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New York 1890s

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47 E 21st Street New York
January 17th 1890

My dear daughter. [Neppie]

Too bad your boarding house is not pleasant.  I sympathize with you.  I have before now been placed in just such a position, not liking to say anything or move.  The latter I guess is the only remedy in such cases.  Not an easy one in your case, I suppose, the lady having, in her way, exerted herself to make your room comfortable.

Still if you are not comfortable I see no reason why you should remain, if you can do better.  I suppose there would be quite a difference in the price between the room Mr. & Mrs. Glathery has, and your present quarters -- if not, why I think you had better change and be satisfied. 

I imagine though it will cause unpleasant feeling towards you from your present hostess.  But as you did not get the room you expected from her, you might make that an excuse for leaving.  Also, that you, not being used to going into the yard, [no indoor bathroom?] always catch fresh cold by going there.  I feel very sure that this excuse would be the truth.  I have no doubt but that a great deal of your cold has come from those journeys. 

I asked Albert in my last letter if he had any prospect of going into housekeeping.   I suppose though that nothing available and suitable in the way of apartments have yet presented themselves.  I would be happier to have you happier.  And I hope something can soon be done to achieve that condition. 

I hope [your family] have escaped "La Grippe". Now that you have had it so badly in Middletown, you need not be afraid of coming to New York.  I should like to have another visit from my "kids" before many weeks pass.  Come when you can.  With love and Kisses to you both I am always your loving Mother

47 East 21st Street NY
Feby 6th/ [18]90   

My dear Son,

Last night I and Mrs. Dolman went to see the Gondoliers [Gilbert & Sullivan, 1889].  We liked it very much.  But it is not Pinafore or Patience.  This is the last week of the Gondoliers at the Park [Theatre, Brooklyn ].  But a new company will play it at "Palmer's Theater" commencing on 10th or 17th.  In the present "cast "the voices are not strong enough for the music.

It was my second visit to a theater this winter, the first time being with Neppie and her aunt to [Denman Thompson's] the Old Homestead I met Mr. Wm Palmer at the Madison Square Theater yesterday, and he asked me if I had seen the Gondoliers.  I told him I had not -- He said "Well, why don't you go"?  I said, "Nobody has asked me".  "I ask you now", said he.  "And will give you the order now."  He did, and I went.

Also invited me to go to "Palmers [Theatre]" but I told him I did not care to go there, I did not like the man ([Richard]  Mansfield).  And he replied, "I don't either".  He asked after Hattie and you.  I told him you committed matrimony.  "Is that so?"  "Well I am glad to hear it."   "Wish him good luck for me."

Judging by the Herald notice this morning I do not think Mansfield made much of a success last night in Master and Man.  The theater closed two nights for rehearsals and preparations.  I do not think his engagement has been a very great success.  Have not seen AM P[almer] since Monday before Xmas.  But I go to his house tomorrow, when I may have the pleasure of seeing him.

Alice [Zavistowski Webb] is going to St. Augustine, Florida - farther South than Winter Park [actually some miles north].  My love to Neppie, when is she coming to see me?  Love and Kisses to my dear children Albert and Neppie from their loving Mother  

 47 E 21st Street NY
 Feby 14th 1890

My dear Son, 

This afternoon I go to Mrs. [AM] & Miss Palmer's [daughter Phyllis] reception.  I think we shall have rain.  Therefore I imagine there will not be as great a "crush" as there was last Friday.  "Crush" is the proper word now.  "Crowd" is "bad form"!   Mrs. Robinson is to call for me at  4 o'clock and we go together.

Mrs. Presbrey [Annie Russell] recovering.  No rehearsals yet.  I asked Mr. Presbrey on Wed'day when [Ibsen's] Pillars of Society would be rehearsed.  He said he didn't know.  Aunt Jack still doing well.  With love and Kisses to my dear  children Neppie and Albert from their loving Mother

47 East 21st Street
Feby 26th, 90 
My dear Son, 

I told you I would pay the rent for [April] -- but if you do not have to pay the money right away I would like to wait for a couple of weeks before sending you the amount of knives and forks I shall buy for you also.  

Today I was called to rehearsal of a new play, the title of which is Wealth.  I am in the 1st and 3rd acts.  My part is a very bad one, and requires two dresses.  This is why I do not send you the $15 this week unless you really require it.   

Had a long letter from Alice [Zavistowski Webb] today.  I think the climate in  St Augustine  does not agree with her as well as  New York, but it agrees with Mrs. WD so she supposes they will remain there for several weeks.  Says the hotel is grand! and crowded with travelers.  My regards to all with love and Kisses etc  Mother 

47 E. 21st Street N Y 
March 5th 1890

My dear daughter Neppie 

I have not anything to forgive you for, my dear, for I did not expect a letter from you any sooner.  I am always glad to get a letter from you, but I know you have other duties to fulfill, and I do not claim your undivided attention. When you feel like writing, do so and when you don't -- Don't! 

I am happy that the Knives and forks pleased you.  The dinner size I will send you before long.  Well of course the dinner size is larger.  Now! I shall send you another half dozen!  And you can choose which you think you prefer most.  Another half dozen of the size you have, or half a dozen of the dinner size.  As far as the difference in price is concerned, it makes very little difference.   

For a year or two, you will find a dozen knives and a dozen forks quite enough to use.  I did while keeping house in the Flat, and we had quite a number of people occasionally to dine with us.  But never exceeding 9 or 10. 

I see by the Mercury received today that Middletown is the cheapest place in the United States in which to buy carpets -- and from Emmet Crawford [Neppie's mother was a Crawford].  So I imagine you will not come to New York for yours.  Now that the election is over I suppose Albert will be able to go and take you to see the rooms.   

The part I have to play in the new play is not a good one, and does not call for very fashionable dressing.  I hope I shall be able to do without purchasing new material.  I shall have some old dresses fixed up a little.  Shall have to buy a new bonnet, gloves & small fixings.  But will try to spend as little as possible. 

Jack is doing very nicely and begins to put his words into sentences now.  Saw my old wrapper hanging in the closet last week and said, "Mama Gangas jess (dress)".  Oh he is a great boy!  

So you hope you will be able to get into your home by 1st of April.  I suppose some cleaning will be necessary before you begin to put down carpets.  I would like to run up and see the rooms, but now I do not know whether I shall be able to do so or not -- for we were told this Morning that the play would be done on Monday the 17th.  

I scarcely think so myself.  Still it may be, and at least we shall have to be ready for that day.  Yesterday & today we rehearsed until after 3 PM. 

I imagined you would have good sleighing in Middletown, for there must have been five or six inches deep on the level here.  The yards have still a lot remaining, but it was carted from the Streets.   

Did the Election prove a success to the Democratic ticket?  I hope so!  Then Albert will be happy.  I am ashamed to say I have not yet ordered your cards for I have not had time to get down to Macys.  But I am going there soon about a bonnet, and will then order them.  Come and see me when you can.  Until then with love and Kisses to you both I remain your loving Mother

47 East 21st St NY 
March 20th, [18]90 

My dear son, 

I have just returned from purchasing some crockery ware and glasses for your table.  It is to be packed and shipped this afternoon.  The dinner set is English china.  It is not as handsome as I should have liked to send Neppie.  But it is a set she will not be afraid of breaking every time she handles it.  The shape is as pretty as any of the $150 sets of French china and quite as new.

I enclose a list of the pieces.  See that all are there and in good condition (149 pieces including glasses, and three pieces of old fashioned blueware -- for kitchen use).  I got all the pieces belonging to the dinner set -- except the soup tureen.  As Neppie had a silver one I thought she would not have use for the other.  When I am richer I will try to give Neppie a better, that is a finer, china set.  Hope you will both take the will for the deed -- for the present.  

Glad you are getting along so well with your furnishing, and are going to have such a pretty home.  I will take a run over some Sunday, as soon as you are in the house, to see how cosy you both look.  Take dinner with you and return. 

Annie Russell was taken to Kittrell North Carolina.  She started on Tuesday night with Mother, doctor & nurse with her.  Mr. Presbrey had a telegram last Evening announcing her safe arrival,  and she bore the fatigue of the journey wonderfully well.  She was taken there for the mountain air.  

No change of bill yet, but I am preparing for Wealth and the other plays for the Summer trip.  Hattie is quite interested in your going to housekeeping and would like to be able to help Neppie fix up.  Love and Kisses to you both from your loving Mother 

47 E 21st ST  NY 
March 24th [1890] 

My dear Son, 

I thought the dishes would reach you on Saturday, but they probably are sent by freight and that takes time.  I will go to the store in the morning to see about it.  It was too late when I got your letter to go to-night -- was quite surprised to hear you would get into your house so soon.  

You and Neppie must not thank me for the dishes until you see them -- then perhaps you will not want to.  I wanted to give you French china -- but I saw something under $70 and that I did not like.  What I have sent will do for the present, and hope someday to give Neppie some French China.  Have you any bedroom crockery?  If not, I will see about getting you some -- answer this at once and let me know. 

I have no rehearsals.  Wealth is perfect and they are letting it alone.  The dresses I am giving to be fixed are for Jim the Penman, my former ones being worn out.  Good night.  Love and Kisses etc  Mother

47 E 21st Street N Y  
March 25th/90 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

I started out this morning to find out the cause of the dinner set not reaching you.  I was told that their "packers" had been ill -- and they could not get the goods off until yesterday -- but they were sent yesterday by Express.  So I hope they were delivered to you to-day. 

I looked at the Chamber sets of 12 pieces.  They have them from $5 up.  For $8 I can get you a quite handsome set.  I afterwards looked at some at Macy's and I found them not so nice & much dearer.  Have you any choice in colors?  I have also sent you the other half dozen of knives and forks to-day, and a butter knife and sugar spoon to match.   

Being at Macy's for the 1st time in weeks, I ordered your cards which, with the plate and a bunch of envelopes, will be sent to you by mail, to Box 296, in about 10 days, the time they take for filling orders. 

I am very glad you were pleased with your tablecloths.  The towels were so cheap I could not resist taking a dozen, although I knew you were provided for in that way.  Those towels were only $4 per dozen. I should have thought them cheap at $6.  One cannot have too many towels.  

I hope you will not work too hard getting your house in shape & thereby make yourself sick.  I would like to be near to help you.  This cold wet weather will require you to have another stove up, will it not, before you move in?  It will not do for you to risk catching cold. [Did EJP know Neppie was pregnant by then?  Or was this her constant concern about health, especially about colds?] 

Of course, you will not have all you need at first -- but a stove is essential to your health.  And I think it will be too cold through April to do without one.   

I am going to enclose a $2 bill for Albert to pay Express charges on Knives &c and picture; and there may be something to pay on the crockery ware. 

I had my dressmaker here on Saturday, and for the rest of the work I have she takes it to her home to do -- I find it quite as cheap & less trouble to me.  With love and Kisses to my dear children Albert & Neppie I remain their loving Mother

Macys  The same company as today, founded by a Nantucket Quaker in 1858, but the original Macys was on Sixth Ave near 14th St. 

47 East 21st St NY 
March 26th [18]90

My dear Son, 

I immediately went over to the store with your letter.  They were sorry for the mistake and would make it all right over the claret glass -- but -- I told them not to bother with that, if they sent the plates all right. 

But I bought a bedroom set of 12 pieces to go with the plates.  I have not waited to hear what color Neppie would like -- but I have sent a set which would go with any color.  I gave $8 for the set.  They used to sell at $15.   

They generally charge for packing bedroom sets but as they had to pack the plates they threw me the packing in.  Glad you think the knives and forks pretty.  How about the china?  I think it is pretty. 

Rehearse Wealth again tomorrow, and are to play it a week from Saturday night.  So Mr. Presbrey told me to-day.  I have a good many things to buy for it.  So cannot do much for you at present.  Love and Kisses to both and best wishes for your health and prosperity from your loving  Mother

This would almost certainly be the china bedroom set  from Sewanee. 

47 East 21 NY
March 30th [18]90

My dear Son, 

The Herald does not yet announce the last nights of Aunt Jack -- so I think we shall play Wealth next Saturday night, Mr. Presbrey to the contrary not withstanding.  But it will not surprise me if we play it on Saturday of next week and run it the two last weeks of the season -- ending April 26th. 

Do not know whether I go to Boston or not.  But it is given out that we leave for Oregon on the 16th of June, opening in Seattle 23rd and Tacoma on the 27th and Portland  on the 30th for one week.  Thence to San F'co for five weeks -- 11th of August Los Angeles 18th, Sacramento.  We get back to New York about the last of October, or the beginning on Novr as per usual.  Love and Kisses to my dear children Neppie and Albert from their loving Mother

47 East 21st Street
New York
April 17th/90 

My dear daughter Penelope 

I chose the ticking for the pillows because it was the lightest color they had.  I knew it was on the same color as your mattress, but did not think it was the exact pattern -- all the better!  That style of ticking is used now more than the old-fashioned blue and white striped.  Are the pillows large enough?  They are 30 inches by 22. 

