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previous: Madison Square Theatre Co.

475 4th Avenue
New York  
Feby 7th 1886

My dear Son,

A new agent called for the rent yesterday, and said when our lease expired in May that the rent would be $45 and they would like to know as early as possible if we intended remaining. Hattie told him that we could not tell before April whether we should or not remain. 

I do not think a cheaper Flat can be found in the City although a smaller one would now do me and Hattie - but where to find one in a respectable locality is the difficulty.  I have not had a talk with Mr. AMP[almer] about next season and cannot tell whether  I shall be able to pay for this Flat or any other.

I had to have a carriage to & from on Wednesday night, cost me $2.  Thursday was also very cold & stormy but I battled through it twice - commencing in the afternoon at our own shop thence to Wallack, then to Daly's and back to Madison Square.

Of course we had carriages but they only conveyed us to the different theatres.  The storm injured the Matinees - $1400 and some odd, being the amt taken at the 3 Theatres. 

How are your funds holding out?  I have not much, but if you want your board money let me know.  Do not run behind with that for your landlady may need it.  Will close for this time with love and Kisses and best wishes for your prosperity.  Your loving Mother

This was an Actor's Fund benefit performance of Engaged The Engaged production first described in these letters was the Feb. 1886 Actor's Fund benefit performance in New York. Daly's , Wallack's and the Madison Square were the three leading New York theatre companies of that time.  According to the NY Times three plays were performed as an Actor's Fund benefit, each act traveling to a different theater.  "Mrs. Phillips a capital Mrs. MacFarlane in Engaged." 

New York 
Feby 10th 1886 

My dear Son, 

Too bad boarding house is not what you would like, but I think you are right in remaining where you are until you know the place better, as you say and the people will have a chance of knowing you.  

I will send you money for your next weeks board -- how shall I send it?  In a letter & trust to the honesty of the mail or by Express or money order -- I think I can risk a V in a letter -- do not you?  

General [Winfield S.] Hancock joined the great majority at 3 PM yesterday.  It was the 22nd anniversary of your papa's death. With love and Kisses from your loving  Mother

General Hancock  (1824- Feb. 9, 1886) had been nominated by the Democrats in 1880 to run for president against James Garfield.   http://www.civilwarhome.com/hanbio.htm

475 4th Ave New York  
Feb 14th 1886

My dear Son, 

I went downtown on Friday morning to get the Insurance policy and on my way back went into General Post Office to get you a money  order, after climbing up two long stairs and finding the money order office, I discovered I had no eye glasses with me and could not see to fill the blanks properly, so in disgust I left the office and took the 4th Avenue cars home, all this time the rain was falling very lively.  

I had to have a carriage on Thursday and Friday nights.  As I want you to have your V tomorrow I will enclose it in this letter and trust to luck.  Will send by order next time.  The girls send love -- but regards to Seymour .  Love and Kisses from your loving  Mother 

NY Feb 17 1886 6 PM Dear Son,  We took Josie to see Grant’s tomb today. All well. Mother

475 4th Ave
New York               $2 enclosed
Feby 19th/86

My dear Son,

Your letter with tintype enclosed rec'd yesterday. The likeness is excellent but it is difficult to think who it resembles most, you or your father. 

Aunty came about five o'clock last Evening and went away this morning at 10:45.  She has bought the house and 2 and a quarter acres opposite where she now lives.  So she is now a landed proprietor once more.  She seems to be delighted with her bargain.

Well I had a talk with Mr. Palmer yesterday.  I am to be a member of his theatre so long as he has one - and the company goes to Boston 1st of May for four weeks  soon afterwards to Chicago for four weeks and from there to San Francisco to open on the 2nd of August for six or seven weeks.  That is the future programme as far as I know it. 

Salary not raised I am sorry to say - but the present might be less.  And I am grateful to get what I do.  Of course you know I do not like the long trip to S[an].F[ranciso]., but it is either that or no work - and any savings this season will be too small to get through a long summer vacation.

Hattie I presume will go to Philadelphia.  I want her to go to Boston with me, but she thinks it will be too expensive at the Hotel and thinks she will spend those four weeks with Aunty.  No more at present from your loving Mother

475 4th Ave.  New York 
Feby 23rd /86 

My dear Son, 

Yes, I think I shall be happier even travelling to  S[an]. F[rancisco]  . than I should be in having a four months vacation, although there will be very little money in it, after hotel bills are paid. Still it will be better than idleness. Last Summer cost me $650 and I shall not have that much to spend on a vacation for the coming Summer.  I never before realized the worth of $10 per week as I have this season.  It was, I now find, my savings money and it being taken from me I have very little to save from. 

Sorry to hear  Seymour is not feeling well and hope the trip home may do him good. I hope you may like your new boarding house better than the last. But do not get fighting with Seymour about the "daisy" little German girl. 

We closed the run of S[aints] and S[inners] last night to a big house. Tonight Engaged and I think the latter will run to close of season. We open in Boston on 3rd of May for four weeks. Flat will be left in charge of Dick. 

You certainly ought to be able to come to N.Y. without spending ten dollars for where would you spend it?  Certainly not with your Mother, your Sister or your cousins or your Aunt. As for your sporting friends who have taken or helped you to waste your money in the past. Keep away from them.  Remembering always that until you are out of debt any surplus funds you may have are not yours to spend in folly or for the amusement of those who care nothing for you except what they can get from you.  It is a very difficult thing to get money together, and what you take months, even years to accumulate, can be spent in one hour. And when the cash is gone, who cares for you?  If you save now, by the time you are 30 you may feel that you have not worked in vain. 

I enclose another V for your board money. How have you managed about washing?   I suppose you can get it done cheaper there than the express would cost to bring it here. But send it if you want to.   Regards to Seymour.  Also love and Kisses to you. God bless you my own dear Son Mother 

475 4th Ave
New York
Feby 25th/86
My dear Son,
Glad you got the V safe.  I should imagine [your new home] was a great improvement over the Chandler Mansion.  I hope the family are Episcopalians, that you will attend Church with them.  It is a duty you owe yourself as a Christian and will certainly do you no harm, but on the contrary I hope you will feel benefited by it.  

I have thought over every way of lessening my expenses and have reckoned the cost of breaking up the Flat and storing, or of taking a cheaper place.  And every time I end up by thinking I cannot do better that remain where I am.  The Flat is in order for next winter and I should have no trouble on my return from S.F. whereas if I break up, there would be cartage, storage and breakage and no home to come to on my return.

So I have made up my mind all things considered that I shall be better off in keeping the Flat.  I shall however try to get the rent the same as at present - but if Mr. Stewart insists on the original $45 I shall have to pay it.  It is certainly a cheaper Flat at that price than any other I have seen.
Engaged a big success.  I said to AM [Palmer] last night "I suppose it will run to the end of the season."   He said "Oh no, I think not.  We will have to do one other play."  But as yet we do not know what "the other" play is.  The fear I have now is dressing another part for this season's only nine weeks more!
I have not yet learned the date of our opening in Chicago so cannot tell how long I have to be idle between Boston and Chicago.  Well I guess I have told you all the news so with love and Kisses will close for today.  Your loving Mother

475 4th Ave New York
March 5th/86 

My dear Son, 

Your letter and printing samples recd yesterday.  The "circular" is "Immense" and the poster is "immenser".  Hattie and Josie [Dolman] called on Alice [Zavistowski Webb] on Wednesday.  Alice, Martie and Mrs. W[ebb] sail for Europe on the 10th of April.  Alice & Martie will return in June and then Mr. W[ebb] goes over to bring his wife back.  Alice is going out to Ridgewood [NJ] Sunday to pay her visit of adieu to her parents. 

Glad to hear you got your money from Frank.  We have not seen or heard anything from him and I do not suppose we shall.  Guess I will send his coat to him.  Too bad Mrs. Brown has not sent your money yet but it will be all the better when it arrives.   Love and Kisses from Mother

475 4th Ave New York
March 9th/86
My dear Son,
Sorry your work is not coming in as fast as you would like.

I think it is likely I may get the Flat at same rent as now for next year.  Mr. Stewart was around yesterday, and Richard stated the case to him, showing him if I left that the Flat would be idle until Octr and it would cost him $150 (dollars) to put it in order for a new tenant - and all he would make by raising the rent would be $60.  Richard spoke for me & Mrs. Shindler who lives in 1st Flat in 471.  Richard said Mr. Stewart said, "Well I guess it will be all right".    

