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A pint of milk. A glass of wine. Two nutmegs, grated. A table-spoonful of mixed cinnamon and mace. A salt-spoonful of salt. You must prepare all your ingredients the day before except beating the eggs that in the morning you may have nothing to do but to mix them, as the pudding will require six hours to boil.

Beat the eggs very light, then put to them half the milk and beat both together. Stir in gradually the flour or grated bread. Next add the sugar by degrees. Then the suet and fruit alternately. The fruit must be well sprinkled with flour, lest it sink to the bottom.

Stir very hard. Then add the spice and liquor, and lastly the remainder of the milk. Stir the whole mixture very well together. If it is not thick enough, add a little more grated bread or flour. If there is too much bread or flour, the pudding will be hard and heavy. Dip your pudding-cloth in boiling water, shake it out and sprinkle it slightly with flour. Lay it in a pan, and pour the mixture into the cloth. Tie it up carefully, allowing room for the pudding to swell. Boil it six hours, and turn it carefully out of the cloth. Before you send it to table, have ready some blanched sweet almonds cut into slips, or some slips of citron, or both.

Stick them all over the outside of the pudding. The pudding will be improved if you add to the other ingredients, the grated rind of a large lemon or orange. Add a double handful of lump sugar good measure, a pint of good old rum, and a large wine-glass of good old brandy if it be not a large claret glass, say two. Set this on fire, by filling a warm silver spoon with the spirit, lighting the contents at a wax taper, and pouring them gently in.

Let it burn three or four minutes at least, stirring it from time to time.

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Then extinguish it by covering the basin with a tray, which will immediately put out the flame. Then squeeze in the juice of the three lemons, and add a quart of boiling water. Stir the whole well, cover it up for five minutes, and stir again. Mulchinock, which appeared in the Evening Post , December 22, And light ye the tapers to scare melancholy! The name Onderdonk carried considerable cache in early 19th century New York.

Many New Yorkers were likely familiar with the story of Hendrick Onderdonk , the enterprising grist mill owner of Roslyn, Long Island, who in established the first paper mill in Hempstead Harbor, and who once welcomed a famous guest to his table. On April 24, , President George Washington wrote in his diary:. This gentleman works a grist and two paper mills, the last of which he seems to carry on with spirit and for profit.

Eliza Moscrop Onderdonk , westhempsteadnowandthen. John Onderdonk , was a distinguished physician in New York City for over 50 years, a vestryman of Trinity Church until his death, and at one time President of the Medical Society of New York. On July 15, , his wife Deborah gave birth to a son, Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk, who would go on to have an illustrious career in the Episcopal Church, until it was suddenly destroyed by scandal. Benjamin graduated from Columbia College in his older brother, Henry Ustick Onderdonk , was a physician and churchman who became Assistant Bishop of Pennsylvania in Because there were no seminaries in the country at the time, he was trained for the ministry by his mentor and then-Bishop of New York, John Henry Hobart.

In , he married Eliza Handy Moscrop ; she bore him seven children.


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The family resided for many years at the Episcopal Residence at Franklin Street, then as now considered a chic neighborhood in the city. In the ensuing fifteen years, as he advanced his career in church administration, he earned a reputation for his superior knowledge of canonical law, his devout nature, his dedication to the poor, and his excellent managerial skills. His academic appointment was as Professor at the General Theological Seminary in what is now the Chelsea neighborhood. He was consecrated on November 26, , in St. The Tredwells, who lived on Dey Street at the time, very likely were present to witness the bestowing of this prestigious honor upon their cousin.

Aware of the increasing disparity between the wealthy who paid huge sums for the purchase of a pew and the working poor, who by virtue of their poverty were excluded from worship, he spearheaded the creation of the Protestant Episcopal City Mission Society in The rapid growth of the Church in the state awakened the realization that one Bishop could not possibly supervise the entire Diocese; hence the formation of the Diocese of Western New York in Bishop Onderdonk officiated at the marriages, baptisms, and funerals of the elite in New York.

Church of the Annunciation, Fourteenth Street. The tide began to turn against Bishop Onderdonk during the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, in which he voiced his support of the Oxford Movement, which promoted the reinstatement of older traditional Christian beliefs in the teachings and liturgy of the Church of England. This Rev. The outcry against the Oxford Movement and subsequently Bishop Onderdonk , reached its peak in , when he supported the ordination of Arthur Carey, a shining star at the General Theological Seminary.

Hugh Smith of St. Henry Anthon of St. As a result, a bitter assault was waged on Bishop Onderdonk in both the religious and secular press and in private meetings in New York. Auguste Edouart. Silhouette of Bishop Onderdonk, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. The incidents, which allegedly occurred between and , took place while the Bishop was carrying out the duties of his office. The New York newspapers and others further afield published daily accounts of the trial.

To the astonishment of many, Bishop Onderdonk was found guilty of eight charges by 11 out of 17 bishops. After the verdict was announced, he was summoned to appear before the Court; his denial was brief:. Clowns Chorley pointed out several facts that bring the charges against Bishop Onderdonk into question. Many of the charges were based on heresay; in one case husband and wife offered contradictory testimony; the circumstances of the alleged acts made it improbable that they took place; and Bishop Onderdonk was received as a guest at the home of his accusers long after the alleged events took place.

