Foote Family Papers, 1820–1861
- 1 Organization of Letters and Papers
- 2 Undated
- 3 1820
- 4 1821
- 4.1 Letter from Ebenezer Foote, New York City to his son, Frederick, 21 June, 1821
- 4.2 Letter from Harriet Foote, at Newark, New Jersey, to her father, Ebenezer, Oct 1st 1821
- 4.3 Letter to Ebenezer Foote from Samuel Verplanck, Fishkill Landing, New York, 21 September, 1821
- 4.4 "Representatives," Oswego Palladium. (Oswego, N.Y.) November 29, 1822
- 5 1823
- 5.1 S. Van Rensselaer, Washington, to Ebenezer Foote, February 3d 1823
- 5.2 "Mr Moore has built a small house on the public land at West Point." Letter from Margaret P. Moore, West Point, to her uncle, "Ebenezer Foote, Esq.r. Arbor Hill, Delhi" 10 February, 1823
- 5.3 "With additional stock of Health from inhaling pure Mountain Air & enjoying the good Fare of Arbor Hill, the remembrance of your Friendly Attention and that of the whole Circle remains strongly impressed on my mind." Letter from James D.L. Walton, New York, to Ebenezer Foote, 24 October, 1823
- 6 1824
- 6.1 Letter to Ebenezer Foote from his nephew, Samuel Foote, New York City, 17 August 1824 
- 6.2 Invitation sent to Charles A. Foote. "The first one of the two I have was sent in 1823." [kaf]
- 6.3 I copy a part of a note from Miss Georgina Schuyler, 570 Park Avenue. [kaf] 1823
- 6.4 A Visit to Aunt Thompson, West Point, Highlands, New York
- 7 1824
- 7.1 Ebenezer Foote, letter to "Colo. John Trumbull, New York" February 20th 1824
- 7.2 Letter from Ebenezer Foote to John W. Taylor, Washington D.C.? 15 November, 1824
- 7.3 "Can it be possible that a majority of your house can willing to Commit the government of our Country to jackson," Letter from Ebenezer Foote, Arbor Hill, Delhi, New York to John W. Taylor Washington, D.C., 23 November, 1824
- 8 1825
- 8.1 Of the few invitations I am putting in, the first one (written) has a singular mistake in spelling, —done by a secretary, of course
- 8.2 Letter to Charles Foote, Esq, from El Roswelt, New York, City Hotel, Friday, 1825?
- 8.3 "Old Hickory is a good General, and a popular man. He will suit the Democrats, and wild and turbulent men." Letter from Steven Van Rensselaer, Washington, D.C., to Ebenezer Foote, Delhi, "New York, Jany. 12 1825"
- 8.4 Letter from Ebenezer Foote, Delhi, New York, to his brother, Justin [or perhaps John? —dff] 1 September, 1825
- 8.5 "It was the old thing, gay and splendid as ever. Gen. Lafayette was there, and all the 'big Bugs.'" Letter from Charles A. Foote, Washington City, to his sister Harriet, Delhi, New York, December 14 1825
- 9 1826
- 10 1827
- 11 1828
- 11.1 Copied from leaf of memorandum book of Ebenezer Foote, April 1828
- 11.2 Letter to Ebenezer Foote from Cornelius Bogert, Jamaica, Long Island, 30 September, 1828 
- 11.3 Letter from John W. Taylor to "Samuel De Forest Esq," Washington, D.C., 18 January, 1830
- 11.4 Letter from Harriet Foote, Hamilton, New York, to her nephew, Charles, Delhi, New York, 7 June, 1849:
- 12 Additional Pages of Letters and Papers
Organization of Letters and Papers
- Foote Family Papers–before 1790
- Foote Family Papers, 1790–1799
- Foote Family Papers, 1800–1819
- Foote Family Papers, 1820–1861
- Bibliography of Foote Family Sources
"From a package of invitations I am including a few, to show the fashionable dinner hour of the important people of the day." —Katherine Adelia Foote
The Governor requests the Honor of Mr. Footes company at Dinner on Wednesday next at Three o'clock P.M. at the Tontine Coffee House.
- Letter to Ebenezer Foote from Chancellor Kent
The Chancellor begs the favor of Mr. Foote's company at a family dinner, tomorrow at two o 'clock.
Mr. J.V. Henry requests the favor of Mr. Eben Foote's company at dinner on Saturday next, at 3 o'clock.
- The next from Gen. Philip Schuyler.
Mr. Schuyler's compliments, he entreats the favor of Mr. Foote's Company at dinner on Monday next, at 3 o'clock.
Friday Jan. 17. Mr. Gansevoort requests the Honor of Mr. Foote's Company at dinner on Thursday next at 3 o'clock. Whitehall, Feby 21st.
"Col. Foote. "The Patroon" hopes to take E. by the hand soon, and has a bed and stable at his service. Ebenezer writes to Thomas Tillottson on business, from 1820? "it seems to explain, somewhat, the relation of the two men to each other." EFtF p. 197-8:
... I must now be permitted my usual freedom to speak on the subject of politicks. The personal friendship I feel for you and your connexions (Livingstons) forbid any reserve on my part, and I could wish the same freedom on yours. I am fearful we shall differ more widely on the questions that now agitate our country than we have for many years past, if I interpret your ideas right from some observations contained in your letter, &c., &c.
