|U.S. Senator (Michigan) Isaac Peckham Christiancy|
|Galveston (TX) Daily News, Jan. 31, 1877|
Issac Peckham Christiancy was born in March, 1812, in Johnstown, NY, the son of a New York pioneer who died when Christiancy was only 13. From then on, young Isaac had to work and support the family; he did so by teaching and studying law.
|Birds eye view of the city of Lansing, Michigan 1866. Library of Congress|
"Lady Clerks Leaving the Treasury Department at Washington," by Alfred Rudolph Waud, a sketch which originally appeared in Harpers Weekly, Harper's Weekly, Feb. 18, 1865, p. 100.
“A notable feature on the streets of the capital is the female Government employees; especially the Treasury girls. They are generally young and of good families – for it takes some influence to get into a department. There are many black sheep among them, however. They get $600 a year which is little when board is hard to get at $30 per month, and an ordinary room costs $20 per month." William Emile Doster, Lincoln and Episodes of the Civil War, page 240.
|Vernon Row, 900 block Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 1871|
During the winter recess of 1876, Senator Isaac Christiancy took a room in a boarding house run by bookseller Warren Choate and his English wife, Susan at 310 Indiana Avenue, NW, adjacent to Judiciary Square. He brought his youngest son George, then only ten, from Lansing to live with him. Also boarding there was a pretty young woman named Lillian Lugenbeel.
"'How fond Lillie Lugenbeel is of little George Christiancy!' remarked the ladies of the house. 'It is really touching to watch her kittenish gambols with him, and to watch her sometimes sitting at the Senator's feet!'" - Helena Independent, February 3, 1881
|301 Seventh Street, Northwest at Indiana Avenue & C Street, Washington, District of Columbia, DC|
The 64-year-old gentleman clearly found her as lovely and charming as did everyone else in the house, and he told Lillian that if he were a younger man, he would “pay her attention.”
Lillian wrote him a letter claiming that she took his compliment to be a marriage proposal.
Alarmed, perhaps even horrified, Christiancy tried to talk her out of marriage, owing to the discrepancy in their ages. Or so he later claimed.
“I was led into it by her skillfully turning what was intended as a mere compliment to her into a proposition for marriage, which, at the first moment, I suspected that she intended to misconstrue into such a proposition, I promptly apologized for, when she as promptly declared her wish that I should marry her, to which I did not assent until after I had honestly and earnestly, on several different occasions, endeavored to convince her of the unfitness of such a marriage, on account of the difference in our respective ages, but I finally yielded to her solicitations upon her repeated assurances that she loved me better than any other man..." Atchinson Kansas Globe, January 15, 1881.
|Rosine et le Docteur. 1876. Etching. Published in Paris à l'eau-forte|