Sunday, February 28, 2010

St. Louis 1841

St. Louis Steam Boat EMILIE, Mar 21-22 1841, from Henry to his lady friend, Sarah E. Hodgen. The content reads, in part, as follows: Has been impatiently awaiting for her arrival, writing, "I do declare it almost seems to have been a month since I have been watching every Ohio River Boat that may chance to come to the landing and so soon as they touch at the wharf I take to the boats and soon travel all over them in search of you. I have sometimes thought I should be sorry to have you see me running about the boat looking in the ladies cabin, lest you should think me very rude, for I know everyone else who may observe me thinks me so, but methinks I should now be willing to be termed rude by half the world (provided you were not on that side) could that secure me the pleasure of seeing my dear Sarah E. before I leave for Columbia [Missouri], which must be tomorrow, as business of an imperative character demands that I should return this week. But ... my heart takes comfort ... that in four short weeks Pittsfield [Illinois] will again be my home and then we shall meet, never more to be separated in the cruel manner which has kept land and sea between us ever since the 30th ... Jul last. I have not heard from you since I was in Pittsfield in Jan last, but knowing that you were always well, I have managed to convince myself that you were still enjoying your usual health. I have just been interrupted to go and look over another boat, the GIRARD has just landed, but no friends there for me, and I have again to board board with bitter and unavailing regret over my repeated and continued disappointments all the way down ... I yesterday heard the celebrated John Newland Moffit preach in the Methodist Church of this city. My opinion of him is that he is a man of splendid talents, but a consuming hypocrite. He is the greatest fop I ever saw in a pulpit. An elder opened the service, and while he was praying and singing, Moffit was fixing his hair, his stock, his collar, brushing his clothes and taking all the airs of a dandy ... [Mar 22 1841] this day I must start home. I shall lock up shop in Columbia in a week or ten days and shall be engaged about a week or ten days in making settlements, and I think in three weeks I shall be ready to leave for Illinois, and if ever I was thankful ... to leave any place, that place is Columbia ... I shall be very anxious to hear from you and hope that you will write soon as you safely reach St. Louis. I have seen no friends from Illinois since I have been here. I saw Amos Goodin yesterday. He is filling the Honorable Station of Second Steward on board of the Stam Boat ELIZA ... breakfast is ready and as soon as I get that, I must turn out to lay some goods to send up the Illinois River. I want to send them on a boat which will leave today ... [signed} Henry.

This fantastic letter is for sale on Ebay Item number:260557350563

Monday, February 22, 2010

1798, Antigua

1798, Antigua.

Thomas Hanson Halloran, Notary Public; has taken the story of Amos Sherman; late mate of the the Sloop called the Fox. It seems the sloop Fox left the port of Antigua for New York; John Lum, Master of the ship; loaded with Rum and other goods. The ship was properly tight,had enough supplies and a large enough crew
It seems that the Fox was passing the island of Berbuda, when she was attacked and made a prize of a privateer of the French Republic. The Captain of the privateer removed the Captain of the Fox and three members of his crew
On the twentieth day they were boarded by a British armed privateer called the Tickler; where Daniel Lee was commander.The ship was taken into a port at St. Johns; where Amos Sherman is swearing out this oath....

Ebay Item number: 350315966919

Friday, February 19, 2010


22 handwritten letters, 1848-1853, John Springs III (1782-1853) to son-in-law, AB [Adam Brevard] Davidson of Rural Hill Plantation, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sept. 11, 1848, NY - "I arrived here in my usual health from a trip down east as far as Portland having seen much of New England and the Yankey country. It is now very dry and some terrible disasters are taking place from fire. Last night between one and two hundred houses were burnt in Brooklyn just across the south river from this. A number of Engines went over from here to their assistance and they have Telegraphic News from Albany that a second fire has taken place in which 500 houses were burnt, and the fire still rages unstoppable."
Fugitive Slave Law

Oct. 2, 1850, NY - "A runaway rascal (James Hamlet) has been arrested here by the Marshal under the late law, and by him and his Posse taken to Baltimore, and delivered to his owner, a the expense of the US Government. I believe the law with a large part of the community here is a popular one, but is creating a great excitement among the colored Gentry and a few Abolitionists. I see it stated that about 200 runaway villains had left Pittsburg armed to the teeth denouncing the Government and the Country that would not protect them, and determined if necessary to fight their way to the Queens dominions of Canada. Meetings are being had in all the cities and principal towns and strong resolutions entered in to resist the fugitive slave law. One took place here last night, made up of blacks and a few Abolitionists, the strongest resolutions introduced and adopted, calling on all Patriotic lovers of liberty to join and aid, in resisting the own private opinion is it would have been better as some number [ministers?] proposed to have paid the owners for their property, out of the Treasury of the US. Collections are making to pay the passage and expense of some of the villains who may choose to go to Canada so as to get them entirely out of reach of their masters and the people here are gratified at that as they don't want them among them. I do wish there was some way to get our free blacks all off to the free states. I would be willing to contribute liberally to that."