- It seems to have been an honor to belong to the Bible Society, and there are many papers showing (his membership, as well as the ones about the Agricultural Society, though we should find it difficult today  to realize why this should have been so.
- People came up and down the Hudson in the many sloops running, and in the earliest days Ebenezer was met by a horse to ride out from Catskill. But in the next letter, 1821, Frederick is asked to bring a wagon. Shad were still plentiful in the Hudson and were salted down, but two barrels of them and one of mackerel at one fell swoop shows how the great houses of the day had to be provided for against the constant demands on their hospitality.
Letter from Ebenezer Foote, New York City to his son, Frederick, 21 June, 1821
Dear Frederick. I intend to leave this city on Saturday of next week, and wish you to make arrangements to meet us at Catskill, so that we may leave there the Monday following. Bring with you the best cushion to lay on the back seat. Mrs. Van Antwerp will come with us, and I think Miss Bogart also. Sam Foote is here [Samuel Foote was the brother of Mrs. Lyman Beecher, and the favorite nephew of Judge Foote. —kaf], but sails for Cadiz in about ten days. He carries out our Ambassador, Mr. Forsyth. There will be two bbls shad, and one of mackerel, which if any teams are coming out, had better be taken on. I shall put some few things on McKinstry's vessel, but they will not get up by the time I shall, unless they have a very fair wind. Do not fail of being in Catskill on Sunday.
- In haste E. Foote.
- Harriet, the oldest daughter of Ebenezer, goes down to visit her grandmother Baldwin, and Aunt Catherine Bruen, and Pompey, one of her father's slaves, goes for her.  Harriet would be the daughter of Charles, and grandaughter of Ebenezer if her grandmother was Margaret (De Hart) Baldwin.
Letter from Harriet Foote, at Newark, New Jersey, to her father, Ebenezer, Oct 1st 1821
Dear Father. I this moment received your kind letter by Pompey, who arrived safe and well with the horses and wagon. We were rejoiced to see him and hear from Delhi... Be assured my dear Father that your fears that my long stay will render me discontented with Delhi, are groundless, although everything has been done to contribute to my enjoyment, and make my visit pleasant, yet I can return without one regret.
Pompey says, "I could have done as well for Mr. Foote myself, as Dr. Whitmarsh did."
- Stephen Verplanck was one of the Great Proprietors, and his letter may be a sort of explanation of the interest in the Agricultural Society, viz., that the big estates were working under difficulties to improve their stock of animals, trees and plants, and co-operation availed then, even more than now.
Letter to Ebenezer Foote from Samuel Verplanck, Fishkill Landing, New York, 21 September, 1821
Dear Sir. I have ordered our man to keep the best of three young bucks we have left for you. He is at your service whenever you choose to send for him. We can give you at the same time, a new pig, a cross between the English and Chinese breeds, if you think it will be an improvement to your Delaware breed.
Tell the ladies I showed the plant to Dr. Torrey, an eminent botanist from New York, who told me it was called the Side Saddle plant, from its resemblance to the horns of a lady's side-saddle. They may rely on this important information with as much faith as if they had it from Dr. Mitchell himself, as Dr. Torrey upon matters of Natural history is even better authority than that great man.
- Yours respectfully S. Verplanck.
"Representatives," Oswego Palladium. (Oswego, N.Y.) November 29, 1822
The following persons are elected to represent this state, in the 18th Congress, to wit: *Silas Wood, Jacob Tyson, *John I. Morgan, *Churchill C Cambreleng, Peter Sharpe, Joel Frost, *William Van Wyck, Hector Craig, Lemuel Jenkins, John Strong, James L. Hogeboom, Stephen Van Rensselaer, Charles A. Foote, Lewis Eaton, Isaac Williams, Henry R Storrs, John Herkimer, John W . Cady, *John W. Taylor, Henry C. Martindale, John Richards, Egbert Ten Eyck, Ela Collins, Lot Clark, Justin Dwinell, *Elisha Lichfield, Rowland Day, Samuel Lawrence, Dudly Marvin, Robert S. Rose, Moses Hayden, William B. Rochester, Isaac Wilson, *Albert H. Tracy. Note.—Those marked thus* are members of the present Congress.
S. Van Rensselaer, Washington, to Ebenezer Foote, February 3d 1823
My Dear Sir.
I enclose a newspaper to your address, containing a report of a contest which has excited considerable interest among the friends of the Presidential candidates. It proved abortive, the papers were mutilated, but by whom they could not ascertain. The appointment I think will produce a new state of parties. Spencer altho' an able Judge has yet not my sympathy. I received your enclosure safe. In haste Yours &c.
- This from the Patroon is all I have for 1823.
"Mr Moore has built a small house on the public land at West Point." Letter from Margaret P. Moore, West Point, to her uncle, "Ebenezer Foote, Esq.r. Arbor Hill, Delhi" 10 February, 1823
- Respected and dear Sir.