The truth is, that there is a vast amount of hypocrisy, immorality, and impurity in the ranks of the clergy. In a letter dated January 19, , Helen Griswold wrote wryly to her husband:. Because Bishop Onderdonk refused to resign, fearing that it would be interpreted as an admission of guilt, he was suspended indefinitely from the office of Bishop, and from all functions of the Sacred Ministry in the Episcopal Church.

He also was permitted to receive Communion. The decision of the Court of Bishops was final. The Church had provided for no appeal; and although urged to appeal to a civil court, Bishop Onderdonk steadfastly refused, as he maintained that the ultimate authority in the case lay with the Church. We have no record of how the Tredwells viewed the accusations, the public trial, and the subsequent disappearance of Bishop Onderdonk from the Episcopal community in New York City.

Did they distance themselves from the scandal? One wonders if Bishop Onderdonk had been expected to officiate at the wedding of Elizabeth Tredwell and Effingham Nichols, which took place in April Between and , several attempts were made by Episcopal clergy to remit the sentence and restore Bishop Onderdonk to his office; clemency was never granted. Following his public humiliation, Bishop Onderdonk lived in seclusion at his home on Franklin Street, and after , at his home at 35 West 27th Street.

He attended church daily and took Communion at the Church of the Annunciation, then located on West 14th Street, where his close friend, Dr. Samuel Seabury, was rector. He never publicly expressed bitterness towards his accusers. Among those who visited him on his deathbed, in April , was Professor Clement C. Moore, whom he had not seen in 14 years.

He maintained his innocence until his death:. Bishop Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk died on Tuesday, April 30, , at the age of 70, and in the 49th year in his ministry. His funeral was held one week later on May 7, at Trinity Church. The throngs of people in attendance spilled into the street; and hundreds of clergymen participated in the service.

Twelve pallbearers accompanied the coffin could Seabury Tredwell have been one of them? The entire church was draped in black. Six Tredwell Daughters to Educate! As the daughters of a prosperous merchant, the six Tredwell girls were granted all the privileges of the elite class in which they were raised, including a private school education. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Mary Jay Okill owed a debt of gratitude to the Tredwell family.

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Okill , was the headmistress of one of the most highly regarded female academies in New York City in the Antebellum era. Seabury and Eliza Tredwell, by entrusting her with the education of all six of their daughters over a period of at least 20 years, demonstrated support for Mrs. The decision by the Tredwells to send their daughters to Mrs. Classroom at Mrs. In the first half of the 19th century, the aim of elite female education was to provide young ladies with the social graces and manners befitting their place in society, and to instill a basic knowledge of literature, classics, arithmetic, and geography.

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Several schools also included instruction in the religious and moral principles that would lead to the development of virtuous, charitable, and benevolent character. As the advertisement states:. Okill … will devote her time to the superintendence of her school, and to the religious principles, morals, and manners of those young ladies who may be confided to her care. Such schools, which occupied rented houses run by a head teacher, typically offered opportunities for both day and boarding school students; the staff, who lived at the establishment, included other teachers, cooks, and domestic servants.

Teacher training and curriculum was not standardized. With time and the increasingly progressive nature of female education, the homelike atmosphere gradually transitioned to larger, more structured female academies also called seminaries , with formally trained teachers and rigorous curriculums. Competition for students must have been fierce among the women who ran the schools. Every year, beginning in late August and continuing through mid-September, advertisements for the schools, complete with names of notable individuals who were willing to provide endorsements, appeared in the daily newspapers.

Ten years later, that number had grown significantly. In addition to Mrs. School Advertisements, Evening Post, August 30, When one considers that Mrs. Okill included the name of Reverend Benjamin Tredwell Onderdonk as a reference in her advertisements, it is understandable that Seabury Tredwell supported the school. Jay, also endorsed her school, which served to guarantee her cachet among the upper class.

Several circumstances of Mrs. John Jay, by Gilbert Stuart, City Directories indicate that from through , the couple lived with her father at various addresses on Greenwich Street and White Street. This entry remains unchanged until , when he disappears entirely from the directories.

The date and place of his death could not be determined. She remained at this location until , when she moved to Clinton Place now 8th Street. She maintained her school until her death in Her establishment was always known as Mrs. The New York Herald, January 11, It is remarkable that, despite the social stigma associated with illegitimacy and divorce during the 19th century, Mary Okill was able to achieve such renown, especially among the privileged class, who valued family pedigree above all else.

One wonders what shielded her from disgrace? Did her wealthy patrons know of her past, and decide to simply look the other way, due to the reputation of her uncle, John Jay? Or did she somehow manage to keep her background and divorce hidden from public scrutiny? The Tredwell family had an indirect connection to John Jay, which may have been a factor in their loyalty to Mary Okill.

Although it was known primarily as a female school, Mrs. Julia Lawrence Hasbrouck , who lived on Greenwich Street, enrolled her six-year-old son Louis and her five-year-old daughter Julia in Mrs. She wrote her positive impressions of the school in her diary on November 30, The little boys all looking happy, and merry. We went from there, to the little girls room, where I was equally pleased.

The little creatures are not pinned down to their seats like prisoners, pale, and wearied; but were skipping around, combining study and amusement, the only safe method of instructing children. Although young Julia Hasbrouck attended Mrs. It is possible, then, that the Tredwell girls and perhaps boys attended Mrs.

