Rhode Island Stampless Covers & Letters
April 30, 1838 Free Franked Letter with Providence CDS
From Charles F. Tillinghast to Joseph L. Tillinghast - Washington, DC

(Scroll Down for Background Information, History and Text of Letter)

The Letter is dated April 30, 1838 and is from Charles Foster Tillinghast  in Providence, RI and concerns collection of debts. The cover is canceled with a Red Providence, May 2 CDS. and is marked with a Red Free, (Free Franking Privilege). The Free Franking privilege was extended to the President, Vice President, cabinet members, Postmaster General Senate and Congress.

The Franking privilege also included the right to receive mail free. This letter and the following three letters were sent free to Representative Joseph Tillinghast, the Franker under that privilege.

Charles Foster Tillinghast, of the fifth Tillinghast generation in America was born in New York City on June 18, 1797 to Stephen and Theodoria Foster Tillinghast. He was the Great-Grandson of Governor Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island. Charles attended private schools in Providence and then entered Brown University. He graduated in the class of 1814 at the age of seventeen. He studied law under Samuel W. Bridgman of Providence and was admitted to the Bar in 1816. He practiced his first year in Chepachet and then returned to Providence where he formed a partnership with Bridgman. After dissolving the partnership with Bridgman, Charles practiced on his own until 1842 when he formed a partnership with Charles S. Bradley, (later a Chief Justice). Tillinghast & Bradley were in practice together until 1848. 

Charles was a brilliant lawyer and was considered by most to be one of the best of the era. He had no desire to enter politics and never sought public office. He did serve one term in the State Legislature. He was married to Lusanna Richmond, who died in Providence on September 29, 1863 . She was daughter of William and Clarissa Richmond. Lusanna's father, William was the president of the Mechanics' Bank of Providence. 

During the time this letter was written, (1838) Tillinghast was practicing law on his own in Providence. Charles Tillinghast died at his home in Providence, Rhode Island on August 3, 1864.

Joseph Leonard Tillinghast was born in Taunton, Massachusetts in 1791. He was a fifth generation descendant of Pardon Tillinghast, one of the original proprietors of Providence, Rhode Island. Joseph Tillinghast was a United States Representative from 1837 to 1843.

SEE: November 1817 Joseph Tillinghast Letter for additional Biographical Information

The text of the letter Follows below:

Providence Apr 30, 1838

    Dear Sir,    
                   Until the receipt of your letter of 27th instant, I was under the impression that I had written to the Bank of Prov information of the recovery of and payment against D'Wolf - A citation has been taken out and I shall deliver it to the Sheriff at Bristol with directions to collect on issue.
                   I have written to Lt Gov Willard this eve.
                   Mr. Samuel
?? has called upon me to pay him the debt on his execution against Alfred Graves, a part of which has been (& the whole will soon be) paid to me by the officer - Shall I pay him or refer him to you?

                    Vr Respectfully,
                    Charles F. Tillinghast

RI Historical Society
Stampless I
Stampless II

Stampless III
Stampless IV
Stampless V
Stampless VI
Brown & Ives Letters
The Hazard Family Letters
Joseph Tillinghast
Free Franked Letters
DeWolf Family Letters

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