An opportunity presents, and I embrace it with pleasure, to write to you my aged uncle — you dear Sir are the only relation I have on earth that I know there place of residence — and even you are almost A stranger, but you are my dear mothers brother therefor I love you and your family which I hope will gain A pardon for my intrusion. I must enquire in the first place after the health of your family, how does my aunt get along, and how are your children. do you all enjoy the blessing of health I feal anxios to hear from you all. we are fellow travelers to the grave, it will be but short time ere some one of us will arrive at our journeys end, I trust that my dear uncle can say that his prospect of eternal joys britins as his sun rools down the western side of the hill of life — may God in his infinite mercy grant that when you are call'd to bid Adieu to time you immortal soul may arise to join in the song of Moses and the [blessd?] forever and ever. Amen. I have but A few words to say, & concerning myself and family, through the goodness of God we enjoy health, Mr Moore has built a small house on the public land at West Point. and by industry and prudence we get A subsisance, if you ever come this wayI should be happy to have you call and see me, I would make you welcome to [?] as my great provider has seen fit to give me, an that with a hearty goodwill — I feel alone in the world the deceitfulness of mankind has wean'd me from society, I find that the less I mingle with the world the better it is for me, I find many flatterers but few friends. — ...
"With additional stock of Health from inhaling pure Mountain Air & enjoying the good Fare of Arbor Hill, the remembrance of your Friendly Attention and that of the whole Circle remains strongly impressed on my mind." Letter from James D.L. Walton, New York, to Ebenezer Foote, 24 October, 1823
My dear Sir
I arrived safely at Home the 18th Int. without any inconvenience from my Jaunt, except a Slight Cold taken on board the Steam boat, all my Friends think I have improved in Looks, and I can say, with additional stock of Health from inhaling pure Mountain Air & enjoying the good Fare of Arbor Hill, the remembrance of your Friendly Attention and that of the whole Circle remains strongly impressed on my mind, it may induce me to pay you another Visit at a more convenient Season. I delivered your Letter for Mr D. Bethune to his lady, he was absent from the City, the one for Mr. Ledyard into her own hands. I inclose one from her. I have put on board the Sloop Superior Captn. Day, a Box of Spermaceti Candles, a Barrel containing a Supply of Coffee for your Breakfast finding you prefer it to Tea, among the contents, of the Cask I have put a Box of Gun Powder for Mrs. Foote don't fear an Explosion, it will only raise Steam, and I hope she and her Friends will enjoy it in the Evenings before a Comfortable fire, I turned Physician while at the Hill and prescribed Cologne Water for the Tooth Ache with Success, there is a Box of it, with the Gun Powder which Mrs. Foote will be pleased to use for the Benefit of herself and Friends as may be required for Various Pains Human Nature is Subject to, a small Box of Segars to replenish the Store I assisted in diminishing, & to enable you and Mr. Maxwell to enjoy a social Puff, you will find a small paper Bundle with Melon Seed the smallest parcel contains seed of a Small & Very superior Flavored Melon, the rest are Citron and Nutmeg Melon Seed, wishing them safe to hand & acceptable as a Present from Judge Verplanck & myself as a trifling acknowledgment for attentions & Services rendered to us. My Sister writes in regards with us to yourself & Family ___ in particular to Mr. & Mrs. Maxwell, the Coll. & & & Yours with Esteem James D L Walton
P.S. Captn. Walton regard to the Circle at Arbor Hill E. Foote Esqr. —
- Delaware County Historical Association, Delhi, New York
Letter to Ebenezer Foote from his nephew, Samuel Foote, New York City, 17 August 1824 
My Dearest Uncle. Lafayette is here!! Can it be possible that you do not fly to meet him,—to take him by the hand, to renew your age, to recall the associations of your youthful days, of those glorious times when Washington and Hamilton and Lafayette shone together the bright Examples of an astonished world,—when they achieved for us those blessings which Democracy and faction and corruption have not as yet been able to destroy. Indeed my dear Sir, my dear Father, I think you cannot choose but come; so in that thought, I shall remain here a few days longer,—notwithstanding you had the heart to go from New York the day before my arrival. Best love to all the family.
Your affectionate son Samuel.
- Samuel Foote was one of the uncles of Henry Ward Beecher, and so fond of his Uncle Ebenezer that he as often called him father as uncle. My grandfather, Charles Foote, was in Congress, 1824-5, and I am copying the few letters I have and a part of the cards and invitations of those years—not unique, but I do not believe their replicas are a drug in the market in this year of 1926.
- General Lafayette's card is very small. His name is written, and below it, "For Mr. Foote." He was a relative of my great grandmother, nee. Margaretta de Hart, and perhaps a little story may follow of a Sunday he spent with her when here in 1824.
Invitation sent to Charles A. Foote. "The first one of the two I have was sent in 1823." [kaf]
The honor of Mr. Charles A. Foote's company is requested at Mr. Lewis Carusi's Cotillion Parties for the season. To commence on Thursday Evening, the 4th day of December next, at seven o'clock at the Washington Assembly Hall, and continue on every other Thursday. Washington, November 3d, 1823.
- Miss Louisa Lee and Miss Georgina Schuyler were two internationally-known residents of New York. Miss Georgina is no longer living, and Miss Louisa Lee is so confirmed an invalid that she can see no one, except for a short time by appointment. They were considerably older than I, but our great-grandfathers, Gen. Philip Schuyler, Gen. Alexander Hamilton, the Patroon, etc., had known each other well, and perhaps on this account I had the very great privilege of "carte blanche" to their Sunday afternoons, where one met very charming people, and which I appreciated most fully.
