1833 Ltr Re Andrew Jackson Policys, Cotillion Party, Cmmsn Merchants For Sale
3-1/2 pg. stampless letter [Magenta PHI cds], Nov. 27, 1833, Philadelphia, by Isaac C. Field, with a long postscript by A(ndrew) W. Adams (1812-87), young commission merchants, written with tongue in cheek humor (and veiled references) to fellow commission merchant and friend A(bel) G. Farwell (1813-63) of Boston. There is some political reference to Andrew Jackson's fiscal policies potentially causing problems for them. The letter provides, in part: "Dear Sir... It affords me great pleasure to have you speak in such flattering terms of the inhabitants of our delightful city, and of the little attentions which your hasty visit enabled us to offer. I should very much regret that your stay was not protracted for such a length of time as would serve to show you many of our most desirable specimens [i.e., young ladies]... I suppose that after having seen all the pretty pattern cards, among us, you would, in your heart, have still been singing all the way to Boston... I suppose your cousin Lyman will marry and for ought I know you may be moving in a direction towards the Lymenial Lottery, but "married or single" we will still greet you with glad hearts... we are under an engagement to attend a Cotillion party 16 miles in the country, and we were obliged to devote our whole energy and most powerful combined efforts to the performance of our imperative duty on that momentous occasion... We drove out to the place of rendezvous on Thursday (calling upon the lasses of our acquaintance on the route) and went in for dancing on the high pressure principles at 8 o'clock in the evening- figured among the belles of the evening until 2 o'clock a.m. when the female women moved off into a state of retiracy-- except some 1/2 a dozen of the Kitchen Cabinet. These, through the vigilance and adroitness of our friend Adams, we succeeded in introducing to the music room and such a glorious scene of shaving it down I never witnessed. The thunder and lightning system, became the order of movement among all parties and the country Inn, appeared more like the abode of clamorous friends than the pleasant retreat of the honest yeoman of the neighborhood. We returned to the city on the following day and have completely recovered from the fatigue of the jaunt. This evening we attend a Cotillion party in the city, which will be attended by such a company of the very fair as will be calculated to give us general satisfaction... we are wholly bent on frolic and flash... we embraced the chance for deep and successful speculation as a pleasant recreation, after the most industrious and unremitted attention to business during the past fall campaign... I think our citizens will spend a happy winter unless difficulties should overtake them in the money market, which event by the ways is greatly to be feared. The movements of Old Hick [President Andrew Jackson] and his most honorable advisers, unless checked by the prompt and decided action of patriotic legislators, will have a tendency to embarrass our mercantile relations-- in which case we may reasonably expect a share of troubles among such of our friends as are much extended in their commercial operations. Should our fears in this respect be groundless, we shall have a delightful winter indeed... we have no distant friends of the masculine sort, for whom we feel more sincere friendships nor any whose communications could give us more real pleasure. Please remember us to Lyman.. Yours sincerely, Isaac C. Field. [Adams continues with a postscript on the address leaf.] " I have hastily perused Fields' epistle and find it perfectly in accordance with my feelings... I am heartily ashamed of my inattention towards your cousin Lyman, in not answering his favor... please push off the Heavy Carpets as early as possible at 47 @ 8 cents and be ready for a winter supply-- please give my respects to Lyman and have him remember me to the cousins when he may see them... A. W. Adams."
Isaac C. Field, Andrew W. Adams, and the letter recipient, Abel G. Farwell, were all young commission merchants and friends. As this letter attests, all were single at the time (Field married in 1835), and Farwell married in 1844. At this time, Field and Adams were working in the firm of Andrew Adams at Philadelphia (whom I presume to be the father of Andrew W. Adams). Andrew Adams eventually formed his own company, A. W. Adams & Co., and expanded into the Sugar and Cotton markets, including the lease of a mill in 1844 for spinning yarn from Alfred de Pont (the Simsville Mill burned down in 1848). Becoming wealthy, Adams had a small foray into local politics. By 1861 he was serving as a common councilman of the 14th Ward of Philadelphia. Abel Goodrich Farwell, the recipient of this letter, was a commission merchant in West India goods. In 1835 he moved to St. Louis and with his cousin, Lyman Farwell (who is mentioned in this letter) formed a branch of Fay & Farwell's of Boston, under the name of L. & A, G. Farwell & Co., where they continued as commission merchants. In 1838 they expanded into the Chinese market. Andrew Jackson's monetary policies (alluded to in this letter) resulted in a severe economic downturn and put many out of business. The Farwell cousins were able to weather the storm. In 1843 A. G. Farwell returned to Boston. In 1846 he left the firm and established his own (i.e., A. G. Farwell & Co. of Boston, which he continued until his death in 1863.
Fun letter. The letter is in good condition. Buyer pays $2.50 shipping.
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1833 Ltr Re Andrew Jackson Policys, Cotillion Party, Cmmsn Merchants: $132