Rhode Island Stampless Covers & Letters
May 8 1849 Free Frank - Official Business to Orray Taft - Providence, RI
Washington, D.C. May 8 CDS with FREE curved above Cancel.

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

This is the cover only of a letter that was sent Free Franked to Orray Taft of Providence, Rhode Island from Peter G. Washington in Washington, D.C. on May 8, 1849. During this time Mr. Washington was serving as Chief Clerk of the Office of the 6th Auditor. His signature is at the upper right of the cover beneath the Official Business stamp.

Peter G. Washington was born in Virginia. His obituary in the Washington, D.C. Evening Star states, "That he came to the city as a youth and that he died on February 10, 1872 in New York City. His remains were returned to the capital where he was buried in the Congressional Cemetery."

I also found a reference to a Monthly that Peter Washington and Charles M. Willard began in June of 1850. It was called, "The United States Postal Guide and Official Advertiser" and had a run of 24 issues, ending in July of 1852.

Peter G. Washington was Chief Clerk of the Office of the Treasurer from 1829 to 1835; Chief Clerk of the Office of the 6th Auditor from 1837 to 1843; Sixth Auditor for the Post Office Department from 1845 to 1849 and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury from 1853 to 1857.

Orray Taft, a member of the sixth generation of Tafts in America was born in Uxbridge, Massachusetts to Marvel and Ruth Taft on April 9, 1793. He attended public schools in Uxbridge and entered the cotton trade as a Factor while still quite young. He continued in this endeavor until 1829, after which he moved to Providence, Rhode Island and became one of the principal owners of the Wauregan Cotton Mill.

Orray was well known in the southern cotton markets and made annual visits to many of the cotton plantations. Mr. Taft was one of the organizers of the People's Savings Bank of Providence and eventually became the president of that institution.  He served one year as a member of the Rhode Island State Legislature and was also one of the organizers and President of the Worcester Railroad.

Orray Taft married Deborah Keith of Northbridge, Massachusetts on September 24, 1821. They had five children.

Orray Taft bought a 35 acre tract in Providence, RI known as the Brattle Farm in 1860. He died at his home located on this property in 1865.

Robert Taft was the first of the Tafts to reach America. He was born in Ireland in 1640 and immigrated to Massachusetts in 1678 where he was granted property in Braintree. Robert later acquired property in Mendon and Sutton and was one of the largest property owners in the area. He died on February 8, 1725

RI Historical Society
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Brown & Ives Letters
The Hazard Family Letters
Joseph Tillinghast
Free Franked Letters
DeWolf Family Letters

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