1845: Jeremiah Fisher Leaming to Rebecca (Waln) Leaming

The Howell & Bros. Store on Chestnut Street where Leaming ordered the wall paper for his residence in 1845.

This letter was written by Philadelphia merchant, Jeremiah Fisher Leaming (1795-1888), the son of Thomas Leaming (1748-1797) and Rebecca Fisher (1757-1833). Jeremiah kept his store at 28 Front Street, but his residence was at 288 Chestnut. He is listed in McElroy’s 1837 and 1844 editions of the Philadelphia City Directory. He wrote the letter to his wife, Rebecca (Waln) Leaming (1802-1846). Mention is made of their son, Francis Waln Leaming (1829-1872) in this letter who entered the University of Pennsylvania in 1844 but left at the close of his Freshman year.

Leaming wrote the letter from Providence while on a buying trip to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Stampless Letter


Addressed to Mrs. Leaming, No. 28 South Front Street,Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]

[Providence, Rhode Island]
Monday morning, 1st September [1845] 7 A.M.

After a good night’s sleep, I am again up writing to my own dear wife. I ought to mention to thee that a large printing concern here has begin to send in their prints and I hope it will be a suitable agency. we have had 30 cases already and I am going to the works with one of the concern today & shall get some good lots. I have also a prospect of cotton goods from two mills at Bristol, Rhode Island & also of woolen goods from other places. It takes much time & is very tedious. I often go to bed discouraged after an unsuccessful days and think how I am laboring for the meat that perisheth.

I shall hope for letters today. Write me at Hartford Conn’t by return mail & thee might send off a line to Springfield, Massachusetts, where I shall touch on my way to Hartford. Goodbye. God bless thee, my love. Kiss my boys & dear Siss for me. Richard Arnold & family are staying in this house with me. Moses Ives & wife & others of the family were suddenly summoned on Saturday to go to Sarasota on account of the illness of her brother-in-law, young Carrington. I saw Dr. Croker last night. Jabez Fisher lives here & called on me on Saturday. He is managing the Steam Mill for Wells & Spring.

Sincerely thine & affectionately thy F.

2 P.M. I have just got thy welcome & cheering letter of Friday 24th from home via Boston. It did my heart good to know thou was well & comfortable and that the weather was cool. I am glad thee is going to Waln Grove.¹ It will help to pass the time in my absence. Tell Frank from me I hope he will not give thee anxiety by exposing himself as I leave him as one of thy successes & they should not worry the patients. Thee does not say whether the dining room was papered & painted. I chose the paper at George Howell & Bros. & employed Hazard to hang it when the house was ready. This is the 4th letter I have written to Philadelphia. Write a line to Howland for them.

Thy letter was more like old times than any one I have received. Thank thee love. Thy own F.


Waln Grove, the summer home of the Waln Family of Philadelphia

¹ Waln Grove was, in 1845, a 100 year-old residence owned by Rebecca (Waln) Leaming’s brother, William Waln located at Taconey & Church Streets in the town of Frankford a few miles out of Philadelphia. Jeremiah and Rebecca’s son, Robert Waln Leaming inherited the property from his uncle and was the last of the family to reside in it. The residence was demolished after Robert’s death in 1884.


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