Letter from William S. Wright, 21 July 1842

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

July 21[st] 1842
Hon J. Smith
sir I have to pay 200 doll[ar]s to [a?] man at and I [h]ave but 100d I wish to get t[h]e loan of 100d until I get to where I have funds [if?] you could accommodate me I will will pay you in Spiece [specie] I could give a check on the Suffolk Bank but I am not known here and could not get it cashed. Mr Wilson will tell you of me and he will be good to you for the true Jugment of it sir by render me this favor will place me under a great obligation that will be long remembered and well paid
Yours Truly
William S. Wright
[5 lines blank] [p. [1]]
Hon Joseph Smith
Ill. [p. [2]]


  1. 1

    TEXT: “21[page torn]”.  

  2. 2

    TEXT: “[page torn]man”.  

  3. 3

    TEXT: “[page torn]ave”.  

  4. 4

    TEXT: “t[page torn]e”.  

  5. 5

    TEXT: “S[page torn]ingfield”.  

  6. 6

    TEXT: Hole in page.  

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    In 1826, the Suffolk Bank in Boston became a clearinghouse bank, the first of its kind. In what was known as the “Suffolk banking system,” participating banks deposited money with the Suffolk Bank or other member institutions. The Suffolk Bank, in turn, accepted notes from participating banks, including out-of-town banks, in exchange for specie and locally backed notes. This saved New Englanders the trouble of traveling to the issuing bank to redeem notes. (Rolnick et al., “Lessons from a Laissez-Faire Payments System,” 11–21; Rolnick et al., “Suffolk Bank and the Panic of 1837,” 3–13.)  

    Rolnick, Arthur J., Bruce D. Smith, and Warren E. Weber. “Lessons from a Laissez-Faire Payments System: The Suffolk Banking System (1825–58).” Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Quarterly Review 22, no. 3 (Summer 1998): 11–20.

    Rolnick, Arthur J., Bruce D. Smith, and Warren E. Weber. “The Suffolk Bank and the Panic of 1837.” Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Quarterly Review 24, no. 2 (Spring 2000): 3–13.

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    The surname Wilson was very common in 1840s America, including in Illinois, making it difficult to determine the identity of the individual mentioned in this letter.