The Carusi Assemblies were a counterpart of the Philadelphia Assembly, which continues to this day, and were called, as a writer in the Century a few years ago on "Old Washington," explained, "the exclusive Carusis." Mrs. George Parker, a granddaughter of General Root, told me that when living in Washington in her girlhood,  they were still going on, and invitations much sought after.
I copy a part of a note from Miss Georgina Schuyler, 570 Park Avenue. [kaf] 1823
Dear Miss Foote. . . . The enclosed was found among cards left on my Grandmother, Mrs. Philip J. Schuyler, when making a visit in Washington, D.C, 1846-7. Carusi's Saloon will interest you. ... If you are so kind as to come, wait until next Sunday, please, as I am obliged to attend a service, and should miss your visit, did you come. Come early as we are in from Three o'clock on. Do not return the Carusi.
Yours truly, Georgina Schuyler.
-  Mrs. Philip J. Schuyler was the daughter-in-law of General Philip, and many letters from her husband have been included here. Mr. Buchanan was the Secretary of State in 1846, not yet President. One notices that the hour for assembling, in the twenty-three years elapsing since the first one was sent, has been advanced from seven to eight o'clock.
- Mr. Buchanan requests the honor of Mrs. Schuyler's company on the evening of the 23d of January at eight o'clock at Carusi's Saloon.
A Visit to Aunt Thompson, West Point, Highlands, New York
- My Aunt Catherine went down with her father to visit her grandmother and aunt, Mrs. James Bruen but, unlike her sister, missed Lafayette. They stopped at West Point to visit another aunt, Mrs. Thompson, the mother of the gallant soldier, Gen. Wiley Thompson, murdered by the Indians so atrociously in the Florida War. [Katherine Foote means Alexander Ramsay Thompson; Wiley Thompson (September 23, 1781 – December 28, 1835) was state representative from Georgia from 1821 to 1833 —dff.] My aunt had kept the bill of two gowns made for her visit, and gave me the little yellow slip before her death.
To H. Randel, Dr.
To making two gowns ... $1.87 1/2 cts.
5/8 long lawn ... .58
two skeins sewing silk ... .16 1/2
tape and thread ... $1.87 1/2 cts.
Ebenezer Foote, letter to "Colo. John Trumbull, New York" February 20th 1824
Arbor Hill Delhi
My Dear Sir
I mention.d to you (when viewing your last great painting of Washington Resigning his Commission) that I had a miniature profile likeness of the God Like man, that was taken in the year 1783 Just before the Army was disbanded, to gratify the wishes of many who were shortly to take their leave of him forever — I send it to you with this — you will find the workmanship Coars, as naturally to be expected from such artists as were to be found in camp. but be assured Sir, it is a faithful likeness of the great man at that time. I have contemplated his features with the miniature in my hand and know the likeness to be as perfect as I ever saw of any person and far superior to any other likeness of him— Should you be of opinion that It will afford You any aid in producing a likeness in paint, it is at your Service. only promissing that it must be Safely returned to me at Some future day — as I value it above gold or Diamond. The little coarse oval frame in which it was originally set, got broke or you might see it Just in the style they were all finishd in Camp. With Sentiments of the Highest Esteem & Respect
I am Sir your Friend & Servt.
Letter from Ebenezer Foote to John W. Taylor, Washington D.C.? 15 November, 1824
Arbor Hill. Delhi, New York...
Dear Sir The Friendly Interest you manifested towards myself and Son, when we were at Ball Town Spa has made a deep and grateful impression on my mind, such as trust will not be Easily effaced. Presuming you will be pleased to hear from the Result of our Excursion. I feel happy in being able to tell state that I think it to have been peculiarly favourable. My Sons health has been regularly mending ever Since his return but what affords me the most satisfaction is to find he has Resolution to break off from Habits that had nearly proved his Ruin — I find he does not relish the Company of that wretch who I consider as being (in great measure) the cause of his misfortune. And since the Result of the Election has in some measure Effaced the Moral Stain on the Reputation of the State occasioned by his Elevation to the Second office in it, I do sincerely hope his influence on the minds and actions of many others may Cease— I beg you accept my Sincere and Joyful Congratulations I had begun to despair of seeing the people of the State ever emerge from the State of degradation of such men as Root & Vanburen. and I pray that you may be useful in preventing the administration of our National Government from falling into such hand — My son is (I doubt not) sick and somewhat ashamed of the part he has been led to take. But I fear that a mistaken pride (too Common in young politicians) may prevent his Retracting. I hope however that yourself and other good men will Endeavor by gentle means Endeavour to bring him back to the path of duty — a circumstance favourable to such an attempt is the utter Contempt for VB. and many others with whom he is associated in Politicks — Be pleased to present my Compliments to good [brother?] Freeman. I entertain a high Sense of his professional merit as well as of his Moral Character. his friendly and unremitted attention to my Son will be ever-gratefully remembered by me as will the friendly attentions paid to me and him by Mr. Loomis and his family. with ardent wishes for the Happiness and prosperity of you all. I am Sir though a Stranger
Your Sincere and Grateful Friend
"Can it be possible that a majority of your house can willing to Commit the government of our Country to jackson," Letter from Ebenezer Foote, Arbor Hill, Delhi, New York to John W. Taylor Washington, D.C., 23 November, 1824
It was intended that the Enclosed letter should have been forwarded to you at Ball-town but the person by whom it was to have been Sent has delayed his journey so long that I presume it could not reach that place before your departure for Congress — It is immaterial as to what place you Receive it at, otherways than it may prevent my grateful feelings being Communicated to two persons mentioned in it —