In addition to the Tredwells, Mrs. One of Mrs. Another was Isabella Stewart , the daughter of a wealthy merchant, who would later marry John Lowell Gardner and become a famous art collector and philanthropist. From ages 5 to 15, while living with her family at 10 University Place, Isabella attended Mrs. In she was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Mrs. Like Mrs. One, dated from December 16,, through February 13, , when Gertrude was 13 years old , indicates that Gertrude attended Mrs.

Whatever the reason for the transfer, Gertrude finished her education at the age of 18, under the tutelage of Mrs. In , nearly ten years after Mrs. Okill opened her female academy, Mrs. Agnes Mason Gibson , from Edinburgh, Scotland, established her own school, assisted by three of her daughters. Originally located on Broome Street and operating as a day school, it was advertised on April 10, , in the Evening Post :.

Pupils will be received for French, Italian, Music, or Drawing, who may not wish to enter for other branches. Instructions upon the pianoforte and guitar will also be given in private homes. Christian Frederick Martin, the famous guitar maker who established his shop in New York City in , sold several guitars to Mrs.

A class for conversation and composition in French will be opened on Saturdays, for young ladies who have made proficiency in the language. Evening Post, September 1, Two months later, Mrs. Within a few years, her school achieved a remarkable degree of popularity; Mrs. Gibson became an influential educator in New York City. Manufacturers of school supplies sought her out for endorsements.

In September , an advertisement in the Evening Post featured Mrs. The French dialogues were given in a sprightly and graceful manner, and the vocal music was charming. We traced throughout the evening the workings of an intelligent, kindly, and well sustained course of instruction. Many of the former pupils were present. The family must have formed a strong attachment to Mrs.

Gibson moved again, from 21 Bond Street to larger quarters at 38 Union Place, to accommodate her growing enrollment. Gertrude attended the school at this location, which was a short walk from her home on Fourth Street. The school operated at this location at least until ; eventually, Mrs. Gibson returned to Scotland with her daughters, where she died in Only year-old Sarah was brave enough to venture an opinion about her school years and the education she received.

I believe it to be true though there are certainly many things pertaining to school which are of a very perplexing nature. I will leave school the first of July, when I am to leave forever that place which I have frequented so many years and which has been to me both an annoyance and a pleasure. To those to whom I have grown and with whom I have shared the troubles of a school day life and to whom I must ever feel attached I must bid adieu but I hope not forever. This is the fourth and final of a series of blog posts on midth century courtship and wedding customs.

Click for Part One , on 19th century courtship; Part Two , on marriage proposals and engagements; and Part Three , on wedding preparations. Elizabeth Tredwell, MHM Why did Elizabeth choose an April wedding, and on a Wednesday? Or perhaps Elizabeth was familiar with the old adage:. Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays were usually chosen for a wedding, likely because the clergyman was frequently occupied with his regular pastoral duties on the weekend. In , American wedding practices were on the cusp of great change. Weddings were evolving from simple, intimate family affairs to elaborate public events, rich in tradition and ritual.

We have no surviving records that describe the Tredwell and Nichols union. The only certainty is the date of their wedding and the officiant, the Reverend Samuel Nichols, father of the groom. The First St. If the couple had been married in church, it most likely took place at St. If Elizabeth and Effingham had been married at St. Whatever location was chosen for the wedding ceremony, there was never any choice as to the venue for the reception: custom dictated that it be hosted and paid for by the bride and her parents at their home.

New furnishings may have been purchased; and, to show the home to its best advantage, additional lighting may have been rented for the occasion. Musical entertainment, ranging from a soloist at the pianoforte to a quartet, may have been arranged; and dancing was common at evening wedding receptions. In a diary entry from Wednesday, February 19, , Mrs. Abiel Abbot Low described the process of readying a house for a wedding reception:. Nevers made preparations for lighting the house. This afternoon he is having a chandelier with four burners in each parlor, four solar lamps at the folding doors, and two candelabras for five candles each, on either side of the mirrors.

Abbot bought a handsome brussels carpet for the tearoom, and a handsome sideboard, as a pleasant surprise for me. Mary Harris Lester summed up the whirlwind of activity surrounding the house preparations when she hurriedly wrote in her diary on Monday, December 15, , just several days before her wedding:. Marriage certificate, October 26, In , the only available record that provided proof of marriage was the bridal certificate, issued by the church where the wedding was held, or, in the case of home weddings, obtained by the clergyman from his own parish church.

Prior to , no marriages were recorded by any cities or towns in New York State. Wedding announcements were traditionally published in local newspapers within several days of the event. They most likely dressed in one of the bedrooms on the third floor. The Bride and Bridesmaid, It was customary for the groom, after dressing at home, to meet his groomsmen at the home of his future wife.

Among his other duties was to greet the clergyman upon his arrival and introduce him to the family and friends who gathered in the parlor to witness the ceremony. It is at this time that he obtained the certificate of marriage from the clergyman, to present to the groom after the reception. Once a servant announced to the gentlemen that the ladies were ready, the men joined their partners in the hallway, and, arm in arm, with the bridal pair bringing up the rear, descended the staircase to the parlors on the first floor, where the invited guests were waiting. Even if Elizabeth had been married in church, her father, Seabury, most likely did not escort her; contemporary diaries of this period indicate that the bride and groom simply took their place before the altar.

