Don Foster Email
A Mouse in Henry Livingston's House

There turns out to be an entire academic circle of the most wonderful Irving scholars. One of the joys of research is that threads pull in the most fascinating ways. I collected all of Irving's diaries, but couldn't find a direct connection between Henry and Irving. I also couldn't find a reference by Henry to Irving.

But I DID find a connection of Irving to Henry's brother-in-law! In 1803, Irving is visiting Utica and, after church, writes that he is going to Whitesboro for tea with Mr. Platt. Oh, joy indescribable. Mr. Platt had to be Jonas Platt, the husband of Henry's sister Helen. They had moved to Whitesboro, where Platt had become a mentor to Henry's daughter Catharine's husband, Arthur Breese.

Don is nothing, though, if not a skeptic. He wanted to know how I could tell that it was OUR Jonas Platt, rather than someone else of the same name. Fair enough. A trip to the National Archives brought back the bacon. I could trace all the Platts in New York, and knew where they were in the 1800 and 1810 census. This was, indeed, our Jonas Platt.

Irving was probably visiting for political reasons. Irving's brother was in the NY Assembly with Platt and, in 1810, Platt would run (unsuccessfully) for Governor of New York.

One of my research tasks was to learn everything I could about Henry.

Chapter 2:   0,   1,   2,   3,   4,   5,   6,   7,   8,   9,   10,   11,   12

Slideshow Index,
Introduction,   Ch1: Mouse,   Ch2: Sarah,   Ch3: After Sarah,   Ch4: Locust Grove,   Ch5: Know,  
Ch6: Dunder,   Ch7: War,   Ch8: Unexpected,   Ch9: Economy,   Ch10: Dutch,  
Ch11: Politics,   Ch12: Religion,   Ch13: Work,   Ch14: Myths,   Ch15: Happy Xmas,   Epilog


Slideshow Index

All Henry Livingston's Poetry,     All Clement Moore's Poetry     Historical Articles About Authorship

Many Ways to Read Henry Livingston's Poetry

Arguments,   Smoking Gun?,   Reindeer Names,   First Publication,   Early Variants  
Timeline Summary,   Witness Letters,   Quest to Prove Authorship,   Scholars,   Fiction  

   Book,   Slideshow,   Xmas,   Writing,   The Man,   Work,   Illos,   Music,   Genealogy,   Bios,   History,   Games  

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