The author of this letter hasn’t yet been identified. His signature appears to read, “H. C. Rayman” and the content suggests that he was the captain of a brig carrying lumber from Bangor, Maine, to some unidentified port — probably the West Indies. Clearly he wrote the letter to his employer, merchant ship owner Jones Perkins Veazie (1811-1875) of Bangor, Maine, whose family was in the lumber business.
Wilmington [North Carolina]
January 12th 1854
Jones P. Veazie, Esq.
With pleasure I acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 7th inst. in which I am somewhat surprised to hear that Pitch pine is as low as $15.00 in Boston. A vessel two days since (S. P. Brown of Newport) bought a a cargo for the Havana Market for $16.00. I went down to see it & I assure you I would hardly take it for fire wood. The Captain said he would not take anymore after today if it did not come in some better to pay $17.00 for ___ with the privilege of rejecting Sappy Lumber. My naval stores are bought on which I shall realize a good profit. I wish I had to be loaded with tar & rosin at the same rate. Logs are scarce at present and only two mills at work in Wilmington. As to the 5 percent there is nothing mentioned in my contract about it & I intend to try hard to get clear of allowing it. If the whole of my cargo was as well as that which I have received, I have no doubt but it will give satisfaction to all parties concerned as regards my bill of exchange. I enquired well as to their ability in the paying line and in fact preferred a Philadelphia House these times to a New York one. They are somewhat slow, but sure.
My outward cargo sold for $4,613.57. My port charges & duties $310.47, commission $115.35. I carried away my Bobstay plates on the stern. Going out I had some heavy weather which job cost me $16.00 in twenty. Ball__ — Hire &c Marketing about %9.50 will call it $500.00. I keep a strict & true ip of all I lay out for the Brig and will for the future write you about the gross expenditures.
If Capt. Young is at home, give my best respects to him. What is the matter with Smith? I received a letter from him today. Hope it won’t come to pistols. About the old Santa Cruz, I have got a demijohn 12 years old & will endeavor to get the other [paper creased] reasonable, and any little thing which I may think will be a rarity. This will be the third letter that is on the way to Bangor.
Accept the best wishes of myself & wife & believe me to remain yours respectfully, — H. C. Rayman
P. S. I paid my 2nd mate & steward off in full as useless. You know my scribbling — don’t pay my order. He is scamp enough to try anything. — H. C. R.