (UK) online

Categories: Manhattan, Miscellaneous, New York City, Pets | 10 Comments

Some descendants of the Nixon family of Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Louise and Jennie Nixon, 1964

Photo from my family’s private collection: Sisters Louise (75) and Jennie Nixon (80) in 1964

These lovely elderly ladies are Louise E. Nixon and Jane ‘Jennie’ Bracken Nixon, nieces of my great-grandmother Sarah (Nixon) Boles of Co. Leitrim, Ireland, whose parents—William Nixon and Rachel Miller—and numerous siblings moved to the United States in the late 1860s. The ladies were my grandfather William Boles‘s cousins.

A previous post on Sarah Nixon Boles mentioned the fact that most, if not all, of her family relocated to New York after the US Civil War. This Nixon family is presumably part of the Nixon family of Fermanagh*—about which much has been written (e.g., The Families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh, and Their Descendants by Henry B. Swanzy, published in 1908).  However, I have yet to figure out the family’s location in the larger Nixon family tree.

William and Rachel Nixon were about 67 and 51, respectively when they arrived in America in 1869 (the year given me by the descendant of Benjamin, one of their sons). Joining them were supposedly all of their children (I’ve found 11, although my mother’s records list 14) except for my great-grandmother Sarah: Mark Nixon (b. cir. 1839/1845), Edward Nixon (b. cir 1845); Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Nixon (b. cir. 1849); Jane Nixon (b. 1851); Thomas Nixon (b. cir. 1852); Sarah Nixon (b. 1855); Rachel Nixon (b. cir 1865); Mary Nixon (b. cir 1858); Benjamin Nixon (b. cir 1862); Robert Nixon (b. 1863); Catherine Nixon (b. 1864); the last three (whom I have yet to find a trace of) were James, John, and William.

Passenger List - The Caledonia - sailed from Moville, Ireland to NY, NY on 14 Sep 1868 (Source Citation: Year: 1868; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 301; Line: 22; List Number: 989.)

Passenger List – The Caledonia – sailed from Moville, Ireland to NY, NY on 14 September 1868 (Source Citation: Year: 1868; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 301; Line: 22; List Number: 989.)

The passenger list inset for the ship Caledonia , which set sail from Moville on Lough Foyle at the northern tip of Northern Ireland to New York on 14 September 1868, shows the names of some Nixons–the names seem to fairly well coincide with some of the Nixon children’s names & ages. If these indeed are ‘our Nixons’, it would indicate that the older children may have come ahead of the parents and younger children.

While researching the family, I found William, Rachel and a number of the children in the 1870 US Federal Census, living in NYC Ward 18. William is listed as a ‘farmer’, an answer based certainly on his past occupation in Ireland. The children in the household were: Edward (30), Thomas (20), Eliza (22), Jane (18), Rachel (15), Mary (10), and ‘Bennett’ (10, this was probably ‘Benjamin’).

1870 Census Record ("United States Census, 1870," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M8X8-K4T : accessed 25 February 2015), Rachael Nixon, New York, United States; citing p. 34, family , NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,539.)

1870 Census Record (“United States Census, 1870,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M8X8-K4T : accessed 25 February 2015), Rachael Nixon, New York, United States; citing p. 34, family , NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,539.)

William Nixon died before the 1880 US Federal Census, as Rachel Nixon is listed in that census record as a widow ‘keeping house’ and living at 203 16th Street, NY, NY. and living with children Edward, Lizzie, Thomas, Rachel, Benjamin, Robert, Mary, and Kate, and several lodgers. The census record indicates that family members were involved in the dry goods business. Son Thomas (28 and now widowed) is listed as being a ‘dry goods buyer’ as is son Edward, age 35 and single. Benjamin (20) is listed as a ‘dry goods clerk’ as is Robert (18). (The 1900 Census indicates that Robert emigrated in 1879.)

Looking at old newspapers, I found the following mortuary notice in the New York Herald, dated 11 Aug 1871: At his [Gramercy] residence, 346 East 17th Street, on Thursday, August 10, William Nixon, aged 69 years. Funeral will take place on Saturday, August 12, at one o’clock PM from Seventeenth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, between First and Second avenues. Relatives and friends are invited to attend.

Wikimedia Commons: Manhattan neighborhoods (map); Author= Stilfehler; Oct. 15th, 2007

Wikimedia Commons: Manhattan neighborhoods (map); Author= Stilfehler; Oct. 15th, 2007

Almost two decades later, I found a notice for a Rachel Nixon (New York Herald, 12 May 1890): On Saturday, May 10, 1890, Rachel Nixon, age 72 years. The relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral services at her late [East Village] residence, No. 224 East 12th Street, on Monday evening, May 12, 1890 at eight o’clock. Interment in Green-wood.

A William Nixon (bur. August 1871, Find a Grave memorial #127997780) and a Rachel Nixon (bur. 5-13-1890; Find a Grave memorial #106845856) are buried in Green-wood Cemetery Lot 17245 Section 17, Grave 114. The grave is unmarked according to the Find a Grave photographer who kindly attempted to find the graves for me. I’m not yet certain that I have the correct Rachel and William, but hope to pin all this down at some point. Meanwhile I toss this info out there to my readers and future readers who may already have turned over these stones and arrived at some conclusions.

Son Edward Nixon and wife Anna (Bracken) Nixon, who emigrated from No. Ireland in 1883, had four children: Jane ‘Jennie’ (b. 1884), William (b. 1885), George (b. 1887), and Louise (b. 1889). The first two children were born in Manhattan. The second two were born in Bridgeport, CT. Edward died sometime between 1889 and 1900, as Anna is a widow as of the 1900 census. There is an Edward Nixon in the same plot at Green-wood Cemetery (Burial 1899-03-29, Lot 17245 Section 17, Grave 114; (Find a Grave #106846467), perhaps giving a bit more weight to the possibility that the Green-wood plot is indeed where our Nixon ancestors were laid to rest.

By the 1900 Census, Anna (Bracken) Nixon and her children (ages 16, 15, 13, 11), sister Mary J. Bracken, and a lodger are living at 160 Virginia Avenue in Jersey City Ward No. 8, Hudson Co., NJ, and it was there that the family remained for many years. Neither Jennie nor Louise ever married. Jennie devoted her life to working as a teacher in the Jersey City public school system, and Louise worked for many years as a stenographer and then executive secretary for the president or vice president of a company in NYC. Eventually the sisters joined forces with their brother William and his wife Marion to buy a large house at 680 Orchard Street in Oradell, NJ, where they spent happy years before moving into the Francis Asbury Manor Methodist rest home in Ocean Grove, NJ. Jane died in May of 1972, and Louise in October 1979.

Jennie Boles with Louise and Jennie Nixon, spring 1964

Photo form my family’s private collection: Jennie Boles (75) of Ireland with her American cousins Louise (75) and Jennie Nixon (80), early spring 1964, New Jersey

Serendipitously it was during their years in Jersey City that Jennie and Louise befriended my grandmother Zillah Trewin who lived there with her parents William Trewin and Elizabeth (Sargent) Trewin. According to my mother, Zillah was great friends with the Nixon sisters, as well as their cousins (the children of Jane Nixon and Wm Elliott Roberts), and it was through that friendship that she ultimately met and married their cousin (my grandfather) William Boles who emigrated to the US in 1912 at the encouragement of his uncle Robert Nixon who sponsored him.

I remember Jennie and Louise well. They were very fun ladies—full of good humor and always had a twinkle in their eyes. I always enjoyed the times spent with them, and best remember our visits to their Ocean Grove apartment. As I recall, we would drive down to see them on Saturdays since the roads in Ocean Grove are closed to all traffic on Sundays. We always took them out to lunch, and I remember taking them down to some restaurant near the ocean in Spring Lake, a short drive to the south. They were two sweethearts and it was very sad to lose them. I would love to have them here now to have some family history chats with them. When I was a teenager that topic was far from my mind.

I’ll close this post with a couple of Louise’s recipes (‘Chocolate Flake Candy’ and ‘Date Balls’) I recently came upon while re-binding my mom’s old recipe notebook. I haven’t tried either of them yet as I am trying to shift a bit of weight. Such temptations would surely sabotage my results! But they will stay on my radar!

If you’ve made it this far in the post, I wish you a great day. If you have anything to add, share, correct, etc., please don’t hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment!

Nixon_Louise_recipe

Recipes typed up by Louise Nixon for my mother

Jennie and Louise’s Nixon Tree Branch
1-William Nixon b. Cir 1802, Ireland, d. Bef 2 Jun 1880; possibly 10 Aug
1871 +Rachael Millar b. Cir 1818, Ireland, d. Possibly 10 May 1890, Manhattan, New
York, New York
|—–2-Edward Nixon b. Cir 1845, Ireland, d. Betw 1889 and 1900
| +Anna Bracken b. Aug 1847, Northern Ireland, d. After 1930
| |—–3-Jane Bracken Nixon b. 15 Apr 1884, Manhattan, New York, New York,
| | d. May 1972, Ocean Grove, Monmouth, NJ
| |—–3-William Thomas Nixon b. 24 Aug 1885, Manhattan, New York, New
| | York, d. Sep 1967, Suffolk, New York
| | +Marion Zoller
| |—–3-George Robert Bracken Nixon b. 12 Feb 1887, Bridgeport,
| | Connecticut
| | +May L. Swenarton b. Cir 1889, New Jersey
| | |—–4-George W. Nixon b. Cir 1914, New Jersey
| | |—–4-Frank L. Nixon b. Cir 1919
| |—–3-Louise E. Nixon b. 22 Jul 1889, Bridgeport, Connecticut, d. Oct
| | 1979, Ocean Grove, Monmouth, NJ

Categories: Boles, Co. Fermanagh, Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn NY, Ireland, Jersey City, Hudson Co., Manhattan, Methodist Episcopal, New York, Nixon, Trewin, US Federal 1880 | 2 Comments

Dr. Charles B. Jaques, assistant surgeon during the Civil War for 7th Regiment New Jersey (Post II)

I love middle names. They can be so helpful when researching family members who were actually given a middle name, a practice that started in the US in the first half of the 19th century. Even a middle initial can be very useful.

