1824: Andrew Comstock Dibble to Zalmon Wildman

This letter was written by Andrew Comstock Dibble (1800-1846), the son of Samuel Dibble (1769-1860) and Polly Comstock (1778-1866). He married Henrietta Mary Wagner. Dibble wrote the letter from Charleston, South Carolina, where we learn that he is on the verge of opening a hat store in the city,

Andrew wrote the letter to Zalmon Wildman (1775-1835) of Danbury, Connecticut. Wildman was a U.S. Representative from Connecticut (served in 24th Congress) and was appointed postmaster of Danbury from 1805-1835. Occupationally, Wildman was a hatter and he established the first hat stores in Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia.

Stampless Letter

Stampless Letter

Addressed to Z. Wildman, Post Master, Danbury, Connecticut

Charleston [South Carolina]
November 8th 1824

Z. Wildman, Esq.
Dear Sir,

I arrived here on the 1st of November after a pleasant passage of 78 Hours from New York in the Ship LaFayette. The weather was then cool but moderated on the 3d & 4th and was quite warm until yesterday when the wind shifted Northerly & became cool again.

There has been several cases of [Yellow] Fever since I arrived but were confined to those who have remained here through the summer — the seeds of the disease having been sown in the system for some time. It is generally thought that there is no danger attending strangers coming in here now although some differ in opinion. Yet I do not know of any strangers having taken the Fever & there are many who have been here for 3 weeks past.

I have not opened my store yet but shall in about 3 days. Neither have I been down town but once but the weather is so cool I shall go down today. But what is my loss is your gain, for since I have been here I have sold not less than 20 of my old Broad St. customer Hats. On Saturday, had I been opened, I have not the least doubt but I would have sold 150 or 200 dollars. Last week sale here was very good and the countrymen begin to come in fast.

The [ship] President arrived yesterday but none of our Northern hatters have yet arrived. She was full of passengers. The LaFayette Stamp goes very well and we have to iron most of the brims flat. The retail is small brims, I.E. for the city, but the country trade require as usual larger brims.

Respectfully yours, — A. C. Dibble

P. S. If my father enquires, please tell him there is no danger from Fever — at least I think there is none.


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