Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Letters to R. H. Walworth Chancellor Of New York

Up for auction on Ebay is a fantastic group of 60 19th century letters to R. H. Walworth Chancellor Of New York. All of the letters date from 1834-1867. All of them come in manila envelopes. The envelopes have written on them, the condition of the enclosed letter, the date the letter was written, a brief summary of the contents & a list of included autographs in each letter. All of the enclosed letters are in great preserved condition. Included autographs are:

Dr. J. Edward Turner, William J. Mcalpin, George N. Titus, John N. Pruyer, Joseph White (member of congress), C. H. Platt, Ranson H. Gillett (Solicitor Of Treasury), S. S. Nicholas (Chancellor Of Kentucky), Jabez D. Hammond (State Senator & Member Of Congress), Henry C. Murphy (member of congress), E. Darwin Smith (Supreme Court Judge), Henry Vanderlyn, Charles C. Young, Col. Anthony Lamb, James B. Murray, Elisha Peck, Wm. Chauncey, Charles H. Ruggles, W. W. Woodworth, James Hooken, S. Van Benthuyzen, R. D. Davis, V. d. Bonestead, Ulysses Cole, John Livingston (Lawyer & Compiler of Legal Statistics), Daniel Ford, John Fine (Senator), James Powers (Senator), Henry Vail (member of congress), Dr. J. N. Campbelle, Henry Nicole (member of congress), Leroy Fanham, Cornelius Halsey, Finlay M. King, Thomas M. Howell, Henry C. Murphy, Nathan A. Vaughan, Aaron Ward (member of congress), James Gorham (NY City Postmaster), F. R. Tillan, William Porter, John D. Willard, Sidney Harris, Thomas Alexander, Daniel L. Seyman (member of congress), S. B. Ruggles, E. A. Simmons, Charles A. Peabody & J. Edward Turner.

The content of the letters involves mostly legal matters, personal & political. Some of the topics include: Requesting attendance at a meeting of state inebriate asylum (walworth was a trustee), Legal matters mentioning Judge Knox, Legal matters mentioning M. Gerard & M. Cleveland, Seeking support as canditate of District Attorney, letter seeking endorsement of his son (metions Horatio Seymans name & other well known names of the times), midwest land & railroad grants, letter to the Masonic union seeking endorsement as position of camel (?) Of New York government election, request to make speech before Masonic convention, letter regarding salery of chancellor, early double sheet half printed & 1/2 on light blue paper (one of the earliest letterheads), 7 autographs on one to the Chancellor of State Of NY all recommending an individual named as taxing master of the second circuit, selecting a site for a new building of the NY state inebriate asylum, letter about Walworth's son training to become an architect along the Ohio, letter seeking appointment assistant register in chancery & much more.

Alot of the letters have stamped letterheads. Some are also transparent & have text which can be seen when held up to the light. One of the letters has a tranparency in large print which says "Moinier's 1849." Some of the stamps/seals says things such as "Carson's Congress", "LLB & Co.", ship logo stamped "P & S.", "W. C. Little Albany", "J. L . & D. L. White Counsellors At Law, 14 Wall Street, NY, "Lee & Hurtbutt So Lee, Mass.", "Bath" with a king's crown seal, "W. Clark & Co. Northhampton, "Office Of Peabody & Baker, 167 Broadway, NY", "Superfine" crest, "P & S" knight on horseback crest, "Office Of Hatch & Thompson", dove with wax seal & many more.

This fantastic group of letters is up for sale on Ebay Item number:400093472758

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Jefferson County 1801

Letter signed, "John Jeffords", Jefferson County, N W Territory, May 12, 1801, with hand carried cover to John Simonson, Esqr, Washington. Witness signatures of John Humphrey; James Crow. It reads:

"Sir this is to inform you that I have setled with the defendents and received full satisfaction in the suit commenced November 1800 term against David Winters, Cristifor Winters, John Winters, William Johnson, John [?], Daniel McCoy and wish you to dismiss the suit provided the pay all lawfull costs."

Item number:

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Farmington, New Hampshire 1798

A letter dated 1798, where Christopher Varney has written to Anna Austin of Farmington, New Hampshire....he admits his deep friendship towards her, and that he must travel east..hoping that she will keep the letter and wait for his return.....signed Christopher Varney.

This fantastic old letter is for sale on Ebay Item number:350262333512

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cincinnati, Ohio 1849

Letter from Cincinnati, Ohio, Feb 1 1849, from Archibald A. Irwin Jr. to "Mrs. Colonel Arian," at Madison.
Reading in part, as follows: "My nephew Wm. Henry Harrison will sojourn in your goodly town for a day or two. I promise he is a clever fellow. Be kind enough to introduce him to my good friend Miss Mary Esther and also tell the Col that he is going to California & wishes some of your citizens to join the expedition, to which he has attached himself. It is in command of Lieut Woodhull Schenck of the U.S. Navy, one of the very best officers our Navy can boast of ... [signed] Arch. A. Irwin Jr. ..."

This interesting letter is for sale on Ebay Item number:250520001619

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Letter by Isaac Gorham Peck 1834

A interesting letter by Isaac Gorham Peck in 1834 is up for sale on Ebay.

“Fredericksburg 10 Nov. 1834
My Dear Mother,
After a long interval of silence I may now address a letter to you. Yes a long interval it has been truly, so long that even your kindness and disposition to forgive must have been tried to the utmost and perhaps, but I will not say so, no, I cannot in truth say that. I have never for a single moment doubted your confidence and was that in saying too little, your wholly and esteemed confidences in my continued affections tho we have been long separated, now more than half my life has been passed away from you. It’s now 17 years since I first left you and come out into the world to scuffle as I best might with cold and selfish men. Others may think that with long separation, this coupled with the world, has hardened my heart and blanketed my bitter feelings, that my affections are cold and selfish but I feel I know that is not so. I wish, how often have I wished, myself incapable of feelings so acutely. It would be for my personal happiness and for this kind of life that I shall doubtless lead, be far better for me to have less of this kind of feeling then I find myself to possess………On our arrival at Washington on this business we found there was likely to be several competitions for our line……If their bids succeeded we’d thrown our property on our heads. The consequence was that we determined to take hold boldly and bid not only for our routes but also for another and the only chance of success to go in for a low price. At this stage of the business I thought it my duty to state my situation to Wellford. My own mind was pretty much made up before I bid for myself alone or I should say rather Peck and Wellford and Price and Co. Wellford and myself were to take about 2/3 and Price, his brother and a Mr. Rollins 1/3, in case we got the routes. We succeeded in getting about 400 miles and lost about 200 of our old route. Our old contract was for 263 miles (we ran 309 miles). A few days ago our new partner Price, whom we left in Washington, compromised with the person who took the 200 miles of our old routes and 32 miles of another route of his which leaves us Wellford, Price & Co. and Peck about 532 miles. Price & Co. offered it to Wellford and myself either to take 2/3 of the whole or ½. We took the half. I think it will prove a good contract and I have so much confidence in it that I was for taking 2/3. By this comparison we got the part of the line that was advertised 2 a week, 50 miles, 2 known parts put up to 3 times a week, 4 horse post coaches, 80 miles a day. I hope you will feel no anxiety about it…….in the whole 4 years I feel certain of a good business. Our property will be valued on the first of January……..My interest will be something like 8000 dollars. I ought to have said that on the southern end of the 200 miles of an old contract which we lost, so that our line or the part that we run commences 100 miles from now and extends to Milledgeville Geo. The 32 miles commences at Danville through which our main line runs and extends that distance on the Lynchburg route. I declined any agency…….I have laid off rather a circuitous route, back again. It is to go via N. York up the canal to the Lake Erie through Ohio to Louisville pass through Indiana take a good look at Illinois, stop a few days with a friend at the Yellow Banks then down to Natchez and N. Orleans… that time I shall have determined when to locate myself. I hope by that time our line will be in such repute that if I shall be able to sell out, if I think proper…….We have never done more business I think than I have done so far. It seems I have been busy almost night and day and I hope and know that you will be satisfied with what I have done…….Your most affectionately, I G Peck.”

Ebay Item number:170399152612

Friday, October 23, 2009

Letter by gold rush seeker James C. Ferris, May 9, 1864 Independence, Missouri, to sister Mrs [?] Frances M Knapp, Lock Hollow, Cayuga County, New York. Although his spelling is poor, the overall meaning of his letter is easy to understand. Ferris writes that they are breaking the mules and will head out on the 10th. "Captain Tuttle is agoin croast with us." He's in good spirits and health and plans to come home again in three years with "my pocits full of gold." He also comments on the colery [cholera] - "very thick" in Independence and there were cases of it on the road. One steamboat was brought up with thirty bodies. Although he's impressed with the local cornstalks, 8 to 10 feet high, he also mentions that there were three men shot in Independence before they arrived and one man since, but they don't do anything about it. He likens the place to a nasty, drunkards hole. "I would advise you that if you can [?] see the country hear you would stay thare."