Engaged has caught on and looks as if it might hold the boards until the end of the season.  I will send your allowance in my next.  Rent, Gas &c makes me short today.  Love and Kisses from your Mother

475 4th Ave New York 
March 12th [1886]

My dear Son,

Enclosed find V.  Tonight [Hattie] is going with Mrs. Dr Nagle to hear the Cowboy Pianist who is now making a sensation with his wonderful musical abilities.  A rainy afternoon and prospect of a wet night.  Wish I was a printer.  I could stay home.  Love & Kisses from your loving Mother

475 4th Ave New York
March 16th/86 

My dear Son, 

I did not write you yesterday for I expected to be able to tell you the date of our opening in Chicago, I having heard that we go directly there from Boston.  However nothing new transpired last night, and I am still in doubt, but shall endeavor to see AM P[almer] to-morrow and from him learn my fate,  When I talked to him last, the Chicago date was not fixed & he thought we should be here 2 weeks between Boston & Chicago.  

I have a nice visit to pay this afternoon to the dentist who is going to cut off the tops of my two lower centre teeth, they having grown so long are forcing the upper teeth to project outward.  I am not nervous - oh! dear no! 

I hope you are energetic in trying to find a house for Mrs. G[arretson]. Ha ha! ha! That is the best yet!!  I think it is a good place to select; the asylum is near!  She is just as far gone as ever the Dudley woman was.   Love & Kisses from Sister, Mother 

We have a number of doleful letters from Mrs. M Augusta Garretson, who managed the Walnut St Theatre from Aug 21 1859 until she sold it to Edwin Booth and his brother in law
John Sleeper Clark in 1865.. The New York Clipper reported July 1869 that she was the lessee of the Chestnut St Theater.  (1880 census born 1812, widowed). 
Louisa Drew reported "Mr Drew and myself acted at the Walnut St Theatre, under the management of Mrs. DP Bowers, either late in 1857 or early in 1858; and Mr. Drew played a
farewell engagment there, previous to his departure for California and Australia, in the latter part of  November1858, Mrs. Garretson then being lessee. 
Annals of Philadelphia in the Olden Time 1891
The Lititz Pennsylvania [Lancaster County] record reported the death in Philadelphia  of Mrs. M Augusta Garretson July 31 1903 "She was for six seasons the proprietor
and manager of the Walnut Street Theatre.  Mrs Garretson, whose maiden name was Tucker was born in New York 80 years ago."" [1823]

475 4th Ave  New York
March 29/86

My dear Son,

Photos rec'd in good condition. The likeness could not be better. I am very much pleased with them, so is Hattie -- but she cannot see how your sending one to Nellie in place of the one you took from her of Nellie can benefit Hattie. Our pictures have not yet been delivered from [Napoleon] Sarony's. When we get them we will try and let you have what you ask for.

Saturday was a stormy day here too, but the snow melted as it fell and did not obstruct travel, but it was very wet walking.  I had to have a carriage to & from the shop.  Barnum had to postpone his procession Saturday night and will have to tonight, for it is still raining 4:45 PM and looks as if it meant to continue all night.

Tonight ends the run of Engaged.  I do not play tomorrow night & not until further notice.  A new comedy is underlined but the parts are not yet given out - and we play it before we go to Boston.  [Our Society?]

We have already commenced packing.  Have quite a lot of odds & ends tucked away in two of the old trunks.  On Wednesday I expect to begin rehearsing, and with study and costumes I shall have very little time to pack, so am doing what I can to lessen the labor for the end of next month.

George Riddle sent me tickets for his course of readings, the 1st on Saturday night at Chickering Hall.  Hattie went and took Mrs. Kirby.  A Midsummer Nights' Dream was the subject, with [Walter] Damrosch's orchestra playing the music.  Love and Kisses from your loving  Mother

NY Times March 29 1886 A delightful entertainment was given at Chickering Hall last evening. Mr. George Riddle read the text of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," or a large portion of it, while Mendelssohn's lovely music was performed by a detachment of the Symphony Society orchestra and a chorus of women from the Oratorio Society under the direction of Mr. Walter Damrosch.

PT Barnum (1810-1891) had organized his traveling circus in 1871, and ten years later combined it with that of James Bailey, his chief competitor.

George Riddle (1851-1910) actor and reader, taught elocution at Harvard College. New York Times review 1886 April 9 https://www.nytimes.com/1886/04/09/archives/mr-george-riddle.html

475 4th Ave New York 
April 2nd/86 

My dear Son, 

I went to Barnard Macauley funeral in the morning, and had a reading of a new play [Our Society] at 2 PM and did not get home until after 5 PM, feeling very tired.  To-day we rehearsed the 1st Act which occupied about 3 hours.  My part is good but the play is weak and therefore a good part will not amount to much -- have to get one very handsome dress. 

Aunty is here.  She wants me to go to R'[idge]wood to-morrow & have you come there to meet me but I expect the dressmaker, and cannot tell what time she will come to-morrow, but I think I shall go out Sunday if the morning is fine.  I shall have to return in the Evening as I have rehearsal and Annie will be here to begin the big washing, she not being able to do all the washing this week on account of the rain. 

Mr. Macauley's funeral took place at the Catholic Church on 16th Street.  I saw and spoke with General Macauley and his Mother, and Jennie Johnson.  High Mass was celebrated.  There were a great many floral tributes.   Love and Kisses from your loving Mother

Macauley became leading man at Pike's Opera House in Cincinnati in 1863 and entered management in partnership with John Miles of Cincinnati (1868-1872).  "Macauley espoused the 'artistic' theatre and indicated a repugnance toward the 'commercial', but he was also a part of the 'commercial' theatre ...it was Macauley's goal to present productions of superior quality, and he felt that the stock system was the best method.  While he had made a $100,000 profit in two years in Cincinnati, he ended up near bankrupt with his Louisville theatre, though he continued to be a prominent actor.  He died in Bellevue Hospital, New York City. [Durham 1986].  

475 Ave. 4, New York

My dear Son,

[On Saturday] Hattie and I left by the 4:45 train from JC [Jersey City} for R[idge]'wood.  Uncle looks very well -- but is more contradictory than ever. No matter what the subject may be he takes the opposition side -- he is getting awfully cranky. I suppose it is being left alone so much of the time. [or does she leave because she is so cranky.]

I am rehearsing the new part that was said to be so good.  The play [Our Society] is weak -- and that makes my part so -- fortunately I have only dress, but that will cost enough with wig cap, shoes &c and dressmaker's bill it will foot up at least $50.

I am going to loan Miss Cowell my sewing machine and she is going to let me stand my bookcase and the Shakespeare easel [what is this?] in her back parlor and will buy the bookcase in the Fall if I should not require it anymore.

What with the things she takes and Aunty takes, it will lessen my storage considerably. We shall send things to store house on the 27th. We shall stop at some hotel or at Mrs. Nagle's [boarding house] until the 2nd of May, then we go by boat to Boston, to open there on 3rd of may. Love and Kisses for you from you Sis and Mother.

 475 4th Ave  
 April 9th/86 

My dear Son,

Had a talk with Mr. Palmer.  Today we have not anything after Boston but go directly to Utica for two nights and probably finish that week in Buffalo, thence to Chicago for seven weeks - then to far distant San Francisco.  We will send our things to the store house on the 27th.   I may leave some books in the bookcase but none I care for.  You can take all you want when you come.

We produce the new play [Our Society] a week from Monday next.   Am kept busy rehearsing and studying.  My love and a big Kiss from your loving   Mother 

I want Hattie to go West with me.  Don't you think it would be best?  . [Albert wanted to go West too.  A letter written just before he met Neppie mentions that Maud Harrison's brother had accompanied her on a trip to California.]

475 4th Ave
New York 
April 14th/86

My dear Son,

Hattie went to luncheon with Mr. Simmons and Lizzie today at Delmonicos.  How is that for style?  And tomorrow night he has invited us to occupy with Mrs. Dr Nagle, Mrs. K[irby] &c a private box at the Circus.

I am rehearsing every day from 11 until 3 PM.  We play the Comedy next Monday night.  I hope it may prove a success but I am doubtful.

We are in a very untidy upset condition partly packed.  The Flat looks terribly lonesome.  Love and Kisses from your own loving Mother

Delmonico's menus 1862- 1894 http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/coldfusion/display.cfm?ID=epib&PageNum=491

PT Barnum  (1810-1891)  Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._T._Barnum
New PT Barnum and the circus http://www.circusesandsideshows.com/owners/ptbarnum.html

Ashland House 
April 29th [1886]

My dear Son, 

We came to this hotel on Tuesday 6 PM.  We leave for Boston on Sunday afternoon.  Do not remain next week as was announced last Saturday night.  Richard Mansfield plays the Madison Square [Theatre] next Monday in Prince Karl. 

