1839 Autograph Letter Signed by A.P. Willis, Mississippi Cotton Agent and Businessman.
Newsy letter from ante-bellum Natchez, Mississippi touching on the payment of a debt and with much on the business activities of a cotton and shipping agent and produce merchant. Writing to Amos Ellmaker of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, A.P. Willis recounts his experiences in the state capital, Jackson, and on the lower Mississippi River. In part:
“We are now settled in Natches & Mary is much pleased with the changes as myself. Jackson [Mississippi] is an unhealthy situation, & it would require a very high compensation to take me there again, yet, I am glad I went there, for I have made some valuable acquaintances during my short stay in the Bank, the President, Gov. [Hiram] Runnels, has shown himself my friend. My business this year has been very fair. I have advanced on & shipped for account of the Bank about six thousand Bales, & my commissions amount to something. I have besides done a small cash business in produce, the only one safe in these very stormy times. I am besides engaged in chartering ships and getting freight for them in conjunction with the Mississippi Shipping Co. of this city: they get the compressing of the cotton & get well paid for it & I receive 5% commission on the amount of freight. This business is laborious, but it is profitable & perfectly safe. I am endeavoring to extend it & I have good prospects for next season. My agency of the Bank has made me acquainted with a great number of the largest Planters in the state, which will be of just service to me in the prosecution of my business. I am very intimate in speaking of my affairs but I believe you take some interest in us. ... Martha is now in New Orleans with Mr. Stuart. She has been very much indisposed this Winter; but I hope the gaiety of N. O. & the exercise she will be compelled to take, will be of much service to her. They will probably leave for the north in May. Mr. S. has not yet determined to engage in business & will probably not do so this year.”
Description: 1839 Autograph Letter Signed by A.P. Willis, Mississippi Cotton Agent and Businessman.
Natches [Natchez, Mississippi], March 21, 1839. [1¾]pp. 4to. Bifolium. Folds; some typical paper losses from opening letter at wax seals, not affecting handwriting, closed tear along one fold on integral address leaf; Very Good.