1846: A. B. Butterfield to Martin C. Cooley

This letter was written by A. B. Butterfield from New Orleans. Butterfield was a commission merchant in New Orleans that brokered sales of corn and other commodities to western markets.

This letter was addressed to Martin C. Cooley (1824-Bef1880), who was in the wholesale grocery business in St. Louis, Missouri — probably representing the firm Aldrich & Parkman at 57 N. Front Street. He married Louisa Colwell (1835-18xx), a daughter of James Colwell and Ann Reese, and a graduate of Cazenovia Seminary (1851). An 1863 Directory reveals that Martin C. Cooley was later in partnership with William R. Carver (Cooley, Carver & Co.) as wholesale grocers on the Lower Levee and 3rd Street in St. Paul, Minnesota. Martin’s widow was residing in Binghamton, New York in the 1880 Census.

Stampless Cover


Addressed to M. C. Cooley, Esq., Care of Aldrich & Parkman, Saint Louis, Missouri

Page 1

New Orleans, [Louisiana]
April 13th 1846

Dear Sir,

Your valued favor of the 4th inst. is at hand and contents duly notes. I am glad that you have made up your mind to purchase the corn along as fast as possible as it will be much the best course for all concerned as we cannot do so well by keeping it back until late. I hear that there will not be enough here in time to meet the drafts on our funds St. Louis but I hope that you have done your duty in that respect and that it may yet come in time as those drafts were accepted out of pure feelings of friendship for the parties concerned in this operation. For God’s sake, go ahead and get all in as early as possible. I could get a good price for it if it was here today — say 50/052 ¢ and I should not be surprised to see the price advance to 60¢.

Page 2

I notice your remarks relative to Mr. T., which I think are very just and should you dissolve with him, he may as well hang up his fiddle so far as Western Business is concerned. But I do not think that you would have any difficulty in settling with him. I get along with him first rate but shall have a short story to tell him when our business is closed here. I say nothing to him of your letters to me.

One more boat arrived from the Ohio. I hope that all of that purchase will be in and closed up this week. You cannot imagine how anxious I am to see this business closed which has caused us both so much trouble. But keep up courage. We may yet do business together that shall give us less uneasiness. I have not time to say more in this. I hope that A&P’s affairs are not in as bad condition as you fear as that they will yet come out brightly. Now go ahead Cooley, and close on IA Acct. operation as soon as possible.

Truly your friends, — A. B. Butterfield

Page 3

P.S. We have received Bills of Lading of all the boats that are to come from the Ohio. Stearns writes that there is about 3000 bushel more which will come down in steamboats in a short time so you will see that there is a fair prospect of that operation being soon closed. — A.B.B.


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