Series of three stampless folded letters from a ship captain to his wife while transporting soldiers and supplies to Vera Cruz and Tampico during the Mexican-American War. J. T. Morrill.

Series of three stampless folded letters from a ship captain to his wife while transporting soldiers and supplies to Vera Cruz and Tampico during the Mexican-American War

Vera Cruz to Massachusetts via Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana: 1847-1848. Envelope or Cover.

These two one-page and one two-page folded letters, each measuring 15” x 10”, were written by a civilian ship captain to his wife while transporting soldiers and supplies to Mexico during the Mexican-American War. Two of the letters are datelined Vera Cruz, and one was written while “Almost to Sea.” Two were sent via New Orleans, Louisiana and bear a bold “10” rate stamp in black; one of these also shows a circular New Orleans postmark. The third letter bears a circular Mobile, Alabama postmark in red with a matching “Way 11” handstamp. All three letters are in nice shape. Very good. Item #009323

The first two letters were written shortly after General Winfield Scott had captured Mexico City, and the third not long after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed but not yet ratified. In them, Morrill recounts his life at sea including support to the Army in Mexico and his desire for the war to be over so that he may be allowed to return to New England:

“When I received your last letter I was loading for Vera Cruze & Tampico so I could not answer. . .. You thought I was not so confiding as I should be, I tell you my dear as I did once before that I cannot express myself on paper. . .. so you must excuse these few lines and I will write you a long one next time from Very Cruz. . .. I write from this place [Vera Cruz] to inform you of my safe arrival. . .. I write this to be mailed on my arrival at New Orleans after being at sea Eight days and not half passage yet . . . a heavy sea attending and . . . my Passengers Eight in number are sick and spewing around me. . .. You cannot imagine how I long for the time to arrive when I shall leave this for a Christian Country. I am afraid that Mr. Meeker will not send the vessel home but whether he does or not I shall come without fail. after I make one more trip to Vera Cruz. I am almost asham of staying so long [but] I am clear of debt for all that I owe in the world is $7.00.”

Morrill captained vessels for Philadelphia, Louisiana and Baltimore line which was owned by C. J. Meeker of Philadelphia. Contemporary newspapers report that his fast sailing schooners, primarily employed in the costal trade that carried passengers in “handsome accommodations,” transported correspondence and news between ports, and could carry up to 250 barrels of goods. Accounts of sailing dates suggest that this vessel was likely either the Decatur or Picayune.

More noteworthy for their postal history than their war content, this grouping of letters sold for $388 in a 2008 Heritage auction.

Price: $450.00

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