This letter was written by Charles Jarvis (1788-1865) to his brother, Leonard Jarvis, Jr. (1781-1854). They were the sons of Leonard Jarvis, Sr. (1742-1813) and Sarah Scott (1743-1836). Leonard Jarvis, Sr. was by 1800, one of the largest land-owners in Maine, amassing nearly 100,000 acres in Surry and Penobscot.
Leonard Jarvis graduated at Harvard College. He was a man of high culture and taste; went abroad in early life, and made a fine collection of pictures, which, in after years, were destroyed by fire, as well as his elegant residence in Surry, Maine. He was twice elected member of Congress from Maine, and was appointed United States Navy Agent for the State of Massachusetts.
Charles Jarvis was appointed by the State of Maine Colonel of the troops to defend the rights of the United States against England, in relation to the Eastern boundary, in a conflict known as the Aroostook War in 1838-9.
Addressed to Leonard Jarvis, Esq., M. C., Washington D.C.
January 29th 1837
I have written you by this date in behalf of certain Gentlemen of this place on the subject of the Brick Machines which you will receive in Mary’s hand writing with my signature passably affixed by her as I may be absent. Great interest is taken by them in the subject but they are somewhat jealous of Patent rights. I was not, nor am not fully satisfied with the result of their deliberations. I was in favor of giving you carte blanche to conclude a bargain forthwith you being thoroughly satisfied of the efficiency of the machine and the quality of the bricks. But as they were not willing to go this gate, I hold you free to make a bargain on your own account and doubt not if things are as represented a great deal of money might be made out of the speculation and that we should find enough to join us should our own means prove inadequate. Always provided that the brick will stand the test of the weather and that the machine will not be liable to get out of order. I should not if owner of the Patent right of Maines take fifty thousand dollars for that rights.
At Patten’s Bay we have as good a chance for carrying on the business as is afforded anywhere in the Country, nor do I believe there would be any difficulty in engaging capitalists to join us and furnish any amount which would be required. Two machines there would build up a village at once and would render our burnt timber & our small spruces and pine growth of value. I have been very busy this past week in auctioneering and I believe with success.
The appointment of Carpenter has blasted Pillsbury in our County. Tomorrow or next day I go with Henry Jones to Cherryfield and return by the way of Steuben & Goldsborough. My pen, my horse, & my tongue have been alike active — with what success the 6th proximo will show. The cedars are out for your Lee House. How the Maine Farmer says it should be built, I know not. But I propose setting cedar posts eight feet long upright as close together as they can well be fitted, securing the lower ends by inserting them in the ground a few inches below the bottoms of the cellars.
The upper end will be secured by the earth from without and from falling in by the covering. The covering I propose to be of Hemlock poles eight inches through at the top and let down on to the heads of the posts three inches — the whole to be covered by the earth thrown out of the cellar in a sharp mound and grassed over. If deemed necessary, the inside of the cellar may be still further secured by a lining of boards which may be double with a space of four inches between filled with tar. The roof may be also secured in the same manner before putting on the covering of hemlock poles. I do not believe the Maine Farmer or any other farmer can devise a cheaper ______ more effectually made.
Yours ever, — Charles Jarvis