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1844 - "PER BOY WILL" - Slave-carried-letter between the owners of a Tennessee textile and grist mill by W [William] to Tho [Thomas] Parkes - 1844 - from Read 'Em Again Books & Paper (SKU: 009783)

1844 - "PER BOY WILL" - Slave-carried-letter between the owners of a Tennessee textile and grist mill

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1844 - "PER BOY WILL" - Slave-carried-letter between the owners of a Tennessee textile and grist mill

by W [William] to Tho [Thomas] Parkes

  • Used
  • very good
Condition
Very good
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Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Item Price:
£1,140.60
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About This Item

This two-page stampless folded letter measures 15" x 12" unfolded. It was hand-carried by a slave between two brothers who owned a textile-grist mill complex and is annotated "Per boy Will" in the lower left corner of the address panel. In nice shape. A transcript will be provided.

This letter, discussing problems with their mills reads in part:

"We had started the wheel with stone on it - the mill don't grind well at all [but] it makes flour & hommany at the same time - Weather the furnaces are too deep [I] cant say [but I] can put my fist into it [so] the furnace is soft in places - had I seen it - I would not have bought it. . .. This morning Pillow [has] gone to the factory on Richland Creek [bought by] Mr. Kennedy. . .. he is very anxious for you to come here and see what about the wheel - he seems satisfied about the wheel that it will do well [but] on my part can't say - think it takes two much water for the work it performs time will tell - if you can come here it would be more satisfaction to him - and especially if you and him should conclud to go and commence something [new] . . . cant say that [I] would like to risk it unless I can be convinced of the quantity of water it uses. . .."

Following iron-making, cotton manufacturing was the second largest industrial activity in antebellum Tennessee with the highest concentration of mills located in Lawrence County. The most important was Hope Factory, established in 1823 by William and Thomas Parkes. The Parkes established a second nearby mill, Glen Factory, in the 1840s and, as discussed in a slave-carried letter between them that I sold a number of years ago, built a Rope Factory in 1838. White laborers and black slaves worked together in the Parkes factories. (For more information see Wells and Green's The Southern Middle Class in the Long Nineteenth Century.)

Although we have sold several examples over the past 20 years, slave-carried mail is exceptionally scarce. When encountered, it is inevitably annotated with the slave's name on the cover which served as evidence that he (or she) had permission to be traveling alone. At the time of listing, no slave-carried mail is listed in OCLC, and the Stamp Auction Network shows only two have appeared at auction in the last 25 years. At the time of listing, there are no others for sale in the trade.

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Details

Seller
Read 'Em Again Books & Paper US (US)
Seller’s Inventory #
009783
Title
1844 - "PER BOY WILL" - Slave-carried-letter between the owners of a Tennessee textile and grist mill
Author
W [William] to Tho [Thomas] Parkes
Format/binding
Unbound
Book condition
second hand - Very good
Quantity available
1
Place of Publication
Hope Factory to Franklin, Tennessee
Date Published
1844
Bookseller catalogs
Philately;

Terms of Sale

Read 'Em Again Books & Paper

Sales tax of 6% required for books shipped to addresses in Virginia. Standard domestic shipping is free, however additional fees may be required for heavy, oversized, or unusually-shaped items.

Returns accepted for any reason for a full refund (less shipping) if we receive the return within 14 days of shipment and items are received in the same condition as sent. Advance notice of any return would be appreciated.

About the Seller

Read 'Em Again Books & Paper

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio.co.uk member since 2003
Virginia Beach, Virginia
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About Read 'Em Again Books & Paper

We always have an inventory of unique Americana on hand, that is, we keep a selection of personal narratives such as diaries, work journals, correspondence collections, photograph albums, scrapbooks, and similar items that shed light on some aspect of North American life, history, culture, or society.We also have a nice selection of unusual ephemera and postal history items in stock as well. Member: Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Ephemera Society, Manuscript Society, American Stamp Dealers Association, American Philatelic Society, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, Military Postal History Society

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