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Personal Reminiscences

of the late Mrs. Sarah Breese Walker


In glancing over various journalistic notes which appear amongst the papers of the late Thomas R. Walker Breese there are detached pages devoted to brief sketches of her family, as well as to people I have met, a reminiscence or many years; all or which are so replete with interest, that I have been induced to collect them for private circulation among her relatives, and for the benefit of those who enjoyed the privilege of her friendship.  It is, however, only just to the memory of this highly gifted woman to observe that these notes were recorded hastily, only in moments of leisure, and with no view whatever to their publication, and yet they are so simply and pleasantly written, - -reflecting in no slight degree the charming conversational style and powers of the writer. -- that. apart from their value as personal souvenirs of certain salient scenes in a life extending over a period of three score years and ten, they are especially worthy of preservation as heirlooms in her her family, which succeeding  generations must prize more and more highly as time  advances and they become tinged with the charm which ever casts a glamour over life most trivial scenes and incidents of days long gone by.

I am sure no one will read them without experiencing a feeling of regret that they were not extended so as to have included repressions of many other well know characters with whom she was more or less associated.

Mrs. Walker youthful days and early-married life were spent in an atmosphere possessing peculiar charms for persons of culture.  In addition to this, she lived in and through a period when our country was in the full progress of development; when the old spirit of chivalry had not ceased to be a ruling feature in social intercourse and when education and refinement, rather than wealth, were the passports to cultivated circles.  She thus enjoyed opportunities for conveying pen photographs of people as they appeared to her, which would have been valuable contributions to the social history of the times.  Limited as her reminiscences are, they, they, not only by her immediate family, but by mutual friends of those to whom she specially alludes.

 Many additions have been made to Mrs. Walker’s record of the family, by including contemporary generations of collateral branches, having equal claim to descent form the parent stem.  In the completion of this extended genealogy, I desire to express my indebtedness to Mrs. Catharine Breese Griswold; Mrs. Nathan F. Graves; Prof. Edward E. Salisbury, of New-Haven; Mr. Stanley W. Dexter, of New York; and Mr. William Carpender, of New Brunswick, for the information given and for the encouraging interest they manifested in its compilation.  

 J. E M.

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