Aunty [Zavistowski] went to Linden [NJ] last night.  Poor Uncle all alone.  Aunty had a letter from Alice [Zavistowski] Webb.  They had arrived at quarantine and Alice had found her jewels.  Your loving Mother

Ashland House
May 2, 1886

next: Boston May 4, 1886  previous: Chicago Oct. 1886

Ashland House
New York
Oct 6/ [18]86 

My dear Brother, 

Dr & Mrs. Nagle & I went up to  42nd St. [Depot to meet Mama at  9 o'clock & here we are.  Mama asked me to write, as we have been out & she is feeling a little tired.  She is well & looks the same as ever.  You can imagine that we have done quite some talking.  We are living on the European plan.  Next week they play in  Brooklyn .  Mama sends lots of love & kisses & so does  Your loving   Sis [Hattie] 

Ashland House [24th and Fourth Ave.]
New York Octr 11th  [1886]

My dear Son, 

If you come Wednesday you will find me at the "Brooklyn Theatre", Brooklyn where we give a matinee on Wednesday & Saturday and play every night this week.  Do not yet know whether I play next week or not, but do not think we shall go to Newark.  Shall likely be rehearsing every day, but may have nights to myself.  Therefore if your work comes in this week you may, if you think it best, postpone your visit until the end of this, or next week.  Use your own discretion in the matter.   

If you have made your arrangements to come Wednesday why do so.  I shall leave here for Brooklyn at 12 noon on that day.  Today and all the night performances I shall leave at 6 PM. Saturday 12 noon.

So Seymour still haunts you.  Perhaps he is a Knight of Labor and is going on the staff of that paper.  He is a very wily individual with plenty of cheek.  Keep away from him -- but be polite.  To get you in a row, is what he wants.  Do not oblige him this time. 

I asked you if you had rec'd the V I sent in a letter from Denver on the 25th.  You have not replied.  Hope it is not lost.  I now send you ten dollars.  Be careful of it, for I need all I can get.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother 

Knights of Labor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_of_Labor  "the largest and one of the most important American labor organizations of the 1880s" accessed Jan 22, 2011

Thursday Oct 14th [1886] 

Dear Son, 

I was very busy yesterday.  Went to look at rooms, took them and move today to 39 West 12th Street -- near the old camping ground, opposite where Alice [Zavistowski Webb] used to live.  I have 2nd story front room.  Miss Ornera is the landlady's name and she has lived in the house 20 years, boarders have been with her 12 and 15 years.  That ought to be a good recommendation.  I find this too expensive. 

Then I had Matinee over in Brooklyn.  Took dinner over there.  So my day was taken up.  Our business is bad in Brooklyn.  Do not yet know whether I play next week or not.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother

October 25th, 1886

My dear Son

Glad you had a safe journey - and found people had been after you with work and I hope plenty more will follow.  Had rehearsal this morning.  The theatre is being thoroughly cleaned, new carpets, paints &c. Shall not know until Wednesday whether we get paid for these two weeks or not.  Will send you some as soon as I can.  I sent you a portion of the Sat. Herald this morning with Hewitt's speech.  I thought it splendid.  Mrs. AT Stewart died at 10 this morning of pneumonia. Wants riches to find owners.

The Serale arrived in port yesterday but as yet we have not seen or heard of Martie or Alice {Zavistowski Webb]. But suppose they are at the Bristol [Hotel]. Hattie will go up to find out tomorrow.  Love and kisses from your loving Mother.

Abram Hewitt https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abram_Hewitt [1822-1903] became mayor of New York city in 1886.

Mrs. AT Stewart  widow of the department store magnate AT Stewart.   Alexander Turney Stewart http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._T._Stewart  1803-1876 made his fortune in dry goods.  His "Marble Palace" department store at 280 Broadway is still a standing building http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/280_Broadway  AT Stewart residence image corner of 34th St and Fifth Avenue http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alexander_Turney_Stewart_residence.nypl.org.jpg

next: Bartholdi Day and the Statue of Liberty Oct 28, 1886

32 [but all other letters say 39] West 12th Street
New York 
Octr 31st/86 

My dear Son, 

Thanks for pictures.  Do not want to give them to anyone.  Want to keep them for ourselves.

Well, I am now ready for the battle tomorrow night, but although I have little to do, I am very nervous.  I have just this moment thought about your rent being due tomorrow, and I suppose you want money to meet it.  I enclose $10.  Hope it will go safe for I cannot afford to lose it.  Wish I could send you more, my son, but that is all I can do this time.  Hope you will get the money for the tickets, then you will be all right. 

I rather expected to see you on Bartholdi day, for I suppose you had reduced fares over the road.  John's ticket was only $2.50 for round trip.  He went back by 12 train which did not leave Jersey City until 12:30 AM and it was 5 AM when he reached Columbia Avenue, rather a tedious ride. 

The news flying around now is that AMP[almer]'s Company play eight weeks in San Francisco next Summer.  Oh dear! I wish printing bus[iness] would take a boom.  I could read proof.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother 

39 West 12th Street N Y  
Novr 2nd 1886 

My dear Son, 

Well I guess Jim, the Penman made a hit last night and will be good for a long run.  I have little to do and it is easy.  Hope we shall get 3 or 4 months out of it. [It ran for six months and was frequently revived after that.]  Mrs. [Agnes] Booth wore some very fine dresses and played the part of Mrs. Ralston very well.  Do not know what our next agony will be - there is still talk of extra Matinees to try plays.  They are inaugurating the system today at Wallack's by producing a play called "Jack" [by Mrs. Harry Becket]. 

I have $15 to pay on storage this week, and shall have to pay labor and cartage as I shall want some of the trunks taken out containing winter clothes &c.  Other things I shall leave there for the present, as they are safer and the rent is not heavy.  I suppose nothing has as yet offered to better your condition.  Will close with love from your Sis and love and Kisses from Mother 

39 West 12th Street
New York
Novr 4th 1886 

My dear Son, 

No salary for me this week, the theatre having been closed last week.  We all feel very sore about it but what can we do?  Fortunately I have just enough to pay my board this week, I having been very careful of spending for the play, or I should have been without.  How are you off for funds?  I suppose Mrs. Cheeseborough will be sure to want your money now that her house is so empty.  Let me know particulars.

Guess the play [Jim the Penman] is good for a hundred nights run.  I have little to do, and therefore do it well.  Alice [ Zavistowski Webb] called on Tuesday.  She brought us each a little souvenir from  Europe.  Yours is a cigarette holder in case.  She had formed the idea that you were a great cigarette smoker.  I told her, "No, you are not so bad as that".  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother who regrets she cannot send you something substantial today. Mother

39 West 12th Street
New York
Novr 10th/86 

My dear Son, 

I am rehearsing in a play called Priest and Painter.  [Alessandro] Salvini Jr. is the Priest, [Louis] Massen the Painter.  Mine is a comedy old woman, did not know of it until yesterday. [William Dean Howell's play was eventually called Foregone Conclusion.]

I asked AM [Palmer] for increase in salary - but he said he couldn't afford it just now, would give me more soon as he was able, and he would do it without being asked.  He is to give me extra however when I play this new part.  

Hattie took lunch with Mrs. Dr. Nagle to-day and then they went to People's theatre to see [Stuart] Robson & [WH]  Crane in "Comedy of Errors.  The Dr. [Nagle] rec'd a letter from Riley [who had gone to Texas] who continues to improve. His business is beginning to do the job work himself. Has bought $200 worth of new type &c.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother 

39 West 12th Street
New York 
Dec 2nd 1886 

My dear Son, 

I think Mr. Armstrong is about right with sugar to the Prohibition man.  I should think he has the money from the committee before this and ought to have paid you!  However it might cost more to sue than the amt of the bill, and you would then be worse off then before. 

Business big for Jim the Penman -- guess the play will run all season.  Seats are now sold as far in advance as the 7th of January.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother

The Prohibition party had been formed in 1869 and nominated presidential candidates since 1872.

 39 West 12th Street
New York
Decr 6th/86 

My dear Son, 

Your newspaper man must be either very busy or unapproachable.  Hope when you do get a chance to talk to him you may make a good impression.  But I think had he any idea of wanting you in the business, you would have been given the opportunity to talk to him before this. 

I know how it is with A.M.[Palmer].  When he wants me, he is always at liberty, but when I want to see him, he is always where I cannot reach him.  It seems to be the rule with business men nowadays.  And I guess your newspaper man is one of them. 

Kittie and Frank [Fay] called at 4 PM yesterday.  She to say good bye, as she was going by 6 PM train Pennsylvania RR for Indianapolis.  Frank is a sight!  He is so fat.  Looks as I told him, 40 years old.  He must weigh 300.  He did not have anything to say except to answer questions.  I asked him what he lived on to make him so fat -- said he thought "Sauerkraut".  When they were leaving I said, to him "You know where we are.  Come and see us"  He replied "I do not often get into the City!' 

