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
The original letters can be found in the Emma Finney Welch Collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. I have transcribed the letters as Lambert wrote them, which is why there is an absence of commas and periods, and many misspelled words. My only change is the addition of paragraph breaks to make the letters easier to follow and letters in brackets where they are needed. For cumulative information on the people mentioned in Lambert’s letters, see the Lambert Glossary.
Washington Feb’y 1st 1808
I received yours of the 25th Jan’y I am glad to hear you are well. I am well also what a fine thing it is to be well, you tell me you have had aunt & uncle Jones & Mr & mrs Farley to see you this winter, and that the rain hath taken all the snow off. I read on you are sorry I should have been glad to have heard that the ground was covered all winter on account of the wheat, and them saucy geese, I am afraid if they run at large, you will let them get on the meadow, and they will pull all the roots of the best sort of grass out: especially as you have got to spinning you can’t be minding of the Geese. You must tell Sam he must mind them, or put them up, or whip them severly
you have cousin Betsey Corle and Couzin Polly & the little girls to see you, and you have had one ride in the Slay with George when he took Grand Paa home. – I feel sorry for the poor Colt, you must tell sam he must nurse it well if it lives, feed it with meal &c. you say you are sorry to hear that mr Darby is no better. ah! he is no more, what distressing news it will be to his disconsolate widow when she hears of his death, — but he left no children to feel the loss, or to mourn for him, but god will I hope comfort, and protect his widdow.
And now I must bid you farwell, you must be a good girl, and then you will be praised and like[d] by every body—my love to you, and to little Achsah. You must take Grand Mammy round the neck and kiss her for me, and say to her that I send my love to her, and that is to be the seal to it &c.
miss Susan Hoppock } John Lambert
I am guessing those “saucy geese” Lambert referred to were domestic geese, not the saucy wild geese that torment us these days. Lambert’s concerns about their grazing style is very interesting to those of us who have (or have had) farm animals.
Also interesting is Lambert’s awareness of the benefits of winter-long snow cover for his crops. Good snow pack was also necessary for sleighs; here it is February and Susan has only had one sleigh ride.
Susan Hoppock is ten years old, or will be on March 13th, a good age to learn to spin. Lambert seems to treat his granddaughter as surrogate farm manager, but then we do not have the letters he wrote to his son-in-law Thomas Dennis, who was probably performing that duty.
Mr. and Mrs. Farley. Lambert was probably referring to Caleb Farley (1757-1808) and wife Anna Fisher (1767-1851). Caleb and Anna are buried in the Barber Cemetery. They had no children. Caleb Farley died on October 6, 1808; he left his property to his wife and to his siblings. His home was in Headquarters, on the southeast corner.
Aunt and Uncle Jones. This was probably James Jones (1754-1823), husband of Jerusha Lambert, the daughter of Gershom Lambert and Sarah Merriam. Jerusha was the sister of John Lambert, so she would be an aunt to Amy Lambert Hoppock. James Jones, like the Farleys, lived on the west side of Headquarters. It appears that Jerusha Jones died young, and that Jones married second, Hannah Rouser, daughter of Rev. Gideon Rouser. But since James Jones did not leave a will, it is hard to say. Perhaps Hannah was the first wife, rather than Jerusha. Neither Hannah nor Jerusha were buried with James Jones, who is interred in the Moore family burying ground. The Jones wives were not buried in the Barber Cemetery. James Jones died the same year that Sen. Lambert did, 1823. Phyllis D’Autrechy, in her book More Hunterdon Records, Vol. II, observed that “many administrations appear to be missing from June to December 1823” [pg 83].
Cousin Betsey Corle. I don’t have an Elizabeth Corle who fits the time period. But Elizabeth Lambert (1775-1847), daughter of Joseph Lambert and Elizabeth Wilson, was married to Benjamin Corle and had 3 children by this time. Joseph Lambert (1749-1821) was John Lambert’s brother. Elizabeth Wilson (1749-1890) was the daughter of George and Eleanor Wilson, both of whom were long dead by 1808. George Wilson lived near the Lambert farms, and after his death in 1788, his executors sold his farm (D62/12) to Gershom Lambert.
Cousin Polly and the little girls. Polly is a nickname for Mary, so this most likely is Mary Johnes, daughter of Capt. David Johnes. She was the wife of Capt. John Lambert (1777-1828), the nephew of Sen. Lambert. Capt. John married Mary/Polly Johnes in 1798. They had 3 daughters: Deborah, Eliza and Elizabeth. Trouble is, the last two were not born until after 1808. Perhaps they had other daughters I am not aware of.
George and Grand Paa. This sounds like a reference to the Wilsons. The father of Wm. W. Wilson was George Wilson who was taxed on land in Amwell in 1807. I know nothing more about him except that his wife was Hannah Mason of Kingwood twp.
Sam [Wilson?]. Still a mystery to me (see Glossary).
Mr. Darby dec’d. Mr. Darby was Ezra Darby Esq. of Scotch Plains. He was a member of the Democrat-Republican party, who was elected a member of Congress in 1804. He died on January 27, 1808, and his death was announced in the Feb. 15, 1808 edition of the Trenton Federalist, which noted that the funeral was held on January 28th. The pall-bearers were his fellow New Jersey representatives, including John Lambert, and he was buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.
Little Achsah. Probably Achsah Dennis age 13, daughter of Thomas Dennis and Achsah Lambert.
Grandmammy. Hannah Little Dennis, second wife of John Lambert. (See glossary).
Update, 10/28/2012: Biographical information on Rep. Ezra Darby.