1858 Hong Kong Stampless Letter To J.howard Nichols
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1858 Hong Kong Stampless Letter To J.howard Nichols:
Thisrare folded stampless letterwas sent from Boston byGeorge A.Gardner of John L. Gardner & Co. to J.Howard Nichols in Hong Kong. J.Howard Nichols was sent to China in 1857 and remained in China until 1873, working for John L. Gardner & Co., Augustine Heard & Co., Olyphant & Co. and Russell & Co. He served as an agent, predominantly in Hong Kong, buying tea, cloth, hemp, and other dry goods, and then shipping them back to the United States. Thissix page letter is dated "Boston Jan 25th 1858" and it is instructing Nichols on the types of teas to buy and how to ship them. Gardner is also giving Nichiols the descretion to buy other goods including silks and gave him permission to travel to other Chinese ports to seek the best prices for goods to ship to the United States. Each page measures approx.8 x 10inches. There is achip on the back page otherwise the letter is in very good condition! !
John Lowell Gardner (1804-1884), was born in Boston, the eldest son of Samuel Pickering and Rebecca Russell Gardner. He graduated from Harvard in 1821, and in 1824 began his successful career as a merchant in Boston. In 1825 he was a partner in the firm of Gardner & Lowell at 23 Long Wharf with Francis G. Lowell. In 1836, John L. Gardner and his brother George formed a partnership under the name John L. Gardner & Company, with offices at 47 India Street. In 1850 he moved to State Street and in 1853 took his son George A. Gardner into the business. Largely interested in commerce in the East Indies and Russia, he traded also with Sumatra, primarily importing pepper. During his later years, he took a less active role in his merchant business and turned his attention to real estate matters in Boston and Brookline. He held properties in Salem, Boston, Brookline, and Maine.
He married Catherine Endicott Peabody (1808-1883) in 1826. They had five children survive into adulthood: Joseph Peabody (1828-1875, m. Harriet Sears Amory), George Augustus (1829- 1916, m. Eliza Endicott Peabody), John Lowell (1837-1898, m. Isabella Stewart), Julia (1841-1921, m. Joseph Randolph Coolidge), and Eliza Blanchard (1846-1898, m. Francis Skinner).
George Augustus Gardner (1829-1916) was the second son of John Lowell and Catherine E. Peabody Gardner. Born in Boston, he graduated from Harvard College in 1849. Shortly thereafter he became a member of the firm of John L. Gardner & Company at 39 State Street. He owned many merchant ships. When the Civil War caused a decline in shipping, he took an interest in railroads, banking and real estate. He owned properties in Boston, Bourne, New York, and Maine. He served as vice-president of the Provident Institution for Savings and as a director of the Old Colony Railroad, Boston & Providence Railroad and Boston & Lowell Railroad. He was one of the heaviest taxpayers in Boston. His wealth made it possible for him to serve his city as a philanthropist.
In 1854 he married Eliza Endicott Peabody (1834-1876, daughter of George and Clarissa Endicott Peabody). They had four children survive into adulthood: George Peabody (b. 1855, m. Esther Burnett), Ellen (b. 1860, m. Augustus Peabody Loring), John Lowell (1867-1839), and Olga Eliza (b. 1869, m. George Howard Monks).