Enslavement in the DeLancey and Cooper Households: Small Family Memories

Who Were the Enslaved People in Susan Fenimore Cooper’s Memoir?

In Small Memories (reproduced below) Susan Fenimore Cooper, daughter of James Fenimore Cooper and granddaughter of John Peter DeLancey, describes life during her childhood in Mamaroneck and other nearby locations. She identifies as slaves Fred, Joseph, a cook (unnamed), the cook’s daughter Harriet, the cook’s son Henry, and “a colored child or two.” Her descriptions of these enslaved people, as excerpted below, are, necessarily, from the point of the view of the enslavers. Did they have “an easy time of it,” as she imagines? If so, why did Fred runaway?

Susan Cooper was born in 1813, and during her childhood, formal enslavement in New York was being phased out by the Gradual Emancipation Laws enacted in 1799 and 1827. Although technically, “indentured servants,” many of the former enslaved people still served their former enslavers in much the same ways as before emancipation. During this time, the Black workers in her grandfather’s home could have been “slaves” or they could have been children of enslaved mothers still obligated for up to 28 years of indentured servitude. These children and young adults were susceptible to being “rented out” to other “employers” — with the “wages” going to the white person to whom they were indentured. Other Black servants probably were former “slaves” now reclassified as “indentured servants.” There may even have been actually free people working for wages, as she suggests.

So, what is known about the (possibly) enslaved people in her story?


Susan Cooper writes: There were still slaves in New York at that time, and a family of them belonged to my Grandfather De Lancey. They had an easy time of it, I imagine. Fred was given to my Mother when she removed to Cooperstown, but I think I have heard that my Father paid him wages.” Later, she relates, “Fred the black boy, who nominally belonged to my Mother, but received wages, deserted about that time. We had for assistant nurse, a young girl named Katie Conklin, who was bound to my parents; she was the daughter of my Grandfather’s farmer, on the Neck.”

For a 2010 Larchmont Historical Society article, Ned Benton researched the stories of Fred (also known as Frederic) and Joseph (also known as “The Governor”) with help from the James Fenimore Cooper Society. According to their corresponding secretary, Hugh MacDougall, James Fenimore Cooper “rented” Fred from his older brother Richard. In The Early Years ( 2007, pp. 150-151),  James Fenimore Cooper wrote, “[Frederic] seems to have been one of the freed or indentured DeLancey blacks; his indenture had been purchased and he was taken to Cooperstown by Richard Fenimore Cooper, and in 1811 he returned with the Coopers to Westchester. While living with them, Fred was paid wages; eventually, around 1820 (before his indenture was up), he deserted them and they made no attempt to find him and bring him back.”

Technically, Fred may not have been enslaved at the time he lived on Heathcote Hill in Mamaroneck. However, as an indentured servant he was required to work for the Coopers until he satisfied the terms of his indenture, which arose because of his prior status as an enslaved person or child of an enslaved mother.


Susan Cooper writes: “The old negro seen in the picture of the Hall was an important personage in the family; he lived with my grandparents twenty years; his name was Joseph, but my Uncles often called him “the Governor.” As you know, he is buried in the family ground. His wife Harris married again after his death, and lies in the Churchyard, near the front fence. My grandfather gave her a house and lot, on what is now Pine Street. Having no children, she left that house to John Nelson. Harris lived, after my Grandfather’s death, with the Russells.”

Joseph Stewart is in the background of this 1816 watercolor of Elizabeth Cooper by George Freeman.

Grave marker of Joseph Stewart

Hugh MacDougall from the James Fenimore Cooper Society helped uncover more about Joseph and his wife, Harris. According to MacDougall, “Joseph Stewart, nicknamed ‘The Governor,’ was connected with William Cooper, Susan [Cooper]’s paternal grandfather, not with the DeLanceys, and he lived in Cooperstown. His slave-holder was Abraham Ten Broeck, and from 1799-1802 he was ‘rented’ by William Cooper for $76-80 per year (see Alan Taylor, ‘William Cooper’s Town’, Knopf 1995, p. 299.)  He was subsequently emancipated (the certificate is registered, without a specific date, in the Otsego County Register of Incorporations), and remained as a free servant of the Cooper family.”

Joseph Stewart was buried in the Cooper’s private burial plot, adjacent to Christ Episcopal Church in Cooperstown. The inscription on his grave marker reads: “JOSEPH STEWART died July 1823. Born a Slave. For 20 y’rs, a much loved & faithful FREE Servant of JUDGE COOPER.”

Joseph Stewart’s widow, Harris, lived on Pine Street (now Pine Boulevard) in Cooperstown. As Susan Cooper described, her burial was in the “Churchyard.” MacDougall explained, there is a  section of the Village Graveyard (and later Christ Episcopal Church graveyard) once reserved for African-Americans along its eastern edge next to River Street. She may be the Harris Mann who is recorded in Christ Church records as dying in 1847 at the age of 77. Her second husband may be Thomas Mann,  recorded in the 1830 US Census as a Free Black, aged 36-55, with a presumed wife of the same age and a presumed daughter aged under 10.


Susan Cooper writes, [At Grandfather Delancey’s home in Mamaroneck], “There were several dark-skinned servants in the house — slaves, I fancy, they must have been at that date, but enjoying life in a very free and easy way. There was a fat black woman as cook in the kitchen, Harriet her daughter as chambermaid, Henry her son the man, a colored child or two, and one white woman, a sort of factotum, Betsy Baker.”

About this family, little more is known, at this time. In Susan Cooper’s recollection, the household does not include a potential husband for the cook or father for the children. In the period between 1799 to 1827, the children of an enslaved mother (the cook) would have been considered indentured servants, bound to “Grandfather” John Peter DeLancey for up to 28 years.

Small Family Memories

Susan Fenimore Cooper
(daughter of James Fenimore Cooper)

©1922 by James Fenimore Cooper. Posted by the James Fenimore Cooper Society with the authorization of the Cooper family, providing that the essay may be downloaded and reproduced for personal or instructional use, or by libraries. It was originally published in James Fenimore Cooper [grandson], ed., Correspondence of James Fenimore Cooper (2 vols., New Haven: Yale University Press, 1922), pp. 7-72.

RECORDED for the pleasure of my dear nephews ~ and nieces, none of whom have known personally their Grandfather and Grandmother Cooper. These small memories were planned two or three years since. Last summer Jim asked me to write something of the kind; I therefore give the little book to him; but all the grandchildren are to read, and those who choose to take the trouble may copy it. It is written for all the family circle. Cooperstown, January 25, 1883.”Delle cose custode, E dispensiera.”


MY first recollections of my dear Father and Mother go back to the remote ages when we were living at “Fenimore,” in the farm-house built by your grandfather. I was then about three years old. Some incidents of that time I remember with perfect distinctness, while the intervening weeks, or months, are a long blank.

I used very often to trot along between my Father and Mother about the grounds; and I remember distinctly going with them to the new stone house, then building. In that house they expected to pass their lives. But in fact it was never inhabited. Your grandfather one day chose an even stone, to be placed in the wall, and carved on it his own name and that of your grandmother, with the date — 1816. The position of that house was charming, on a rising knell, commanding a lovely view of the Lake and village. The grounds reached to the brook, southward, and the principal entrance was to have been at the point where the road crosses the brook. Tradition says that the last deer seen near the village was drinking, early one summer morning, from that brook. In my own mind I have always called it “Deer-Brook,” from that little incident. The garden at Fenimore was then placed in the meadow just beyond the road leading to the barn at the farm-house. I remember walking there with your grandfather, who was always fond of gardening. On one occasion, on returning from the stone house, with my dear Mother, she picked up a broken branch of raspberry and set it in the ground, telling me that it would take root and grow, a fact which greatly surprised my infant mind.

The farm-house was painted red. It has been much enlarged since those days.

The DeLancey House, built in 1792. (Photo added; from the Larchmont Historical Society Photo Archive.)

Our household consisted of our sweet Nurse Nanny, a widow; she was an Englishwoman, who when a young girl came from England with my grandmother De Lancey as nurse to my Uncle Thomas, then an infant. She then became my Mother’s nurse, and lived some years at Heathcote Hill. Later in the day she married a farmer in the neighborhood, named Disbrow, and had several children. After her husband’s death she returned to live at Heathcote Hill, and after my mother’s marriage she became nurse to my little sister Elizabeth, and to myself. She removed with us to Cooperstown. Her daughter Susan, a great stout young woman, was the cook at Fenimore; Fred, a colored boy from Heathcote Hill, was the waiter. There were still slaves in New York at that time, and a family of them belonged to my Grandfather De Lancey. They had an easy time of it, I imagine. Fred was given to my Mother when she removed to Cooperstown, but I think I have heard that my Father paid him wages.
My Father had two grey horses, which I also remember very well; and he had a little carriage which he called the rasée — a sailor’s name. When a ship in the navy was changed from a higher to a lower grade by removing one of her decks she was said to be rasée — cut down, as it were — and the little carriage at Fenimore must have been a barouche, I think, with only half a top. At any rate my father always called it rasée.

I remember distinctly rather an adventurous drive on the Lake, with the grey ponies, but not in the rasée, of course. Your grandfather had been driving the little family party in the sleigh to the village, — no doubt it was in the spring when the roads were bad, — and when we returned the ice had parted from the shore! There lay the water before us — I seem to see it; and the agitation of my Mother was great, and no doubt the anxiety of my Father also. I think he turned to a different spot, but still there was water; the horses were whipped vigorously, they leaped ahead, there was a plunge, and lo we were safe on the gravelly beach at Fenimore!

Our Grandfather De Lancey came to make us a visit, and brought with him our dear Aunt Martha, then a young girl just growing up. She had been suffering from chills and fever, and came to Otsego County for change of air; she remained with us a year, and I remember her on several occasions.

The chief ornament of the little parlor at “Fenimore” was a portrait of my Grandfather De Lancey; when my Mother consented to remove so far from her own family, and make a new home in the wilds of Otsego, my Father had the portrait painted for her, to cheer and comfort her; it was painted by Jarvis, and was an admirable likeness. One day a neighboring farmer came to the house on business. He noticed the portrait, got up, stood before it, and studied it closely. “That ‘ere pictur’ is wonderful like!” he exclaimed. My mother was surprised: “Did you know my Father?” she asked. No I never saw him — but it’s wonderful like a man!” Absurd as it was, the praise was just; one sees that the portrait must have been a good likeness, it has so much individual character. The picture now hangs in our cottage parlor in River Street; my dear Mother gave it to me, as the eldest granddaughter. She also told me the farmer’s criticism, which of course I should not have understood if I had heard it.

Your Grandfather had a sheep farm, on the hill above Fenimore. He called it Mt. Ovis, and was very proud of some merino sheep he had introduced into the County. There was a fierce old ram, called “Sinbad,” of whose horns I was very much afraid. He was afterwards drowned in the well!

Your Grandfather was Secretary of the County Agricultural Society in those days. He was also a vestryman of Christ Church at that time, and was one of a Committee who cleared and fenced the Church-yard. I have heard him say that my Uncle Isaac had better taste than himself at that time, for he proposed cutting down all the young pines in the yard; my Uncle would not hear of it, and now the pines have grown into the fine trees which shade our Church-yard. Father Nash was Rector of the Church at that time. Your Grandfather was also in those years Secretary of the Otsego County Bible Society, General Morris being the President.

Occasionally I was taken to the Hall to see my Grandmother. I have dim recollection of her sitting near a little table, at the end of the long sofa seen in her picture, with a book on the table. She always wore sleeves to the elbow, or a little below, with long gloves. She took great delight in flowers, and the south end of the long hall was like a greenhouse in her time. She was a great reader of romances. She was a marvellous housekeeper, and beautifully nice and neat in all her arrangements. Her flower garden was at the South of the house, and was considered something wonderful for the variety of flowers. There is a delicate little vine, called the Alleghany vine, Adlumia, growing in our hills; this was a favorite of hers.

