beginning in 1807 when Lambert was a member of Congress
ending in 1815 when Lambert was in his last year as a U. S. Senator
I have transcribed the letters as Lambert wrote them, which is why there is an absence of commas and periods. I have added paragraph breaks to make reading the letters easier.
In February, news reached the United States that Monroe, who was negotiating a treaty with Britain, had given up getting a resolution to the problem of American seamen being impressed to serve in the British navy. This guaranteed that whatever treaty he ended up with would not be ratified by the Senate.
Things had gone sour in England, and orders were declared prohibiting American commerce with anyone other than England. This was a result of the war between England and France, thanks to the ambitions of Napoleon. Britain was cutting off its nose to spite its face by treating American commerce so roughly. Its own economy was going to suffer greatly from this order as well as America’s reaction.
Thomas Jefferson was approaching the end of his second term, and was determined to stand up to the measures taken by England. This became more problematic when he learned in February 1807 of the Berlin Decree (dated November 1806), in which the French announced that none of its European allies or neurtral nations, which included America, would be allowed to import goods from Britain. American international commerce was threatened by both Britain and France.
None of these worries were communicated to Miss Susan Hoppock.
Between his two wives, Susannah Barber and Hannah Little Dennis, John Lambert had at least 21 grandchildren. By 1807, 9 of them had been born, Susan being the fifth. It is a great regret that we do not have her letters to her grandfather, to see how she elicited such a warm and constant response from him. However, Grandpa John often recited back to Susan what she had written him, which is almost as good.
Washington Feby 22nd 1807
I received yours of the 15 Inst. – You don’t know how I am pleased to see your and Achsahs letters. you want to see me very bad, dear susan I shall try to be of[f] from this place the 4th of march, that will soon come, but the roads I fear will be very bad. I did not get your letters until Saturday morning, and the mail goes night and day. it must take us longer.
you say uncle George & Catey Larason was down last week, and maria had a sore finger. you tell me grandfather Wilson is better that is very good news. Please to give my love to grandma, and to mammy, to Billy, to sam’l, Merriam, maria, George and to Grand Pa Wilson. remember me to Capt Ent, Mrs Ent and all the little girls. give my respects to uncle & Aunt Romine and to Furman & To Mrs Romine. You will tell Aunt Amelia, Hannaha and Bestey, I respect them. See how much you will have to do to discharge these important trusts of friendship. my love to you &c.
miss Susanna Hoppock } Jno Lambert
March 4th, the day that Lambert planned to leave Washington, was the very day that the Ninth Congress was set to adjourn.
Achsah. Susan’s aunt Achsah Dennis (1771-1814), or her cousin Achsah Dennis (1797-1852) who married John K. Paxson.
George and Catey Larason. Catharine (Catey) Lambert, daughter of John Lambert and Susan Barber, married George Larison abt 1790, had Charles, Mary, Lavinia before 1807.
Maria. Probably Mary Larison, born c.1800 to George and Catey Larison.
Grandfather Wilson. Using this term suggests that Wilson was either of John Lambert’s generation or even one older. Capt. John Wilson would qualify. But how does he get to be “grandfather”? This Grandfather Wilson was probably the “Daddy Wilson” mentioned in the letter of Jan. 16, 1807, but I will not sleep easily until I’ve figured out who he was.
Grandma. John Lambert’s second wife, Hannah Little Dennis.
Mammy. Susan’s mother Amy Lambert Hoppock.
Billy, Samuel, Merriam, Maria, George. The children of Amy Lambert and George Hoppock born before 1807 were Wm. L. (‘Billy’), John L., and Susan. I wonder if George & Amy had additional children, like Samuel and George. Maria might be the daughter of George and Catharine Larison. Merriam is the daughter of John Lambert and Hannah L. Dennis; she would be 20 years old in 1807. Could George be George Larison? Seems unlikely. There is no one of the right age in Lambert’s family in 1807 named George. Perhaps George, like Samuel, is a Wilson.
Capt. Ent, Mrs. Ent and all the little girls. Capt. Daniel Ent and his wife Elizabeth Douglas, who married on July 30, 1783, had two sons (Daniel and John) and four daughters: Amelia c.1796, Elizabeth 1794, Rebecca c.1795 and Achsah c.1801.
Uncle and Aunt Romine. Probably Lambert’s neighbor James Romine (1736-1817) and wife Eliada or Sarah Barber (1748-1828). She was the sister of Susannah Barber, John Lambert’s first wife. The Barbers and Romines were nearly as prolific and confusing as the Lamberts were.
Furman and Mrs. Romine. Furman Romine (1772-1847) was a son of James Romine, and was bequeathed the farm that bordered John Lambert’s. His wife was Ann Holcombe (1775-1852), daughter of Richard and Hannah Emley Holcombe.
Aunt Amelia, Hannah and Betsey. The daughters of Achsah Lambert and Thomas Dennis.
For more information, visit A Lambert Glossary of Names.