Letter from a Superintendent of Repair on the Erie Canal to the Deputy Comptroller of New York reporting the monthly salaries of the five locktenders under his supervision. E. A. King.
Letter from a Superintendent of Repair on the Erie Canal to the Deputy Comptroller of New York reporting the monthly salaries of the five locktenders under his supervision
Letter from a Superintendent of Repair on the Erie Canal to the Deputy Comptroller of New York reporting the monthly salaries of the five locktenders under his supervision

Letter from a Superintendent of Repair on the Erie Canal to the Deputy Comptroller of New York reporting the monthly salaries of the five locktenders under his supervision

Port Byron, New York: 1839. Envelope or Cover. This one-page stampless letter measures 7.75” x 12.75” unfolded. It is dated April 25th, 1819 and signed by E. A. King. The front of the cover bears circular Port Byron postmark and a manuscript “18½”, the charge for sending a letter a distance of between 150 to 400 miles. The letter is in nice shape.

In the letter to W.W. Tredway, the 2d Deputy Comptroller of New York, King reports the monthly salaries of his locktenders as follows:

“Lock No 5 at Nine Mile Creek. Adam Vasburgh at $43 per month; Lock No 6 at Jordan Rulof Fuller as Lock tender & tending feeder $50 per month; Lock No 7. Port Byron Samuel Brown at $42 per month; Lock No 8. Sacketts Lock John Goss at $42 per month; Lock No. 9 Montezuma Ransom Hooper t $40 per month”

King goes on to note that “The above Locktenders were appointed by Mr. Jonas Earle Jr the prces sam as last year.” He also notes that “a copy of the receipt of property giving to Mr. Benson late the Superintendent” was enclosed, however it is no long present. Very good. Item #009426

A “Report” of the Canal Commissioners, dated May 9th, 1846 (in Documents of the State Assembly of New York, Volume 6) states that “Mr. King was superintendent of repairs on Section No 8. of the Erie Canal, situated partly in the county of Cayuga, from the 1st of April, 1839, to the 1st of March 1842, and received an annual salary of from $800 to $850 for the whole of that time. . ..”

Locktenders were appointed one to a lock, even though twenty-four-hour service was required. They were paid $20 to $60 a month depending upon the average number of boats passing each day. With this salary the locktender was expected to hire an assistant to serve during the hours when he wished to be off duty, a practice which often left the poorly manned for part of the day or night.” (See Shaw’s Erie Water West: A History of the Erie Canal, 1792-1854.).

Price: $150.00

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