Winslow-North Vassalboro, Maine: 1852. Unbound. This letter, written by C. G. Pinkham of Winslow, Maine to J. H. Osborne of Weare, Maine, is headed with a Quaker date: “1st 29th 1852” (January 29, 1852). It is enclosed in a “Maine Law” temperance propaganda envelope printed and sold by Thurston & Co. of Portland. The envelope has two circular “Paid 3” handstamps and a very scarce circular North Vassalboro, Maine postmark dated February 6. The envelope and letter are in very nice shape. Pinkham’s letter is filled with “thees, thous, and thys” and begins with a short acknowledgment of several deaths. He soon, however, begins to discuss the God Rush fever that had gripped the country: “Mayhew is just upon the eve of starting for Calafornia. He told me that he had been to see Nathan and Phelie, he said they appeared very happy. George Jenkins has just left here for the last time before starting for Providence where he is to meet Mayhew. They are to sail for Calafornia from New York the 7th of next month. There are a number of young men from this region going with them and about the tenth of third month there are about thirty from this vicinity going to that land of adventures. I think it nothing short of a Calamity that so many of our useful and valuable citizens are leaving us prompted I fear by a vain hope of obtaining gold. What say thou about it? Brother Williams is designing to start for the Gold region in about two months this so says he. He is married again to a sister of his former wife.”. Very good. Item #008909
The qualities one may achieve by abstaining from hard drink are listed in the four corners of the classic Temperance envelope, and the fine print between them discusses the Maine Liquor Law of 1851, the use of moral suasion to reform drunkards and liquor sellers, and statistics describing the negative effects of alcohol on the people of the United States. A superfecta of desirability: a letter written in Quaker vernacular, a discussion of the impact of Gold Rush fever on young men, a hard-to-find Temperance propaganda cover, and a scarce Maine postmark.