BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS 1820 STAMPLESS FOLDED LETTER FROM JOHN & GEORGE PRATT (INDIA WHARF).
The Pratts were merchants and among the founders of Boston's trading center--India Wharf. The letter is to John Kyes, of Concord and provides a reference for William Stearns who served on the brig Warbler under Captain Harvey. "who had a good opinion of his character...and found him upright and honest." Letter is signed by both John and George Pratt, two historic figures in early Boston maritime trade.
India Wharf (1804-ca.1962) in Boston, Massachusetts, flourished in the 19th century, when it was one of the largest commercial wharves in the port. The structure began in 1804 to accommodate international trade at a time when several other improvements to the Boston waterfront occurred, such as the creation of Broad Street and India Street. Funders and organizers of the construction of India Wharf in 1803 on the waterfront near Long Wharf included Francis Cabot Lowell, Uriah Cotting, [Henry?] Jackson (d.1806), James Lloyd Jr., and Harrison Gray Otis. Builders completed the wharf in 1804. Architect Charles Bulfinch designed the building atop the wharf, completed in 1807. The long stone building housed 32 stores.
Merchants operating from India Wharf included China traders Russell and Company (1824); Samuel Austin, Jr.; James Carter; J.T. Coolidge; Samuel Devens; Thomas Dixon; Francis Ellis; Thomas and Edward Motley; Henry Oxnard; John Pratt & Son; Robert B. Storer; Thwing & Perkins.
THE ARISTOCRACY OF BOSTON—1848
PRATT, GEORGE. Son of the late Capt. John Pratt, who followed a successful trade in the Gulf of Mexico, while Spain was at war with England. Retired from sea, and was the first to run regular packets in the New Orleans trade; and after George had had a good training, formed with him, John Pratt & Son—still keeping the New Orleans packet and cotton trade. John bought the large house at the head of Pearl-street, formerly owned by Jonathan Harris, called "Harris's Folly.' George married a daughter of Giles Lodge. Excellent parentage on both sides! His industry and prudence have deserved and secured wealth; and his kind heart and cheerful temper will make him happy.
Letter shows considerable wear where it was worn at the bottom resulting in a large tear that runs up through half the letter. However, the signatures, the most valuable part of this communication, are intact and historically significant.
BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS 1820 STAMPLESS FOLDED LETTER FROM RENOWNED EPISCOPALIAN MINISTER ADDISON SEARLE TO JOHN HARRIS, NEW HAMPSHIRE STATESMAN AND 1ST POSTMASTER OF HOPKINTON.
This is an exceptional letter in outstanding condition from Rev Addison Searle to John Harris (see bios below) regarding Searle’s activities in Boston and surrounding communities prior to his Naval service (which he mentions in the letter). He comments on other Episcopal clergy, including the bishop of Rhode Island and provides virtually a complete account of his daily activities. A RARE COMMUNICATION OF GREAT HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE BETWEEN TWO PROMINENT MEN.
Rev. Addison Searle, b. Oct. 19, 1791.
Having finished his preparatory studies at the Academy, in New Ipswich, he entered Dartmouth College in 1812, and graduated in 1816. After leaving college, he was engaged about two years in teaching a school of young ladies, in Boston. He pursued his theological studies at Bristol, RI, with the Right Rev. Alexander V. Griswold, Bishop of the Eastern Diocese, and was ordained Deacon by that Prelate, in St. John's church, Providence, RI, in September, 1819. During his diaconate, he officiated several months in Hopkinton and Concord, NH. In April, 1820, he was appointed a Chaplain in the Navy, and in the following August was admitted to Priest's orders, in St. Michael's church, Bristol, RI, by Bishop Griswold.
In May, 1821, he sailed from Boston, for a cruise in the Mediterranean, in the Frigate Constitution, bearing the flag of Commodore Jacob Jones, and returned to the United States in 1824. From 1824 to 1827, his official duties were performed at the New York Navy Yard. During 1827 and 1828, he was rector of St. Paul's church, in Buffalo, N. Y., and also of a church in Detroit, Michigan. Feb. 8, 1829, he was stationed at Pcnsaco la Navy Yard, FL; in 1830 and 1832, at the Navy Yard in Charlestown; in 1833, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In Oct. of 1833, he returned to Detroit. In the spring of 1835, he sailed from New York in the sloop of war " Peacock," destined, (as flag-ship) for the East India station.