The old negro seen in the picture of the Hall was an important personage in the family; he lived with my grandparents twenty years; his name was Joseph, but my Uncles often called him “the Governor.” As you know, he is buried in the family ground. His wife Harris married again after his death, and lies in the Churchyard, near the front fence. My grandfather gave her a house and lot, on what is now Pine Street. Having no children, she left that house to John Nelson. Harris lived, after my Grandfather’s death, with the Russells.

The only one of my Uncles of whom I have any recollection was my Uncle Isaac. I remember him distinctly on one occasion, when he was dining at the farm-house; he took me up in his arms and wanted me to kiss him; but I was shy about it. “This young lady does not kiss gentlemen!” said your grandfather laughing. I seem to hear him say the words now, and I also recollect wondering in an infantile way what was their meaning. This is my only recollection of my Uncle Isaac. My Mother was much attached to him; he was very warm-hearted and affectionate, and very benevolent. On one occasion when your Grandfather was in the Navy, he came home on a furlough, and my Uncle Isaac gave a grand family dinner on the occasion. Your Grandfather would seem to have been something of a dandy in those days; he sported a queue; would you, would you believe it! Some of the young naval officers at that time followed the fashion of Napoleon and Nelson, and sported that appendage. Judge of the excitement caused in the family and in the village by the midshipman’s pig-tail! He soon threw it aside. But my Uncle Isaac by a successful manoeuvre got possession of it, on the day of the dinner party, and when the family assembled about the table, there, suspended to the chandelier, was the young gentleman’s pig-tail! My Aunt Pomeroy told me the incident. He was paying a visit, with my Aunt Mary, to General Morris’ family at the Butternuts, and one day after dinner was wrestling in fun with his brother-in-law Richard Morris, when he was thrown with some force against the railing of the piazza, injuring his spine. He lingered for a year or more, but abscesses formed, and he died at last of exhaustion.

My Mother always spoke kindly of her brothers-in-law. My Uncle William was wonderfully clever, quite a genius, a delightful talker, very witty. My Uncle Richard was a handsome man with remarkably fine manners; my Grandfather De Lancey, who had seen the best society in England, said he was “a very well bred man.” He was very intimate with Mr. Gouldsborough Banyer, and named his eldest son after him. My Uncle Sam was clever, but undersized and eccentric. My Mother has often said they were all fine tempered men.

My little sister Cally was my playfellow in those days, though she was still a baby, not yet two years old. Our education began, however, in the little parlor at Fenimore; we used to sit on two little stools near our Mother; I learned to read in a primer, and to sew; Cally, I fancy, was considered too young for the primer, and her sewing was done with a thread tied to a pin. She was born at Fenimore, and was a pretty little child, with auburn hair which curled on her neck. When we had finished our hour of school we followed our Mother into the pantry, and each holding up our little apron — I beg Nanny’s pardon, our “pinafores” — we were rewarded with a few raisins, or ginger bread, or perhaps a bit of maple sugar. Nanny and my Grandmother always spoke of our “pinafores,” but my Mother called them aprons.

Occasionally, though rarely, I fancy, our Father went to Albany on business. Journeys were formidable affairs in those days. On one occasion when he returned he brought, as usual, presents for us children. What was Cally’s present I cannot say. But my own made a very deep impression on me; there were four bits of some bright colored stuff like merino for as many dresses for my small person — a yard of each, I suppose — blue, buff, red, and pink. I marched about the room hugging them tight, or showing them off. Suddenly my Father called me; I trotted up to him, holding my treasures: “Now, Susie, you have four dresses here; don’t you think you had better give one to Nannie?” I had no objection; and after spreading them on the floor picked up the buff one, and trotted off with it to Nannie, who was in the room. “That is very well; now suppose you give this red one to Susan?” Susan Disbrow was also present; I picked up the red one, and carried it to Susan. “Now don’t you think you had better give me this blue one, for Grandmother? she will like a blue dress.” Somewhat less cheerfully, I handed the blue dress to my Father, for Grandmother. “That is all right — Grandmother will like a blue frock — but here is the pink one; I think Nanny looks as if she would like a pink frock too.” In a small agony I picked up the favorite, precious pink one, and carried it to Nanny, then burst into tears, exclaiming, “Oh, Father, you will kill me!” I remember perfectly saying the words, and the feeling that I loved Nanny so much that she must have the dress, though at the same time it was agony to give up that beautiful pink one. I am afraid I had a great liking for finery in those days. But after the trial was over, I was nearly hugged to death; our Father thought nothing of giving a score of kisses at one time.

There was a romantic mystery hanging over the Lake at that time — a mysterious bugle was heard in the summer evenings and moonlight nights, now from the Lake, now from the wooded mountain opposite “Fenimore.” “There is the bugle!” my Father would call out, and all the family would collect on the little piazza to listen. I remember hearing the bugle frequently, and being aware, in a baby fashion, of the excitement on the subject. No one knew the performer. It was some mysterious stranger haunting the mountain opposite Fenimore, for several months. So my Aunt Pomeroy told me in later years.

My Father played the flute, in those days! His flute remained among the family possessions for some years.

My Aunt Martha used to ride frequently with my Father; she was considered a very good horsewoman in her youth. Nevertheless I remember her being thrown from one of the grey ponies in the grounds at Fenimore; there was great agitation at the moment; my Mother, Nanny, and the whole family gathered about her; I remember being much distressed on the occasion. But there was no serious injury. My Aunt Martha was very handsome in her youth, with a brilliant complexion, fine dark eyes, and fine hair of a raven black. My Father was fond of her and always called her “Pink” or “Pinkie.” To the last months of his life he called her “Pink.”

My Mother had been a great horsewoman too; she told me that my Grandfather used to take her out riding on a pillow, before him, when she was a little thing. She rode {17} with my Father before her marriage, and after. She told me they had ridden together, at different times, after her marriage over many of the wood roads of the neighborhood, and had been on Mt. Vision repeatedly, on horseback.

There is a brook running into the Lake, just above the grounds at Fenimore; there was a pretty grove of young trees covering a small space of ground reaching to the pebbly beach of the Lake. Here there was a small enclosure, and within it lay the grave of our little sister Elizabeth. I remember going there with my Mother, and also with my Father. That enclosure was intended for the family burying-ground. It was a general custom in those days, though a very unwise one, for all families living in the open country to have private places of burial on their own ground. It was singular that my Father should have thought it necessary to place my little sister’s grave at “Fenimore,” and not in the Churchyard, in the family ground where his Father, and his sister Hannah, whom we had loved so much, were already placed. But he followed the general custom. When he sold Fenimore, some years later, our little sister was removed to the Churchyard, where she now lies. She died at the house of my Aunt Pomeroy, soon after our arrival from Mamaroneck, in 1813, when I was an infant. Her illness was caused by some over-ripe strawberries given to her at Cherry Valley on the journey. I have heard that my Father felt her death very deeply.

There were two Englishmen among the many European residents in the village in those days, with whom your Grandfather was quite intimate — Mr. Edmeston and Mr. Atchison, both intelligent educated men from the North of England. I have no recollection of them at {18} Fenimore, but they were frequent guests there. Mr. Edmeston was a man of property — he built a house on the comer of what are now Church and Fair Streets, where he and Mr. Atchison kept bachelor’s hall together. The house could boast the first bow-window seen in these regions. It has just been pulled down — 1883.

Family Lake parties were frequent in those days; they always went to the Point, which your Great-Grandfather had selected for that purpose only a few years after the village was founded. My Aunt Pomeroy has told me that the first Lake party she remembered took place when she was quite a young girl; the Lake was almost entirely surrounded with forest. Game was still abundant, and on that occasion the gentlemen of the party pursued and killed a deer in the Lake. Bears and wolves were common then, and panthers also. The bears would lie dormant in the caves on the hillsides. And my Aunt said she had often heard the wolves howl on the ice in the Lake, in winter. The first Lake Party was given by my Grandfather to some friends from Philadelphia. A beech-tree was chosen, on the Point, and the initials of the party carved on it. I have seen the tree, and the initials of my Grandfather and Grandmother, W-C. and E-C., cut in the bark. But it has long since vanished. About the same time that the first Lake party took place there was a terrific fire in the forest; my Aunt said there was a circle of flames entirely surrounding the Lake, and apparently closing in about the village to the southward, as the woods came very near the little town at that time. There was serious alarm for a day or two. At night she said the spectacle was very fine. But everybody was anxious. Happily a heavy rain quenched the flames before they reached the little village. In winter there was a great deal of skating. My Uncle Richard and my Uncle William were particularly accomplished in that way, very graceful in their movements, and cutting very intricate figures on the ice. So I have been told.

My Father was fond of boating on the Lake, as may be supposed, and often rowed my Mother out from the little wharf at Fenimore — they two alone together.

A tragical scene occurred in the nursery one day; my little sister Cally was left in the charge of a careless young nurse, who must have neglected her shamefully; she rolled off the bed on which she had been sleeping, and broke her collar bone! Great was the agitation. Sam Brimmer was sent off in desperate haste for the Dr.; the little bone was set, and the careless nurse discharged on the spot. I do not think my dear Mother ever really forgave that young woman; she spoke of her with great severity many years after the accident.

About half-way between Fenimore and the village there lived a certain Methodist deacon, who aimed a deadly blow at the peace of our household about this time. He lived in the house now occupied by the Orphanage. It was then the only house on that road between Fenimore and Mr. Campbell’s, where Mrs. Turner now lives. Our dear Nanny was a Methodist. The Deacon succeeded in convincing himself that Mrs. Disbrow was throwing herself away, by her care of Mrs. Cooper’s children; higher duties awaited her, in his opinion. There was a certain Methodist brother in danger of being lost to the Church; he was a widower, and a good Methodist wife must be provided for him without delay. Sister Disbrow must be that wife. How long this worthy busy-body was occupied with this nefarious plot against our peace I cannot say. He seems to have gone very skillfully to work, acting upon poor dear Nanny’s religious notions; at first she would not hear of the plan; but he, and his family, and other Methodist brethren, by constantly urging upon Nanny the sublime duty of bringing Brother Bloss back into the fold, succeeded at length in obtaining her consent. Alas for our poor Mother, when Nanny told her she felt it her duty to marry Brother Bloss!! So our dear sweet Nanny left us, to become the wife of Farmer Bloss, at Burlington Green, the father of half a dozen grown-up children. They were respectable people, but a very rough set; our dear gentle Nanny was thrown away among them. She had to work much harder than she had ever done before, without a tithe of the real affection and love which had been given to her at Heathcote Hill and Fenimore. Her daughter Susan went with her, of course.

Our poor Mother was desolate! It was extremely difficult to find even nominal substitutes for Nanny and Susan. Servants were then even more difficult to find than they are to-day. My Father comforted her with the promise of a long visit to her home at Heathcote Hill.

One beautiful morning in May, our good cousin Mrs. Dering from Shelter Island, who had come to spend a month or two with our Mother, took Cally and me to play in the pine grove on the opposite side of the road from the farm-house. I remember the grove, and the flowers, and the red wintergreen berries, as if it were yesterday. After a while there came a message from the house: we were told that we had a little sister! We trotted home, much excited at the news, and were soon introduced to baby Charlotte. To speak frankly, I was amazed at her small size, and her redness. It seemed to me I had never seen anything so red before. I am also bound to confess that she cried a great deal. They say that babies who cry during the first three months are the most cheerful afterwards. That was certainly the case with Aunt Charlotte, who has done a great deal of laughing since those days — often so merry, and bright, and cheery, as you all know.

My next recollection is the christening of the baby in Christ Church by Father Nash, who had also baptized Cally and myself. She was named after my Mother’s English sister, Anne Charlotte. Anne was after our Great Aunt Mrs. Jones, and Charlotte after Queen Charlotte! This English sister our Mother had never seen at that time. My Grandfather and Grandmother De Lancey, though both Americans, were married in England, and when they returned to America they left their daughter Anne with her Aunt and Uncle Jones; she inherited their Tory prejudices so strongly that she could never be persuaded to join her family in America.