Upon entering the front parlor, the bridal party positioned themselves in a semicircle facing the guests, who were either seated or standing, depending on the number attending. The bride stood to the right of the groom, and was flanked on her right by her bridesmaids; the groomsmen stood to the left of the groom. Josephus Laurentius Dyckmans, The Bride, After all the congratulations had been offered, the bridal party was free to mingle with the guests. At some point after the ceremony, it was the responsibility of the chief groomsman to quietly thank and compensate the clergyman for his services.

The sum was determined by the financial ability and generosity of the groom. From then until a quarter after eight the company was assembling and preparations going forward then all being ready, Ophelia acting as bridesmaid and Turner as groomsman, we walked into the room, and were immediately married by Mr. The ceremony was short, but impressive, and suited us both.

And on December 27, , Edward Tailer wrote sweetly in his diary of his wedding to Agnes Suffern, and of the moment when he first heard his wife addressed by her married name:. It was a pleasant affair, and all appeared to enjoy themselves, about persons being present. Numerous were the congratulations of our friends and if all the kind wishes which were expressed within my hearing could only be realized, I shall be a very happy man. Guests to a home wedding were usually invited for 8 p. They then went down to the front parlor, where Mr.

Tredwell greeted them as for any sociable. Depending on the size of the guest list, Mrs. Tredwell may have elected to have the wedding buffet feast catered, perhaps by William A. Tyson see advertisement of December 24, , who, in addition to preparing the food, provided equipment, servers and cooks to assist with the reception. Beverages included lemonade, punch, wine, and champagne.

The table was usually set up in the rear parlor and the overflow of the many guests spilled into the halls and tea room. Imagine the scene of the Tredwell front hall, tearoom, and both parlors crowded with guests trying to reach the supper table! Abiel Abbot Low wrote in her diary Sunday, February 2, , of one parlor wedding she attended:. I never was at so crowded company before. There was a band of music and some dancing during the evening.

The drawing room was so warm at one time, and the air so perfumed with the profusion of flowers that several of the ladies fainted. The Wedding Feast, c. Artist Unknown. John Hadden, a young man who lived at 20 Lafayette Place, right around the corner from the Tredwells, could have been describing the Tredwell home when he wrote of a lively and somewhat chaotic wedding reception he attended on Tuesday, January 17, The whole house was open.

The two drawing rooms for dancing, and on the back stoop which was enclosed a small room [like the Tredwell tea room] with a little refreshment, punch and lemonade with cake, the piazza having a couch where the bride sat and received the company. The second story back room for the ladies, the front room for the gents. Before this was accomplished Mr. Wright took up a bottle of champagne from the table and was about to open it, one of the waiters told him the table was not ready yet, but he took it out of the supper room with him and opened it somewhere else.

For those of lesser financial means, a simple menu of wedding cake, wine, and lemonade was customary.

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Usually within two hours after the reception commenced, the bride quietly left the festivities and, escorted by her attendants, retired to her bedroom. Until the mids, when tiered cakes became popular, the bridal cake was usually of a single layer, and typically consisted of a rich, dark fruitcake covered in almond paste and a hard, white sugar icing. The cake, usually decorated simply with fresh flowers, was placed on a rectangular table covered with a white cloth. When the cake was ready to be cut, Elizabeth and Effingham sat in front of it, surrounded by their bridesmaids and groomsmen, who stood at either side, while their parents took their places at either end.

The rector stood opposite the bride and groom. Champagne was usually served, then the chief groomsman offered a toast to the newly married couple, and to the health of the parents of the bride. The bride then cut the cake sometimes with a special saw, as the cake was typically too thick and hard to cut with a regular knife! It was customary for the bride and groom to give away tiny boxes of wedding cake to guests.

These slices were cut from a second cake baked specifically for this purpose before the wedding. The evening before the wedding, the bridesmaids helped the future bride to ready the cake boxes, which were distributed to the guests upon their departure from the reception. It was important for newlyweds to let their friends and acquaintances know when they would commence receiving well-wishers at their home upon returning from their bridal tour. Etiquette and fashion experts stressed that a woman may not distribute a card bearing her married name until after she utters her marital vows.

The first proper use of the wedded name is to send it with parcels of wedding cake … to friends and persons desired as visiting acquaintances. A popular tradition surrounding the boxed wedding cake called for an unmarried lady to sleep with the cake beneath her pillow on the night of the wedding. They were never of a practical nature giving such gifts would be perceived as an insult, for it would imply need on the part of the receiver ; in fact, they usually denoted a personal relationship with the bride and were often handmade.

Typical gifts included shawls, clocks, fancy fans, richly ornamented thimbles, pictures, gold pencils, and gift books. Two popular books were The Bridal Keepsake, by Mrs. As the century progressed, it became more common to receive wedding gifts from relatives and friends. Bridal Cushion Globe de Mariee , French, c. It was used to convey the love and hope brought to a marriage through meaningful objects accumulated by the couple throughout their lives. The bride would nestle her wedding mementos on the cushion; over the years she would add significant objects to the display. The cushion occupied pride of place in the Victorian parlor.

The post-wedding trip, or bridal tour, taken by couples was an imitation of a ritual begun in 19th century England. Typically lasting one to two weeks, the journey served to as a means by which the pair traveled to visit friends and family who could not attend the wedding ceremony.

Fashionable spots included Philadelphia, Washington D. Overseas trips were largely unheard of. Couples were often accompanied by relatives or close friends.