Ebay Item number:230389846661

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pooler - Winsor - Brown Family

Pooler - Winsor - Brown Family - Lot of 6 handwritten personal letters, 1817-1837, from a variety of family corespondents to Allen Pooler in Rutland, Vermont (one to NY); and one to James Pooler in Clarendon, VT. Plus, 1831 poem, 1p., "The Morning Star", signed Winsor Brown, Corinth [New York]. Of particular interest are the three letters by Olney Winsor of Providence, Rhode Island, 1828, 1833, 1837. He notes in the 1833 letters that he is 80 years old and remarkably comments in the next letter, at 84, that, "Indeed I am a happy old man..." An 1817 letter by Winsor Brown, Hadley, contains a poem at bottom:
"At ten a child at twenty wild; At thirty strong (if ever); At forty wise, At fifty rich; At sixty good or never."
Other correspondents: Son, Amasa Pooler, 1829; and letter by Huldah and Lydia Brown, Corinth.

Ebay Item number:230389846637

Saturday, October 17, 2009

London Ohio 1856

1856 letter from J W Low in London, Ohio, to his friend J M Post in E Lebanon, New Hampshire. The 1st page is devoted to friendly banter about his school, friends, and other matters. The remainder involves a detailed description of a runaway horse ride. " we stopped at a store to get something, and when we started away, the horse began to canter. I drawed in the reins to stop him and hauled him up so quick that the sleigh ran onto his heels and he started off as fast as he could gallop, in spite of all I could do to stop him. When I tried to stop him, the sleigh hit his heels worse. I kept him right in the road. I met 2 or 3 loads of hay- like to run into one of them. After he had ran about 2 miles Mother jumped out into t he snow. It never hurt her a mite. I hung to the sleigh. All I could do was to let her go after running between four or five miles I overtook a man with a load of cornstalks. I sung out to him to stopand ran right square into him. It never hurt the horse or myself any, and all that it hurt the sleigh was it broke one of the shafts. I got out and turned round the horse and sleigh and started back. After going a little ways I saw the man who owned the team coming after me on horseback on the gallop. We exchanged horses and started back-more content about Mother, and her fate.

Ebay Item number:280409481006

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Saratoga, New York 1785

1785, Saratoga, New York where it seems Thomas Cornell is trying to settle an estate and has been paid by some, but other's haven't paid their debts....he is moving 30 miles to the north and will not be able to follow up on any more debt collecting.....signed Thomas Cornell, addressed outer leaf to his cousin William Cornell of Dartmouth........

Ebay Item number:380161050643

Monday, October 12, 2009


Letter signed, "Ann F Burns", Winchendon, Jan. 20, 1839, to Josiah W. Burns, Bakersfield, Vermont. The writer comments on her good health, poor sleighing "it is wheeling here now but rather rough"; and decision to stay in Winchendon:
"I got down here and my Brothers folks was very anxious I should stay and I have as good a home here as I can have any where. I have worked in the mill some since I have been here. When I come they was short for help in the weaving room and the Agent sent for me to go in to [two] or three times to go to weaving and he said he would settle with me any time when I wanted to go home. And when I am in the house I don't have my board to pay for and if I don't have work of my own to do I can take in sewing and get the money for it. But if I stay here next summer I shall work in the mill all the time only when I have work of my own to do because I can make it more profitable than I can sewing."

Ebay Item number: 230387161841

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Athens, Ohio 1849

Athens, Ohio, Dec 1 1849, from E. Stewart, a livestock farmer, to F. E. Foster, Beardstown, Cass County, Illinois.

The content, which is very long, initially discusses the writer's extensive business dealings in the west, including a court trial re a dispute over hogs at Keokuk, Iowa, and additional business in Galena, Illinois. Is worried about his losses and financial shape, which he says could be 'mortifying.' Sorry that in the past that his credit was so good, and believes that easy loans led to his downfall. A lengthy postscript, which is excellent, touches on the California Gold Rush. It reads, in part, as follows, "I notice in your letter a strong inclination you have for Minnesota. Has that superceded the California fever? If so let me say ... that Doctor Dixon has just returned. He started from Cincinnati about 1 month in advance of our Athens Company [of Forty Niners], but had heard nothing of them. He was in the diggins only 3 or 4 weeks. He went over the land route & returned by Shagres [Chagres, Panama]. Was 45 days returning. Reported to have cleared 3000 [dollars] clear of expenses. Says he has enough of Californy & California gold. In a letter from Dixon to his wife, writing from Sacramento, says he just arrived without one cent of money. Left the train about 600 miles back. Had rode three mules down in that distance. Said that Danny started in company with him, but had got lost from him. Says nothing about the condition of the company when he left, only that he took with him of provisions [of] only 1-1/2 pounds of bread & three days after the date of his letter, another letter came to his wife, written by Mr. Boyle, who was once a student with Dixon, under a Mr. Howard of Columbus, Ohio, saying that he had spent some time with Doctor Dixon on his arrival & was to meet him again in a few days at a certain point, but before the time came around, [and this is most strange, in light of the above] Dixon accidentally shot himself & before (he, Boyle) got there Dixon was buried. The friends here begin to feel some alarm for the safety of our Athens Company.. Harold who started from McArthurstown 30 days after our folks, has written that he had arrived safe and would commence digging the next day. His hopes are high. Four [of] our people got in safe & write favorable. There will be a large company go out from here very early in the spring. You would be astonished if you knew all that has taken the California fever that can''t get through ... [signed] E.S.

This interesting letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number:260485978285

Monday, October 05, 2009

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 1850

Letter from Benj Scott to mother, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Dec. 8, 1850. After leaving Craftsbury, Vermont he travelled through many cities and towns (Burlington, Rochester, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, etc.) via railroad, steamboat, stage, team and canal boat, before finally arriving in Harrisburg where he's been for a week - "awaiting an answer from one Mr. Spear from Alexandria, VA. I expect to go there to work in a Public House this winter."

"This is a great country. I have seen more ignorance since I left home than I ever saw in my life. I have found thousands of People that could neither read nor write....There is one thing. Deliver me from the western Country. It is a cold good for nothing country."; "...I have been on the road about 68 days...I have formed 10,000 new acquaintances."
"Illinois & Wisconsin is a colder country than the New England states & the people are as poor as people ought to be be & live. Wheat was selling when I was there for 40 & 45 cts per bush. & drawing it from 50 to 80 miles & it cost them about all that the wheat was worth for to freight it to market & I never saw such poor oxen as they have."
"Pittsburg, Pa. is a Business Place. It is the smokiest place I ever saw. I was there three days & there was not any of the time that I could see even 40 rods distance, there is so many Foundrys of Iron & glass works & steam boats in the Ohio River & so much coal burnt, that it is a thick cloud about all of the them."
"Harrisburg is a nice place. There is about 10,000 inhabitants...& I find some very nice people...I have occasion to find them if there is any for I stop to the best of the Houses."

This great old letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number:230382531442

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Letter from Vicksburg Mississippi, June 14, 1838, to sister. Unsigned, but identified on verso, "Abel Rawlins" Circleville Ohio. The letter contains a wealth of information and the entirety of the slavery related content. Highlighted excerpts:

"Perhaps you wish a description of this country...Well cotton, land and negroes constitute the wealth of this State. A man who has a cotton plantation that works a hundred negroes is rich, for each good hand is worth $2,000! Mississippi money and there are hundreds who have this much. But what to me is most extraordinary, there are so many Northern men, who were born and reared under different (and in my mind) better institutions of domestic economy, holding slaves here..."
"Notwithstanding Slavery does exist here. It has been much exaggerated (I speak of the city alone) by the reports of the Abolitionists. Once a day, on Sunday the Methodist Church is thrown open for them and one of our preachers preach to them. The Slaves are well dressed and well fed so far as I have seen and for the most part appear to be happy and contented with their lot. But
'Slavery thou art a bitter curse, Disguise thee as thou wilt.'"
Plus, commentary on the splendid climate, but "Wickedness abounds..."; high wages and high prices. "I get boarding for $5 per week, by sleeping on a bunk!"
The incomplete third page appears to have content on a childhood reminiscence and religion.

Ebay Item number:230381318901

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1871 H. P. Churchill

Highly detailed letter home from an American, H. P. Churchill, describing his travels in northern Italy. Content includes:
Naples -- Half-clad beggars; "the people are the most squalid wretched objects we saw anywhere..."; Capri; Blue Grotto -- illuminated with "peculiar" light; buys fruit from "orange girls"; charges annoying locals with umbrella; nighttime journey up Mount Vesuvius volcano, 5pp., burns soles of shoes - "All the time we were in Naples, Vesuvius was in action, its summit by day being wreathed in smoke & by night lurid with flame."; "...the scene from where we stood was unspeakably grand & terrific. There 1000 feet above a vast volume of flame was rushing forth from the summit; "cascade of fire" 50 ft hills of lava; explores Pompeii, Pisa tower - describes; charmed with Genoa; Seville; sees the, "Last Supper", Milan.
It ends in Heidelberg, Germany, where letter was written, after a trip across Lake Como.

