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.

Letters & Postcards on E-Bay