Should there be any disagreeable smell from the pillows, you can send them back and it will be remedied.  The salesman said that sometimes the "curing" of the feathers was not perfect, and they always wished their customers would let them know, and they would send other feathers until satisfaction was given.  So do not be bashful!  Is the bolster long enough?  I forgot to take a measure of the bedstead. I am glad you like the clock.  It is a good make and I hope will keep good time.  

I had an interview with Mr. Palmer, my manager, yesterday and I have to go to Boston.  I may not have to act, but I have to go for the rehearsals of the plays we do on the California trip, whether I play or not.  He will not change the bill in Boston unless Aunt Jack proves a failure.  If so, we will play Jim, the Penman, Capt Swift &c &c.  And I will have to work. 

I have been quite busy last week and this, trying to pack, sew and have had so many other calls upon my time that I have not succeeded in getting much accomplished.  I have had to go to Photographers two days to sit for pictures for our travels.  Been twice to Dentist and have to go again tomorrow.  Was four hours at the dressmakers last Saturday, and on Sunday felt so badly that I did not get up until 3PM. 

Yesterday Morning we had a fire next door in 49.  The house was greatly damaged by the fire and the furniture with water.  The first I knew of it was the smoke coming into my room -- through the folding doors -- and hearing a noise upstairs.  I went to investigate & found the firemen up there, getting on the roof through our house.  It was quite an exciting time while it lasted. 

It was so lovely this Morning, that when I left the Photograph gallery about 1/2 past 11 I took a walk down 5th Avenue and through 14th St to Macys and back.  With love and Kisses to my dear children Penelope and Albert I remain their loving Mother 

Boston, Apr. 29, 1890  I went to the "Players Club" reception last Wed'day.  It was an awful crush and I became very tired.  Saw many new faces and met many old friends.  I was there from half past three until after five.  It was ladies day, no gentlemen admitted unless members of the club.  So you may imagine the noise of 2 to 3 hundred women when all were talking at once.  I was glad when I got away. 

Players Club  At 15 Gramercy Park West, New York, 1845, remodelled 1888 by Stanford White after Edwin Booth bought the building and turned it into an actors' club.  From  47 East 21st Street it would have been a very short walk to the Players Club. 

next: Boston 1890

5 A's American Actors Amateur Athletic Association

previous Philadelphia 1890

47 21st Street NY 
Octr 27th 1890 

My dear Son, 

Hope everything has been going on well to-day with Neppie and baby boy.  Had a letter from Hattie to-day in which she says she would like to see the three so much.   

I want you to see Dr Douglas and ask him to give Neppie a tonic to brace her up.  She is weak and consequently nervous.  I wanted to talk to you about it on Sunday, but having company to the train prevented it.  I think she needs a little more medical attention.  And tell him (the doctor) to ask her and the nurse everything, for unless he questions her, Neppie is too shy & modest to tell him everything.  She complains of the end of her spine being sore - that should not be. 

I imagine she does not confide in her Mother for fear of worrying her - and she is right - but she should confide in the doctor, and with his help regain her strength for her dear little son's sake.  I hope he has been a good little boy since I left, and that his head is better.  

To-day recd my part in Middleman - so bad!  that I first thought I would not do it - come what might - but on 2nd thoughts - there is a long winter before us - it will be easy work and I had better not bite off my nose to spite my face - so I shall try to bear it with all the good nature I can. 

It is a much worse part than I had in either Jim [the Penman] or Captain Swift and those were bad enough.  I do not want to either take salary another season without doing something for it - and it is not Mr. P[almer]'s fault if authors write such miserable parts.  I have not yet had a "call" but I shall likely get one in the morning.  My love and Kisses to my dear children Albert, Neppie and Edward from their loving Mother   

47 East 21st Street   N.Y.     
Novr 2nd 1890 

My dear Son. 

I told Aunty about the Opera business and she said you did quite right not to have anything to do with it.  The Opera itself is a very trashy affair. 

We rehearse 3rd & 4th Acts tomorrow  1st & 2nd Acts are pretty perfect, but as yet we have not rehearsed the 3rd & 4th.  

I am very anxious to know how Neppie and the boy [grandson Ted] are, so if you will kindly drop me an answer to this I will feel greatly obliged to you.  It is a week today since I left you, and have not heard from you once.  This is my third letter to you in the meantime. Love and Kisses to you all dear children with hopes you are all well.  Your loving Mother  

47 East 21st Street  New York  
Novr 5th/90 

My dear Son 

Sorry my dear little Grandson has his tongue tied.  That was the cause of his having so much trouble when he began his meals. No wonder he got so angry.  Poor little fellow!  I hope the doctor will be able to attend to it very soon. 

I am glad Neppie is growing stronger and I hope will soon be herself once more.  The dear little woman has had a severe struggle and I deeply sympathize with her, but she has a darling little son that I hope will always be a comfort to her.  Hope I shall soon get a letter in answer to my questions about Neppie's undershirts.  

Have been out all day at rehearsal and with dressmaker  feel tired.  Middleman is pretty perfect and I think will be a success. 

Well, [H.J.] Grant is again Mayor of New York by an overwhelming majority.  How did the election go with you?  With love and Kisses to you, Neppie & Edward from your loving Mother 

47 East 21st Street
New York 
Novr 19th 1890 

My dear Son 

Very glad to hear you were all well and "getting along nicely" especially that Neppie was gaining strength and the baby growing nicely.  I have not yet gotten the letter from Neppie regarding her undershirts.  Cold weather coming she will need them soon.  Let me know the size, whether ribbed or plain, wool or wool & cotton mixed. 

Too bad the girl turned out so badly.  Hope you have been able to replace her with another better in every way.  Edward was six weeks old yesterday - 3 weeks and 3 days since I saw him.  I suppose I should see quite a great advancement in him now.  Think I shall soon have to take a Sunday run over to see him and his parents, for I suppose I cannot hope to see them here for some time to come.  

Jack well and full of talk as ever.  Hugs his Mother now and says, "Ain't you a nice Mama?".  How pleased Neppie will be when Edward can say that to her. 

Still at work every night.  Not much to do but have to be there all the same.  Get home 11:30.  Tomorrow appear at Metropolitan Opera House for Benefit of Cath[olic] Orphan Asylum. 

Yesterday went to the Brunswick  hotel to hear Mrs. Kendal address the Goethe Society.  Subject "The Stage".  Heard nothing new but the subject was nicely put together, and very clearly delivered by Mrs. Kendall who has a very sweet toned voice.  My love and Kisses to my darling children "the big 3" Albert, Neppie and Edward from the big 3's Mother and the lonely big 1. 

The Metropolitan Opera House occupied the block bounded by Broadway, Seventh Avenue, and 39th and 40th Streets.  It opened in October 1883, but a fire destroyed the interior of this supposedly fireproof auditorium in Aug 1892.  A company was formed to rebuild it [Kings NY] and despite "disastrous sightlines" of the stage the boxes gave occupants "unrivalled opportunity to look at one another" [Blue Guide

Big 3  This may be an allusion to Augustin Daly's Big Four -- John Drew, Mrs. Gilbert, Ada Rehan and James Lewis.

47 E 21st Street N.Y. 
Novr 26th/90 

My dearest daughter Neppie. 

I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.  I am pleased to hear you are gaining in health and strength, and your dear little son growing nicely.  I should very much like to see you both and should have done so last Sunday had I been well.  The cause I have explained in my letter to Albert yesterday. 

Dear daughter, I sent you the long promised spoons yesterday.  I do not wish to be as long a time in sending you the shirts and it was very stupid of me to forget the size, and whether it was wool or wool and cotton that you wanted.  I think the ribbed wear is the nicest and if you will send me the size & the material you want I will send then soon as I hear from you. 

Too bad your girl proved so unworthy and you have not been able to procure another.  Well you have to let things rest until you can do better.  Be careful of yourself and do not expose yourself to draughts, whatever goes undone. 

Albert forgot to tell me whether the lump on Edward's head has altogether disappeared or not.   I hope it has.  Dear little fellow,  He has had his little tumbles too.  Albert writes that he is a screamer, but I guess he is no worse than many millions of little boys who have come before him.  I am sure not worse than Jack, who is now a very good little boy indeed. 

I hope you will like Edward's bib pin.  It was the best fastening I saw and I choose it on that account, though I saw some that were prettier, but that is for usefulness not altogether for ornament. 

I wish I could be nearer to you and help nurse the little fellow but if "wishes were horses, beggars might ride", and so wishing will not help us at present.  We must be thankful that all has passed off as well as it has, and that you are better and have a beautiful little boy to love you and his dear papa.  

Now Neppie, dear, do not be afraid to send to me for any little thing you need.  Do you want anything for baby?  I will do my best within my ability to send you what you want.  When you became Albert's wife, you became my daughter, and I want you to be frank and free with me, as if I had borne you.  I want to do my duty by you, as far as I can, for I love you very dearly, and it will be a pleasure for me to do what I can for you.  With love and Kisses to my dear children Neppie, Albert & Edward from their loving Mother  

[Envelope postmarked "New York Nov 28  6 PM"]
My dear Son 

Glad to hear you are all doing well and Neppie getting strong and well again and that Edward is growing nicely.  Had I been well last Sunday you would have see me, but I have had the opposite of constipation for the past two weeks, and was much troubled on Saturday so thought I had better keep quiet on Sunday.  Therefore I did not get up until 4 PM.  The looseness is still troubling me and I begin to think it must be New York's new water. 

I have just Expressed a small box to you containing a few trifles for Neppie & the baby as a little Thanksgiving offering to you and I enclose a V to buy the turkey for your dinner.  Would like to dine with you, but that is not possible, but I wish you all a happy time and many, very many Happy returns of your first wedding anniversary.  Your good health, your family's good health.  May they all live long and prosper. 

Mr. & Mrs. Harrison [Maud's parents] have invited me to take 6 PM dinner with them (and I have accepted) on Thanksgiving Day.  I intended writing to Neppie today, but was called to rehearsal at 12 and it was nearly 3 when I got back.  With love and Kisses to you from your loving Mother 

47 E 21st Street  N.Y. 
Decr 5th 1890 

My dear Son 

I think you have done well to get the condensed milk for Edward.  I do not think he yet requires Mellins food, still it will perhaps be a help to digestion.  I suppose his Mother gives it to him through a bottle.  It will be better for her & for the boy.  He will grow fat now. 

Sorry you cannot get a girl.  No wonder there is so much poverty when people will not work. 

Heard last night that  Judah will take the place of The Middleman on the 29th of this month, Monday after Xmas.  Suppose we shall begin rehearsals next week.  A Pair of Spectacles will go to Boston and Phila in January.  Rosina Vokes playing at the "Madison Square" [Theatre] so I do not have to leave the City as I expected to do. 

Please write me how Edward is getting along on his new bill of fare - or Menu.  He and his Mama will both grow stronger if he takes kindly to it.  I am sure it will be better for them.  My love and Kisses to them both.  And try Pond's Ex ointment for Neppie.  With love and Kisses to you all dear children I remain your loving Mother  

Judah by Henry Arthur Jones Jan 1891.

Rosina Vokes (1854-1894) made her New York debut in Belles of the Kitchen, seen now as a forerunner of modern musical comedy.   AM Palmer had sublet the Madison Square Theatre to her for a month.

47 E 21st  
Decr 16th/90 

My dear Son 

I was indeed wondering what had come of you and began to think you couldn't care about hearing from me.  I am glad that Edward is growing less troublesome.  I suppose he is still taking condensed milk.  Glad indeed that Neppie feels well and strong again.  

Did she receive the package of lawn that I sent by mail?  I send it thus early as everything is in such a rush in the Express offices that you might not get it -- if I left it later -- in time for Xmas.  Besides there is an article in it, that if it does not fit I want you to return it at once, as they will not exchange after Xmas -- a new departure I should say, but so they told me.  With love and Kisses to my dear children Neppie, Edward and Albert from their loving  Mother 

47 East 21st Street New York
Decr 24th 1890 

My dear daughter Neppie 

This Morning the Xmas box arrived from you and Albert.  The presents are lovely.  The umbrella was very much needed.  Your "cloud" is beautiful and I appreciate it very much indeed. I am glad you enjoyed opening the bundle from me, and that its contents pleased you.  

Yes! I had an idea that the little dress and skirt would do for Edward's christening robe, and am glad you think so too.  I am pleased to hear he is growing fast and is less cross, as proof he is in better health, and I am very glad you are feeding him with condensed milk.  It will be better for him, and for you and give you a chance to gain some strength and flesh.  Mrs. Law is feeding Mabel on condensed milk and I hear the child is thriving wonderfully. 

I have to tell you that I am going out of the City for four weeks with the Madison Square Co. Two weeks to Phila and two to Boston, so that it will be Feby before I return to New York.  They are afraid A Pair of Spectacles will not be sufficiently strong to run two weeks in those cities, and are going prepared to change the programme for the 2nd week in each place -- doing Jim the Penman, Saints & Sinners, Capt Swift, and Aunt Jack.  Besides it is possible that a new play will be put into rehearsal during our journey, which we shall produce on our return to the City. 

If the weather is good on Sunday Morning, I think of going over to see you, as it may not be possible for me to do so again this Winter.  That is if you have no engagement that my visit will interfere with.  Then I can have a good chat with you about Xmas.  Think I may be able to stay all night this time, if no rehearsal is called for Monday. 

