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King Family Collection
This brass dog collar is inscribed “Rufus King, Jamaica, L.I.” It has three adjustment holes as well as smaller holes to attach a padded lining. King’s account books and letters contain numerous references to dogs:
On May 12, 1815, Rufus King wrote that his coachman, Thomas, “had been induced to leave my services for his [George F. Thornton of Virginia] – That he had without my Consent taken away my Dalmation (sic) Coach Dog.” King wrote to Thornton requesting that the dog be returned immediately “by the first vehicle to the Care of Gracie + Jones N. York.” Perhaps the collar pictured above was intended to establish ownership of the dog.
Charles King also mentions two dogs in a letter to his father on December 27, 1825. Rufus King was then serving as ambassador to Great Britain and Charles was keeping him informed of goings-on at the farm. “The old watch dog Othello is dead – but Valentine [the gardener] thinks he has a substitute in a young half bull, half mastiff, pup, which is likely to be, for he has already tried his teeth on his master, who caught hold of him too suddenly on some occasion, but our son compelled to let go.”
Dog collar / x.1993.171 / brass 2” h., 5.5” dia.
Hundreds of ceramic sherds have been recovered during archaeological excavations around King Manor. These three pieces are impressed with a partial maker’s mark (trademark). The complete mark would have read “D.D. & Co.”/”CASTLEFORD POTTERY”/”O.” This trademark was used by the company between 1790-1820, coinciding with Rufus King's residence at King Manor.
The Castleford dish is a plain off-white creamware with no decoration. These durable dishes were probably used for ordinary, everyday meals here at King Manor. The more expensive china was reserved for special occasions, just as we do today.
Ceramic – creamware; plate base (3 pieces), c. 1790-1820
Castleford Pottery, England; Makers’ Mark: D / CAST POTTERY / O
Recovered, 1997, North Kitchen; excavation Unit 1; Stratum 5; Level 2
- Rufus King to John Trumbull
Jamaica, Long Island, July 25, 1810
The King family lived in this house for over 90 years, from 1805-1896. Each generation made improvements and alterations to suit their needs and reflect their tastes. The collection includes material evidence of these changes in building fragments such as window frames and sills; doors; hardware; plaster, lathe and bricks; bookcases; and cabinets shown above which originally were part of a large pantry opposite the dining room.
These primary and secondary materials include scrapbooks, ledgers, reports and minutes; books and pamphlets; letters, diaries and journals; drawings and prints; photographic materials; postcards; maps and broadsides; news clippings; sheet music; certificates and receipts; and ephemera as programs, calling cards, and invitations.
"The King Mansion in King Park, Jamaica, N.Y."
Postcard, c. 1940s
There is a history connected with this house. It is one of the places we visited yesterday stands in the center of a large park on Fulton St*. It is such a large house, so many additions to the back of house, will try and find out about it before I come home. Got such a nice drink at the Fountain in the St. in front of the house, cool as Ice water.
*Fulton Street is now Jamaica Avenue
Scholars & researchers! The largest repository of King family letters and documents can be found at the New-York Historical Society in the Rufus King, King Family, and Erving-King Collections. Click here to explore the New-York Historical Society Collection!