20 December 2013

Alida Livingston

From The magazine of American history:

The love story I found in an old sole-leather trunk of family letters, and I finished it myself from an original portrait.

Very little of incident occurred in that ice-bound winter with the exception of the arrival of distinguished foreigners with letters of introduction to her father, and she had met several British officers. But the spring opened a vista of pleasure to her, for she had been included in a select ball to be given by some prominent officers at West Point.

Here the letters ended, nor could I find a clue to any other correspondence, although I hoped I might still learn something more of her. Years passed, and the letters were forgotten, when one day in visiting a friend I was attracted by an unfinished portrait of an old lady, upon an easel. 

She was some colonial grandmother who married an officer in the army. As I was leaving the room, I turned again to the portrait and asked her maiden name, and was indeed startled and delighted to meet my girlfriend of the past in Alida Livingston.

See portrait of Alida Livingston Woolsey here.

From Memories, Recollections of Susan Man McCulloch, 1818 - 1898:

General Melancthon Woolsey came to Plattsburg soon after my ancestors – his wife was Alida Livingston, the daughter of the signer of the Declaration of Independence. Her sister Helen was the wife of Judge Jonas Platt, both were beautiful and accomplished women, besides being very fine housekeepers. Mrs. Woolsey lived to be nearly one hundred years old. I was named for her daughter Susan who married my mother’s cousin James Platt.

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