After the christening there must have been a busy time of preparation for the journey to Mamaroneck. But of this I remember nothing. Soon we were taken to say good-bye to our Grandmother Cooper; I have a dim recollection of her appearance, as she sat in the hall, with a little table near her. Then came the leave taking at Edgewater; we were all in the rasée, my Father driving the grey ponies; the most important member of the family, Baby Charlotte, lay on a pillow, in a basket at our Mother’s feet. I remember distinctly driving into the grounds at Edgewater and seeing my Uncle Isaac, Aunt Mary, and a group of cousins rather older than myself bidding us good-bye.

Then came the long climb up the Vision road. At the fop of the hill some wild roses caught my fancy; my Father stopped the carriage, and gathered a large handful of the flowers, and gave them to us.

It was many a long year before we saw the wild roses of Otsego again.

One little incident I remember distinctly, but omitted to record it in its place. On the morning before we left our Fenimore home, my dear Father took me by the hand and led me through the grounds, across the brook, into the inclosure where lay the grave of my little sister Elizabeth. He stood there in silence a few moments, and then led me back again. I cannot remember his having spoken a word at the time.

It was many a long year before we saw the wild roses of Otsego again.

One little incident I remember distinctly, but omitted to record it in its place. On the morning before we left our Fenimore home, my dear Father took me by the hand and led me through the grounds, across the brook, into the inclosure where lay the grave of my little sister Elizabeth. He stood there in silence a few moments, and then led me back again. I cannot remember his having spoken a word at the time.


THE three days’ journey to Albany is a blank; so far as my memory goes. I only remember the baby in the basket.

But the very important event of going down the North River in the steamboat I recollect distinctly. I am inclined to think it was my dear Mother’s first experience of a steamboat. She had been four years at Fenimore; and I know that her first journey, when she was a bride, was made in a gig, my Father driving the horses tandem. What route they took I never heard, but my Mother has told me they travelled over a good deal of corduroy road. Her second journey to Cooperstown, with my little sister Elizabeth and myself as babies, was made in the rasée. I seem to have a sort of faint perception of a feeling of subdued excitement among the party in the steamboat. My Father came into the cabin often to point out to my Mother the villages and country houses on the banks. One of the gentlemen, whose wife was in the cabin, came every few moments to a window, and called to her: “I say!” It was natural to my inexperienced mind to suppose that “I say” was the lady’s name. I seem to hear him now calling out “I say,” every few minutes.

Voyage, passing through the great city of New York, the half day’s journey to Mamaroneck, is all a blank. Memory only awakens again in the parlor at Heathcote Hill, where Grandparents, uncles and Aunts, and servants were all making us welcome, after the formidable journey from the wilds of Otsego to the shores of the Sound. We passed some months with my Grandparents. My Father, however, returned to Fenimore after a while to look after his affairs there. The stone house was still going on, and it was expected that we should return there.

That was a pleasant summer for us little people, and still more so, no doubt, to our dear Mother. Our young Aunts petted us, and our Grandfather took us out very often to drive with him, over his farms or about the country. Many little memories revive, as I think of him. Cally was still in the nursery, but I was promoted to a high chair, near my Grandfather. I well remember his breaking the shells of the oysters, and giving me the oyster itself, for my breakfast. The family lived and dined in the same room. There were several dark-skinned servants in the house — slaves, I fancy, they must have been at that date, but enjoying life in a very free and easy way. There was a fat black woman as cook in the kitchen, Harriet her daughter as chambermaid, Henry her son the man, a colored child or two, and one white woman, a sort of factotum, Betsy Baker. The house stood on the brow of a low hill, immediately above the highway to Boston, and facing a broad bay of the Sound. The view was very pleasing when the tide was in, but dismal at low tide, when a waste of black mud covered half the bay. There was no attempt at pleasure grounds, beyond a row of locusts along the fence, and some noble weeping-willows in different positions. Cherry-trees, and peach-trees, apricots, and nectarines were planted near the house, the front porch on either side being flanked with the largest peach tree I have ever seen. From the covered porch in the rear of the house one road swept down the hillside to what was called “the red gate,” leading towards the village of Mamaroneck, close at hand; another road made a wide circuit around the hill to the southward, and came out on the highway at “the white gate,” through which one passed towards my Grandfather’s farm on “the Neck” and the village of New-Rochelle.

I was well acquainted with “the red gate” and “the white gate,” as I often had the pleasure of opening them for my Grandfather, when driving in the gig with him. The only flowering shrubs I can remember were lilacs and syringas, near the house. The barns, a large cluster of them, stood at some distance from the house to the right, and in the rear. The garden lay also in the rear, at some little distance; I fancy it must have been a fine garden, well cared for, with a great variety of fruit and vegetables. Beyond the garden rose another low hill; on climbing it one came to the cider-mill and the peach-orchard, a very large orchard filled entirely with peaches, which sometimes covered the ground about the trees, and were fed to the hogs! Pork which had partaken amply of peaches was considered very delicate. Then again there were apple-orchards, very extensive, with the finest kinds of fruit. And beyond all these orchards there rose a beautiful wood, the remains of the ancient forest; within its shade there was an open enclosure, the family burying-ground, surrounded by a low stone wall; I have often been there. At that time there were but few graves. One was that of my Grandfather’s sister, Miss Susan De Lancey, who had died not long before our visit to Heathcote Hill; my Mother had been a great favorite with her. She was said to have been very clever, and very good; rather undersized, and some years older than my Grandfather, who was indeed the twentieth child! Many of his brothers and sisters had died in infancy, and when he returned from England this sister was the only one living, and came to make her home with him. Another grave was that of my Mother’s sister Maria Frances, who died not long before my Mother’s marriage, to whom she was nearest in age. My Grandfather grieved greatly for her.

Driving and riding were a part of every day’s pleasure. My Aunt Martha must have been a great horsewoman, she was so often riding alone, or with young companions. Beside our two young Aunts there were three Uncles — our Uncle Thomas, older than our Mother, our Uncles Edward and William. Uncle Thomas was a lawyer in the office of Mr. Peter Jay Munro, in New York; Uncle Edward was always at home — he was to be the farmer of the family; Uncle William was at Yale College expecting to become a clergyman.

When my Grandfather was driving in his gig, with his little granddaughter Susie sitting in state beside him, that little damsel observed that the people who met them always took off their hats, a salutation which was returned by Mr. Dellansée, as these people called him. In those good old times even strangers bowed to each other when meeting on the highway. That was the universal custom about Mamaroneck. The pronunciation of the name De Lancey as Dellansée was also common then, and nearer perhaps to the true French pronunciation than our own fashion of placing the accent on the first syllable.

When out in the gig we frequently met the Rector of the Church at Rye, the parish to which the family at Heathcote Hill then belonged, the Rev. Mr. Asgill, who had married our parents. The wedding had taken place on New-Year’s day, 1811, in the drawing-room at Heathcote Hill. There was no one present but the family, including Miss Susan De Lancey, Nannie, Uncle William Cooper, and all the servants. After the ceremony, and before the supper, the bride and groom played a game of chess! Strange to say, I always forgot to ask who won the game. The bride wore a soft sprigged Indian muslin dress, with a waist about three inches deep! The Rev. Mr. Asgill was a curiosity. He had a peculiar nasal drawl in speaking, and his whole manner and utterances were peculiar. “Good morning – Mr. Dellansée – hm – ha – I hope Mrs. Dellansée – a – and – Mrs. Cooper – hm – hm – ha – a – and – the – ah – hm – ha – young ladies – and the – hm – ha – hm – little ladies – are – hm – ha – in good health.”

Such salutations on the highway have I often heard. In Church he must have been intolerable. On one occasion when we were present he went into the reading-desk, looked about him, fumbled in his pocket, looked towards the pew where his wife sat — “Hm – hm – ha – Mrs. Asgill, – hm – ha – hm, I have forgotten – hm – ha – my spectacles!” The good lady meekly arose, and took them into the chancel to him. Another Sunday as he was reading the most solemn part of the Litany, he inserted a new clause into the service, without changing the usual drawling snarl in which he read it: “In all – hm – ha time – ha – of our tribulation – hm – ha – in all time of our prosperity – hm – ha – hm – Mr. Purdy’s horses are loose – hm – ha,” etc., etc. He frequently made impromptu remarks during the prayers and sermon. The Church was like a great barn, with large square windows, no blinds or shades, and consequently Mr. Asgill could see what was going on among the waggons and horses collected every Sunday in the open space about the Church. In winter the Church was fearfully cold. WhenI went with my Mother or Grandmother it was my task to carry their foot-stove to the Sexton, who usually sat near the large box stove, and filled it for me. The Church was unpainted on the outside.

After a while my Father returned from Otsego County. A new nurse was provided for us, Katie Arnault, a young girl from one of the Huguenot families in the neighborhood, of which there were many; Flandreau, Comel, Bonnet, etc., etc., were common names. One old woman, very aged indeed, was still something of a Frenchwoman; she had made me a little French cap, quilted like those worn in some parts of France by babies — it was preserved as a curiosity for many years, but has been lost in some of our wanderings.

Mamaroneck was sadly troubled with chills and fever, said to have been first caused by damming up the Sheldrake, a small stream flowing into the bay — a factory had been built on the banks, and the water was used for its purpose. My Aunts and Uncles suffered severely from the fever; they were dosed with bark and port wine — great glassfuls — quinine not having been invented in those remote times. Happily for us, neither our Father or Mother ever had the fever. The factory was considered a great nuisance, as it brought many disreputable people into that primitive region. The small-pox appeared among the work people; our Father was very kind to the sick; he had many of the factory people vaccinated at his own expense. Little Cally and myself had been vaccinated in infancy — but my Father wished to have us inoculated also. Our Mother was distressed, but the experiment was tried; we were both inoculated — but without any result; the virus dried up without producing the least semblance of a pock.

Parties of emigrants used frequently to pass along the highway below the hill; on one occasion there was a formidable troop of them, men, women, and children, hungry, dusty, and weary. They seated themselves along the roadside for a rest; my Grandmother sent them loads of provisions, with milk for the little ones, and a whole baking of some very nice biscuits of a peculiar kind, fresh from the oven. These poor people had only landed from the ship which brought them over the Ocean, a day or two earlier. After a rest by the roadside they passed on their way to some distant manufacturing town.

One day as my Father was driving us he pointed out a neat, but very small house, just beyond the bridge over the Sheldrake. “That,” said he, “is Closet Hall.” It was the house in which our Father and Mother had made their first attempt at house keeping, the year after our little sister Elizabeth was born. On account of its tiny size, my Father had given it the name of Closet Hall. They gave it up, and returned to Heathcote Hill a short time before I was born.

Our next-door neighbor was Dr. Guy Carleton Bailey, the family physician. His wife was a Miss Grace Roosevelt. The families were very intimate, elders and children also; we little people were constantly playing together; the eldest boy, Roosevelt Bailey, was converted to the Church of Rome by his Aunt Mrs. Seaton, and is now His Grace the Archbishop of Baltimore!