This great letter is for sale on Ebay
Item number:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sonoma, California 1853

Sonoma, California, Jul 22 1853, from Thomas J. B. Hubbard, in the heart of the Gold Rush country, to his sister, Julia B. Hubbard, Fulton, Oswego County, New York, blue Columbia, Cal., Jul 29 1853, postmark, postage stamp has been removed. Complains of feeling dull, contrasting "Home" with the "trials and perplexities of a life in California ... Though I can't say that I regret that I came to this country, if it has been connected with something which was not altogether pleasant. Yet man must learn to take the evil with the good & mix them to suit himself ... with one exception California has been more than it ever has been. There has been some commotion since gambling has been stopped than at any previous time. Every night we hear or a murder & some times 3 or 4. This is confined to the Southern mines. A man is not safe traveling for they will take a man's life for 2 shillings any time. I hear [there] was a most brutal murder committed a few nights ago. An old man by the name of Kitsen was killed by a young fellow called Worth from Virginia for something that he had said in regard to Bosonton's assassination. My health is first rate -- never better ... the mill has plenty to eat & enough to which is a glorious thing, for it keeps me out of perotinus. But it is the good imes a coming & I will pick up all the past privations & square the books ... direct [letters to] Sonoma, Tuolumne Co.Cal ... [signed] Thomas J. B. Hubbard ..."

This great old letter is for sale on Ebay
Item number:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Civil War Soldier's letter from R.F Edwards

A fantastic 1862 Civil War Soldier's letter from R.F Edwards is up for sale on Ebay. Item number:280399142907

The full text of the Letter reads as follows:
“Battlefield near Sharpsburg Sep. 24th Dear Parents, Again I write to you "Le mois de Septembre touche a sa fin." - The month of September touches it's end - as Sue beautifully says in his "Juif Errant". All things herald the coming decay. The cornfields are withered stalks - the distant breath of winter reaches us; involuntarily we are shivering here. The leaves show a faint change - the orchards groan under their heavy burden of ruddy apples - The heat of summer has departed - we are invigorated by the cooling winds that tell us of the North - all things tell of approaching winter. We are poorly prepared for the coming season. The regiment is nearly bare of shoes and underclothing - totally destitute of blankets and tents - and the poor fellows have little prospect of bettering their condition before the cold weather is upon them in its rigours. The men are covered with vermin - and in a most pitiable condition. But our Flag is full of bullet holes - the smoke of Battle has soiled its snow white and crimson folds - but letters of gold will ere we return. Second. The actions of Thorofare Gap - Bull Run - East Mountain and Sharpsburg - through which the gallant old 90th has passed triumphantly and won golden opinions from all by its spartan courage. I am proud of my Regt. - the National Guard - both as the 19th - and as the 90th. I wish that I had been in the Sharpsburg affair - for there will never in this war be another like it. Still I have seen all the horrors without positively being in the action. The dead and dying. Long lanes of dead fallen where they stood marked the Rebel lines of battle. All positions - some kneeling - others on their hand and knees - some peacefully lying there on that bloody field as if on some rose strewn couch. We still remain at this stupid place - no signs of the enemy - the daily thunder of cannon that for the past two weeks has been a familiar sound has ceased and all is quiet. We will move shortly - it is expected - to Harper's Ferry. I wish they would leave us there all winter - but time will show. There were two things I neglected to ask you to send in my last. One is very wicked I know but can't help it, must ask. 1. Knife spoon and fork - my other one was stolen long since 2. Penknife 3. !!!! (Just a small -ee) box of cigars Please pay for all these things out of my money if there is any left. And for mercy's sake do send me just a little change in a letter - but for goodness' sake don't Register it. I never can get it without a great deal of trouble when you do. It's just as safe the other way - (in small sums). I am still pretty busy - everything goes on smoothly and I am quite satisfied with my position - there is nothing more of interest to relate so I will close - My love to Aunt and Lizzie - and to the Ladies. Regards to all inquiring - write soon and direct as usual to Your affectionate Son R.F. Edwards”

Monday, September 21, 2009

Moses Bliss Springfield Massachsuetts

For sale on Ebay is a fantastic group of 8 handwritten letters addressed to Miss Emily Bliss Care of Moses Bliss Springfield Mass. The letters date from 1839-1847 and all are written by her sister Mary in New Haven. In part....

“New Haven Oct. 1839

My dear dear sister,
I am as most ashamed of my negligence in writing you as you can possibly wish me to be……I have been more hurried and engaged than you can well believe. My new girl, a clever, stupid damsel has hardly got established herself in the affections of the children and they have clung to me like briars…….Yours truly Mary.”

“New Haven February 16th, 1842

My dear Emily,
I have been anxiously looking for a letter from Springfield for many days and after George B_____came with the expected yet dreaded intelligence that our dear friend no longer lived, I knew I should soon hear from you more particularly and you did not disappoint me. I cannot thank you enough for writing me as long a letter and I feel even more grateful to you for it that I know you have at least had others to inform of the same melancholy event. Melancholy, I ought not to call it, such a calm, quiet ending of a peaceful, holy life is not melancholy, it is most cheering and consoling. What a blessed radiance does it shed upon the cold grave to see one thus wrap the drapery of her couch about her and lie down to a pleasant dream or better still to glorious realities! We weep only for ourselves, for our transient separation, for our emptiness to follow, for our weaker faith, our colder, darker life……I go out very little only to our Society and the reading circle that meets once a week. There have been parties, weddings and 2 variety of gaieties in which I have taken no part and felt no interest. My thoughts have been too much with death and with shadow of the past and occasionally I have bright glimpses of a cherub boy in heaven which are better to me than all the pleasures of earth……Yours truly Mary.”

“New Haven, January 21, 1843

My dear sister,
I dare say you are getting quite inpatient for further news from me…..In the midst of our joy and thankfulness for the arrival of the little stranger (they just had a baby boy but wished it was a girl) and my comfortable health, we were grieved and shocked by news of poor Frances affliction. Her sweet little boy, our dear little John, has gone to join the blessed company of little ones whose angels do always behold the face of our Father in Heaven. He died very suddenly after an illness of only ten hours of a disease which seemed to be a combination of croup and convulsions in consequence of teething…….I hope dear mother will be able to come to see her new grandson. I shall rely upon some of you to supply the little fellow with a name. Let it be something pretty and fanciful. None of the common old fashioned names. I have as yet thoughts of some that would suit me……I cannot call him Willie for my Willa still lives to me in Heaven. Consult Caroline and Sarah and write me some pretty names from which I can make a selection…….From your affectionate Mary.”

“New Haven, August 24th, 1846

My dear sister,
Although I have received no answer to my last letter I cannot think of manifesting any resentment on that account as much as I have longed to hear from you….The hurry and flurry of commencement week is past and we are now looking forward to a period of still greater excitement and more unsparing hospitality when the American Board assembles in New Haven. They hold their annual meeting here on the eighth of September and the special object of the letter is to urge you and Caroline to come here at that time and enjoy with us it’s pleasures, cares, confusion and excitement. As there is some difficulty in finding accommodations for all the clergy, we have offered to take from four to six of them so you will therefore have the narrowest sort of sleeping privileges but I think you will not mind this for a few days and then you shall have as much room as you choose…….Truly yours, M.W. Bristol.”

Friday, September 18, 2009

Aboard the USS Galena

Four Fantastic Civil War letters were written by J.Henry Sellman an officer aboard the USS Galena to his mother in Davidsenville, Maryland.

Extracts from the letters below to giver you a better idea of thier content.

"Rumor says that we go up the river tomorrow. - Captain Wilkes of the Wachusett which has returned here is now the flag officer - He is the man who arrested Mason & Slidell - The government probably has selected him expecting some dashing qualities from him - Hence also the rumor that Fort Darling is again to be attacked. The balloon plays an important part in McClellan's movements - Nearly every evening we can see some staff officer or high military dignitary going up to make observations"
"The president was here to see us the other night. He did not stay long. I hope his visit will be of some benefit to the country. If they should turn Stanton out I should be glad."
"The "Monitor" is with us and today the "Dacotah" joined are squadron - The "Makasha" is not far distant. She belongs to are squadron - We are not moving about any - Where with our anchor ready for slipping, and with steam up - If the ram comes down she will find us ready - Our Captain told me last night he intended running into her - If she came out - He said it would be an interesting experiment to know what effect our running our vessel at full speed against her would have."
"I should like dearly to be with you and I know that you cannot wish to see me more than you do - But I cannot resign - When the war is over most probably the government will dispense with my services - I do not now think they are essential to its ultimate success - But I do assist it undoubtedly"
"The steamer "Southfield" got aground off City Point yesterday evening, right in shore almost - She used to be the "Ferryboat" but carries a tremendous battery - Of course she is much exposed to an attack - Thier batteries opened up upon her while aground - She replied in a spirited manner - We signaled for permission to join in the fight which was granted. We immediately got under way and joined in - The "Galena" soon silenced all the batteries - No one was hurt on our side - The "Southfield" had fireball put through her."

