Thursday, October 24, 2013
Letter Returns to Newburyport (MA) after 159 Years
My collection of postal librariana includes a folded letter sent to Josiah Little in Newburyport, MA by Samuel Swett from Boston on June 27, 1854 in regard to establishing a public library in Newburyport. I have written a previous post about the letter. Last month I was contacted by Neil Foley, President of the Newburyport Stamp Club who had come across the blog post. Neil wanted to borrow the letter for a program the stamp club would be conducting on October 10th at the Newburyport Public Library. I agreed to loan the letter for the program and mailed it to Neil. Thus the letter made a second trip to Newburyport 159 years after it was first mailed to Josiah Little. Little was the major subscriber to the proposed library with a contribution of $5,000. Swett was also one of the original subscribers to the library and in his letter to Little he submits a draft of a possible agreement between the subscribers (see scan above), the City of Newburyport, and adjacent town to form a public library. The letter is an important document in the history of the Newburyport Public Library. Currently it is included in my philatelic exhibit titled "Libraries in 19th Century America". At some point in the future there is a strong possibility that it will make a final trip back to Newburyport.