Once armed with the middle name “Berry” (see last post) for Civil War assistant surgeon Dr. Charles B. Jaques (my second great-grandmother Wealthy Jaques Angus’s youngest sibling), I was able to find his cause of death.

The book Catalogue of the Alumni, Officers and Fellow, 1807-1891, published by Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (NY: Bradstreet Press, 1891, p. 79) states that Charles (Class of 1856) died from cardiac disease. Born on Valentine’s Day 1834, Charles was just 32 at the time of his death. He’d saved many lives during his Civil War years with New Jersey’s 7th Regiment, yet his own life could not be saved. Perhaps, some childhood illness finally took its toll.

p. 37

(Note: they have a typo in his year of death, which was 1866 (vice 1876) according to his obituary notice and grave marker.)

If you would like to view a carte de visite of Charles, one is currently on display on the Heritage Auction website. Copyright restrictions prohibit me from showing the photo here, but you can view it yourself. Just click on this link—he is in the top row, third from the left.

Categories: Brooklyn, Civil War, Death, Jaques, New York City, Old Somerville Cemetery NJ | Leave a comment

Fly Fishing “the Brodhead” in ages past

Brodhead Creek Park, Stroud Township, Monroe County, near dusk. 28 March 2007 Source: Nicholas A. Tonelli (Wikimedia Commons: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Brodhead Creek Park, Stroud Township, Monroe County, near dusk. 28 March 2007
Source: Nicholas A. Tonelli (Wikimedia Commons: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Photo of portrait of Capt. Daniel Brodhead (1693-1755), husband of Hester Wyngart, only child of Capt. Richard Brodhead & Magdalena Jansen, and grandson of Capt. Daniel Brodhead & Ann Tye Current location: Senate House, Kingston, NY; www.senatehousekingston.org

IMAGE COPYRIGHT: BARBARA & JAMES BRODHEAD. Used with permission. Photo of portrait of Capt. Daniel Brodhead (1693-1755), husband of Hester Wyngart, only child of Capt. Richard Brodhead & Magdalena Jansen, and grandson of Capt. Daniel Brodhead & Ann Tye Current location: Senate House, Kingston, NY; http://www.senatehousekingston.org. PHOTO CREDIT: Barbara & James Brodhead

Those of us descended from Daniel Brodhead and Hester Wyngart, who uprooted themselves and their children from Esopus, NY (present-day Kingston) to relocate to the wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania’s Minisink Valley in 1738*, can feel fairly confident that they (Daniel — a man of great energy and intrepidity**,  Hester, and “crew”) and their myriad descendants in this picturesque area spent time fishing—whether for the purpose of catching dinner or for the pure enjoyment of the sport.

Numerous creeks, brooks, and rivers are found in fair abundance here, in what is now Monroe County. Daniel’s vast estate (composed of an initial warrant of 600 acres and a later warrant of 150 acres, according to Mrs. Horace G. Walters’ Early History of East Stroudsburg, p. 21-22) was known locally as “Brodhead Manor” and gave birth to the settlement of Dansbury (better known today as the town of East Stroudsburg)**. The 21.9-mile creek that passed through Daniel’s property on its way to the Delaware came to be known as Brodhead Creek.

Having just recently done posts on the Hon. Richard Brodhead and his daughter and son-in-law (Rachael and John Linderman), I can easily imagine them fishing and otherwise enjoying a well-earned day of rest there on ‘the Brodhead.’ And can’t you just see Daniel and Hester’s sons Richard, Charles, Daniel, Garret (my 5th great grandfather), John, and Luke enjoying some friendly, brotherly creek-side competition when they were boys?

From American Fishes by Goode and Gill (1903)

“Brook Trout” from American Fishes by Goode and Gill (1903)

On eBay and other sites that sell and/or display antique and vintage postcards, you can sometimes come across old images of Brodhead Creek (sometimes referred to as “Broadhead’s Creek”). The oldest image I found dates back to 1796. It is an etching by John Scoles from a drawing by Jacob Hoffman. If you’d like to view it, you can do so by clicking here and visiting the Granger Collection website. I would display the image for you here, but their usage rules prohibit that.

I found mention of the Brodhead in the 1906 book The Determined Angler and the Brook Trout: An Anthological Volume of Trout Fishing, Trout Histories, Trout Lore, Trout Resorts, and Trout Tackle by Charles Bradford, and thought I would share a relevant chapter here with you today.

Small section of Brodhead Creek running through East Stroudsburg

Small section of Brodhead Creek running through East Stroudsburg (Image credit: James and Barbara Brodhead)

By the way, having now shared “glorious stories” of Brodhead Creek trout fishing with family members, my husband—an avid fisherman—is suddenly keen to get out to eastern Pennsylvania to try his hand at it, which is saying quite a lot since we live a thousand miles away! So, dear reader, just between you and me, I have found a major carrot that will, I hope, someday soon take me back to the geographical setting in which many of my ancestors lived and worked, and where I myself once spent happy childhood moments! The lure of fishing and ‘catching the big one’ has once again cast (no pun intended) its magic spell. 😀

So I hope you will enjoy Chapter IX, “Trout and Trouting” of The Determined Angler and the Brook Trout. Chapter X (“Trouting in Canadensis Valley”) has references to Brodhead Creek as well, so be sure to click on the link to the book above if you’d like to read on.

1942 map of Stroudsburg (Wikipedia: Public Domain)

1942 map of Stroudsburg (Wikipedia: Public Domain)

P. S. I have put the word “Brodhead” in bold in case you don’t have too much time on your hands and want to hone in on those specific passages. Farther down this post you will find links to some good resources. I especially enjoyed the articles by Vic Attardo and Doug Vitale. Enjoy! Perhaps, after reading all this you will want to “Go, Fish!” And if you’ve already had the pleasure of fishing the Brodhead, by all means share your experiences in the Comment box below.

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p 93 of Outing magazine

p 93 of Outing magazine, Vol. XVIII, 1891

Chapter IX: “Trout and Trouting” (written in 1906 by Charles Bradford)

“A day with not too bright a beam;
A warm, but not a scorching, sun.”
—Charles Cotton

Where can I enjoy trout fishing amid good scenery and good cheer without its necessitating a lengthy absence from the city? That is a question which frequently rises in the mind of the toilers in the busy centers of the East, and it is one becoming daily more difficult to answer. Yet there are still nearby trout streams where a creel of from fifteen to fifty, or even more, in favorable weather, might be made. One such locality, which for years local sportsmen have proven, lies within a four hours’ ride of either Philadelphia or New York. All that is necessary is to take the railroad, which conveys you to Cresco, in Monroe County, Pa., and a ride or drive of five miles through the Pocono Mountains will land you in the little village of Canadensis, in the valley of the Brodhead; and within the radius of a few miles on either side fully a dozen other unposted streams ripple along in their natural state, not boarded, bridged, dammed, or fenced by the hand of man, thanks to the naturally uncultivatable condition of the greater part of this paradise for trout fishers. The villagers of Canadensis do their trading and receive their mail at Cresco, and it is an easy matter to obtain excellent food and lodgings for a dollar a day at one of the many farmhouses dotting here and there the valleys, and a seat when needful in one of the several private conveyances running every day between the two villages.

The open season for trout in Pennsylvania is from April 15th until July 15th [present-day regulations call for April-July], and there appears to be no particularly favored period during these three months, for the trout here afford sport equally well at all times, though they greatly vary in their tastes for the fly.

p. 92 Outing Magazine, Vol. XVIII, 1891

p. 92 Outing magazine, Vol. XVIII, 1891

If the angler goes there in the early part of the open season, when the weather is cold, he should engage a room and take his meals at the farmhouse selected; but if the trip is made in the early part of June or any time after that, during the open season, camp life may be enjoyed with great comfort.

Two favorite waters within walking distance from any of the farmhouses in Canadensis are Stony Run and the Buckhill. The great Brodhead, a famous old water in the days of Thaddeus Norris, and noted then and now for its big trout, flows in the valley proper, within a stone’s throw of the farmhouse at which I engaged quarters. Spruce Cabin Run, a mile distant, is a charming stream, but the trout here are not very large beyond the deep pools at the foot of Spruce Falls and in the water flowing through Turner’s fields and woods above the falls.

Any of these streams will afford plenty of sport, but if one wishes to visit a still more wild, romantic, and beautiful trout water, he has only to walk a little farther or take a buckboard wagon and ride to the mighty Bushkill, a stream that must not be confounded with the Buckhill, which lies in an opposite direction from Canadensis.

Trout traits, p. 110

Trout traits, The Determined Angler, p. 110

The Bushkill is the wildest stream in the region, and is fished less than any of the others named, one reason being that there are plenty of trout in the waters of Canadensis which can be fished without the Angler going so far. For those who like to camp, the Bushkill is the proper locality. I spent a day there with friends one season, and we caught in less than two hours, in the liveliest possible manner, all the trout five of us could eat throughout the day, and four dozen extra large ones which we took home to send to friends in the city.

“The trout in the Bushkill,” remarked one of my companions, “are so wild that they’re tame”–an expression based upon the greediness and utter disregard of the enemy with which fontinalis, in his unfamiliarity with man, took the fly. I remember having a number of rises within two feet of my legs as I was taking in my line for a front toss.

I know men who have many times traveled a thousand miles from New York on an angling trip to different famous waters who have not found either the sport or the scenery to be enjoyed on the Bushkill.

The lower Brodhead below the point at which this stream and Spruce Cabin Run come together is very beautiful. It is owned by a farmer who lives on its banks, and who has never been known to refuse Anglers permission to fish there when they asked for the privilege.

Image from p 46 of The Determined Angler and the Brook Trout by Charles Bradford (NY & London: GP Putnam's Sons, 1916)

Image from p 46 of The Determined Angler and the Brook Trout by Charles Bradford (NY & London: GP Putnam’s Sons, 1916)

There are four natural features in the scenery about Canadensis that are especially prized by the countrymen there–the Sand Spring, Buckhill Falls, Spruce Cabin Falls, and the Bushkill Falls.

