The New York Connection

The Thorn’s return to New York was prompted by a regime change in France. It’s been said that the family were temporarily living on Staten Island in 1846. However, I can’t find a record of that. In 1847, they were in 15 Laight Street as they got ready to build 8 West Sixteenth, the last place they would reside during the Colonel’s life.

Once in their new brownstone, they settled back into an active family life with, at times, up to forty five of them gathered under the same roof.

Censor records show various combinations of the family living there over the years, and also that Angelina, Alice and Mary were there without their husbands.

The Colonel is also mentioned as constantly attending dinner engagements, of which I’ve listed just a couple below. It’s interesting that his wife is seldom mentioned in these outings. It seems it was not expected or accepted for a woman to regularly be at these events. With such a large family, perhaps her life was full with other things.

It’s also curious to see the same surnames mentioned again and again of the families that were notable in New York in those days–Astors, Stuyvesants, Ogden, Van Rensselaers. These were from Philip Hone’s diary.

January 7. 1846— I dined yesterday with Mr. Peter G. Stuyvesant, in his splendid new house in the Second avenue, near St. Mark’s Church. Our party consisted, besides the host and hostess, of David B. Ogden, John A. Stevens, Herman Thorn, Hamilton Fish, Henry Barclay, John T. Brigham, George Laurie, John C. Hamilton, Mr. Kean, and myself.

Saturday, Jan. 31. 1846 — We had a pleasant dinner-party, consisting of Mr. Herman Thorn, Augustus Thorndike, James Thomson, William B. Astor, J. D. P. Ogden, Sidney Brooks, P. G. Stuyvesant, J. C. Delprat, Philip S. Van Rensselaer, George Curtis, and Charles H. Russell.

February 14. 1846 — I dined with Mr. William B. Astor, in his magnificent house, Lafayette place. The party consisted, besides Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Astor, of the following guests: David S. Kennedy, James D. P. Ogden, Herman Thorn, John W. Schmidt, Robert B. Mintum, Thomas W. Ludlow, Thomas Oliver, Gardiner G. Rowland, Samuel S. Rowland, John C. Hamilton, Gabriel Mead, and Philip Hone.

William B Astor’s home at Lafayette Place

1849 — Was one of a large party who dined to-day with Mr. Vail, at his splendid mansion, Fifth avenue. The Mr. Vail’s dinner was sumptuous, the table superb, the guests numerous, and we dined at seven o’clock. The party consisted of General Scott, Mr. Fearing, Robert Ray; Mr. Vail, of Troy; Washington Irving, Daniel Fearing, James J. Jones, Charles H. Russell, Colonel Thorn, Mr. Bates, General Tallmadge ; Stephens, the traveller; West, the artist; Hulseman, Austrian charge ; John Van Buren, Mr. Mildmay ; Mr, Corcoran, of Washington ; James G. King, Charles A. Davis, Lispenard Stewart, and myself.

1839: I turn back a few leaves of this journal, and find there, that on the 22nd day of April, just thirty-nine days ago, we accompanied the ” Great Western ” to sea. Four days previously Mr. Pontois dined with us, and this morning I shake hands with the captain, and have the account of the minister’s arrival. On my way to market this morning I met A\’allack. It is exactly six weeks since I saw him act at his farewell benefit, since which he has been to England, engaged performers, made all his arrangements for a theatrical campaign at the National Theatre, spent several days with his family, and here he is again, kissing the ends of his fingers to me in Broadway before nine o’clock. I knew he was a passenger on board the ” Great Western,” recognized him through the disguise of a new pair of moustaches, but in the realization of the whole thing I was inclined to doubt the evidence of my senses. The steamer is full of passengers, — about one hundred and ten, — and in the number are several of our friends and acquaintances : Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Pendleton, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Cruger, Mr. Thorn and his son Herman, John Van Buren, and George Parish.

The Steamer Great Western. H.R. Robinson. PAH8859

1839 June 6. — The following gentlemen dined with us: Mr. Robert Gilmor, Jonathan Meredith, Herman Thorn, Robert Ray, Henry Brevoort, and William H. Aspinwall.

Friday, March 29. 1833 — The following party dined with us : Judge WajTie, of Georgia, and his lady ; Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Pendleton, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Schermerhorn, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Wilkes, Ir. and Mrs. S. S. Howland, Sir Charles R. Vaughan, Mr. Bankhead, Mr. Thorn, Marquis Torrigiani, Mr. James J. Jones, Washington Irving, Commodore Chauncey, Mr. Granger, and Mr. D. Lynch.

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