New York to Cognac, France: 1836. Envelope or Cover. This two-page folded letter was written on December 31, 1836 and sent to Cognac, France via the Havre-Whitlock Line’s packet ship Albany. It arrived at Le Havre on February 1, 1827 where a “Bureau Maritime” receipt stamp was applied along with a “Pays d’Outremer par Le Havre” (Other Countries by Le Havre) marking was applied. A Cognac receipt stamp dated February 4 was applied to the reverse. The letter, which is nice shape, is docketed “Ebr Stevens & Sons / New York” and signed “Ebezr Stevens Sons.”. Very good. Item #009381
Otard-Dupuy, which is still in existence as Baron Otard, was one of the three major cognac houses when this letter was written. It was founded in 1795 by Jean-Baptiste Antoine O’Tard de la Grange, together with two growers-distillers, the brothers Jean and Léon Dupuy. It was located at the Chateau de Valois, an old and beautiful estate in the center of Cognac on the Charente River. The firm prospered and developed a strong following in the United States where Léon Dupuy had many excellent business contacts. In this letter, the Stevens company complains about the cotton market’s impact upon their importation of brandy: “The ‘Mary Jane’ the conveyance pointed out to you for a portion of the Brandy requested from you we have thus long detained in the expectation of a considerable fall in the prices of cotton here, which as yet has not been but partially realized. We expect however to get her off in a few days and as she is a fast sailer she may be on her return in time for Spring Sales.” Stevens & Sons was, perhaps, the remnant of a trading company founded by American patriot Ebenezer Stevens, who was a participant in the Boston Tea Party and a member of the Sons of Liberty. With the outbreak of the Revolution, Stevens joined Paddock’s Artillery along with Paul Revere and eventually received a commission in the Continental Army where he served under the Marquis de Lafayette and later served as an artillery commanded at Yorktown. After the war, Stevens became a prominent merchant in New York City until he died in the 1820s. A very nice example of a packet mail letter to France regarding the importation of some of the finest Cognac available at that time.