The Sand Spring is so called because grains of brilliant sand spring up with the water. This sand resembles a mixture of gold and silver dust; it forms in little clouds just under the water’s bubble and then settles down to form and rise again and again. This effect, with the rich colors of wild pink roses, tiny yellow watercups, blue lilies, and three shades of green in the cresses and deer tongue that grow all about, produces a pretty picture. The spring is not over a foot in diameter, but the sand edges and the pool cover several feet. In drinking the water, strange to say, one does not take any sand with it.

Fair and foul angling, p. 119

Fair and foul angling, The Determined Angler, p. 119

Being located at one side of the old road between Cresco and Canadensis every visitor has an opportunity of seeing it without going more than a few feet out of his direct way. Some of the stories told about the old Sand Spring are worth hearing, and no one can tell them better or with more special pleasure than the farmers living thereabout. One man affirms that “more ‘an a hundred b’ar and as many deer have been killed while drinking the crystal water of the spring.”

Each of the falls is a picture of true wild scenery. Though some miles apart they may be here described in the same paragraph.

Great trees have fallen over the water from the banks and lodged on huge projecting moss-covered rocks; they are additional obstacles to the rushing, roaring, down-pouring water, which flows through and over them like melted silver. This against the dark background of the mountain woods, the blue and snow-white of the heavens, the green of the rhododendron-lined banks, and the streams’ bottoms of all-colored stones creates a series of charming and ever-varying views.

Wikimedia Commons (public domain) American brook trout. Lithograph, 1872, Currier & Ives

Wikimedia Commons (public domain) American brook trout. Lithograph, 1872, Currier & Ives

A half dozen trout, weighing from one to two pounds and a half, may always be seen about the huge rock at the point where the lower Brodhead and the Spruce Cabin Run come together, and hundreds may be seen in the stream below the Buckhill Falls. I do not know that fish may be actually seen in any other parts of the waters of Canadensis, but at these points the water is calm and the bottom smooth, and the specimens are plainly in view.

Do not waste time on the “flock” lying about the big rock at Brodhead Point. The trout there will deceive you. I played with them a half day, and before I began work on them I felt certain I would have them in my creel in a half-hour’s time. They are a pack of pampered idlers who do not have to move a fin to feed. All the trout food comes rushing down both streams from behind these big rocks into the silent water and floats right up to the very noses of these gentlemen of leisure. If you have any practicing to do with the rod and fly do it here. These trout are very obliging; they will lie there all day and enjoy your casting all sorts of things at them. This is a good place to prove to yourself whether you are a patient fisherman or not.

Nathan Currier lithograph of Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait's painting "Catching a Trout", 1854 - Depicts fishermen catching a brook trout near South Haven Church, Long Island, NY (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain)

Nathan Currier lithograph of Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait’s painting “Catching a Trout”, 1854 – Depicts fishermen catching a brook trout near South Haven Church, Long Island, NY (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain)

And now a few words about the proper tackle for mountain streams. Most anglers use rods that are too heavy and too long. During my first visit I used a rod of eight feet, four ounces, and I soon found that, while it was a nice weight, it was too long for real convenience, although there were rods used there nine and ten feet long. My rod was the lightest and one of the shortest ever seen in the valley. There are only a few open spots where long casts are necessary, and a long, ordinary-weight trout rod is of very little service compared with one of seven, seven and a half, or eight feet, four or three ounces, that can be handled well along the narrow, bush-lined, tree-branch-covered streams.

The greater part of the fishing is done by sneaking along under cover of the rocks, logs, bushes, and the low-hanging branches, as casts are made in every little pool and eddy. I use a lancewood rod, but of course the higher-priced popular split bamboo is just as good. I shall not claim my rod’s material is the better of the two, as some men do when speaking of their tackle, but I am quite sure I shall never say the split bamboo is more than its equal. I do not advise as to the material; I speak only of the weight and length. Let every man use his choice, but I seriously advise him to avoid the cheap-priced split bamboo rod.

p. 138 of The Determined Angler

p. 138 of The Determined Angler

If split bamboo is the choice, let it be the work of a practical rod-maker. Any ordinary wood rod is better than the four-dollar split bamboo affair.

The leader should be of single gut, but the length should be a trifle more than is commonly used. Twelve feet is my favorite amount. The reel should be the lightest common click reel; the creel, a willow one that sells for a dollar in the stores; and the flies–here’s the rub–must be the smallest and finest in the market. Large, cheap, coarse flies will never do for Eastern waters, and you must not fail to secure your list of the proper kind, as well as all your outfit, before you start on your trip. The only decent thing on sale in the village stores is tobacco.

Wikimedia Commons (public domain): Trout Anglers circa 1820 from Fishing and Shooting-Buxton (1902)

Wikimedia Commons (public domain): “Trout Anglers” circa 1820 from Fishing and Shooting by Sydney Buxton (1902)

When you buy your flies buy lots of them, for, be you a tyro or practical Angler, you will lose them easier on these streams than you imagine. Yes, you must be very careful about the selection of your flies. They must be small and finely made, high-priced goods. I wish I might tell you who to have make them, but I dare not, lest I be charged with advertising a particular house. Regarding the patterns touse, I will say that none are more killing than the general list, if they are the best made and used according to the old rule all are familiar with–dark colors on cold days and bright ones on warm days. The later the season the louder the fly–that is, when the season closes during hot weather, as it does in Canadensis. My favorite time here is from June 15th to July 15th, the closing day, but any time after the first two weeks of the open season is very charming. I avoid the first week or two because the weather is then cold and the trout are more fond of natural bait than the artificial fly. Men take hundreds of fish early in the season with worms and minnows.

I never wear rubber boots to wade in. An old pair of heavy-soled shoes with spikes in their bottoms, and small slits cut in the sides to let the water in and out, and a pair of heavy woolen socks comprise my wading footwear. The slits must not be large enough to let in coarse sand and pebbles, but I find it absolutely necessary to have a slight opening, for if there be no means for the water to run freely in and out, the shoes fill from the tops and become heavy. Rubber boots are too hot for my feet and legs, while the water is never too cold. I have often had wet feet all day, and have never yet experienced any ill effects from it.

Trout by Walter M. Brackett, ca. 1867 (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain)

Trout by Walter M. Brackett, ca. 1867 (Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain)

I never use a staff in wading, but I should, for here in some places it is very hard to wade. I have often fallen down in water up to my waist, overbalanced by the heavy current, where the bottoms were rough, with sharp, slimy stones. If you carry a staff, follow the custom of the old Anglers and tie it to your body with a string to keep it out of the way and allow your hands to be as free as possible for a strike. Your landing-net should be a small one, minus any metal, with a foot and a half handle, and a string tied to a front button on your garment should allow it to be slung over your shoulder onto your back when not in use.

Of course, these little points about the use of different things are all familiar to the Angler with but the slightest experience, and will appear to him neither instructive nor interesting, but we must, as gentle Anglers, give a thought or two to the earnest tyro, for we were young once ourselves.

I always carry two fly-books with me; one big fellow with the general fly stock in, which is kept at the farmhouse, and a little one holding two dozen flies and a dozen leaders, which I carry on the stream. A string tied to this, too, will prevent the unpleasantness of having it fall in the water and glide away from you. I even tie a string to my pipe and knife. The outing hat is an important thing to me. Mine is always a soft brown or gray felt, and I use it to sit on in damp and hard places fifty times a day.

***********************************************************************************************

Dressing a Fly

“Dressing a Fly” circa 1817 from Fishing and Shooting by Sydney Buxton (1902), p. 92.

*Some sources say 1737, e.g., The Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys by Hayden, Hand and Jordan (pub. 1906)

**p. 2 of The Heraldic Journal, Vol. III (Boston: Wiggin & Lunt, Publishers, 1867)

***p. 446 of The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. XXVII (Philadelphia: The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1903)

Additional Resources:

Categories: Brodhead, Fishing, Kingston, Monroe Co., Nature, Pennsylvania | 4 Comments

Dr. Charles B. Jaques, assistant surgeon during the Civil War for 7th Regiment New Jersey (Post I)

Surgeon, Harpers Weekly, July 12, 1862 (Public domain due to expired copyright in the US)

Winslow Homer illustration of surgeons at work on the battlefield, Harper’s Weekly, July 12, 1862

Today, I’d like to highlight one of our family tree’s true heroes Dr. Charles B. Jaques, who was commissioned an officer in New Jersey’s Seventh Regiment on July 19, 1862. He was mustered in on July 31, 1862, and served as an assistant surgeon in Company F and Company S (NB: Staff officers were generally listed under Company S, per Wikipedia). As an assistant surgeon, his rank would have been the equivalent of captain.

7th New Jersey Infantry Monument, Gettysburg Battlefield. Final Report of the Gettysburg Battle-Field Commission of New Jersey (Trenton, NJ: John L. Murphy Publishing Company, 1891), opp. p. 104. (Public domain due to expired copyright in the US)

7th New Jersey Infantry Monument, Gettysburg Battlefield. Final Report of the Gettysburg Battle-Field Commission of New Jersey (Trenton, NJ: John L. Murphy Publishing Company, 1891), opp. p. 104. (Public domain due to expired copyright in the US)

During his 21-month term of service, Charles’s regiment took part in the battles at Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, among many others. For full regiment information, visit the National Park Service website.

Born 14 February 1834 in New York City to prominent Manhattan tailor Isaac Jaques and his wife Wealthy Ann Cushman, Charles was the youngest of  at least seven children. His siblings included Jane, Wealthy, Isaac, John, Walter, and Christopher. My second great grandmother, Wealthy Ann Jaques, was one of Charles’s two older sisters. She was nearly two decades his senior  and married James Winans Angus when Charles would have been just about five years old. Wealthy’s oldest son Isaac was born when Charles was just six.

By the time of the 1850 census, the family was living in Elizabeth, NJ, where Isaac Jaques had invested in real estate. Charles was 16 and working as a clerk.

