Rhode Island Stampless
Covers & Letters
1851-57 Free Franked Cover from
Senator Charles T. James (RI)
to E. R. Potter in South Kingston, RI
Biographical Information on Senator James & E. R. Potter)
Free & signed C. T. James USS
(United States Senate)
Senator Charles Tillinghast James
was born in West Greenwich,
Rhode Island in 1804.
James received no formal education, but was trained in mechanics
as an apprentice in various machine-shops and textile factories.
He moved to Providence some time after 1824 and assumed the
position of Superintendent
at Slater's Steam Cotton
Mills. He was also chosen
as Major General
Rhode Island Militia.
James left Providence during the early 1830s and moved to
where he was involved in the construction of the
Bartlett and James Mills.
He also built cotton mills in
and in New York,
He returned to Rhode Island in 1849 and built the
Atlantic Delaine Mill
James was elected to the
United States Senate from
Rhode Island in 1851
and subsequently served in the
congresses until his retirement in
Senator James retired he began research on several
including a rifled cannon
and a new type of projectile.
James was awarded an honorary
Master of Arts
degree by Brown University
in 1838. He was the author of several articles concerning the
culture and manufacture of cotton in the south.
Charles Tillinghast James
died of wounds received from an ordinance explosion during
experiments on a new shell of his own manufacture on
October 17, 1862
at Sag Harbor, New York.
Senator James was a
member of the "Committee
on Naval Affairs"
and I located one of the bills that he sponsored while a
member of that committee in 1852.
(Select the thumbnail at
left to see at Full Size)
Elisha Reynolds Potter, Jr.
was born in South Kingstown,
Rhode Island on June 20, 1811.
He graduated from Harvard
and after studying law became a member of the
Rhode Island Legislature.
He served as Adjutant-General
of Rhode Island from 1835
and as a member of the United
States Congress from
Potter served as the State
Commissioner of Public Schools
and then returned to the practice of law. He subsequently served
as a Judge
on the Rhode Island Supreme
was an active member of the
Rhode Island Historical Society
and was the author of "Early
History of Narragansett" in
Judge Potter died
in South Kingstown on April
the second Free Frank to E
.R. Potter from a Rhode
Island Senator that I've added to the collection. Both of the
two Free Franked covers are small covers and are of a size to
hold a standard business card or invitation. This Cover also has
a small black border and could be a death notice or Funeral
notification, as it was a common practice at the time to use
black borders on that type of mail.
Senator J. H. Clarke - Free Frank)
received a copy of Senator
James' obituary as
published in the Providence
Journal, Morning Edition of October 18, 1862
thanks to the friendly and very helpful
of the Providence Library
and have reproduced it below.
Providence Journal - October 18, 1862
Death of Charles T. James
family of General James yesterday received the intelligence that
the wounds received by him on Thursday from the accidental
explosion of a shell while experimenting with one of his guns at
Sag Harbor, resulted in death on Friday morning. Gen. James was
born in the town of West Greenwich, in this State, in the year
1804, and was bred to the trade of a carpenter. He early
manifested that extraordinary mechanical talent which has given
him so much distinction. When he removed to this city, it was
for the purpose of assuming the superintendence of the Steam
Mill on Eddy Street then belonging to the late John Slater, Esq.
It was during this residence here, that he was elected Major
General of the militia of Rhode Island. In 1838 he received the
honorary degree of Master of Arts at Brown University. From
Providence he went to Newburyport, where he erected the Bartlett
and James Mills. Afterward he build the large cotton mill in
Salem and still later, mills in the States of New York,
Pennsylvania, Indiana and Tennessee. After resuming his
residence here, he built the Atlantic De Laine Mill in
Olneyville. In 1851, he was elected for a full term of six years
to represent this state in the Congress of the United States.
After his retirement from the Senate, he devoted himself to
various business enterprises, the chief of which was the new
projectile that bears his name, in the ultimate success of which
he had the most entire confidence. In all military arms he was
remarkably expert, and for years was regarded as one of the best
marksmen with the rifle in the State. General James was a man of
uncommon energy and perseverance. No disaster, no adversity,
could overcome his confidence in the final success of the
schemes on which he built his hopes of fortune and fame. He was
a man of fine presence, good address, and had the rare faculty
of bending even strong wills to his own. He was kind,
companionable, and always generous and charitable beyond his
means. He leaves a widow and four children. One of his daughters
is the widow of Colonel John S. Slocum, who fell in the first
disastrous fight at Bull Run.