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May Dewey's Diary, Part V, December 1888

"I was furious & will tell him what I think of him when we meet again." May Dewey, December 31, 1888.

Thousand Islands Life is honored to present Part V of Kristen Pinkney's research Thousand Islands Summers - Manhattan Winters: May Dewey's Diary, beginning July 1888 and culminating in August 1889.

Part I December 2008

Part II January 2009 

Part III February 2009 

Part IV March 2009 

Description of how the diary was discovered and researched Contributors in December 2008 article of Thousand Islands Life.


Kris' work goes beyond the text by providing hundreds of footnotes for readers to learn more about the life and times in the Thousand Islands.  There are more than forty footnotes distributed throughout the diary in Part II.  Simply move the cursor over the highlighted text and the footnote will appear.  Click "close" and the footnote will disappear.  Also note that clicking on an image will enlarge it.

No spelling, punctuation or editorial changes have been made to the diary.

Part V, December 1888

Saturday 1 The Buckingham New York City This morning Ella & I met Pansy on the Ave1. She walked down to Forty First Street & left us as Ella & I went to a sewing class which Fannie McCall wants us to form. I don’t know about it. But I may do so. It was quite fun to teach. I have four little girls. It is quite fun. Ella & I started for Brooklyn this afternoon & got on the wrong ferry boat, so turned around & came back. As we were walking up the Ave. Ed & Will Delanoy joined us. I walked with Ed & I am sure he would have asked me for the German next Friday if I had not said they were going to draw for partners. He asked me to go to church tomorrow aft. We met Pansy & Mrs. Brush at the door of the hotel (ours, the Buckingham) they all came up & we had quite a jolly time in the room. They all went away together.

Sunday 2 The Buckingham New York City I hate to go to church this afternoon but I will have to. (later) The Delanoys called for us about 4 o’clock. Of course I had Will, I always have him at the theatre & all other places it seems. I like the boys very much. They stayed for dinner. I had Ed then & they went up to church with us afterwards but did not go in as Will had an engagement. I think that it is horrid. Mrs. Delanoy asked us to dinner last Tuesday but afterwards found that the boys had an engagement so wanted us to come this Tuesday but in speaking of it at the table tonight, Will said “That is queer. Ed & I have an engagement & Mother knew Father did also. I don’t see why she should have done such a thing.” They both seemed surprised but I guess that it was all put on. It will be a long time before I ever go near the house2. I think that it is very horrid, I wish I knew where the blame lies, whither on the boys or Mrs. Delanoy.

Monday 3 The Buckingham New York City This morning Ella & I went up to see Pansy & had a good talk we all three went down town then stopped in to see Therese Dimick. I wonder if I will have a nice time receiving with her. Flora came in this aft. She was here this morning but found us out. She says that Will McCormack is better. I saw him on the street Sunday so he must be.  Arthur Taylor & Mr. Strong3 called this evening. I was so glad to see them. Mr. Strong told us about his brother’s death, he was murdered4 last July. It seems that he & a friend went out west way out in the wilds with only a guide. While they were away they rode back & said not to worry if they didn’t hear from them in a month or two as they were way out of the way of any post office or town. Nothing was heard from them for about 2 mos, but finally a party of guides were riding out & came upon their tent, a camp & found the body of a man (which proved to be the friend of Mr. Strong’s brother) & he was shot through the head & 2 weeks after the body of his brother was found hidden in the bushes. He had had the whole top of his head cut off. O, it was terrible & the first that Mr. Strong knew about it, he read in the paper, the murderer has not yet been captured but $1,000 reward is out for him. I do hope that they capture him, he murdered them for the camping outfit which he had taken. It seemed that these fellows, both of them, had been disappointed in love.

Tuesday 4 The Buckingham New York City Ella & I went to Brooklyn today to try on our dresses. They are both lovely. I hope I will have a good time. Today was our day in5 but no one came.