Ebay Item number:220476287495

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Bedford, Massachusetts 1847

Letter dated New Bedford, Massachusetts, Jun 9 1847, signed by, and written entirely in the hand of, Charles W. Morgan, the famous 19th century American whaling magnate, to Lindley Fisher, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with red New Bedford/ MA Jun 9 (1847) postmark, and "5" postal rate marking. The letter reads, in part, as follows, "Dear Lindley I have your fav[or] of 7 inst. with drafts enclosed paid by funds received from Thos. W. Morgan. Also enclosed were your three drafts on me in your own favor for use of Duncannon Iron Works, and to be paid by you [lists each draft] ... all ... payable at No. 9 South Wharves Philadel & which I now enclosed to you. I sent Wm. M. Meister a draft on Wm. M. Ellicott for $1,370. I wish you would ascertain if he has got it done, as I want the money by March in Philada. on the 24th Inst. Please have him to attend to it. I have not yet received the drafts from your father, perhaps there has not been time ... [signed] Chas. W. Morgan."

This interesting New Bedford, Massachusetts letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 250493027064

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Letter from Mother to son, James W. True, Augusta, ME, with news from home -- mentions neighbors; commencement; haying time - "our barn is getting some fuller"; and lightning death of James Earl. "Burna Springer's house was struck and the lightning went through the floor where Mr. Dennis was sitting not two minutes before. The thunder was very heavy here." She also refers to a June 3 letter from Henry and hopes he will "find a big lump and come home."

Ebay Item number:230374693321

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Charles Carter in Richmond, Virginia

Letter to Charles Carter in Richmond, Virginia from family (appears to be a sister - the letter is complete, but unsigned.) New Castle Delaware. The family is travelling and vacationing, just returned from the Cape. Papa went on to Newport. Writer also mentions having the mumps, a "charming party", mama is sick; and more.

Although not stated, the recipient is known to be Charles Carter, b. 1818, the son of William Carter, b. 1782 Shirley, and Charlotte Foushee; and grandson of Charles Hill Carter (1733-1782) of Shirley Plantation.

Ebay Item number:230374216712

Monday, September 07, 2009


Letter signed, "L M J", Lowell [Massachusetts], June 27, 1841, sent cover to Jasper Ordway, Turnbridge, VT. The writer describes how she came to be a factory worker despite her father's opposition and sprained wrist. She engaged for a year in the weaver mill No. 5, Merrimack Co. and likes the work better than expected.

This letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 230374216709

Saturday, September 05, 2009

New York 1840

Letter signed, "Henry B", New York, April 10, 1840 [or 41?], 2pp., 8" x 10", with integral address leaf, hand carried, to sister, Miss P. Willmouth [?], North Adams, Mass.

Letter in part reads.....
"We passed up Broadway just as people were coming from Church, discovered new in the way of fashions, except that the rage for Bustles rather increases, (that is larger ones.) Every lady seems to endeavour to make hers the most conspicuous. I would not adivse you and Waity [?] to carry that fashion to any great extent for (as David Anthony's wife once said) it gives a lady the appearance of quite too much bottom."
The writer comments that he's writing his letter from his "sky Parlour which overlooks the lower part of the city and part of the Bay."

Ebay Item number:230374215467

Friday, September 04, 2009

Channell family of Downingtown Pennsylvania

28 handwritten letters all belonging to the Channell family of Downingtown Pennsylvania. The earliest letter dates from the year 1886 and the last letter 1907. Most of the letters are addressed to Alfred C. Channell with some also to Margaret and Mary Channell.

Ebay Item number:170378090842

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Boston 1867

A letter signed, on “Adams Express Co.” letterhead from Wm. Henczenberger in Boston addressed to G.M. Powell, dated June 3d. 1867; with a copy of Powell’s answer to Henczenberger on the bottom half of p. 2.

It is a business proposal from Henczenberger, asking Powell for “pictures” he can presumably sell in various towns including Halifax, Nova Scotia: “Having been many years ago with my own work in Halifax Nova Scotia I am well acquainted there and I am able to bring your pictures before the public no doubt that I will succeed”. Powell advises him to try the Washington, Baltimore and Indiana, “you will do well to call on colored people in Boston who are in comfortable circumstances”.

Ebay Item number:200378226324

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Benton Barracks, Missouri 1862

Letter from James Burnett, Benton Barracks, Missouri., Dec 14, 1862. Says he has had some problems with boils, but is fit as a fiddle now., we are all under marching orders ., some of the paroled men have arrived., a great many have been exchanged and many have gone seems we will be having some good battles soon..he plans on sending up a photograph of himself, once the weather has cleared.

Ebay Item number:300340812673

Monday, August 10, 2009

Edith and Marie Lorimer

A batch of 17 letters home from Edith and Marie Lorimer to husband/father Edward D. Lorimer, Philadelphia, PA sent during their vacation trip to the historic Eatons' Ranch on Wolf Creek in 1926. It was founded by the Eaton Brothers and considered the first real dude ranch in the West. Twelve letters with illustrated stationery -letterhead and covers; plus five letters en route, incl. railroad and Northern Hotel, Billings, Montana.
Although the content is mostly brief, the vast majority of the letters have multiple pages and there is an array of interesting mentions -- riding to the Canyon with Uncle Will [Eaton] (2pp description); Custer Battlefield; trout fishing on the trail; cowboys; Wild West Show, Dexter, Montana; and more.

This fantastic batch of letters is for sale on Ebay Item number: 230364069640

Monday, August 03, 2009

Polley Anthony of Portsmouth

A 3 page letter from Polley Anthony of Portsmouth to Mary Mann in Wrentham, Massachsuetts regarding the health of the family, the death of children and an upcoming visit in the summer.

Ebay Item number: 380137149878

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dr. G. Pierrepont Davis, Hartford, Connecticut

Letter signed, "Pierre" [Dr. G. Pierrepont Davis], Hartford, Connecticut, March 18, 1888, on personal stationery with postally sent cover to his mother in St. Augustine, FL.
Four pages filled with exciting content on digging out in the aftermath of the notorious blizzard -- trying to cut a path to the street; neighbor Mr. Post clearing to Gillette; carting off "a mountain of snow"; and travelling in the "family sleigh" to the hospital.

This interesting letter is for sale on Ebay Item number:230359704093.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dr. Franklin Staples, Winona, Minneapolis 1889

Fascinating letter from Dr. Franklin Staples, Winona, Minneapolis to Seward D. Allen Esq. who was currently travelling in Portland, ME. Oct. 28, 1889,

Staples uses Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem about his Portland boyhood, "My Lost Youth", as a reference to point out various local sites to Allen. He interweaves the sites with lines from the poem.

Brief excerpt:
"'I remember the bulwarks by the shore; and the port upon the hill' - The bulwarks by the shore were near the foot of India Street and the fort upon the hill was near the Southwest corner of the Eastern Cemetery."

Ebay Item number: 230358150106

Friday, July 17, 2009

Asahel Strong 1814

Letter dated 1814, where Asahel Strong ( camped at Camp South Boston) has written to his brother Jonathan Strong of Northampton, Massachsuetts. In this letter Asahel relates that there is sickness among the men, but Elisha's company of men are fine and are at Cambridgeport...there is very little prospect of attack from the enemy...Jason Strong and Joshua Curtis had been arrested and under guard , now liberated he hopes they will behave better. Captain Partridge and his men are fine...when he can return he knows not..signed Asahel Strong.

This letter is for sale on Ebay
Item number:

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

St. Luke's Madhouse in Newcastle Upon Tyne

Two letters regarding St. Luke's Madhouse in Newcastle Upon Tyne bothe circa 1789:
The first letter on two pages from Christopher Parks and Elizabeth Jackson, Keepers of the Madhouse for over twenty years, regarding the mental state of Elizabeth Airey. They refer to her at one point as a Lunatick. The second is an Affidavit of Dr. John Hall of his medical practice examing people to determine their sanity, and specifically addressing the sanity of the above Elizabeth Airey. Ebay Item number: 330343112759

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Lot of (8) family letters to Jacob K. Dunbar in Lisbon, New Hampshire. Five letters from Cabotville, Massachusetts; 1 Chicopee, MA; 1 Troy, New York; and Vergennes, Vermont. 1839-1844.

Chicopee, MA - July 18 [no year] "Last Wednesday Mrs. Remington's buildings were all burnt, undoubtedly the fire was set. It was a good fire I assure you. I suppose you will know it was the dressmakers shops, Mrs. Waits and union store, Purshley's [?] hat store, etc. Ten or twelve families were turned into the street."

Troy, NY - April 23, 1840 - Over 150 converted to the God in the Church..."more real comfort in Religion in one day than I ever had in my life." Abigail H. Clark; David B. Clark.

