M I. Kip



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M.I. Kip writes to her sister Sophia Chase about her time spent in Albany and her living situation there at a boarding house.




M.I. Kip, Sophia Chase, Mary Leonard, Albany, Yonkers, Nyack, Gardier, New York, New York City, Hudson


Albany Jan’y 13th

My dear Sophia

Your most welcome letter should have been answer’d immediately, but I have been under the hands of a Physician with a Knickerbocker cold that would not yield to home remedies -- my cough is better tho’ at night troublesome -- it has been an [often] unhealthy winter, the navigation on the Hudson clear, the 10th of Jan’y; without snow; now the ground is cover’d, and severely cold. I must now carry you back to Hartford; as Mr Burgess had promised to preach at [Gardiner] the sunday following his Consecration, we had no time to lose, all the arrangements were made to begin the breaking up, on monday morn’g a scene of business -- parish duties required Wm to return to Albany, but Mr Storrs & Leonard remained, the furniture, silver, & library, were mine; in Set William was on a visit, I took the opportunity to select what few books I wanted to keep; and make a division of the rest, I choosing [?] Elizabeth the only absent one. (I am trying to immagine[sic] you are at my side, and I am talking to you.) Sophia took what furniture she wanted E. house was furnish’d, so she wanted but a few pieces, neither did Wm for myself I reserved the parlour carpets, and chamber furniture for myself and Mary -- the silver I divided equally between them -- China, glass, of which I had a quantity, I left to themselves, it was a source of gratification to me, to observe them consult each others taste, in the distribution without a shade of selfishness, some things were too stylish for [rectories], the Tin glasses, [?] these I sold to the person we sold the house to, far belove what they ought to have brought, but the risk was great in removing them; so I let them go. thursday night everything was shipped off, to Albany, Gardiner & Yonkers, as we slept in different places, we agreed to meet at the depot friday morning. Mr & Mrs Storrs were to leave for Yonkers the same hour. we parted at Springfield Burgess and Sophia for Boston, Mary Leonard & I for Albany. I had not seen Mrs Sigourney for some weeks; she had been absent, the evening before we left, she sent me a beautiful farewell note, and a volume of her poems -- until we left I knew not how many kind friends we left behind. -- --

I will describe out we are situated, that you may see up in your minds eye -- the house is kept by three maiden ladies, it is a private boarding house opposite St Peters church -- it is a basement, even with the street, the dining rooms, are on this floor -- on the second, Wm has a large parlour bedroom & study these they furnish themselves - my parlour & bedroom are next, Leonard has a [chum], they have a small parlour, with two little bedrooms, opening into it -- we have each our separate fire, and can be quite retired -- there are 35 boarders, 10 of them ladies, this is pleasant to me, as I don’t visit -- when I came here, I laid down a rule, to prevent my time from being frittered away, but I have not yet had that abundance of leisure.” Leonard’s absence from home for some months, gave me employment for my needle; and the ladies of the congregation must all call upon the Mother and Sister of their [Pastor] -- when the calls are return’d, it will there stop with me. -- my room is put in order before breakfast, from the table we come up, and have family worship. I know not how we should get along without dear little Willy; he is at an excellent school, but is always ready to do all our errands, as we are not dependant on the servants of the house-- his other Son is with Mr Storrs,there he is perfectly healthy, but he cannot live in Albany. I am anxious to hear of your dear Mary, be particular in writing about her, her constitution will probably undergo a great change; God grant it may be so. From Sophia we hear frequently, she writes in good spirits, the Bishop found a barren field to labor in; the want of education in the lower class, struck him by pairs to search out Sunday scholars, want of clothes, was the general excuse, a place of meeting was appointed, old clothes were to be sent in -- at the time set, 50 ragged children were in attendance, the Bishop made himself useful, fitting jackets on the boys. 20 were sent to be measured for shoes -- they then adjourn’d to the Parsonage, to cut out cloaks for the girls, each lady taking one home to make -- Sophia writes her house is small, but convenient, the Church has property to build, and they hope in another year they will do so. The silver the ladies of Christchurch presented, we did not see, it was made in N. York, and sent to Maine, in a box lined with velvet. The prizes were a coffee pot, two teapots, cream & sugar bowl these lind with gilt -- 1 Doz tablespoons, 1 Doz table forks 1 Doz teaspoons -- a sugar tongs & shove, and two dessert spoons -- I had giver her forks, and 3 Doz spoons, so few Bishops ladies have more silver. A week after we came here, the weather continuing mild, Mary and I went to Kingston, we spent three days very pleasantly with Eliza, she has recover’d her health, and looks better than she did four years ago; she has promised, if our loves are spared, to go with us to Alexandria in the spring -- from there we went to Yonkers for a fortnight; one day was spent in N.Y. I can hardly believe I was a resident there so many years to me it is a strange city, and I feel as a stranger. The appearances of the stores show a great increase of luxury -- I can now believe what a gentleman told me of a site of chairs made to order, each chair a hundred & fifty Dollars a piece, the armchairs $2.25 -- perhaps they were made for a family, from whom Mr Kip used to purchas[sic] oil for the city lamps his daughter wears a thousand Doll shawl, and his son goes by the name of the Prince of Whales. but [that] same chairs -- they were made of rosewood, each flower & leaf, as if carved separate, form’d the frame; the back and the seat of rich velvet. I was lately in company with Robert G. Rankin, the time I remember him, as a boy with a check apron; he is a handsome agreeable man - he has built a beautiful place on the North River; his family have all left the City - his mother is still living, but a parilitic[sic]. He told me the [Hilth] family lived at Nyack.

Mary has gone to Troy, to spend a week at Judge Burls, so I am alone in my little parlour, as we only came here for the winter, I would not unpack my furniture, except Marys Piano, my worktable & writing desk, but these give it a home look. Tell your dear husband I will not ask for his precious time, except to add to your letters -- dear Sister I send you my blessing with his autograph. I have not heard from Charlotte lately, she was with Susan for the winter -- her grandchild will be a source of amusement to her -- when I go on to Maine, we hope to pass a few days with her, if she returns to the Island. Leonard is still at the law, but it is the general opinion, he will turn to the Ministry at last. He seems to think it is the fate of the family; he remark’d, I am sometimes afraid to go to Church, lest I should hear something that will throw me into the Seminary. He is making a little money, out of Office hours, by drawing up law papers for a gentleman in the house.

Do write me as particularly as I have you, tell me of your Children, and your grand Children, remember me affect’y to them all, Dudley I think of with more interest, since he is engaged in his Masters work. Several summers ago we lost a valuable Cow, she was worried with dogs, the day she had a calf -- a letter was received from her, I will copy it, it may amuse your grandchildren. Dont say what a [medley] you have written me, remember I have been talking to you -- so with a great deal of love to all your loved ones, I am ever your affectionate Sister

M.I. Kip

Jan’y 17th

Letter to Sophia Chase



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