Two letters. Savannah: Edward Padelford, 1845 & 1850.
Letter. Letters. Both are approx. 10.5" x 8". The first letter dated August 16th, 1845 is 4 pages long. It is signed by an employee of the "Edward Padelford Company". Letter is folded with small spots of red wax and "Savannah Aug 16 Postmark" on page 4. The second letter dated July 20, 1850 is 1 page. It is signed by an employee of "Padelford & Fay Company." A small bit of red wax and a "Savannah Jul 20 GA Postmark" on the verso. The 1845 and 1850 letter are both addressed to Ebenezer Chadwick, Esq. Boston. Edward Padelford was born in Taunton, Bristol County, Massachusetts in 1799. He died and was buried in Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah Georgia, 1870 (find a grave). Ebenezer Chadwick was the Treasurer of the Merrimack Manufacturing Company from 1839 to 1854. He was an investor in Hamilton and Middlesex companies and the Atlantic Cotton Mills. He was also Director of the Boston and Lowell Railroad, Merchants Insurance Company, and Suffolk Bank (Betty Farrell- Elite Families: Class and Power in Nineteenth Century Boston). A footnote: In an 1869 reconstruction legal case in Georgia Edward Padelford was able to recover one-half of $246,277 ($123,138) in Cotton sales when the U.S. Government seized and sold Padelford's Cotton after Savannah was taken by Union forces in 1864. Very good. Item #18488
First letter transcribed:
Savannah August 16, 1848
Dear Eben, Chadwick
The period has arrived when all eyes are turned southward as the prospects of the growing cotton crop, therefore we give you such information as we are in possession of. Up to the 1st inst probably less complaint was never heard from the planters, they all generally appeared satisfied; however, since that time in this State & S. Carolina the cry has gone forth from many that they would not make much more than half a crop.
The reports from this State are very contradictory, in middle Georgia which is a good Cotton growing country the majority of individuals agree in the opinion that it must be a short crop. We had a conversation a day or two since with a highly respectable merchant from Macon who states that in that section the crop must be short, and under no circumstances could they make an average crop, he further stated that they would not receive over 80,000 Bales the coming season. A very intelligent planter in Burke County who grows about 300 bales Cotton traded by private conveyance from his place to the Indian Springs & back via Macon & Milledgeville, says his crop looks well and is in a good condition and all the Cotton he saw on his journey, as far as he could judge there would be a good cotton crop made.
Another planter in Burke Co. writing to his factor says "My cotton crop is quite promising."
Griffin, Geo Aug 12th. We had on Sunday last a refreshing shower the first in four weeks, but I am of the opinion it is too late to help Cotton. If there had been a good crop made this Season I should have anticipated an increase in the receipts at this place, but as it is no chance for it unless it continues dry during the early fall and early part of winter.
Athens, Geo Aug 11th. "Major H (of Mississippi) thinks there will be an average crop made this year in Mississippi and Alabama".
Mr. S (of Augusta) who has been through several counties thinks there will be some falling off in our crops. The general result is not however effected by one Section of country. A letter from Col. P. states that part of his crop is better than usual. I have not heard of any satisfactory account from Southwestern Georgia or southeastern Alabama. There are contradictory statements about the prospects in Middle Alabama, Upper Mississippi & Tennessee.
Tallahassee, F Aug 8th. "The crop of cotton throughout the country unless it should hereafter encounter the caterpillars will be a full average one."
Mobile, Aug 9th. "With a continuation of the present prospect we shall receive as much cotton the coming year as the present."
New Orleans, Aug 9th. In this Section of the country prospects were never more promising and we look for a considerable increased yield, and would not be suprised f it reaches 1100 bales and upwards. Our total receipt proper to date of present crop is about 925,000. We have had 60 bales of the new growth and supplies will soon become important."
We had a conversation this morning with a planter from N Aa, who at first stated, that his crop was poor and that others were in the same condition. Upon interrogating him he admitted there was more land planted and more seed put into the ground, and consequently there would be an average yield.
The accounts from S. Carolina generally agree, and no doubt but that state will be short, being generally old & worn out lands.
We refrain from giving our opinion as to the crop, as at this early period it would be altogether speculation, preferring to give our friends and patrons such information as we we may receive from time to time leaving it open for them to judge for themselves. Up to this time we have recd four bales of the new crop. Our stock of Cotton is about 2500 Bales most of which is held for shipments and but little on the market for sale prices are nominal and transactions are limited. Our Rivers are very low therefore we are dependent entirely upon the Rail Road for supplies.
Our Sea Island crop is in a very promising condition.
Freights to Boston one dollar pr bale for cotton, and seventy five cents pr cash for Rice. We have very refreshing showers every day or two which will be of much benefit.
Exchange on the north Sight from par to 1/2% prem. 60 dys 1% discount. We shall be happy at all times to forward you any information we may be in possession of about the crop prospects, & c.
Your very respy &c.
Edwd Padelford & Co.
Second letter transcribed:
Savannah, July 20, 1850
Ebenr Chadwick Esq, Treasr
On the 16th inst we had this pleasure handing you Invoice 500 Bales Cotton purchased acct the Merrimack Mang Co., and costing to your debit $25,093.57. We now beg to wait on you herewith Bill Lading for this Cotton & Brig. Wilson Fuller to sail this afternoon. We send samples by the vessel. We have also to hand you enclosed Statement of your acct balanced by Draft herewith at Sight...Wm. B. Reynolds & Co. for $288.57 - all which we trust will be found in order & prove satisfactory.
We think you will find the 500 Bales ? Wilson Fuller very good Cotton, today they would be cheap here @ 12 3/8 & all round, and in Charleston would bring all of 1.2c., 5/8 above invoice. Some of our friends just from the country inform us that the Cotton plant altho small looks healthy and with a good season and late fall will turn out as well as the last crop. Our own opinion from all we can gather is that with good weather hence forward, and a late fall, together with the increased planting, we shall have in Georgia a fair average crop. In the other cotton growing States the prospects are said to be not so favorable.
Our market the last two or three days has been rather quiet, buyers as well as sellers holding off until the advice ? America now fully due are received.
Your very respy,
Padelford, Fay & Co.