Offering six unrelated letters covering a wide variety of topics representing a broad range of early Americana topics – ore mining in Arizona [later a ghost town], jail conditions in Buffalo, NY, and an institution for poor creatures, political involvement of New Hampshire editor, harsh temptations of Satan, spiritual advice. Dating from the mid-19th (1843) to the early 20th century (1907), these letters provide a detailed quilted narrative of Americana.
Our miner writes to his sister from Mineral Park [Arizona] (later a Ghost Town) about the Keystone Mine, which opened in 1870 and petered out five years later. Its surface ores were very rich and carried high values of gold and silver. He writes of the C.O.D. Mine which had a similar history. 4 pp, 5 x 8, (in pencil), the writer, Jim, pens his letter on March 15 (no year, but circa 1875). In part, “…I am working for the Keystone Mining Company making a little over $100 a month…The mines are booking better than ever, the C.O.D. struck the richest mineral in the camp. We have the extension to it and I think we will come out ahead of our expenses by a good bit. We took out 3 tons of ore on the Columbia and have 20 inches of ore in the face of the tunnel which is in 90 feet. It will come in play…I have specimens of rock salt from the salt mountains and some ore from the Columbia which I will send soon…I am working…night and day…and making lots of our time but have a soft job and plenty of time to reach…”
The grouping includes two letters by Albert S. Bachellor, Editor of New Hampshire State Newspapers, total of about six pages, one dated Jan. 3, 1907, the other dated April 4 [n.y.] with content relating to the Governor’s Council, the Executive body, which advises the governor and in New Hampshire, the Council was particularly influential at the time, having veto power over the governor’s pardons, contracts over $5,000 and nominations. Bachellor was responsible for the publication of Province Laws. He provides an extensive explanation about the treatment of state records and making them available for research. He writes to the Honorable S.S. Jerrett, who he refers to as “brother.” "I know that it will prove to be a position in which you will make large additions to the record you already have for superior public service in other departments of government. I venture to call your attention to a report submitted by the Hon. John Smith and myself as a Committee of the governor and council before I was appointed Editor of State Papers on the subject of the publication by the State of Early Records. My own ideas in regard to the undertaking have not changed except as to the treatment of records of the Provincial Courts. It is not necessary in my judgment now after a better understanding of the character of that class of documents and the uses to which they can be put, to print them, but the books of record, dockets, and files of all the courts of the Colonial and Provincial period should be systematically arranged as manuscripts for ready reference and their contents made available to the courts, to the Bar, and to students of our jurisprudence outside the profession of law. The principal stress of my efforts in this office at present is upon the volumes of Province Laws to complete the series which was begun with my volume already published. If you do not happen to have a copy of this particular volume I would like to have you say to Mr. Hammond that I want you to have one at once on my account and by my direction. "It would be very agreeable to me to have a committee of the governor and council to have special supervision of the work of this department appointed as was done in the time of the administration of Governor Sawyer. As you and Councillor Brown reside at points nearest to my place of residence of any of your associates I should suppose you would properly and conveniently have places on the Committee.
"Chief Justice Parsons and other members of the courts are very desirous of having the work on the Province Laws published as rapidly as is consistent with due care in the preparation and publication of the volumes.
"For many public and personal reasons which will not require elaboration and which are self-evident, I trust I may invoke your good offices in behalf of this undertaking."
Second letter is a 1 1/3 pp ALS, approximately 9" x 6", dated April 4 (n.y.) by Batchellor to Jerrett, providing an explanation about the treatment of state records and making them available for research.
“If the joint resolution which passed the house yesterday relative to editing chapters on the charters commissions and constitutions of the province and state of New Hampshire for the work that the Federal government should pass the senate & become law, I should be glad to have you make it known to the Governor's Council that I am a candidate for an appointment to do this work.
"I think that there are few who know what is required as to the province period. I am sufficiently acquainted with the material for that period that must be put in shape for the work so that I do not doubt that I could do what is required as it ought to be done, or at least I could approximate the work. Fraternally yours A.S. Batchellor."
Folds, toning and a few pin resulting from being attached with a straight pin. Else excellent condition.
The fourth letter was written by Kate Sanderson of Buffalo, August 7, 1866, 5 ½ pp to Mr. Russell. Sanderson was on a fact-finding mission regarding the conditions of the Buffalo Jail and a Catholic institution for poor creatures, the latter likely referring to an institution run by the Sisters of St. Joseph for the deaf. Sanderson is concerned about the “poor creatures”.
