(Philippines)
Pair of Letters written in Manila 1849, to Boston, Massachusetts ship owner Henry Daland

two letters, quarto, 5 pages, in good clean condition, postal markings on integral address leaves, the penmanship of each letter writer leaves something to be desired. 2 letters, as follows:

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Edwards, Alfred H. P., Autograph Letter Signed, as U.S. Consul to the Philippines, Manila, October 17, 1849, to ship owner Henry Daland, Boston

      Quarto, two pages, in good clean condition, small tear along vertical fold of last leaf, not affecting text.

 

     “Dear Daland,

           I duly recd your kind letter pr “Siam” accompanying Invoice & B L of furniture together with the other cargos for which you have my best thanks the furniture is very elegant and universally admired. You have my best wishes for the success and prosperity of your House and doubt not there will be some capital voyages made here before long. Francisco Bonetto fail’d a short time ago but owed us nothing His liabilities about $ 100,000 assets say $ 3000, foreign houses have suffered but little. We await with anxiety the arrival of Augt. Mail which I fear will not reach here til end of this month. I think when cold weather sets in the California fleet will be able to move…”

 

      Alfred H. P. Edwards, son of the Governor of Connecticut, was the fourth U. S. Consul at Manila, serving from 1832-1838 and again from 1848 to 1854. He returned to the United States in the 1850s, and died before the Civil War, a wealthy man.

 

      Osborn, W. H., Autograph Letter Signed, Manila, March 10, 1849 to ship owner, Henry Daland, Boston

      Quarto, three pages, postal markings on integral address leaf, in very good, clean condition.

 

      A long business letter, Osborn’s hand is difficult to decipher, Osborn discusses the prices which he sold various commodities, and the prices various commodities are currently fetching on the Manila market. He writes that there are currently no American ships in port. He mentions that “we are looking for a grand crash among the China shop keepers by & by, everybody has goods to sell and cram them off upon any who will purchase.”

 

A Massachusetts Yankee, W. H. Osborn went to the Philippines in 1839, at age 19, as representative of a Boston merchant firm; he remained for ten years. Soon after this letter was written, he returned to the United States a very wealthy man, and married the daughter of equally wealthy merchant Joseph Sturges, whose other daughter married banker J. P. Morgan. Sturges had a passion for art and had helped Luman Reed assemble the first great public collection of paintings by American artists. He conveyed his passion to Osborn who became close to Morgan, as well as a group of New York eccentrics that included Arctic explorer Isaac Israel Hayes, literary traveler Bayard Taylor and transatlantic cable financier Cyrus Field. In 1854, Osborn took over the presidency of a new Illinois railroad line, saving it from bankruptcy, and in the process becoming friends with company attorney Abraham Lincoln, treasurer Ambrose Burnside and engineer George McClellan, with whom he worked closely during the Civil War. At the same time, he became friend and patron to many American artists, assembling his own superb collection of American paintings, which lined the walls of his Park Avenue townhouse. In 1870, with Sturges, he was a founding benefactor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, of which his son later became President. He lived until 1894. Letters from his youth in the Philippines are rare.