Mill Boy Letters

December 20, 1830

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY MARK S. GILMAN
TO HIS BROTHER ALFRED GILMAN

                                                    Nashua Dec 20 1830

Dear Brother

   I will thank you to send by the Stage some patterns of French Merino of different colors with the price and the names of the store where you get them

   We have nothing new here of any consequence- except that Mr. Gay is to superintend this building of machinery for the Jackson Company and will commence operating soon Your friend Mr. Thayer copied the notice of the sale of the J.H. Factories from a Boston paper without [c    ] or license and charged 2.75 for it, - such a printer needs no devil for he will exceed the very prince of devils in proper persona

   Shall we see you here at christmas?  We are all well, have not heard from any of our eastern Bretheren lately

                                             Affectionately Yours,
                                             M.S. Gilman

July 21, 1832

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY MARK S. GILMAN
TO HIS BROTHER ALFRED GILMAN

                                                     Lowell July 21, 1832

Dear Brother

   I intended to have replied to your letter as soon as my business would permit it, but your sudden departure from Boston was the occasion of fresh delay-we conclude that your departure was very sudden as we have not rec’d any letter from you on the subject-to enlighten us as to the length of your absence so but presume the principal object of your visit was to see Stephen & his family. -----? Did you leave a certain young lady as much in the dark/ We are all tolerably well at home-Hannah has been at Nashua for the past fortnight-I shall go this evening and expect that she will return with me. I hear nothing especially interesting in the way of news (this in way of noose-Mr.Daman is married) things go on in about the same way as when you left.- Mr. Meacham told me yesterday that he thought there was a probability of his wanting to engage you for a year at $5 per week if you could not do better- I promised to communicate the sum to you, that you might act accordingly.

   The all engrossing topic here is the dreaded cholera-people are very uneasy and some girls have left town in the last news from Boston on the subject is that a steam boat from N York had arrived quarantined with a man on board who died of that disease on the passage, we are in daily expectation of a letter from you, hope you will write soon if you have not already written.

   Mother sends her love to you also Stephen and his wife-in which you may include your affectionate Brother

                                            M. S. Gilman

January 1835

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY MARK S. GILMAN
TO HIS BROTHER ALFRED GILMAN

                                            Lowell  Jany ? 1835

Dear Brother,

We have not heard from any of our friends except Stephen. This winter he writes that he had concluded to scratch the ground for a living for the remainder of his days and had accordingly purchased a small farm in Dixmont for $600 consuming 100 acres with a small house and a Barn and had taken passing of the premises in good spirits. We are all well as usual. Willis is learning to talk as fast as he can.

I have rec’ 7.50 from Mr. Baker $6 from the Town and $5 for one of the stove & pipes – (the other is broken and the piece lost) which says I have endorsed on your note. I have your pew cushions which I will send you if you wish or take them and allow you for them. Mr. Baker promised to pay the balance due when he rec’d your paper. There has been quite a revolution among the Printers here as you have probably been informed. Lawrence commenced the Patriot with a partner but was crowded out whether for want of funds or energy I am not informed, but suppose it must be one of the two.

I understand the Lawrence C. are about converting their Print Works and Bleaching into Cotton Mills, and a canal has been commenced on the lower privilege near Central Street, so that Lowell has a prospect of an increase of business. I hope you will write soon and inform us how you succeed in your business, remember me to Dorcas,
 