“They are treated well, kept warm, given sufficient food…They will keep them for life if they join some religious order connected with the Catholic religion; but I fear their life there does not fit them to go back into the world. I fear their close seclusion does not strengthen and aid them to battle with the temptations thrown round them…”
Of her visit to the jail, she writes, “I went to the jail once since I came here, but my reception was so chilling, I dared not go again…”
Letter is a little light in places but readable.
Two early to mid-19th century spiritually related letters, the first, 7 1/4" x 9 1/4", 3 pp, ALS, Jane Read of Stuyvesant, NY, April 14th, 1859, to her Aunt. Punctuation added.
"...Pa and John are going to make brick for the Central Railroad Company, about two miles back from the city. They are to get three dollars and fifty cents a thousand for them on the yard. They think that it is a very good job. John moved last week and Pa and the boys are a going to board with him so that Hester Jane will have her hands full with her three children. She has an Irish girl to live with her. She is very good help. She lived with her last summer...Some of the farmers have sown oats but we had quite a snow storm a few days ago. It did not last long as the sun has considerable power now...We need aid and wisdom from our kind Heavenly Father to enable us to perform the several duties we owe Him and to our fellow mortals here below...We might look to Him alone whence cometh all our strength for grace to assist us, for has He not said that His grace is sufficient for us and that His strength is perfect in weakness. Will you not pray for me that I may be enabled to perform my duties faithfully and to set a good example for them. I would rather that they would imitate the Character and follow the example of our Savior and take the word of God for the man of their counsel and the guide of their youth for I am certain if they follow its teachings it will fit them to enter into that rest that remaineth for the people of God. We have a great number of deaths about here this winter and spring, some of them very suddenly. A cousin of my Mother's was buried a few days ago. She had the Consumption and had been sick since last fall. She lived in the upper part of Schodack and leaves a family of a husband and five children. The oldest is about the age of Mary Elida. We have. We have an excellent minister now, a good preacher and a very pleasant man. I was just to his house and spent the evening a short time ago...
The second spiritual letter, approximately 8 x 10, three-page letter written by B. Ayres of Trumansburg, NY, to his brother Stephen of Penn Yan, NY, June 25, 1843. Responding to his brother's letter regarding his temptations, B. Ayres provides a highly-detailed account of his own temptations and overcoming them.
In part, "...By conversation, we learn from the living not only what others are but what we are ourselves and as Christians this best consideration should be the first in ours. The Bible recommends this as a great means to help us to grown in grace 'speak often to one another' says the great Apostle to the Gentiles. Your letter speaks of temptations clouds dark and gloomy. Oh what a barrier is this to the inexperienced Christian. It is an advantage that Satan takes of the young professors although old professors have temptations yet like Job they submit knowing they 'will not live always and it works out for them a far more exceeding eternal weight of glory. I am not able to advise you in this respect now but the Savior is able and in him is our help in time of need.
"In one place he says 'fear not for I have overcome the world, the flesh and the divine.' I say he is our hope. We have a great high priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities having taken on himself the form of man and subject to temptations like as we are. Our blessed Master was tempted like as never man was tempted before. These are light afflictions compared to the glory that shall be revealed.
"I can in a very few words give you all the advice ever had and in a time too when it seemed as though heaven with all its glory was forever hid from me...If I recollect right now the last advice I took from Bellamy, our pastor, at the time. He told me to read the Bible and pray over it. I have seen the time, with my heart overflowing with love to God, my eyes with tears, my whole system trembling with fear...I would not have taken thousands of worlds like this for my little Bible...I would give more for the New Testament than a thousand volumes of such works as the Pilgrims Progress. "I recollect about a year after I had joined the church I commenced reading the 'Holy Wars' the consequence was I was led into temptations more severe than ever. The devil took the privilege and advantages while I was reading that work of telling me that he took the temple (man soul) and put the besieger to death...
"I will tell you what my principle temptations were 'Another temptation' the brethren and sisters all hated me. Another to satisfy my belly eating all sorts of stuff, another that I did not please my employer, another very severe caused me to weep aloud and pray for half an hour at a time… that I would finally commit some great crime and be swept off with swift destruction... B. Ayres"
Very good condition. Fold tears repaired with archival tape.
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