The Stampless Folded Letter
shown above and to the left was sent from Providence, RI
by Mr. L. Robinson - Phenix Mills to
Samuel Slater and Sons in Webster,
Massachusetts. There is a very faint red 5 cent rate
at the upper right corner and a May 13, Providence CDS
at the upper left side. The cover was charged at the rate
set by the Postal Act of March 3, 1845, effective
July 1, 1845 which set the single letter rate at
5 cents for either paid or collect domestic
mail traveling under 300 miles.
Mr. L. Robinson,
(The Robinson's were a prominent
family in the Webster area)
who is possibly an agent for Samuel Slater &
Sons relates in the letter; the difficulty of obtaining
rail transportation for 310 bales of
cotton to be shipped to the Green Mill,
The letter has been penned by an E. W. Fletcher
for Mr. Robinson.
Mr. L. Robinson,
(The Robinson's were a prominent family in the
Webster area) who is possibly an
agent for Samuel Slater & Sons
relates in the letter; the difficulty of obtaining rail
transportation for 310 bales of cotton to
be shipped to the Green Mill, (Webster,
Massachusetts). The letter has
been penned by an E. W. Fletcher for Mr.
after building his original mill in Pawtucket
under the auspices of Almy and Brown, continued to
expand his business, constructing additional mills
in Providence, Slatersville and
Smithfield, Rhode Island and in Oxford
and Wilkinsonville, Massachusetts in
partnership with his father-in-law Oziel Wilkinson,
William Wilkinson and Timothy Green.
In 1812 Slater in partnership with Bela
Tiffany, (Born September 28, 1799 - Barkhamsted, CT)
purchased land in the area of what was to become the town of
Webster, Massachusetts and began construction of the
Old Green Mill. The mill began spinning cotton
into yarn in January 1813 and by the end of the
year a dye works had also been constructed
on the site. Slater continued to expand his business in Webster
under the name of Samuel Slater & Sons until his
death in 1835.
After Samuel's death,
his sons; John, George and
Horatio Nelson Slater continued to run the business.
John died in 1837 and George
died in 1843. Horatio continued to run the
business until his death in 1888.
Horatio Nelson Slater Jr. took over the company in
1888 and continued to run the company until he died
in 1899. Eventually the company was sold
in 1936 to the Cranston Print Works,
which still owns and operates the company today.
Slater was the son of Samuel Slater and
Hannah Wilkinson. He was born on
March 5, 1808 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
and died in 1888 in Webster,
Massachusetts. He married Sarah Tiffany in
1838 and they had 5 children;
Esther P., John Francis, Sarah Jane,
Horatio Nelson Jr., and Mary.
Horatio, Jr. took over the management of the family
business after his father's death in 1888. At the time this
letter was written, Horatio Nelson Slater, Sr.
was in charge of the company.
was the son of William Slater of Derbyshire,
England who died in 1782. He
was born on June 9, 1768. He learned
the textile business while apprenticed to Jedediah Strutt
and Richard Arkwright in England and
emigrated to the United States in 1789.
the Phenix Mills were being run by the
Lonsdale Company, which was a part the merchant firm of
Brown and Ives and accounts for the tie-in
Rhode Island Bicentennial FDC - Slater Mill History
SFL to George Dana - Horn Print Works
for further background and history of the