Another family with whom we were very intimate were the Jays at Rye. “Auntie Jay,” as we called her, was a dear old lady; she was the widow of a blind man, the brother of Governor Jay. When he was a child he, and a sister near his own age, had the small-pox so severely that they both lost their sight. From that time their mother devoted herself especially to the care of those afflicted children; she must have been a sensible and judicious woman, as one can imagine the mother of Governor Jay ought to have been. As they grew older they were carefully educated. The home of the family was in New York, but a country house was built especially for them at Rye, a mile or two from Mamaroneck. Here they passed most of their time; and here, after the death of their parents, the blind brother and sister kept house together! Miss Jay was considered a good housekeeper; she went all about the house alone, and what is remarkable, she was very skillful with her needle! She could take a piece of linen, cut it out, and make up the garments herself. And Mr. Peter Jay also was very accomplished in his way; he had been taught cabinet making, and made very neat tables, book shelves, bureaus, etc., etc. He was also a farmer, walked all over the grounds and garden alone, and rode on horse-back into the different fields alone, letting down bars and opening gates himself. His senses of hearing and touch were very acute. He knew his friends when they came to see him, by their step, and by feeling their hands. I have heard my Father say that frequently they would try the experiment of misleading him; one visitor standing near would say, “How do you do, Mr. Jay?” and another would shake hands with him — but he always knew them apart, and would say “That is Cooper” — “That is Tom De Lancey.” The blind brother and sister lived very happily together for many years. At last Miss Jay died. This was a very great affliction to her brother. After a while he told his friends that he was lonely, he wished to marry, and they must find a wife for him. This was no easy task. But at last a pleasant cheerful old maid, Miss Duyckinck, was persuaded to listen to these peculiar proposals. At first she was indignant; but on making the blind man”s acquaintance found him so kind, and gentlemanly, and agreeable, that she consented. Before the marriage he begged to be allowed to feel her face, that he might have some idea of his future wife’s appearance! The marriage turned out very well; they were a happy couple. I have no recollection of Mr. Jay, who died before we returned to Mamaroneck. But with “Auntie Jay” I was very intimate; she was very fond of children, and our parents, or Grandfather, or aunts were constantly taking us over to see her. She lived very pleasantly in the house built for her husband, her niece Miss Effie Duyckinck living with her. “Auntie Jay” kept a supply of toys and sugarplums for her young friends, but I think we enjoyed her conversation more than the goodies, she was so bright and cheerful with us. We were often in her bedroom, and many a time have I climbed up on her bureau to look at a picture which was full of a mysterious attraction to us little folk; it was a sea piece, with two ships approaching a port; one of these “Auntie Jay” asserted to be the ship which brought her the toys and sugarplums with which she supplied us. The name of the ship I have forgotten, but the diminutive figure of a man standing on the deck she introduced to us as “Geoffrey Norcross,” the Captain. It would take me pages to tell all the wonderful things we heard about “Captain Geoffrey Norcross,” and the countries where he found the toys and other treasures. We often drank tea with “Auntie Jay”; there were several lovely old blacks in the kitchen, “Caesar,” and “Venus,” and “Lily,” with whom we were on the most affectionate terms.

Our Grandfather frequently took us to a village with the peculiar name of “Sawpits” — now Port-Chester.

We also went very frequently to New Rochelle, the home of the Huguenot colony. The Church at New Rochelle was a square stone building, with a roof running up to a point — as plain as possible without and within. Most of the Huguenot families, like the De Lanceys, united with the Church of England: those who settled at New Rochelle were very devout; on Sunday mornings they used to go down to the shore of the Sound, and turning their faces Eastward, waft their prayers across the Atlantic towards the coast of France, whence Louis XIV. had driven them by his “Dragonnades.” They would also rise very early — in the night, I think — and set out in parties to walk to the French Church in New York to attend the regular services there.

Our Grandfather De Lancey must have been a charming companion — he was very amusing with his grandchildren, and told us many pleasant things, as he drove us about in his gig and farm-waggon. One immensely fat old farmer of Huguenot stock, named Comel, he pointed out to me: “They say the old man has swallowed the hen and all her chickens; do you think that can be true, Susie?” A fine litter of young pigs appeared by the roadside; “Count them, Susie.” — There were ten. — “Do you see that fat little rogue, the last one? if he had been born in England that pig would have gone to the clergyman! Every tenth pig and tenth chicken belongs to the clergyman, in England!” Such was my first lesson on tithes. And my dear Grandfather soon commenced my botanical education — being the eldest of the little troop, I often drove with him, in the gig, about his farms and into his woods, and it was my duty to jump out and open all the gates. In these drives he taught me to distinguish the different trees by their growth, and bark, and foliage — this was a beech, that an oak, here was an ash, yonder a tulip-tree. He would point out a tree and ask me to name it, going through a regular lesson in a very pleasant way. Such was the beginning of my Rural Hours ideas.

Feeding the poultry was one of our pleasure — the barn-yard was full of feathered creatures in great flocks — hens, cocks, chickens of all sizes, geese, ducks, turkeys, peacocks, and guinea fowls. Our young Aunts were much interested in making caps, and tippets, and bands for trimming dresses, out of the choice feathers from the poultry-yard — white feathers, and down from the geese and ducks, and bright ones from the peacocks and guinea fowls. Such was a young lady fashion of the hour. Another fancy of the young ladies of that time, was making shoes! Or rather slippers for evening parties, prunelle, black, and white satin! They bought the thin soles, and then cut out the upper part, and put them together without any assistance. They had lasts and tools for the purpose. All the young fashionable ladies in New York were much intent in making their own sandals, at that time — why or wherefore, I cannot say. Such sandals were worn in the streets of New York, by the ladies, even in midwinter. They were worn even twenty years later — not made at home; that fashion must soon have vanished, I fancy. But American women at that date had a horror of thick soles; when we lived in New York we never saw ladies wearing a shoe with a sensible sole. They have better judgement now.

A small absurdity occurs to me just now, in connection with the fashions, which I relate for the especial benefit of my nieces. White dresses were much worn in those {34} years, with muslin puffs of some width around the skirts — two or three puffs often. Now my dear Mother had made for my little person a white dress, with two or three puffs of thin muslin, well starched. I have no doubt Cally had another of the same kind. To my own, however, I was fondly attached, admiring it greatly. One Sunday morning I was dressed for Church in this choice puffed garment and told to go down stairs to wait for my Mother and Aunts. I trotted down the first flight of steps from the broad lobby on which the rooms from the second floor opened. At the turn, at the head of the second broad flight, I paused. My dear Father, my Uncles Tom and Edward were standing in the hall below, looking over the guns, in the gun-rack which stood near the front door. I seem to see them now. My Uncles were great sportsmen, making havoc among the game birds of all kinds. My Uncle Tom chanced to turn to look at me: “Oh, Uncle Tom, don’t come near me! This is my puffed frock!!” How they laughed and made believe they wanted to catch me. I distinctly remember my feeling of surprise at their laughing so heartily; could they not understand that I had been told to take care of my puffs?

A very important event of those months we passed at Heathcote Hill was the performance of a play, which I remember perfectly. My Father was the manager; Love-à-la-Mode was the play. The characters were Sir Theodore Goodchild; Sir Archie Macsarcasm; Sir Callaghan O’Brallaghan; ‘Squire Groom; and Charlotte. The performers were my Father, my Uncles, Dr. Bailey, and my Aunt Caroline. If I remember right, my Father took the part of Sir Callaghan. My Aunt Caroline was remarkably pretty in those days, a brilliant brunette. The performance took place in the dining-room, the green crumb-cloth being promoted to a stage curtain. The audience consisted of the family, Mrs. Bailey, and a boy or two, with the servants in the door-way. The pantry was the green room. Great was my amazement at seeing my Father and Dr. Bailey with white powdered heads! I sat on a little chair next to my Grandfather, in a great state of excitement. There was laughing, and clapping of hands, and criticism, and a great deal of joking afterwards.

We had not been long at Mamaroneck when a change in the family plans took place. Instead of returning to Cooperstown after a six months’ visit, it was decided that my Father should build a country-house on a farm that was destined for my Mother by my Grandfather. This farm was on a hill in Scarsdale, four miles from Mamaroneck. The question once decided, my Father went to work with his usual eagerness, and in a few months the house was built, and we took possession. The farm was called Angevine, the name of the Huguenot tenants who had preceded us. The view from the hill was fine, including a long stretch of the Sound, and Long Island beyond. The house consisted of a centre and two wings; one of these was the common sitting room, the other was the “drawing-room.” Little did my dear Father foresee, when he planned and built that room, that within its walls he should write a book, and become an author! In general his thoughts seem to have turned upon ships, and the sea, and farming, and landscape gardening. I can remember trotting around after him while he was planning a sweep, and a ha-ha fence — a novelty in those days. He set out many trees.

During the winter after we had taken possession there was a grand house-warming party. As I look back the rooms seem to me to have been crowded with gaily dressed ladies and their cavaliers. I particularly remember my Aunt Caroline wearing a pink silk spencer, and dancing. And this was the only occasion on which I ever saw my Father dance.

There were daily drives to Mamaroneck, where all the marketing was done. The drive was a pleasant one. There was, however, a tragical spot on the bank of the Sheldrake, not far from Mamaroneck, which had been pointed out to us children. Some years earlier, not long before my Mother’s marriage, there were two little girls, friends of my young Aunts, making a visit at Heathcote Hill; their name was Titford. The four little girls, my Aunts, and the two Titfords went out for a walk; they wandered to the bank of the Sheldrake, where they made their arrangements for fishing. In the excitement of their sport one of the Titford girls fell into the water, which was deep at that spot; she sank; her sister rushed into the river to save her, and sank also. Both were drowned! My Aunts were several years younger; their cries drew people to the spot, but too late — life was extinct in both the young girls. This was a fearful blow to all at Heathcote Hill. My Grandmother never entirely recovered from the shock. The elder sister was an intimate friend of my Mother’s; Miss Susan Titford afterwards married Mr. Lloyd Daubeny.

My Father used to drive us to Church, either to Rye or to New Rochelle. One Sunday morning as he was driving my Mother and myself in the gig, to church, his favorite horse, “Bull-head,” stumbled in going down the hill from Angevine, broke the shafts, and threw us all out. I remember distinctly finding myself on the horse’s stomach, his legs kicking round me; my Father picked me up; no one was injured, but I think “Bull-head”” must have been sold soon after. We had another pair of black horses in those days, and the old rasée. Fred the black boy, who nominally belonged to my Mother, but received wages, deserted about that time. We had for assistant nurse, a young girl named Katie Conklin, who was bound to my parents; she was the daughter of my Grandfather’s farmer, on the Neck.

My Father was much interested in Agricultural matters in those days. He belonged to the Agricultural Society of the County, and I remember the making of a flag to be hoisted at the annual fair; there was a black plough, and the words “West Chester Agricultural Society,” in large black letters on the white ground, a joint effort of genius on the part of Father and Mother, while two little girls looked on in admiration. But our Father figured also as a military character at that time; Governor Clinton made him his aide~de-camp, with the rank of Colonel, and more than once we little girls had the pleasure of admiring him in full uniform, blue and buff, cocked hat and sword, mounted on Bull-head before proceeding to some review. He was thus transferred from the naval to the land service. To the last days of his life, Mr. James de Peyster Ogden, one of his New York friends, never omitted giving him his title of “Colonel.” H[e thus became one of the numerous army of American Colonels, though not one of the ordinary type certainly.

But he was also a Skipper, at that date. He had become interested in a whaling ship sailing from Sag Harbor, his partner in this venture being Mr. Charles Dering, who had married my Mother’s cousin Miss Elizabeth Nicoll of Shelter Island. On several occasions he took command of the Union, as she passed to and fro; this venture was, I believe, fairly successful. When the Union came into port at Boston, he joined Mr. Dering there, and on his return brought me a magnificent wax doll, a magnificent creature, nearly as large as a live baby!