At age 22, Charles graduated from the New York College of Physicians on March 13, 1856, according to a small announcement that appeared in the Newark Daily Advertiser the next day: The following Jerseymen graduated from the New York College of Physicians last evening: — LC Bowlby, JA Freeman, CB Jaques, CFJ Lehlback, JC Thompson.

Roughly six years later, at 28 years of age, Charles married Katherine Louise De Forrest, daughter of John L. De Forrest, on 26 March 1862, in Somerset, New Jersey.

Four months later, Charles had to bid goodbye to his wife and family and join his regiment. If you would like to view a carte de visite of Charles, one is currently on display on the Heritage Auction website. Copyright restrictions prohibit me from showing the photo here, but you can view it yourself. Just click on this link—he is in LOT #49487, third from the left.

Harpers Weekly, July 12, 1862

Harper’s Weekly, July 12, 1862 (Credit: http://www.sonofthesouth.net)

In its July 12, 1862, issue, published one week before Charles was commissioned, Harper’s Weekly carried the article and illustration (by Winslow Homer) included in this post about the life of the Civil War surgeon.

Given Harper’s Weekly was the most widely read publication of its kind during the Civil War, Charles himself may well have perused this issue.

How proud the entire family must have been of Charles and the life-saving role he was about to play in service to his fellow soldiers. But by then, the realities of the battlegrounds were well known, and their pride must certainly have been mixed with deep concern for Charles’s safety.

From p. 10 of the Register of the Commissioned Officers and Privates of the New Jersey Volunteers in the Service of the United States (image inset), we know that Charles served with Dr. Luther Foster Halsey. Halsey’s memorial appears on the Find a Grave website.

Charles’s name appears twice in the 1863 publication Report of Major-General John Pope. Letter from the secretary of war, in answer to resolution of the House of 18th ultimo, transmitting copy of report of Major General John Pope (see pages included below). He is described as missing (a condition that obviously proved to be temporary), last seen on the battlefield near Centreville, Virginia, tending to the wounded on August 29, 1862. Colonel Louis R. Francine, who signed one of these reports, was mortally wounded at Gettysburg the following summer.

Charles is mentioned in the diary of 7th Regiment NJ Private Heyward Emell (The Civil War Journal of Private Heyward Emmell, Ambulance and Infantry Corps by Jim Malcolm, pub. 2011 – see Chapter 5 “Second Bull Run”, p. 30): Camp near Ft. Lyon near Alexandria Va., September 4th [1862]. We have been in 3 battles since I last wrote, but I am glad to be able to say that Co. K had only one killed and two wounded in all of them. And we had one die of sickness on the march his name was Wm. Long & John Lyon was wounded at Bull Run & soon died. Charlie Johnson got wounded Bristow Station & so did Archer. Wm. Long was burried at Fairfax Court House. John Lyon was not dead when we left or we would have buried him. Dr. Jaques stayed with our wounded for several days & was paroled on account of his being a doctor & has just returned & tells that Lyon did not live long after the battle. I suppose this battle will be called Bull Run No. 2. …

Harper's Weekly

Harper’s Weekly, April 4, 1863, illustration by A. B. Waud – Wedding of Captain Hart and Miss Lammond

Another interesting thing we know about Charles is that he is listed as having been a witness at the March 12, 1863, wedding ceremony of Captain Daniel Hart and Miss Ellen (“Nellie”) Lammond at the 7th Regiment’s military encampment, then located in the vicinity of Falmouth, Virginia. Charles’s signature appears on the Harts’ wedding certificate, a copy of which is presently stored in the National Archives.

The October 12, 2006, issue of the Old Baldy Civil War Round Table of Philadelphia (pp. 3-5) has an interesting article about the event, and describes how Miss Lammond and her entire wedding party traveled down from Phillipsburg, NJ, to the encampment, since Captain Hart was unable to get leave to go home for the ceremony. To view a PDF of the newsletter, click here.

The wedding was highlighted by Harper’s Weekly in its April 4, 1863, issue. This blessed event must have been a rare moment of “normalcy” experienced by many of these men during the course of their service.

Civil War surgeon's kit, Wikimedia Commons image by 'quadell'

Civil War surgeon’s kit, Wikimedia Commons image by ‘quadell’

I can’t begin to imagine the day to day of what Charles and his fellow surgeons and soldiers went through, and I won’t make any attempt to describe it here. Instead, I will provide links to just a few of the resources available where you can learn more about the realities of a soldier’s life during the Civil War:
The Truth About Civil War Surgery by Alfred J. Bollet, published June 12, 2006
“Maimed Men: The Toll of the American Civil War” on the US National Library of Medicine website
“Medicine in the Civil War” on AmericanCivilWar.com
Winslow Homer Civil War illustrations
Civil War Rx – The Source Guide to Civil War Medicine
Civil War Surgeons Memorial website

Some old calling cards

Some old calling card envelopes addressed to Charles Jaques. The card from Mr. J. Besancomb came in the second envelope. The upper envelope was empty when I came across it.

Charles was mustered out on October 7, 1864, and returned home to his family. I wish I could tell you that he went on to live a very long and happy life–for he certainly deserved one. Unfortunately, for reasons I have yet to discover, he died on May 2, 1866, at home in Brooklyn, NY, where he and his wife must have settled after he got home. He’d been home just about 18 months and was only some 32 years of age.

Charles was buried in the Old Somerville Cemetery in Somerville, NJ. The Find a Grave site has images of the memorial that marks his resting place.

I am immensely grateful to Charles for his service. I hope by publishing this post here, other family members will learn of his life’s work and feel as proud as I do to have him in our family tree.

If anyone reading this has additional information to share about Charles or a photographic image of him, such as the CDV mentioned above, please get in touch.

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Charles’s Family

Charles and Katherine had one son Charles B. Jaques Jr. who was born on March 24, 1864. So obviously, Charles Sr. made it home on furlough some nine months prior to that. Charles Jr. would probably not have had any recollection of his father as he was just a toddler when Charles Sr. died. When Charles Jr. was eight, Katherine married a second time–to Rufus R. Sewall (January 2, 1872).

Sadly, on May 10, 1886, Charles Jr. died at just 22 years of age, in Enterprise, Florida, which is on the other side of Lake Monroe from Sanford, Florida. What he was doing there, I do not know. This was two years before an enormous yellow fever epidemic swept through the state, killing many. Perhaps a disease like that took him or some sort of accident (the 1880s was a time in Florida when there was major railroad construction going on, tourism was getting underway, and logging was big business). For whatever reason, it took six months before the family was able to have a funeral and bury him. He was interred at Old Somerville Cemetery next to his father on November 12, 1886.

According to http://www.sewellgenealogy.com/p473.htm#i1234, Rufus Sewall died on April 14, 1889. Katherine married a third time, to Charles E. Jenkins on June 2, 1891. She died on May 11, 1931, and was also interred at Old Somerville Cemetery.

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p. 10, Register of the Commissioned Officers and Privates of the New Jersey Volunteers in the Service of the United States (pub. 1863)

p. 10, Register of the Commissioned Officers and Privates of the New Jersey Volunteers in the Service of the United States (pub. 1863)

Report of Major-General John Pope. Letter from the secretary of War, pub. 1863; pp 178-179

CLICK TO ENLARGE – Report of Major-General John Pope. Letter from the secretary of War, pub. 1863; pp 178-179 (In public domain in US due to expired copyright)

Report of Major-General John Pope. Letter from the secretary of War, pub. 1863; pp 190-191

CLICK TO ENLARGE – Report of Major-General John Pope. Letter from the secretary of War, pub. 1863; pp 190-191(In public domain in US  due to expired copyright)

Harpers Weekly, April 4, 1863, illustration

Harper’s Weekly, April 4, 1863 (Credit: http://www.sonofthesouth.net)

Troy Daily Times, Tues. March 24, 1863 (Credit: www.fultonhistory.com)

Troy Daily Times, Tues. March 24, 1863 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

Troy Daily Times, Tues. March 24, 1863 (Credit: www.fultonhistory.com)

Troy Daily Times, Tues. March 24, 1863 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

Death Notices, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Saturday, November 3, 1866 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Death Notices, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Saturday, November 3, 1866 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

NY Herald, May 13, 1886 (www.fultonhistory.com)

NY Herald, May 13, 1886 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

NY Herald, November 11, 1886 (www.fultonhistory.com)

NY Herald, November 11, 1886 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

Categories: Angus, Brooklyn, Bull Run VA, Chancellorsville VA, Civil War, Cushman, De Forrest, Elizabeth, Enterprise Volusia Co, Fredericksburg VA, Gettysburg PA, Homer, Jaques, Old Somerville Cemetery NJ, Veteran's Day | 2 Comments

Henry Conrad Brodhead & Eva Wilder McGlasson: late 19th- / early 20th-century “power couple”

Eva Wilder Brodhead (The Book Buyer: A Summary of American and Foreign Literature, Volume XIII, February 1896 – January 1897 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons) - page 457)

Eva Wilder Brodhead (Image from The Book Buyer: A Summary of American and Foreign Literature, Volume XIII, February 1896 – January 1897 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons) – page 457)

Two families came together in Manhattan, New York, on 5 December 1894, to celebrate the marriage of Henry Conrad Brodhead, a wealthy, never-before-married, 46-year-old mining engineer, and the adored and admired Eva Wilder McGlasson, a 24-year-old Kentucky woman widely regarded as one of the most accomplished young literary talents of her era, said to be the youngest magazinist in the country*. She was especially known for her short stories and her use of dialect.

This marriage was mentioned in fleeting in a past post on Henry’s brother William H. Brodhead‘s elopement, which took place on that very same day, Henry’s wedding serving as just the diversion William needed to go off and marry his beloved, and much younger, Mary Van Tassel. (I know the age difference between Mary and William appalled their parents, but the age gap between Henry and Eva was even more vast–granted Eva was 24, but she was still very much old enough to be Henry’s daughter.) The brothers were two of the six sons of Daniel Dingman Brodhead (b. 1818) and Mary Ann Brodrick (b. cir. 1826), and nephews of my second great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Brodhead, and cousins of my great grandfather, Andrew Douglas Brodhead.

