The Tatnall family of Delaware have touched many aspects of Wilmington, with streets, schools being named for them. Joseph Tatnall (1740-1813) was an American businessman, who was a prominent Quaker merchant, miller and banker in Wilmington. He helped develop Brandywine Village, a center of early American industrialization. During the Revolution, Tatnall hosted Generals George Washington and Lafayette at his stone mansion at 1803 Market Street. He lent his parlors to General Anthony Wayne to use as headquarters. He kept his flour mills going day and night to provide food for the Continental Army.
This offering involves his 19th century relatives who were elated to visit Mt. Washington in New Hampshire as tourists in 1864. Two letters, contained on 3 pp, 5 x 8, Tip Top House. They provide a detailed description of their trip. The letters are written within the same bi-fold sheet and include a diagram of the mountain, as well as the original cover, which also includes the diagram. The cover is addressed to Elizabeth H. Tatnall of Wilmington, Delaware.
“We have just partaken of an excellent supper after seeing a glorious sunset from the very pinnacle. The weather is delightful, thermometer at 53, clear and almost no wind.
“Rode up in a coach from the Glen and am going down in the morning on horseback over the top of Mt. Munroe, Mt. Pleasant and Mt. Clinton, nine miles...It is said to be one of the finest evenings for years. Aunt Jane and Cuz Lizzie are so enthusiastic that I don’t know but that we shall weight them down to keep them from going up into the clouds...
“We left Boston day before yesterday morning. Crossed Lake Winnipesaukee. Went up Red Hill. Thence to North Conway...Spent the night at Glenn House. Tomorrow visit the ‘Notch’ the Willey place...and spent the night at Crawfords. Next day to the...Old Man of the Netske...I saw tonight within two minutes. The Saco River, the Androscoggin River, the Connecticut River...and lots of little rivers and villages. Don’t thee wish thee was here...
“Hope you are cool. They attached uncle J. Chace”
Second letter is from a cousin on the trip. “No, Libby darling, I’ll battle my delight and give no more to thy regret than to be sorrier than ever that you couldn’t come...Weather has been perfect so far and not one drawback to our enjoyment – but the want of you. Joe missed the young folks at every turn...Now don’t thee think thee would sing thy sweetest song by this cozy wood fire with Mary & Ed for company...”
Mount Washington, in New Hampshire is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States, notorious for its erratic weather. The mountain is located in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, in Coos County, New Hampshire. The first European to mention the mountain was Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524. A geology party, headed by Manasseh Cutler, named the mountain in 1784.
Little occurred on the summit itself until the mid-19th century when it was developed into one of the first tourist destinations in the nation with construction of two hotels.
The Tip-Top House is a former hotel in Mount Washington State Park. Built in 1853, it is the oldest surviving building in the summit area and is believed to be the oldest mountain top hotels in the world. It features exhibits concerning the mountain’s history.
Light toning, but overall excellent condition.
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