Would you like any more of the hem-stitched lawn?  I thought you would not find much time for such fine work, and therefore sent Edward a ready made dress.  I have had babies myself, and know how much time has to be devoted to them.  My love and Kisses to you all dear children.  Wishing you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.  Ever your loving Mother 

47 E 21st    Dec 26th 1890  

My dear Son. 

Was glad to hear you were to join the family party on High Street.  I can imagine you and Neppie would have a very jolly time there with the young folks.   

I took a trip up to 45th Street to call on Mrs. [George] Wood and her Mother -- both well and surprised to see me.  The boys had received lots of toys and were busy playing with them.  I watched for about half an hour, then came home. 

Dinner at  2 PM .  The regulation Xmas dinner of the hotel Nagle -- not as good though as it used to be on 12th Street.  I did not partake of the wine, and cannot tell how good it was.  At  5 PM went to 244 West 23rd to dine with Mrs. Harrison and Maud.  There I did eat!  First oysters on half shell -- soup -- Roast Turkey with sausage trimmings -- Plum pudding &c &c.  Then went to shop at 7.  A quiet but very pleasant day.  Considering I could not see my children, I do not think I could have spent the day more to my satisfaction. 

I had written to Neppie that I might go see you on Sunday and you ask me to do so, but this snow storm may prevent it. It is coming down now fast and looks as if we were to have a heavy fall of "The beautiful" this time.  I have not seen so much snow since the Blizzard [of 1888].

I did intend going to see AM [Palmer] this Morning, but as it is not imperative for me to go out this Morning I will not attempt to go out until I am obliged to this Evening. Have now to begin to pack up for my travelling tour of four weeks.  With love and Kisses to Edward, Neppie & Albert, my dear children I remain their loving  Mother 

1891
47 E 21st Street  NY
Jany 6th 1891 

My dear Son. 

I went to Phila on Friday Afternoon and got back yesterday in time for rehearsal at "Palmer's" Theatre.  I am rehearsing in Esther Sandraz for a Matinee on Thursday for the "Little Mothers of the Poor".  

Do not know yet whether I have to go to Boston or not the following week.  Last night the Company opened in Phila in a Pair of Spectacles & Old Love Letters which they play all this week and four nights next week. 

I found Hattie much better in health and looking well.  Jack grown fat and tall and full of talk as ever.  Greeted me with, "Grandma, I wish you a Happy New Year".  

I did not expect the wrap would fit Neppie, but it was the best I could do for her to put right on, and that was what she needed.  Had I sent the material, she perhaps could not have found anyone to make it for three or four weeks, and would not have had the good of it during this cold weather.  Hope she will be able to use it now, and by & bye we shall be able to get something more appropriate for her.  I enclose X towards doctor's bill.  Love and Kisses to my dear children, Neppie, Edward and Albert from this loving Mother

47 E. 21st Street   New York 
Jany 23rd 1891 

My dear Son. 

You write, "I don't know exactly where you are".  Why not?  I wrote you on Tuesday Evening when I returned from Phila.  You should have received that on Wed'day, and your letter is dated yesterday 22nd.  Did you not get my letter? 

I do not know yet whether I go to Boston, or stay here to play at "Palmer's".  If I go to Boston, shall have to go by 3 PM train on Sunday.  They are scheduling a new play at "Palmer's" and I may have to appear in that, have been rehearsing in it for two days -- a very bad part but not a disagreeable one.  In view of my going to Boston, I went to see A.M. [Palmer] today about an allowance for extra board.  He did not say he would not allow me anything, but thought he could arrange for someone else to play my part in Boston, and I remain here to play with [ES] Willard.  Business is bad, and he is ugly in consequence. 

If I go to Boston, it is only for a week.  After that if there is anything I can do for you and Neppie, let me know.  I am glad you have a girl.  

John and Hattie are endeavoring to move back to the City. They have a house in view on 27th Street North, no 826, above Brown Street and near the Park entrances.  The only difficulty is getting released from their lease of the Wissinoming house!  

This moment, a letter from Hattie, saying "John has paid the 1st month's rent for 826 N. 27th Street, dating from February 1st.  Says the worst Castor can do is to sue him for 7 months rent and John thinks he can save that money by the change. 

So now moving will begin -- 8 days to do it in.  Mrs. Dolman will be so delighted that she will work day and night for them.  I think the change will be beneficial to Hattie for I think nervousness at being so much alone is half the trouble with her.   Love and Kisses to my darling children, Neppie, Edward & Albert from their loving Mother
V enclosed. 

47 East 21st St 
Feby 3rd/91 

My dear Son. 

Got here from Albany at 7:30 this AM.  Had a very fine house there last night.  Expected to find a letter here from you but am disappointed -- am living on the old adage, "no news is good news".  Hope certainly it will prove so in this instance. 

On my way from Boston to Albany, I had an opportunity to stop off and visit Mrs. Kirby.  We arrived at Pittsfield at 6:37 on Sunday Evening.  I had telegraphed Mrs. Simmons to meet me, so her husband was waiting at the train for me and took me to the house where I staid until 11:30 Monday Morning - only an hour and 16 minutes ride by Express train from there to Albany.

Mrs. Kirby just the same, poor sufferer.  Never out of pain but she has her mind bright as ever and her voice is not weak.  She seemed delighted to see me.  Asked after everybody and told me to be sure and give her love to all.  Said she didn't want to forget anyone and wanted all to know she thought of them.  Said she couldn't understand why she was left to suffer.  She was no use to anyone, and was ready and willing to go.  She is very thin.  Love and Kisses to my dear children Neppie, Edward and Albert from their loving Mother 

47 E 21st Street New York 
February 5th/91 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

I have been kept so busy since I stopped playing in the Middleman that I have neglected you but I have thought of you all the time and would have liked to be near to help you.   Of course you know I was in Philadelphia a week, and on my return here I was rehearsing every day in two plays, a Social Fiction which we played on Monday night in Albany.  The other "part" was in John Needham's Double but I was relieved of that, as I had to go to Boston. 

I suppose you were surprised to hear my daughter Hattie had left Wissinoming.  They have been thinking of moving for sometime but a desirable house was offered to John in the City the week I was there, and the moving was decided upon in three days.  The house is near two or three entrances to the Park. It is a three story brick, same number of rooms as the Wissinoming house but more complete & comfortable. And of course gas & water. The dining room and kitchen are smaller than I should like, but it's the style they build houses in, now in Philadelphia. 

They had very nice weather for moving, and all their goods and chattels arrived in safety at their new home, Hattie included.  She begins to look pretty stout but not very strong. 

So you think you will not venture to come to New York until the warm weather sets in.  Well, perhaps it is best, as being accustomed to stoves, my rooms might feel cold to you.  I would go to you, but business matters are in such an unsettled state that it makes the Governor get cross, and I do not like to ask to get off, and dare not go without asking.  With love and Kisses to my three dear children Neppie, Edward & Albert from their loving Mother

John Needham's Double  by Joseph Hatton Jan 1891.  Described by Odell as "melodramatic... "invented" and unbelievable." 

47 E 21st Street   New York 
Feby 13th 1891 

My dear Son, 

The past week I have not had any work to do, only yesterday I was called to a reading of a new play by "Gus Thomas" but it has not been called for rehearsal yet.  The play is a rather pretty story of Southern life [Alabama] but do not think it is very strong for a drawing card.  I haven't any news to interest you, so with love and Kisses to my three dear children Neppie, Edward & Albert I remain their loving Mother 

V enclosed. 


47 East 21st Street
New York
Feby 18th/91 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

I was pleased to hear that Edward was growing so finely.  I think fourteen sounds a very good weight for so young a boy.  I long to see him, but am afraid I shall have to wait for sometime. 

I am now rehearsing at Palmer's Theatre in a play called Wealth.  Do not know when it will be produced but I imagine within the next 4 or 5 weeks.  

You ask me what I think of your visiting Hattie in April.  Well, my dear, I should be very much pleased to have you go, and see no reason why you should not.  The doctor says Hattie will not be sick before the 3rd of June.  Mrs. Dolman says 28th of May.  Whichever is right you could have a nice little visit with her before the "picnic" [childbirth] comes off. 

I may have to leave here for Chicago about the middle of April, so if you could arrange your visit for the first part of April I shall be here to escort you to and from RR station and attend to your comfort here. 

You would not have to take a great deal of wardrobe for Edward for Hattie could supply him with changes while he would be there and also "didys".  They now live in the City and you would not have so much travelling to do back and forth as you did in your visit to Wissinoming.  I am crazy to see how the little house looks, but do not expect to see it for sometime to come. 

If you make up your mind to go, let me know and I will furnish your RR fares.  Hattie is extremely anxious to see her nephew and I am sure it would be a mutually pleasant visit.  So do go, if Albert can spare you. 

You hope I am not working too hard; no, my dear!  I am not.  I would prefer to be doing a little more and something I could get credit for, but I have to be here all the same, and it is very monotonous.  Love and Kisses to my three dear children Albert, Edward and Neppie from their loving  Mother 

47 East 21st Street  N.Y. 
March 8th 1891

My dear daughter Neppie, 

I wrote you on Thursday, or rather to Albert telling him I was going with Mrs. Dolman to Phila and would return this Afternoon.  Well, I went.  We took  9 AM train on Friday, reached Hattie's home about a quarter of 12.  We had lunch and I inspected the new house.  After  2 o'clock, feeling a little tired and sleepy, Hattie made me go upstairs and lie down.

I had taken a little nap when Hattie appeared at the door saying, "Mama, here is a telegram for you to go back and play at Palmer's on Monday night".  Well!  My feelings may be better imagined than described.  Waking up and receiving such news put me in a state of Razzle Dazzle that I could not realize where I was or what I was doing, but it ended in my leaving Hattie a little after 5 and taking 6 PM train back.  Leaving poor Hattie crying, and Jack very much astonished.  John I did not see at all. 

So here I have been since Friday night.  It appears that the lady who had been rehearsing in Wealth could not come up to the requirements of the "part" and they could not find it out until almost the last rehearsal.  And as I had studied and was ready for the part last Spring, and had rehearsed the first Act with the present cast, I was called upon to play until someone else gets ready for the "part" this week as I play Madison Square [Theatre] next week.  I do not mind any part of the matter, but being brought back from Phila so suddenly, that was a great annoyance, and I have not recovered from it yet. 

I do not think it will be advisable to put Edward in short clothes before the 1st of May.  It is long clothes Hattie will furnish you with for him, if you visit her in April. She made this offer to spare you the trouble of taking much clothing with you.  She will also supply you with night dresses while you stay with her.  Her house is much more comfortable than the Wissinoming one. 

She makes the invitation for April on account of her sickness [pregnancy] which may extend into June.  July and August she thinks would be too hot for you to take the trip, as your own City is so much cooler than Phila during those months.  Anytime in April will suit her and I may be here until the 1st of May so anytime will suit me.  

But dear girl, you must do just what you yourself think best about going or leaving Albert.  I know it is a pretty long trip for you with your bouncing big son in your arms.  And if you do not feel equal in strength for the task, why do not attempt it.  

Hattie knows what it is herself.  If it were not for her delicate health, I would have you both meet here and have a visit together.  But I would not dare to have her come. 

I am glad Edward is growing so nicely.  I should like to see him very much.  Very sorry your sick Auntie is suffering so much -- a bad month for consumptives.  With love to my dear children Neppie, Edward & Albert with Kisses to all from their loving Mother 

47 E 21st Street   NY
March 11th/91 

My dear Son, 

I am to play in the Pharisee next week at M[adison] Sq[uare] T[heatre].  This week at Palmers in Wealth, a very bad part indeed.  Yesterday had to go to dressmakers after rehearsal, and today have to go to wigmakers & shoe stores. 

Hattie tells me she has told Neppie to invite one of her sisters to go with her to Phila.  Perhaps that will make Mr. M[acardell] look upon the trip more leniently.  Do you mean that you can get a pass from M'[iddle]town to Phila & back, or to  New York and back?  I fancy you mean the latter.  Can you get both?  I am willing to do all I can to help make the trip a pleasant one for Neppie & her sister, whichever one it may be. 

But if this visit is to cause any trouble between Neppie and her family perhaps she had better not undertake it.  Let it go until the Fall, when perhaps their late grief may have somewhat worn away, and they will feel better disposed about her going. 

If it is decided that Neppie will go then let me know how much you require, and I will do the best I can.  independence is a very nice thing, my dear son, if you know how to control yourself under its influence -- like Fire it is a good servant but a bad master and has often overpowered its possessor.  Learn patiently how to be dependent, and then you will find how better to enjoy independence when it comes. 

I will enclose a 10 in this which you can give to Neppie for present use.  My love and Kisses to her and Edward.  With love and Kisses to yourself from your loving  Mother

47 E 21st St N Y  
March 22nd/91 

My dear Son, 

Dinner at 8 is the title of the "Curtain raiser" you speak about.  There are only four characters in it and it plays only 18 minutes.  The plot is very good & amusing but not sufficiently carried out to be attractive.  Still it gets its share of applause from the audience and I think a little disappointment at its brevity & sudden ending.  The author has done exceedingly good work as far as it goes, and I hope will be encouraged to do more.  Dinner at 8 is his first effort in play writing.  He need not be discouraged. 