He always read a great deal, in a desultory way. Military works, travels, Biographies, History — and novels! He frequently read aloud at that time to my Mother, in the quiet evenings at Angevine. Of course the books were all English. A new novel had been brought from England in the last monthly packet; it was, I think, one of Mrs. Opie’s, or one of that school. My Mother was not well; she was lying on the sofa, and he was reading this newly imported novel to her; it must have been very trashy; after a chapter or two he threw it aside, exclaiming, “I could write you a better book than that myself!” Our Mother laughed at the idea, as the height of absurdity — he who disliked writing even a letter, that he should write a book!! He persisted in his declaration, however, and almost immediately wrote the first pages of a tale, not yet named, the scene laid in England, as a matter of course. He soon became interested and amused with the undertaking, drew a regular plot, talked over the details with our Mother, and resolved to imitate the tone and character of an English tale of the ordinary type. After a few chapters were written he would have thrown it aside, but our dear Mother encouraged him to persevere; why not finish it, why not print it? This last idea amused him greatly. He usually wrote in the drawing-room, and after finishing a chapter always brought my Mother in to hear it. One day he left the room; the door was open, and I went in, and retired under the writing-table, which was covered with a cloth, for a play with my doll. Father and Mother came in together. I went on playing quietly with my doll. The reading of a chapter of Precaution began. This interested me greatly; it was Chapter –. Suddenly I burst into tears, and sobbed aloud over the woes of ——-. Father and Mother were amazed; I was withdrawn from my tent, but they could not imagine what had distressed me. On one of his visits to New York, in those days, my Father bought a large green port-folio for himself, and a red one for my Mother. The red one is now among my papers, in a dilapidated condition.

When Precaution was completed we set out for a visit to Bedford, for the especial purpose of reading the MS. to the Jay family. My Mother wished the book to be printed, my Father had some doubts on the subject, and at last it was decided that if his friends the Jays listened with interest to the reading, the printing should take place; Mrs. Banyer’s taste and judgment were considered of especial importance in deciding a literary question. We made the little journey in the gig; Father, Mother, Susie, and Precaution. For my part, I greatly enjoyed the visit, playing with Anna and Maria Jay. The reading went on in the parlor, while we little people were in the nursery. Governor Jay, venerable in appearance as in character, was one of the audience. With his grandchildren I used to go up and kiss him for good-night, every evening. The audience approved, although only one or two of them knew the secret of the authorship; the MS. was supposed to be written by a friend of my Father. There was a Miss McDonald, a friend of the Jays staying with them at the time; she declared the book quite interesting, but it was not new; “I am sure I have read it before,” she declared — this the author considered as a {40} complimentary remark, as he aimed at close imitation of the Opie School of English novels. Bedford was at that time a delightful house to visit at; child as I was, it made this impression on me. My Father and Judge Jay were always very intimate; they had been school boys together. Mrs. Banyer was also a warm friend of my parents. Her husband, Mr. Gouldsborough Banyer, had been an intimate friend of my Uncle Richard Cooper; Mrs. Banyer’s wedding trip was to Cooperstown, and she always spoke with pleasure and interest of her visit to the old Hall; the view of the Lake she declared to be lovely from the house at that time.

When Precaution was published some months later, it was generally supposed to have been written in England, and by a lady. Many persons thought it was written by Miss Anne De Lancey, my Mother’s sister, who afterwards married Mr. John Loudon McAdam, the great engineer of roads. This sister my Mother had never seen! When my grandparents returned to America after the Revolution, their eldest child was left in England with her Uncle and Aunt, Judge and Mrs. Jones; Judge Jones was the brother of my grandmother; he took the name of Jones from ——-; he was born a Floyd. Mrs. Jones was my grandfather’s sister, Miss Anne De Lancey. They were both great Tories, and could not be induced to return to America, and begged that their little niece might be left with them for a time at least. So the child was left with them, and my grandparents sailed with their little boy Thomas, and his nurse, “Nanny” — our dear old Nanny of later days. My Grandfather considered himself an American, not an Englishman, and now that the war was over decided to cast in his lot with his native country. They lived in New York for a time, at the City Hotel, which belonged to my Grandfather. When we were living in the Rue St. Dominique at Paris, one of our opposite neighbors was the duc de Valmy, Gen. Kellerman; he one day asked my Father if he had ever known a Madame de Lancé, in New York, remarking that he had spent some time at the City Hotel, and there became acquainted with M. and Mme. de Lancé; the lady he said was one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen. My Aunt Anne grew up a fierce Tory, and after the death of her Uncle and Aunt Jones, could never be induced to come to America, which was a great grief to my grandparents. She was now credited with writing Precaution, a book, it was said, clearly written in England, and by a woman!

Another little daughter now made her appearance at Angevine. She was named by my Grandmother De Lancey, Maria Frances, after my mother’s sister who had died some years earlier. My Father for two or three years called her Velvet, because her skin was so soft. She was baptized by the Rev. Revaud Kearney, a cousin of our Mother’s, at that time Rector of New Rochelle.

One day when Fanny was about a year old there was a great alarm about little Charlotte. The child had disappeared! Could no where be found! In those days children were not stolen, as they are in these civilized times, but it was feared some accident had happened to her. Every corner about the house and outbuildings was closely searched, messengers were dispatched to the two or three houses in the neighborhood, the agitation was very great. At last I had the joy of discovering my little sister; a flock of sheep had passed on the highway, and had been driven about three quarters of a mile down the hill, on the road to Mamaroneck; they could plainly be seen from the piazza — and there, trotting along behind the sheep, was a small figure which I knew must be the missing sister. The eloping damsel was soon pursued, and brought home in our Father’s arms, bare-headed and dusty; she wanted “to see Grandma,” and intended trotting all the way to Mamaroneck. Great was our Mother’s joy when little Charley was placed in her arms.

Precaution having been quite as successful as he expected, the writer now planned another book. It: was to be thoroughly American, the scene laid in West Chester County, during the Revolution. An anecdote which Governor Jay had told him relating to a spy, who performed his dangerous services out of pure patriotism, was the foundation of the new book.

My Father never knew the name of the Spy; Governor Jay felt himself bound to secrecy on that point. But he never for a moment believed that Enoch Crosby was the man. Various individuals, twenty years later, claimed to have been the original Harvey Birch. One man even asserts that Mr. Cooper used to visit at his house frequently, for the purpose of hearing his adventures and then writing them out in The Spy. This is utterly false. From only one person did my Father ever receive any information connected with the life of the Spy who was the dim original of Harvey Birch, and that person was Governor Jay. The conversation on the piazza at Bedford relating to the patriot spy occurred a long time before my Father dreamed of writing a book.

When he had fully made up his mind to write a novel entirely American, whose scene should be laid in West Chester during the Revolution, he amused himself by going among the old farmers of the neighborhood and hearing all the gossip of those old times, about the “Neutral Ground” on which we were then living the ground between the English in New York, and American forces northward. Frequently he would invite some old farmer to pass the evening in the parlor at Angevine, and while drinking cider and eating hickory nuts, they would talk over the battle of White Plains, and all the skirmishes of the Cow-Boys and Skinners. Many such evenings do I remember, as I sat on a little bench beside my Mother, while Uncle John Hatfield, or George Willis, or one of the Cornells related the stirring adventures of those days of the Revolution. There was a shallow cave in a rocky ledge on the road to Mamaroneck, where a Tory spy had been concealed, and was stealthily fed for some time. And on the road to New Rochelle there was a grove where a sharp skirmish had taken place; it was called the Haunted Wood — ghosts had been seen there! The cave and the grove were full of tragic interest to me, whenever we passed them.

Every chapter of The Spy was read to my Mother as soon as it was written, and the details of the plot were talked over with her. From the first months of authorship to the last year of his life, my Father generally read what he wrote to my Mother.

The Spy, when it appeared, was brilliantly successful. Never before had an American book attained anything like the same success.

During those years at Angevine our education began. Our dear Mother was our Governess, and from time to time our Father examined us. We were “in school” two hours, the three elder ones, Susie, Cally, and Charley, sitting round our Mother in the parlor or dining-room, while the author and The Spy were occupying the drawing-room. Charley could read when she was three years old. There was spelling, and writing, and arithmetic, and geography, and Mrs. Trimmer’s Bible Lessons, and the History of England. Well do I remember those school hours. Our precious Mother was so loving and patient with us. I seem to hear her sweet musical voice now as she talked with us. She had a remarkably sweet voice in conversation; my friend Mrs. Hamilton Fish said to me one day years ago, “I always thought that when novelists spoke of the musical voices of their heroines in conversation it was pure romance, but Mrs. Cooper’s voice is melody itself.” Our dear Mother had taken the trouble to write out little cards as rewards for good conduct; Diligence, Silence, I remember particularly, but there were others for the different lessons. Sewing was also part of our education. The Kings of Israel and the Kings of Judah were a great trial to me; so many of them were wicked! “Is this one going to be wicked too? I wish they would be good!” I remember saying this to my Mother, after reading of so many who “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” What an expression that is, “doing evil in the sight of God”! The History of England was full of interest; it was Goldsmith’s History, in four volumes, with portraits of some of the kings. Our dear Father was so proud of our progress in English History that on one occasion when his friend Mr. Acheson was staying at Angevine he invited him to examine us in Goldsmith; I fancy the result was satisfactory. As regards our sewing Cally and I must have been ambitious, for we were encouraged to make a shirt for our Father! Well do I remember stitching the collar and wristbands; but I doubt if that shirt was ever finished. As a reward for this shirt-making Cally and I received a dollar, which we gave to {45} Judge Jay for the Bible Society. Gentlemen’s shirts were all made entirely of linen in those ancient times.

On one occasion when our Father was driving us to Mamaroneck we were met by one of my Uncles, who called out as he stopped his horse, “Boney is dead!!” — “Boney” being no less a personage than the Emperor Napoleon I.

While we were living at Angevine my Mother lost her brother Edward. He died after a very short illness, of dysentery. Our kinsman Dr. Watts carne from New York to attend him, but nothing could save him. My uncle Edward was to have been the farmer of the family. Uncle Thomas was a lawyer, Uncle William was studying for the ministry. I remember hearing the negroes in the kitchen at Heathcote Hill talking about “Massa Edward’s ghost,” which they professed to have seen walking about the barn!

Our dear kind Grandmother also died while we were at Angevine. A fearful blow this was to all the family, by whom she was fondly loved. She died of what would now be called typhoid fever. The treatment at that time was bleeding!

There were two marriages in the family while we were at Angevine. My uncle Thomas married his second cousin Miss Mary Ellison of New Windsor, an Aunt to whom we became much attached in later years. Our uncle William after his ordination married Miss Frances Munro, the daughter of Mr. Peter Jay Munro; I well remember their wedding visit to Angevine. And I also remember going with my Mother to the Church at East Chester to hear my Uncle preach; he was considered even then as a very good preacher. He was a great favorite with Bishop Hobart.

One afternoon in September very dark clouds began to gather over the Sound, where we could see the vessels flying before the wind. We little people were all called into the house. A heavy storm was at hand. The windows were closed, but we could see the black clouds whirling about, and the trees bending and twisting under the fierce wind, while clouds of dust rose from the highway. Very soon the darkness increased, and shut us in so that nothing of our fine view of the country and Sound could be seen. The force of the wind increased terribly. The window-shutters and blinds were closed to protect the sashes, which it was feared might be blown in. Our dear Mother collected all of her little ones at her knee in the dining-room. Of course we did not understand the danger, but a feeling of wonder and awe came over us. Our Father came in, reporting the force of the wind as equalling the severest gale he had known at sea; he said, “While I was on the piazza just now I tried to fall to the ground, but the force of the wind held me up!” That was the storm spoken of years later as the “September Gale.” To-day it would have been called a Cyclone. No serious damage was done at Angevine, but trees and fences were blown down, and not an outbuilding on the place remained firm on its foundation; barn, carriage-house, a large poultry house, and the corn-crib were all twisted some inches out of place. I remember going about with my Father the next day inspecting these buildings. Happily the house was uninjured. Many vessels were wrecked by this gale, which extended over a great extent of the country and the Ocean. The monthly Packet Ship from New York to Liverpool, the Albion, was lost, never heard of. Among other passengers in the Albion were Mr. and Mrs. Hyde Clarke, the eldest son of Mr. George Clarke, and his {47} wife; they had been on a visit at Hyde, and were returning to England when they met their sad fate in the Albion.

I do not remember the date of the “September Gale,” and have no time to look for it. In these “Small Memories,” my dear nephews and nieces, you must please overlook the absence of dates — I have no time to hunt up the day and year of many of the events mentioned. A golden silence is better than inaccuracy. Please look for the dates yourselves.

