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Author Topic:   English papboat - American owners??
DB

Posts: 252
Registered: May 2006

iconnumber posted 09-06-2007 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[13-0631 19-0864]

Just recently I bought a papboat, London 1748/49 - no master mark,

I can't decide if the handle was a later addition, most papboats do not have handles, but some (see Spaulding.Welch: Nurturing Yesterday's Child) did have handles, if it is an addition - it would be almost contemporary, since the colour is identical with the piece.

The inscription on one side reads:The Gift of Miss Mariah Clinton To Geo Ann Clinton Oneale and on the other side: The Gift of Miss Maria Clinton To Georgiana Clinton Oneale

I suspect that these persons are American - is there a chance to find out more and learn about the real persons behind these names, even though there is no town or city mentioned? For every help I am very grateful.

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wev
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iconnumber posted 09-06-2007 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pretty tasty piece.

Georgianna Clinton O'Neale was the third daughter of William and Rhoda (Howell) O'Neale of Washington DC. She was born in 1813 and died on 18 March 1838. She married Rev. French Strothers Evans on 23 July 1829.

Her sister Maria was born in 1805. Her second sister, Margaret (b 3 December 1799) married Senator John Henry Eaton, Secretary of War under Jackson. From a site dealing with the lesser-known origins of the Civil War:

quote:
Margaret "Peggy" O'Neale was the daughter of the proprietor of a tavern and inn located in Washington, D.C. She was a dark-haired beauty, but in addition to her beauty she was noted for her cleverness and wit. The term most often applied to Peggy was vivacious. Her father's tavern was a popular spot for Congressmen as well as Presidents and members of their cabinets. Some actually resided at the inn during their terms in office. One such tenant was John Henry Eaton, the recently widowed Senator from Tennessee. At the time of Eaton's residency at the inn, Peggy was married to a Navy purser, John Timberlake, who was often assigned to foreign seaports for long periods of time. Rumors began to circulate about an affair between Peggy and Senator Eaton. (This was not the first rumor involving Peggy and a male tenant.) Whether true or not, her absent husband committed suicide, purportedly upon hearing reports of his wife's infidelity.

Their marriage in January 1829 infuriated the "respectable" ladies of the town headed by Mrs. Floride Calhoun, wife of the Vice-president, and ultimately led to the 1831 sex scandal known as the Petticoat Affair.

Here is a picture (obviously taken some years later) of Margaret:

Her sister Maria married Dr. Philip Grymes Randolph, who served as transitional Secretary of War, after Eaton's resignation.

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swarter
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iconnumber posted 09-06-2007 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
DB, it took him all of 2 hours and one minute from the time of your posting to divine the later American history of your earlier English pap boat and put it up here. eek How does he do that? He makes it look so easy. frown

As for the handle, the discussion in a prior thread (New uses for silver's antibacterial qualities).

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DB

Posts: 252
Registered: May 2006

iconnumber posted 09-06-2007 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wev, it is amazing what you found out about the Clinton's, I especially like the juicy parts. I am sure it is not easy to come up with all these data - so thousand thanks. Swarter, thanks for finding the earlier thread, which was very interesting.
I just hope I will be able to help you once with a question. Until then, many thanks, Dorothea

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wev
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iconnumber posted 09-06-2007 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You are quite welcome, but that was the easy part. Now comes the rather more difficult task of tracing out the voyage of 80 years this little boat took between London and Washington DC. Was this a family piece? It seems unlikely to have been purchased, but perhaps a merchant had taken it in payment? What sort of occasion calls for this sort of gift? A marriage trousseau? A first birth?

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wev
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iconnumber posted 09-06-2007 07:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been mulling this over a bit. Maria might (and I stress might) be the daughter (b 6 October 1785) of Vice-president George and Sarah (Tappan) Clinton. He would have been finishing his last term about the time of Georgianna's birth and it is quite possible, given William O'Neal's role of political tavern-keeper, that the families were acquainted. Another point is that this Maria married quite late, at age 28 to Stephen David Beekman, which may explain the "old maid" use of Miss in the engraving.