Henry C. Brodhead (image from Wyoming Valley in the 19th Century. Art Edition by SR Smith, Vol I, Wilkes-Barre Leader Print, 1894)

Henry C. Brodhead (image from Wyoming Valley in the 19th Century. Art Edition by SR Smith, Vol I, Wilkes-Barre Leader Print, 1894)

From Manhattan, Henry and Eva embarked on a lengthy European honeymoon tour that included a Mediterranean cruise.

Their 21-year journey of marriage was set against the backdrop of Colorado’s mountains, bustling Manhattan, and European cities. How and where did they meet? What led them to each other?

Their relationship must have been the source of tremendous curiosity for Eva’s multitude of fans, and I must admit that even all these years later, I myself am intrigued to know how, where, and when their paths first crossed. At the time of their marriage, they must have been viewed as a sort of “power couple”—one whose movements and activities were traced and actively talked about as much as that would have been possible back then.

Impending wedding news from the New York Times, 2 December 1894

Impending wedding news from the New York Times, 2 December 1894

H.C. Brodhead
Henry was not exactly a spring chicken when he finally took the plunge into marriage, but the wait was likely well worth it—he would have been hard-pressed up to that point to have found a prettier, more intelligent, and more accomplished wife than Eva. Perhaps, his maturity, rich life experience, acquired wisdom, passionate work ethic, and financial security provided Eva with the valued partner she needed personally, as well as the freedom she needed spiritually and artistically, to pursue her talents and career to the fullest.

The 1894 book The Wyoming Valley in the Nineteenth Century. Art Edition offers this about Henry’s pre-marriage years: H. C. Brodhead, born at Mauch Chunk and educated in Philadelphia. Began his mining career at Wanamie in the early 70’s for the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. Upon their purchase of the Red Ash collieries in Plymouth, he was made engineer in charge and served in such capacity for several years. When the same collieries were absorbed into the Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Company, he was made a Division Superintendent of said Company, and after a time was transferred to Sugar Notch, at that time the most difficult division in the company’s possession. After several years service there he was in 1883, promoted to the Assistant General Outside Superintendency, which place he held till his resignation in 1888. His large experience obtained in early life he has been able to utilize profitably in the care of his individual interests in several collieries, all of which have been successful. The 1860 and 1870 census records corroborate the Philadelphia location, and 1880 census record confirms Henry’s residence as being located in Sugar Notch, Luzerne Co., PA.

A later publication, the 1906 book Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania provides a few more clues about those early years: …Henry was educated in Philadelphia. He graduated at the Philadelphia high school, A. B., and later A. M. He began his business career as civil engineer, later became a mining engineer, and was for several years in the employ of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company and afterward with the Lehigh and Wilkes-Barre Coal Company. Still later he began operating in his own behalf, developing coal lands and organizing companies for mining operations…

(Image from the Los Angeles Herald, March 3, 1895; California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu>. All newspapers published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain and therefore have no restrictions on use)

CLICK to ENLARGE (Image from the Los Angeles Herald, March 3, 1895; California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu>. All newspapers published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain and therefore have no restrictions on use)

Eva Wilder McGlasson
Henry’s young bride Eva had accomplished much in her 24 years. At the time of her wedding, she was a celebrated young writer and an object of fascination for her adoring readers. Snippets appeared about her in various newspapers and other publications:

In the Montreal Herald on September 8, 1892: Mrs. Eva Wilder McGlasson the author of Diana’s Livery and An Earthly Paragon (which was written in three weeks), is probably the youngest writer before the public who has attained as much reputation and accomplished as remarkable work. Mrs. McGlasson is Kentuckian, and began to write a few years ago, when she was eighteen. Her stories are strong and vivid, and her dialogue is especially dramatic without being untrue. She has devoted herself almost entirely to describing the “life of her native State,” but her friends have advised her broadening her field of observation by going to New York to live, which she will probably do.

In the Patterson Daily Press on May 6, 1893: Mrs. Eva Wilder McGlasson is one of the most remarkable women of the age, Not only is she remarkable for her brilliancy, but on account of her extreme youth and the ease with which she has attained the pinnacle of fame. Mrs. McGlasson is still less than 24, and yet she has written and published two successful books. She is petite and pretty and exhibits the fresh, ingenuous charm of an extremely bright schoolgirl.

In the New York Times on July 30, 1893: Mrs. Eva Wilder McGlasson, whose writings are as delicate and artistic as the frostwork one finds on the Winter window pane, confesses to her impossibility to produce more than six short stories in a year’s time.

Eva Wilder McGlasson

Eva Wilder McGlasson (Image from the Los Angeles Herald, March 3, 1895; California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside, http://cdnc.ucr.edu>. All newspapers published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain and therefore have no restrictions on use)

The article “Women of the Authors’ Club”, published by the New York Times on January 21, 1894, gave this wonderful description of Eva: Mrs. Eva Wilder McGlasson, who, shy, tiny, and looking very young in a dainty pink gown, with a great cluster of pink roses at her belt, no one would suspect of being one of the most powerful fiction writers now contributing to the magazines.

And, from the April 7, 1895, New York Times article “Woman’s Sense of Humor: It is Frequently Alleged that She Does Not Possess Any. American Facts to Contradict This”: Eva Wilder McGlasson has interwoven much that is delightfully funny with the somberer tints of her stories. A Monument to Corder is likewise a monument to humor.

Born in Covington, Kentucky, to a mother and father hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Nova Scotia, Canada, respectively, Eva was educated in Covington and later in New York. According to the 1914 book Kentucky in American Letters: 1784–1912:

Featured with other women writers, the Los Angeles Herald (see image above for source details)

Featured with other women writers, the Los Angeles Herald (see Eva’s image above for source details)

She began to write when but eighteen years of age, and a short time thereafter her first novel appeared, Diana’s Livery (New York, 1891). This was set against a background most alluring: the Shaker settlement at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, into which a young man of the world enters and falls in love with a pretty Shakeress, Her second story, An Earthly Paragon (New York, 1892), which was written in three weeks, ran through Harper’s Weekly before being published in book form. It was a romance of the Kentucky mountains, laid around Chamoum, the novelist’s name for Yosemite, Kentucky. It was followed by a novelette of love set amidst the salt-sea atmosphere of an eastern watering place, Ministers of Grace (New York, 1894). Hildreth, the scene of this little story, is anywhere along the Jersey coast from Atlantic City to Long Branch. Ministers of Grace also appeared serially in Harper’s Weekly, and when it was issued in book form Col. Henry Watterson called the attention of Richard Mansfield to it as a proper vehicle for him, and the actor promptly secured the dramatic rights, hoping to present it upon the stage; but his untimely death prevented the dramatization of the tale under highly favorable auspices. It was the last to be published under the name of Eva Wilder McGlasson, as this writer was first known to the public, for on December 5, 1894, she was married in New York to Mr. Henry C. Brodhead, a civil and mining engineer of Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania.

Colorado

Rand, McNally & Co.'s Colorado. Rand McNally & Co., Map Publishers and Engravers, Chicago, 1912  (Source: www.davidrumsey.com)

Part of a 1912 map of Colorado, showing Brodhead in Las Animas County, just outside the town of Aguilar (look to middle of the map);  Rand, McNally & Co.’s Colorado. Rand McNally & Co., Map Publishers and Engravers, Chicago, 1912 (Source: http://www.davidrumsey.com)

Two years before marrying Eva, Henry’s business interests had shifted from Pennsylvania to Colorado—he and his two younger brothers, Albert Gallatin Brodhead and Robert Sayre Brodhead, had set their sights on the coal riches of that state, ultimately founding the town of Brodhead, Las Animas County, Colorado (today a ghost town), and locating several mines in and around that place. Close to Brodhead is the small town of Aguilar (“Gateway to the Spanish Peaks”); if you look it up on Google maps you will see ‘Brodhead Canyon’ nearby. Aguilar is 178 miles south of Denver.

Trinidad, Colorado, to the south of Aguilar and the Brodhead mines, 1905 (Wikipedia: Public domain image)

Trinidad, Colorado, to the south of Aguilar and the Brodhead mines, 1905 (Wikipedia: Public domain image)

Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania (1906) offers some insight into the brothers’ activities out West: In October of the same year [1893] Albert Gallatin Brodhead and his brothers, Henry C. and Robert S. Brodhead, journeyed through Colorado, making careful investigation of its mineral resources. Having prospected coal lands in Las Animas county, they purchased two large tracts, one of four thousand acres at Brodhead, Colorado, and six hundred acres at Walsenburg, near the foot of the Spanish Peaks, which rise to an altitude of nearly fourteen thousand feet. The Brodheads have leased both their coal tracts, one to the Green Canon Coal Company, and the other to the Las Animas Coal Company. They market their output in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Indian Territory. Expert authority has passed upon the quality of the coal, and grade it as semi-anthracite. It is distributed in six workable veins, and the quantity capable of being mined is estimated at millions of tons. The Brodhead properties are held by an incorporated company, of which the officers are: Henry C. Brodhead, president; Robert S. Brodhead, vice-president; and Albert G. Brodhead, secretary and general manager, with the principal office in Denver, Colorado.

So, those of you in Colorado today may be curious to pass through Aguilar if you are ever in that area to check out what, if anything, remains of the ghost town of Brodhead, Colorado!

