Djenebou Coulibaly April 3, 2014
History 20 writing intensive
Final draft of research project
Caroline Astor Schermerhorn (1830-1908) was the queen of American Society in New York City during 1860s. Mrs. Astor was approached about her social power over the society. She had an astonishing mansion and was enjoying an elegant lifestyle (something in that manner).
Caroline Webster Schermerhorn was born on September 22, 1830 in New York. She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant by the name of Abraham M. Schermernhorn and Helen White Schermerhorn, Caroline Astor was an inherited colonial Dutch. Dutch was an ethnic group native to the Netherlands who shared the same culture and spoke the same language. At the age of 22 Caroline Schermerhorn married William Backhouse Astor Jr., the son of John Jacob Astor who purchased half of John Thompson’s farm north of the city (Carter). John Jacob Astor was one of the richest Americans during his time and the Astor place subway station was the Astor’s fortune come from land holding and owning many real estate properties consequently they became known wealthy family during the Gilded Age in New York.
The Astor’s family became so powerful rich that at one point they owned a quarter of New York City. During the mid 1860’s, The Astor’s family lived in very confortable life in mansion and diving around in very expensive. Soon after William Astor died, Caroline Astor become the head of the family and was known as the queen of New York City society. She owned properties in Paris, Newport, and Hudson. During the mind 1860’s, Mrs. Astor became weary of noise and traffic from located and the hotel next door to her mansion, on 34 streets and decided to move to 65 streets (“Daytonian”). The mansion in 65 streets was 100 by 100-foot lot and it had fourth floor with a plumbing in the basement. The mansion was built to resemble the early 16th century the French Renaissance style chateau (Hamburger p35). On the outside, the mansion looked like an entire house but on the inside the house is divided in to two by the parting wall. Mrs. Astor occupied the left and her son John and his family lived at the right side. The beautifully crafted interiors had ground floors where both homes were designed for entertaining. The entertaining rooms did not include the ballroom, the mansion had a ballroom, Mrs. Astor demanded a ballroom and inflated drawing room for their parties. The mansion also had a large stair hall, and a small reception room, with a dining room. The dining room were the most detailed and decorated rooms of the house both rooms had a dark oak paneling and ceilings with several large tapestries and were capable of seating 200 people and pantry while the ballroom was at rear (Hamberger p 34). Mrs. Astor’s home quickly became the most celebrated private residence in the Unites States.
Fundamentally, Mrs. Astor’s mansion was known as the mansion of the Gilded Age. The mansion became very famous after it was built. It also became a place of social gatherings and excessive alcohol consumption. After death of Mrs. Astor in 1908, Her son had the double mansion converted into whole mansion. John had the diving wall removed and removed the double staircases; in place he added a large great hall with a smaller staircase in rear of the home.
"Astor, Caroline Schermerhorn (1830–1908)." Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. Ed. Anne Commire and Deborah Klezmer. Vol. 1. Detroit: Yorkin Publications, 2007. 94. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
"The Rise of Silas Lapham (Excerpt)." American Eras Primary Sources. Ed. Rebecca Parks. Vol. 1: Development of the Industrial United States, 1878-1899. Detroit: Gale, 2013. 326-327. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
“Daytonian in Manhattan: the Ultimate Family Feud- dressed for a ball”. 27 Feb. 2012. Photograph.488x760. web.20 Apr. 2014.
Carter, Harvey L. "Four Hundred." Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler. 3rd ed. Vol. 3. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003. 445. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.
Hamberger Eric. Mrs. Astor New York: Money and Social Power in a Gilded Age. New Haven : Yale University. Books, 2002