Speculation indeed, but perhaps worth some serious research.

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DB

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iconnumber posted 09-06-2007 09:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thinking about it the later version does make a lot of sense, since it would be more common to receive a papboat as a christening present from a godmother than from an older sister, but of course both would be possible. What confuses me here is that the papboat is engraved twice and first I thought that there were two Marias - one Maria and one Mariah - and two girls Clinton Oneale - one Georgiana and one Geo Ann Clinton Oneale? What do you think? - in any case exciting to know about Georgina Clinton Oneale and her sisters. Thanks so much.

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wev
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iconnumber posted 09-07-2007 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From His Excellency George Clinton, Critic of the Constitution by E. Wilder Spaulding (New York, The Macmillan Company, 1938)

quote:
"Clinton arrived at Washington in time for the opening of the session on November 4, 1811. He found comfortable lodgings at Mr. O'Neale's,* where he took a grandfather's fancy to the landlord's little daughter Peggy, a charming girl whose marriage to Secretary Eaton of Jackson's cabinet was later to make history."

*National Intelligencer, April 21, 1812.


Clinton died on 20 April 1812 in his bed at O'Neale's tavern, near the present corner of Twentieth and H streets.

I think this fairly establishes a close connection between the O'Neale's and Clinton's.

The double inscription is quite odd. Emphasis? Correction?

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swarter
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iconnumber posted 09-07-2007 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
The double inscription is quite odd. Emphasis? Correction?

From what I can see of the two inscriptions, it is possible they were done by different hands, so if a correction (which was my first thought), it may have been done at a later date.

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wev
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iconnumber posted 09-07-2007 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
DB --
Could we get a straight on shot of the two inscriptions?

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DB

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iconnumber posted 09-07-2007 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wev, again amazing facts - a correction seems the most plausible explanation for the double inscription, which is definitely by the same hand. Maybe the engraver got the names wrong and was asked to do it again -?? In any event you brought this papboat "alive" for me and this goes to show that such a small item can ignite the imagination.
What a wonderful obsession silver collecting and everything connected with it, really is - it definitely has enriched my life.

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DB

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iconnumber posted 09-07-2007 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here goes:

Thanks so much for your interest.

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doc

Posts: 672
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iconnumber posted 09-07-2007 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Joan M. Dixon's National Intelligencer Newspaper Abstracts:

Mon Jul 27 1829:
Married on Jul 23 by Rev William Ryland, the Reverend French S Evans to
Miss Georgiana Clinton, 3rd daughter of Mr. William O'neale of Washington City. p. 430.

Also, found this online re the sister, Peggy O'Neale-this is an image from the top of a cigar box.

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swarter
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iconnumber posted 09-07-2007 07:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is more down wev's alley than mine, but since I raised the point, I will weigh in. I see the following differences between the first/second inscriptions:
    "l" not looped/looped

    "G" not connected to the next letter/connected

    "T" in "The" 0ne top loop/two top loops

    t/T in to/To

    All capitals with looped flourish/not looped (except the second "M" - an inconsistency)

    "f" in "Gift" and "of" with top loop only/top and bottom loop in "Gift" only - another inconsistency)

Period script letter forms were sufficiently standardized by style books (some of which gave alternate forms for the same letter) that similarities are to be expected. There are enough consistent differences in these two inscriptions to make me uncertain that both were done by the same person or at least not at the same time as a "redo." Possibly different style books were used (if any at all). The inconsistencies within the second inscription represent lapses and make me think that that engraver was not familiar enough with the alphabet he was copying/using and "forgot himself" a couple of times.

Just my opinion - I am certainly no handwriting / engraving expert. Other opinions are welcome.