One pleasant September day Cally, Charley, and myself were invited to spend the day at Heathcote Hill, where we enjoyed ourselves very much as usual. At dusk our Father came for us; while we were being shawled in the dining-room, my Grandfather threw up the sash and called out, “How is Susan?” “Comfortable!” “And the baby?” “A boy!!!” — Here was a piece of news for us. We had a little brother for the first time, and were eager to make his acquaintance. Dear little fellow, he was a great pet among us as long as he lived. He was baptized by the Rev. Revaud Kearney, Rector of the Church at New Rochelle, a kinsman of our Mother’s. My Father gave him the name of Fenimore — had he lived he would have been called James, or William. He was a large fine-looking baby, and a very generous little fellow; he gave away the best of everything he had. One day at dinner I remember Father’s giving him some large strawberries; he got down from his little chair and trotted around the table, giving one of his strawberries to each member of the family.

Meanwhile writing was going on. The printing would seem to have been a slower business than it is to-day. The new book was to give a picture of American life in a new {48} settlement, shortly after the Revolution, and the scene was laid at Cooperstown, on Lake Otsego. Some of the characters were drawn from real life, but the plot was purely fiction. Monsieur Le Quoi, Major Hartman, Ben Pump were actual colonists on Lake Otsego. Natty Bumppo was entirely original, with the exception of his leathern stockings, which were worn by a very prosaic old hunter, of the name of Shipman, who brought game to the Hall. Mr. Grant was not Father Nash.

Our Father went frequently to New York, sometimes by the Mamaroneck stage, sometimes in his gig, occasionally on horse back, and I can remember his walking the 25 miles occasionally, and coming home very tired. In order to be nearer printer and publisher, and to forward our education, it was now decided that we should remove to New York. A vision of Europe was also arising. It is singular, but I have only one recollection of this important removal to New York — I remember Mrs. Mudge, the keeper of the toll-gate at Kingsbridge, over the Harlem River. Mrs. Mudge was an important personage in those days, intimate with inmates of the important country houses in West Chester.

The house your Grandfather had rented was one of two recently built by the Patroon, on Broadway, just above Prince Street. It was then almost “out of town.” Directly opposite to us was a modest two-story house occupied by John Jacob Astor. Niblo’s Gardens now occupies the site of the house in which we lived. Not far above us was a very grand “Gothic edifice,” St. Thomas’ Church, considered an architectural gem in those days! Next door to us was a Boarding School, one of the best in New York; the principal was Mrs. Isabella Holt. Here Cally and I became pupils. There were some very nice girls in the school — Miss Elizabeth Fish, Miss Rutgers, Miss Morewood, all older than we were, and the Langdons, granddaughters of Mr. Astor, who were about our age. Here we sat with our feet in the stocks — here I became very intimate with the Kings of Egypt, and the great men of Greece. Here, if we were disorderly, or our nails were not properly cleaned, we were obliged to wear a real pig’s-foot tied around our neck! One tragic morning Miss Morewood, the oldest girl, eighteen, and a perfect pupil, left her work lying about, and was condemned to wear the pig’s-foot! Mrs. Holt shed a tear, Miss Morewood wept, and I fancy we all cried — but stem justice was administered — the pig’s-foot was worn by the model pupil! These young ladies often were escorted from school by their beaux. Miss Rutgers, now Mrs. ——-, and a grandmother, has been in Cooperstown lately. On one occasion I was told to write a composition on the difference between the characters of Washington and Franklin — your Grandfather no sooner learned the subject allotted to me, than he took his hat, walked in to Mrs. Holt’s, and remonstrated on the folly of giving such a task to a child of nine. That composition was never written.

In those days your Grandfather saw frequently many Officers of the army and navy. I remember on one occasion his bringing General Scott home to dinner, and my amazement at his great height — as he stood at the window he looked out of the upper sash. Your Grandfather was also partial to the society of artists, all painters; there was no American sculptor in those days. Mr. Dunlap and Mr. Cole, I remember especially. I remember being taken to see a picture of great size, Death on the White Horse, painted by Mr. Dunlap. It was about this time that my Father planned and founded a Club to which he gave the name of “The Lunch.” It met every Thursday evening, I think at the house of Abigail Jones, a colored cook, famous at that day, who kept the Delmonico’s of that date. Most of the prominent men of ability and character in New York belonged to the club, which also, through its members, invited strangers of distinction. Conversation was the object; I do not think there was any card-playing. The evening closed with a good supper, one of the members being caterer every Thursday, while Abigail Jones carried out the programme to perfection in the way of cooking. Your Grandfather, when caterer, wore a gilt key at his buttonhole. He was very social in his tastes and habits, and full of spirited conversation, and delighted in these Lunch meetings. Officers of the Army and Navy, the prominent Clergy, Lawyers, Physicians, Merchants, etc., etc., belonged to the Club. Bishop Hobart was a frequent guest. During that winter our Uncle Thomas’ health failed; he removed to New York, and my Grandfather and Aunts passed the winter in town also. They rented a house belonging to Mrs. White, the mother of Mrs. Munro, near the Battery, in the lower part of Broadway, then the fashionable part of the town. My Uncle died of consumption, leaving a young widow and a baby son.

In the following spring we moved to Beach Street, near Greenwich Street, to a house belonging to our Mother’s cousin Henry Floyd Jones of Fort Neck. He and my father were very intimate. Several years before her marriage your Grandmother came near losing her life from this cousin’s carelessness; he was staying at Heathcote Hill, and taking up a gun — there were always several in the gun-rack in the hall — he aimed it at his cousin Susan, threatening to shoot her. The gun was loaded — he had believed it unloaded — the full charge of shot went into the wall, very near my Mother’s head, as she stood within a few feet of her cousin. Cousin Henry was almost distracted at the thought of the risk she had run. It was a rule of my Grandfather’s that every gun carried by the sportsmen should be discharged before it was brought into the house. But on that occasion the rule had been carelessly broken.

We had not been long settled in Beach Street when the yellow fever broke out in New York. Everybody who could left the city. Our father rented a country-house at Turtle Bay, several miles out of town at that day. It belonged to Mrs. Winthrop, a charming old lady. I remember driving frequently down the Avenue to the different shops, and the Post-Office, all of which had been moved out of town, into the many villas which lined the unpaved road. The fever was confined to the lower part of the city. A high board fence had been built, I think near Pearl Street, shutting off the infected district, which was entirely deserted. A young man of one of the prominent families — I forget which — thought he would take a look at the deserted region. He went to the fence, and, climbing up, looked over the deserted streets for a while. Within a few days he was taken ill with the fever and died. While we were at Turtle Bay our dear little brother Fenimore was taken ill from the effects of teething. As soon as the city was declared safe we returned to Beach Street. There Fenimore became rapidly worse, and in —- he died, to the great grief of our parents.

While we were living in Beach Street your Grandfather became interested in a newspaper edited by his friend Colonel Gardenier, one of his military friends. It was The Patriot. My Father frequently wrote for it. At this time, with his usual generous kindness, your Grandfather interested himself warmly in behalf of the children of his brother William, who had died some years earlier. The two eldest, William and Eliza, were frequently with us. William, indeed, remained a member of our family until his death; your Grandfather took the entire charge of him.

One day, as I was sitting near my Mother, your Grandfather came into the room, with the Cooperstown paper in his hand, and without speaking pointed out a passage to her, and then left the room. My dear Mother looked sad. It was the burning of the house at Fenimore which was reported in the Freeman’s Journal. The stone house was very nearly finished, and was valued at $3500. There were many incendiary fires in Cooperstown at that time, all contrived, it was said, by one unprincipled man. Your Grandfather soon after sold the property at Fenimore. From that time the idea of a visit to Europe became more clearly defined. Your Grandfather always said he would not go to Europe without his wife and children. At that time it was unusual for American families to visit Europe. My dear Mother was rather alarmed at the idea, and wished for time to think the plan over — there was no intention, however, of going immediately; business matters required delay. Beach Street was very near St. John’s Square; some of the pleasantest families in New York then lived on the Square; among others Mr. Charles Wilkes, with whom your Grandfather was intimate.

One day, at a dinner-party at Mr. Wilkes’, the recently published novel “by the author of Waverley,” The Pirate, was the subject of conversation. Several of the party insisted that the book could not have been written by a landsman. Your Grandfather thought differently, and declared that a sailor would have been more accurate, and made more of the nautical portions of the book. No one agreed with him; they thought that great skill had been shown by merely touching on the sea passages; to have enlarged them would have ruined the book: “Impossible to interest the reader deeply in a novel where the sea was introduced too freely.” Your Grandfather declared that a novel where the principal events should pass on the Ocean, with ships and sailors for the machinery, might be made very interesting. There was a general outcry. Mr. Wilkes, himself a man of literary tastes, and very partial to your Grandfather, shook his head decidedly. Nevertheless at that very moment the author of The Spy resolved to write a clearly nautical novel. On his way home he sketched the outline, and, arrived arrived at his house, told your Grandmother of his plan. He always talked over his literary plans with her. The Pilot was soon commenced, and when published proved brilliantly successful.

The house in Beach Street was out of repair. The number of rats was really alarming! I remember distinctly their running over the bed in which I slept. It was decided that we should move to 345 Greenwich Street. Before that event took place, however, a little brother was born to us. Your Father, my dear Jim, was born at No. 3 Beach Street, and was named Paul. Some absurd people thought he was named after Paul Jones! But your Grandfather always liked short strong names for boys. He liked Giles, and Miles. Of course the baby was an immense pet with us all, and in my capacity of elder sister, I was allowed to play nurse very often, a task which I much enjoyed.

On the regular moving-day, May 1st, we were all transferred to Greenwich Street, at that time a quiet, dignified part of the town, now a haunt of all kinds of disreputable characters. Europe now loomed up more clearly in the distance. A French governess was provided for us, Madame de Bruges. Your Grandfather also took lessons with Monsieur Manesca, a refugee from St. Domingo who had a system of his own, a very clever but peculiar man. After a while your Grandfather took me with him, and I had regular hours also; we walked down hand-in-hand to Liberty Street, a long walk, three times a week. M. Manesca lived in a miserable little two-story house, wretchedly furnished; his family were with him. They had been wealthy planters in St. Domingo, but escaped with their lives only. His teaching was all carried on in writing; no lessons were learned. I remember once learning a verb by heart, while your Grandfather was taking his lesson; suddenly a gruff voice called out in loud angry tones, and a dark face scowled at me. “Que faites-vous là, Mademoiselle!!!”I trembled.–“Vous apprenez ce verbe par coeur??” — “0ui, Monsieur,” in a faint tone. The long, lank figure arose, stalked over to the corner where I sat, seized the grammar, and dashed it on the table. “Sachez, Mademoiselle, que si vous apprenez un autre verbe par coeur je vous renverrai — je ne vous donnerai plus de leçons! Entendez-vous?” I forget whether I cried, but probably came very near it. He then returned to your Grandfather, and talked the question over with him philosophically. He did not wish to teach a set of magpies — he wanted his pupils to think. Such he declared was his principle. As a general thing he approved of his older and his younger scholar. Many were the little baskets, carved out of peach-pits, cut with his knife during our lessons, which he gave me; they were pretty little toys. After a while he was so well satisfied with my progress that he wanted to exhibit me to a party of gentlemen. I was frightened at the idea. But there was no danger; your Grandfather said No very decidedly.

We had a negro man as waiter at that time; his name was Charles, and his birth-place was Communipaw! He spoke negro Dutch better than English. At that time Dutch was not infrequently heard in the streets of New York among the negroes and work people. Charles was very fond of the baby, whom he began very early to call “Massa Paul.” Your father’s nurse was a New England girl, an admirable person in many ways; on one occasion Mrs. Shubrick, who had been staying with us, offered her a parting gift of money, as usual — Abby drew back, indignant; “Mrs. Cooper paid her wages,” she said; that was sufficient. Her wages were six dollars a month. Your Grandmother wished to take her to Europe, but Abby could not be persuaded to leave Yankeeland.