Wednesday 5 The Buckingham New York City Today is my birthday & I am 19. I feel so old. It is horrid to get old. Ed & Will Delanoy sent me a box of flowers. It was awfully sweet of them for they were lovely roses. Papa & Mamma sent up some rings6 but I didn’t take any as it wasn’t the kind that I wanted. Ed sent me tickets to the Athletic Club Reception7.

Thursday 6 The Buckingham New York City I went down to the Windsor for Pansy to come to the mission meeting. Then we, Ella & I went down with Pansy to her house & continued down town. We got dressed about 3 o’clock then called for Pansy & we all went down to Therese together. All the dresses were so pretty. The girls that received with Therese Dimick were Lillie Bell, Lena Hartshorne8, Edith Vail, Pansy Brush, Ella & I. It was quite a large reception. I had a lovely time especially in the evening. Therese invited several people in the evening. There were about 20 in all. I had a lovely time with Sidney Hartshorne. He was very nice. He has joined the German & I am so glad. I saw Sam. I but hardly recognized him as he has grown a beard since I last saw him. Oscar Vail9 was there & everyone. I had a gorgeous time and caught a gorgeous cold while dancing with Mott Hartshorne10. We got home about 12:30. I hope my cold will be well enough so that I can go tomorrow night. Gussie Prentice11 is coming Tuesday evening.

Friday 7 The Buckingham New York City This morning I wrote both Ed & Will thanking them for the flowers. I ought to have done it before. It was rude of me not to. I had a glorious time tonight at the “German” at Mamie Brown’s12. I had Sidney Hartshorne for my partner. He is a lovely fellow. I was so horse I could hardly speak. He talked incessantly. I do like him so much. The favors were very pretty & I got 7. I am engaged for the 5th German to Mr. Strong. I wish that I was engaged for all of them. Will Delanoy did not come near me the whole evening either did Ed. I wonder what has happened for they both favor me always.

Saturday 8 The Buckingham New York City My cold is no better. If it was only in my head or my nose but it has settled in my throat so I can hardly talk. Pansy went with me to the NY Athletic Club reception. We saw quite a number of friends. The games were not as good as usual. Papa & Mamma & Ella went to the opening meeting of Mamma’s mission. They say that it was very good. Ella went out to Kings Bridge to see Helen & they all went for a drive. Helen & Mr. Briggs, Ella & Clark Traphagen they asked me but I rather stay & go to the club.

Sunday 9 The Buckingham New York City This morning Pansy came about 9 o’clock & we all went up to the mission. There were about 20 but only 7 mission scholars but I know that it will prosper. Mrs. Delanoy was there & she said to me “I know that you wrote to the boys but Will is furious at you for not thanking him for the flowers he said that he didn’t care whether you liked them or not that there was no excuse he walked around just furious.” Well I hope that it will do him good although it was rude of me. That explains why he acted so last Friday eve.

Monday 10 The Buckingham New York City This morning as we were going out, Edith Robinson called & asked us to come to lunch tomorrow as it was her birthday and she was to have a few friends. I went to Pansy’s with her, she is going also. I went downtown with Pansy, after she left this afternoon Miss Barber came.

Tuesday 11 The Buckingham New York City This morning Mamma, Ella & I went out together but separated after a little. This afternoon we went to Miss Robinson’s to luncheon & found there Mrs. Browning (Miss May that was) Lillie Bell, Mamie Brown, Therese & Pansy. We had a very jolly time for we all knew each other quite well.

Wednesday 12 The Buckingham New York City Saw Pansy for a short time this AM. This afternoon it was so cold & the wind was so strong that we did not make any calls this evening. Ella & Mamma went to prayer meeting but I stayed at home. Mr. Driggs & Joe Taylor called & I was so glad to see them we talked over last summer & all the good old times. They stayed two hours, a long call for the first one.

Thursday 13 The Buckingham New York City Mamma, Ella & I went up to Kings Bridge to see Helen. We stayed to lunch. She is feeling quite well, much more cheerful.


Sunday 16 The Buckingham New York City Ella & I went to the mission this morning also to church. Coming home I met so many I knew as we most always do on the Ave. Sunday. Wallace Cone joined us & we took a very pleasant walk. I didn’t know that Flora knew him but it seems that when Mrs. Rasor was married to Mr. Ludlow he was a cousin of the Cones.

