1846: William Henry DeCoursey Wright to Robert Clinton Wright

This letter was written by William Henry DeCoursey Wright to his brother, Robert Clinton Wright (1809-1879). They were the sons of Gustavus William Tidmarsh Wright (1784-1823)  of “Wyoming” plantation on the Wye River in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland. Gustavus was married to Eliza Ann Clayland; he was the son of U.S. Senator and Maryland Governor, Robert Wright (1752-1826).

Robert C. Wright was a successful merchant in Baltimore, Maryland, and in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The 1860 Census tells us that Robert’s wife, Elise (1816-18xx) was born in Brazil, as were their first five children between 1836 and 1843. Following that, the rest of the children were born in Maryland. Robert acted as charge d’affaires, ad interim, from November 1870 to July 1871 in Brazil.

An advertisement in the June 1847 issue of the American and Commercial Daily Advertiser (Baltimore), states that the Robert C. Write & Co. was located at 63 S. Gay Street in Baltimore and sold flour.

Stampless Letter

Stampless Letter


Addressed to Robert C. Wright, Esqr., Baltimore [Maryland]
by the ship “Hebe

Rio de Janiero
April 25th 1846

Dear Robert,

I wrote you yesterday per [ship] Rolla via New York and now enclose press copy. Your letter for Gabriel M. Indus shall be forwarded to Montevideo per first conveyance.

I recollected giving Kinsey Harrison ¹ before I left home a written promise to pay his claim against my brother Robert by the end of June. Old Henry Wright ² writes me the negroes have been sold and proceeds applied to Harrison’s claim which was about $1300. As far as it is paid, I am discharged, but if not paid, I wish you to fulfill my purchase to Mr. Harrison if he wishes it before I get home, for I should be very sorry to violate my promise in the highest degree.

Will you direct Goduin not to cut the Timothy he seeded last fall when the seed are ripe as I wish them to scatter over the ground as the hay is being cured so as to seed it thicker. In fact, I doubt if it ought to be cut at all this year.

— W.H.D.C.W.


¹ Kinsey Harrison (1796-1873) was the son of Kinsey Harrison (1758-1834) and Sarah Saffell (1758-1844). By 1850, Kinsey had relocated from Maryland to Union Township, Monroe County, Ohio.

² “Old Henry Wright” may have been the author’s uncle (and namesake) who lived from 1795 to 1864.

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