Letter to Mary Collamer, December 14, 1845

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Washington City Dec. 14. 1845Mary,

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I hardly know of what to make up a letter to you. Of matters which agitate the political world, if you choose to take interest, they may be better learned from the papers than from a letter. As to the matters in female society here and of fashionable society movements here, I know but, little of them but can say there has as yet been no parties at the houses of the public functionaries and very little display or movement has been made. There are very few of the ladies of whig members here this winter as yet. Mr. Crittenden has not his lady, of whom you have often heard me speak, here this season. The Mrs. Potter house is wholly possessed by Locofocos & the old mess dispersed.

I went on Saturday to the Presidents house with Mr. Foot, it being a pleasant day. It was cabinet day & the President not to be seen. We looked about the house which has been repaired & refurnished and now looks quite well, the great parlor, the east room especially. The Circular Parlor too has actually been cleaned and refurnished elegantly.

We were introduced to Mrs. Polk in her parlor. She is a very well appearing lady of apparently between 45 & 50. I had heard she

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was habitually plain in dress but, I now learn, from very good authority , that it is entirely otherwise and certain it is she was when I saw her much dressed for so common an occasion. She is undoubtedly a gay lady for one of her age & who is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Our Congressional prayer meetings have not yet been resumed, no chaplain having been elected.

My letters and papers from the north have thus far come from the north exceedingly slow, generally. I presume the winter arrangement of mail has not become complete. Your mothers letter is the only one I have recd. from the family. I cannot but think that the exertions of all of you combined might afford in more letters than I alone write you.

Please to give my respects to Mr. Wright & lady and other friends. I observe by the papers that Mr. L. Marsh is appointed Probate Register in place of Mr. Billings. I should think that make family disturbance, How is it.

With my love to your mother & parental affection to you & commending you to the Divine guidance & protection I remain.

Your Affectionate FatherJ. Collamer