This letter was written by Rev. Edgar Buckingham (1812-1894), a Unitarian minister residing in Trenton, Oneida County, New York. In 1853, he was installed as the pastor of the Unitarian Society in Troy, New York.
An obituary for Rev. Buckingham says that he was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph T. Buckingham, an editor of the Boston Courier. He graduated from Harvard in 1831 and graduated from the Divinity School in 1835. He was pastor at Dover, New Hampshire, before going to Trenton, New York.
Rev. Buckingham wrote the letter to Dr. John S. Graham (1808-1882), a physician residing in Geneva, New York. He was the son of William and Janet (Kedsie) Graham of Delaware County, New York. Dr Graham was married to Nancy Markel (1809-1885). I don’t know what the initial’s “G. W. P.” stand for but they are undoubtedly associated with Dr. Graham’s standing in the Independent Order of Rechabites — a temperance society.
Addressed to John S. Graham, Esq. (G. W. P.), Geneva, New York
Trenton, Oneida County, [New York]
March 27, 1848
I am exceedingly obliged to you for your kind immediate attention to my later letter to you, and the members of the Division are no less so. We have since, then, been sufficiently attentive to our own interests to secure a a number of copies of the “New York Organ.”
I hope you will not think we are improperly desirous to make a display of ourselves or of the order. But I now write by direction of the Division to procure license, if you are empowered to grant it, to enable the members to appear in regalia in the neighboring village of Remsen on the occasion of the first anniversary of the tent of the Independent Order of Rechabites, at that place. The members of that society accepted our invitation to appear with us on the 22d of February, and made special exertion to attend our public meeting. As neighbors, aside from their polite regard to us, we should feel specially desirous to help so active a body in the Temperance cause as the Rechabites of Remsen, and in a place which specially needs exertion.
Still, I wish you to believe that the members of our Division are more desirous to conduct themselves according to the spirit of the order of the S. of T. than to have the gratification of appearing in regalia on this or any other occasion.
Be good enough to answer at your earliest convenience — (the meeting taking place at Remsen on the 5th of April) — and you will oblige.
Yours very respectfully in L. P. & __ — Edgar Buckingham