Cabotville, MA - Jan. 1842 - "Lilias wants Dr. Richardson to send her a plaster to put on her stomach such as he gave her the first time she ever saw him - smelt strong of garlicks - was the color of grounded brick when wet." More medical content. The letter also mentions Minerva.

Cabotville, MA - Oct. 1842 - "Eliza's health is not very good. She has tended 2 frames ever since I came back. it is too much for any one, but she does it because she cannot make anything without the wages are so low." [Another letter mentions that Eliza's only free time from the mill is from 7:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. -- almost a 14 hour day.]

This interesting batch of Dunbar family letters is for sale on Ebay Item number: 230352979159.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Letter from Charles Freeman in Little Valley [Cattaraugus County, New York], Aug. 20, 1854. to niece and nephew [Elisha Freeman.] Nearly two pages on "Bleeding Kansas".
In part:

"I sometimes wish you lived in some other state, where you could enjoy freedom of speech, although I rejoice that there are so many in St. Louis that do not go with Border Ruffianism.";
"...the whole world appears to be in commotion. Look at Congress. There is much more excitement, knock down and murder, than anything that is good. Look at California, all confusion murder & hanging - What does all this mean..."
"One thing I verily believe, which is, that God is about to bring this human curse called slavery to a crisis, for although I live in Cattaraugus, yet we have papers giving inteligence...and my observations teaches me this, that every move which of late the South are making, is completely calculated to cut their own throats...there is hardly a Northern State, that has not sons...which have fell marters to freedom, by the hand of those cursed Border Ruffians and their blood begins to cry to us, from Kansas..."

This interesting letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 230351915550.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ophelia Polk, Bayou Bartholomew 1868

Jan. 12, 1868, from Ophelia Polk to parents. Ophelia comments on the difficulty of finding and training servants among other topics. Excerpts:
"I was in hopes Emmeline would want to cook this year for me, but she said nothing about it. She has divided off poor Eliza's children among their kin, and only keeps some of the youngest herself."
"Mr. Polk has given up the Honduras notion now entirely and is willing to return to Tenn, much to the satisfaction of the girls and myself."
" is true the land is splendid but the negroes are too lazy to work it as it should be, and it does not pay to live in a sickly country and make cotton. I never want to see another seed planted."
"Jan. 13th This morning a negro woman was drowned in front of our house crossing the bayou, the boat turned over with them. I felt so sorry for the mother of the girl. She was on the bank looking at them cross and the boat struck a snag and threw her daughter and little boy out..."

Item number: 230351119461

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Handwritten lot of (19) letters centered around noted banknote engraver and inventor, Gideon Fairman (1774-1827) and his daughter, Caroline Augusta Fairman (b. 1809) who married wealthy iron and hardware merchant, Evans Rogers in 1830. Rogers owned a mansion on Washington Square in Philadelphia. [Evans and Caroline Rogers were the parents of Helen Kate Rogers who married Horace Howard Furness.]
Many of the letters were sent to Mrs. Stewart (Susan) Lewis of Albany, the sister of Gideon Fairman's deceased wife. Caroline appears to have been adopted by the Lewis family as she refers to Mrs. Lewis as mother. A few later letters were sent by Evans Rogers to daughter, Kate. Other correspondents include George Washington Fairman; David Fairman (one each), E. B. Hill. There are a number of letters of great interest:
(4) Autograph signed letters, G.[Gideon] Fairman, 1811-19. An 1811 letter with a fabulous "original" small drawing of ladies pantaloons. A few docketed, "Col. Fairman" [War of 1812 service].
1827 Phila. letter of Dr. Thos. B. Jones announcing death of Fairman, by "second attack of his disease."
1830 retained letter of Evans Rogers to Caroline with confession of love and marriage proposal. Rogers provides detailed content on his family history and financial standing.
1830s letters, newly married Caroline in Philadelphia -- with wonderful descriptions of her life in high society -- "four or five parties every week"; bed at 2 or 3; social calls every day; three parlors; servants.
1835-36 Two travel in Europe letters, Paris, Frankfort, letters home from Caroline -- with intricate detail -- Italian Opera; dining at Verys w/ floor to ceiling mirrors and cocks-comb pie. One with small hand drawing.
Plus, two 1863 ALSs, "Evans Rogers", while vacationing in Long Branch, NJ -- genteel company; riding Archy; crabbing; "Mr Furness luxuriates in the Blackberry field and Horace with his bugs."

This fantastic group of letters is up for sale on Ebay, Item number: 230349991355.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


A 2 page letter (front & back) written by WILSON L. TURMAN during his time as a guard at CAMP DOUGLAS in Chicago, IL.

In the letter, Turman mentions GRANT, SHERMAN, THOMAS and SHERIDEN. He also talks of the stench of the dead carcasses. Turman pens a detailed recipe for beer on the majority of the 2nd page of the letter and signs his name in closing.

The letter in part reads:
" And by the eternal we will only think of it. How will those bruised men black with the smoke of battle coming up through that firey furnace with SHERMAN with GRANT with THOMAS with SHERIDEN and a host of others feel when they see their meanest enemies at home. And tell me not that they do not know them. For a single glance of the ? portrays them for their deeds are written upon their brow and ? that has eyes can read. I am small in stature. But I am a head and shoulders taller when I get away ? things for taller. I try breath a purer air and lifting my thoughts heavenward. The stench from their putrid carcasses fall beneath and the bright sunshine that glitters upon the fields of our banner as she floats over the ramparts of Richmond loomes up and the flames as of olden time seemed to burn up the drops and verify that the sacrifice is exceptable before God Hallalujah the Lord God ? riseth. Let the earth rejoice and all things that are therein. My soul feasts upper. ? things for never did I know what happiness was before for I am so glad that my feeble mind ? the trying scenes through which we have had to pass has stood firm in its purpose and never a weary abrupt disturbed it. And I even I am permitted to stand and view the Promised Land with its returning herds leaping upon the green pastures that returning peace and liberty affords. But these thoughts are abortive. My mind fails to grasp language adequate to express the glory of the future. But glory glory is the out burst of my heart for its glittering streamy rais fill my soul and I will sing it forever and ever in the face of COPPERHEADS in the face of my meanest enemy I will shout. But I must close."

This great Civil War letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 300322983832

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

J P Bambrick 1847

Handwritten letter to parents, Sept. 23, 1847, from J P Bambrick. The dateline notes Harrisonburg. Based on the letter content [proximity to New Orleans; river] this Harrisonburg most likely is in Louisiana (vs. Virginia.). Bambrick writes in part:

"The season has been "midling sickly and a good many deaths have arrived in our town...The yellow fever is raging in the city and no prospect of it decreasing untill there is a killing frost. The mortality has been very heavy from 5 to 600 hundred pr day."

"Cotton opens very lively here this season. It brings from 10 to 12 1/2 has been dry an[d] very favorable for picking cotton..."

"I traded my mild filly...for a race horse or rather pony and made a race on him for 25$ and won it and then sold him for 75$ in cash."

This great old letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 230348680956.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dana and Jennie Barber letters 1888-89

Four letters 1888-89, from Dana and Jennie Barber, newcomers to Knowles, MD. The letters were sent to sister and mother, Mrs. C. H. Duffy, New York City and Mrs. Geo. Root, Nineveh, NY. Three of the letters were sent from Dana at his Washington D.C. office. The highlight is the 12 page letter, octavo, from Jennie. Highly detailed in content, she describes her new home: Neighbor Mrs. Smith expects her "confinement" in a week, "but goes banging about as though nothing was the matter."; Kate Hayden, in a Queen Anne cottage on the other side has worked at the Treasury for 13 years and holds a literary club;. "...we pay $1.50 a cord for seasoned oak...then I gave a n-----r [racist term] $1.15 for sawing." [Knowles] "This is not a village at all; only a large farm which was owned by Mr. Knowles, grandfather of our landlord and after the death of the old people the farm was sold in parcels of 10 acres and less; there were only three or four houses until quite recently, every one has plenty of room; we have over half an acres, triangular in shape." Plus, attends new church with "shouting Methodist" who can be heard through closed windows a quarter mile away"; buys corn at the Health Food Co. and locally grown White Star potatoes for 80c a bushel; much more minute detail.

This group of interesting letters is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 230347073715.

Monday, June 08, 2009

North Shore New York 1847

Letter post marked North Shore New York. Written in 1847 by E Allen, to his brother Wm in Flat Brook, NY. He writes about teaching, but is looking into a secret job. Writes about local people, and says in part...we have had but 3 days sleighing upon the island this winter, the ground is frozen hard, and the wagoning is good...... if you was not anxious to enter college I could get you the academy here, which would be worth 5 or 6 hundred dollars per year.. the teacher that has it will probably not stay more than this quarter.....Give my love to Aunt B.......I have my health.....

Ebay Item number: 160339307638.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

L. H. Cook to D. H. White 1855

1855 letter from L. H. Cook to D. H. White in Iowa that mentions near the end: "There is some talk about the Indians being trouble some and scares some of the Women almost into a duck fit it has been reported that there is 6000 at the Counsul bluff but it does not interupt me till I know more about it . . .

