This collection contains sixty-five letters (1846-1847) the majority of which were written by wholesale merchant Samuel Kissam of Plymouth, North Carolina, to his brother George Kissam, also a merchant, of New York City, New York, discussing mostly business matters. Also included are a couple of letters written by a ship's master at New Orleans, Louisiana, to Samuel Kissam concerning a maritime mishap.
Samuel Kissam was born at Huntington, Long Island, New York, on July 28, 1796, to Dr. Daniel Whitehead Kissam, M.D. (1763-1839) and Elizabeth Tredwell (1767-1803). He was a hardware merchant in New York City associated with the firm of Tredwell, Kissam & Co. He moved to Plymouth, North Carolina, sometime between 1841 and 1846 and ran a wholesale house there. He was married to Elizabeth Addoms on December 31, 1822, and they had nine children. He died on July 12, 1856, and his family moved to Brooklyn, New York. His wife died on April 30, 1889, and they are buried in Hackensack Cemetery, in Hackensack, New Jersey.
George Kissam, was Samuel's younger half-brother. He was born in Huntingdon, Long Island, New York, on March 23, 1763, to Dr. Daniel Whitehead Kissam, M.D. (1763-1869) and his second wife Phebe Oakley (1777-1861). He worked briefly during the 1840's as a dry-goods merchant in New York City. He then took a position at the Southern Commission trade which he held until his retirement in 1869. George Kissam was married twice, first to Elizabeth W. Rose of New Jersey (1812-1852) then to Phebe Ryerson of New York (1817-1900). He was a longtime resident of Brooklyn and an Elder of The Reformed Dutch Church of Brooklyn, which has a stained glass window dedicated to his memory. He died in Brooklyn on December 16, 1889.
This collection of sixty-five letters, written between 1846 – 1847, mostly consist of correspondence between Samuel Kissam, a wholesale merchant of Plymouth, North Carolina, to his brother George Kissam of New York City, New York. The majority of the letters concern the receipt of bank draft payments and the river shipping of goods such as cotton, tobacco, port, and ice. Of special note are two letters from a ship's master at New Orleans, Louisiana, to George Kissam regarding compensation from the United States Army for use of a merchant vessel during the Mexican-American War. There are also drafts of letters written by George Kissam to lawyers concerning court proceedings against his brother Joseph Kissam for alleged breach of trust. While most letters solely concern the wholesale market business, a few notable exceptions mention the influx of Irish immigrants and the ongoing Mexican-American War. This collection offers insight into pre-Civil War river shipping by small Southern wholesalers to retailers in the North.
Purchased from Michael Brown Rare Books, LLC
Completed by Samantha Sheffield on Sept. 22, 2015
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.