Sunday, July 9, 2017

Yellow Bed Chamber

Portraits of 4 of the Schuyler daughters & 1 of
the sons are shown throughout the house. Here
is the 3rd daughter, Peggy. The existence of
portraits of all of the daughters likely speaks
to the relative success of the women, and the
middle son of the family, compared to their
two other brothers.
The Schuyler’s five daughters, Angelica, Elizabeth, Peggy, Cornelia, and Caty may have used this room as a bedchamber from the 1760’s onward. If, that is, guests did not require the space, which resides on the brightest side of the house, and therefore would have been the second most desirable chamber (see the Green Chamber across the hall for more on this).

The girls were quite spread-out in age with the oldest and youngest daughters sharing a birthday 25 years apart. The same year that mother Catharine birthed her youngest daughter at 47 years old (1781), Angelica was home pregnant with her third child, and Elizabeth home pregnant with her first. The older girls would often return to visit, perhaps sharing their old room with their younger sisters. The cradle on display is believed to be original to the family.

Examples of the girls’ academic and artistic pursuits are visible in the room. Margaret (better known as Peggy) and Elizabeth were talented painters, while needlework was an important and refined skill for all young ladies of the family. On the chest of drawers against the east wall is Elizabeth’s day-box, used to carry sewing materials and other important items. Among English colonists, in particular, women's education could seem proscribed and ornamental. [Read colonial doctor and educational philosopher Benjamin Rush's Thoughts upon Female Education]. However, Philip, following in the traditions of his Dutch heritage, encouraged his daughters to read a broad variety of subjects, including history, geography, arithmetic, philosophy, and French. Later letters from the girls indicate that their education did not end with these subjects. Instead, the girls explored subjects such as German, Latin, finance, astronomy, and many more.

Read about the enslaved women who would have attended on Catharine and her daughters.

As You Exit:

You will pass through the Salon

The door to your right along this wall is the Blue Chamber

Straight ahead you will find the Green Chamber

Right will bring you downstairs to the Back Hall

Other Rooms:

Library (Downstairs)

Dining Chamber (Downstairs)

Central Hall (Downstairs)

Formal Parlor (Downstairs)

Family Parlor (Downstairs)

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