This letter was written by Mary Jane de Valangin Thompson (Courtesy of Barbara Seelaus).


My Great Grand Father

 Dr. deValangin was an eminent physician of London England.  He was twice married but had no issue by second wife.  By his first wife he had two (2) children, both sons and both physicians,. One son lived and died a bachelor, the other married and had but one child, my father, to whom the uncle was devotedly attached, failing to get the consent of my grand father and grand mother to adopt him and make him his heir, he clandestinely took him (my father) from Oxford College, England, where he was being educated, and brought him to this country, settling in or near Alexandria Va.  His father and mother soon after came to this country and claimed their son and before they decided their arrangements to return to England my grand father became hopelessly insane and was for a long time an inmate of a hospital in this City (Baltimore) where he died. I think no reconciliation took place and my great uncle died in or near Alexandria, Va. Never having married, we never knew into whose hands his means fell.


This uncle presented a life sized painting of my great grand father, Dr. de Valangin to the masons of Alexandria, and at the burning of the Alexandria Museum it was the only painting saved,  it was afterward placed in the Masons Hall or Lodge.


A few months ago my son Pahud while stopping at a hotel in Alexandria made the acquaintance of a gentleman named Brackett, City Auditor, I think my son said.  When my son told him the name of his great grandfather, he insisted on his going with him to the Lodge to look at the painting. He told my son there was a book in the possession of the Masons describing or giving notes of the lines of the principal paintings among them Dr. de Valanginís which I suppose can be obtained.


The papers related to the estate in England my mother Wilhelmina Baarticheer de Valangin, gave many years ago to a gentleman going to England, neither her nor the xxx was ever heard from after learning this part.  I had a piece of parchment also a letter dated London England 1805 written and signed by Isaac Corbitt, my great grand fatherís attourney.  It was addressed to my grandfather Dr. de Valangin and I distinctly remember he said ďthe Spitterfield houses were your fathers." I gave these papers many years ago to a Mr. Fisher, now Judge Fisher, to look over which he said he would do at his earliest leisure, both myself and my nephew (Albert de Valangin Patrick) have repeatedly called on him asking for the papers but he says he cannot find them. I saw him after I handed them to him put them in his safe saying at his leisure he would look over them. I feel sure they must yet be in his safe as he surely would not have destroyed anythong he might be called upon for. From Mr. Wade, I think by referring to dates between 1800 & 1815 or twenty or perhaps 1800 & 1810 but I am sure all I relate must have transferred between 1800 & 1820 as I think my great grand father old Dr. deValangin died in London previous to 1805.


After the xxx was lost, that I refer to, a friend of my motherís was going to England and promised to make some search in regard to my great grand fatherís estate. In his return he said he had searched the records there and that all that was necessary was action in the matter, but nothing has ever been done.


Mary Jane de Valangin Thompson

Whose sister was Charity Gertrude de Valangin Patrick

   Mother of Albert deValangin Patrick


{I think this letter must have been written at least 60 years ago, maybe 1885}

[Ed. Note,  letter transcribed c 1935]

Editor Notes:

Interesting that the lawyer's name was I. Corbitt.  This is the same name attributed to the description of the donation of the Painting and Truncheon to the Mason Lodge in Alexandria Virginia.   I could understand if it was Francis Jr.'s lawyer,  but what was he doing representing the Old Dr. deValangin?  Coincidence?

Spitterfield is not a name I can find.  There may be a Spitterfield Market in London,  so maybe there is a connection there.  Only 1 google reference...