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Addition, 1804 and undated, to the
      Jacob Read Papers
    A gift to the SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2005

| Gifts to Manuscripts 2005 | Front Page 2005 | Friends of the Library | Endowments |

Four letters, 1804 and undated, augment the Library’s holdings of the papers of Jacob Read (1752-1816) and further document the social intercourse between Read, his wife, Catherine, in South Carolina and her sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth “Betsy” and Charles Ludlow, in New York City. Read, a colonel in the Revolution and jurist in later life, served in the South Carolina House and United States Senate and as a delegate to the Continental Congress.

Two letters from Catherine Read to the Ludlows discuss family matters, including the Ludlows’ daughter Cornelia, and their gratifying gift of a barrel of apples. Charles Ludlow was a successful Wall Street banker, and Catherine’s letter of 10 January to Betsy, likely written from Charleston, consequently observes: “our Town affords nothing that can be any ways interesting to you it is very tranquil & quiet & was perfectly so throughout the Holidays...our Serv[an]ts had a Dinner & Dance the day after Christmas & appeared quite happy.” Catherine wrote that “the amusements have again commenced” after the holidays. She had attended a concert but did not expect to go to the theater “as it is attended with so much trouble to get seats but if they are no better than last years they will not be to be regretted.”

Jacob Read’s letters of 7 and 13 March 1804 hint that political intrigue abroad was adversely impacting Charleston’s mercantile economy, which, he notes, was “in a State of Stagnation, no arrivals no sales & in short quite a state of mercantile distress.” “We have not a Word of News here,” Read wrote, “and are all gazing for advice from Europe may they when they arrive be such as will revive our drooping commerce & ensure the peace & tranquility of the World.”

This page updated 26 June 2005
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