1890's-1930's. [John D. Rockefeller] Albertson Family Correspondence Archive, Including Letters to and from the Rockefeller Family Nanny in the 1920s.
Collection of 53 manuscript items including 14 letters from members of the Rockefeller family to Atta Albertson. Very good condition.
Atta Albertson was employed by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller Jr. as the family nurse/nanny in the 1902s. After graduating high school in Pennsylvania in 1900 she served as the Rockefeller nurse/nanny for eight years before moving closer to her home in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania to become superintendent of Bloomsburg Hospital for 14 years.
The Albertson family letters, in and of themselves are interesting and range from 1894 into the 1930's. Many of the letters are between Atta and her parents Joe and Ella Albertson. Joe, for a time was editor of a newspaper in Peekskill, New York but also spent a lot of time in the Philippines, possibly as a teacher, Joe Albertson writes often about various stock market investments along with their travels.
The 14 Rockefeller items include several touching letters from Abby Rockefeller (on her own stationery) including a thank you note for a Christmas present: "I was quite over come with surprise and pleasure to receive your most beautifully made and useful gift. [An apron] I shall have to buy myself a common gingham one to put on top of it." Another Abby letter on her husband's letterhead updates Atta from Florida and is answering Atta's health report on the children. "I did not know Laurence had hurt his teeth...before Dr. Dunham does anything to the lump on Nelson's chest, I would like to have Dr. Holt see it..." John III must have traveled with the family to Florida, "You will be glad to know that John is looking and feeling much better."
John Rockefeller (on his stationary) writes to Atta, "I did receive the cough medicine and the cod liver oil from Dr. Dunham. I have almost finished the latter so would you please send some more...."
And then there are several notes from the kids to their nanny whom they apparently called 'Babe'.
"Dear Babe, I love you because you are so nice. With much love from David Rockefeller." From John III, aged 14, "When my pumpkins get about 6 inches high would you pull out all the plants except one (the healthiest) so that one will have a better chance." Another note from John III, "Dear Miss Albertson: Thank you so much for the dollar you gave me. Yours truly, John." Oh, the irony.
The family kept in touch with Miss Albertson after she left their employ as evidenced by two secretarial cards on Rockefeller Center stationary (December 1935 and 1936), "The enclosed comes to you with the best wishes of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. for a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year."
The final Rockefeller letter is dated 1940 and handwritten by David Rockefeller, "I cannot tell you how delighted I was that you came to the wedding...you always promised me when I was a little boy that you would be there." Atta Albertson passed away in 1970. In memory of his former nanny, David Rockefeller made a $10,000 bequest to the hospital she was administrator, who in turn named the fourth floor of the new hospital wing the "Atta Albertson Surgical Floor."
A compelling collection of letters including 14 items from likely the richest family in America at the time. Item #288