The result of our State Election being well asscertained, I feel little anxiety remaining with regard to any political subject except the Presidential Election about which I feel more Solicitous than perhaps may be deemed to comport with true wisdom, in an obscure Individual. I cannot however Control them. And as I differ with my son in opinion respecting the merits and fitnes of the different Candidates, His communications to me on the subject may not be as full, and satisfactory as I could wish. Will you therefore permit me to request the favour of your Opinion. What the discussion will be in the house of Representatives in Case the question comes before them; which appears at present to be rendered very probable. Can it be possible that a majority of your house can willing to Commit the government of our Country to jackson. (I take it that Crawford is out of the question) in preference to John Q. Adams? it seems to me such a thing Cannot be & Still I perceive j. appears to be gaining ground in almost every part of our Country— I respect him as a Brave and Enterprizing officer & soldier, but cannot conceive that he is qualified to make a good president. I have myself been a soldier, and acquainted with many of our best men of that discription, and can truly say, that I know of but few of them Except the Father our Country who were proper persons to be president of the United States —
If the temper and feelings of our people are such that no person will suite their inclinations but a military Character, I shall consider it a very unfavorable omen as it Respects the permanence, and purity, of our Civil Institutions. I hope my anxious feelings on the subject may be considered as a Sufficient apology for the Liberty I have taken in troubling your on this occasion, and am
Sir truly & Respectfully
Your Friend & Sevt Ebenezer Foote
Of the few invitations I am putting in, the first one (written) has a singular mistake in spelling, —done by a secretary, of course
The President requests the favor of Mr. Foote's company at dinner on Saterday 22 inst. at five o'clock. The favor of an answer is requested.
- Jany 15 '25.
Mr. and Mrs. Adams request the favor of Mr. C.A. Foote's Company on Thursday Evening the 8th of January 1824. A disastrous drunken Foote makes his appearance in the Adam's diaries for February of 1824, link here.Mr. and Mrs. Calhoun request the favor of the Honble. Mr. Foote's Company at dinner on Thursday next, 5 o'clock. The favor of an answer is requested. Dec. 5, 1823.
- A number from Mrs. McLean, printed; this, more intimate, written:
- Mrs. McLean requests the favour of Mr. Foote's Company at Tea on Friday evening the 4th of February next, at 7 o'clock. 28th January.
Letter to Charles Foote, Esq, from El Roswelt, New York, City Hotel, Friday, 1825?
My Dear Sir. Allow me to introduce to your acquaintance, our mutual friend Major Flagg. By report he must needs be known to you, and to that, I shall only  add, that his good humour is no less a part of him, than his good principles. I regret that your ride to Newark, prevented me from seeing you, but I hope to meet you here on my return on Tuesday. Meanwhile, I remain with great respect,
Yours truly, El Roswelt.
- I find on looking it up that the City Hotel was the "mode" in 1825. My grandfather had left for the moment, to pay his respects to Newark relatives, and this graceful note was left for him. The signature is delightful.
"Old Hickory is a good General, and a popular man. He will suit the Democrats, and wild and turbulent men." Letter from Steven Van Rensselaer, Washington, D.C., to Ebenezer Foote, Delhi, "New York, Jany. 12 1825"
My Dear Friend...With respect to the Presidential question, Charles and I will not differ. Old Hickory is a good General, and a popular man. He will suit the Democrats, and wild and turbulent men. You and I are too old to fear any molestation from him,—we were not Hartford Convention men, but good federalists. Jackson says "he knows no difference between parties,—good and bad are in both. He will always select able and virtuous men who love their country."
This is all fair. Adam's friends promise to be liberal, and this is a time for promises and courtesy. Write to me at your leisure.
Charles is well. In enjoy good health in this climate.
Ever your friend S. Van Rensselaer.
- From the Patroon. The "Charles" is my grandfather. —kaf 
Letter from Ebenezer Foote, Delhi, New York, to his brother, Justin [or perhaps John? —dff] 1 September, 1825
- My Dear Brother.
Your letter to me by your grandson is before me. The truth is, my cares and perplexities allow but little time for writing, other than what my business renders absolutely necessary, and I find that, as much as my eyes will enable me to do. Sickness in my family, or in some of its branches, has been constant for more than four years. It has deprived me altogether of the aid of my son Frederick, who, I once expected to be the staff and support of my old age, and for a year past Charles has been in such a state of health as to excite the most alarming fears, and my daughter Harriet, who has had the charge of his children since the death of his wife, is not now able to take care of herself. Frederick's wife will probably not survive many days, and his daughter, one of the finest and best girls in the county, has strong symptoms of the consumption...
Your affectionate brother Ebenezer Foote.
- I have so few of my ancestor's letters that I cannot refrain from putting in this touching one telling of his losses, and especially of his blasted hopes over his two sons, both of whom he was to survive.
"It was the old thing, gay and splendid as ever. Gen. Lafayette was there, and all the 'big Bugs.'" Letter from Charles A. Foote, Washington City, to his sister Harriet, Delhi, New York, December 14 1825
I have just returned from Mrs. Adams'. It was the old thing, gay and splendid as ever. Gen. Lafayette was there, and all the "big Bugs." She always contrives some method of rendering her parties attractive. Last year she shewed Jackson on the 8th Jany. and now the Marquis.