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In the late 19th century the bridal tour became an exclusive, private trip for the newlyweds, and evolved into what we know of today as the traditional honeymoon. In fact, like so many of the other wedding customs at this time, it was all rather last minute. Artist Unknown, French. Bride and Bridegroom, The Wedding Night. After returning from their bridal tour, Effingham and Elizabeth took up residence in the Tredwell home on Fourth Street, and, in a decided departure from tradition, remained there for eleven years!

Once settled at home, they commenced receiving congratulatory wedding calls from friends and acquaintances. In keeping with the custom of the time, Elizabeth may have worn her wedding dress, without the veil, for these visits. This is the third in a series of blog posts on midth century courtship and wedding customs. Imagine the excitement in the family room of the Tredwell home on a spring evening in late March, Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Seabury and Eliza Tredwell, had just named Wednesday, April 9, as the date of her wedding to Effingham Nichols.

One can picture Elizabeth and her betrothed, perhaps along with her mother, Eliza, and her sister Mary, seated around the table in the family room, composing the guest list and writing out the wedding invitations. The wedding was only two weeks away, and so much needed to be done! This post will address three important aspects of midth century wedding planning: invitations, the trousseau, and the duties of the groom.

Elizabeth and Effingham were married in , at a time when the form of the American wedding was gradually transitioning from a simple, family-centered, informal celebration to an elaborate, public, and expensive spectacle. We have no record of their wedding, so it is impossible to know the location, format, or style of their festivities. Seabury, however, given his wealth and social status, could afford to give his eldest and first-wed daughter an elaborate wedding with all the trimmings.

This would all change in the late s and especially after the Civil War, as the wedding industry became a huge commercial enterprise, and wedding rituals, especially among upper class families, became more formal, public, and elaborate. Businesses sprang up to cater to the needs of the bride-to-be, including stores that offered ready-to-wear bridal dresses and complete trousseaus.

Women were faced with many more choices to consider in every aspect of their wedding, and therefore required more time to shop and plan. Moving the ceremony from the home to a church, along with, some years later, the option of holding the reception in a grand hotel, meant that many more guests could be accommodated; hence, guest lists grew accordingly. According to wedding etiquette manuals and contemporary diaries, in the first half of the nineteenth century wedding invitations were sent out anywhere from four days to two weeks prior to the wedding date.

This short span of time between the date of the invitation and the actual wedding date reflects the simplicity of the wedding form and the minimal advance planning it necessitated. Both the Tredwell and Nichols families were wealthy and prominent members of elite New York society. Both had large extended families; Seabury had many former business associates; Effingham had colleagues; and undoubtedly both families had a large circle of friends.

So chances are the guest list was long, especially since the Tredwells could accommodate a large gathering in their Greek Revival double parlors, and guests were accustomed to having to cram into the indoor spaces for the festivities. The Etiquette of Courtship and Matrimony warns, however, that any friends denied an invitation to the reception, because of lack of sufficient space, should not feel affronted. Wedding invitations were hand written, in the same style as an invitation to a sociable the 19th century term for a social gathering.

The invitation usually did not announce that a wedding was to be celebrated. So how did guests know to expect nuptials? In that sense, the written invitation was a formality. In an article in the New York Daily Herald , one observant young friend of a future bride detected something in the air:. At length all doubt was removed, when a note of invitation was left at my address, stating that Miss B— would be at home on Wednesday evening, January 3rd; and then I knew that the bridal of one of our fairest maidens was to take place.

In the invitation pictured at left, written on April 15, , for an April 25 wedding, no mention of a wedding is made:. And Mrs. Floyd-Jones request the pleasure of Mr. Note the evening hour, p. A church wedding, on the other hand, usually took place in the morning. If Elizabeth and Effingham were married at church, their wedding invitation may have read as follows:.

Seabury Tredwell request the pleasure of Mr. In the s, wedding invitations were hand written in a fancy cursive script on white card stock. This was hardly a challenge for well-educated young ladies; excellent penmanship was considered an essential requirement for completion of finishing school. Engraved and printed invitations did not become popular until the early s; ten years later, in keeping with the formality and grandeur of the wedding itself, and more practical given the longer guest lists, such mass produced invitations became de rigueur.

Note the engraved invitation pictured at right to the wedding of the daughter of Mrs. Kearny Rodgers at Trinity Chapel. One assumes that Mrs. Rodgers had only one daughter! The custom of a bridal trousseau, i. Louis Vuitton. Doll, Trousseau, and Its Trunk, Les Arts Decoratif. Elizabeth no doubt received a sum of money from her father with which to purchase her trousseau.

Lord and Taylor, original store, Catherine Street, Upon the announcement of her engagement, Elizabeth, assisted by her mother, sisters, and close friends, likely commenced sewing many of the personal items included in the trousseau, such as petticoats, corset covers, nightgowns, dress sleeves, and handkerchiefs. Once her wedding date was set, the shopping began with a vengeance at popular dry-goods stores, such as A. These emporiums stocked many trousseau items in addition to dresses, such as sewing implements, linens, shawls, slippers, and hair combs and brushes.

A white veil, long and full, and most likely made of Brussels lace, was attached to an artificial wreath of orange blooms popularized by Queen Victoria, who wore them at her wedding in that encircled the head. Flat white satin or silk slippers decorated with ribbons; white silk stockings; short white kid gloves; and an embroidered handkerchief perhaps with interlaced initials of the bride and groom , completed the ensemble. Coles, dated April 18, , she wrote:. The wedding dress is white satin with an embroidered lace over, it is beautiful.

