THE ATTIC

1833 LETTER
Dr. Francis Burdette Parmele 1815-1883
Henry, Joel, Nehemiah, Nathaniel, Nathaniel, John, John
This stampless, wax-sealed letter was written to 18-year-old Frank who was living in Albany at 36 Herkimer St. from a friend, P. Ostrander, in New York City. Frank received another letter from him that fall.

The 1833 missive was found in a box of letters sold at a garage sale. The box had a label from the Smythe Books & Stationery store in Columbus, Ohio.

N. York February 3d 1833

Dear Frank,

It was with no ordinary feelings of pleasure and delight that last evening I perused a few lines from my old Friend. I could not reconcile myself to the idea that you had entirely forgot me and was relieved at once on perusing your friendly letter.

Well, Frank, I am stil in the land of the living, fighting for an Artist's Fame and for a subsistence which scarcely allows me three meals a day and who would barter those feeling of Independence which I would not have were I to cozen my relations.

Frank had I my just dues, I would be in better circumstances, and one single transaction which has occurred since I left Albany has gave me a fine lesson in Human Natures.

That is: The sordid Avarice in the thirst for money which renders the firm of Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Co. so conspicious in that particular ...

... rather than submit to a perfect Slave's life. I changed my situation.

Mr. Durand the first engraver in N. York who I now am with, confines himself principally to portraits. And as I have paid particular attention to Landscappes & Historical I cannot render him that assistance which I could had I engraved portraits entirely but what I do for him he allows me liberally.

In the meantime I am engraving a large plate for myself which should bring several hundred dollars (if successful) and I shall be very happy to send you a proof when finished but enough of this.

My Friend [torn] I have not seen since last December (I think) he has probably gone to N. Orleans.

Oh Frank who often do I think of those days when we sat in Hooker's office [also refered to in an 1829 letter] fencing with the chain pins or walking to the door to see if the steamboat had gone or setting traps in the yard to catch rats, "marking the time of day on the fence." The glorious 12 o'clock, and the day you ran off with my hat up Market St. and me after you transmorgrified into a Quaker in deep mourning. ...


... but those days are gone Frank never to return. I must now bid you good bye.

Excuse the hasty manner in which this is wrote. And if you see my brother please remember me to him.

And now Farewell Dear Frank.

Your Friend,
P. Ostrander