On her outward passage, the Peacock touched at Bio Janeiro, and there Mr. Searle was transferred to the sloop of war, Erie, the flag-ship of the U. S. Squadron on the coast of Brazil. At the expiration of this cruise in 1837, he was appointed to the chaplaincy of the Navy Yard, Boston. He continued at this station till the summer of 1849, when he received orders for duty on board the Frigate Cumberland; and in August, sailed from New York in that ship, for a cruise in the Mediterranean.
For several years before entering upon this, (which proved to be his last) service, Mr. Searle had suffered from disease of the heart. His health, at the time of his sailing, was apparently improved, but several months after, he had a return of his complaint. Under this he gradually failed, and on the 2d of August, 1850, died on board the Cumberland, on her passage from Messina, Island of Sicily, to Alexandria, in Egypt.
Some time after his decease, a few of his friends in Boston and vicinity, erected in Mount Auburn Cemetery, a marble cenotaph1 to his memory, which bears the following inscription:
Rev. Addison Searle,
Senior Chaplain in
Erected by friends
At the annual meeting of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templars of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, in Oct., 1850, resolutions were passed commemorating the virtues and good fellowship of "Rev. Sir Addison Searle, late Prelate of this Body."
Excerpts from a biography by C. C. LORD.
John Harris was born in Harvard, Mass., October 13, 1769; and came to Hopkinton, N. H., in 1794. He resided in Hopkinton till his death, on the 23d of April, 1845. When John Harris came to Hopkinton at the age of 25, the township was comparatively a new one, just redeemed from the wilderness.
John Harris was one of the social elite of Hopkinton. In person, he was dignified; in mind, cultivated; in morals, strict; in his home, a master of men-servants and women-servants; in industry, diligent and exact; by profession, a lawyer: by initiation, a Freemason; in politics, a Whig; in religion an Episcopalian. In his day and generation some of these things might be said of many men, but all of them could hardly be affirmed of anyone outside of the smaller social circle including that class sometimes called aristocratic.
John Harris was of medium stature and rather slim. In physical bearing, he was erect, but he sometimes walked with a peculiarly rapid motion that was noticeable. His complexion was fair, his hair was light, and he had blue eyes. We hear that he had a smooth face. By this we infer that he had no beard. John Harris dressed well, but he was not particularly scrupulous about his attire. In this he was like many other men of distinguished mental attainments. He collected a class of scholars and gave them free instruction in reading. His school room was the senate chamber of the old Hopkinton court house.
During much the larger part of the time John Harris lived in Hopkinton, he dwelt at the angle of two roads in the western part of the village, where the road to Henniker leads off from the main village street. The estate embraced about fifty acres of land, "suitably divided," as is often said. John Harris was diligent and studious. He could not frequently attend social sittings and indulge small talk. Consequently he became marked for his seclusiveness. Like numerous others of his kind, he was to a greater or less extent set down as" odd.
His father was Richard Harris and his mother was Lydia Atherton. Richard Harris was a carpenter. Diligent regard was given to John Harris' education, for in 1791, or when about 22 years of age, he graduated at Harvard College. He read law with Simeon Strong, of Amherst, Mass., and Timothy Bigelow, of Groton. Mass. In September, 1799, he married Mary Poor, born in Hampstead, NH, and daughter of Eliphalet Poor and Elizabeth Little. They had four children. George was born Feb. 6, 18o1, and died Feb. 17, 1849. Catharine, who became the wife of Timothy Wiggin Little, of Hopkinton, was born Jan. 23, 18o4, and died Feb. 16, 1843. Eliza Poor was born Jan. 21, 18o9, and died Oct. 31, 185o. Ann was born Feb. 19, 1812, and died Aug. 1, 1832. Mrs. Harris died Mar. 6, 1843, aged 64. Her reputation was that of a superior woman.
John Harris held numerous public offices. In November, 1810, he was appointed captain of the 4th company of the 21st regiment of the New Hampshire militia. When the Hopkinton post office was first legally established. April 1, 1811, John Harris was the postmaster, being succeeded by his son in 1825. In 1816. he was made a trustee of Dartmouth College. He was solicitor of Hillsborough County from 1817 to 1S23; judge of probate from 1812 to 1823, and the same for Merrimack County from 1823 to 1843. He was associate justice of the supreme court of New Hampshire from 1823 to 1833.
We have already spoken of John Harris as a Freemason. He gave great diligence to the welfare of the local Masonic element. In 1803, on the 10th of January, a preliminary meeting of the Palladian Society was held at his home. A constitution had been framed and adopted, and John Harris became the first treasurer. In 18o7, Trinity Chapter was formed in Hopkinton. In the priority of chapters in the State, Trinity was the second. John Harris was its founder. In 1824, he was its treasurer. He was also founder of the Tyrian Council, and of the Mount Horeb Commandery of Knights Templars. He was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, .Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter at its formation in 1819, and first Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templars of New Hampshire at its formation in 1826.
