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'Straight from My Heart to Thine': A Reading of 19th Century Letters of Condolence

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

6:30 p.m.7:30 p.m.

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With death ever-present, condolence letters were mainstays of 19th century life, missives of comfort written straight from the heart. Join us in the Tredwells’ Greek Revival double parlor (where eight family funerals took place) for a reading of letters by Thomas Carlyle, Walt Whitman, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, and Queen Victoria herself.

Funeral director Amy Cunningham will lead a discussion of modern condolence letter writing following the reading. “Mourning biscuits”, a staple of 19th-century funerals, and light fare will be served in our 1850s kitchen.

Amy Cunningham is a Brooklyn funeral director who helps families with green burials, cremation services in Green-Wood Cemetery’s crematory chapels, home vigils, and other sorts of memorials. Her blog, where she discusses these topics, can be found at



General admission: $15, Merchant's House Museum Members: $10

Event Organizer

Merchant's House Museum

Contact Number

(212) 777-1089

Contact Email


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