It is to be hoped that another year will not change the scene as much as the last one has, for I imagine that as to her Talapoosic show, if she thinks anything about it, she wishes "her trump back again"— On August 9, 1814, the Creeks signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which ceded 23 million acres (93,000 km2) of land in Alabama and Georgia to the United States government] The old General [Lafayette] had his hands full again,—talked to everybody, and really appeared to be, what he seemed to be, a kind hearted fatherly old fellow, who had just returned among his friends and family after a long absence. I told him almost half a lie just to please him, that I had traveled almost a hundred miles to see him, and was disappointed after all. He was exceedingly sorry and very much obliged for the attentions and respect shown him, and ^"all^ that sort of thing" and one might have supposed there was something in it, if it had not been the same to every one. Now I presume, he did not know me from Adam's grandfather, and so with nine out of ten, whom he talked with. — But never mind, it all passes off, and helps to keep the thing agoing — — I had a letter to-day from Gen. Root, saying that Emma Wells is dead. I was about to say — poor girl! But there is no need for such an exclamation. She has made her escape, and for aught that we know in as good a time as it could happen. With respect to the little troublesome concern of this world, she can now say in the slang-phrase of Delhi— "that business is got along with." — I sat down to write you a long letter but it is too late. I feel very much like going to bed. Kiss the little ones for me. and with the usual commissions of love &c believe me
Your affectionate brother
Ch: A. Foote.
- As will be seen above, Charles was no stranger to Washington. Even before his election, business took him there, as well as to New York, for practice in the higher courts. I regret the slang, so different from the letters to Judge Foote, but one wrote differently to a sister, I suspect. —Katherine Adelia Foote
"Friendly Letter Recd. 3d March" from Jacob Morris "Butternuts, via Oxford" to "Hon Ebenezer Foote," Delhi 24 February, 1826
- My dear friend
On the 22d instt I was relieved from the long and anxious desire I had been under to hear directly from yourself by the receipt of your kind and affectionate favor of the 11 inst — I never ceased to think of you, because I loved you, and very often in conversation with Mrs Morris expressed my surprise that I did not get a Letter from you, indirect information from you, gave us accounts of some domestic sufferings, but alas, how distressing are the tidings your late affliction I console and sympathize with you from my heart, on the dreadful sufferings and lapses sustained by our friend your son Frederick It will require all his fortitude to bear him up under such awful dispensation of divine Providence
It will at all times afford my wife and myself great pleasure to see you or any of your family here, she has never been since the sudden death of our son Wm. Augustus in body or mind as she was before, and I despair of her being able to accompany me on a visit to any of our friends, her bad helth indeed, keeps me a great deal from going abroad, or I should have gone to see you long before this
Our children and friends here are all well, except from the prevailing epidemick, from the effects of which, none seem to escape, I was suffering under an attack of it, when your letter reached me, but by powerful sweating I think I am on the recovery. We are at an age my friend when infirmities are to be daily looked for our days of joy are over, and our object will be to remember the period of our short stay in this world as tranquil as possible.
A social intercourse with a man whose sentiments are so congenial with my own, would be extremely gratifying to me, I therefore wish you could make it convenient to visit Butternuts which would be pleasing to the whole clan of Morris' and they connexions in this section of the state
I have heard from my daughter Sarah and her Husband Col/Capt? Kean speak in warm terms of friendship of you We have not the happiness to be acquainted with your present Lady but beg to include her in our affectionate regards to you & to every member of your family
- I remain with unalterable esteem my dear Sir
Your friend & ob hum. srvt Jacob Morris
Letter from Frederick Foote to his father, Ebenezer, 16 October, 1826
New York, October 16th 1826
My dear Father, I arrived here on Wednesday last, in better trim than when I left home, the storm commenced on that day, which confined me to the house untill Saturday. I however called at Mr. Street's to se Miss VerPlank, but she had gon some time before to the country, and is not expected back this fall, of course I could do nothing for [R/Beacd?elig/q?] I have seen Capt Samuel — he dont at present know of any thing I could do, to mak a sea voyage proffitable, although there is no doubt it is better for my health, but I must do as I can, not as I would, after I left here last summer the agent for Yates & McIntire at Charleston came on he had opened an office at Augusta, of course that is at an end — They however wish me to go to Norfolk, they have a General agent there for three states, to him they will give letters of recommendation, for some imployment — I wont know any thing better, and believe I must go. —
Dear Father I have just returned from Newark, Mr Bruen expressed a pr[ ] [?] of friendship for you and all the family but I could not get such an answer from him as I cold as expected. he discussed all  of  but still think it most proper to have security by a Mortgage — notwithstanding he acknowledges, the injury you would receive as to the [chance?] of selling he told me e would write to you on the subject he also sup this probability of your paying a part next spring. I told him you intended paying ... as you think proper and that by installments ... Mr Samuel Baldwin is agoing to write to Charles for a Mortgage on his house and lot, he says for the Children, I mentioned also, your situation involved to the amount of $3000. and better, without any security and no prospect of getting any—but since he broched his intentions, I thought best, to advise you of it, requesting that Hathaway should hand him a statement of the $800. debt for his Library — the bank debt, and also Case debt. Making in the whole $1900 or which amount a Mortgage or judgement Bond, so reasonable a request he cant it appears to me refuse, and when he sees the debt for his library, his conscience must [smote?] him — on the [Memory] you could  who, that it should be kept for his Children — I said nothing about this Bruin debt, for fear that may have a tendency to irritate rather than other wise — those I have mention, will touch his feelings rather than other wise —
The half ticket I will enclose by Margaret and will then be able to inform you when I probably shall be — My love to all the family and believe me dear Father, your prosperity and suferings, are my constant prayer's — Your affectionate son, Frederick.
