Mary Chrystie Papers, 1830-1849 (mostly 1833-1841)

Cotsen Children's Library

Cotsen Children's Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-1148
The Cotsen Children's Library is a very special library within the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University Library. Our international research collection of illustrated children's books, manuscripts, original artwork, prints, and educational toys from the 15th century to the present day is the benefaction of Lloyd E. Cotsen '50. The Cotsen Children's Library also has a public face, serving as a resource for children, families, and educators in the greater Princeton area.

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Box 2, Folder 7
Online
Unbound group of 20 pages (10 fols.) sewn together (not including 4 additional pages that have been cut out of the gathering). Writings by Mary Chrystie's mother, Frances Few Chrystie, including ones written on February 15 and 16, 1831, and others written between January 4-31, 1832; February 1-4, 1832; January 4-28, 1833; and February 19-26, 1833. The writings include accounts of Mary's education and lessons, her piety, and her daily activities. Parts of the text are written in dialogue form between Mary ("M") and her mother ("F").
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Box 1, Folder 12
The first poem, copied by Mary Chrystie(?) through stanza 9, is "The Crucifixion," originally published in The Amulet for 1830, and later reprinted in religious periodicals including The Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle, Volume 7. The scond poem, verso, appears to be an original composition by Mary Chrystie. It is an unfinished, untitled poem of two 4-line stanzas, with third stanza marker present but no text. It contrasts the happiness of children at "mery" (sic) harvest time ("Very joyous is their joys") with the feelings of "a little child thats sick" who wishes to "run through snow and the rain."
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Box 1, Folder 13
No date; from "Lily" to William, perhaps Col. William Few, Mary Chrystie's maternal grandfather, but more likely to William Few Chrystie, Mary's brother, or a different William altogether. A brief note in which Lily describes a conversation she had with her mother about the distribution of various pieces of property, such as furniture, a piano, jewelry, and a mirror.
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Box 1, Folder 13
December 6, 1816, Paris; from N. Gallatin, written to her sister Catherine Few, Mary's maternal grandmother, but addressed to Catherine Few's husband Colonel William Few (father of Frances Chrystie, and Mary's grandfather). Gallatin describes English preaching "in the Episcopal Form": "They pray for King George, that he may overcome all of his enemies, that seems so strange to me. But the congreagation are entirely made up of English, nevertheless you may be sure an American cannot relish hearing, or at least cannot unite in offering up such prayers, although they may be very good Christians. The sermons are pretty good but not delivered with much solemnity."; also of note in the letter is a mention of a Frances Gallatin leaving a boarding school after having "not made much progress in speaking French"; and also a mention of an Albert who is visiting Geneva: "He appears to be very happy with his relations and they are fond of him. He says he thinks he must marry there, only they will introduce him to none but old ladies and he reproaches them for it"; also, an interesting postscript: "Vanbrugh Livingston has got quite well and is grown monstrous fat. We see him often."
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Box 1, Folder 3
October 7 (no year, but apparently written at a fairly young age), New York. Mary writes to her brother to tell him of family plans and doings while he is away at school; she closes with instructions to "direct your thoughts to God", for their mother and father are uneasy about his studies.
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Box 1, Folder 3
December 26, 1835, Princeton, New Jersey; postmarked December 29 at Princeton. 2 letters on one sheet (the first letter by Mary, the second letter by her Mother, Frances). Mary regales her brother with a description of her daily life and apologizes for not getting him a Christmas gift because "Princeton is a poor place and mama is loath to part with her money". Frances entreats Willie to send them more letters and reminds him to show his appreciation of a Mr. Dardan's generosity (he gave Willie a copy of Robinson Crusoe).
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Box 1, Folder 14
No date; from Mary Few, Mary Chrystie's aunt, to "Sir," perhaps Reverend F.P. Tappan. A short note which accompanied a variety of biographical materials about Mary Chrystie: "I send the materials for the biographical sketch in which you have so kindly interested yourself"; it is not clear exactly which materials this note did accompany; Mary Few says only "I have sent her journal thinking that you might find it interesting to trace the development of her character and sentiments."
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Box 1, Folder 15
July 5, 1907 (dated at end of letter), University Club Washington letterhead; from Marion Letcher (possibly the Marion Letcher who was United States consul in Chihuahua during the Mexican revolution) to his/her cousin. A letter discussing the genealogical project about the Few family that Letcher is undertaking (See item 2 of this series, from the same correspondent).
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Box 1, Folder 13
December 13, 1817 (with appended entries from 14 and 17 December), New York; from Albert Chrystie, Mary Chrystie's father, to "Smith." A very interesting letter in which Mr. Chrystie writes to his friend Smith who appears to be a member of (or in some way affiliated) with the British Parliament; Mr. Chrystie discusses the relative merits of those in politics and whether their elevation above "us plebians" is just; he reviews the state of politics in Washington and "the high sense we entertain now adays of our own importance as a nation"; he describes his studies, mentions mutual friends, requests a copy of a book ("a handsome edition of Lavater(?)") and describes some orations he has recently seen.
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Box 1, Folder 11
January 5, 1841, New York; postmarked January 8 at New York; from Mary Chrystie. Mary apologizes for not having written sooner, but she has a good excuse: "I have been obliged to keep my room (and part of the time my bed) for nearly three weeks with an inflammation of my lungs"; she describes in detail her new dog--which she has named Rhoda in honor of her friend ("I hope you are able to appreciate the honour conferred on you..."); she explains that due to her illness she will not attend school "for some time"; Mary copies a long riddle for Rhoda to solve. A hole in the second leaf (presumably made when the wax seal was removed) affects the text.