She has not purchased her veil as yet. The seamstress may have lived with the family for a few weeks before the wedding, sewing the dresses in return for room and board, or for a set fee. Silk slippers, , MHM One enterprising woman was selling them in , according to an advertisement in the New York Daily Herald:. Scheltema informs her customers … that she has just received per last Havre packet, a new and splendid assortment of rich embroidered and other Wedding Dresses. The Tredwell family probably patronized these establishments. Her wealth would have allowed Eliza to hire a dresser to assist the women with their toilettes.

She made frequent trips by coach back and forth from her home in Brooklyn to Manhattan for this purpose. As his father, the Reverend Samuel Nichols, was to perform the wedding ceremony, it spared him the headache of having to track down an available rector, as Henry Patterson indicated in his diary on July 14, , one week before his wedding:. I endeavored to get Mr. Bellows or Mr. Dewey, but they are both absent from the city. Custom dictated that the groom was also responsible for finding a suitable home for his bride.

Effingham was spared this task, however; after the wedding and travel if any he simply joined his bride at the Tredwell home on Fourth Street. It was not atypical for newlyweds to live with family, which gave a man time to establish himself in business before buying a home. Embroidered Silk Wedding Waistcoat, American, midth century. Metropolitan Museum of Art, C. The groomsmen should be dressed in a similar manner. The waistcoat was occasionally worked by the bride, and presented as a wedding gift to the groom.

Elizabeth may have shopped at William T. If he sported whiskers, they must be neat and full by his wedding day. The fashion for wedding bands was plain, thick gold. They are blest indeed, and swift the hours Till her young sisters wreathe her hair in flowers. Then before all they stand; the holy vow, And ring of gold—no fond illusion now— Bind her as his.

Click here for more information. This is the second in a series of blog posts on midth century courtship and wedding customs. Click here to read the first post , on 19th century courtship. Charles A. Although it is uncertain if Effingham Nichols owned a horse, he did indeed acquire a wife, the bride being none other than Elizabeth Tredwell, eldest daughter of Seabury and Eliza Tredwell. Effingham was only two years into his law practice, located on 7 Nassau Street, when he wed the very eligible year-old Elizabeth on April 9, We do not know the duration of their courtship, but Effingham must have received significant encouragement from the young lady during that time, emboldening him to declare his love and to propose marriage.

Asking a young woman for her hand in marriage was never perceived as an easy task for a gentleman. After all, his fate rested in her hands! An honorable woman never shared except with her parents that she had rejected a suitor. As A Manual of Etiquette stated:. After their courtship had gone on for an appropriate period etiquette manuals were reluctant to establish the proper length of the courtship period , a woman who found the attention from her suitor more than agreeable indicated in unspoken ways that a proposal of marriage would be welcome.

She, of course, could not propose to a gentleman only queens were permitted to do so; Queen Victoria notably proposed to Prince Albert ; but, according to the Dictionary of Love :. At this point, it was safe and indeed incumbent on the young man to seize the opportunity and proceed with a proposal. As stated in The Art of Good Behavior , a popular etiquette manual:. Every woman, except a heartless coquette, finds the means of discouraging a man whom she does not intend to have, before the matter comes to the point of a declaration.

An unidentified young clerk in New York City indicated his confidence that he had a future with his beloved Julia when he wrote in his diary on October 13, The Art of Good Behavior perfectly captured the anxiety of the moment:. Henry T. Peters Collection, Smithsonian Institute. Should a gentleman find elusive the right words with which to propose, he needed only consult one of the popular etiquette manuals, which offered many suggestions.

Here are some from The Art of Good Behavior:. And then there was the laconic gentleman who, according to the Evening Post of August 14, , proposed in the following manner:. The joyous declaration of love was described in the Etiquette of Courtship and Matrimony :. James R. Burtin, a young New York gentleman who worked as an engraver, recorded in his diary the exciting moment when, after nearly two years of courtship, he proposed to his beloved Ann Elisa on February 18, One question I asked my dear Ann, the answer of which depended my future happiness or misery and she hesitated to answer it.

It was a moment of suspense tho if she knew how I loved her and how dear she is to me she would have given me an answer at once. I did not doubt but that her answer would be such as one as I wish and the answer was one that put all doubt aside. She loves truly and I love her and whatever may take place I shall love her as long as life shall last. She is dearer to me than Mother, brother or Sister. Without her I may almost say that life would be unendurable, but now all doubts are at an end.

She is mine and mine only. For those timid, tongue-tied gentlemen who could not bear the thought of proposing in person, etiquette manuals, such as the American Fashionable Letter Writer , also offered sample proposal letters, such as:. I will only record, that as I become acquainted with her, I become more thoroughly convinced of our suitableness to each other; and the outpouring of tender feelings which I enjoyed on Wednesday evening, that sensation of mutual love and trust which I have since felt within us, renders the present the happiest period of my life.

Charles Baugniet. When a gentleman made an offer of marriage either in person or by letter, it was incumbent upon the young lady to receive it graciously.


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She knew, either by instruction from her parents or by the advice provided by etiquette manuals, never to accept or reject the offer immediately. Such an important decision merited deep reflection, and discussion with her parents, whose consent was necessary before any answer was given. As Ellen K. Effingham would have been prepared to discuss his law practice, his future prospects, and his financial situation in detail.

