Mill Management Letters

Reference

THM - American Textile Museum
HU - Harvard University
LHS - Lowell Historical Society
UML -University of Massachusetts Lowell

1834 03 William Austin

HARVARD UNIVERSITY 
BAKER BUSINESS SCHOOL 
LAWRENCE MANUFACTURING COMPANY RECORDS 
LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS

WRIITEN BY WILLIAM AUSTIN 
AGENT, LAWRENCE MANUFACTURING COMPANY 
TO HENRY HALL 
TREASURER, LAWRENCE MANUFACTURING COMPANY

EXCERPT REGARDING 
STRIKE FEBRUARY 1834

William Austin wrote in a letter to Henry Hall, the company treasurer in Boston: 
". . . notwithstanding the friendly and disinterested advice which has been on all proper occassions communicated to the girls of the Lawrence mills a spirit of evil omen. . . has prevailed, and overcome the judgment and discretion of too many, and this morning a general turn-out from most of the rooms has been the consequence."1

William Austin wrote the next day: 
"This afternoon we have paid off several of these Amazons & presume that they will leave town on Monday."2

William Austin described the operatives' procession as an: 
"amizonian display."3 
   
  1Lawrence Manufacturing Company Records, Correspondence,  
    Vol. MAB-1, February 14, 1834. 
  2Ibid., February 15, 1834. 
  3Ibid., March 4 and March 9, 1834.

1836 03 21 Henry Hall

HARVARD UNIVERSITY 
BAKER BUSINESS SCHOOL

LAWRENCE MANUFACTURING COMPANY RECORDS 
LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS

WRIITEN BY HENRY HALL, TREASURER 
TO WILLIAM AUSTIN, AGENT 
L486 
EXCERPT

March 21, 1836 
Boston, Mass.

Dear Sir,

            Some months since I had a conversation with you on the subject of your Boarding Houses – when you stated the difficulties the keepers of them labour’d under of meeting their expenses at the present rates of Board.  And it was understood that you would use your endeavours to relieve them by offering a “Bounty” on the Board of those employ’d in your Mills, and the reduction of Rents in such cases, as seemed peculiarly to require it.  This temporary arrangement it was hoped, would answer all the purposes desired, until the prices of Provisions were reduced to such rats as would enable you to resume your previous prices for Board.  Contrary to our expectations prices of provisions instead of falling have continued to maintain the same value and in many instances have advanced it seems therefore necessary, that something should be done to meet the exigency of the times – or Bankruptcy must attend those engaged in keeping the Houses.  I wish therefore that you would take an early occasion to call a meeting of the Agents of the different Companies and endeavour to agree on some plan to relieve the parties interested – which may be done by an augmentation of “Board” or the reduction of Rent as may seem most expedient.

            Yours Resp’y

You will please show this to Mr Means and Mr Aiken and act in concert.

1836 03 26 William Austin

HARVARD UNIVERSITY 
BAKER BUSINESS SCHOOL 
LAWRENCE MANUFACTURING COMPANY RECORDS 
LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS

WRIITEN BY WILLIAM AUSTIN, AGENT 
TO HENRY HALL, TREASURER 
MS-81 
EXCERPT

March 23, 1836 
Lowell, Mass.

Henry Hall:

. . .acknowledge the receipt of yours touching the boarding houses, . . .

 I have closed accounts with the Bank to day for past month and have drawn for $19,000 at 4 months.  The compensation allowed the tenants is 12 ½ cents extra for females and 6 cents for Males and on the same place as the 5 cents per week extra had been before allowed.  This I believe will afford relief when it is deserved but all at the expense of the Companies and nothing from the operatives.  They continuing to pay the same prices, and working at same prices.  I hope by early and late hours to compensate for absences, so far as to look after a bill reported by the committee on education, reflecting somewhat on Manufacturing corporations, but I [share?] a miserable chance in the legislative portion of my pursuits.

               Respectfully, 
               William Austin

1836 04 21 William Austin

HARVARD UNIVERSITY 
BAKER BUSINESS SCHOOL 
LAWRENCE MANUFACTURING COMPANY RECORDS 
LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS

WRIITEN BY WILLIAM AUSTIN, AGENT 
TO HENRY HALL, TREASURER 
MS-81 
EXCERPT

     
April 21, 1836 
Lowell, Mass. 
   
Henry Hall 
  
            In the mean time, we are equalising our machinery so as to balance each mill, as near as may be, on itself, and thus produce emulation and avoid the labor of transportation of material from mill to mill.

1836 09 26 William Austin

HARVARD UNIVERSITY 
BAKER BUSINESS SCHOOL 
LAWRENCE MANUFACTURING COMPANY RECORDS 
LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS

WRIITEN BY WILLIAM AUSTIN, AGENT 
TO HENRY HALL, TREASURER 
MS-81 
EXCERPT

   
Sept. 26, 1836 
Lowell, Mass. 
   
Henry Hall, 
   
            The accompanying report presents some falling of in products.  It is partly owing to deficiency of help in some of the rooms and more to its being a short week, on a week of short days, tonight we shall light up, and I trust bring our products up to former quantities. 
  
            Respectfully,