Aug. 8, 1848, Philadelphia - "...reached this last night enjoying so far good health, and without any occurrence worthy of notice, save that between Washington and Baltimore we run over a drunk man lying in the road mashed him to a mummy. I found much political confusion and excitement at Washington I believe mostly growing out of the Presidential election, and from what I see in the Papers today it is feared the Democrats in NC will have a majority in the Legislature if they do not get the Governor."

March 18, 1850, Columbia, SC - Building of Greenville road, 15 miles finished, bringing down cotton and other commodities. "170 bales have been brought down in one trip."

Aug. 7, 1850, Stratford, CT - "We were eight days in Washington and each day attended in the Senate, saw and heard some of the great men of the nation. We remained one day in Philadelphia and six in N York. There was much excitement at Washington on the great compromise bill, and I was mortified to find discussion in Congress was mainly among the Southern men. It seemed they could not agree on any measure among themselves. Since I left that I don't often hear the subject mentioned. It at present seems a difficulty may take place between the US and Texas respecting her boundary with N Mexico."

Ebay Item number:230437618067

Friday, February 12, 2010

Suisun California

Letter from C.K Wells of Suisun, California, to "Dear Friends". Dated June 14, [circa 1855], the letter contains the well written observations of a young man who made the trip by sea from New York, across the Isthmus of Panama, and then to California on another vessel. The letter begins with great detail of the voyage to Panama, a well described trip across the Isthmus on the Panama Railroad, and the 22 day voyage to San Francisco aboard a crowded ship with poor accomodation. He then traveled by boat and stagecoach from San Francisco to the farm of friends at Suisun, north of San Francisco, and settled into farming. A wonderful and productive country, Wells describes large numbers of cattle and horses which must be branded by their owners as they are allowed to wander, and must be rounded up from time to time, the cutting and threshing of wheat, the great climate . He also notes the poor condition of housing and barns compared to Vermont, and claims no place in California can compare. He claims very few people are better off for coming to California, and there are not many religious opportunities. Asks for news from home, "should be very happy to do myself up in this envelope and find myself taken out in your old kitchen".

Ebay Item number:190371234293

Friday, February 05, 2010

1859 California gold miner's letter

1859 California gold miner's letter sent from Forbestown, California in Butte County back home to George G Swett in Hampden Maine.

Forbestown Butte County June 15, '59 Dear Friends, I will write a few lines now to let you know how I be. I have prospected until I got tired and I did not find anything to pay me so I hired out at a mill. I had worked about a week and was unfortunate enough to jam the end of my finger off on my right hand. It will probably lay me up 4 to 6 weeks and then I shall go to work again. I hope this will find you well. Please excuse for I can not hold my pen very good.

William Swett .

Ebay Item number:330402075173

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Washington D. C. 1854

“Washington D. C. April 4, 1854
Dear Sir,
I have been here 6 weeks and leave today for home, Ovid N.Y. I write to say I have a large amount of rolls not in your office or any other, nor copies of them. Mine are original authentic manuscript papers and rolls. I have a large amount of service that never before has been found. I will name Wagon Conductors in your state &c.
Roswell Ransom, Jonathan Treadway, Reuben Porter, Daniel Miles, Israel Skinner, John Waters, Benjamin Taylor, Obadiah Barker (or Barber), Noah Phelps, George Nettleton, Freeman Lincoln, Ichabod Massey, Longford Carty, Nathanial Platt, Samuel Risley, Noah Risley, Ephraim Hexford, Libbens Hills, Joshua Ransom, Josiah Loomis, Samuel Jones, Jonathan Townsend, David Phelps, Gershom Tuttle, Matthew Manchester, Clark Carty, and Henry Larnd.
I have hundreds more names of Wagon Masters and thousands of names of Teamsters and of others, ____as artificers and all the different branches of the army. I write mostly to give you this information that if you have enquiries for proof of such services as I name or if you are interested in any case where I have proof you can make it known to me. I would like to have you inform me whether the persons that I have named or their widows have been pensioned or did they fail to secure it or die too early. One thing is certain, and that is that I have more genuine authentic manuscript proof then any man in the union and could aid an agent more than any other person can in this way; this is in the way of proof. My rolls are of service from 1776 to the close of the war. Both North and South and middle states and eastern states. I would like to hear from you at Ovid N.Y. I am most respectfully , Arad Joy.
George Robinson Esq.”

This interesting letter is for sale on Ebay Item number:170438947237

Letters & Postcards on E-Bay