This interesting letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 350204519314.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

James Crandal 1792 Rhode Island

Hand written letter dated 1792 with the letter writers seal beside his name.

Know all men by these present that I James Crandal of Westerly in Washington County and State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation for it valuable consideration to me in hand well and truly paid by Daniel Whitney Late of Newport now residing in the State of Masachusets and herewith I am content do hereby sell asign set over and transfer unto him the said Daniel Whitney a certain ballance reported to be due to me by a committee appointed by the Legislature of the State of Rhode Island and on account of the depreciation of my pay as a solider in the late State Regiment commanded by Coll. John Toppin which ballance amounting to fifteen pounds eleven shilling lawful money as by the depreciation account of said regiment will appear and with the interest due thereon to have and to hold the said transferred balance to to him the said Daniel Whitney his heirs Executor (?????can't make this word out) or asigns forever furthermore I the said James Crandal do hereby constitute and appoint the said Daniel Whitney or his atterney my Atterney and in my name but for his or there use to demand and recover said ballance and acquittance thereof to give in my name and this I give as my Irrevocable power with full power of substitution In witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal this 30th day of March in the 16th year of American Independence A1792 Signed sealed and delivered in presents of Sam Bliven George Saunders Washington County of Westerly March the 30th A1792 Personally appeared the above subscriber M'James Crandal and acknowledged the before going instrument to be his free act and deed hand and seal before me. Sam Bliven Justice of the Peace.

This document is for sale on Ebay Item number: 180359723034.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lee family of Virginia

Three letters from the Lee family of Virginia. They include: (1) 2 pg. letter, November 28, 1789, Goochland, from Richard Lancelot Lee to his mother Betty Heale. In this letter Richard mentions he saw Kendall in Fredericksburg and that he ran into a Samuel Harding who had "lately been in the neighborhood of Ditchley & had heard that the family wee all tolerable well." He goes on to say that he sent Daniel (probably a slave) to buy some material for stockings, shoes, and a hat that he wishes to be made up for Tom. He mentions Kendall has a fine son about 6 weeks old. He gives compliments to his brother William. He adds that Daniel will carry down a horse for him and Arthur could take of the horse until he comes down. (2) A 2 pg. letter, March 12 1812, written by Louisa Lee to her aunt. The partial address indicates the aunt is "Mrs. Priscilla Edwards. The letter has much religious content. (3) A partial letter (no date) written by Judith B. Lee.

This great batch of Lee family letters is for sale on Ebay Item number: 280346604192

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Mr de Bellisle who is in the Chatelet jail of Paris writes patiently to Mr the chevalier de la Rye, the director general of tobacco in Paris, initially for a loan of 50 gold Louis and then as time passes to ask him to certify and pay accounts that will allow him to recover his freedom.

Mr de la Rye appears to have not reacted very quickly: the first letter is only dated 1737 and Mr de Bellisle has already been in jail six months. The following letters are dated May and December 1737 and then April and May 1738 and Mr de Bellisle is still very politely asking for the payments that would make him a free man.

Ebay item Item number: 360155979000.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Interesting lot of 9 handwritten letters, 1837-1864, to Rev. Amos Snell, a Baptist Church elder in Westford, Windham County, Connectiicut and later South Wilbraham, Massachusetts. The letters are primarily personal nature letters from former Snell church members in a variety of locales.

Some of the highlights:
1840 Hillsboro, Illinois letter, 3pp., Sabria Bennett. The writer dislikes Illinois, the "Western Wildernes"; "...not an eastern family in this neighborhood all suckers...they are not our sort of people."; "O that we could see you and hear you blow the Gospel"; "We often hear the wolves howl near our cabin doors verry thick. Two have been killed so near the house we could hear them bleat like a calf."
1854 East Pembroke, New York, 2pp, legal, Charles Snell, brother. Fire at large tavern house of Edward Powers . "Burnt to ashes", killing young son.
1837 Stafford, CT, Jemima Hicks, 2pp., legal. Had typhus fever, now in poor health. Highly religious letter with a few poetic lines re Jesus. "I can hardly refrain from weeping when I think of the long suffering compassion of the savior towards me..." Mentions "poor sinners"; "Pilgrimage to the Celestial City" and laboring in the "vineyard of the Lord."
Fabulous autograph letter signed, "Asa Snow", Petersham [MA], Jan. 17, 1854, 1 1/4pp., plus 1p. letter of Snow's second wife, Eunice. The internet has some interesting background information on this strange inviidual, also known as Asa "Popcorn" Snow, including his main diet of popcorn and milk; suicide death of first wife Isabelle; and Snow's metal casket with viewing window (became a local tourist attraction.)

This great group of letters is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 230342789464.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Seth Chapman Letter Jamaica New York 1852

A letter from Seth Chapman in Jamaica New York to his son who is away at school. The letter is about school and also mentions a Ann and Libby and Lilly who are most likely sisters to the boy at school. Ebay Item number: 130305097499.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Lot of 4 handwritten, personal letters to Maria Branch -- two from mother, Mary F. Branch, Summerville, Chesterfield County, Virginia 1808; two from friends - Mary B. Royall, Locust Hill, 1821, and Selena Booker, Flat Rock, n.d. 9pp, 8" x 10", total. Brief content and excerpts:

1808, Mary F. Branch - Asks that Col. Clark bring Maria home at appointed time; a subject, "too delicate for distant discussion"; mentions Judith Woodson, E. Cunliffe; "Mr H was in a voilent (sic) pucker respecting his horse."; "Your letter is full of love from the pits." One letter with hand carried cover to Lucy Maria Branch, Col. Clark's, Powhatan.
1821, Mary B. Royall - Dr. Archer is busy, "taken up with courting." Has fine view of river where situated. "I am as contented as it is possible for a woman to be..." Hand carried cover to Maria in Summerville.
n.d. (c. early 1800s), Selena Booker - Writer upset, sister won't respond to letters. "They all seem to care so little for me."; "Will you believe me if I tell you that I have only one child. You know Maria I always told you that I did not intend to have any more for they are so much trouble."; "I am such a poor hardened siner. She I fear is like all the rest of you, cares nothing for poor Selena." Mentions Capts. Booker (husband?) and Taylor. Hand carrier cover to Maria Branch, Manchester VA.

This great group of Branch family letters is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 230339876693

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Philinda Ford 1846

1846 folded letter from Philinda Ford, to her sister Miss August S Ford in Binghamton New York. News letter with talking of children, weddings, and other local news-she is attending a lecture by a blind lady from Michigan on the influence of females.

Ebay Item number: 160331352128

Monday, April 27, 2009

William M. Bambrick Denver Colorado 1860

Handwritten letter to brother from William M. Bambrick, Denver [Colorado], Dec. 22, 1860. Bambrick describes his hard-going existence.. He was sick during the summer, "my hair all come out." "I bought in to some claims in Neivad [Nevada] Gulch and made money on them. They froze up first of November. I worked two months and cleared $1.30."; "I worked day and night in my claims this fall. I worked six hours on and six hours off."; "You can see by the Mountain News that there are killings and hangings in Denver. There is considerable excitement here now about new mines in Mexico. A great many going there from here." Provisions coming in to Denver by train. "Hogs sell as high as horses."; "There is a prize fight come off in the mountains this fall in sight of where I was at work but I did not go to see it. They fought eight and was both badly hurt."

This letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 230339099522. If William M. Bambrick was one of your ancestors this letter would be a great addition to you family genealogy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Connecticut Regiment Heavy Artillery

Agroup of ten letters from family members to David Sharpe of Company B, First Connecticut Regiment Heavy Artillery. Two are dated 1858, and the rest 1861-1863, with a total of 31 pages. Filled with news from home from his brother, sister, father and mother in Seymour, Connecticut, about the war, other soldiers from the neighborhood, and family news. The family shows its patriotism, faith in God and satisfaction with freeing the slaves. David originally joined the 4th Connecticut Volunteers under General Banks in 1861, which was then re-organized in 1862 as the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery. The regiment served 1861-64 in the defense of Washington, the Peninsular Campaign [Yorktown and Fair Oaks] and at Petersburg and Richmond. In all, the lot includes ten letters, average size 5 x 8 1/2, with folds, an additional letter in envelope dated 1871, and news clippings from the regiment's return to Connecticut in 1864, and Sharpe's obituary in 1926.

This fantastic group of Sharpe family letters is for sale on Ebay Item number: 200332059504

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Turbutt Francis, Philadelphia 1773

Letter signed, "Turbutt Francis", Philadelphia, Aug. 19, 1773, 1p., legal, with hand carried cover to Peter Kacklien, Esq, Sheriff of Northampton. Content re delivering bond in exchange for articles of Mr. Allen. "Do let me know your intentions as neglecting to give me an immediate answer will be ading one injury to another." Also mentions 500 acres under lease to Manning.

This letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 230336640148

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hezekiah Griffin Freedom Papers, Chillicothe

Chillicothe Jan30th 1823

I do certify that Hezekiah Griffin a yellow man abt 27 years of age is a free man and came by his freedom in the following manner viv He griffin ran off from his Master Gen Biggs of Virginia and came to this place was taken up by Major Beaty a friend of Gen Biggs was sold to me for 500$ cash this transaction was nowledged
since by Gen Biggs when in this place and further Hezekiah has paid me by his services and some money as whitness my hand.

Thomas James

J.L. Cummings


Hezekiah Griffin

Freedom Papers.

This interesting letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 160327299539. If Hezekiah Griffin was one of your ancestors this would make a great addition to your genealogy.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Chicago to Peru 1852

A travel letter from Chicago to Peru [Illinois], from a wife to husband, Peru, Feb. 29, 1852. The writer, travelling with her sister, describes a night in a hotel -- bitten by bugs, loud men with a drunken one stating he's going to sleep in their room. They retrieve scissors and shove the trunk by the door. The following morning they take the stage from Aurora -- gentleman passengers; Ottawa bridge torn away; mudhole; Joliet stage; coach sicknessness; no food. A few passengers get out to walk and are retrieved by the stage a few hours later at a stranger's house.

Ebay Item number: 230335308063

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

New York House of Refuge 1883

New York House of Refuge Letterhead - Handwritten letter, Dec. 12, 1883, signed W. C. Steele, sent to F. A. Fidler, Esq. A letter of apology, it reads in part, "I am heartily sorry that a playful remark interjected into one of my Lectures should have been the means of causing pain to any one, least of all yourself or the excellent young lady chosen by my friend Bro Strater for his companion in Christian labor..."; "I heard that some over-sensitive person had misinterpreted the aullusion...Mr. Strater is a man of noble qualities of head and heart..."

This fine old letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 230334856333

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Rio Vista, Henrcio County, Virginia

Rio Vista, Henrcio County, Virginia, Nov. 7, 1886. E. F. Warren to friend, Mina. The writer describes the family move from Jefferson and new home in Rio Vista -- wood now is scarce "little round sticks"; woodwork in house almost black with dirt; no near neighbors -- & comments on the help, "Mother and I do it now [cooking]. There were too many colored folks hanging around to suit us, as long as a colored woman worked here. We have a colored man to work here all the time, but he eats by himself and sleeps in the old house where the servants used to do the cooking.

This interesting old letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 230334416880

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Charles Lucius Anderson 1853

Letter reads in part:

"Lowell, October 18, 1853

Dear Mother,

Enclosed you will receive a letter which I received from Aunto Anna since I wrote you......there has been two sad accidents at the Fundry of late, by one of which a man had both his legs so badly crushed that they were both taken off above the knee, The other man was nearly killed by something falling upon his head and has since died.

...Governor Boutwell* delivered a political lecture in Huntington Hall last week. I think as the man grows older he improves in his manner of delivery. Aaran Blanchard spent last week at the Worlds Fair. Several went also from the Shop...

Since I wrote you last I have got my pay raised from seven shillings pr day to eight shillings pr day which I think will do very well till next spring. Next Pay day I shall receive $40.00 for my five weeks work.
...I like my boarding place very much...Charles Lucius Anderson"

Ebay item Item number: 370179113972

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nancy Shippee, of Readsboro, Vermont

4 page letter, dated Feb. 10, 1862, from Nancy Shippee, of Readsboro, Vermont. Discusses family matters, marraige, Francis Boyd enlisting to go south, and Stamford soldier brought home named Richardson.

Ebay Item number: 170312713836

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

James Magee 1784

Letter from Fairfax County, Virigina., dated 22 day of April, 1784., stating that a young woman has taken the oath that she was made pregnant by Cpt. James Magee of the Ship GUSTAVUS, and that he shall be found and brought forward to answer to these charges. The woman has born a bastard female child and will likely be charged to the state for support.

This letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 300300812759.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Camp Pierpont 1861

Nov 28th, 1861 letter written at Camp Pierpont, Va. . Letter was written by Sam M Stricby.
He writes We have our tent built up 31/2 feet with poles and then dug down 11/2 feet in the ground and our tent set on poles and banked up around the poles with dirt and then a fire place in the bank and one bunk in the floor for 2 to sleep and one a bove for 2 more to sleep. As this was Thanksgiving for Pa., I was in the country at an old favorite place and had a splendid diner, it consisted of roast pork-fresh- stewd rabid, warm buisket mashed potatoes....I suppose you have the news of the 1st Pa R Cavelry at Dranesville the other side of us. They brought along 11 prisners past our camp next day most of them on foot and 2 other rebels wounded and left 2 ded in the field. Our men was 4 wounded, one of them was the assistant surgon of the hospital. more about camp life.

Sam M Stricby

This great old Civil War letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 280321194537

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Samuel Lillie 1705

Letter dated 1705, where mechant Samuel Lillie (Lilly) has written to Captain William Pickering, presently at Newfoundland, regarding the contents of the Sloop Content, mostly a hoard of fish....he also wishes Pickering to sell, at best price, a load of sundry goods to the people of Newfoundland and get paid in bills of exchange from London based banks, then to re-load with what fish can be had..but no contraband goods...if he gets blown of course then proceed to Berbadou (Barbados?)and get molasses and rum...signed Samuel Lilly.

This letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 350173047320.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

John H. Bowles of Portsmouth 1879

A fabulous reminiscence written by John H. Bowles of Portsmouth [New Hampshire} to a young man named George in Boston, Nov. 12, 1879. In elaborate detail, Bowles describes his first trip to Boston, the "El Dorado" of his imagination, as a thirteen year old in June of 1825:

The vast wharves with ships; visit to the Hancock Tavern; trip to the New England Museum where he sees a wax statue of George Washington and strange sea creature; death and funeral procession of Gov. Eustis; attends an amazing grand Equestrian Spectacle with a fire ball, chariot and cream colored horses; witnesses a fire on Doane St. which burned 60 of the finest warehouses in Boston - "...massive granite buildings..split to pieces like glass"; Bunker Hill Celebration; hears Daniel Webster orate; shakes hands with Lafayette.

Ebay Item number: 170307811557

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Muntown May 28 1863, Thomas Briggs Letter

An original Civil War letter dated Muntown May 28 1863. This is a letter written to Thomas Briggs from his mother. In this letter she mentions the Battle of Fredericksburgh which occurred in Virginia and someone who was in the fight it looks like his name is Laz she writes, "we have got three letters from laz since the batle at fredericksburgh and he was in the fight but he came off safe Bill donaldson and Boy atkinson and McCune of Cannonburgh was all killed laz says there was eighty five killed and wounded in his regiment Colin walls got the hind part of his cap shot off and cut the skin to the skull the report came here that laz was wounded in the knee but it was to so torn we her that you had run off to cannedry...we want you to try and rite oftener and give us the war news and tell us if you think there is any prospect of the war coming to an end...." She also talks about a draft and that they are enrolling all able bodied men, she says some say they will not go till they are forced out, she also says if he wants to write to Laz Briggs he should direct the letters to 140 Regmt Co H Care of Capt Stockton Washing City. At the end it is says, "...tell us you think you can get a discharge your Mother Nancy Briggs writen by A H Caesber."

This letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 120382539422.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

El Paso, Texas Court Martial 1850

Letter dated Presidio de San Elizario [El Paso, Texas], June 28, 1850, from Major William S. Henry, Third Infantry, to Lieutenant Lafayette McLaws, regarding changes to the court martial charges being brought against Lieutenant Lawrence O'Bannon.

If Lieutenant Lawrence O'Bannon was one of your ancestors this letter would make a great addition to your genealogy. You can find the letter on Ebay Item number: 200312167079.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

W.S. Mills, Colorado River 1881

Letter signed by W.S. Mills (business man possibly of Oakland California Area).