Hattie is going to spend Xmas in Phila.  It is my wish as we had no way of entertaining John [Dolman] here, and for four Xmas's he has been away from home.  I have a matinee and all things considered I thought they would enjoy themselves better there than here, and Mrs. Dolman would like to have John at home.  So now you can decide what you will do.   

I want to give you a business suit of clothes for Xmas.  Can you get them in Middletown, or do you prefer coming to New York to get them?  If you decide to get them here, let me know when you can come.  Your Xmas you can spend there, or here as you feel will please you best.  I cannot offer you much enjoyment here, and I shall spend the day in the theatre.  So do not take me into consideration in your decision. 

If you can get a suit that will please you in Middletown, the difference in price would not be more than your expenses would be to come here for it.  And it might be the means of getting you a job. 

Mrs. Dr N[agle] gave Hattie & Lottie [Powell] tickets to go to the Athletic Club on Sat - it being "Ladies Day" - to see the sports swimming, Boxing, fencing &c &c.  They went and enjoyed the performance very much.  Hattie sends love. Same with Kisses from Mother 

New York Athletic Club Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Athletic_Club
New York Athletic Club Our Story
https://www.nyac.org/our-story Founded 1868.

39 West 12th 
New York
Decr 12th/86 

My dear Son, 

Glad you had such a nice sleigh ride.  We have had lovely moonlight here the past week, and plenty of sleighing for those who were able to enjoy the luxury.  The rain however will spoil their sport. 

Miss [Maud] Harrison knowing Hattie was going to Phila, has invited me to dinner Xmas day, told her I would go if you did not remain over.  She said to bring you too.  So there is an invitation for you, if you like to accept it.  We shall look for you on Thursday the 23rd, or if you have any preference for spending Xmas in Middletown, why come this week and get your suit and make us a visit while Hattie is here. 

Come any day you like after Wednesday, or Wed if you like, that being salary day.  And you can stay over Sunday.  You can then look around here for a position, and if you can get anything, why we can pay the rent on your press until you get a chance to dispose of it, or put it up at auction and get what it will bring.  All I want if to help pay your note to Aunty.  No more at present but Love and Kisses from your loving Sister and  Mother

39 West 12th Street
New York 
Decr 16th/86 

My dear Son, 

Enclosed find order for X.  It is snowing hard, but I shall take the 6th Ave car to 28th, and have then only to walk across 7th Ave.  No further news, except that we are to give a professional Matinee next Thursday, Xmas falling on Saturday.  The management cannot get ahead of us this year, except by inventing reasons for an extra performance, so they call it professional for the benefit of the Actors Fund.  Love & Kisses from your loving Mother 

  39 West 12th 
 New York
 Jany 5th/87 

My dear Son,  

Well! now for the news.  Your sister, if all goes well, is to be married in April.  The day is not definitely settled but is to be between the 18th and the 27th of April.  The arrangement is that the wedding will take place at 1738 [Franklin St, Philadelphia, James Dolman Sr. house]  Mr. Graff to officiate, in the presence of the Dolman family and you and I, with possibly Mrs. Law and Annie Yeatts. No invitations to any outsiders.  John & Hattie will go to housekeeping on a small scale. 

I suppose this will surprise you although it has been looked forward to for sometime.  You need not mention it to anyone at least for the present.  We do not intend telling anyone here about it until very near the time.  But Hattie wanted you to know it and asked me to tell you.  I hope all will be for the best. 

I enclose you a V which is all I can spare this week.  This is only my first letter to you in /87 so I wish you a happy New Year.  Love & Kisses from your loving Mother   

39 W 12th Street 
New York 
Jany 9th 1887 

My dear Son 

Sorry you had to spend any money in repairing your press

Snow has been falling all day and has been quite cold but is moderating this Evening.  We have not been out all day.  I have a rehearsal to-morrow of the new play Margery's Lovers and play it on Tuesday matinee.  We are booked for Boston on the 2nd of May for four weeks -- after that nothing definite is arranged.  We may be four weeks idle. 

Then to San F'co by St Paul and Northern Pacific RR.  Jim the Penman will possibly run for the rest of the season, but there is to be a new play done by Mr. [Peter] Robertson of San F'co and also The Martyr [by AN Cazauran].  I shall have 3 dresses to get for the latter, how much for the former I do not yet know.  I think I told you that I asked Mr. P[almer] to raise my salary -- but while he was very pleasant over it -- said he could not do it. 

What we are going to do for money I do not know.  I am about beside myself.  New plays being talked about and no money for dresses.  Hattie no dresses! I no dresses! Oh dear! Oh dear! Do be careful of the amounts I send you, and do not spend anymore on uniforms, billiards, &c. 

Think that if I cannot dress the parts I may be cast for, I shall have to take a back seat, and somebody else will be put in my place.  I have to state these disagreeable facts to you, Albert, for you are so thoughtless, and are so easily led by companions who have not your welfare at heart, but only their own pleasure.    

It was a terrible cut to me to find you had joined the fire company after all I had written to you about it.  Had you been in circumstances that would warrant such an outlay I should not have objected.  All my life, I have never spent money for display or pleasure that I knew I could not afford and I advise you now to follow the same course -- you will be happier and better off in the long run. 

See how you are placed to-day by listening to Seymour and there are 19 out of 20 men you may meet, who would do just as he did.  And you would still listen to the 19 men instead of the 20th or your Mother. 

Hattie and John propose to go housekeeping in two or three rooms.  I hope that will get along -- but -- never since they were engaged, have I been so poor and unable to help Hattie to get ready as now. 

Hattie sends love and says she would like to join you in a sleigh ride. Those who have sleighs here will be sliding along nicely tomorrow.  Not having any news will close with love and Kisses from your loving Mother 

Peter Robertson (1847-1911)  Playwright and critic, known for writing some reviews in dialogue form, for many years reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle.  Play was Social Scandal.

39 West 12th Street
New York  
Feby 6th 87 

My dear Son, 

I was impressed you could have that Photo mounted.  I guess it will fade, will it not?  I have not yet seen any of them mounted but I have heard they are out, and are printed on satin for the Souvenir for the 100th performance [of Jim the Penman] which takes place tomorrow night.  If I can get you one, I will. 

There is a report that we do not go to  California , and if every-thing is true that I have heard, I am likely to have a great many weeks of idleness this summer.  However I hope it may not be quite so bad as I have been told

I have no money for a vacation and it will be hard times if we do not have a summer season.  I guess we shall go to  Boston in May -- but even that is not definitely settled. 

Mrs. [Agnes] Booth was very ill last night during performance.  Had Hysteria after the 3rd and last Acts.  Her screams were dreadful.  And after the last Act she became so rigid I thought she was dying.  Doctor Robertson was with her all the Evening.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother  

39 W 12th  New York  
Feby 9th 1887 

My dear Son 

Enclosed I send you a V.  Can you get along without anymore until next week? The last two sections of the "Shakespearean Gallery" are ready and the Stoddart Co wants me to take them this week.  Also Hattie thinks it will be best to take them, and get the agony off our minds, but to pay for both will leave me a little short.  How are you fixed in regard to Board, Rent & Papers?    

Do not rely on much from me, for I spend all.  The money goes and I seem to get nothing for it,  I am afraid it is only too true that we do not go to Cal[ifornia] or indeed anywhere else. Strange rumours are growing that AM [Palmer] is going to give up the theatre, but do not mention it, as it was told to me in great confidence. 

Should the news prove true, it will be bad for me, for I have not been able to save a dollar, nor have I any new clothes.  So do not, for pity's sake, run in debt, for I shall not have any money to help you out.  Do not think that I write this way to annoy you.  I am only stating facts so that you may know how I am situated and not depend upon me to again help you out of debt.  I am willing, but my purse is empty. 

A Miss Mayer is Mrs. Booth's understudy, but Mrs. [Agnes] Booth was better and played last night.  Love & Kisses from your loving Mother 

Durham writes that "the Madison Square phase of Palmer's career effectually terminated with the 1887-1888 season. In Oct. 1888 Wallack having died in the preceding month, Palmer became proprietor of Wallack's theatre and began to devote a major share of his attention to that new enterprise.

39 West 12th Street
New York
Feby 13th /87 

My dear Son, 

The latest news I heard was that we go to Boston in May, Chicago in June, and are idle during July, August & part of Septr.  Whether this will be changed or not, I of course cannot tell, nor indeed do I think that AM P[almer] himself can at present. 