And Lawrence Barrett has gone over to the majority.  Poor fellow!  His ambitious struggles are at an end.  I am very sorry.  The Pharisee is not a pleasing success according to the newspapers, but we have had very good houses for the past week.  We may not play it more than another week as a play is in rehearsal that was to have been played before the Pharisee. 

We still have six weeks to play before end of season here, and travel 5 weeks ending June 6th in Chicago.  Then idle until Fall.  Hope to see you all sometime before end of season here.  Let me know when the children are likely to be christened.  I will try to be present.  Love and Kisses to my dear children Neppie, Edward and Albie from their loving Mother

47 E 21st Street New York
March 24th 1891 

My dear Son,

My cold still is troubling me.  Cough very hard -- tears me to pieces -- and I sneeze all the time.  Had very hard work to keep from sneezing at the audience last night.  Fortunately so far it has not affected my throat or voice. 

I told you our season would close about the 1st of May but on going to the theatre last night I was informed through an official notice that the season closes on the 18th of April and the Company leaves on the 19th (Sunday) for Washington DC.  The plays are Jim [the Penman], Saints & Sinners, Capt Swift, Pharisee, [A Pair of] Spectacles, Sunlight and Shadow.  I was told the "Madison Square" [Theatre] was rented to someone [a production of Martha Morton's The Merchant] for the Summer, hence the sudden change I suppose.  No one seems to like the change, but all have to put up with it. 

It was as well that the christening was postponed for it was a dreadful day and the babies would certainly have caught cold. Have you given up the idea of Neppie going to Phila next month or not? If she goes and I am to chaperone her through New York, it must be in the next two weeks for I go on the 19th.  

But if she does not feel ready to go at present, perhaps it will be as well to postpone going until the Summer, and then the new stranger will be there to welcome her.  And I will be at liberty to look after all of them and we can all have a longer time together.  Love and Kisses to my three children dear Neppie, Edward & Albert from their loving Mother

Sunlight and Shadow by Richard Carton [Richard Claude Critchett]

next: Washington DC Apr. 1891

previous: Elizabeth Ellen 1891

26 West 31st Street
New York N.Y.
Novr 23rd 1891 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

Glad to hear Edward is walking so nicely.  Mabel still creeps more than she walks.  I had a letter from Hattie today in which she tells me she wrote to you on Friday.  I wrote also and you wrote to me.  We must have been struck with the same idea all around. 

You ask if I am far from my old boarding house.  Yes, it is quite a walk -- ten blocks --  that was 21st Street near 4th Avenue.  This is 31st near B'way.  My work will be at "Palmer's" Theatre this Winter and that is on the corner of B'way and 30th Street.  And on the North side of  30th Street.  This house being on the South side of 31st.  Therefore I do not have to cross a street to go to my place of business. 

Mr. Palmer is no longer the manager of the "Madison Square" Theatre on 24th Street, all his attention is now devoted to "Palmer's" Theatre, 30th and B'way. 

I suppose you all enjoyed your rabbit supper.  The quail have been more to my taste.  I think a nice plump quail on toast is very palatable.

What do you feed Edward on now?  I suppose he is entirely weaned.  "Little bit of Sunshine" must be very interesting now.  I would like to see him very much.  Love and Kisses to my dear children Albert, Edward & Neppie from their loving Mother M

[written perpendicular to other writing and on top of writing] 
Hope my letter of Friday reached you on Saturday.  It contained a V

26 West 31st Street
New York
Dec 3rd 1891

My dear Son, 

To dare the elements on Thanksgiving for one Partridge must have been disappointing.  Did you not get very wet?   

I am still doing nothing and am very tired of it.  It makes me feel old and useless.  Alabama is still drawing well they tell me.  A new play, Margaret Fleming is to be produced but it is an outside speculation.  James A. Herne is the author and his wife plays the leading part, and if successful will star in it.  Only 3 of the company play in it -- Messrs [EM] Holland, [Charles L.] Harris & [Edward M]  Bell.  It is for next Wednesday Matinee only. 

I think I am living in the house of the late Henry Ward Beecher.  The initials of this gentleman are H.W..  He is not here a great deal himself but his wife and family are.  The cuisine is run by another party, a Mrs. Millard, & is run very sparingly but everything is clean and nice.  But there is more meat used in one meal at Nagles than there is here in two days. 

House full at Nagles.  My rooms are occupied by a family -- father, Mother, three daughters and a son has the adjourning hall room.  Katie is a widow.  Obtained a divorce from Homer and a month after it was granted Homer died of pneumonia, superinduced by delirium tremens at a hospital in Flatbush.  He had been living at Coney Island .  

What do you want for Xmas?  I am not making Xmas presents this year to anyone outside my family.  Six months vacation has caused me to make this decision.  But what I can do for my own, I must.  So let me know what you want.  My love and Kisses to my daughter Neppie and my grandson Edward, the "little bit of sun shine".  With love and Kisses for yourself  Mother 

PS Do not think of sending me anything for Xmas or Neppie either.  I know you both have enough to do with what you have.  All I ask is your love and good will   Mother 

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) clergyman, "one of the most controversial figures of his day".  It is a mooted question  whether's Beecher's  intensely emotional and sensuous nature, his lack of rigorous self-discipline, his rather unstable religious convictions, and his tendency to be a law unto himself, resulted in his being guilty of immoral acts, or whether he was a victim of false accusations [of adultery with Theodore Tilton's wife.] [DAB?]

But according to the 1891-1892 New York City Directory she was living in the house of Herbert W. Beecher, whose occupation seems to have been musical instruments (presumably manufacturing them, other categories being elec. math. and surgical instruments).

26 West 31st Street 
New York
Decr 16th 1891 

My dear daughter Penelope, 

I heartily thank you for your invitation to spend Xmas with you but I have promised if I do not play to spend Xmas with Hattie.  I do not think I shall play but I think it very unlikely that I shall be able to get away as the [Mrs.] Scott Siddons Matinee [L'Aventuriere renamed What a Woman!] being over today, rehearsals of a new play for the Company will begin at once and I expect to be wanted. 

If I am, I shall have to study, attend rehearsals and get costumes ready.  Should it happen that I am not in the next play I may take a run up to see you at New Years.  Love and Kisses to my dear children Albert, Penelope & Edward from their loving Mother

Mrs. [Mary Frances] Scott-Siddons (1844-1896)* Indian/ English actress CDP, HAS

26 West 31st Street 
New York 
Dec 17th 1891

My dear Son, 

Glad you are well with the "exception of colds".  I advise you all though to take care of yourselves and not treat too lightly these too frequent visitors.  La Grippe is very busy everywhere in the old World & the New & people cannot be too careful.  The delightful weather we have had has made people careless about their wraps, and more colds have been caught than if the weather had been severe.  

I went to the theatre last Evening.  Saw Mr. Presbrey who told me there would be a rehearsal of Jim the Penman on Monday at 11.  Oh! dear I did think I had seen the last of that play.  And I shall have to "get up" two new dresses for it, my former ones are worn out. I suppose too it will be done in a hurry.  Alabama  I think is beginning to fall off in its drawing power.  So I shall soon have to go to work.  I am tired of being idle. 

I will enclose in this a P.O. order for $30, ten apiece for you which I feel sure you can, or Neppie can, use to better advantage than I can for you.  I send it this early so Neppie will have time to do the shopping.  With love and Kisses to you all I remain your loving 

West 31st Street
New York 
Decr 22nd/91 

My dear Son, 

I am exceedingly sorry to hear you have all been ill, but be very careful for a relapse would be worse than the first attack.  Neppie must have suffered having Edward to take care of.  Fortunately he is weaned or she would feel worse.  

Shouldn't be surprised if I am the next, for the weather has been so warm today and I wore my fur cape and after rehearsal had to go up to 51st Street at East River to my dressmakers and I got in such a perspiration that I had to change my underclothes when I came home. 

I read the article in the Herald concerning the Gregory [murder] case that you told me of in a previous letter.  Seems to have been a very cruel cold blooded affair, but there are so many dreadful things happening every day, that one ceases to wonder at them.  Love and Kisses to you all dear children three from your loving Mother        

26 West 31stStreet 
New York
Decr 29th 1891 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

I have been rehearsing in Jim the Penman and am busy getting new costumes made for it.  I was at rehearsal until 1 PM yesterday, and then went to dressmaker and it was 20 minutes past 6 when I got back to my room.  A new play is to be read on Thursday.  I do not yet know whether I am in it or not, and cannot tell you tonight whether I shall be able to spend New Years with you or not.  All will depend upon business and the weather.   

Should the weather be fine, I may be able to get away Thursday and spend New Years with you, but I have to be back Saturday for dressmaker and salary.  Come and see me when you can.  Love and Kisses to you all dear children from your loving    Mother 

1892 
26 West 31st Street NY 
 Jan 17th 1892

My dear Son, 

I begin work on Wed'day night -- 8 months and four days since I last appeared, [Buffalo 16th of May].  I have a very bad part in the new play [Broken Seal]  we are rehearsing, but the dress will not be expensive.  That is my only comfort.  New dresses &c for Jim cost me $100.  I tell you "I have to pay to act". 

Mrs. [Agnes] Booth has invited me to the [Adelina] Patti concert on Wednesday Afternoon, and if we are not kept too late at rehearsal, I am going, as it is the one thing in the amusement line that I long for.  With love and Kisses to you all dear children I remain your loving Mother 

26 W 31st Street
New York
Jan 24th 1892

My dear daughter Penelope, 

Have been rehearsing every day and playing at night that I have scarcely had time to eat - and shall have another siege of it this week.

I had a ticket for the [Adelina] Patti concert last Wednesday afternoon, but Mrs. [Agnes] Booth was taken ill and Miss [Ada] Dyas was sent for to play Mrs. Ralston [in Jim the Penman] - the consequence was that the rehearsal was called at 2:30 PM and it was nearly 5 when I got through. 

 The performance however went very smoothly - and we were all kindly received by a very fine audience.  I rehearse at 11 tomorrow and at 3 PM have to attend a "tea & reception" at the Holland House [Hotel] 30th St & 5th Avenue given by the committee of "The Actors Fund Fair" to be held in May at the Madison Square Garden.  I suppose the object to-morrow will be to see what everybody concerned is willing to do, to make the affair a success. 

I was trying to get out of the affair, but last night as I was leaving the theatre the Call Boy came with a message from Mr. Palmer to me and Miss [Maud] Harrison that he (Mr. Palmer) should consider it a personal favor to him if we would attend the reception - which was a polite way of telling us, we must go.  You know receptions & teas are a great bore to yours truly. 

In the new play [Broken Seal] I have a small character part - not much in it - but the dress is that of a French peasant housekeeper to the Village Priest - whom she scolds for not coming home punctually to his meals.  They intend bringing it out a week from to-morrow. 

Jim [the Penman] will be played all this week and it is possible that it may be done a portion of next week.  Mr. Presbrey always likes to hurry us in getting ready and so tells us it will be done by the 1st of Feby. 

Sarah Bernhardt's cold prevention recipe Feb. 1892

26 West 31st Street  
 New York
 Feby 5th 1892 

My dear Son, 

Have you had Edward vaccinated?  Smallpox is said to be on the "increase".  Jack is all right but I do not think  Elizabeth has yet been vaccinated.  It is perhaps better to be ready for it. 

I suppose you have seen all the papers on our new play [Broken Seal].  We cannot tell yet whether the people will come to see it or not, but it is interesting.  But the religious R[oman] C[atholic]"s may be disgusted with it, or ordered by their clergy to stay away.  I have only a small part indeed but what there is of it is not bad.  

Let me know when you come so that I may not be out.  The house is between B'way and 5th Avenue, just back of the Grand Hotel.  Love to my dear children -- Neppie, Edward & Albert from their Mother 

The Grand Hotel was at Broadway and 31st Street, according to Kings NYC. 

next: Gilbert & Sullivan Feb 6, 1892 

26 West 31st Street 
New York 
Feby 26th/92 

My dear Son, 

I started out in the Morning with two ladies to canvass Toy Stores for the donation of Toys for the "Actors Fund Fair" which takes place the 1st week in May.  Yesterday we had donations of Toys given to us to the value of $60.    

When does the election take place?  Glad you are not too sanguine of success, then defeat will be less difficult to bear. 

I could not refrain from making a comment on your politeness in Neppie's letter.  You have writing material at your hand at all times.  It would be a two minute job to write "Package received.  Thank you.  We are all well" -- (or sick as the case may be) "Albert".  But not to write a line for over two weeks is extreme thoughtful[less?]ness and I hope will not occur again. 

I will enclose this with a business communication in a business envelope to show you the "part" I am trying to act at present.  I am a perfect novice, and wish I had you here to give me a lesson on Committee work. 