N.B. If charles would give you a judgement Bond he may still give Mr. Baldwin a Mortgage for the Children, you could then secure the personal property and the [___]
Letter to Ebenezer Foote, from Steven Van Rensselaer, 26 February, 1827
My Dear Friend... Poor Brown is no more, his tricks are at an end. As to my Jacksonianism, I love the Yankees too well to submit to the South without a struggle to their damnation. Calhoun is to succeed Jackson if they are successful, and poor Clinton is relieved from the mortification which awaited him. Van Buren is to be our Gov. I hear he says he does not want it,—perhaps so! Mr. Clay's book has worked wonders in Virginia, and Carolina, but whether sufficient to turn the scale, I know not. The common people are for Adams in both states, but the influence of the Richmond Club is extensive, something like our Albany Regency. The South are determined never to have a Northern President again. The tariff alarms them, and I fear they will defeat the present bill before us.
Your friend S. Van Rensselaer.
-  "From the Patroon. Ho. of Repy. Feb. 26 1827." Judge Foote was to live one year longer, but this is the latest letter I have. Both his sons, their wives, and two grandchildren, had died, and to these bitter sorrows was to be added the superficial regret of the election of General Jackson. Truly, "Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth." —kaf
Copied from leaf of memorandum book of Ebenezer Foote, April 1828
I was appointed First Judge of Delaware Co. for the 3d time. Under my first appointment I served until I was 60 years of age, a term beyond which I could not Constitutionally hold the office. 1 was then appointed a Judge, and served until the new Constitution was adopted, when I was again appointed First Judge, and having served the term of five years, was again appointed as above stated, and what is rather unusual, my three last appointments were made by men of different political sentiments from myself.
- This extract from one of the many small memorandum books kept by Judge Foote, all now lost, except one to which I am denied access. But this one leaf I have is interesting in connection with Governor Clinton's letter, as it was he who made one of the appointments. —kaf
Letter to Ebenezer Foote from Cornelius Bogert, Jamaica, Long Island, 30 September, 1828 
Dear Sir. In overlooking my old letters, I find I have been culpably negligent of an old and valued friend, who lives or did live recently, in Delaware co., in the neighborhood of the Great Road. In admitting my inattention to you, be assured it was confined to mere correspondence, as I never forget my old friends, and one especially whom I so highly regard as yourself. It was a matter of much regret to hear that you had lately been in the city, and had it in contemplation to make me a visit with Mr. Van Vechten. I am sorry you relinquished the project, as a visit from him and you would have been a great gratification to me. If another occasion presents itself, be pleased to present my best regards to him, and bring him with you to Jamaica.
All my children are about to take up their winter quarters in the city, and I have made up my mind to follow them in November, until which time I shall be happy to see you here. My residence in town for the winter will be at Mrs. Cowans, Murray St., a door or two from Broadway. As you and I have never differed in our politicks, I presume you think with me, that a Southern Tyrant and Murderer ought not to be preferred to a son of Massachusetts. If such an event should occur, we shall be degraded as a nation, and deserve to suffer all the ills that must inevitably result from it.
As to our State affairs, Thompson and Granger are my men, in which opinion I am assured you will concur. So much for the Commonwealth, now for self. Can you say what is doing with lands in your county. Is it possible to give them away. I wish not to be misunderstood as regards the President, i am an Adams man. Accept my best wishes for your happiness. C. Bogert
- "From Cornelius Bogert, a very well known man of his day." —kaf
Letter from John W. Taylor to "Samuel De Forest Esq," Washington, D.C., 18 January, 1830
I need not say how truly I thank you for your friendly & interesting letter of the first, postmarked the fifth of this month. A free communication of the opinions & wishes of my constituents is as agreeable to me as it is useful to them. If coincident with my own, it stimulates to new effort to carry these opinions into execution, if opposed to mine, it induces to a careful examination of the grounds on which mine stand. Of the various objectionable matters put forth by the President in his message to congress there is none threatening to inflict on the character of thesi nation so deep disgrace as that which as that which concerns our Indian Relations. His policy in regard to that unfortunate portion of our fellow men is at variance not only with humanity, justice & public faith but with the uniform practice of the government during every former administration. The pretext for this tyranny is as contemptible as the outrage is flagrant. How does it affect the sovereignty of Georgia, whether the Cherokees within their own acknowledged territory secured to them by treaty are governed by written or unwritten laws? Whether their laws are enforced by Judges appointed by the nation, or by the despotic orders of a Chief? And to cap the climax of cruelty, the sacred name of humanity is invoked to cover this deed of darkness. Three years ago when Georgia threatened to invade the Indian country, President Adams interposed the authority of the General Government & prevented its execution. He considered himself bound by Treaty & and solemn obligations of his office to avert the hand of the destroyer. His successor has announced his determination to pursue a different course. Georgia will harass the Indians into removal or resistance. If the latter alternative should be chosen & an indian war break out, the President will chastise their insolence & visit them with fire & sword. Their speedy extermination will be the inevitable consequence. Both Houses of Congress will support the President in these measures. In the Senate he has a decided majority & in the House of Representatives more than two to one.