Monday 17 The Buckingham New York City This morning I saw Pansy. Miss Barber came this afternoon & this evening Mamma, Papa & I went to Steinway Hall13 to hear Mr. Wallace lecture. It was quite good.

Tuesday 18 The Buckingham New York City Saw Pansy this am. She said she would be around to the mission rooms to trim them for Xmas, but didn’t come. Mr. Taylor & Walter Gilson came & went with us. Walter & I went up to call on Florence Browning as she wanted to go. We spent a very pleasant eve. We had tea & cake, also Mrs. Talliman’s sons were there or one of them. Flora said she would be there, first as as we were going out we met her with a Mr. Grey, he seems to be a very nice fellow.

Wednesday 19 The Buckingham New York City I saw Pansy again this am. She was ill last night so couldn’t come. Didn’t make any calls today. Spent the day down town shopping. Mrs. Stout’s reception.

Thursday 20 The Buckingham New York City Have been working on Xmas things nearly all day. Spent time to call on Miss Robinson & found her in.

Friday 21 The Buckingham New York City Miss Barber came this afternoon & this evening we went to the first “German’ of the “Cotillion Club” it was held at Miss Bell’s. I danced the German with John Browning14  & I had a delightful time although he is a married man. The favors were all hung on a Xmas tree which was a very pretty idea it being so near Christmas. Sidney Hartshorne is always very nice to me. He is so pleasant although he is a little fast as I think nearly all the boys are.


Saturday 22 The Buckingham New York City This evening Pansy gave a small theatre party. They were Therese Dimick & Alfred Howard15, Pansy & Jeremiah Dimick, Ella & Ed Delanoy, myself & Will. I had sort an inkling that I would have him. He was very pleasant. The play was “Little Lord Fauntleroy” at the Broadway Theatre16. We went back to the Windsor for supper. Alfred Howard was so amusing. We all like him. He walked home with Will & me. Ella had Ed. Altogether it was a very pleasant eve. “Jery” Dimick & Will & Ed are going to meet the actress Miss _____. I have forgotten her name. If I think of it I will put it in. They meet her at a dinner tomorrow night Sunday. I suppose that all the fellows do the same kind of thing.

Sunday 23 The Buckingham New York City Pansy & I were at the mission this am. My class was there & I do wish that I was more compitant to teach them for I think that the teaching of two little souls is a rather responsible thing. Miss Archer17  sat with me in church as I thought I would be all alone. Jared Baldwin walked up to meet me after church so we took a nice long walk on the Ave. & saw nearly everybody.

Monday 24 The Buckingham New York City I saw Pansy this morning. This eve. Mr. Taylor & Mr. Gilson came around. Was so glad to see them.

Tuesday 25 The Buckingham New York City I have received some nice presents as it is Xmas day. Papa gave me a riding outfit which will be lovely, how I did love to ride. Ella & I went to see Pansy this afternoon spent quite a time together.


Thursday 27 The Buckingham New York City This morning what should come but four pictures that Mr. Powers left. He took them at the island last summer. They recall so many delightful days. My life last summer was a perfect dream. This evening we sent the carriage up for Flora. She returned & we all went in for Pansy. We then drove to Edith’s. It was a lovely German. She did it herself & did beautifully. The girls drew bags for the seats & it so happened that Pansy, Ella & I sat next to each other. I danced the German with Joe Slevin. I was glad for I like him so much . We had a very jolly time together. Sidney Hartshorne was Ella’s partner. I had some very lovely dances with him especially polkas. I wore my pink dress that I made. Aunt Mary draped it & as it was my old one I fixed all the rest. There is some lovely lace on it. It is draped from the shoulder & is lovely. I did have such a good time. Ella & I when we got in the carriage had to drive up with Flora so consequently we got home about half past two.


Saturday 29 The Buckingham New York City We went to mission school this morning. We have a sewing school there in the morning & I have to give out all the work. Flora came around this evening & brought a Mr. Page to call. It was luck that she found us up for she came about ten o’clock. Ella liked him quite well. I didn’t fancy him much.