Without my desire or consent, the Ladies Executive Committee made me chairman of Sub- Committee no. 24 (There are 40 sub- Comm'ees.)  And I know as much about it as a cat knows how to play a fiddle.  My only comfort being that there are many others just like me.  I have four ladies on the Committee with me.  Mrs. D.P. Bowers, Mrs. [Percy] Haswell, Misses [Julia] Arthur & Rockman.  Had Mrs. Frank Mordaunt but she and her husband leave the City next week with the "Lost Paradise" and she cannot act on the Committee here.  My love and Kisses to my dear children Neppie, Edward & Albert from their loving Mother 

26 West 31st St  NY  
Sunday March 6th/92 

My dear Son, 

Last night I closed my appearances in New York for the present and do not know when I shall appear here again.  On the 28th we open at the Park Theatre, Broad and Fairmont Ave, Phila with the Broken Seal for one week.  On the 11th of April take the same play to Williamsburgh for one week.  After that may go to Chicago to open 2nd of May, there for 4 weeks.  But whether I shall be wanted to go there or not, I do not yet know. 

I shall say to you as Mr. Palmer said to me, "When I know, you shall know".  Rumour says we do not play at Palmers again after the 23rd of April until January 1893. 

Tomorrow the Kendalls take possession of "Palmers" for two weeks.  Palmers Co in the meantime playing Alabama in Brooklyn for two weeks.  And on the 21st come back to Palmers in Col Carter of Cartersville  But I am not in that. 

I am still busy with the Actors Fund Fair but hope to get through with my share this week.  Have collected written guarantees of toys from various stores to the amount of $75.  And promises from several others, but some I am afraid are doubtful.  Eight weeks from tomorrow the Fair is to begin.  And should I have to go to Chicago I shall not be "in it". 

Tell Neppie I am sorry I do not have to appear here again this Spring when the weather shall be warm and pleasant for her to come and see me, but if there is anything else she would like to see, I should be glad to have her come and I will take care of "Sunshine" night and day.  My love & Kisses to her and my darling little grandson, I remain your loving Mother 

26 W 31st St NY 
April 7, 1892 

My dear daughter Neppie,   

Since I arrived here which was at 6 PM Sunday I have been very busy - having to travel to Williamsburg [Brooklyn] every night and to Matinee yesterday - and having in the meantime my own work and Fair work to attend to. 

The [Actors Fund] Fair is progressing nicely - and when it is over Mr. Palmer may come down to Earth again - and tell us what he has provided for us.  Until then, I do not believe he knows himself what he is going to do. 

Come when you can - if in the meantime I am sent out to Oshkosh or the Sandwich Islands - I will telegraph in time for you not to come.  With love and Kisses to my dear children Penelope, Albert & Edward from their loving Mother

26 West 31st Street
New York
April 12th/92 

My dear Son, 

Enclosed find order for 15 -- 5 apiece for your Easter Eggs.  With this I send you the last "Fair Tokens" which will show you the Fair is doing well.  

Elizabeth is not feeling well.  Teeth are at work.  I guess she has four.  Rehearsed a new play [Broken Seal?] this Morning, not very good.  Do not know when it will be done, but rehearse it again tomorrow.  This is about all the news I have for I know nothing about the Summer or next Season.  My love and Kisses to you all dear children from your loving

26 West 31st Street 
New York 
April 14th 1892 

My dear daughter Neppie 

I thank you for your very cordial invitation for Easter and darling little Edward's christening at which it would give me great happiness to be present. All will depend upon the weather and my health. Make no preparation for me or expect me. Then you will not be disappointed if I should not appear. If I make a start I will telegraph Albert by what train to expect me. 

I am glad Edward is growing so nicely and talking so much. He must be very entertaining now. It will give me great pleasure to see him and his little cousins "received into the congregation of Christ's flock". 

I attended a meeting this Afternoon of the [Actors' Fund] Fair, and feel quite tired after it. There was so much talking, and the crowd so great & the room warm that I haven't gotten over it yet.  I shall be glad when the 8th of May arrives.  Serving in a booth for a week will be rather fatiguing I am afraid, but I shall have to try and get through it. It will be an immense crowd. 

Yes, Hattie still nurses the baby and intends to through the Summer but she also gives her Mellins food which Elizabeth drinks from a tumbler. Drinks two tumblers full, one about 10 AM and the other about 1/2 six PM. Seems to agree with her.  The trouble now is a little cold she has taken. I do not think it will last long though Hattie went to the doctor about her yesterday.  Kiss Albert and Edward for me and give them my love and with love and Kisses for yourself I remain your loving Mother

26 West 31st Street NY 
April 22/92 

My dear Son, 

On Wednesday I had an interview with my manager.  I am engaged for next season, but when that Season begins AM [Palmer] himself does not know.  This season I finish in Chicago, going there to open on the 16th in Broken Seal for one week, the season ending on Sat Eve May 21st -- in the meantime my salary goes on until that date.

I shall be here two weeks longer.  The Company playing Alabama will leave for Chicago on Saturday night -- April 30th and begin with Alabama May 2nd.

That night we open the [Actors' Fund] Fair here.  Fair opens May 2nd 7:30 PM.  Mr. P[almer] told me he expected to have some good plays next season and better parts for me -- "For" said he "I have found that I cannot get anyone else to please the Public and myself better than you do"!  Now what do you think of your Maternal Mother!

I shall endeavor to find something to do in the early Fall, for his season may not begin until January.  All will depend upon the success of Mr. Bronson Howard's play, [Aristocracy] which will be put on at Palmers [Theatre] about Nov.  Alabama will start out for the Pacific slope the last of July -- and I suppose travel until wanted for the opening here, but those not wanted in the cast of Alabama may take a back seat for the time being.  Well was Edward christened on Monday?  I am tired.  Fair is too much for me.  Love and Kisses etc Mother

Hope to see you all at the Fair.

26 West 31st Street
New York
May 1st 1892

My dear daughter Neppie, 

No, Hattie has decided not to come to the Fair.  We begin tomorrow night and will feel pretty tired I guess by the time 11 o'clock arrives.  I expect to be there tomorrow from 10 AM to 11 PM and perhaps later. Think there will not even be a grease spot left of me at the end of the week. 

I cannot tell you yet when I shall start for Chicago.  May have to go earlier in the week than I want to, but I do not think before Friday and I may have to go on Monday.  There will be five ladies to go.  Mrs. [Agnes] Booth, Mrs. [DP] Bowers, the Misses [Julia] Arthur and [Maud] Harrison & self.  Mr. & Mrs. [Frederic] Robinson went with the Company last night, although he does not play until I do.  I shall have to be guided by the way the others go, or are sent by the management.  I do not think I shall be able to see you before going, unless you all come to the Fair.  

And I hope you will be able to do so.  I have a ticket to take you in.  On Monday Fair begins at 8 PM.  All other days opens at 1:30 and closes 11 PM.  Messrs [Edwin] Booth and [Joseph] Jefferson open the Fair,  Love and Kisses to my dear children Albert, Edward and Penelope from their loving Mother

Yesterday -- Scharles Bro of 24th to 23rd St Toys raised their donation of $10 guaranteed in March to $100.  It is a child's theatre & they have it on exhibition in their store window on 23rd St . 

Odell notes that the week of Maya 2nd-7th was big and bustling and brilliant with the long-awaited Actor's Fund Fair, with actresses fluttering about in booths and out of booths, selling to susceptible gentlemen items and items that they did not want.. 

[undated in envelope May 4 1892]
My dear Son, 

All right.  Hope to see you. I have no time to write. In [Actors Fund] Fair from 12M to 11 PM.   And all other time is devoted to outside work. Have to hustle I tell you.  Love to all your loving Mother

26 West 31st Street, N.Y. 
May 12th 1892 

My dear Son, 

Today I finished selling and resigned my position as Toy seller to the Actors Fund Fair.  On Saturday I leave for  Chicago by the New York Central at  4:30 PM.  So I cannot pay you the visit I should have done tomorrow had we gone by the Erie.  

On Saturday night the Fair closes by the awarding of the Cleveland Diamond.  There is great speculation as to who will be the lucky one.  Of course my ticket will be the one to draw it! 750 is my number.  So watch for it. 

I shall stop over at the Sherman House in Chicago as we play at Hooley's Theatre House in the same block.  It seems a long journey to take for one week's work but so it is.  Love & Kisses to my dear children three Albert, Edward and Neppie from their loving Mother 

next: Elizabeth Ellen Dolman 1891-1892

New York, Oct. 1892 Columbus celebration

previous: Baltimore Nov. 5, 1892

UNITED STATES HOTEL 
Hartford, Conn
City Hall Square
Ryan, Clark & Daniels, proprietors 
Hartford, Conn  Novr 8th 1892 

My dear Son, 

Opened last night to a very small audience.  The night before election they say prevented people from coming.  It was 3 AM when we were in the Broad St Station [Philadelphia].  I was in my berth and too lazy to get up, being pretty tired after the two Saturday performances.  On arriving in NY I went to 47 E 21st, had breakfast and after chatting awhile with Mrs. Nagle, I undressed & went to bed.  Slept until nearly 4 PM and again went to bed at 9 PM and got up at 6:45 as I understood we were to leave by 9 AM train.  When I got to 42nd St  Depot I learned it was a mistake and we did not leave until noon.  So I checked my satchel and went down B'way to buy gloves and then went over to see Maud [Harrison] and hear the news.  Mr. [AM] P[almer] does not produce anything at his theatre himself until after the middle of January.   

So you see I would have had a nice visit if I had not accepted this engagement.  I do not like our play and do not like my part but the salary is good and I like it.  The travelling is pretty severe on your young Mother, but I hope I shall be able to stand it.  I am with a very nice party of people, all respectable and well-behaved and I am happy with them. 

You will soon know I suppose who is President for the next 4 years.  I believe "The People" want Cleveland but there is too much boodle on the other side and very funny that Blaine goes to Washington at the 11th hour.  Harrison must have apologized to him.  I shall be very sorry to see Cleveland defeated.  My love and Kisses to my dear children three Neppie, Ted and Bertie from their loving Mother

[note in Hattie's handwriting with 1892 written at top by Betty Nick or Arthur] For my darling little nephew with Aunty's love.  I didn't know whether his Mama had woolen dresses on him or not, but thought this would be of use next summer if it is not now.  

The summer that Mother and Betty Nick spent in Middletown -- 1921 or 1922 -- after being in the Caribbean, the family was shocked that Mother did not have Betty Nick in flannel for the summer. 

next: Troy NY Nov 1892

1893

Milwaukee Feb. 17, 1893  I do not yet know where I can put up, for all the rooms are occupied at Nagles, and the hotels of which there are many in the vicinity, are expensive.  But I am going to try the Hotel Dane or St Denis.  

Hotel St. Denis was at Broadway and 11th Street, opposite Grace Church. "A few minutes walk above the St. Denis is the brilliant Union Square and the shopping district extends on all sides...The Broadway cable cars pass the doors almost every minute." (Kings NYC)

36 East 21st Street
Tuesday March 14th 93

My dear daughter Neppie, 

Arrived in the City yesterday and went to [Hotel] St Denis at 4:40 PM.  Came up to 47 E 21st and learned there was a room vacant here.  Came over and liked it and took it, and moved here this Morning.  I have the 2nd story front room, not so large as Nagles or Beechers, but better furnished and more cosy.  Two closets, running hot & cold water in one.   

I have been to the dressmakers today and feel tired.  It is harder work than acting.  Love and Kisses to my dear children Albert, Neppie and Bit of Sunshine from their loving  

36 East 21st Street
New York
March 19th/93 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

Today a thermometer in this room has registered 60 and even lower and now with big fire in the grate since 9 AM is (5 PM) only 68 and stands on the mantelpiece.  So you can understand it is pretty cold for N.Y. City.  I have been out at night only twice during the week and that across the street to see Mrs. Nagle.  

Tonight I have to attend rehearsal, and tomorrow night begin work.  I have been very busy all week getting things in good shape.  Had Mrs. Cunningham here all day Friday.  Feel now that I am pretty near ready and hope Joseph will be a success, so our engagement will be prolonged until end of Season. 

I went behind the scenes during last act of Lady Windermere's Fan at Palmer's yesterday afternoon.  I received a most hearty welcome from all sides.  I would have gone to the play last night, but I thought Albert might arrive and didn't give him up until 9, then thought it was too late to go alone. 

My room is very nice but the board is scarce.  And coffee is not good, but I shall try to endure it for another three weeks.  When you come I shall take you all to a restaurant at least once a day and fill you up.  And I will keep some fruit, crackers & anything else that Sunshine [grandson Ted Nickinson] may need in the room.  We are close to Park & Tilfords Grocery Store. 

Should Joseph make a hit and we remain through April perhaps we can arrange it, to be once more united.  Jack is delicate and I would be afraid to have him come until warmer weather, for no matter where one goes they cannot find things just as comfortable as they are at home.  I do not think this cold weather can last much longer but there is not telling what March may do.  May have an/88 blizzard yet before she ends her career of /93. 

