Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Copper Plate Quest: Hamilton and Spurr

My wedding colors were copper and purple.  It's hard to find copper decorations, so we bought antique copper printing plates from other people's weddings on EBay, set them in the table decorations, and put mirrors at each place so people could read the backwards letters.  These copper plates were used to print wedding invitations, and then given to the couple as a keepsake.  They were usually made into plates or ash trays, though this first one is flat.

For us, it was a great way to get strangers talking at the table, and get my historical geekiness into our wedding.  But it's been ten years, I am cleaning out the basement, and the time has come to find out about the families on these copper plates, and try to get them to their proper homes.

So this is the first in a series of Wedding Wednesday posts, about the invitation shown here.  The picture of the plate is challenging - the copper is shiny and the words would be hard to read even if they weren't backwards, so I've created a facsimile in as close a font as I can find.  Here is the text of the invitation to Mary Clark Spurr and Rev. Alexander Hamilton's wedding:

The year before they married, they both had traveled to Europe - she returned on Sept. 5, 1908 to New York from Liverpool.  He returned to New York from Glasgow on Nov. 4th, 1908.   In my imaginings they met at some event in England, charming each other in scenes out of "A Room With A View" or Henry James novels.  I'm sure there were beautiful dresses, parasols, and a garden party or two.

Mary was 31 and Alexander was 61 when they were married - it was his second wedding.  He was the great grandson of the founding father Alexander Hamilton, and she was a Mayflower descendant (biography).  He was also a well-known Episcopalian minister.  They had two children.  Alexander died in 1928 and Mary died in 1952.
Alexander Hamilton, from Wikipedia

I would love to pass this piece of family history back where it belongs, so let me know if you are or know a descendant of Alexander and Mary.

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