Letters from John Lambert to his nine-year-old granddaughter Susan Hoppock when Lambert was a member of the Ninth Congress

In January 1807, John Lambert was a member of the House of Representatives. He and all the representatives from New Jersey were  members of Thomas Jefferson’s party, the Democratic Republicans or Jeffersonian Republicans, as they were later known. And they were all elected at large. These were the final days of the Ninth Congress, which had come into session on March 4, 1805, and would end on March 4, 1807.

Just before adjourning, this Congress abolished the importation of slaves to the United States. John Lambert was not taxed on any slave in 1780, but by 1790 he did own one. This was not Prime Lambert, who was manumitted by Lambert’s estate in 1829, and was born (according to the 1850 census) about 1795. He was the only slave manumitted from the Lambert estate. None were manumitted by John Lambert himself, so I must conclude that the slave that Lambert was taxed on in 1790 either died or was sold before Lambert died in 1823.

Washington Jany 16th 1807
Dear susan
I received you letter, it came enclosed in one from uncle Thomas – Dennis, with aunt merriams letter you forgot to put a date to your letter I am well, And it is but 46 days before we adjourn, that is one month and a half, or 6 weeks & a half, now you must count every week. you must remember my love to granny, to Daddy Wilson, to mamy to Aunt Achsah to Maria, aunt Amelia hanna Brown, Betsey, to Billy & to Sam’l and all the rest of my friends you must tell the boys that the old dog & Tippo ought to have a warm dry place fixed up either at the cellar door, or some where by the wagon house ___{?} I have remembered Merriam in my letter to her &c now you must take care of a good share your self
miss susan Hoppock                                                                     Jno Lambert


Uncle Thomas Dennis (abt 1770-1813).  Susan Hoppock’s uncle, husband of Amy Lambert’s sister Achsah. He was the son of Hannah Little and Benjamin Dennis, and therefore a sort of step-son of John Lambert’s. He would die during the War of 1812. Dennis received an interesting letter from his stepfather in 1805.

Aunt Merriam.  Merriam Lambert (1787-1868), daughter of John Lambert & Hannah Dennis; married James Seabrook (1775-1852) on Nov. 8, 1809, so she is still unmarried at this point.

“Daddy Wilson.”  Not sure who this is. Perhaps it is Capt. John Wilson (1754-1822), whose son David married Susan Hoppock in about 1815 or later. But why would he be called “Daddy”? It is not George Wilson, father of Wm. W. Wilson (1796-1875) who married John Lambert’s daughter Anna Maria in 1831 (see Maria below). It appears that “Daddy Wilson” was not a second husband for Amy Lambert Hoppock. She was buried in the Barber cemetery as “Amy L. Hoppock, wife of George, b. May 20 1769; d. Jul 12 1848.”

Aunt Achsah.  Achsah Lambert (1771-bef 1826), daughter of John Lambert & Susan Barber, married Thomas Dennis about 1790, son of Hannah Little and Benjamin Dennis. Hannah Little married John Lambert in 1781.

Maria.  Anna Maria Lambert, daughter of John Lambert and Hannah Dennis, was not born until 1811, so it can’t be her. I am stumped.

Aunt Amelia.  The only Amelia I’ve got in this family is Amelia Dennis, daughter of Achsah Lambert and Thomas Dennis, who would be Susan’s cousin, not her aunt.

Hannah Brown.  I have no Hannah Brown in my database, or any Hannah married to a Mr. Brown. I wonder if she might have been a housekeeper.

Betsey.  Sister of Achsah and Amelia Dennis. By the way those three also had a sister named Hannah. But she would be too young to be married by 1807.

Billy.  William L. Hoppock, older brother of Susan M. Hoppock.

Samuel.  Not yet identified.

I hope some of my alert readers will be able to help me identify ‘Daddy Wilson,’ Aunt Amelia, Maria, Hannah Brown and Samuel.

For more information, visit A Lambert Glossary of Names and The Lambert Family Tree.