Lexington, Ky. January 11, 1817. pp., on plain paper. Moderate toning, old folds. Very good. Item #4459
An inside peek into the tobacco industry in frontier Kentucky in the form of a letter from Charles Wilkins to William Downs, in which Wilkins authorizes the purchase of 100 hogshead of the highest quality tobacco. Wilkins writes, in part: "You are at liberty to purchase for me 100 hogshead of tobacco at a price not exceeding 4 cents per pound. You will be careful in selecting the tobacco from the best crops, & buy none but fresh as will be approved by some skillful person employed by you for this purpose.... I do not wish you to make any engagements unless you can purchase two boat loads. If you should purchase as much as will load the boats, you will engage the boats; they must be well built & triple covered, 50 to 52 feet long, & 15 feet wide. For your service I will allow you fifty cents for each hogshead purchased. I have much confidence in the judgment of Mr. Wyatte. If agreeable to him, I would be pleased if he would assist you in selecting the crops of tobacco." Charles Wilkins was an early Kentucky merchant, listed in a Lexington city directory as early as 1806.