I have nothing more to write that would be interesting to you unless to tell you the New Waldorf Hotel was opened on Thursday to the Public and everybody is amazed at the magnificence displayed.  Only $20 per day for a suite consisting of Parlor, bedroom & bathroom.  Meals extra. It is on the European plan.  I guess we could live there for about $40 per day, $280 per week.  Not much for a Rockefeller or Vanderbilt but the Astors will never get it out of this child.  Cause why?  She hasn't got that much & never will have.  And if she had, would not spend it so foolishly.  Love and Kisses to my big son.  Love and Kisses to my little son and daughter Neppie from their loving Mother 

Enough "ands" up there [EJP crossed out two after the one in the last sentence] Girl brought ice water in just at that point and I was talking to her and did not notice what I was doing.  

36 East 21st St  N.Y.
March 24th 1893

My dear Son, 

Very sorry you have such a cold and hope the remedies employed have broken it up.  If not go to a doctor.  Do no funny business with it for Pneumonia is on the "rampage". 

Our houses have been very good and the play pleases, but unfortunately Elsie [deWolfe] does not.  We had a fine display of 1st nighters on Monday and everything went off well but "How old is she?" is still the question asked by everybody.  It is not her age, but her manner that gives her that appearance, and is her misfortune, not her fault.  The play is nicely staged.  Three entirely new scenes and settings. 

In today's Herald you will see an article stating that B.F. Keith of Boston will take charge of the Union Square Theatre on April 8th.  That is the end of our present engagement, but Mr. Keith & Mr. [Ramsey] Morris are in negotiation to continue Joseph for an indefinite run.  Whether their efforts will be successful remains to be seen.  I hope they will be. 

You will not know for a couple of weeks if Edward is likely to catch the malady for there is more danger for him in the girl's return than in her departure.  If it does develop, keep him from draughts and cold, and in bed, if possible, for 3 or 4 days at least.  Saffron tea is a good thing to keep them out. 

If you and Neppie come, bring him with you.  The car will be warm and the 23rd Street ferry is so convenient you would not have far to walk.  Get out of the car at 23rd Street and B'way as this house is nearer the latter than 4th Ave.  Of course I do not mean to bring him if the sickness has in any way given out symptoms of appearing.  You both know better than that. 

I have just had a call from Uncle [Zavistowski].  Tells me he is teaching at the Knickerbocker School on 14th Street.  He is looking well and very young for 68.  Says Aunty is well except for her rheumatism.  Come when you can dear children.  I shall be glad to see you.  Love and Kisses to Neppie, Edward & Albert from your loving Mother

36 E. 21st Street  N.Y. 
March 27th/93 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

Waited to see my landlady, Mrs. Johnson, and have seen her this Morning.  She was very nice and has promised to make arrangements for my children's accommodation.  So that part of your visit is settled, but I went over to see Mrs. Nagle last Evening and learned that Baby Lily Marigold is down with the measles.  Was quite sick when I was there on Thursday, but going about the house.  They thought it was only a cold but on Friday the measles put in an appearance.  

Now you must use your judgment about coming with Ted.  It will not be necessary to you to go to 47, but Lily taking the disease may show it is in the neighborhood.  I asked Dr Nagle if it was very plentiful in the City and he said, "not more so than usual at this time of year".  Of course I want to see my "bit of Sunshine" but I do not want him to catch the measles.  As far as I know there is only one child in the house, and she is about the size of Lily, but has more care taken of her, and seems to be well & healthy looking. 

Let me know your decision about coming as soon as you can.  One thing is certain.  Children get the measles without being exposed to it, so that if you put them in a glass case they may get it and not be anywhere near a child who has them. 

My room is heated by register or a grate fire so we can keep warm.  I will try to make you all comfortable as possible, but I cannot defend you against the possibility of catching measles. 

[Hattie] & Jack come tomorrow.  I have torn up the letter I was going to send her for I know she would only worry, and I think it will do her & Jack good to come and we will trust to luck.  John will come on Sunday and they will return on Sunday Afternoon.  I shall send word for John to come on Saturday.  So now make up your mind what you will do.  Love & Kisses to my dear children Albert, Neppie and Sunshine from their loving Mother

Neppie in her old age when I knew her, never liked to leave when she said she would.  There are many letters from Grandfather, no matter where she was, asking when she was coming home.  Apparently she was always that way, not just in her later years 

Hotel Peteler 
SE Corner of 124th Street & Lexington Ave NY
April 12th 1893

My dear Son, 

Well I came up here and am very glad I came.  My room is not as large but the other conveniences [bathrooms?] are better.  I am half a block from back entrance of theatre -- board is very good, and I get it for $9 per week -- quite a save on $20.  I am saved the long ride after the performance and as we give 2 matinees -- today, the other on Saturday, I am spared from riding up and down and buying lunches as I should have to do on Matinee days for business up here is better than at the Square, and the play receives more enthusiastic applause.  The theatre is a fine large one -- fronts on 125th Street and runs back to 124th.  I think the auditorium will hold more than double the number than could get in at Union Square.  [Actually 1800 compared to 1300 at the Union Square Theatre.] 

Next Monday and Tuesday, Albany, Wednesday Troy -- Thursday, Friday & Saturday Providence RI.  Monday 24th Boston 1 week.  May 1st Philadelphia 1 week -- 8th Pittsburg 1 week.  15th Brooklyn 1 week.  22nd Toronto 1 week.  Season closing on the 27th of May. 

Monday night Mr. [Ramsey] Morris again asked me to remain with him next season.  I thought he had given up thinking of me.  I told him the work was too hard and I could not stand it -- said he would show me the route and I would find the travel much easier, but he has not shown me the route yet!  I cannot see success for the play next season and do not care to be mixed up with its failure.  Do not know what I shall do, but I think I shall not reengage for Joseph

A telegram from [AM] Palmer just recd "would like to see me" Well I have been down to AM's office.  He offers me an engagement with Chas Frohman for next season to play in Lady Windermere's Fan.  Season begins Sept 15th.  I am to go down and see him tomorrow.  Love & Kisses to you Nep and Ted from your loving Mother

The Harlem Opera House was at 207 West 125th Street (opened in 1889) was owned and managed by Oscar Hammerstein.

Hotel Peteler 
124th St
April 14th/93

My dear Neppie, 

I have been trying to get to Macy's to investigate the matter about the shirts.  I asked the salesman if he was sure all the shirts were 16 inches and he said "Oh, yes!"  As much as to tell me he never made mistakes.  He was a sort of stupid, with a swelled head.  I will try to get down in the Morning.  I can ride nearly all the way from here to 6th Ave Elevated and that will take me to Macy's stop.  

My time here is drawing to a close.  We may not leave here until Monday Morning, as the ride to Albany is not very long, but I think as my trunk goes tomorrow night, that I shall go downtown and stop somewhere on Sunday night, so as not to go so far on Monday Morning.  My love & Kisses to you all dear children from your loving Mother

next: Boston Apr 1893

Hotel St George  Thursday 
Brooklyn
May 18th [1893]
Wm Tumbridge, Propr. 

My dear Son, 

I do not know where we "wind up our season".  Last night Miss [Elsie] deWolfe did not play, owning to a very sore throat, and I suppose will not play again this week, and I heard last night that it is possible she will not go to Toronto.  A Miss Halloway who has been playing "Susan" played "Constance" last night and under the circumstances filled the bill and is to continue playing it.   

I asked Mr. [Ramsey] Morris last night to find somebody for my part for next week, or get the management to let us off from going to Toronto, as I should imagine he would be willing to do if Miss deWolfe was not able to go.  So as things stand I do not know whether we will have to go to Toronto or not.  I should like to tell you about "future movements" but do not know them until too late to tell anybody.  We never know until Saturday, where and by what road we go.  And even then are not sure until the train starts.  I am very thankful, even if I have to go to Toronto, that next week ends my engagement with Mr. Morris. 

If I do not have to go to Toronto, you may see me on Sunday, but if I go, I cannot now tell you when I will be able to go, for all will depend upon what route we take to Toronto.  If by Erie, I will stop off and stay a few days, but I want to get my clothes put in order, for I am in rags, before making any Summer visits.  

I enclose a V.  I suppose you will be able to find use for it.  Wish I had 10,000 of them to send you.  My love and Kisses to Neppie.  Love and Kisses to Little Sunshine.  Love and Kisses from your loving Mother

next: Philadelphia June 1893

47 East 21st Street 
New York
Monday 18th Septr [1893] 

My dear Son, 

I arrived here this Morning with baggage.  Rehearsal for 2 weeks in Lady Windermere's Fan and play in Harlem on the 2nd of Octr under Mr. Chas Frohman's management, with whom I have signed a contract for season of 93-94.

I have had considerable trouble and annoyance over the matter, and consequently am very nervous and not at all well.  I have to get two dresses made, and that with rehearsals everyday will keep me very busy.  After Harlem I hear we go to Chicago.  To my dear children give my love and Kisses.  I am still their loving Mother

47 East 21st St.
New York
Septr 29th/93 

My dear Son, 

I have had a very busy week of it with dressmaking, milliners and shoemakers.  I am expecting my dresses home in a few moments.  Shoes have arrived and bonnet comes home with dresses.  Of course I have had rehearsals every day.  We do not rehearse tomorrow, but there is prospect of our to do so on Sunday, or on Monday in Harlem

I would like for you and Neppie to come here but I have no room.  I have a very single bed and a big trunk in my room, in fact two at present, but one will go to Harlem, I suppose on Sunday.  I do not expect to be very happy in this engagement, but it was the best I could do.  

I have not been well and on Tuesday Evening went to Dr G. Buckingham Smith, and he told me I have catarrhal gastritis and stopped any coffee and all fried food.  Must eat plenty of beefsteak chops, baked potatoes and no pies or cakes.  Drink cocoa or tea.  I have no real pain, but great nervousness.  If I can only get through Monday night all right, I hope then to improve.  The "part" would have been nothing to me in the past and I am very near perfect, but I am so afraid that I shall not get through, that it makes me fear to go through the ordeal. 

I have come to the conclusion that a woman has no right to be on the stage after she is 50 [EJP was 63].  It has cost me $290 to dress the part, without counting my expenses of board &c and all I had was $400.  So you see I am bankrupt, and if my health fails, I do not know what is to become of all of us. 

I do not write this to annoy you dear, but I think it best that you should know the true state of things.  You can keep it to yourself or tell Neppie just as you feel abut it.  Hattie of course knows all.  She wants to visit you but is unable to for want of funds.  I have not told Hattie that I have been to Dr Smith as I had been getting medicine from Dr Guernsey, but I was not getting any better and thought it best to get another Dr to brace me up.   

[following is written perpendicular to first page] 
I do not know whether I can get seats for you or not if you come, for Mr. Chas Frohman is the man who in an interview newspaper article said he would not give passes to the profession.  And I do not like to be refused in the first week of my engagement. 

next Lady Windermere's Fan Oct. 1893

1894
Rochester Feb. 1894

Feb 1894  Providence and Newport, Rhode Island

Monday March 5th [1894]
The Aberdeen     over Park & Tilfords grocery store
Broadway & 21st St       
New York

My dear daughter Neppie, 

We play at Grand Opera House tonight and for the week.  Next week in Brooklyn, where on Saturday night our present season closes, and a new company is formed under the management of Mr. Gustave Frohman.  My season with him will continue until 1st of May.

After that, if I remain with him, he will expect me to take a reduction of salary, which I have already refused to do.  So I expect my season will close on the 1st of May.  Where I do not yet know, as we have not yet heard our route: only that we close Holy Week and begin our new season at the National Theatre, Phila on Easter Monday. 

I have come to this hotel with Mr. & Mrs. [Herbert] Ayling, $7 per week for room on the 5th floor but there is a "lift" after arriving at the 1st floor.  I think I shall prefer it to Mrs. Johnsons. 

I hope you will be able to come over and see me this week.  I have Matinees Wed & Sat.  Take 23rd St ferry and car to Broadway.  The entrance to this house is on Broadway.  You cannot miss it. 

If I am satisfied with this house I shall remain here next week, making the journey to Brooklyn by Broadway car, Bridge & Brooklyn Elevated to Park Theatre.  If I do not like it, I shall move over to the Clarendon in Brooklyn next week.  Love & Kisses to my dear children three Albert, Neppie and dear little Ted from their loving  Mother

Park Hotel
opp. Military Park
H. Koellhoffer, Prop. 
Newark, N.J.  
April 3rd 1894

My dear Son, 

Walter [Dolman] has done very well in the "part" of "Hopper" and I guess is all right for the Summer, and possibly the Fall.  I expect my season to close in Chicago about the 12th of May, for I think there are plenty [of others] anxious to go on for the "Duchess" for half my salary.  Nothing further has been said to me, and I do not think they will be likely to keep me at present salary. 

The new "Mrs. Erlynne" and "Lady Windermere" are giving better satisfaction than their predecessors did, so that will incline them to think they may get a more satisfactory "Duchess" for less money.  Week after next we shall be at "The Peoples Theatre" in Bowery. 

With buildings going on [in Philadelphia], west of them and North of them their Country view will soon be gone, and Hattie feels much depressed over it.  But I tell them, they cannot take the Park away.  They will still have that half a block away from them. 

I saw by Argus that you have been having a Smoker and you were in the Hurly Burly.  Hope you enjoyed the entertainment. 