                                             Affectionately Yours,
                                             M. S. Gilman

May 2, 1835

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY MARK S. GILMAN
TO HIS BROTHER ALFRED GILMAN

                                                      Lowell May 2 1835

Dear Brother,

Since your letter nearly three months ago and put it in my pocket with the intention of writing an answer the first opportunity, but want of practice has rendered me so nearly incapable of writing a letter that I have not been able to “screw up my courage to the sticking point” till now, and now I am almost at a loss how
to begin, but will commence by expressing my gratification at the fairness of your prospects and hope that they continue to improve with the growth of your “interest in the yeomanry” and the independence of the stand you have taken but to be serious, a paper conducted with the candor and independence that is apparent, must be more profitable to the public if they would encourage it, than the best conducted party Journal, it may be necessary to keep up a distinction of party, but in such a case it appears to me to be a wholesome provision that we should have a medium between the two extremes that is disinterested enough to tell the truth and give both sides a fair and candid investigation. such publication are not duly appreciated for the selfish principle of party will not bear to hear ought against its own or in favor of the opposite party it is a lamentable fact and will continue to be so as long as people will suffer themselves to be led by the nose of interested partisans who care more about the emoluments of office than the good of their country,
if people will not read both sided and who does? They ought to read the medium which takes a glance at both and gives facts as they seem with any party coloring. So much for politics – it is not my element and know it is contrary to nature to be long out of ones element tho it may be pleasant recreation to emerge occasional into a different sphere. Our family concerns proceed in the usual unvaried sound without any incident worthy of note, but not without a prospect of an event that occurs occasionally in the best regulated families – by the way, I would enquire if you are exempt from such visitations of providence. My health remains the same as usual. I can only contrive to keep uncomfortably well by a strict attention to diet.

 

   If you take the Lowell papers you are probably informed of what is going on here in the way of business news – if not I can write some of the most prominent movements. – The “Boot Cotton Mills” company has
been formed and the stock taken up for four mills to be erected in the rear of Mr. Bs house which is to be removed, the work of building is now going on. – The Town have voted to build a market house on Lowell & Middle Street of goodly dimension, after the plan of the new market in Boston. The first Locomotive on the Rail Road will be started this month on the anniversary of the Merrimack Co.

   Our friend Mr. Adams has taken the situation of assistant superintendent at the Merrimack Mills in place of Mr. Treat who has gone to Pittsfield to take charge of a factory. – Mr. A wishes you to write him, he called about two months since to inform us of his appointment. I have not seen him since, therefore cannot say how he is affected by the change. Your clock was sent to James last fall. I sent him a line after the rec’t of yours, requesting him to forward it as you requested. I sent the sign to the Town in Chelmsford with a request to forward it.- Your certificate I left with Mr. Knox who is Treasurer since the death of Mr. Lewis, he promises to lay it before the Government at the next meeting – they have had a meeting since but I have not heard anything respecting it. I will enquire of Mr. K. There are some Types of yours in the Patriot Office – what shall be done with them? Lawrence was sick when I rec’d your letter when he got well I mentioned your proposal to him, but he seems inclined to relinquish the business – says it is very dull about here he has not done any work since he was sick.

Give our love to Dorcas, we should like to see you both – wishing you prosperity in your business, happiness in your family and health in your body and mind   I remain your affectionate Br.

                                             M. S. Gilman

May 3, 1835

LOWELL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ALFRED GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY MARK S. GILMAN
TO HIS BROTHER ALFRED GILMAN

Lowell May 3 1835

Dear Brother

I wrote you by mail yesterday and rec’d yours this evening – respecting your establishment I would advise you to dispose of the whole concern if you can or if selling one half will open a way for the disposal of the other, do so, altho’ Van Burenism is not more nauseous to you then to myself, but may be endured for a
while if there is a prospect of getting the concern off your hands as far as I am concerned I would not advise you to dispose of it if this is a reasonable prospect of making a fair business of it, but I think you may do better in some other business with less care and vexation. If you would like some business in the manufacturing line I think I could obtain a situation for you in some one of our establishments altho there is more restraint and confinement than is agreeable at all times, the pay is sure and on the whole it must
be preferable to the life of a printer.

I will inquire of James respecting the clock. Your nephew is bright and hearty-he likes to read your paper the sofa and clock which he finds in it amuses hum much he is a great pedestrian and talker, can imitate the language of all animals and birds that come within his hearing, can write as fast if not as intelligible as your Affectionate Brother he and his mother send their love-his quantity is limited to 6 pounds.  M. S. Gilman

If your Van Buren man will take the whole and pay the $200 I will write for the balance due me with sufficient security-if you cannot do better.