Letters from John Lambert to granddaughter Susan Hoppock
beginning in 1807 when Lambert was a member of Congress and ending in 1815 when Lambert was in his last year as a U. S. Senator
In 1807, John Lambert, member of Congress from what is today Delaware Township, Hunterdon County, began a correspondence with his granddaughter, Susan M. Hoppock. She was 9 years old, and John Lambert was 61. He loved her very much, but if he saved her letters, they have not survived. However, Susan Hoppock also loved her grandfather, and the letters she received from him were preserved by her descendants and are now kept at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. I visited there and took pictures of every single letter, because someday I hope to write something about John Lambert’s very interesting career. But these letters are so charming in themselves, I’ve decided to publish them from time to time.
Washington Jan’y 5th 1807
my little susan,
I sent you word in my letter to mama, that I had received your letters. you do not know how much good it does me to see your little hand writing. and your sincere wishes for my welfare will help to make me so when I am not right well, I send you the new year verses, of mr smiths papers—they will serve you and Achsah L. Dennis. – you must try again to write to me & send it in the packet, you must learn to write & to Cypher. give my love to mamy & to grand mamy & to Bill & all the rest. – and be sure to keep your share. you must be a good little girl then every body will love you
– Miss Susan Hoppock } Jno Lambert
Cast of Characters:
John Lambert (1746-1823) Member of Congress 1805-1809; U. S. Senator 1809-1815. He grew up on his father’s farm in Kingwood, but later moved to a Lambert family property on Seabrook Road in Delaware Township. During the Revolution, he had the unpleasant job of tax assessor for Amwell Township. He served in the NJ Assembly from 1780 to 1785. From 1791 to 1805, he served in the Council (today’s State Senate). He was well-known for his agricultural practices and for the very large library he acquired.
Susan M. Hoppock 1798-1883 Daughter of Amy Lambert and George Hoppock, and granddaughter of John Lambert. Lambert may have had special affection for her because her father died 9 months after she was born (1798). As far as I know, her mother did not remarry, and probably moved back to her childhood home on Seabrook Road, with her 3 children. Susan was 9 years old when she and her grandfather began their correspondence.
Achsah L. Dennis Daughter of Thomas Dennis and Achsah Lambert, granddaughter of John Lambert. She was also Susan Hoppock’s first cousin, but I have no information on what happened to her.
“mamy” is Amy Lambert Hoppock, Susan’s mother. What a funny expression. It’s one we associate with the old South.
“grand mamy” is Hannah Little Dennis Lambert, John Lambert’s second wife, and Susan’s step-grandmother. She was born in Monmouth County in 1746 and married her first husband, Benjamin Dennis, in 1764. Her story is amazing.
“Bill” is probably Wm. L. Hoppock (1792-1874), Susan’s brother. Later on he became the owner of the Prallsville mill complex and an important man in Hunterdon County.