1859 Warren Ri Elephant Seal & Whale Oil Corres (9 Letters) - Arctic & Antarctic
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1859 Warren Ri Elephant Seal & Whale Oil Corres (9 Letters) - Arctic & Antarctic:
Very interesting group of (9) 1859 self-folded letters, all from Charles F. Child, a whale ship agent and owner, whose ships hunted in the Arctic and Antarctic as well as elsewhere, Warren, Rhode Island, to J. W. Bartlett & Sons, New Bedford, Massachusetts, wholesale brokers of whale oil. All are franked with contemporary 3c Washington postage stamps postmarked Warren RI (please refer to scan above for an example).
Interesting selections from the letters follow:
[Feb 21 1859] "I have not made up my mind as to what disposition I shall make of the oil & bone to arrive in N. Bedford. Your proportion is a very fair one, and, I will say this, if I sell the oil in N. Bedford through athird person, I shall avail of your offer to sell it ... [signed] C. T. Child."
[May 7 1859] "I wish to open a correspondence with the American Consul at Payta [Paita, Peru] on some private business, and not having his acquaintance, or his address, I shall feel obliged if you could give me hisname, and furnish a letter of introduction from yourselves, or in case you have not hisacquaintance, from one of yourneighbors, provided you can do it without much trouble ... [signed] C. T. Child."
[May 10 1859] "I note what disposition you have made of a part of the whale oil pr W. WIND, that although you have had difficulty in arranging the delivery of the ... of oil brought by PRYOR, still you did so arrange it as not to prejudice in any way my claim (if I have any) on the ship owners for leakage, etc. I desire, as arranged with you, to have DELANO take the outs of the casks which have leaked, so as to ascertain just how muchoil we have lost. I also wish to have a good cooper employed to examine very cask (Charles Parker will be a good man) and give in writing an opinion respecting it fitness for holding oil, thickness of staves, size of head and any other remarks which may rationally suggest themselves to the mind of a cooper ... [signed] C. F. Child."
[Jul 7 1859] "You are authorized to sell the balance of the dark oil @ 43c [per gallon] cash ... if you cannot sell it, it must be rolled away ... [signed] C. T. Child."
[Jul 23 1859] "I have not yet examined the accounts [that Bartlett had sent], but doubt not they will be found in order ... [signed] C. T. Child."
[Oct 26 1859] "I have your favor of the 22 inst. confirming your telegraphic dispatch as to the offer for the elephant [seal] oil at 43c [per gallon] less 2-1/2% and I replied that I would sell for 44, same terms. It certainly should bring that price, which is less than 43c cash. Do you find someone to purchase a part of it at 46 or 47c for a solution? I want to sell it, and trust you will not close your efforts to procure a purchase. In your next [letter] please ... [inform] me what expense has been incurred (total) on the box per CHAPIN consigned to me ... [signed] C. F. Child."
[Nov 5 1859] "I ... note your remarks respecting the sale of the elephant [seal] oil ... If you cannot find parties in N. Bedford, with money as plenty as it is now, to cash the notes at 3%, I shall very much fear the credit of the purchaser. Two pr ct., if the house is good credit, is enough to pay. The sale, as to price, is verysatisfactory ... I have a letter from GEN. TYLER saying my part of general average is 1.690.47, and I feel, same as you say, $2207 is dear & that the part belonging to Grinnell, Minturn & Co. is added, I will pay the wholeamt. after having seen the statement, and am satisfied that 'tis all right ... [signed] C. T. Child."
[Nov 9 1859] "i beg to acknowledge your ... $5,000 check on the sales of elephant [seal]oil ... [signed] C. F. Child."
[Dec 20 1859] "I have ... ascertained that there is but 1,700 barrels in first hands in this country ... I showed your letter to N. Johnson, and he said the 1,700 barrels above named was the only oil he knew of, or had anything to do with: so I presume he has sold the oil landed in N.B. [New Bedford]. No sperm [whale oil]. no [whale] bone here ... [signed] C F. Child."
C. F. Child managed or in many cases had an interest in the following Warren RI whaleships:
Ship name/tonnage Ship rig Year dates of sailing Whaling ground Remarks and arrival off voyages
DROMO (267 tons) Bark 1845-48 Indian Ocean ditto 1848-53 dittoCOVINGTON (351) Bark 1852-56 North PacificDROMO (267) Bark 1853- - ditto 1854-56 Indian Ocean WILLIAM HENRY (186) Bark 1855-57 Atlantic & Indian OceansCOVINGTON (351) Bark 1856-60 Indian & Pacific Oceans Withdrawn for China trade 1862.DROMO (267) Bark 1857-61 North PacificWILLIAM WILSON (375) Ship 1857-61 Indian Ocean Sent home 1,491 bbls. whale & elephant seal oil; 115 bbls. sperm whale oil. Visited Iles Kerguelen and Heard Island, sub-Antarctic.COVINGTON (351) Ship 1860- Pacific Ocean Captured and burned by crew of Confederate raider CSS SHENANDOAH in Bering Strait, Jun 1855. The last whaler to sail from Warren RI.
Elephant seals are found in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
All of the letters are fresh and in good condition (fine) with a few very minor defects.
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