To Dr. William S. Thomas
Dear Cousin Will:-
I did not know about great-grandfather Henry Livingston's snuff box.
I am delighted to have a photograph of it.
Please be assured of my many thanks and appreciation.
The picture of Henry Livingston in the "Kodak" I sent to you is a pen & ink sketch made by my sister Katharine from a portrait.
She made it when I was in some foreign country, and I do not know from whose portrait she copied it.
My impression is that it belonged to great aunt Susan and ultimately to her daughter, Jeannie Gurney.
I know that Katharine went more than once to visit Jeannie's near Oconomowoc.
When Jeannie died she gave many of her belongings to some of her friends in Oconomowoc.
To my daughter Grazia she gave a silver cream pitcher that had belonged to our great-grandmother Jane Paterson Livingston.
I am sure the portrait belonged to her.
Where is it now?
The chessmen were made by Henry Livingston while he was in the army.
Jeannie Gurney gave them to me, and I have given them to my son Robert.
The snuff box is beautiful. I hope some day to see it.
We had the hall clock with their four balls - ornament, not a sign! Mother gave the clock to my brother Livingston. It now belongs to his oldest daughters, Millicent Hubbard Crosskill, 25 Fifth Avenue, New York. The clock, however, stands here in her mother's house.
The decanters in the "Kodak" were Henry Livingston's very own. No doubt he enjoyed them, which he could not do were he here now!
I had a cold & loss of appetite this winter. xx said, "Drink a little wine." "Wine!" I cried; "I have nil a drop in the house. Seven decanters, though."
The Livingston coat of arms in the "Kodak" is also a pen & ink copy made by Katharine. I have forgotten the name of the people in Oconomowoc to whom Jeannie Gurney gave many things. I heard mention made of a beautiful pair of low-boys. Whetther or not they came from the Livingston House, I cannot say.
I am sorry not to be able to send you the portrait. If you care to see the pen and ink sketch I will gladly send it. It looks larger in the "Kodak" than it really is. Misleading.
In Briarritz, an English portrait painter named Daupiers May, made a charming pastel portrait of Grazia. He said that photographs were terrible liars! A portrait spoke truth.
I am rejoiced to hear from you; and I hoipe that you and all your family keep well.
Affectionately your cousin,
Of course Henry Livingston wrote the "Night Before Christmas." Grandmother said he did & others Knew, remembered all about it. She lived "next door", literally next estate.
Any how, she played constantly with the Livingston children & she & her husband, my grandfather, were sweethearts from child-hood.
Grandmother was greatly exercised when the first printed Xmas copy appeared (I have it.) and said there was a mistake that should be rectified. That Henry Livingston wrote the verses.
This is my only proof. The word of my stately, truthful, dependable grandmother, Eliza Clement Brewer Livingston. I could go on -- but enough --