I will continue this post another day. Meanwhile, I will leave you with a poem* by Eva that was published in Harper’s Weekly on May 14, 1892:

The Daguerreotype

You
hev to hold it sidewise
Fer to make the lightness show,
‘Cuz its sort uh dim an’ shifty
Till you git it right—’bout
so!
An’ then the eyes winks at yeh,
An’ the mouth is cherry ripe
Law! it beats your new-style picters,
This old digerrytype!
Thar’s a blush across the dimples
Thet burrows in the cheeks;
F’om out them clumps o’ ringlets
Two little small ears peeks,
Thet brooch thet jines her neck-gear
Is what they used to wear;
A big gold frame thet sprawled around
A lock of ‘o—some ones hair.
‘Twas took ‘fore we was married,
Thet there—your maw an’ me.
An’ time I study on it,
Why, ‘t fazes me to see
Thet fifty year ‘aint teched her
A lick! She’s jest the same
She was when Susie Scriggens
Took Boone C. Curd’s name.
The hair is mebby white
‘An it was in ’41.
But her cheeks is jest as pinky.
An’ her smiles ‘ain’t slacked up none.
I reckon—love—er somethin’
Yerluminates her face,
Like the crimsont velvet linin’
Warms up the picter-case.
‘S I say, these cyard boa’d portraits,
They make me sort uh tired ,
A-grinnin’ forf upun yeh
Like their very lips was wired!
Give me the old digerrytype,
Whar the face steals on your sight
Like a dream that comes by night-time
When your supper’s actin’ right!

 

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*Mansfield Daily Shield, February 17, 1895

References:

Hayden, Rev. Horace Edwin Hayden, Hon. Alfred Hand, and John W. Jordan, eds. 1906. Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, Pennsylvania,  Vol. I. New York/Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co. (pp. 202-203).

McGlasson, Eva Wilder. 1892. “The Daguerreotype” Harper’s Weekly: A Journal of Civilization 36(1847): 463.

Smith, S. R. 1894. The Wyoming Valley in the Nineteenth Century. Art edition Vol I. Wilkes-Barre, PA: Wilkes-Barre Leader Print  (p. 78).

Townsend, John Wilson. 1913. Kentucky in American Letters: 1784–1912 Vol. II. Cedar Rapids: The Torch Press (pp. 267–69).

Pennsylvania Mines

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See additional posts:

June 24, 2014

July 15, 2014

Categories: Brodhead, Brodhead, Colorado, Denver, Fairmount Cem Denver CO, Kentucky, Manhattan, McGlasson, New York, New York City, Sugar Notch Luzerne Co, US Federal 1860, US Federal 1870, US Federal 1880 | Leave a comment

James Winans Angus (1810-1862) — The Early Years

James W. Angus

James W. Angus

My second great grandfather James Winans Angus was born in New York City on 10 May 1810 to carpenter Jacob Baker Angus (b. Albany, NY) and Mary Winans Angus, (b. Elizabeth, NJ). Two sisters and one brother followed: Abigail Winans Angus, b. 1812; Martha Winans Angus, b. 1818, and Job Winans Angus, b. 1821.

In 1820, the family was living at 123 Pump Street*. Pump Street has since been renamed. According to the website www.oldstreets.com, in the late 18th to early 19th centuries, Pump Street was initially a street in the Delancey Farm Grid, from the Bowery east to Division Street. About 1800 it absorbed Nicholas Street, thereby extending the name west to the present Centre Street. In 1829 Pump Street itself was merged into Walker Street. Since 1855. most of the former Pump Street has been part of Canal Street.

Of course, Lower Manhattan was a vastly different place +/- 200 years ago. If you’re familiar with Manhattan, you know that today Canal Street runs through Chinatown. The below image from 1836 shows the bustling world in which New Yorkers of that era went about their day-to-day activities.

Broadway, New-York. Showing each Building from the Hygeian Depot corner of Canal Street, to beyond Niblo's Garden. Date: 1836 Drawn & Etched by T. Hornor. Aquatinted by J. Hill. Printed by W. Neale. Published by Joseph Stanley & Co. Entered according to Act of Congress by Jos. Stanley & Co. in the Clerks Office of the Southern District of New York. January 26th, 1836.

Broadway, New-York. Showing each Building from the Hygeian Depot corner of Canal Street, to beyond Niblo’s Garden. Date: 1836; Drawn & Etched by T. Hornor. Aquatinted by J. Hill. Printed by W. Neale. Published by Joseph Stanley & Co. Entered according to Act of Congress by Jos. Stanley & Co. in the Clerks Office of the Southern District of New York. January 26th, 1836. From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York – http://collections.mcny.org/

Tragedy struck the family on 27 November 1824, when Mary died, leaving Jacob with four children aged 3-14. Jacob remarried according to family records*, although unfortunately at the time, no one saw to it to write down the name of the second wife—so her identity remains a mystery, as far as I know. When Jacob died several years later on 29 March 1828, James, 17, and his siblings went to live with their *Uncle Elias Winans, their mother Mary’s brother. Elias’ wife, Abby, likely took the leading role in looking after the children.

Street Scenes, Canal, Copy of Old Time Engraving. Date: 1910 An engraving by G. Gibson (?); subject is Canal Street, depicted when the canal still existed, descriptive caption accompanies engraving. From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York.

Street Scenes, Canal, Copy of Old Time Engraving. Date: 1910; An engraving by G. Gibson (?); subject is Canal Street, depicted when the canal still existed, descriptive caption accompanies engraving. From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York. http://collections.mcny.org/

According to p. 6 of Harriet Stryker-Rodda’s genealogical research paper One Line of Descendants of James Angus (1751 – 1806 [grandfather of this James]):
Elias Winans was appointed “guardian of James W. Angus, minor, his father having died intestate* (Orphans Court Record Docket 2653, recorded in Guardianship Letters Book A:329, Essex
County, N. J.), but there are no court records showing that any of the other children were legally made wards of their uncle Elias.

James Angus attended elementary school in Elizabeth, N.J., where he lived with his uncle, Elias Winans, following the death of his parents. (Stryker-Rodda, p. 9) I am wondering if perhaps James went to live with Elias prior to his father’s death since he was already 17 at that time and would otherwise not have been in Elizabeth for more than his last year or two of high school. Certainly the two youngest children would have attended elementary school there, but not James.

**Tombstone inscription, 1st Presbyterian Churchyard, Elizabeth, NJ

**Tombstone inscription, 1st Presbyterian Churchyard, Elizabeth, NJ

Further down page 9, Stryker-Rodda records that On 25 April 1835 James [age 24] was working at his trade [carpenter, wood craftsman, & coach-maker] in Paterson, N. J., [Passaic Co.] where he purchased a house lot for $200 on the southeast corner of Parke Street (Essex County Deed Book Y3:38). In October of the same year he and George R. Skinner paid $1200 for a piece of land in Paterson on the west side of Union Street, 120′ x 167′(B4:280).

This was followed in November by the purchase for $550 of a house on a lot 15′ x 56′ on the west side of Marshall Street in Paterson. In May of 1836 he sold the land on Marshall Street for the same price he had paid for it (F4:53l). James Angus’ and George R. Skinner’s partnership ended about the time James married. On the 8th of February, 1839, orders were recorded for a Sheriff’s sale of their holdings in Elizabeth [Essex Co.], on the west side of Union Street, a lot 122’xl67’xl09«, which they had purchased from George W. Halsted. The sale was to satisfy debts owed to Jacob G. Crane and William Mulford. It was carried out on 3 December 1839 at Gaylord’s Hotel (Essex County Deed Book D5.-245 ff).

Men's Fashion plate,1826. Image from University of Washington Library Digital Collections http://content.lib.washington.edu (Wikimedia Commons: In public domain in US due to expired copyright)

Men’s Fashion plate,1826. Image from U. of Washington Library Digital Collections http://content.lib.washington.edu (Wikimedia: In public domain in US due to expired copyright)

It’s worth noting that the above just-mentioned happenings coincided with a major nationwide economic recession stemming from “the panic of 1837,” a financial crisis that went on to last almost a decade. The mood in the country was one of enormous pessimism. Economic policy was no doubt a hotly debated topic. Sounds strangely familiar…

James was bouncing around quite a lot back then, not surprising for a single young man in his twenties. Thanks to all that bouncing around, we are privileged to have more information about James from the publication Testimony in the New Jersey Contested Election: May 26, 1840. Apparently his place of residence, and hence the legitimacy of his vote, was at issue in the 1838 NJ elections. And that hotly contested election was a really big deal at the time. For an excellent write-up on what all the fuss was about, visit this blog post on the Blue Jersey website.

Bergen, Passaic, and Union Counties, 1838. Image cropped from  David Rumsey Historical Map Collection Author: Bradford, Thomas G. Date: 1838; Short Title: New Jersey. Publisher: Weeks, Jordan & Co. Boston Publisher: Wiley and Putnam. New York (www.davidrumsey.com)

Bergen, Passaic, and Union Counties, 1838. Image cropped from David Rumsey Historical Map Collection Author: Bradford, Thomas G. Date: 1838; Short Title: New Jersey. Publisher: Weeks, Jordan & Co. Boston Publisher: Wiley and Putnam. New York (www.davidrumsey.com)

Various individuals testified about James’ vote. I’m including a map here that shows the 1838 borders of Bergen, Passaic, and Essex counties. You may find it useful to refer to as the borders have changed since then. According to Wikipedia’s entry for Essex County: In 1837, Passaic County was formed from portions of Essex and Bergen County. In 1857, Union County was created from parts of Essex County. Today Elizabeth is in Union County, but back then, it fell within Essex County. James’ 1838 vote was recorded in Elizabethtown (then part of Essex Co.).

Martin Van Buren, US President (1833-1837) Wikipedia

Martin Van Buren, US President (1833-1837) Wikipedia

From the testimony of Luke H. Higgins, we learn that James was working in Bergen Co. — either in Hoboken or Jersey City — in the summer of 1838. When Higgins challenged him for voting in Elizabethtown, James said he worked in Bergen Co., and had his washing and mending done in Elizabethtown, and considered Elizabethtown to be his residence. Higgins ascertained that James was a Whig and and that he stood in opposition to the Van Buren administration. (Many blamed Van Buren, who opted against government intervention during and after the panic of 1837, for the countries economic woes.)

Testimony in the New Jersey Contested Election, May 26, 1840 (Publishes by US House of Representatives: 12 May 1840), p. 335.

Testimony in the New Jersey Contested Election, May 26, 1840 (Published by US House of Representatives: 12 May 1840), p. 335.