All we can do is to be saving and ready for the worst that may happen.  I hope your business will increase, and so enable you to tide over whatever idle time I may have during the summer. 

I have the satin programme all ready for posting, but thought I would wait until Valentines day was over before mailing it.  I have enclosed the Herald's report of Joe Howard's alleged fight with Pulitzer.  And my portrait from last Sunday's "urnal"

We were rehearsing a new play the beginning of last week, but it was so unsatisfactory that the "parts" were called in and they are making alterations and we are to rehearse it on Tuesday.  No decrease in the business for Jim the Penman.  

Yesterday Matinee said to be the largest receipts for any Matinee in that theatre, and last night the sign "Standing Room Only" was put out before the doors were opened.  I do not think we shall have to change the bill this season.  And I think Jim will be good for four weeks in  Boston.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother 

39 West 12th Street
New York
Feby 28th/87 

My dear Son, 

Enclosed find order for $10.  Tomorrow being your rent day I suppose you will need it. 

The idea at present [for Hattie and John's wedding] is that we go over to Phil[adelphia] on Easter Sunday AM.  Have Mr. Graff come to the house to tie the knot.  Then you and I take the train for NY, I having to play that night. 

Hattie and John to their new house, which he is at present looking out for.  When Mrs. Dolman comes she may have other arrangements to propose but those are what is now expected. 

I enclose a joke of W.S. Gilbert's that John sent to Hattie and told her to send it to you -- very good, we think. [seems not to have survived] 

No further news about "bus[iness]".  The latest was that we go to  London to play Our Society & Margery's Lovers in August.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother 

I don't think EJ Phillips ever got to London.

39 West 12th 
New York
March 17th/87

My dear Son, 

Yes, we are going to Washington on 17th of April to play there on 18th for The Actors Fund benefit.  It will be a change from the monotony of playing Jim in one city so long. We go to Boston for the 1st of May.  As yet I do not know what the programme is after Boston

Enclosed find order for $10. Hattie is somewhat better. Has been taking Kusline, a new form of quinine, and it seems to have done her good. She goes to Phila on Tuesday to look after her house & get it in order. A fire was built in the range yesterday. Nellie has made the cakes.  Love and Kisses from Mother

39 West 12th Street
 New York
 April 4th 1887

My dear Son, 

I know you had felt the pangs of disappointment by your manner the night we all met at Mrs. Nagle's room, for I saw you turn white when saying goodnight.  But I never thought it had been so serious as for her to give her word to you.  I should never have been pleased to have her for my daughter-in-law.  She had always too many strings to her bow to please me, and I congratulate you on your escape [from whom?].

Still you have had time to think of all that, or rather to forget it.  If I had not explained to you in my letters, and when you were here about my financial affairs, I should not be so surprised.  But I told you, so that you might be careful.  If I had the money, I would give it to you, as I have always done.  But Albert my son!  I have not got it! 

There is no use in your remaining in Middletown.  You can always succeed in that work.  Remember the money I gave you was the saving of years.  The $100 you had in the Bank for me, I had saved five years before you put it in the bank.  The four months I was idle in the summer of 1885 [when the Union Square Company was disbanded] took everything for our support except that $100.  Then I began on a reduction of $10 per week salary. 

Your affairs followed, and how can you suppose that I have any money?  In the theatre, when subscriptions are being taken up for flowers or charities - where I used to give $5, I now give $1 or 2.  I am looked at in astonishment, but I have to bear it.

Do not think you are getting all the punishment.  I have not the slightest hope that you will get anything from Mrs. Garretson.  She is one who is always promising, but never performs or rarely. But she will now be "away from home when your letter arrived".

Your indebtedness puzzles me.  You give the following  Coat $75, Rent 25, paper 13.50, gas 6.50, cash 2.00 - total $122 - this is the way I count it.  This is yours: Board $75, Rent 25, Paper 13.50, gas 6.50, cash 2.00 - total $140.00 

Well I had saved $20 for my dressmaker, whom I had expected to bring home a dress tomorrow.  She will not bring it until Thursday, so I send it with a five I had for my pocket money this week.  That will make $25.  But for God's sake and your own, do not spend it in gambling and rioting for I can ill give it.  Who cares for you when your money is gone? 

Went to rehearsal this morning, but it was dismissed.   God bless you, my erring child, and save you from your troubles that your Mother shares, but cannot help you.  Love and Kisses from Mother 

Where is your paper bill address, perhaps I can see them and ask them to wait. 

next: Actor's Fund Mar. 17, 1886, New York

 39 West 12th Street  
New York April 2, 1887

My dear Son, 

For the trouble that has overtaken you I am primarily to blame!  And I humbly ask your pardon!  Had I taken the advice of all our friends when you entered J & CJ's store, you would today be a self respected man.

Everybody told me and advised me to take your money or make you pay your own expenses.  Had I done so - you would not have been able to have seen and indulged in all the extravagances of this City!  I am to blame for it!  I have made you a selfish spendthrift - and an ungrateful man! 

Today or yesterday, I should still continue the same course if I had the means, but I am a monument of my own weakness and folly, and your affliction.

That Mrs. G[arretson] will help you I doubt, for you will find that no one will help those who do not help themselves.  And should she advance what you want, what prospect have you of ever repaying her?  You are only stepping deeper into the mire.  Take a spade, a broom, a hoe and earn your honest bread - rather than cringe to people who will scorn you for your indebtedness. 

Your stock has cost $1000.  Surely some one will buy it for $150.  Take it and leave Middletown .  You can board with Aunty until you get something to do.

4 weeks tomorrow I go to Boston for four weeks.  After that I have no certainty of anything.  Members of the Company who have tried to find out from AMP[almer] what he intends to do - have not received a definite reply.  He does not seem to know what he is going to do.  

And then what becomes of me and you?  I have no money!  Don't think I am telling you an untruth.  I am not!  As you, "tricked the old lady by losing your hat xing the ferry, in order to get a new sealskin cap" so you have tricked her until all is gone.  Are you the happier for it?  Alas!  NO.  And I suffer more for you than for myself.  May you at last see your errors and mend - and with God's help become a wiser better man.  With love and Kisses from a troubled heart, I am still as ever your loving  Mother   

Hattie's wedding April 1887

previous: Boston Sept. 1887

Rossmore Hotel
Broadway, 41st and 42nd Sts 

George T Putney & Co-Proprietors 
New York, Octr 4th 1887 

My dear Son, 

I arrived 10:30 Sunday night and came with Mr. & Mrs. [Louis] Massen to this hotel where Mr. Massen thought, and tried to make terms for me, but in vain.  Everything is too high for me.  Nothing less than $25 per week that would be fit to live in. 

Nagles are full and if I could get the room Mrs. Kirby had, it would be $20 per week for me alone or $25 for two persons.  Mrs. D[olman] told me to get married and it would only cost me $5 per week for my husband's board. 

Well this morning I went to 50 West 24th where Mr. [Herbert] Millward roomed last winter (and will again if he does not have to travel all season with Jim [the Penman] No 1 Co) and there I can have 3rd story front room heated for $8 per week.  It was being calcimined [white or tinted wash used on plastered surfaces] today and would not be fit for occupation before tomorrow night, so I told the lady I would call tomorrow and take it and move in on Thursday. 

She will try to give me breakfast in my room, and the other meals I will take out.  I shall not have carfare or hansom fare to pay.  And in the long run I think, be cheaper than anything else, and when I feel like eating I shall not be tied down to boarding house fare. 

In the hotels I cannot get anything comfortable under $4 per day, and have to waste a great deal of time in being waited on.  You can still send letters to the theatre until I am settled.  But I think my next address will be 50 W 24th.  Opened last night to big house.  Will send [Henry George's] Progress &c [poverty] as soon as I get settled and unpack.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother

New York N Y 
50 West 24th Street 
October 21st 1887

My dear Son, 

I hope you will call on Dr Walker or someone as good, and keep your teeth in good condition.  Wish I had found a dentist as good when I had that tooth extracted in Cincinnati.  The loss of that tooth has injured all the others, as far as they are injured.  

I am fortunate enough to have better teeth than many people of my age, but had I taken as good care of them years ago, as I have the last ten years, there would be very little change noticeable. Take care of your teeth if you want to be a good looking old gentleman.  [AEN had very few teeth left when I knew him and would not get dentures and he loved to eat. Em Turner Nickinson Kuhl] 

Did I tell you that I went to visit Miss Ellie Wilton at Whitestone, L[ong] I[sland]  Went Sunday 10 AM.  Met Maud [Harrison] at Ferry.  Had a very nice time -- nice drives and returned Monday.  Miss Wilton's residence is beautifully situated on the banks of the L.I.... Sound. 

