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Albert and Neppie's engagement, wedding and wedding anniversary  

EJ Phillips' son Albert Nickinson had moved to Middletown NY in 1886 and had met Mary Penelope Macardell shortly afterwards.
April 11, 1887 Albert writes to Neppie about sister Hattie's wedding in Philadelphia

Albert Edward Nickinson

50 West 24th Street, New York
March 1st/88

My dear Son,

I can appreciate your feelings in regard to the uncertainty of business prospects for as yet we know nothing of our summer whether we work or not is not made known to us.  Yes, the old shop had a big scorching but the stage was not burned -- only the auditorium.  Of course the hotel was badly damaged by smoke and waters.  The firemen did wonders in confining the fire to so small a space.  Had the stage caught it would have been bad for the "Star". Theater as only a wall separated the two stages.  I hear they will rebuild. If they do the block will look just the same as it did before the fire.

Letter from Aunty  [Christine Zavistowski] yesterday.  Here is a postscript. "Fanny [Kirby] wrote Emmeline [Zavistowski Shailer] about the millionaire' Darter [Neppie's father Cornelius Macardell  owned a seat on the New York Stock Exchange] as a settled thing. I hope it is, don't you?" I have not yet answered her on the subject. When I do I shall give her to understand that I am not as anxious to see my children marry the children of millionaire's as she was.  She imagined the S.[hailer] family was very wealthy as well as the W.[ebbs]. Money is her idea of happiness & the only one she has. 

Well, dear, no more tonight.  Will an enclose a V from your non- millionaire Mother who with love and kisses bids you good-night.  Mother 

Mary Penelope Macardell Nickinson

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. 

next: Slang Jan 1889

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

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

next: Chicago 1889

Albert & Neppie's wedding
7 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

Zavistowski's wedding present

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

My dear Son, 

Yesterday I re'cd a summons to be present at 11 AM  Tuesday to hear a reading of a new comedy. "Mr. Palmer wishes you to hear it".   Which means I shall be in the cast.  I know not what or when it is to be done, but it is to be read on Tuesday.  It will probably be rehearsed on Wednesday. 

Therefore I shall take the 5 PM train Wednesday for your City and return after the ceremony on Thursday.  The latter being a holiday and a "Matinee", we shall not have a rehearsal on that day, but will no doubt have one on Friday Morning.   So you see I cannot stay over in  Middletown Thursday night. 

I have written to Neppie and accepted their kind invitation and will stop with them Wed'day night, but must return Thursday.   Hattie will be very much disappointed when she hears it, but business is business and must be attended to. 

I am glad you are likely to have a nice room and a new carpet.   If the mattress is not good I will buy you one. It will always do when you go to housekeeping. If the bed is not better than the beds at Mrs. Cheeseborough's, for goodness sake!, get one that is!  Springs and all!   I have no other news so with Love and Kisses to my dear children I remain their loving Mother 

Albert and Neppie were married on Thanksgiving 1899 in Middletown NY and thereafter celebrated their anniversary on Thanksgiving Day.  They had 58 anniversaries, and in 1940 Mother and Daddy had a big party at 215 Chipley Ave [Pensacola, Florida]  for them.  I think that was the party when Gene Tunney, who was stationed in Pensacola quoted Shakespeare with Grandfather.

next: Health La Grippe Jan 1890  New York, 1890 

Last updated May 31, 2004

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