We gave nine performances last week in Phila.  Here we give seven.  Next week one night stands.  Love and Kisses to my dear children Albert, Neppie and Edward from their loving Mother

Had Ted donned his breeches yet? 

[envelope postmarked  April 6, 1894 ] 
   Park Hotel 
       Newark, N.J.

My dear Son, 

Allow me to congratulate you on your success in typewriting.  The longest letter I have rec'd from you in two years.  I hope you find it easier than pen & ink. 

I took Walter [Dolman] to New York yesterday.  Got in 6th Ave  car at DesBrosses ferry and rode up to 59th St.  Then walked down 5th Ave to 42nd.  Took 4th Ave car down to 21st.  Went to Nagles and had lunch with Dr & Mrs. N[agle].  Introduced Walter to Lizzie & Fanny Kirby.  After a chat for an hour or so, we took 4th Ave Car down the Bowery to Broome & Centre to Grand and changed to DesBrosses Street cars.  On our way I showed him the various theatres, and last night he was called to a rehearsal at Standard Theatre [6th Ave between 32nd and 33rd Sts].  This Morning found his way there alone taking 6th Ave L to 33rd St and he got back all right.  My love and Kisses to each and everyone of you dear children from your loving Mother 

3219 Clifford St

Oct 31st/94 

My dear Sister, [Neppie] 

[Mama] arrived home from St Louis on Monday the 22nd about 1 PM.  We spent the afternoon going through trunks and she left Tuesday morning at 7:30.  I packed her trunks & took them over on Thursday & stayed with her until Tuesday.  Josie kept house for me. 

It was well that I could go, for she had a wretched time of it.  Long rehearsals, running to dressmakers &c & the part was altered just enough to make it confusing & more troublesome than a new one.  And she was ill in the bargain.  The day before I arrived she had nothing to eat between 9 AM & 6 PM.  She began to feel so worn out & miserable by Saturday that she went to see Dr Smith who thought the trouble came from nervousness. 

Sunday night there was a rehearsal, which was not over until 1:30 Monday morning.  Mon morning she saw the Doctor again & he then said her liver was congested.  She was a little better when I left her yesterday.  The part is a hard one for she has to wear four dresses, two she had made at Simpson & Crawford's, the ball dress she had, and I freshened it up & in the last act she wore one of her Joseph dresses. 

Now she has to get ready for the nurse in Romeo & Juliet & the part Mrs. [DP] Bowers played in The Transgressor.  She was called to rehearsal at 12 yesterday.  I went with her, but they did not rehearse, but told them to come at 10 today. 

I will go over and help her through the first night of the nurse if she needs me.  Mr. [Marcus] Mayer thought it might be done about Thursday of next week.  From New York  they come here on Nov 12.  I can help her here.  I don't think her travel will be quite so hard as heretofore.  [rest of Hattie's letter is missing]  

Romeo and Juliet: An undated clipping from a Milwaukee paper reviews Miss [Olga] Nethersole as Juliet.  "Every young actress  is sure to make a mistake now and then, and Miss Nethersole has made one as Juliet. 

Simpson's & Crawfords was on 5th Avenue, between 19th and 20th Streets (1897 NYT ad). 

1895 
Jany 9th 1895

My dear children Albert & Neppie 

Pleased your first installment of increased salary has been paid you.  Haven't felt so wealthy in a long time, have you?  Take good care of it.  I feel you will -- having had to do with so little for so long a time.   

It has been a source of grievance to me I assure you, that I could not help you more than I did, but Mr. [AM] Palmer and his short seasons crippled me and it was fortunate for me I broke loose from him when I did, for I have done better than I should have done with him. 

Now his so-called "Stock Co" are away in Boston in the middle of the season playing New Woman so they are no better off than I am, as far as a home is concerned or saving money, for this travelling takes away the chance of saving anything. 

Hammerstein's Theatre where we are to play next week fronts on the North side of 125th Street and the back door is on 126th Street so the boarding house I expect to go to is 219 West 126th Street. I have written to the lady of the house, by name Mrs. FL Wandell, to see if she can accommodate me.   Love & Kisses to my dear children Albert, Neppie & Ted from their loving Mother

Hammerstein's Opera House Programme, Oscar Hammerstein, Sole Owner & Manager  Miss Olga Nethersole Week Commencing Jan. 14, 1895 Camille

New Woman by Sydney Grundy Nov. 1894. 

Ridgewood NJ  [Zavistowskis]
July 4th 1895 

My dear Son 

Had no rehearsal today but go at 12 tomorrow when Mr. [Richard] Mansfield takes the rehearsal in hand, and I hope will straighten us out.  

He yesterday mentioned a new play would be put in rehearsal, so I hope to hear about it tomorrow, and then be able to tell you whether to bring my trunk, or that I shall be able to make you a visit next week.  Will write tomorrow if I can find out from the powers that be, when these rehearsals will be stopped.  And I have yet to find a boarding house.  Until then with love and Kisses to Neppie, Ted and Albert I remain their loving Mother

47 E 21st St  N.Y. 
July 19th 1895 

My dear Son, 

I returned last Evening after seeing the last sad but beautiful rites performed over our dear departed friend [John Dolman Sr].  Services by the Rev'd Mr. White, who married Hattie & John, and Mr. Walker of Zion Church were conducted at the house and finished at the grave.  

When the Masons stepped forward and went through their lovely services --  throwing a scroll of parchment and an apron and some evergreens into the grave and bidding farewell to their "departed brother" it was a solemn scene, and I wished you had been there.  We hoped for you until about 9 AM, but while I hoped, I was not disappointed, for I did not think you would be able to get away.  There would not have been any difficulty about entertaining you.  Hattie had plenty of room for you. 

The funeral was quite large but not as large as at another season of the year it would have been.  The Courts are closed and Lawyers are out of town.  

I left the family all well and bearing up bravely under their great loss.  Now will come the tug of War.  John will have his hands full as he has all the business to attend to. 

Well, I attended rehearsal today and am called at 12 on Monday.  Mr. Holland told me that he thought it possible that rehearsals would be dropped for a few days.  I shall now have my costumes to get ready, and that will be no fun this hot weather.  We are announced to open on the 5th of August, and if Mansfield & the Hollands do not get into a row before then, I suppose we may. 

I enclose three [obituary] notices from last Evenings papers that I bought on the train coming over.  [John Dolman Sr] was largely mentioned in all the papers and several editorials appeared in his praise.  Love and Kisses to [Neppie], Ted and yourself from your loving  Mother   

47 E 21st Street
July 24th 1895

My dear Son, 

Yesterday the opening of the Holland 's season was postponed from August 5th to Sept 3rd, with rehearsals to again begin on August 5th.  That would be giving Mr. [Richard]  Mansfield four more weeks beside the five already given -- making nine weeks without Thanks or remuneration.  So this morning I sent in my resignation, and am now free to pay you the promised visit if you and Neppie still wish to have me.

I have to see my dressmaker this afternoon and attend to a few other things, but it will all depend upon her whether I can go to‑morrow afternoon or not.  I will leave this open until I see her, and then be able to tell you when to expect me.  

Well, I have seen her, and she wants me again in Friday AM, so I suppose I shall not get away before Saturday.  If there is any-thing I can do for Neppie, tell her to let me know.  She can have a letter here for me on Friday morning, and I can shop in the afternoon as I have to go to the dressmaker at 11 AM.  Saturday the stores close at 12. 

I was fortunate in not having ordered more dresses that I did, but I brought over a big trunk for Phila last Thursday, and now wish I hadn't.  Will talk the engagement business over when we meet -- until then I will wish myself with you.  Love and Kisses to Neppie, Ted and yourself my dear children from your loving Mother

6 PM Thursday July 26,1895

My dear Son, 

I suppose you have had a telegram for me this afternoon.  It has come to me ‑- is from Mrs. [EL] Fernandez - wanting to know my terms for next season with Chas Frohman.  I have wired her "Same terms as in Lady Windermere.  I do not expect to be able to start before Saturday morning dear to see you. 

Now this business will detain me even a little longer.  Will not surprise me if it is to join the Nethersole Company.  She is to open at the Empire Theatre in October.  I have to go to the dressmaker at 11 AM tomorrow and will call on Mrs. Fernandez before that.   Love to you all from Mother 

Hattie has wired me that Mrs. Fernandez has sent a telegram to me there. 

51 East 21st Street
New York  [late July/early Aug. 1895]

Dear Son, 

Full at Nagles so they advised me to come here.  Have my choice of three rooms here, but think I shall decide on 2nd story back room, as I do not like climbing into the 3rd story.  I am now in 3rd story front, but will change on Thursday when it will be vacated.  Landlady very pleasant.  This is only to let you know my whereabouts.  Love and Kisses to you all dear children from your loving Mother    

51 East 21st Street
New York
August 30th 1895

My dear daughter Neppie, 

I have been kept busy rehearsing and studying ever since my arrival -- and the weather has been terrifically hot!  Today has not been so oppressive as Wednesday and Thursday but those days were very enervating and one longed for rain.  

I guess that was a "dry moon".  We were discoursing on its appearance last week.  Last night I did not sleep well on account of the heat and longed for Middletown's cool breezes.  I have a comfortable room, with a very pleasant lady and go into Nagles for my meals.   

We are to begin our play on the 13th but out of town!  But I do not yet know where, and I think open in this city on the 16th.  We are "going to try it on a dog" I suppose!  I have not many dresses to prepare, and those not elaborate.  Only two dresses -- one bonnet -- and a wrap.  Am in 1st & last acts -- only three in the play.  Mr. [William Jason] Ferguson is the only member of the Company I ever met.  I know him very well.   

I have been rushed & will be until the play is produced -- still when words are familiarized I shall not have to work at home.  If the play is a success I shall have an easy season, for the part is easy. 

I like my new stage manager Mr. Humphreys very much in that he is very thorough and energetic and puts on no airs.  He has done more in three days with his play than the Hollands and Mansfield combined did in five weeks.  We have no waiting at rehearsals.  We begin on time and get through without any trouble.  Best stage Management I have seen since Union Square days. 

The new waist I had made for the Holland play will do me for this -- and I do not have to wear gloves!  Love & Kisses to my dear children Neppie, Alby and Ted from their loving Mother

51 East 21st Street
New York
9-8-95 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

Many thanks for you kind sweet wishes to me on my birthday.  They are most heartily appreciated.  Your letter, one from Hattie and a dictionary from John were all I received this year in commemoration of my [65th] birthday.  

In the Afternoon I had a very pleasant visit with Kittie Fay Peregoy.  She and her husband are stopping at the [Hotel] St Denis.  I was delighted to see her, for it was a dreary wet afternoon, and being my birthday [Sept. 7.  She was 65.] I felt lonely.  Her brother Frank has gone to  Indianapolis to see his parents for the first time since he came to New York.  That must be nine or ten years this Fall.  My love and Kisses to you Albert and Ted.   God bless you dear.  Your loving Mother

51 East 21st St NY 
9-11 -95 

My dear Son,  

Today it was rumoured, and I heard it was announced in some of yesterday's papers - that we open on the 19th in Buffalo, NY for three nights and Saturday matinee, and return to open on the 23rd at Hoyt's [Madison Square] Theatre for a run.  Mr. Chas Frohman is attending rehearsals, is very pleasant and seems to be well pleased with the work of the company.  

I suppose by this time you have heard of the dreadful fate of Mr. Wm. Palmer.  I am very sorry.  He was always very kind to me!  Everybody liked "Willie", but they couldn't keep him from the cup and dissolute companions.  Too bad!  Too bad!  I miss your mountain air.  Love and Kisses to you, Neppie & Ted from the loving Mother of you three. 

51 E 21st N Y
10-18-95 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

I suppose Albert put the special stamp on [your letter], which was not at all necessary, for I would have got the letter this morning, and there was nothing urgent in the letter to require the outlay of 10 cents.  I will enclose the stamp, as he may want it for his collection.   

I looked at reefers yesterday.  The prices range from $5 to $14 -- 5 years size.  The young man waited on me from whom you bought the suit.  He asked if you were pleased with it.  I told him I had not heard.  The reefers are made of heavy piled cloth -- seem to me to be too heavy for so small a child.  There are some of cloth not so heavy.  I am afraid those at $5 would not please you.  

All the new waists are very showy and plaid waists are the rage -- even trimming waists with plaid silk.  Silks of the same style as yours are very much in evidence, and are made up in better styles than some of the plaids.

Yes, our play continues to draw and no notice has been given us yet of its withdrawal.  Did hear last night that they intended to keep it on for five months and perhaps longer, but that I rather doubt.  But I think it will run into December.  People are now taking about it and speaking highly in its praise. 

I met Dr Carew in at lunch yesterday in 47 [E 21st St].  He hadn't got over laughing then, he had seen it [Gay Parisians} Wed'day night.  He was delighted with it.  Mrs. DeYoung of San Francisco had just returned from Paris, where she saw the play several times, and was both surprised and delighted at our performance of it. 