In the bathing season Miss Wilton puts on her bathing dress in the house and goes down the lawn and a short staircase, on to the beach and then into the water. The distance from the house to the water is scarcely as long as the paddock was between "Mountain Spring Villa" and the road. 

Must be delightful in hot weather.  All the large Sound boats pass the place.  The day was lovely and we enjoyed it.  Maud [Harrison] goes again next Sunday but I do not care to go again so soon. 

Have to start soon to prepare three new dresses for the Martyr. the Prologue of which is rehearsed today.  Not being in it, I was exempt but it will most likely be called for a full rehearsal next Tuesday.  An "Author's Matinee" play will be rehearsed on Monday in which I do not have to appear.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother 

New York
50 West 24th Street 
Novr 13th/87 

My dear Son 

Your Mother has been neglecting you for the past week.  She has been working hard and her time has been spent in the theatre until she is about "played out".  To make things worse the play [Cazauran's Martyr] has not "caught on". 

It cost me $200 exclusive of one dress I got for the part in Chicago a year ago which cost me $50.  So it has cost me $250 and the play will be taken off in two weeks.  Elaine is called for rehearsal at 11 AM tomorrow.  I am not in it. 

Barrister will be the next play.  Do not know yet whether I shall be in that or not.  Hope not, for I have no money for dresses. [She wasn't]

I suppose this being a fine day, you are on your pedestrian trip to Ellenville.  Hope you will enjoy and not get too tired over it.  If you continue the practice you will soon be able to walk to New York.  Do not tax your strength too much. 

I enclose you $2.  Not much but every little bit helps.  God bless you, dear.  We are a scattered family.  Love and Kisses from your loving  Mother 

Stage clothes

50 West 24th Street 
New York N.Y.
Decr 2nd /87 

My dear Son, 

This morning I have paid [Aunty Zavistowski] the last fifty of the $200 you borrowed from her.  The interest still remains to be paid.  How much is it?  The first $100 was paid while I was in Chicago this summer, about the 29th of July.  Then I gave her 50 on my return here in October and the other 50 today. 

She says she does not want the interest, but I want to pay it to her.  I have your note.  In consequence of paying this I cannot send you any money towards your suit of clothes this week.  For I am "dead broke".  I have $1.61 in my pocketbook to last me until next Wed'day.  The more I work, the longer my engagements, the poorer I get, and do not have much of a good time either! 

I suppose you have seen by the papers that Elaine takes the place of the Martyr on Tuesday night.  We have not yet been told what will follow Elaine.  Saw Mr. Clinton Stuart last night and he said he had been reading a new play to AM P[almer] who was much pleased with it.  Mr. Stuart said in consideration of a very bad part I played for him in Fair Fame last season that he had written a very fine part for me in the new play.  Love and Kisses from your loving   Mother 

50 West 24th Street 
New York 
Dec 7th 1887 

My dear Son, 

I do not think the furrier wished to sell a cap but he seemed to think that winter would be nearly over before you could have the cap to wear if it was sent to the dyers.  It was a week ago today that I left it, and it has not yet come home.  If it does not come soon, I will call and see about it. 

I will enclose the first V towards your suit.  I have two more salaries to get before Xmas.  Do you not think I had better wait and send the remainder of the price of suit in money order, or do you prefer to pay it by fives? 

Be careful for I have no money, back of my salary.  And as I receive it, it will go for the next three weeks.  I do not count on my being able to do anything more for you than pay for your suit at present.  Your cap of course I will pay for. 

Elaine a success but whether it will run or not is one of the things no fellow can find out, but it will surely run through the holidays.  So I imagine our Xmas arrangements will be carried out as far as going to Phila is concerned. 

I am going to enclose your note.  Aunty tore it up last Spring before Hattie was married to ease my mind that she would not trouble me for the amount.  I placed it in the envelope and marked it as you will see.  I kept it to prove to you that it was destroyed by Aunty.  [scan in the pieces]

She has been very good in the matter, but I would not have that weight on me again for a great deal.  It was the largest amount I even owed.  And hope I, and mine, will never owe so much again! It is a very unpleasant feeling!  Do not be too venturesome until the ice is more solid.  With love and Kisses I remain your loving  Mother 

50 West 24th Street
New York  
Decr 10th/87 

My dear Son, 

Yesterday I dined with Miss H[arrison] & her Mother.  There were six of us.  The two above mentioned, Miss Greenwald, Messrs [Alessandro] Salvini, [Walden] Ramsey and self.  Had a splendid dinner and pleasant time.  Maud and Mrs. H[arrison] asked after you and were glad to hear you were well and sent regards. 

Elaine still doing a fair business but whether it will continue to do so for any great length of time is doubtful.  Nothing yet cast to follow.  Mr. [Clinton] Stuart said to AM Palmer that he would not have his play put on for an Author's Matinee and AM said "Oh no, I will give it a chance for a run".  "It is too heavy to try at a matinee. It will want getting up".  But when he is going to try it, no one knows yet or if anyone does, it is not generally made known.  It is thought the Barrister will be the next. 

Two weeks tomorrow is Xmas day.  And I have no presents bought!.  Had everything ready by this time last year.  Folks will not get much from me this time.  Sunday Eve.  I will enclose V that makes 10.  No more tonight.  Love and Kisses from your loving  Mother 

50 West 24th  
New York 
Decr 20th [1887] 

My dear Son, 

Tried to see AM [Palmer] last night but he had not come to the shop so had to wait until this morning.  Did not find him in very good humour and therefore did not talk much. 

Said he thought of calling a rehearsal tomorrow and Friday, but for me to call tomorrow morning and he would let me know.  He has no objection to my going if I have no rehearsals.    

Enclose you a five.  Your cap is not finished. You have good sleighing now I suppose.  With Love and Kisses your loving Mother

50 West 24th Street  NY  
January 1st 1888

 My dear Son, 

A Happy New Year to you and many of them, with good health and happiness to enjoy them.  Glad to hear you arrived in M[iddletown] safe although a little late.  But better late than have a freight train run into you as now seems to be the rule rather than the exception. 

Shall be rehearsing every day after to-morrow.  Have to get two dresses & fix another.  So we go.  Love and Kisses and all good wishes of the season from your loving Mother 

50 West 24th Street
New York  N Y
Jany 14th/88 

My dear Son, 

I am glad I sent you the five so opportunely.  You should have been more careful about your feet.  Did those socks fit you?  If not, give them to someone they will fit, and I will send you some larger ones.  Are your underflannels warm enough?  I wish you would be a little more communicative in your letter concerning yourself.  Have you paid the tailor entirely for your suit? 

I have not bought a new dress for the new Play, but getting three I had retrimmed and a new bonnet, gloves &c will cost me about $75.  Thus my money goes.  I am afraid it will not have a long run either, and that will mean more new costumes for another play.  But it cannot be helped! 

Members of the Company who are not in Heart of Hearts are now rehearsing Jim the Penman in Newark, Williamsburg [Brooklyn] and dear knows where else.  [Charles] Coghlan plays "Jim".  [Alessandro] Salvini, [Walden] Ramsey & [William] Davidge are amongst the men & the ladies Mrs. Agnes B[ooth], Maud [Harrison], [May] Robson I have not heard who plays my part.  But it does not matter much, the part is so bad.  This is my last night of vacation.  Monday night go to work.   With love and Kisses from your loving Mother 

50 West 24th Street N Y  
March 11th/88 

My dear Son, 

I suppose you rec'd the enclosure on my Thursday letter.  There was a V in it.  Sorry Mr. Walton did not see me in a more pleasant part.  He will think me a very cross, severe old woman.  I should have been glad to have him call, and hope he will do so on his next visit to the City.  

Well, dear, when AM P[almer] saw the rehearsal of [Clinton] Stuart's Play [possibly The Keepsake, which opened on July 2nd, or Beauty Abroad on November 1st] on Wednesday he called in the manuscripts, and parts and it will have to be rewritten before we rehearse it again.  But yesterday at Matinee, new parts were given out in a play by Robert Buchanan, the Poet and Novelist, called Partners.  It is now playing in London with great success. 

I have a good "part" - somewhat on the same order as Mrs. Spencer in Our Society.  We are to rehearse it tomorrow at 11.  I hope the play is as good as my part.  Anyway the language will be strong and good & that is a treat after such trashy stuff as Heart of Hearts &c.  I suppose we shall produce it on Easter Monday.  So I shall have to work hard from now until then. 

