1844: Smith & Granger to Gen. S. G. Hutchins

The “Smith & Granger Co.” was engaged in the lumber and milling business in North Hadley, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. Lorenzo Noble Granger (1811-1876) was one of the proprietors of this operation. Lorenzo partnered with two uncles — Cotton Smith and John Smith. Cotton Smith’s interest afterward passed into the hands of his son, George C. Smith, who sold the entire interest to Mr. Granger.

The letter mentions the “recent election” which is a reference to the surprising victory of democratic candidate, James K. Polk, over the whig candidate, Henry Clay. Whigs blamed New Hampshire — the “Granite State” — for this democratic victory because they threw their support behind James Birney who ran for President as the anti-slavery Liberty Party candidate. Birney gathered 2.3% of the popular vote which, had it been given Clay, would have sent him to the White House instead of Polk.

Stampless Letter

TRANSCRIPTION
Addressed to Gen’l S. G. Hutchins, Bath, New Hampshire

North Hadley [Massachusetts]
December 13th 1844

Gen’l S. G. Hutchins,

Dear Sir. Yours of the 5th was duly received. In reply would say the probability it that we should not purchase but a small quantity of River timber the coming season as most of our bills are common forms that we furnish from low country pine & hemlock. There being somewhat competition in the market, we furnish them from from $10 to $11 per M. which can not be done from your timber at that price. There will be a bridge cross the river at S. Hadley to be built for the N. Hampton Railroad & all the necessary building trestles. Yet we have had no application ___ bill that will require your kind of timber. If we should have, will inform you hereafter but at present [feel it] proper to give no encouragement of purchasing. Business we think will be fair the coming season notwithstanding we have lost our election as there is a good quantity of building now going on and will be a fair demand for round timber. But as yet, we do not know the effect of the election will have on business, But should it be bad, we should be the last men to encourage any person from the Granite State who have contributed so much to bring about the result.

Respectfully yours, — Smith & Granger

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