 Early Baltimore and Ohio Railroad passenger equipment of the 1830s, displayed at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. (Wikipedia: © James G. Howes)

Early Baltimore and Ohio Railroad passenger equipment of the 1830s, displayed at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. (Wikipedia: © James G. Howes)

The second individual to testify was John Chatterton, who claimed to have known James for about 10 years. He said James was in Jersey City in 1838, working for the railroad, building cars, and that he saw James in Elizabethtown, but could not say whether James resided in Elizabethtown or not. He knew James got his washing and mending done there. He also knew of James having work in Newark as well, and knew James’ political views and that he was in the Whig party. Upon cross-examination, Chatterton said he knew Mr. Winans [Elias, I presume] was one of James’ links to Elizabethtown and that he thought James boarded with a sister [Martha (never married) or Abigail Angus Woodruff (married to Henry King Woodruff)]. Chatterton stated James had a shop in town that still had James’ sign outside of it and that the shop may have been owned jointly with Skinner [a reference to the aforementioned George R. Skinner]. Chatterton knew nothing of how James voted during the 1838 election.

Testimony in the New Jersey Contested Election, May 26, 1840 (Publishes by US House of Representatives: 12 May 1840), p. 336.

Testimony in the New Jersey Contested Election, May 26, 1840 (Published by US House of Representatives: 12 May 1840), p. 336.

The Whig Party from The Whig Almanac and Politicians Register for 1838

The Whig Party from The Whig Almanac and Politicians Register for 1838

The last person to testify was the aforementioned Jacob G. Crane, who said he believed James’ place of residence the year prior to the elections was Elizabethtown, and that James lived with his aunt [Elias’s wife Abby Winans (Elias was still alive at this point) or one of Mary Winans Angus’s sisters?]. Jacob thought James was usually in Elizabeth from Fridays through Sundays, and thought James’ carriage-making business had been up and running in Elizabethtown for two-three years before the 1838 election, but that he broke it up right before the election. Crane said James worked in Jersey City building carriages and remained residing with his aunt until he married in February 1839 [the marriage actually took place on January 26, 1839]. Then when cross-examined, Crane said James and his new wife [Wealthy Ann Jaques] lived for a time with James’ aunt, but that they then moved to Jersey City, where James’ work was. Another reference to James’ business with Skinner was made. Crane commented that he knew James had paid his taxes in Elizabethtown.

Testimony in the New Jersey Contested Election, May 26, 1840 (Publishes by US House of Representatives: 12 May 1840), p. 361.

Testimony in the New Jersey Contested Election, May 26, 1840 (Published by US House of Representatives: 12 May 1840), p. 361.

Ultimately, a vote was taken as to whether James’ vote was lawful, and indeed it was:

Testimony in the New Jersey Contested Election, May 26, 1840 (Publishes by US House of Representatives: 12 May 1840), p. 76.

Testimony in the New Jersey Contested Election, May 26, 1840 (Published by US House of Representatives: 12 May 1840), p. 76.

Testimony in the New Jersey Contested Election, May 26, 1840 (Publishes by US House of Representatives: 12 May 1840), pp. 718-719.

Testimony in the New Jersey Contested Election, May 26, 1840 (Published by US House of Representatives: 12 May 1840), pp. 718-719.

The World of Fashion, May 1838 (Wikimedia Commons - In Public Domain in US due to expired copyright)

The World of Fashion, May 1838 (Wikimedia Commons – In Public Domain in US due to expired copyright)

Well, that’s all I have for today. More on James Winans Angus in an upcoming post… As always, comments, corrections, additions are most welcome.

A side note: In my hunt for information on James, I also came across newspaper articles between 1834-1836 referring to a bill in the New Jersey legislature to allow “James Angus, of Patterson” to divorce his wife (once named as ‘Ann’ and another time as ‘Mary’). I’m sure this is a red herring, but for the sake of satisfying my curiosity, I would love to visit NJ state archives to find out what this case was about. Apparently, at that time, in certain situations, people were able to have their marriages dissolved by the legislature. In this case, the bill to dissolve this James Angus’ marriage was eventually passed on Saturday morning, January 24, 1835***.

Elias and Abby Winans' tombstone inscriptions, 1st Presbyterian Churchyard, Elizabeth, NJ

Elias and Abby Winans’ **tombstone inscriptions, 1st Presbyterian Churchyard, Elizabeth, NJ

June ?, 1843, ad in the  New York American newspaper

June ?, 1843, ad in the New York American newspaper; evidently, the family’s involvement with Crane was ongoing. (Ad courtesy of http://www.fultonhistory.com)

New-York American newspaper ad, October 2, 1841 (courtesy of www.fultonhistory.com)

New-York American newspaper ad, October 2, 1841 (courtesy of http://www.fultonhistory.com)

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*ONE LINE OF DESCENDANTS OF JAMES ANGUS (1751 – 1806) including outlines of related Winans and Jaques Families of New Jersey by Harriet Stryker-Rodda, Certified Genealogist (Elizabeth, NJ, 1969) (Project commissioned by Alfred Carpenter Angus Jr., son of James Winans Angus Jr. and Anna M. Carpenter, grandson of James Winans Angus and Wealthy Ann Jaques)

**Wheeler, Wm Ogden. Inscriptions on tombstones and monuments in the burying grounds of the First Presbyterian church and St. Johns church at Elizabeth, New Jersey.1664-1892. New Haven: Press of Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1892.

***p. 228 of Minutes of Votes and Proceedings of the 59th General Assembly of the State of New Jersey, 1835
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Categories: 1st Presbyterian Elizabeth NJ, Angus, Crane, Elizabeth, Union Co., Jersey City, Hudson Co., Manhattan, New York City, Newark, Essex Co., Patterson NJ, Winans, Woodruff | 2 Comments

Lavinia P. Angus (1858-1940s)—geometry whiz; who knew?!

1820 watercolor portrait of French mathematicians Adrien-Marie Legendre and Joseph Fourier; Boilly, Julien-Leopold. (1820). Album de 73 Portraits-Charge Aquarelle’s des Membres de I’Institut (Wikimedia Commons: Image in Public Domain)

1820 watercolor portrait of French mathematicians Adrien-Marie Legendre and Joseph Fourier; Boilly, Julien-Leopold. (1820). Album de 73 Portraits-Charge Aquarelle’s des Membres de I’Institut (Wikimedia Commons: Image in Public Domain)

I know, I’m breaking my self-imposed vow of ‘blog silence until the New Year’, but once I’ve assembled enough information about someone, I just feel compelled to get it ‘out there’ as quickly as possible! So here I go again–

My dad occasionally spoke of his [Great] ‘Aunt Vean’ (short for ‘Lavinia’). Unfortunately, so much time has passed since his passing, I can’t remember the context. I only recall that whatever he ever had to say about her was complimentary and implied that she was quite a pistol.

Beyond that, until recently, I did not know much else about her. I only knew she was the youngest daughter of Wealthy and James Angus and that she had once been married to a gentleman with the surname Marthaler. Lavinia’s father James passed away when she was just a toddler so her memories of him would have been minimal. She had numerous older brothers and sisters (including my great grandmother Wealthy who was about eight years her senior) who would have helped raise her.  (As an aside, one of her older brothers was Job Angus about whom I wrote a previous post containing a letter from Texas.)

With a bit of digging, more info about Aunt Vean has come to light, including the curious blurb entitled ‘Fast Mathematics’ that was published in 1875 in National Teachers’ Monthly, Vol. 2 (p. 192–see the accompanying image on this page). Lavinia, born in September 1858, would have been about 17 at the time, and obviously she was a very bright young lady. Somehow she managed to memorize in one night 17 geometry theorems of famed French mathematician Adrien-Marie Legendre, and then recite them all the next day in class in a record time of 1 minute 40 seconds. I looked up all these theorems (posted on this page as an image–click on it to enlarge) to see what was entailed, and indeed, her feat was incredibly impressive. While she never went on to attend college, it’s obvious if she had, she would have possessed the determination to succeed at whatever subject matter she put her mind to.

1875, p. 192

National Teachers’ Monthly, Vol. 2, 1875, p. 192

The 18 theorems Aunt Vine memorized and recited

The 17 theorems Aunt Vine memorized and recited; click on image to enlarge it.

‘Aunt Vean’ married John Philip Marthaler in Elizabeth, NJ, on 24 May 1879. She was 21 at the time, and he was roughly 7 years older than she. The 1880 census shows a Lavinia and Philip ‘Morthala’ living at 163 Kent Street in Brooklyn with a young man named Hulet Valentine, whose occupation is listed as “Root beer”. Philip was working as a clerk in a store. Sadly the marriage did not last for long—Philip must have died sometime before 1885. The NJ state census of that year shows Lavinia back living with her mom Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus, and the 1900 and subsequent censuses list her as a widow. There is no indication that she ever remarried, and as far as I am aware she and Philip never had any children.

I found ‘Vean’ in all the Federal censuses taken between 1900 and 1940, and also in the 1905 NJ census. As you can see below, further down the page, her first and last names were commonly misspelled. She lived in Newark, NJ, until sometime before 1940 when she is shown to be living in nearby Montclair. She was most often shown as a boarder, and a woman named Elizabeth Booth (a decade younger than ‘Vean’) seemed to be a friend who appeared alongside her in a number of these records. That surprised me a bit considering Lavinia had so many siblings–I would have thought someone would have taken her in; but perhaps she inherited sufficient funds to stay out on her own or simply preferred to remain independent from the family. In 1900 ‘Vean’ was working as a stenographer; from 1910 onward, her occupation is listed as ‘none’. Her friend Elizabeth continued working until sometime between 1920 and 1930; in the 1930 and 1940 census she also reported no occupation.

‘Aunt Vean’ was listed as 81 in the 1940 census. I don’t have a date of death for her. I may find it in my dad’s memoirs—but he was off fighting in the Pacific for some of the 1940s and may not have made record of it.