The former Speaker of the House in appointing the Committee on Indian Affairs was careful to select members who were known to have the inclination as well as the ability to protect the rights of the Indians. He considered that committee as standing to them in the relation of /guardians. A majority was composed of member from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Ohio. Men of known devotion in our Indian relations to the just & human principles of the illustrious Penn.
The present Speaker on the contrary has appointed a committee on Indian Affairs consisting as usual of fewer members, five of whom are from the State of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee & Kentucky. A majority of these states as you well know feel deep prejudices against the Indians. The other two committeemen are new members from the States of New Hampshire & Connecticut whose opinions on the subject are unknown to me.
In the Senate, a majority of the committee on Indian Affairs are from the State of Georgia, Tennessee and Missouri. All but one are thorough-going Jacksonians. Both Chairmen are from Tennessee & are the devoted personal and political friends of President Jackson.
Under these circumstances, what of Justice, what of humanity, can the poor indians expect from the President or congress? They stand on an awful precipice, & nothing short of divine interposition can save them from extermination. As regards their removal & extermination are equivalent terms.
I have the honor to be With regards & esteem
Your obedient John W. Taylor
Letter from Harriet Foote, Hamilton, New York, to her nephew, Charles, Delhi, New York, 7 June, 1849:
Will you be good enough to see that your Aunt Maxwell gets her riding whip if it accompanies this letter. I expect Mr. Willis to call tomorrow and take them both. If he should disappoint me I shall mail the letter, and you can tell your Aunt that we found the whip in the bottom of the waggon some time after we got home, and will send it the first safe opportunity, Susan says she remembers seeing Miss Boyd lay it in the waggon the day they rode to the Village on horseback. I should have written before this and relieved her mind from an anxiety she may have felt on account of its supposed loss, but have not, for a variety of reasons.
I employed Susan as my amanuensis to inform your Aunt of our safe return home as soon after it, as they very unsettled state of our family would admit, but she has not taken any notion of that letter, or any other one, that which the girls, or my husband have written for me. I know it would be more gratifying to her, to have me write myself, but when I cannot do it, she ought to take their letters as from me when written at my request. When we got home last fall we found Edward very sick with the prevailing fever, and Mary on the point of leaving home to spend the winter, of course, you may Judge what I had to do with only Achsah and Susan ^to help me^ and Achsah tired out with nursing Edward. I was very unwell myself, but could find no resting place or time — till winter; and to add to my affliction, I suffered night and day with the tooth ache, till I became so nervous I was not fit for anything, and my eyes were so affected I could not write. I made some attempts, but fail'd in them and gave up making any further attempts. Somewhere about the first of March, I dont remember the day of the month, your Uncle was attacked with fever, but we succeeded in [breaking?] it up and he got so as to ride out, when he relapsed, and in a week form that time I was taken down very suddenly and very violently myself — The physician pronounced it congestive fever. I was very sick, and for ten days so much salivated that I had no rest at all, and could not take anything but a little liquid of some kind or other Uncle was never brot as low as I was. We are now so that we ride and go about some, but suffer from weakness — it seems as though we never ___ et strength. Your Uncle has some symptoms I do not like. The physicians and friends all advise him to go to the [s___? pper.] he does not, all that will prevent will be the hard times which he feels very much I intend to persuade him to go somewhere if possible tell your aunt M that the reason of his not going for ___ and [making] her a visit last fall was that in Consequence of Edwards illness ...
I commenced this letter week before last, but as Mr. Willis left without coming over to Hamilton and I felt very unwell, I have not been in haste to finish.
I wish you would ask Hathaway to write to your Uncle to come over to Delhi if there is enough to do in the way of arranging his business to make it worth while for him to take the Journey. He is low spirited and discouraged and I think that nothing will do him any good but going away from home a little while, and perhaps if Mr. H. would tell him that he would like to have his assistance a little in arranging the unfinished business of our Grand Pa estate, he might be induced to go. I dont care anything about myself, altho I feel very feeble still, if I could only see him well enough to attend to business again. I dont intend to give him any peace till I can get him to go somewhere.
Do write to me Charles and tell me everything about yourselves. I never wanted to see you all more than I have for a few weeks past, and cannot help hoping hour Uncle may be will prevail to go to Delhi. I have thought much of Ebenezer thru the winter and spring, and can truly say that I long for his salvation. I wish the dear Christian friends in Delhi would pray for, and labor with him. Our Susan has been helpfully converted this past winter. she is a great comfort to me. I found her a most faithful, devoted nurse in my sickness.
Give my best love to all my dear friends if they still think of me Recollect that I have not heard from Delhi since I left there
In haste hour Affectionate Aunt H Foote
- Letter LOC, manuscripts and special collections.
Additional Pages of Letters and Papers
- Foote Family Papers–before 1790
- Foote Family Papers, 1790–1799
- Foote Family Papers, 1800–1819
- Foote Family Papers, 1820–1861