When will you and Albert be able to come "and take it in"?  Let me know.  I will not be able to make you as comfortable as I wish but will make you comfortable as I can.  Love and Kisses to my dear children Albert, Ted and yourself from your loving Mother 

51 E. 21st St  N.Y.
10-31-95 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

So it is Gay Parisians you are in favor of seeing in preference to anything else.  Well, if I knew positively when you would be here I could get tickets at once.  Of course we shall play the piece several weeks yet, and if there is any doubt about your coming on Saturday, why take another time for it.  A week later election will be over, and I suppose Albert will not be so busy.  It makes no difference to me, only in regard to procuring tickets.  I dare say you could get seats on Saturday night, but they might not be very good ones. 

In today's Herald our 50th performance in underlined for Novr 11th with Souvenirs.  Perhaps you could come for Sat Eve, Sunday & Monday.  You could then see some other performance on the Saturday night and get a souvenir of the Gay Parisians on Monday night.  I do not know what it will be, not very valuable I imagine.  

I enclose a dollar for Ted!  Hallow'een, but it will be a little late when he gets it in the Morning.  Love and Kisses to you all dear children three from your loving Mother              

Gay Parisians by Maurice Desvallieres and Georges Feydeau, Sept. 1895 Review Kansas City Oct. 1, 1896

Gay Parisians 50th performance, New York Nov. 11, 1895 souvenir


photo by Robert Conlon, Derry NH

This is a rather odd-looking six-inch high black and copper colored piece I use as a postcard holder.  The inscription on the copper colored circle read HOYT'S THEATRE, Monday Nov. 11, 1895, 50th performance,  "The Gay Parisians".  

Art historian Saralinda Bernstein Lichtblau thinks it was a calling card holder, which makes sense. 

Mrs. EJ Phillips "to introduce my son Albert Nickinson"


Robert Conlon, Derry NH

6 PM [envelope dated Nov 18 1895 postmarked NY]

My dear Neppie, 

Got back here at 1/4 past 4 but you had all flown -- first impulse was to go after you to 23rd Street.  When I had got half way down the stairs to do so, I thought if there was a boat in you would take it and be gone before I got there -- and I would scarcely have time to go to Jersey.  Sorry I could not see you all again. 

Well I was not asked to go to London, but to Chicago for a Summer Season, after this Season is over, which will not be for some time yet.  The Summer Season will be for from ten to sixteen weeks at Hooley's Theatre, possibly beginning in June.  So I accepted and think that will be better than going to London and perhaps getting lost in the fog.   

The manager of "Hooley's" has been on, seen our play, likes it and has been making arrangement with Mr. Frohman to have the Company play with him during the summer.  Hope you found my boys well.  Love and Kisses to them and you from loving Mother 

11-18-[18]95]

My dear daughter Neppie,

If you had yesterday's NY Herald you would see by the Gay Parisians advertisement that we have a summer season in Chicago and the Gay Parisians will also be done in London -- by another Company under Chas Frohman's management.  We are announced to remain here until July 6th but Mrs. [Charles H] Hoyt told Mrs. Fernandez that we would play until January 21st.  That would be 9 weeks longer.  I also hear that when we close here, we go to Brooklyn and to Boston for a long run at the Boston Museum.  "A long run" there will, I imagine, be about 4 weeks.  I do not think we will go to Chicago before May.  Love and Kisses to my dear children Albert, Ted & your dear self from your loving Mother

3219 Clifford St 
Nov 19, 1895

My sweet Sister,  [Neppie]

And how did you enjoy your trip to New York?  Did you like the Gay Parisians?  I am so glad they did not want Mama to go to London.  I'd like to go myself, but I did not fancy having her go so far away alone.  My next door neighbors called on her a few weeks ago, and thought she seemed very well and in good spirits. 

You know dear sister mine, that I want you to come to see us very very much, but I don't like to press the matter or urge you against your judgment.  I know how it was with me during the time between my first & second visits to you.  I always wanted to go, but never could seem to feel justified in doing so.  Therefore if that is your feeling I respect it, at the same time, I want to see you so much!  Come tomorrow if you can, and if not as soon as possible. 

Tell Buddie he's a sassy thing to think I am going right on working for a fair that is to be held "sometime".  Why perhaps they will make up their minds they don't want a fair at all!  Nay, nay, Pauline.  When the date is set let me know & I will endeavor to bring my artistic skills and tastes together & give him the benefit. 

The other day I asked Jack to have something at the table and he replied "Nay, nay Pauline" [a line from the Lady of Lyons].  I was mightily astonished and asked him where he had heard it and he said, "Uncle Albert says it".   Ever your loving sister Hattie

51 East 21st Street 
11-26-95 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

I still take my meals at Nagles -- with a little difference.  I did not like the way my meals, or rather breakfast, was brought in, and I had that stopped.  Now I have a quart bottle of Borden's milk left for me everyday -- drink what I want of it at night and keep the rest for a drink in the morning, and go into breakfast at 12.  Dinner at six, and they bring a lunch for me to eat after I get home from performance.  I did not feel like making an entire change, for I may not be here longer than the 6th or rather the 5th of January.   

We hear reports, but they are often changed or contradicted.  I have heard that Chas Frohman is trying to place us in another theatre, in the City, on the 6th of January.  I hope he will succeed, and that we shall not have to travel so early, but all is a mystery yet to us poor players. 

I have been to the PO Station 3rd Ave and 28th Street and have sent an order to Albert for $20 for your united Thanksgiving remembrance.  Love and Kisses and best wishes to my dear children Albert, Neppie and Ted from their loving-and-would-like-to-be- with them Mother 

51 E 21st St NY 
11-29-95

My dear Son, 

Thanks for your prompt reply.  I felt almost positive I had not closed the envelope.  But fortunately I was, "Not so bad as I seemed to myself".  

By today's Herald I see that Chas Frohman is going to put John Drew in Palmer's Theatre on Jany 6th, and that I guess has given rise to the report that he was trying to get a theatre to put us in on January 6th, but I guess we will have to go to Brooklyn and Harlem and dear knows where! before getting to Boston when we are to stay for a "run" (4 weeks I guess).  I hope that will not be before April for Boston is cold even then. 

I went to 11 o'clock Service at Calvary [Church] and to shop at 1.  Mrs. Ahearn gave me my dinner at 12:25.  She set the usual old time dinner -- Roast Turkey, Goose, Ducks and boiled tongue, Celery, Cranberries, Grapes &c -- and ice cream. 

I hope to spend Christmas & New Years in this City, and shall be glad to have you all come, at anytime you feel able to.  What does [Ted] want for Xmas?  Love and Kisses and God bless you all from your loving Mother 

Calvary Church "has long been one of the leading Episcopal parishes... and is the center of much beneficent activity.  The congregational singing is very fine, trained singers being scattered throughout the congregation.  [Kings NYC]

51 East 21st St N Y 
12-29-95

My dear daughter Neppie, 

The pocketbook pleased me very much.  It is the style and size I like.  And the handkerchiefs are very fine and pretty.  I think Santa Claus was very good to us all.  I think he did well to bring you a silk dress that I am sure is "just what you wanted".  Hope the coat and suspenders fitted well.  The hand'fs I am afraid were not quite large enough to be satisfactory. 

From John & Hattie I received three pairs of gloves, from Jack a memorandum book.  From Aunty [Zavistowski] a celluloid glove box.  Alice [Zavistowski] Shailer a picture frame, hand painted.  Mrs. [Emmeline Zavistowski] Webb a small medicine box containing bottles for different medicines, and another little case with pens, pencil, ink bottle, calendar &c to carry in a satchel when travelling.

Miss [Odette] Tyler her book, Boss [A Story of Virginia Life] and a pretty paper cutter.  Miss Hall a little powder puff bag.  Miss Graves a little pin cushion.  Miss Gordon a real lace edged Hand-kerchief.  Miss [Josie] Dolman a Christmas card.  Mrs. D[olman] a silver glove button hook and a linen hand'f.  Mrs. Eaton an embroidered hand'f and Xmas card.  Miss Eaton a Dickens Calendar.  

Next week I shall be in Harlem, and think I shall make arrangements to go up there to live.  The following week Brooklyn.  Then to Baltimore, Washington, back to Newark and then this City at Grand Opera House, one week in each city.  Then an open, as yet, week and then Boston Feby 14th for a run for 5 or 6 weeks.  This is what I have been told but then there may be changes. 

I suppose Ted has a good time with all his pretty games and toys.  I should have enjoyed seeing his eyes open at each new discovery.  Grandma loves him and I am his Grandma. 

If there is any especial performance you and Albert would like to see I will get the tickets for you, so that you will not have to bother about seats after you arrive.  I suppose Albert has his Asylum work on hand now, it being the end of the month.  Well, hoping to see you soon, I will close with a happy New Years wish my dear children from their loving Mother

1896
PARK HOUSE 
 86 & 88 Park Place  opp. Military Park
H. Koellhoffer, Prop'r. 
Newark, N.J.  Feby 7th 1896 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

You can suit your own time next week to your own convenience.  Anytime will do me.  I do not yet know where I can locate in New York.  I am trying to find out about the "Chelsea House", 313 West 22nd Street.  Love and Kisses to my children Albert, Edward and Neppie.  Your loving   Mother

EJP doesn't seem to have ended up at the Chelsea House, but one of Ted Nickinson's daughters and family  lived at 360 W. 22nd Street in the 1960's. 

next: Detroit Mar 13, 1896

1897
EJ Phillips  made her last appearance in New York as Angelique, in the Gay Parisians at the Madison Square -- then Hoyt's Theatre -- in December 1895.   NY Dramatic Mirror obituary Aug 20, 1904

But the 1897 letters from the Sturtevant House certainly sound as if she was still acting in New York

Sturtevant House 
Jan 4th 1897

My dear Son,  

I located in the above this afternoon a little before  4 o'clock.  Tried the New Amsterdam -- but they had only two single rooms vacant -- both dark and about the size of Ted's bedroom - would not have held my trunks.  Nagles had no empty rooms so I came here. 

Have a plain room on the 4th floor with running cold water, no hot for $1 per day.  Am taking meals on the European plan.  Guess it will be a little expensive but I can take meals where I please.  God bless and Prosper you all is the loving wish from me to my dear children Albert, Neppie and Ted Mother

Sturtevant House 
Broadway &  29th Street 

New York 
Jan 9, 1897

My dear daughter Neppie, 

Last night, our route was announced for the next two weeks -- we began to think they were going to close down our season.  We go to Wilmington, Del next Monday the 11th of Jany, 12th Lancaster Pa, 13th Harrisburg Pa, 14th Trenton NJ, 15th Easton Pa, 16th Scranton Pa on the 18th Newark, so if Albert is busy this week, perhaps it will be easier for you & him to come to Newark -- than to come here this week.  Please yourselves. 

Baman says we are not to take the New Orleans trip - and Australia is now doubtful.  So we are quite at sea for the present as to our future.  [But EJP was in New Orleans in March 1897]

I have no Matinee today!  And I am happy.  Such a treat!  Only seven performances this week instead of nine or 11!  I have not been out since my arrival except to go to the shop.  I hope Ted's cold is better, and that he has regained his hilarious demeanor.  Tell him his Grandma loves him -- and would like to see him very much.  Love and Kisses to my dear children three Albert, Ted and Neppie from their loving Mother 

EJP didn't seem too enthusiastic about boat travel, so not going to Australia may not have been too big a disappointment.  The Zavistowskis   (Aunty Christine,  and daughters Emmeline and Alice) had toured Australia in 1872 and Aunty went back in 1874..

T H E  L O C H I E L  
Forrest Hunter 
Harrisburg, Pa. 
January 11th 1897 

My dear daughter Neppie, 

I left the Sturtevant at 7 Sunday Morning, got to Hattie's before 12 and at 3:15 John, Jack and Hattie escorted me to Broad Street Station to take 4:30 PM train with Gay Parisians Co for this place where we arrived last Evening at 7:25. 

We were called to a rehearsal at 10:30 this Morning, hence my hurry to leave Hattie.  After all, we had no rehearsal, Miss [Sadie] Martinot having failed to leave New York in time to be here.  We play here tonight.  We have parts in a new play given to us to study and will soon have rehearsals. 

Mrs. Zavistowski [Aunty] could not come to New York  to see me having bronchitis and she thinks La Grippe.  Uncle she tells me is quite feeble.  

Does Jess feel that the treatment cured her?  I am very glad and congratulate her if it has.  God bless you all dear children is the earnest prayer of your loving Mother

Jess was always the sister the Macardells felt was in poor health.  She and Agnes, a maiden sister, were at 15 Highland Ave when I [ETNK] was there in 1947.

next: Charlotte NC 1897

Bibliography
Brown, Henry Collins, In the Golden Nineties, Valentine's Manual Number 12, Hastings on Hudson, Valentine's Manual, Inc. 1928.
Burrows, Edwin G. and Mike Wallace, Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, 
Crockett, Albert Stevens, Peacocks on Parade, New York: Sears Publishing Co. Inc., 1931
New York Times Index, New York: New York Times, semi-annual

Harper's Weekly 1890-1895  http://www.harpweek.com/04Products/products-gilded3.htm
Harper's Weekly 1896-1901 http://www.harpweek.com/04Products/products-gilded4.htm

More New York City references 
Bibliographies 
New York Letters 1886-1889  New York walking tour 

Last revised Feb. 23, 2005

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