As a preparation for Europe we were all studying French, old and young, great and small. My three little sisters went to a French day-school, during the winter, where nothing but French was spoken, as the pupils were all from French families.

In the summer we moved into the country, to a farmhouse at Bay-Side, near Flushing. We had an English Governess at that time, Miss Mellish, an excellent, warm-hearted lady, who kept up our English studies successfully.

With the cool weather we returned to Greenwich Street. Your Grandfather was writing Lionel Lincoln at that time. The “Lunch” was in full vigor; they met, I think, every Thursday evening. And our French lessons with M. Manesca were kept up regularly, and we had a French Governess, Madams de Bruges — Miss Mellish, to our regret, leaving us to make room for the French-speaking lady, a common kind of person in whom none of us felt much interest. Your Grandfather also wished William and myself to take Spanish lessons, which we did with a certain M. Galvon; your Grandfather thought that the intercourse with the Spanish-American countries would become so close that the language would become a sort of necessity to an educated American. In this he was mistaken. But he also wished William to fit himself for a position in some merchant’s counting-house. We learned to read Spanish, but the lessons were given up after a while and never resumed. Our cousin Gouldsborough Cooper, my Uncle Richard’s eldest son, paid us a visit during the winter. Officers of the Army and Navy, Artists, and literary men, were frequently at the house. I particularly remember Mr. Bryant, Mr. Halleck, and Mr. Perceval the poet, as guests at dinner. Also Mr. Cole the artist. Dr. De Kay was also a frequent companion of your Grandfather’s. Mr. Gilbert Saltonstall, a college companion of your Grandfather, whose home was in New England, stayed at the house repeatedly; he was a very clever man. On one occasion when Lieutenant Commander Shubrick was going away after passing a week or two with us, he proposed to my little sister Fanny to go with him; she was all ready for the elopement, trotted up stairs, put together a few articles of her wardrobe, tied them up in a handkerchief, and trotted down to the parlor all ready for the journey; Captain {57} Shubrick was delighted with her readiness to go with him, and frequently alluded to it in later years.

With the spring came another movement to the country. This time to Hallett’s Cove, to a farm-house belonging to Colonel Gibbs, a friend of my Father, whose fine house and grounds were close at hand. The place was called Sunswick and was opposite Blackwell”s Island. It was thoroughly country then, with only an occasional farm-house in the neighborhood. We had a beautiful little cow, “Betty,” and a farm waggon, with black horses, in which my Father drove us about. He frequently took us to a pleasant shady beach, where we children picked up many pretty shells, and where we all bathed. There was a wooded point at one end of the beach where we loitered in shade, enjoying the breeze. A few years later Dr. Muhlenberg built his College on that point. Sunswick is now the city of Astoria!

Our Father had a little sloop of his own, anchored at the wharf near the house; he called it the Van Tromp and went to New York in it almost daily. Frequently I went with him, resting until the turn of the tide at Mr. Wiley’s bookstore. Was this in Wall Street? I remember distinctly the abominable taste of the water, brought to me when I was thirsty, from a pump in the streets. For many years longer New Yorkers drank only very unpleasant water from the street pumps.

General Lafayette was in America on his triumphal journey that year. On one occasion there was some naval performance in the Bay of New York in his honor, and the Van Tromp, with the family as passengers, went to see the show. I remember straining my eyes to see the General. I rather think there was a race between the crew of an English man-of-war’s boat and a Yankee boat rowed by Whitehallers, said to be at that day the best oarsmen in the world. The Americans won the race and the men gave their boat to General Lafayette.

Our dear Father amused himself that summer with giving us lessons in naval architecture, object lessons, with the different craft passing in the narrow channel between the Sunswick bank and Blackwell’s Island as models. We became very knowing in distinguishing this three-masted ship, that two-masted brig, the schooner, and the sloop. At every turn of the tide the East River would be full of white sails. One craft, a chebacco boat, I have never seen or heard of since.

In the autumn a grand event occurred: the completing of the Erie Canal. There was a great procession in New York, which we saw from the windows of 345 Greenwich Street. Every trade was represented in the line, with appropriate banners and devices. One carriage, in passing our house, made an especial demonstration; it contained gentlemen, several of whom had on the ends of their uplifted canes slices of bread and cheese — members of Father’s Club, The Lunch, no doubt.

Madame de Bruges left us, and Madame de Jordanis took her place, as Governess. A French gentleman, the Baron de Lyon, a young littérateur, brought letters to your grandfather. He was a great dandy, and had written several books; novels, I fancy. I remember his dining with us, and as he sat opposite one of those mantelpiece long mirrors he was very much occupied with admiring himself! He also admired, however, Natty Bumppo and Chingachgook.

It was now quite settled that we were to sail for Europe in the following summer. Towards the last of April the house in Greenwich Street was given up. Your Grandmother, with all of us children, went to Heathcote Hill, to pass the month of May with our Grandfather De Lancey, and our Aunts Caroline and Martha. We had a delightful visit. All of our old friends made much of us, among others Auntie Jay, and her niece Cousin Effie Duyckinck, as we called her. Our Father, after winding up his business in New York, went to Washington, in company with the Prince of Canino, Charles Bonaparte, the celebrated naturalist, with whom he was quite intimate. While he was in Washington Mr. Clay offered him the position of Minister to Sweden, but he did not wish to be tied to a diplomatic life. He preferred a Consulship, as he wished to remain identified with the country, and thought that position would be a protection to his family in case of troubles in Europe. The chief object in his going to Washington was to see more of a large deputation of Indian chiefs, from the Western tribes, of whom he had seen much while they were in New York. He had become much interested in them, and studied them closely. They were chiefly Pawnees and Sioux, and among them was Petelasharoo, a very fine specimen of a warrior, a remarkable man in every way. The army officers in charge of this deputation told him many interesting facts connected with those tribes. He had already decided upon a new romance, connected with the mounted tribes on the Prairies.

While we were at Mamaroneck I made my debut as a Sunday School teacher; a wooden Church, small but neat, had recently been built in the village, under the auspices of our Grandfather. It had been named St. Thomas. I taught a class of great factory boys during our Sundays at Heathcote Hill. Our aged Grandfather was a charming companion. On one occasion there was some allusion to a prominent English politician in the morning paper. Grandpapa laughed: “I knew him well,” he said; “I was his warming pan! I was his fag at Harrow, and every cold night had to tumble into his bed to warm the sheets for him!”

The 1st of June, 1826, the author of The Spy embarked in the good ship Hudson, with all his family, including his nephew William, the son of his brother William, whom he had adopted. We were five weeks at sea, landing at Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, on the 4th of July. Great was our delight at all the strange sights. I remember being much interested in the thatched houses, an entire novelty to us, and in the hedges, which were much less beautiful than we expected. We made an excursion to Carisbrooke Castle, where we were in great excitement over the first ruin beheld by our Yankee eyes; we studied profoundly the drawbridge, the old walls, draped in ivy, the deep well, and the little window out of which Charles I. ought to have escaped.

After a delightful week at Cowes, we crossed over to Southampton, where our Father placed us in furnished lodgings, while he went to London on business with his publisher. Southampton was even more delightful than Cowes. There was an old gateway, a heavy stone arch crossing the principal street, and connected with it the gigantic figure of Sir Bevis, a knight of very ancient times. And then Netley Abbey, a really very fine ruin, was near the town. We went there several times, with our parents, and were in a great state of what my dear Father called “toosey-moosey,” over every broken arch and ivy-wreathed column. We children gathered here the first scarlet field poppies we had ever seen growing in a wheatfield. One day as we were paying our respects to Sir Bevis, in the principal street of Southampton, several carts passed us, marked in large letters Sir William Heathcote. The name attracted the attention of our dear Mother, whose only living brother was William Heathcote De Lancey. She found on inquiry that all carts were taxed in England, and the name of the owners were painted on them, by law. Sir W. H. was a kinsman, living at a fine place, Hursley Park, not far from the town. He was a great friend of the Poet Keble, who wrote The Christian Year. We never saw those English Heathcotes ourselves; but our Uncle Bishop De Lancey became quite intimate with Sir W. H. at a later day.

A very near relation, an Englishwoman born and bred, came to visit us at Southampton. This was Miss Anne De Lancey, the elder sister of our dear Mother. My Grandfather and Grandmother De Lancey, though both born in America, of American families, were married in England; both their families were Tories, and went to England when the Revolution broke out. My Grandfather was an officer in the English army. Their two elder children, Thomas and Anne, were born in England. After the Peace my grandparents returned to America, taking their boy with them, but leaving their little girl with her Aunt, Mrs. Jones, by whom she was brought up. Our dear Mother was agitated by this meeting. Our Aunt was intensely English in appearance, manner, and opinions. To the great grief of my grandparents, their English daughter could never be induced to visit America. She was very pleasant with us all, however, and remained some time with us. Since the death of Mrs. Jones, my Grandfather’s sister — who was, he used to say, an angel for sweetness and goodness — our Aunt had passed much of her time with Lady Dundas Miss Charlotte De {62} Lancey, a cousin of my Grandfather, and the widow of Sir David Dundas, at one time Commander-in-Chief of the British army. Soon after she left us, our Aunt married Mr. John Loudon McAdam, the celebrated engineer of roads, a very clever and agreeable old gentleman, born in America, I think, but a very prejudiced Englishman. He told my Father, on one occasion, that sheep could never be raised in America!!

At the end of a few weeks we left Southampton for Havre, in a small, rickety, jerky, dirty steamboat. On a bright moonlight night we landed on the soil of Normandy, the native province of our Huguenot ancestors, the de Lancés. At Havre everything was desperately foreign. After a few days we embarked for Rouen in a tugboat. Great was our delight in the views of the banks, the open unfenced farms, the compact dark villages, and the ruined castles. At Rouen we passed several days under the shadow of the grand old Cathedral, which was a great delight to him, a sublime wonder of architecture. The Hôtel de Ville, where dear good Jeanne d’Arc was burned in the presence of mitred Bishops and belted knights, was visited with most melancholy interest. We all spoke French with ease, excepting my little brother, whose English was still babylike, though in a few months he was chattering away at a great rate in pure Parisian.

Our dear Father bought a travelling calèche at Rouen, and we were soon climbing the hill of St. Catherine, where we greatly enjoyed the fine view. A Norman paysanne, in winged white cap and wooden sabots, was walking up the hill, as well as ourselves; a dark village of some size lay among the open patch- work fields below; my Father asked its name of the young woman. “Je ne suis pas de ce pays là, Monsieur,” she replied. She did not {63} live in the village, and therefore did not know its name! “A Yankee girl would have known the name of every village in sight,” remarked Papa. We were travelling post, the most charming of all ways of travelling, stopping at different points of interest; the château de Rosney was particularly interesting to me, as I had been reading with Mamma, a few months earlier, the Memoirs of Sully, the great Minister of the first Bourbon King Henri IV.; Rosney was his Château. At St. Germain we passed a delightful afternoon visiting the grand old Château and the Park.

We were soon in Paris, and the first afternoon our dear Mother was enticed out for a walk on the Boulevards by Papa. A few days more and we had left the Hôtel de Montmorency and were regularly installed in a temporary home of our own, as bourgeois de Paris, in the narrow, gloomy Rue St. Maur, with its muddy gutter in the centre, and a melancholy oil lamp swinging from. a rope, above the gutter. Our first Paris home was in a pleasant furnished apartment, au second, in a fine old hôtel, once occupied by a ducal dignitary of the days of Louis XIV. Towards the street it was a most gloomy looking building, blank gray walls. But, once within the porte-cochère, all was changed; there was a lovely garden of more than an acre, with other adjoining gardens, all surrounded with stone walls at least twelve feet high, while groves of fine trees appeared above the walls. The hôtel itself was on a grand scale — a noble stone stairway, with elaborate iron railing, rooms with very high ceilings, wide doorways, with pictured panels above and gilt lines on the woodwork — large windows, and parquet floors, of course. The rez-de-chausée, or ground floor, and the first story were occupied by a ladies’ boarding-school. The second story was our home, pleasant and confortable, but not so grand. We were to be pupils in the school of Madame Trigant de la Tour and Madame Kautz. Our parents, wishing to be near us, rented the second story, where we all slept, but we children took our meals at the school. A friend of our Father’s, Colonel Hunter, American Consul at Cowes, had just placed his daughters at the Couvent du Sacré Coeur, a very aristocratic Institution, and wished to persuade our Father to follow his example. This suggestion was firmly declined. All the Hunter girls became Romanists, as was natural.

