Steuben County, New York
- Hornellsville Tribune, Hornellsville, New York, January 24, 1852 [KR]
The "Yankee Card Writer"—We are gratified to learn that our fellow citizen, Mr. O. Sackett, the "Yankee Card Writer," is highly eulogized by the press wherever he goes. The following which we clip from the Syracuse Daily Journal, is but one of the many favorable notices which have come under our observation. "Mr. S. has done a good business here, which he cannot fail to do everywhere. Indeed, he is without a rival or an equal in his line."
- Hornellsville Tribune, Hornellsville, Steuben Co., N. Y., Saturday Morning, March 27, 1852 [KR]
O. Sackett, the "Yankee Card Writer."O. Sackett, the "Yankee Card Writer."
The above portrait of the "Yankee Card Writer," was engraved by Carson of Albany, N. Y., and though a poorly executed likeness, will serve to give our readers some idea of the personal appearance of this celebrated artist. Mr. O. Sackett was born near Rochester, N. Y., and at a very early age exhibited an extraordinary talent for portraiture and penmanship. His parents being poor, were unable to assist him, to either make progress in his favorite area, or in attaining an education. Through the kindness, however, of Professor Phelps, the principal of an academy in Sherburne, N. Y., he at the age of twelve years, commenced his education at that institution, paying all expenses except board by superintending the writing department two hours each day. After one year of close study, finding his wardrobe deficient in many important particulars, he became nearly discouraged, and seriously determined to engage in some kind of labor, which should furnish the means whereby he might procure books and clothes, and he prepared to prosecute his studies in a more respectable manner.
A few days previous to that upon which he proposed putting his plans into execution, he was presented, by Prof. Phelps, with a teacher's certificate, and informed that a school had been engaged, which he could conduct (although then but thirteen years of age) as successfully as any person in the State, if he only thought so himself. This was advised by the Professor, who said:—"If you try to earn money by manual labor, your age, and lack of physical maturity will render it impossible for you to command such wages as would assist you in getting an education before you will become discouraged and give up altogether." The advice was taken—the first school successfully taught—after which, he for two years. alternately taught and was taught, until he arrived at the age of fifteen. At this time his talent for portraiture seemed to have gained the ascendency, and without instruction, or the advantage of witnessing the work of any artist, he boldly offered himself to the public, and for two years successfully practiced his profession in the different cities and large towns in his native State.
His miniatures, for truthfulness, and delicacy of tint and finish, have never been excelled by any other artist in this country, and will be treasured, by those who possess them, as rare souvenirs, as well of the artist, as the original.
At seventeen he had already enjoyed the patronage of large numbers of the most autocratic families, in different parts of the State, whose attentions soon brought him before the public, through the press. This so increased his business that he could not possibly execute miniatures as rapidly as ordered. Being ambitious, he unwisely applied himself day after day, and week following week, so closely to business, that he soon lost his sight. After careful treatment, in two months his sight returned but not sufficiently perfect to ever permit him to follow his favorite profession. Nothing discouraged, he immediately commenced giving instruction in penmanship,—arranged and perfected a new and beautiful system which he called the "Science of writing," by which he has successfully taught, in eight years, in this and several other States, about twelve thousand pupils, and left the field with a reputation far beyond any other teacher in the United States, not only as a professor; but as an original and most successful disciplinarian, and yet Mr. S. has never received a moments instruction in penmanship from any person—having already given instruction two years before witnessing the process pursued in any similar school.
All the different professions in which Mr. S. has figured have been stamped with great originality and novelty. He seems never to have followed in a course, marked out by any but himself, and at present, and in every profession chosen, he has gained a higher position, and a more extended reputation than any person preceding him.
Several years since, while carelessly using a metallic pencil, he discovered that a most beautiful impression was made by it upon enameled cards, he at once commenced presenting his young lady pupils (with whom he has always been immensely popular) with visiting cards written by himself. The result of this kindness to pupils free of charge, was such an increased demand of similar favors, that in order to stop it in future, the better to attend to the business of teaching, it became necessary to make a charge, and by demanding pay for visiting cards, Mr. S. thought to drive all orders away; but on the contrary, not only pupils, but those not under instructions were relieved of the delicacy which kept them from ordering cards for which no charge was made, and so great was the demand, and so numerous the orders sent, that a still greater, and more unreasonable charge was made, but with no better success, for the astonishing beauty and artistic perfection of his writing at once placed Mr. Sackett's cards far above Copper plate in the estimation of all persons of taste and fashion, and the extravagant prices charged were paid without reluctance.
Mr. S., never blind to the attractions of money, decided to try card writing as a profession, and immediately commenced operations. Two years have hardly elapsed since, and yet the "Yankee Card Writer" (which cognomen has been assumed by Mr. S.) has effected the greatest revolution in the fashionable world, ever witnessed. —Wherever he goes he is thronged with orders from the most distinguished families, who notwithstanding they have already a supply of beautifully engraved cards, at a much cheaper rate, will use no cards except those executed by the "Yankee."
In Albany, in seven weeks, Mr. S. executed with his own hand, and delivered to his customers, 30,000 cards.
The rapidity with which he writes (every card is written by hand) is without parallel, and for splendor and perfection of execution, cannot be equaled by the most finished copper plate.
Mr. S. is the originator of this profession, out of which he will easily realize a fortune if he does not, as a former case apply himself so closely as to destroy his sight.
It will be seen that whatever Mr. S. has followed for a livelihood up to the present, has been suggested by circumstance, and developed and made valuable by personal effort,—hence, instead of exciting envy, it should secure for him the earnest "God speed you" of every friend of industry and genius.
- Hornellsville Tribune, Hornellsville, New York, April 3 & 17, May 15, 1852 [KR]
Hornellsville High School,
For Ladies and Gentlemen,
…During the term, Mr. O. Sackett, author of the Science of Writing, has kindly offered his services, and will lecture to the class, on this important accomplishment, gratis.
- Hornellsville Tribune, Hornellsville, New York, April 13, 1854 [CRS]
Drake & Bradford
29 Wall Street, New-York.
Stocks, Bonds, &c, bought and sold on commission only.
…References in New York
…Sackett, Belcher & Co
Sackett, Lynes, & Co
Hornesville Tribune (Steuben County, New York). Digital image. Ancestry.com. (http://search.ancestry.com). (Researched by Kari Roehl).