In religious matters, as in other affairs, he was prominent. In 1803, an organization of the Episcopal Church, under the superintendency of the Rev. Samuel Meade, was effected in Hopkinton. It was known as "Christ's Church," and worshipped in the old county court house. John Harris was one of the subscribers to the ecclesiastical constitution. In 1826, the Rev. Moses B. Chase became the clergyman of the church and founded a new parish, which was incorporated in 1827 as "St. Andrew's Church." John Harris and William Little were its first wardens.
BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS 1830 STAMPLESS FOLDED LETTER TO CUTTINGSVILLE VERMONT
Nice early letter to B. Brown in Cuttingsville, VT, regarding apology for not paying debt, Samuel Guile is the writer. Guile was a contractor and borrowed the money to buy supplies for a construction job. His client, in turn, has not paid him. He is sending $50 for a smaller note Brown holds and a deposit on a larger, undisclosed, amount. Clean SFL.
BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS 1832 STAMPLESS FOLDED LETTER FROM SUFFOLK BANK TO AUGUSTA MAINE BANK
Note from L. Parker of Suffolk Bank, Boston to G Crosby of the Augusta Bank, Augusta Maine, noting that he forgot to leave the "former" when he left the package of bills. He applied a credit of 82$.
BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS 1838 SHAWMUT BANK LETTERHEAD STAMPLESS FOLDED LETTER
Early Shawmut Bank letterhead acknowledging receipt of a check drawn on the main bank. Nice Boston history item. Some separations at folds.
BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS 1840 STAMPLESS FOLDED LETTER TO ROCHESTER NEW YORK - ZION HERALD NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTION
1840 stampless folded letter to L. Hanson in Rochester New York from Brother Charles Peirce, Boston stating that he received a letter from Hanson containing $2 for a subscription to the Zion Herald, in the name of Nathaniel Harrick, but Peirce has no such name in his subscriber list. Aging on edges of the pages, otherwise in very good condition. No break where seal was opened.
BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS 1840s STAMPLESS COVER TO MERIDITH BRIDGE NEW HAMPSHIRE
Full and dark Boston 10cts postmark on this stampless cover (no content).
BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS 1841 POSTAL HISTORY STAMPLESS FOLDED LETTER FROM PROMINENT MERCHANT ABRAHAM LOWE TO FOXCROFT MAINE
Interesting note from Abraham Lowe. Charles Chandler, of Foxcroft has collected $60 for Lowe and is unable to send a check because of surcharges. Lowe suggests he send cash...$50 and $10 bills...and to enclose them in front of the local postmaster. He also encourages him to "collect the balance as soon as you can". Foxcroft is now a dead post office. Clean cover in good condition.
Abraham Thompson Lowe - b. 15 August 1796.Abraham Thompson Lowe|b. 15 Aug 1796|p1010.htm#i14769|Dr. Abraham Lowe|b. 1755\nd. 23 Oct 1834|p1010.htm#i13029|Charlotte Hale|b. 30 Dec 1766\nd. 5 May 1841|p685.htm#i13028|||||||Nathan Hale|b. 23 Sep 1743\nd. 23 Sep 1780|p728.htm#i12141|Abigail Grout|b. 23 Mar 1745\nd. 14 Sep 1838|p660.htm#i12142| Father: Dr. Abraham Lowe b. 1755, d. 23 Oct 1834. Mother: Charlotte Hale b. 30 Dec 1766, d. 5 May 1841. Abraham Thompson Lowe was born on 15 August 1796 in Ashburnham, Worcester County, Massachusetts. Abraham Thompson Lowe was graduated in 1816 from Dartmouth College, with his M. D. degree. He early abandoned the active practice of his profession and entered the wholesale drug business in Boston, which he followed for many years under the firm of Lowe & Reed. He married Emma (Burr) Gould. His three successive wives were sisters…Susan (Burr) Gould was his second wife; Eliza Butler Burr was his third wife.
BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS 1842 STAMPLESS FOLDED LETTER TO TYSON FURNACE VERMONT
Short note regarding transfer of goods to Tyson Furnace Company.
BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS 1847 EXPRESS MAIL STAMPLESS FOLDED LETTER TO PHILADELPHIA
Boston Express Mail postmarks are somewhat scarce. This one is full and clear, although somewhat light. Blue stock does not help. Clean item. No content.