A challenge for Gossips readers: What is the location of the apartment where this letter is being written?
|The court house that existed in 1841 Photo courtesy Historic Hudson|
|The First Presbyterian Church as it was in 1841 Photo courtesy Historic Hudson|
|400 State Street when it was the Lunatic Asylum, 1830-1850|
|Hudson House, later to become the Worth Hotel, located at 217 Warren Street|
|Hudson River Bank as it was in 1841, located at 231 Warren Street Photo courtesy Historic Hudson|
|Engraving c. 1841 from Rural Repository|
"The great Magician" is a reference to Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, although the adjective great is a puzzlement. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Van Buren was known as the "Little Magician" to his friends (he was only 5 feet 6 inches tall) and the "Sly Fox" to his enemies "in recognition of his reputed cunning and skill as a politician." Van Buren's term in office ended on March 4, 1841, five months before the letter writer's visit to Hudson.
|Lindenwald, "the seat of 'the great Magician'" Photo courtesy Historic Hudson|