Continued from Travels Through New York, 2013, part I
I had found a mention of a Simeon Ladd poem online, which indicated it was located at the New York Historical Society. I immediately planned to visit the Society when I was next in New York. Now that I was in NYC, I had spent the first couple of days running all over town with Travel Buddy, seeing old friends and historically significant locations, and now the final afternoon was here. I was finally going to know if the poem written by my ancestor was really here or not.
We arrived at 2:15. And learned the Society was closing at 3pm. Special Collections was upstairs, so we raced up and inside. A receptionist immediately greeted us and asked for identification, which we promptly handed over. After several anxious minutes (ours, not hers), she directed us to a bank of computers and asked us to complete the registration process over there. The time was now 2:23pm. I immediately settled in and began the process of registering. After several more moments, Travel Buddy decided to wait downstairs. I finished the registration at 2:32pm.
As soon as I finished, the receptionist turned me over to a librarian, to whom I explained what I was looking for. She immediately escorted me to a small card catalog, where she found a few references to Ladd, but no Simeon. So she asked me why I thought the poem was at the Society. When I told her I’d found it online, she began to look doubtful. I asked her if they had any of George Washington’s papers, and she said, yes, they did have a small collection. When I reminded her that Ladd had reportedly written the poem in mourning for Washington, she decided to look it up on the Internet, herself. Time: 2:36pm.
Her first online search resulted in nothing. I had her try Simeon Ladd, George Washington poem, and then she found it. She then headed upstairs to check with the Washington librarian, and said she would bring me a copy if she found anything. Time: 2:41pm.
Continued in Travels Through New York, 2013 – part III