Yes, Nyson Crinkle and all the critics gave La Tosca a drubbing and the play is crowding the theatre.  Tell people a play is bad and they are bound to see for themselves.  [Fanny] Davenport will make more money with it, than with any other play she has ever appeared in, but possibly for only one season.  Dinner has arrived so I will close, with love and Kisses to my dear Son from his loving Mother 

next: Blizzard of 1888

previous: Chicago  Oct. 1888 

[Gramercy Park]                  47 East 21st Street
New York  N.Y. 
Novr 21st 1888 

My dear Son, 

Another letter from you this afternoon, but I had answered your first one, so I am not an apologist this time.  I did not feel badly at your not writing, dear, and especially after getting your first letter, and learning how much extra work must have been thrust upon you. 

I hope you will soon be able to get your books in good condition, and know better what you have to do.  I have been just as busy, but I have a little rest for a few days.  I am perfect in the words for my new part.  She is not very long, only in the 1st & 2nd Acts. I hope to be able to get home by 10 o'clock every night. 

And Mrs. [Agnes] Booth told Mr. [James H] Stoddart and me this morning that the play will not be produced until a week from next Saturday night, instead of next Monday.  So that gives a good deal more time to get ready.  I have two dresses & a cloak to get for it.  Had some material, but a great deal more to get for it.

I like my rooms very much, although I have not yet got them in as good order as I hope to have soon.  I have not yet got the bed into inside room but I have my two big baskets stored away in the hall closet.  

I do not think Partners is a success, the newspapers to the contrary notwithstanding.  I hope Captain Swift may be. [It was.]  For I have an easy pleasant part & do not want to buy any more wardrobe this season.  My love to Neppie and you did thank me for the fun.  With love and Kisses from your loving Mother 

Novr 25th 1888  New York 
47 East 21st Street

My dear Son 

Yesterday the "posters" were put up announcing the last nights of Partners and underlining Capt. Swift on Dec 3rd.  So instead of doing it tomorrow night, we have a week to rehearse and prepare costumes.  We are pretty perfect now. 

Monday Evening 

The storm still rages and seems to be increasing as the Evening advances.  I have now to prepare to face it for the second time today.  Great deal of damage done down the Bay yesterday to boats and shipping. 

Our rehearsal went pretty smoothly this Morning.  Time will only tell whether it will be a success or failure.  I hope success will crown our efforts.  [It did.]  Of one thing I am sure.  The play is well written.  My love to Neppie and congratulations on her accession to the dignity of Aunt.  Love and Kisses to my dear Son from his loving Mother  

Albert's engagement and Wedding Anniversary

47 East 21st St, N.Y. 
January 2nd 1889 

 My dear Son,

I have this Afternoon exchanged the ring and have it ready for mail.  Will post and register it tomorrow or vice versa.  I hope it will be large enough. 

I got one pearl & two rubies, very much like the other and three dollars more, but the gentleman who waited on me today called me by name, and I smiled and said "You know me?" and he said "Yes and it is the first time I ever saw you off the stage, but I recognized you as soon as you opened the door". 

The result was a nice little chamois leather bag for jewelry was presented with the ring.  This you will get tomorrow, but the ring you will not get until Friday I guess.  You know I had to wait until this afternoon for salary before I could go to exchange it.  Hence the delay.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother  
Love to Neppie. 

47 East 21st Street
New York
Jan 13th /89 

My dear Son 

[Hattie's] new "help" is doing nicely and has not yet assumed the position of being owner of the household as the former "lady" did. 

Two big houses yesterday.  Capt. Swift is doing very well for us.  Met  Clinton Stuart yesterday after Matinee.  He walked home with me, and came upstairs and chatted about plays for an hour.  Have no news, dear.  Have felt somewhat lonesome today without you.  No more this time, but love and Kisses from your loving Mother

next: Chicago 1889

47 East 21st Street
                                         New York
                                         March 24th/89 

My dear Son, 

Six weeks now in New York and then for Boston.  There four weeks.  Have not yet had a talk with AM [Palmer] and do not know what my fate will be after that.  But I suppose I shall be idle until September or later. 

Circus had a big parade on Friday night 12 0'clock when they got back to "Madison Square Garden".  Opened yesterday "Greatest Show on Earth"!!  Come to see it.  I will give you ten cents to buy peanuts.  Love and Kisses for my dear son from his loving Mother

Madison Square Garden Not today's or Stanford White's Madison Square Garden (which opened in 1890, and shows up later in the letters) but its predecessor, which was the remodelled, abandoned passenger station of the NY Central and Hudson River RR. [Kings NYC]

next: Centennial of George Washington's inauguration April 1889

The Hollenden 
  Cleveland Ohio 
Sept 20th/89 

My dear Son, 

Your letter containing such astounding news reached me yesterday 5 PM  It took my breath away, although you had partially prepared me for it in out last interview.  Well!  Now what are you going to do about it?  What have you got? and what do you want?

By the time I reach New York on the 7th of October, I may be able to give you $100.  That is the sum Mr. Dolman gave his eldest son, and out of that was purchased the bedstead, springs & mattress, the bureau, washstand & two chairs for Hattie's bedroom.   Then the sideboard was bought and some other piece of furniture (I have forgotten what) out of the balance of the $100.

I tell you this as it may give you some idea of how to go to work in spending your funds.  Of course I will endeavor to do all I possibly can for you beyond $100.  But that is the largest amount I can give you at the outset.  

I may lose a week or two of salary after our week in Williamsburg beginning on 7th of Octr. until the opening of the season with Aunt JackAM [Palmer] is to meet us in Chicago next week, when I hope to hear what is expected of me this Winter.  All depends upon what I have to do -- to be able to know what I can do for you. 

Now dear! I hope you have thought seriously over this step you are about to take.  You are taking Neppie from a good home, where she wants for nothing, and you must strive with all your power to make the home you give her, at least, a happy one.  Be to her a thoughtful, loving and confiding husband.   And I am sure she will prove to you a true loving & confiding wife.  Let your interests be one.  Your pleasures one, and your troubles or adversities, be one.  Let it be  Two souls with but a single thought, Two hearts that beat as one, And may God in His great and merciful goodness  bless and protect you both to His honor and glory! is the prayer of your loving Mother With love and Kisses to my dear children Albert and Neppie

47 East 21st St. N. Y..
Octr 18th/89 

My dear Son, 

So you think Thanksgiving will be the time!  Is it to be in Church or at the house?  You ask if I shall be here on the 27th.  I think I shall leave Phila that morning at 8 o'clock, but will not be at the house here much before 12 M [noon ]. That would be a short visit for us.  Perhaps you had better make it the 3rd of November. 

There is a midnight train from Phila that we could take but it would mean sleeping coach and AM [Palmer] will not give us that for so short a journey.   Now that I have sent the wherewithal, you can perhaps do without seeing me until the 3rd.   

I suppose the 28th will be Thanksgiving.  I shall have to get Neppie a present.  What shall it be?   Dishes?  Clock?  or what?  With love and Kisses from -- to you and Neppie -- Your loving  Mother 

Thanksgiving had been declared a national celebration by Abraham Lincoln in 1864

Novr 8th [1889]  5pm

My Dear son,

The Bridegroom [Will Law] called this afternoon and took me to the St. Denis [Hotel] to see the Bride [Nellie Dolman Law].  It has been a very rainy day for them but they had a pleasant day to get married in yesterday.  They return home [to Philadelphia] tomorrow night.  Send their regards to you. I presented Nellie with a silver sugar spoon in your name. I gave $2 for it. So if you receive a note of thanks do not be surprised.

Aunty [Zavistowski] came in yesterday and stayed all night and was here when Will called.  She then left for home. She has left your [wedding] present with me, a plated silver tray, Teapot, sugar bowel, spoon holder & cream jug. It is a very pretty present. She only regrets she was not able to give you solid silver. Sends her love and best wishes. The cream jug and spoon holder are gold lined.

I hope your shirts arrived in good form. If you think the white socks are too heavy, bring them back or send them and I will get them exchanged. They were out of No 10's in the lighter sock.  I thought they might be useful in cold weather. If you like and would prefer the black ones I can get them exchanged for the same as the 1/2 dozen black ones. There is not much difference in the price. Send me your bust measure and length of sleeve.