The only physical memento we have of ‘Vean’ is a little vase that she gave to her niece (my grandmother), Fanny (Woodruff) Brodhead. Meanwhile, some of Aunt Vean’s letters may exist somewhere out there. The family history paper, One Line of Descendants of James Angus, written by Harriet Stryker-Rodda and published in 1969 (available in the Family Search Library–see my Links page) reported:  Lavinia’s letters, written in her later years, have been preserved in the family because of her interest in the family’s history and the fact that she had a retentive mind even as she got older. Perhaps, those letters will come to light someday. It would be wonderful to know more of the family history from her recollections and to see what her relationships with others were like.

As always, corrections, additions, and comments welcome!!!

All of the below from the Family Search website:

Lavinia P Marthaler Boarder United States Census, 1940
birth: 1859 New Jersey
residence: 1940 Ward 3, Montclair, Montclair Town, Essex, New Jersey, United States
other: Martha E Macbeth, Bessie Wetherby, Signa Hjertstrom, Mabel V Crane, M Elizabeth Booth, Sarah E Vanduyne…
Lavinia Marthaler Boarder United States Census, 1900
birth: September 1864 New Jersey
residence: 1900 District 5 Newark city Ward 2, Essex, New Jersey, United States
other: Joseph O Nichols, Eliza D Nichols, Sayres O Nichols, Julia C Nichols, Mary E Booth, Dora Flithner
Lavenea P Marthaler Boarder United States Census, 1930
birth: 1859 New Jersey
residence: 1930 Newark (Districts 1-250), Essex, New Jersey, United States
other: Elizabeth M Booth
Lavania Marthaler Head United States Census, 1920
birth: 1860 New Jersey
residence: 1920 Newark Ward 8, Essex, New Jersey, United States
other: Elizbeth Baldwin, Emma Mackain, M Elizbeth Booth, Bonnie Lomax
Lavinia Marthalles Head United States Census, 1910
birth: 1860 New Jersey
residence: 1910 Newark Ward 8, Essex, New Jersey, United States
Lavenia Marthaler New Jersey, State Census, 1905
birth: 1860
residence: 1905 , Essex, New Jersey, United States
other: Mary E Booth
Lavinia Morthala Wife United States Census, 1880
birth: 1859 New Jersey, United States
residence: 1880 Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States
spouse: Phillip Morthala
other: Hulet Valentine
Categories: Angus, Brodhead, Brooklyn, Marthaler, New Jersey 1885, New Jersey 1905, US Federal 1860, US Federal 1880, US Federal 1900, US Federal 1910, US Federal 1920, US Federal 1930, US Federal 1940, Woodruff | 7 Comments

Charles T. Brodhead in 1899: NYC’s Lower East Side girls are “saucy” and “self-reliant” (Part II of II)

[Continued from previous post]

L. L. Roush photographic illustration for the article

L. L. Roush photographic illustration for the article

…In the summer this young girl, who does not think the hand of fate is turned against her, spends her evenings on the piers that line the East River. There she finds congenial company. She meets Tommy and Maggie, and Mike and Mamie, and all the rest of what she affectionately terms “the mob.” They sit out on the string-piece and sing the popular sentimental songs of the day. One of the young men plays a waltz on a mouth harmonica or an accordion, and they dance the hours away on the rough planking of the pier and are happy. She goes to as many picnics as she can. If she is fortunate as to invited to four picnics in one week she goes to all of them, and is among the last to leave the dancing pavilion for dancing is her chief and almost only diversion.

New York circa 1903. "East River from Brooklyn tower of Williamsburg Bridge." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. Link to full-size image: http://www.shorpy.com/node/8483?size=_original#caption

New York circa 1903. “East River from Brooklyn tower of Williamsburg Bridge.” 8×10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. Link to full-size image: http://www.shorpy.com/node/8483?size=_original#caption

When she earns what she calls “real money,” which is anything from four dollars a week upward, she pays three dollars a week to her mother for board and keeps the balance for her own needs. She buys her own clothing and pays half a dollar for a seat in one of the down-town theatres whenever she can afford it, which is not often.

Our young friend is also fond of the theatre because she can see there the dresses worn by women more fortunate than she. She is fond of dress and has a love for pretty things. When the opportunity offers she stops before the show-windows of the big dry-goods stores in the shopping district, and gazes wistfully at the handsome gowns displayed there, and turns away with a sigh from the things that can never be hers. Yet she feels that she is as much entitled to them as the grand dame who sweeps out of the establishment and across the walk to her handsome brougham**.

L. L. Roush photographic illustration for the article

L. L. Roush photographic illustration for the article

Though her clothing is inexpensive, Miss East-Side dresses neatly. Occasionally she runs to a blaze of color as to hats, and now and then flashes a fifty-cent diamond in the faces of her associates; but they “guy” her so, she soon gives up such things.

It happens often that she is the sole support of the family. The East-Side girl works harder and just as cheerfully as ever, and turns every cent into the house as fast as she makes it. She assists with the household duties before she leaves in the morning and when she returns at night. The few articles of clothing she manages to get are made over and over again, patched, darned, and cleaned many times. In the winter she suffers from lack of proper clothing. She walks to her work every morning—it costs too much to ride—through sunshine and storm, and back again at night. So she trudges on, month in and month out; and when the quiet young truck driver who lives around the corner asks her to marry him, she regards him seriously and says:

“Honest, Mike, I’d like ter marry yer, because yer know I like yer, and ye’re on the level, but me ole man and me ole woman ain’t in it anny more for workin’, and if I left ’em they’d be in the soup. No, I don’t stand for no game like that.”

So, he goes away, and she grieves because of it, but her conscience is clear—she is doing her duty.

Summer 1913. "Bird's eye view of N.Y.C. from roof of Consolidated Gas Building." 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. For full image: http://www.shorpy.com/node/4521?size=_original#caption

Summer 1913. “Bird’s eye view of N.Y.C. from roof of Consolidated Gas Building.” 5×7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. For full image: http://www.shorpy.com/node/4521?size=_original#caption

However, the young men who come wooing are not all treated thus. Jimmie may have been escorting Mamie to picnics during the season. This is a public acknowledgement that he is deeply interested in her. She has permitted him to kiss her; she has fallen asleep with her head against his shoulder when returning from the picnics on boat or car in the early morning hours.

Finally, one evening as they are chatting in the front doorway, the only place Miss East-Side has to see her friends, Jimmie exclaims: “Hay, Mame, I’m stuck on yer! Kin we get married?”

But Mame is wary and inquires if he has work, and if he has ever been arrested. Her investigation resulting satisfactorily she is prompt to reply. “Yer wait here till I go up’n tell me old woman and see if she’s got any kicks comin’. If she has it’s all right, for they don’t go. I’m doin’ the marryin’.” And thus Miss East-Side becomes engaged to be married.

—Charles T. Brodhead, Ladies’ Home Journal, September 1899, with illustrations by L. L. Roush

**Pronounced “broom” or “brohm”. Per Merriam-Webster’s: a light closed horse-drawn carriage with the driver outside in front

Categories: Brodhead, Manhattan, Miscellaneous, New York City | 4 Comments

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Art by Susan M. L. Moore

Lee's Birdwatching Adventures Plus

Birdwatching from a Christian Perspective

Story_Trails

Family history in stories recalled by Edie and Leo. Edith GAYLORD Allen, Leo ALLEN, Jr

Princes, Paupers, Pilgrims & Pioneers

“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.” Teaching children values and giving them the opportunity to excel is essential to good parenting. However, I feel I must also provide my children (and myself) insight into the ones who came before us: our ancestors whose lives and stories have shaped us into who we are. This is my journey; these are their stories…

Myricopia

Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

Buddha walks into a wine bar ...

Sits down with The Two Doctors and .....

Elves Choice

Holiday Bargains & Recipes

MarileeWein.com

DOUBLE GENEALOGY: the ADOPTION WITNESS

Tastes of Health

Passionate about Health, Fitness and easily prepared Delicious Food

Applegate Genealogy

Helping others discover their roots

allenrizzi

Sempre in Movimento! Published Every Monday and Friday at 12 PM EST

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

THEVYPEFFECT

all about travelling in korea

My Descendant's Ancestors

Tips, Tools and Stories for the Family Historian

Smart Veg Recipes

Welcome to home made, vegeterian, healthy & kids friendly recipes

ICI & LA NATURE PICTURES

Walk and Bike in France. www.icietlanature.com

The Lives of my Ancestors

Lives, Biographies and Sketches of my Family History

Down the Rabbit Hole with Sir LeprechaunRabbit

Serious about Genealogy? Let this Olde Grey hare show you about

Diggin' Up Graves

Genealogy and family history, dirt and all.

Momoe's Cupboard

Low Budget Meals and Ideas

Generations of Nomads

On the Trail of Family Faces, Places, and Stories Around the World

Your daily Civil War newspaper [est. 1995]

All the Civil War news fit to re-print

Nothing Gilded, Nothing Gained-Author Adrienne Morris

Books, Art and the Writing Life at Middlemay Farm

Travels with Janet

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Uma Familia Portuguesa

A história da nossa família

The Good, the Bad and the Italian

food/films/families and more

newarkpoems

350 years of Newark in verse 1666-2016

Russian Universe

Understanding Russia with a Russian

Almost Home

Genealogy Research and Consulting

Old Bones Genealogy of New England

Genealogy and Family History Research

Out Here Studying Stones

Cemeteries & Genealogy

WeGoBack

family research ... discover your ancestry

the Victorian era

Did I misplace my pince-nez again? Light reading on the 19th century.

Genealogy Technology

Family history for the 21st century

Moore Genealogy

Fun With Genealogy

Meeting my family

RESEARCHING MY FAMILY TREE

Shaking the tree

musings on the journey towards knowing and sharing my family's stories

A Hundred Years Ago

Food and More

Scots Roots

Helping you dig up your Scots roots.

Root To Tip

Not just a list of names and dates

Food Perestroika

Adventures in Eastern Bloc Cuisine

Being Em | From Busan to America

this journey is my own, but i'm happy to share.

TWISTED LIMBS & CROOKED BRANCHES

Genealogy - Looking For "Dead People"!

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