Imagine the joyful scene on Fourth Street when, once Seabury gave the couple his blessing, Elizabeth and Effingham shared the happy news with her mother, Eliza, and her siblings! James Hayllar. The parents of Eleanor Wright, the young woman with whom Henry Patterson was in love, were separated separation and divorce were not as uncommon as we might think — a topic for a future blog post. That may explain why it took two months for Henry to meet with her father. On December 30, , he wrote:. He expressed his approbation as far as he was acquainted with the circumstances, and treated me in every respect in a gentlemanly manner.

The opinion of brothers and sisters held little weight when it came to choosing a mate for life. Patrick W. It was viewed as an opportunity for the lovers to imagine themselves married, and to declare their suitability to the world. In doing so, they experienced a loosening to some extent of the restrictive bonds of decorum, and hence were able to deepen their knowledge of each other. In the midth century, once the young lady and her parents consented to the marriage, the announcement of the engagement was initially made to family and intimate friends only; this was typically done in writing.

This allowed all involved to take a collective breath and live with the idea; it would be during this time that either party could gracefully break off the engagement without doing widespread damage. After a week or two, the wider circle of friends and acquaintances would receive news of the engagement. John Shirley Fox. Occasionally, another personal token, such as a portrait miniature of the future bride, was presented to the groom-to-be in place of a ring.

Not surprisingly, the conduct of a betrothed couple was also governed by a strict protocol. When in public, any overt signs of familiarity and exclusivity were forbidden. Ideally, they presented to the world an image of blissful and contented happiness. Although the couple did not isolate themselves from the society of others, the woman was careful to avoid spending time with any other man in private. When attending sociables and other entertainments in the absence of her betrothed, etiquette dictated that she be accompanied by a family member or intimate family friend.

In private, a gentleman never took advantage of his bride-to-be, for he had her honor to maintain. It was the rare midth century treatise, such as Mrs. He was to ascertain, however, the time most convenient for his call; and when he visited, he was to focus attention on the entire family, not just on his betrothed. The visits were usually made in the evening, with the gentleman wearing evening attire, as he would for the theatre or a concert.

As the Etiquette of Courtship and Matrimony stated,. According to their diary entries, both Henry Patterson and James Burtin could be found almost nightly at the homes of their betrothed. Often they had tea with the family in the afternoon and then return in the evening!

Burtin, who had made a habit of frequent visits even before his engagement, wrote in his diary on November 16, I love Ann Elisa and when I can see her there is not the least doubt but that I will. Henry Patterson and Eleanor Wright spent many evenings alone in her parlor, playing chess, whist, reading to one another, and ultimately exchanging mutual affection. On January 21, , he wrote:. After months of such activity, with no wedding date yet set, Henry Patterson was growing increasingly frustrated.

He wrote in his diary on March 24, Yet, may it not be played upon us to exercise our patience, and and learn us to prize more highly and justly the unspeakable blessing which we do enjoy? The days of idle amusements were soon over for Henry and Eleanor; once their marriage date was set by the woman, this being one of her express privileges , they found themselves busier than ever.

There was a household to set up, a trousseau to purchase, and a wedding to arrange. As the wedding industry was in its infancy, it was typical for a wedding date to be announced only two to three weeks prior to the actual date. As a result, the wedding preparations were intense and extensive, requiring hard work by both parties.

Valentine, Made of delicately embossed and perforated lace papers, valentines became the fashionable way to convey romantic interest and to freely express the desire for romantic love. The lovely Elizabeth Tredwell, eldest daughter of Seabury and Eliza, no doubt received her share of valentines from young men of her class. She was pretty and accomplished, and would certainly have been considered an eligible young lady.

The Tredwell Archives contain several charming valentines; however, the senders and recipients are unknown. We do not know when and how Elizabeth and Effingham met, nor are we aware of the length of their courtship. Based on the many strict codes of etiquette that governed courtship, however, we can assume theirs followed a dictated course.

Courtship, therefore, was respected as a special time in the lives of a young couple. This period, after introductions and before a formal engagement, served to intensify the feelings of romantic love; to insure that the bond formed between a couple was true; to guide one in learning the real character of the other; and to ensure that their attraction was based on mutual respect and admiration.

The time for a young woman to enter society and assume her role as a marriageable woman was determined by her parents; it depended not on her age, but on her level of maturity. New York Herald, Courting before this age was highly frowned upon. Here she learned domestic arts; assisted with rearing her younger siblings; and was instructed in the rules of manners and civility, which were highly valued in society.

A young lady was chaperoned at public entertainments, such as theatre or dances, by her parents, brothers, or an intimate family friend. Regard men as intellectual beings who have access to certain sources of knowledge to which you are denied. Never let a man hold your hand; decline his offer of assistance with getting in and out of carriages; never squeeze into a tight space with a gentleman; never speak of your private affairs or feelings; always have a friend present for carriage rides; never borrow money from a man; avoid gossip.

Farrer stressed:. Self-possession is the first requisite to good manners. According to T. Guarding against any unprincipled suitor who viewed a fortune as indispensable when choosing a wife was no doubt of utmost importance. Effingham may have been introduced to Elizabeth through her father or one of her uncles, or through a respected friend of the family. Upon noticing a woman at a dance, for example, he first learned her name by making discreet inquiries, and then, through his societal connections, asked for an introduction.

