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1786, Newport Whaling Merchant, William Minturn, Als Re: Spermaceti Candles For Sale
This item is a wonderful original letter dated 1786, Newport, Rhode Island, where William Minturn has written and signed a letter to Welcome Arnold regarding the availability of spermaceti candles, and that if any were avialable, he would prefer hard money as opposed to paper....signed Wm. Minturn. Letter is 8x10, folds, addressed outer leaf, overall fine shape.
Welcome Arnold was a well known merchant and ship owner from Providence during the 18th century, and he frequently advertised his shop in each of the local newspapers
Welcome Arnold was heavily involved in owning privateering vessels during the Revolutioary War, and lost over 30 of them. He subsequently made sure not to own any vessel outright, but to spread his ownership interest over many boats so as to lessen the risk.
Arnold's name also appears in a list of clients for spermaceti oil, along with his son-in-law Zachariah Allen, and pre-eminent spermaceti trader and leaders of the Gaspee Raid, John Brown and Joseph Brown .The Gaspee affair historians have concluded that Welcome Arnold was involved in at least planning the raid on the Gaspee, and in all logical conclusion participated in the attack itself
William Minturn, b 18 Mar 1738 in RI, d 23 Aug 1799 in Newport, RI, m 24 Aug 1766 in South Kingston, RI to Penelope Greene 21 Aug 1746 – 6 Apr 1821, dau of Benjamin Greene and Niobe Paul and a cousin of General Nathaniel Greene.
Young William, the butcher’s son caught the eye of the Robinson shipping family in Newport, was taken into their service, and quickly rose because of his abilities. According to one account, frequently repeated, he made several voyages from Newport and soon became a ship’s mate. During the French War (1756-1763) his ship was captured and taken to a French port. The person who captured it offered to release it for a ransom but the ship’s Captain said that was impossible.
William, however, volunteered to go to London and collect the money from the owners. He was allowed to do so, eventually appeared there in his ship clothes, and was so convincing that the owners gave him the money. He returned to the ship, ransomed it, and they sailed back to Newport. The owners were so impressed that they made William Captain. Soon he bought ships of his own and became a successful Newport merchant.
Whaling families from Nantucket became convinced, after the American Revolution, that the British would attempt to retake its former American Colonies. As Nantucket is located about 29 miles from the mainland, they felt particularly at risk. So, in 1783 the families empowered the Jenkins brothers, Thomas & Seth, to find a safer place to live and work. After considering several locations they decided on a 100-acre tract of land 100 miles up the Hudson known as Claverack Landing. In 1784 thirty families, many of them Quakers, moved to Claverack Landing from Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Newport and Providence.
William Minturn later joined these families, sailing to Hudson with his family in one of his ships, taking 13 days for the voyage. In 1791 he moved on to New York City where the opportunities were greater and shipping lines would be shorter. Soon he became wealthy. He, his son, grandson and great grandson are listed in the Encyclopedia of American Wealth.
In 1799, his health failing, William Minturn went back to Rhode Island to retire but he died within the month and was buried in Newport. When he died he owned 5 houses on Pearl Street in NYC, plus wharves and business premises, and left $1500 a year to his wife, among other bequests. His widow returned to New York where she lived among her sons on Pearl Street
Please view the other historical and Civil War related documents I'll be listing this week.SEE SCAN.I now accept PAYPAL but PREFER other forms of traditional paper payment. Buyer pays shipping(usually FREE within the US and $8 for International),payment must be received within 5 days.
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1786, Newport Whaling Merchant, William Minturn, Als Re: Spermaceti Candles: $225