This letter was written by Samuel Ferdinand West (1812-1897), the son of Col. Samuel West (1776-1863) and Rebecca Little (1774-1821). Samuel F. West married Charlotte Porter, of Columbia, in September 1837. He “was first a Whig and later a Republican, and always took an active part in political matters. During his life he served as selectman, justice of the peace and held other minor offices. In the spring of 1847 he was chosen to represent the Twenty-first Senatorial district in the Connecticut Legislature and faithfully performed the duties of that position in the General Assembly during its session in May, 1847. In 1855 he was county commissioner for Tolland county, and also during the following year, and bore a large part in overseeing the erection of the excellent jail at Tolland. In December, 1864, he was appointed assistant assessor for the ninth division of the first district of Connecticut, which position he filled until July, 1868. This division embraced the southern part of Tolland, including the town of Willington. In addition to his other interests he was president of the Tolland County Agricultural Society and a member of the State board of agriculture, and was a director in the Willimantic Savings Institute and a trustee in that institution for many years. Prior to their marriage, he and his wife united with the Congregational Church in Columbia, in 1831, but in 1838 removed their relationship to the Presbyterian Church at Delaware, Ohio. Upon their return to Columbia they renewed their association with the Congregational Church of that town. Mr. West was a live, active, energetic citizen, interested in all the advancements and improvements of the times.”
The road between Norwich and Bolton Notch, through the town centers of Lebanon, Columbia, Andover, and Bolton, was chartered as a turnpike in October 1795, and was called the Hartford, New London, Windham, and Tolland County Turnpike. The toll road was in operation for about 40 years. n 1922, when Connecticut first numbered its state highways, the route of the old turnpike was designated as State Highway 168. Modern Route 87 was established in 1932 as a renumbering of old State Highway 168 and originally ended in Bolton like the old turnpike, approximately at the current intersection of US 6 and US 44. In 1934, the Bolton Notch to Andover portion became part of U.S. Route 6A (later to become US 6) and Route 87 was truncated to its current northern end.
The letter was written to Charles Spalding (1812-1885), the son of Luther Spalding (1762-1838) and Lydia Chaffee (17xx-1847) of Norwich, Connecticut. Spalding was married to Juliet Hubbard (18xx-1865).
Addressed to Charles Spalding, Esq., Clerk of the Hartford, Tolland, Windham, and New London County Turnpike Company, Norwich [Connecticut]
August 30th 1848
Charles Spalding, Esq., Agent for the H.T.W.and NL County Turnpike Company
I have this day viewed that section of your road the Mr. Hyde agreed to repair, and found it much to my satisfaction that I have shut the gate in Columbia. I saw Mr. Hyde the day he commenced work in Columbia. He told me that he would have his section of road fit for inspection by last week on Monday if not hindered by rain, but I well know that Mr. Hutchinson did not commence repairing his part of the road in Columbia until after the time had expired that Mr. Hyde set for this to be finished, and Hutchinson had not finished his last Saturday nor do I know that it is done at this time, but I expect it is. I thought it of but little use to go and view Mr. Hyde’s road, and have two miles of the worst part of the road untouched. This, sir, was the cause of my delay. On my return home, I found your letter to Esq. Hender remailed to me. I, sir, have not aimed to be unreasonable. Neither do I think that Esq. Hender has.
Yours respectfully, — Samuel West, Commisioner