60 March 24, 1871

Ralph writes to his father in early spring, 1871 from his employer’s office in Boston. Henry is apparently helping Ralph and his boss sell a wagon and a team of horses, probably the one Ralph has been using to peddle the company’s silk. The letter seems to have accompanied one with Mr. Bowman’s terms of sale on it, and this addition is marked “Private and Confidential” in large script diagonally across the first page.

My transcription follows the images:

The original images are from the archives of the Ashfield Historical Society and are used with permission.


Seavey, Foster & Bowman

Manufacturers of

Sewing Silk and Machine Twist

No. 42 Sumer Street, Boston (letterhead)


Private and Confidential


Mch 24th, 1871

Dear Father

I’ve written you on the other sheet what Mr. Bowman gives as his best terms and I think they’ll do and are reasonable.

There is a seat down here belonging to the wagon will be thrown in, and rather than to lose the trade you can throw off ten dollars if necessary at discretion.

Mr. B. don’t feel disposed to give away the team but at the same time don’t want to be penny wise and pound foolish and lose more by keeping than selling.

You will sell him to Mr. Primson I think and you can take out the pay for keeping &c. and remit the balance.

I am writing in business house and have no time to write more. It’s very rainy today.

Very much in haste



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