Steamer Gila Colorado River January 31, 1881

My Dear Daughter Lyra; We expect to reach Ehrenberg this evening where I can mail this letter. Ehrenberg is 125 miles from Yuma --- 125 miles in 9 days is slow traveling. We have made most of the distance in the last three days, and we hope to make the next 175 miles to Ft. Mohave in 6 days. The scenery on the colorado is varied and at places very fine. The most noted things we have passed are Castle Dome, Chimney Peaks, Light House Rock, The Barriers, and Red Rock Gate. Castle Dome is a high mountain, the top of which looks like the Capitol Building at Washington. The Dome looks exactly lilke the Capitol Dome. It was in sight for seven days and from each location it presented the same appearance. The Chimnney Peaks look like immense monuments with perpendicular sides, tapering very little more than the Washington monument at Washington, but seeminly ten times its height. They have been in sight ever since before we reached Yuma on the railroad. Day before yesterday we passed near them. When in a certain position as we came up the river the top of the tallest peak looked like an immense human head with two distinct human faces, one looking south the other looking north. It is said there is another profile to be seen on this peak from some other position--where upon we named it Trinity Peak. Light House Rock is in the river and looks quite like a Light House structure. The Barriers is a place in the river where at a little distance it seems to come to an end-- to be barred by rocks. Red Rock Gate is a point in the river where it is quite narrow--drawn in by the red rock bluffs on each side. We are now in a wide valley with the mountains in the distance on both sides. Occasionally there are groves of cottonwood trees in the valley. My fellow passengers are Mr. Macfarlane, Major Walton of Oakland Cal. A Mr. Morez a machinist, and Mr Sanders of San Francisco who is engaged in gathering mining statistice forthe Government census. All are intelligent men and good company. Through the day we read and talk and comment on the scenery. The boat ties up to the bank at evening. In the evening we generally have a game of whist. We pass the time very pleasantly. The steamship crew is of a remarkable cosmopolitan character. The Captain is a New Yorker, of German descent. The Clerk is from North Carolina and was in the rebel navy. The Engineer is a Yankee, the Mate is a Spaniard, the Wheelman is a Greek, the steward and cook are Chinamen, the men are Mexicans and Indians-- the Indians being from four different tribes Yumas, Cocopaks, Mohaves, and Deegans. The variety of language is amusing and interesting. Mr. Sanders is a German and speaks the German language. Mr. Welton is a college graduate and speaks French. The Indians seem to know more Spanish than English, so their orders are given them in spanish. Mr Macfarlane tells me he left school at 17 and I was surprised to hear him talk German, French and Spanish. Sinche we left Yuma he has read a book in German, some in Spanish and is now studing Latin, remarking that he read Latin a little is School. All else he has learned sincer he left school-- as well as the science of chemistry which gives him his particular profession, and enables him to command a high salary. All this learning has been picked up as he passed along through life. He is now 47 years old-- he has a wife and nice children and is as industriouis a student as you would find anywhere. My cold is somewhat better though I cough considerable yet. Otherwise I am in good health. Love to your Mother and Leof and you. This letter must answer for all of you. I hope you are getting strong daily. W.S. Mills.

This letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 400032010830

Monday, February 16, 2009


Letter acting on behalf of the widow of a soldier named Rodger Maher, hoping the Congress will grant her some "bail out" money. Rodger Maher served with the 10th New York Vols and was wounded at the Wilderness, treated and returned to duty and died while on pickett duty.

Ebay Item Item number: 290295395759

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Indian Agent of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency

The writer is D.B. Dyer, Indian Agent of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, I.T. (Indian Territory). This agency was located at Darlington, now Oklahoma.

The letter is dated Feb. 7, 1885 and is addressed to Hannah Hardin of Shawneetown, Indian Territory.

The text concerns payments for the care of "Mary and Annie".
"Yours of 24th ultimo just reached me and I enclose herewith draft for 52.57 to pay for board etc of Mary and Annie from Nov 1st/84 to Jan 31/85 inclusive. Your receipts were not made correctly please send me new ones same as sample I enclose. I also send copy for next quarter's account. I am Respectfully, D.B. Dyer, Guardian and Indian Agent"

The letter written on the letterhead of the United States Indian Service.

This letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 300291776597.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Wake County, North Carolina 1803, Sam Johns

Handwritten letter dated May 15th 1803, on the front signed by John Tallen, William Eamle, Joseph Hannes. On the back is a recording of the Clerks office in the book of Wills, Black Sams pass, negro Sam signed Allen Trimble June 1811.

*The front of the letter is as follows:

May 15th 1803 Wake County of State of North Carolina know all men by these presents that we the justases of the peace do sartifi that the barer of these lines is entitled to freedom & we desire that all may let him pass as he behaves sivle his name is Sam calling himself Sam Johns and he further informs us that he wants to travel to the Western Country and we desire that all may let him pass for he a good hard working honest in dustres fellow.

Signed by us, John Tallen, William Eamle, Joseph Hannes

*On the back of the letter is as follows:

Highland County Ohio Recorder in the Clerks office of the Common ( ) of ( ) County in the book of Wills ( ) Allen Trimble ( ) June 1811 Black Sams pass Negro Sam

This fantastic letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 160312865866.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Carroll Benton in Boston 1908

Letter dated "Upton Ranch, LaCinta Canyon, Solano, N.M." [New Mexico], October 11, 1908, written from a lady named Irene to her friend Carroll Benton in Boston. She describes some aspects of ranch life and family news, and then casually mentions "We had two shooting scrapes in one day this week & as I happened to be in town when the first started up, I came near not getting home. A Texan sheriff came in after a saloon keeper, the saloon keeper swiped a horse and beat it out of town with a 30-30 across his saddle. After him two sheriffs with six shooters drawn, then five minutes later four more joined the party. The man headed right for the canyon and of course we couldnt go home on account of possible shooting. Same night our town blacksmith got drunk and went after the Texan sheriff on an old score and shot up town before he was arrested".

This fantastic leter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 200302264010. This would make a great addition to your genealogy if you are related to Carroll Benton.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Haven Connecticut, W.S. Swane, William Okeeff

An letter from William Okeeff in New Haven, Connecticut, March 21, 1898 which includes the envelope. This letter says, "Dear Madam, In the matter of the W.S. Swane note we have been unable to serve papers on the maker of the note as he has eluded the sheriff. If we are able to make service we will collect the note and damages as he is in a position to pay but manages by fraud to keep his money out of our way.....Yours truly, William Okeeff.

This letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 120365724091.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

John Pitts of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts

Letter dated 1794, where John Pitts of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts has written to Captain Josiah Danforth regarding a court case coming up..he tells Danforth to present his case to the General Court and if all the facts are out, justice will prevail..signed on back, your friend Jn. Pitts.

This great letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 350144743321.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chrissie Hansen, World War One letters

World War One letters that belonged to a soldier named Chrissie Hansen. 3 are written by him and 4 are written to him. They are all dated 1918. Chrissie Hansen was stationed at Camp Jackson.

This great batch of ww1 letters is for sale on Ebay, Item number: 120362350200. If Chrissie Hansen is part of your family this would be a great addition to your genealogy.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Letters From Delaware, Connecticut, Albany.

ONE LETTER DATED 1795, from Dover, Delaware., written and signed by John Fisher., Forwarded by William A. P Phelps. A notation states the letter is from the Chief Justice of Delaware., letter is about his wife and goods being bought for her.

ANOTHER LETTER dated 1826., has MS markings of PAID and a small PAID 5 in the upper right corner., about a Court Martial and at the bottom of the address., asks the postmaster to forward this without delay to Mr. Sherman. Curious no town marks., but likely Connecticut being addressed to a fellow in North Milford, Ct.

ANOTHER LETER dated 1834., from John P. Cushman., to Hon. James McKown., hand stamed in red STEAMBOAT., with the word STEAM over the word BOAT., upside down with a rate of "12"., from Troy, N.Y. About the President of the New York Medical Society.

ANOTHER LETTER:, dated at Albany, NY July 11, 1823., marked FR [means Free] addressed to the Hon. Smith Thompson., Sec. of the Navy, Washington. Letter concerns a young lad's recommendation., likely to the Naval Academy or for a position in the Navy. The writer's name is hard to make out, appears to be Fr. Bloodfood, or Bloodford.

This batch of letters is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 290287184487.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

1878 British Solicitor sending Share of Late Father to Hackettstown NJ resident

Apparently Miss Annie Maria Russell of Hackettstown New Jersey had requested addresses for her brothers but Solicitors Watson & Sons, 18 Parliament Street, Hull said they'd received their shares of the fathers estate and he didn't know where they were.

This letter is up for sale on Ebay Item number: 250351848871.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

4th Battery Maine Volunteers 1865

Letter signed "Adelbert A. Dailey," Headquarters, 4th Battery Maine Volunteers, March 4, 1865.

Dailey writes to "Eddy" [Edward Elmes of Maine]. In full [original spellings and punctuation retained]: "To day I have been thinking of you and that I had ought to send you some some little token of friendship for you have been a good boy and have been kind and good to Mother and Zylpha since I have been away and Eddy you will always find a true friend in me[.] I hope you will do as well as you have while you stay with Mother[.] I should like to have you stay thru all summer if your Father and I can agree[.] I will send you a little present[.] I can not get much here to send you or I would give you something handsome[.] But be a good boy. Take good care of the things and I will make you a handsome present when I get home[.] I should like to have you with me if you will[.] I shall have to write Zylpha a short letter so I will close[.] Be a good boy Eddy and remember you will always find a good friend in me[.] With much love...."

This great old letter is for sale on Ebay Item number: 160307521898. This would be a great find for someone working on the genealogy of the Dailey family.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Port Au Prince, Captain William Van Allen

Letter dated 1818, Port Au Prince, where Captain William Van Allen has written to merchants in Philadelphia regarding some courageous events in the capturing of Spanish ships; travelling with the USS Hornet, going up against a 16 gun Spanish Ship....capturing goods from a smaller ship, exchanging more gun fire...being captured and losing his crew.....making a bargain to get his crew back....

Letters & Postcards on E-Bay