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Isabelle Bell wrote from Albany, New York to Susan Niemcewicz in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. Removing into a new house and low spirits due to a bad cold prevented Isabelle from writing to Susan sooner. After receiving Susan’s friendly epistle informing her of Mrs. Wilkinson’s terms, poor Margaret fell ill with a cold and developed a rash on her face and neck. Isabelle desired to write Susan and inform her of the circumstances but Margaret recovered. Catherine and Angelica Van Rensselaer took her with them to Mrs. Wilkinson’s. The party Margaret sailed with stopped at Mr. Gilbert Livingston’s when they arrived in New York. The prevailing talk in Isabelle’s social circle was that S. Duane had made a conquest of the Earl of Selkirk and they planned to marry. Hoped to be able to congratulate Susan on the return of her husband, Julian Niemcewicz. Suggested that they come to visit her, a sail up the delightful Hudson would help restore Susan’s health. Acknowledged Susan’s invite to visit her in Elizabethtown as she passed through to head Northward but politely declined as she had no hope of visiting that county or any part of her native state. Asked to be remembered kindly to all of their friends and to tell Maria [Ricketts] that a handsome beau spoke much of her; “a black-eyed, smiling, smart young man.” Isabelle had a daughter of Mr. Walkins with her who had been a boarder for a year and received melancholy accounts from the place where her father and mother resided. All of their property, real and personal, was seized and sold for debt. Isabelle believed that they were entirely reduced; such was the vicissitudes of fortune. Judge Symmes suffered the same fate but according to Mrs. Symmes’s last letters, things were assuming better aspects. Suggested Susan visit Ballston [in New York State] in August and tell Mr. and Mrs. Ricketts it would be a charming excursion for them and the little charmer with the long name and Maria.

People mentioned: Susan Ridley, Mrs. Rutgers, S. Duane, Earl of Selkirk, Julian Niemcewicz, Mrs. Beasly, Mrs. Ogden, Mrs. William Dayton, Mrs. Ricketts, Maria Ricketts, Judge John Cleves Symmes, Susan Livingston Symmes, Mr. and Mrs. Ricketts, and Peter Kean.

Places mentioned: Ballston, New York.


Isabelle Bell


Susan Ursin Niemcewicz, formerly Susan Livingston and Susan Kean (1759-1833)

Creation Date


Creation Date


Document Type



Albany, New York


Liberty Hall Collection, 1711-1847 (bulk 1790-1830)

Inventory Location

Bay 1, Column 2, LHC Series 2


This collection is open to the public for research use. Copyright remains with Kean University. Credit this material. Personal photographs may be made for research purposes. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to Lynette Zimmerman, Executive Director at the Liberty Hall Academic Center & Exhibition Hall at

Publishing Repository

Special Collections Research Library and Archive, Kean University

Isabelle Bell to Susan Niemcewicz, May 10, 1804


Book Location