Our school life was very happy. The teachers were very kind, and the girls very pleasant. Impossible to have a nicer set of girls; I cannot remember the least impropriety among them; they were very innocent, cheerful, and merry. The large grounds were delightful; we played games, and we danced every evening. We wore large black aprons completely covering our dresses from neck to heels, with a large pocket on one side. There were four classes in the School, each distinguished by its colored belt, green, orange, red, and blue, the last being the highest. Fanny was green, Caroline and Charlotte orange, and Suzanne red. There was a great deal of writing; grammar, geography, history, etc., were all taught in writing. Arithmetic was the weak point; a singular fact, since Frenchwomen of the bourgeoise class are admirable arithmeticians. M. Cuvier once told your grandfather that all his calculations were made by women, and he had never known them in error. M. Arago made the same remark. Our father and mother looked very closely into everything connected with the school, and were quite satisfied. Our meals were very good; a cup of milk and piece of bread, or else bread soup, at 7 — then family {65} prayers — study until 10; breakfast of cold meat, potatoes, and salad, with weak wine and water, “abondance”;then recess for an hour; lessons until 2; lunch, “gouter” of a nice roll; playtime; lessons again until 6; dinner, very goad, a “roti” of some kind, potatoes, salad, one other vegetable, and a: simple dessert, pudding or fruit. Playtime, games, and dancing — study for an hour, family prayers, and to bed. Excellent teachers for music, drawing, and dancing. When at a later day we slept at school we had very nice single beds, with neat painted bedsteads, white and blue. The dormitory had been a grand salon of the time of Louis XIV., ceiling IS feet high, with gilding over the woodwork, and quaint pictures over doors and windows.

The garden was a delight, two acres of pleasant walks and trees. The larger girls had little flower-beds of their own. There were a number of locusts among the trees; when these were in blossom we had fritters made of the flowers for our dessert!

One day as we went home, our dear Mother said, “Who do you suppose has been here this morning? Sir Walter Scott!”

Sir Walter had just arrived in Paris, seeking materials for his Life of Napoleon. It was very kind in him to call on your grandfather so soon. They had some interesting interviews.

The same morning General Lafayette made a long call on my Father. But that was a common occurrence.

While Sir Walter Scott was in Paris the Princess Galitzin gave him a very grand reception. It was a great event of the winter; all the fashionable people of Paris were there. As Sir Walter says in his diary, “the Scotch and American lions took the field together.” But of {66} course Sir Walter was the lion-in-chief. All the ladies wore Scotch plaids as dresses, scarfs, ribbons, etc., etc.

The Princess Galitzin was an elderly lady, very clever, a very kind friend of your grandfather and grandmother, and a great writer of notes, full of the “eloquence du billet,” but in the most crabbed of handwriting. She had a married daughter, and a married son living in Paris at that time. Her daughter-in-law, the Princesse Marie, was a charming young lady, sweet and gentle though the daughter of that rough old hero Marshal Suwarrow, who, when needing rest, took off his spurs on going to bed. Madame de Terzè, the Princess’ daughter, gave a brilliant child’s party, to which we four little sisters were invited. Your father, my dear Jim, had not yet put on his dancing shoes. Another child’s party, a very brilliant affair, I remember, was given by Madame de Vivien for her granddaughters Mesdemoiselles de Lostange. The whole Hôtel was open, and brilliantly lighted, and a company of cuirassiers in full uniform. were on guard in the court and adjoining street, to keep order among the coachmen and footmen. That was the most brilliant affair of the kind that I ever attended, in my childish days.

But the winter brought with it a very sad trial. My dear sister Caroline was suddenly attacked with scarlet fever of the most malignant kind. She was very alarmingly ill. For a time she seemed in a hopeless condition. It was a very long and a very severe illness. In fact, it was four or five years before she recovered fully from the disease. Scarlet fever was said to be more malignant in Paris than elsewhere. My dear Mother, dear Charlotte, Fanny, and Paul had the disease, but in a mild form.

I can remember no time, from my earliest childhood, when my dear Father did not say grace at table, and also he regularly read family prayers for us every evening. He used the prayers in the Prayer Book. At a later day, when we had French Protestant servants, the French translation of the Prayer Book was used. Later still, when we were living at the Hall throughout the year, he read family prayers in the evening also.

While in Paris we attended the service of the English Church of the Oratoire. Bishop Luscomb had charge of the English residents, and many Americans also profited by his services. A year or two later my dear sister Caroline and myself were confirmed by him at the Oratoire, and later still my younger sisters, dear Charlotte and Fanny, were also confirmed by him.

My dear Father always gave each of us girls a good-night kiss, and blessing, every evening before we went to our rooms. This habit he kept up affectionately long after we were grown women; indeed, until the last year of his life, when only dear Charlotte and myself were left to receive the good-night kiss in our old home.

In the spring we removed to a very pleasant country house, at St. Ouen, about a mile from the walls of Paris. M. Ternaux, a great Paris banker, was our landlord. There were two country houses at St. Ouen; the largest was occupied by M. Ternaux; it had quite a large park; Madame de Staë1 lived there at one time. And at the date of the Restoration of the Bourbons Louis XVIII. passed some days at the house of M. Ternaux before making his formal entrance into Paris. The ground between St. Ouen and Paris was then entirely level, without fence or hedge, and green with market gardens. It is now, I am told, enclosed within the fortifications of Paris, and a part of the City.

There were many Russians in Paris at that date, and they were generally very polite to your grandfather. They spoke French like natives.

A naval officer, formerly his commander when he was stationed on Lake Ontario, Captain Woolsey, was a frequent companion of my Father during the first winter at Paris. They one day undertook to walk around the outer walls of Paris, and accomplished the feat successfully. The distance was, I think, eighteen miles. To-day that enchanting, wicked, dreadful city, containing many excellent people, and many fiendlike spirits, covers a much wider extent of ground.

In the spring my parents went to London, where my Father had business with his publisher. William and little Paul were of the party. We four girls remained at school, in the Rue St. Maur. John Bull was very civil to your Grandfather, so far as London Society went. He dined with prominent M. P.’s, prominent Peers, and even with Cabinet Ministers. He soon became quite intimate with Mr. Rogers the Poet; they were much together, and enjoyed each other’s society. Mr. Rogers was very clever and witty, and had a charming bijou of a house, full of curiosities; in his dining room was a mahogany sideboard made for him by a journeyman cabinet maker, later the celebrated sculptor Chantrey!

Our Aunt Miss Anne De Lancey had married Mr. John Loudon McAdam, the great Colossus of Roads. He was an exceedingly ugly man, but very clever and entertaining. He took a great fancy to my little brother Paul. This little brother had now almost entirely forgotten his English, but he chattered away at a great rate with his French maid, Lucie. It strikes me that I have forgotten to record a very important fact. My little {69} brother was baptized by the Rev. Mr. Gregg, during the summer we passed at HaIlett’s Cove, and I made him quite an elaborate christening dress, with bands of insertion, tucks, and other ornamental work.

Our dear Grandfather De Lancey died while my Mother was in London. His death was a great shock to her. He died very suddenly, having just returned from a drive, and was alone in his own room, with the young man who waited on him. My dear Aunts Caroline and Martha, who had been most devoted daughters to him, were greatly afflicted. They were of course obliged to leave Heathcote Hill, where they were born, and had lived all their lives. They went to Philadelphia, to live with their brother the Rev. William Heathcote De Lancey, then Rector of St. Peter’s Church. My Grandfather, just before his death, sent us each a handsome Prayer-Book with our names stamped on the binding in gilt letters. My dear Mother’s Prayer-Book was of a large size; she used it constantly herself, and during the last years of their lives my dear father and herself used it daily together, in their private morning devotions, in their own room. I have given directions that this Prayer Book shall be placed under my head in my coffin. My dear Father was a great admirer of the Litany of our Church. After his death, in speaking of their use of the Prayer-Book together, my dear mother said to me, “Oh, he lived on those Collects the last year of his life!”

In the month of July, 1828, just two years after we entered Paris, we took leave of our dear Governesses, and school friends in the Rue St. Maur, and set out in a roomy family carriage, coachman’s box in front, rumble behind, with our faces towards Switzerland and Italy. We travelled post — much the pleasantest of all modes of travelling. No doubt the palace cars of the present day are very grand and luxurious; but grandeur and luxury often leave much real pleasantness out of sight. The postillions were very comical in appearance, wearing huge clumsy boots that covered their entire legs, and were stuffed with straw! Occasionally we were treated to ropes in the harness. My father often sat on the coachman’s box, and I well remember his delight at the first sight of Mt. Blanc, like a brilliant white cloud, sixty miles away! He stopped the carriage, and invited my dear Mother to a seat beside him. He was also in a state of toosey-moosey over the mists which clung to the Jura mountains, after we had once entered Switzerland. We were soon settled in a pleasant country house near Berne, La Lorraine, which had been recently occupied by the ex-King of Holland, Louis Buonaparte, after the crown had fallen from, his head — as all Napoleon’s crowns were doomed to fall. It was a very simple house, with deal floors, a stiff little garden in front, with a stiff little fountain, quite waterless, as its sole ornament. But Oh, the sublime view of the Alps from the windows — the whole range of the Oberland Alps, so grand beyond description, so beautiful beyond description, and constantly varying in their grandeur and their beauty. In the rear of the house was a natural terrace, where we all walked almost every evening, parents and children enjoying the noble view. It was on that terrace that my father taught Paul to fly his first kite, which he had made for him. Farmer Walther, who had charge of the property, had many interesting talks with his tenant on subjects political and military; he was very indignant at the robbery of the Treasury of the Canton of Berne by one of Napoleon’s Marshals. But then Napoleon, while grand in other ways, was grand also at Robbery. Of course we made acquaintance with the Bears of Berne in their fosse. I doubt if many travellers enjoyed Switzerland more than your Grandfather did; he was in a perpetual state of toosey-moosey over the grand and the beautiful in that Alpine region. He made many excursions among the mountains, alone with guide and Alpenstock, with William, or occasionally in a carriage with my dear mother, William, and myself. There were very few Americans travelling in Switzerland in those years. Only two came to Berne during the summer we passed there, Mr. Ray, and Mr. Low, of New York.

In October we took a sentimental leave of La Lorraine, and moved southward to Florence. We travelled Vetturino in the family calèche, with four fine horses, and a fine old cuirassier of Napoleon’s wars for postillion, followed by a fourgon which carried our baggage, and had a hooded seat in front, occupied by William and Paul’s nurse. The fourgon had only two horses, and a subaltern of Caspar for a postillion. We crossed the Simplon before the snow fell. Your grandfather was much interested in the great engineering work of Napoleon, which crossed the Simplon with such a fine broad road.

We were soon in Italy, dear delightful Italy. We paid our homage to the beautiful Cathedral at Milan, paid our respects to San Carlo Borromeo, and the Lago Maggiore, halted for a day or two at Bologna, crossed the Apennines, and were soon at the gates of Florence. Your grandfather fell in love with Italy at first sight. And it was a love which lasted through his life-time. For Switzerland he had a great admiration; for Italy he had a warm affection, which neither beggars nor bandits could chill. The very atmosphere of Italy was a delight to him.

We were soon provided with a home of our own in Florence.