Endicott Rantoul Letter, Beverly 1861

These letters from Endicott concern potential purchases and a discussion of the financial situation the Civil War may put his family in.

The Hannah Rantoul Collection is part of a larger collection of items belonging to the Rantoul family of Beverly, Massachusetts. Hannah Rantoul served as a liaison for the New England Sanitary Commission in the Beverly area and received many letters from servicemen and their families, thanking her for her efforts to procure donations of provisions, clothing, blankets, and other badly needed supplies for various Massachusetts infantries during the Civil War.

Click here for a PDF of the transcription:

Boston, Oct. 9th 1861

Dear Robert,

I rec’. your letter of [?] and should have replied yesterday, but the day was consumed in getting [?] Woods off. I think it would be very well to acknowledge the complaint of the Beverly company, if found fitting more can be devised. I am so much of a utilitarian, that I dislike to spend upon mere show and should rather devise something for its comfort of the [men?] than to present a banner or anything of that sort. I can think of nothing more to my mind than blankets – yet I suppose these are furnished by the state and perhaps the men may be able to carry but one. Besides which they are expensive and I don’t know how much money the family may wish to invest. As for me I should feel more satisfaction in paying $100 for blankets than $10 for a flag. A first rate blanket – grey – large size and weighing 10 lbs the pair will cost 4.50 cash [?] $375 for 50 pairs. Now don’t understand me as urging you into any extravagance and I only mention blankets because I can think of nothing else. I should much rather spend the money for something substantial, than some [?]. I am willing to respond to any [???]ment you may make upon me. If this war lands myself and family in no worse place than Indiana Place, we shall be conte[nt?], but we keep constantly in view the home provided for us all.

My regards to Harriet, and be[lieve?] me

Truly yours, W. E. R.

P.S. Annie gave me a message yesterday for Harrie[t?], the tenor of which as nearly as I remember is as follows: She wishes to be informed if the price of the bonnets is con[???] before she pays W. Cockroach. I am not sure if the [?]  in question be bonnets. It strikes me that it was Shoes. W.


Endicott Rantoul, Endicott Rantoul to Robert Rantoul (October 9, 1861). Letter. Endicott Collection: Rantoul Family Papers, 1773-1915. Historic Beverly, Beverly, MA.