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wev
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iconnumber posted 09-07-2007 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I m just home and have not had time for a really close look, but each of your points struck me as well. The different f's are interesting -- the version in "of" is the terminal form, the looped form in 'Gift" is the medial and correctly used as such in the second inscription. Another thing that strikes me is the second line of the second inscription: the lettering bounces above and below the line and the letters are somewhat erratically formed, spaced, and sized. The first inscription is much more consistent. This may indicate another hand, or haste in getting the piece done again. Did the scribe read/hear the text as "George Ann Clinton Oneale" and prodceed, only to have Maria show up and cry "No, no, no! Again and right this time; the post awaits!"? Or did it arrive in Washington and old Will O'neale wonder aloud "Did she think we had a boy? Let us set this right."

Who knows, but damn me folks, this is a wonderful piece.

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bascall

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iconnumber posted 09-07-2007 10:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's my take on the Geo to Georgiana point. Geo as a shortened version of "Georgia" is used commonly enough by cenus takers in particular. However, someone must have decided it just didn't work for "Georgiana." It was too likely to be taken as Georgia.

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swarter
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iconnumber posted 09-08-2007 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, as they say, "the Devil is in the details." The inscriptins reveal a significant portion of the piece's history, increasing its importance. The unsolved questions raised by the double inscription only add to its fascination.

Dorothy, your guess that this piece had an American connection was certainly precient - congratulations are in order fpr a wise purchase.

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wev
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iconnumber posted 09-08-2007 12:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to bring some dates together:
    November 1811 -- George Clinton arrives in DC, taking lodgings at O'neale's tavern

    20 April 1812 -- Clinton dies

    22 September 1812 -- Maria Clinton marries Stephen Beekman

If we accept that the identification of Maria is correct, then it seems reasonable that Georgianna was born and the boat engraved between the last two dates.

I wonder if George Clinton's papers have been preserved in some archive? Perhaps some letters between he and his youngest daughter still survive and hold some additional tidbit that would pertain.

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FredZ

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iconnumber posted 09-08-2007 09:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If my mind serves me right... A song was written about the enchanting Peggy O'neil... It went "If she'smillng all the while, that's Peggy O'neil.....sweet personality, full of rascality, that's Peggy O'neil." I believe this is the same O'neal even though the spelling is different.

And then again... I could be dead wrong!

Fred

[This message has been edited by FredZ (edited 09-08-2007).]

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wev
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iconnumber posted 09-09-2007 12:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Same name, wrong girl. Peggy O'Neale was writ by Harry Pease, Ed. G. Nelson and Gilbert Dodge in 1921.

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DB

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iconnumber posted 09-09-2007 12:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the lovely portrait (cigar box) of Peggy O'Neal,her looks there more in line with the Petticoat Affair.In the meantime I have ordered John F. Marszalek: The Petticoat Affair - am curious to learn if there is more info there about Peggy's sisters. Mr. Marszalek is a history professor, maybe he knows more about letters exchanged between vice pres. Clinton and his daughter.

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wev
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iconnumber posted 09-09-2007 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It appears that the bulk of the family (versus political) papers are held by the New York Public Library.

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FredZ

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iconnumber posted 09-09-2007 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FredZ     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
WEV,

Seems like it's always the "Wrong Girl". Until I met my wife of course.

Fred

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Kayvee

Posts: 204
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iconnumber posted 09-09-2007 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kayvee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a suggestion for Scott: once the background research on this papboat is complete, I think this thread is worthy of publication in Silver Magazine which I recall has an agreement with SM Pub to publish interesting threads. That way even more people could enjoy this wonderful story.

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wev
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iconnumber posted 09-10-2007 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great minds think alike -- an article is in the works.

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jprice33

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iconnumber posted 12-18-2007 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jprice33     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Slated to appear in the March/April edition..

Jason

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June Martin
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iconnumber posted 03-07-2008 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for June Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott and I just read the pap boat article in Silver Magazine and very much enjoyed seeing one of the forum threads turn into a fascinating article in print. It is a wonderful detective story. Thank you to Dorothea and Wev for sharing their collaboration and thank you to Silver Magazine for their support and acknowledgment of the Silver Salon Forums.

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