Mar 10, 2020 - Sale 2533

Sale 2533 - Lot 237

Price Realized: $ 2,125
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(TRAVEL.) A compilation of emigrant letters from Kentucky and elsewhere back home to Devonshire, England. [18], [81] manuscript pages of correspondence and substantial memoranda, plus other mostly blank account book pages. 4to, original vellum, a bit bowed and soiled; front hinge split, several leaves excised and one detached. Vp, bulk 1809-23

Additional Details

This curious volume contains transcripts of approximately 24 letters, most written from Kentucky and other locations in America to England from 1809 to 1823, as well as a few other memoranda. The letters are written to and from a wide variety of parties, though many of them are addressed to the Morgan family. "James Morgan's book, Axminster, Devon" is inscribed on the front pastedown; he apparently compiled letters from America and the Isle of Guernsey, sent to a wide variety of local acquaintances. Among the letters are 3 dated 1809 from Hannah Pike of Paris, KY. One describes the death of her son Isaac in a flood, and another notes "there are a great many rich old bachelors who have children but no wife--they go among the black women." Calvin Sugg also wrote two long letters from Paris, KY in 1818 and 1819, the first one offering travel advice: "When you come to Pittsburg, if you have to purchase an ark to take your family, buy a book called the Navigator that will cost you one dollar." Thomas Sugg wrote another from Paris in 1823. 5 letters from Baltimore and 3 from Philadelphia were sent by various parties in 1817 and 1818, many of them discussing the difficult Atlantic voyage and the great opportunities for poor emigrants in America. John Richards Morgan wrote to his father James from Philadelphia in 1818, several times from Pittsburgh in 1819, and from Paris, KY in 1820 and 1821. On the first page is a summary of 6 emigrant trips from Axminster to America in 1817 and 1818. These letters are full of optimism and a fresh perspective on America, and worthy of further research.