Sunday 30 The Buckingham New York City I taught my class at the mission & then went with Pansy to church at St. Thomas’s18. Took a long walk down the Ave.

Monday 31 The Buckingham New York City Ella went to Kings Bridge this aft. Edith Vail sent us some complimentary tickets to the assembly at the Windsor for this eve. So Pansy & I flew around at least our feet did to get an escort. I got Walter Gilson after asking two other fellows. Well we went. I had a gorgeous time. I met a great many I knew. Arthur Page was there & shameful to say I was with him nearly all the evening. I danced about 8 times with him. I did like him so much. He asked me for the next dance one time & the next was supper so I didn’t think much about it. Arthur Taylor had asked me for supper also Walter Gilson as I had to say I was engaged but asked him to sit at our table. He couldn’t get there so sat with Flora. Later Mr. Taylor had to go so he left Flora & came over to me. She was very much put out. At 12 o’clock as the New Year was coming in we snapped crackers. All the rest applauded. Mr. Page has such a way of opening his eyes. He is a terrible flirt but I did have such a nice time with him. He expected me to invite him to call but I didn’t & am sorry. He is a lovely fellow. Pansy was with Newell Woodworth19 & liked him so much. Walter Gilson & I came home in a hanson at 2 o’clock in the morning as my carriage did not come. It was great fun. (Walter Clark called, made some very rude remark about Mr. Gilson. I was furious & will tell him what I think of him when we meet again.)

Researched and compiled by Kristen Pinkney

© Copyright Kristen Pinkney 2008, All Rights Reserved.

Watch for Part VI in the May 2009 issue of Thousand Islands Life Magazine.



Fifth Avenue




The Delanoys resided at the Osborne Apartments, located at Seventh Avenue and 57th Street.




John Montgomery Strong, real estate at 60 Liberty St. He was the son of John Montgomery Strong Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Strong in Esopus, NY, Ulster County.




Charles Livingston Strong and S. Maurice Waln of Philadelphia both murdered near Point of Rocks Corral, Wyoming. NY Times archives, September 18, 19, and 22 1888.




Today was their day to receive callers, but no one called.




Rings from a jewelry store for May to select for a birthday present.




New York Athletic Club Ladies Day Reception, NY Times archive December 9, 1888.




Elena Hartshorne, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Richard B. Hartshorne, who married Dr. William E. Carter on April 8th, 1902. NY Times archive.




Oscar V. Vail, broker, at 60 Broadway, resides in Brooklyn. He is related to Edith Vail.




James Mott Hartshorne, broker at 18 Wall Street, residence at 300 Madison Avenue, NYC Directory 1890. James, Elena & Sidney Hartshorne are all cousins to each other, their fathers are brothers.




Augustus Prentice, whose parents were Kate Augusta Browning and Augustus Prentice, a lawyer, they married on June 30, 1855 in New York City.




Mamie Brown, daughter of Mrs. Richard Brown of 42 East 57th Street.  Mamie is a nickname for Mary.  New York Times archive.




Steinway Hall, located on the north side of East 14th Street between Union Square and Irving Place. King p. 563




John Scott Browning, son of William C. Browning & Adelaide Scott Browning




Alfred Howard, son of Joseph Howard, jeweler, at 46 West 52nd Street.




Broadway Theatre, located at Broadway, 41st Street and Seventh Avenue. King p. 556.




Nellie L. Archer, daughter of Oliver Hazard Perry Archer, a Vice President of the Erie Railroad, resided at 14 West 52nd Street. Nellie Archer was in the Young People’s City Mission with May & Ella Dewey. Nellie died January 2, 1944. NY Times archives.




St. Thomas’s Church, a Protestant Episcopal Church located at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street is described as a church for the wealthy and is of brownstone and a Gothic style. King p. 320




Newell B. Woodworth, lawyer, 179 Broadway and Secretary at 12 Barclay Street, residence is in East Orange, New Jersey. NYC Directory 1890.

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