My love to Neppie and Mrs. Walton. I am sorry to hear there is no chance of Mr. Crawford's restoration to health. They gave my sympathy. With love and Kisses I remain Your Loving Mother

Nov. 10th 1889

Dear Albert

Many thanks for your present, and accept our congratulations on your approaching marriage.  Remember me to my expected step sister-in-law by marriage, and I hope that you will prove to be as good a husband to her as Will has been during the three days of our married life to me. Yours affectionately Nellie D.[olman] Law

Next: Albert and Neppie's wedding   New York Letters 1890s

Brown, Henry Collins, Brownstone Fronts and Saratoga Trunks, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1935
Brown, Henry Collins, New York in the Elegant Eighties, Hastings on Hudson: Valentines Manual Inc. 1926.
Burrows, Edwin G. and Mike Wallace, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, 
Deak, Gloria, Picturing New York: The city from its beginnings to the present, New York: Columbia University Press, 2000
Finney, Jack, Time and Again, Simon & Schuster, 1970
Goldstone, Harmon H. and Martha Dalrymple, History Preserved: A guide to New York City Landmarks and Historic Districts, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974
Hawes, Elizabeth, New York, New York: How the apartment house transformed the life of the city (1869-1930), New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1993.
Homberger, Eric, Historical Atlas of  New York City,  New York : Henry Holt & Co, 1994.
King, Moses S.,  King's Handbook of New York City,  Boston : Moses S. King.  Second edition 1893 Lent by Saul Rubin
Kouwenhover, John A., Columbia Historical Portrait of New York, New York: Doubleday & Co. Inc. 1953
Lockwood, Charles, Manhattan Moves Uptown: An Illustrated History, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1976.
Morris, Lloyd, Incredible New York: High Life and Low Life of the Last Hundred Years, New York: Arno Press, 1975. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0815603347/qid=1077080410//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/002-7351289-1775216?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 
New York Times Index, New York: New York Times, semi-annual
Odell, Annals of the New York Stage Vol. 13 1885-1888
Plunz, Richard, A History of Housing in New York City, New York, Columbia University Press, 1990.
Simon, Kate, Fifth Avenue: A Very Social History, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, c. 1978.
Wright, Carol Von Pressentin, Blue Guide New York, New York : W. W. Norton, 1983.

Harper's Weekly  http://www.harpweek.com/   
New York Songlines Virtual Walking Tours of Manhattan Streets Jim Naureckas  http://www.nysonglines.com/

Last updated Dec. 29,  2019
1886 2 7   New York NY MadSq Dalys wallacks Engaged Actors Fund benefit   
1886 2 7   New York NY     EJP 475 Fourth Ave flat lease expires in May
1886 2 10   New York NY American Opera Co Hattie Nickinson and Josie Dollman went to Merry Wsives of windsor opera
1886 2 17   New York NY   Grants tomb took Josie Dolman to see -- this was a temporary tomb took 12 years to build current monument
1886 2 24   New York NY Madison Square Engaged "big success" Mrs McFarlane
1886 2     New York NY Madison Square Saints & Sinners closed to a big house
1886 3 12   New York NY Steinway Hall Cowboy Pianist AO Babel Hattie Dr and MRs Dr Nagle and Mrs Kirby go to hear
1886 3 29   New York NY Madison square Engaged ends run new comedy underlined but parts not given out yet
1886 3 29   New York NY   Sarony's pictures not yet delivered from
1886 4 2   New York NY   Mr Barney McAuley funderal yesteray.Catholic Church 16th St 
1886 4 19 2 weeks New York NY Madison Square Our Society   Mrs Spencer
1886 5 17   New York NY   George Wood died born 1823  
1886 9 30 to 1887 New York NY Palmers Mad Square Martyr AR Cazauran adapt Sullivan Edwards Madame de la Marche
1886 10 6 from June New York NY   Returned from travel west  
1886 10 14   New York NY   EJP  to 39 West 12th st across froom where Alice Zavistowski Webb used  to live 
1886 10 28   New York NY   Bartholdi day Statue of Liberty dedicated
1886 11 1 ran 6 years New York NY Madison Square Jim the Penman Lady Dunscombe  
1886 11 19   New York NY Madison Square Foregone Conclusion Mrs. Vervain
1886 12 2   New York NY Madison Square Jim the Penman "business big  guess the play will run all season seats sold as far in advanced as 7th Jan
1887 1 9   New York NY   What we are going to do about money I do not know…beside myself no money for dresses someone else in my place
1887 1 10 to Jun 4 New York NY 14th St Theatre Old Homestead Mrs Owen Marlowe Mrs Murdoch Annie Hopkins Denman Thompson Josh Whitcomb  
1887 1 11 never reg bills New York NY Madison Square Margery's Lovers Mrs Webster
1887 1 16 2 1/2 months New York NY Madison Square Heart of Hearts   Lady Clarissa Fitzralph
1887 1 21   New York NY Madison Square If bus keeps up we may remain in NY May postponing Jim the P in Boston until Fall idle during June
1887 1 21   New York NY Madison Square Social Scandal by P Robertson of SF expect to rehearse next week
1887 1 23   New York NY   Refrigerator sent to Mrs Dolman bureau and machine chair to W 12th St
1887 1 28   New York NY Madison Square Jim the Penman no diminution in attendance photos taken at Saronys
1887 2 7   New York NY Madison Square Jim the Penman 100th performance with satin program souvenir
1887 2 9   New York NY Madison Square Strange rumors growing AMP is to give up theatre we do not go to Cal or anywhere else
1887 2 13   New York NY   Joe Howard's allged fight with Pulitzer
1887 2 18   New York NY Madison Square Do not go to California so many attractions going to SF hope to go in 1888
1887 2 18   New York NY 14th St Theatre Old Homestead with Den Thompson and School for Scandal Wallacks Hattie to see
1887 2 28   New York NY Madison Square Our Society Margery's Lovers play in London in August latest news about bus
1887 3 30 v bad play New York NY Madison Square Social Scandal   in 1st and last act only
1887 5 1   New York NY Madison Square Jim the Penman closed Apr 30 SRO Our Society  am afraid will not draw as well
1887 5 12   New York NY Union Square Deacons Daughter Annie Pixley in Aunty Zavy took Mrs Morrison to see
1887 5 25   New York NY Madison Square Fair Fame   Mrs Preston
1887 10 4   New York NY Madison Square Opened last night to big house  
1887 10 13 2 wseeks New York NY Madison Square Martyr "has not caught on"
1887 11 17   New York NY Madison Square Martyr new first act for next Monday whether play improves to be found out change nt worse or better for me
1887 11 20   New York NY   Thanksgiving Nov 24 invited to Miss Cowell's
1887 11   to 1899 New York NY Lyceum Theatre Walcots to Daniel Frohman's company  Lyceum Theatre New York The Wife    
1887 12 1   New York NY Madison Square Heart of Hearts presume new play will be
1887 12 2   New York NY Madison Square $1.61 in my pocketbook to last until next Wed the more I work the poorer I get do not have much of a good time either
1887 ?   4 weeks New York NY Madison Square Our Society revival was EJP in?
1888 1 11   New York NY Madison Square Heart of Hearts new play Jan 16
1888 2 5   New York NY May Robson goes to Frohman's Lyceum increase $410/week 
1888 2 27   New York NY Broadway Theatre Tosca with Fanny davenport 
1888 3 11   New York NY Madison Square Partners rehearsals began Clinton Stuart's play recalled Heart of Heart a good part
1888 3 13 3 11-14 New York NY Madison Square Heart of Hearts Blizzard of 1888
1888 3 23   New York NY Madison Square Had to spend $90 for new play Hart of Hearts "awful the expenses for wardrobe this season"
1888 3 26   New York NY Madison Square Heart of Hearts program
1888 4 2 1 month New York NY Madison Square Partners Easter Monday Lady Silverdale
1888 4 18   New York NY Madison Square rehears Jim next week $29 for trunk and gloves
1888 7 22   New York NY Wallacks Theatre AMP Palmer takes over.  Lester Wallack died Sept 6
1888 11 9   New York NY   on the go picking out dresses for Capt Swift
1888 11 21   New York NY Madison Square Partners not a success papers to contrary hope Capt Swift may be easy pleasant part
1888 12 3 all season New York NY Madison Square Captain Swift   Lady Staunton
1888 12 31   New York NY   Players Club opened  
1889 1 13 New York NY Madison Square Captain Swift two big houses yesterday Capt Swift doing very well for us met Clinton Stuart talked plays hour
1889 2 3 New York NY Madison Square Captain Swift still flourishing
1889 2 14 New York NY Dalys Actors Fund benefit Madison Square Engaged 2nd act 
1889 4 29 to May 1 New York NY   Centennial of George Washington's Inauguration
1889 5 4 New York NY Madison Square season ends   will be 12 weeks idle loss of $780/$65 per week
1889 8 27   New York NY Grand Opera house Captain Swift opened last night to a big house
1889 10 17   New york NY   $100 to Albert for setting up housekeeping
1889 11 19   New York NY Lyceum Theatre Charity Ball Mrs WalcottCamilla de Peyster Mrs Whiggen Mrs Van Buren    
1889 11 24   New York NY Madison Square summons for the reading of a new comedy

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