In this important communication, he stated his position and prospects, and mentioned his family. A man must convey delicate respect towards the parents, to prove himself worthy of the treasure of which he is about to deprive them. Valentine, midth century MHM The following portion of a sample letter from The Art of Good Behavior may be similar to one sent to Seabury Tredwell from Effingham Nichols, when he desired to begin courting Elizabeth:.

Every letter to a superior ought to be folded in an envelope. It shows a want of respect to seal with a wafer; we must use sealing wax; men usually select red. Once permission was obtained from the father, the young lady in question then extended a letter to the gentleman, inviting him to pay a call. Thornwell emphasized the importance of restraint:.

Supervised carriage rides and outdoor excursions to dances, picnics, dinners, and concerts were also permitted. A Receipt for Courtship, n. The Etiquette of Courtship and Matrimony also provided guidelines for gentlemen as they waded into the murky waters of courtship. A woman who was kind, patient, benevolent, peaceful, and charitable; and who enjoyed home-centered pleasures, was worth pursuing.

Another rule of courtship prohibited a young lady from accepting presents from a gentleman, prior to his having made a distinct proposal of marriage. It was considered improper and unbecoming, and implied an obligation on her part. Should the gentleman insist on her accepting a gift, she was to acknowledge its receipt in the presence of her parents, thereby removing any trace of impropriety.

With all the restrictions placed upon young lovers during their courtship, letter writing became the allowed means by which they could express their feelings, continue the process of getting to know one another, and hopefully, fall in love. Valentine, n. The Art of Good Behavior insists:.

When it can be procured, that of a costly quality, gold-edged, perfumed, or ornamented in the French style, may be properly used. The letter should be carefully enveloped, and nicely sealed with a fancy wafer — or what is better, plain or fancy sealing wax. The whole affair should be as neat and elegant as possible. We have no surviving love letters between Effingham and Elizabeth.

Goodbye Mary, and may God bless you and the other members of the happy family with which you are connected. And may you sometimes, in your nightly visions think of one who holds you in highest admiration and unlimited affection. Valentine, c. Another, unsigned and undated, from the Emily Hosack Rodgers Collection NYHS , indicated the freedom a gentleman felt in writing to his love interest:. With the true wisdom of an affectionate heart I will only seek, will only desire to find my own happiness in yours. Perhaps he sent a valentine poem to Elizabeth during their courtship.

Thou art indeed mistaken, Anna; Although in every Valentine, I know thou hast a right to think Such praise would be given to thee; But thou! Learning and wit, and beauty bright, And virtue — charms that alone delight The soul — Yes! All these blessed gifts are thine. Our next blog post will address the rituals surrounding marriage proposals and engagement. From the early 18th century, pleasure gardens — outdoor complexes that offered landscaped vistas, various entertainments, and refreshments — were popular escapes for New Yorkers starved for open space in the rapidly expanding city.

Central Park was not established until One enormous change was the transformation of the pleasure garden know as Vauxhall Garden into residential and commercial properties. It was the third and final iteration of Vauxhall Garden. Although trained as a physician, his passion was horticulture; in he turned a plot of pastureland into a garden that, despite its two-mile distance from the city proper, became the go-to florist shop of its day.

John Jacob Astor, photogravure after painting by Gilbert Stuart. Once it became a British colony in , New York adopted the customs and manners of the mother country; tea-drinking became extremely popular. In addition to admiring the flowering shrubs and trees, guests strolled through the wax museum, and were awed by the fireworks displays. After the Revolutionary War, Fraunces sold the property and the site became a pottery.

The second Vauxhall Garden, located near present-day Grand and Mulberry Streets, was established in by Joseph Delacroix, a Frenchman who had previous careers as a distiller and confectioner. It was here that Delacroix achieved fame and fortune, for the third and final Vauxhall Garden became one of the most popular and fashionable attractions in the city. The orchestra was situated amidst the trees, which, according to The Picture of New York :.

The garden was surrounded by a high board fence, with entrances on Broadway and Bowery Road. Alcoves for seating were discreetly arranged along the inner perimeter of the garden fence; they provided areas of elegant seclusion, and afforded many a young gentleman the privacy required for courtship. A small theatre in the Garden offered dramatic tableaux; these proved to be exceedingly popular, due in part to the fact that the downtown Park Theatre on Park Row near City Hall , was closed during the summer months.

A View of the Balloon of Mr. As early as , huge crowds were drawn to Vauxhall Garden to see the popular balloon ascensions, and numbered nearly 20, for special events, especially for the elaborate Fourth of July fireworks spectacular. The Evening Post, Monday, June 24, click to enlarge. Delacroix enjoyed 16 years of unparalleled success as owner of Vauxhall Garden. No doubt he would not be surprised to read the following, written nearly years after his retirement in Pages Front Matter Pages Spectres of Engels.

The Medium of Exchange. The Postcolonial Ghost Story. Angels in the Architecture: the Economy of the Supernatural. Back Matter Pages About this book Introduction Did you know that the father of psychoanalysis believed in ghosts, or that Frederick Engels attended seances? Ghosts: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, History is the first collection of theoretical essays to evaluate these facts and consider the importance of the metaphor of haunting as it has appeared in literature, culture, and philosophy.

Haunting is considered as both a literal and figurative term that encapsulates social anxieties and concerns.