The Hazard Family Letters 1832-1950
March 22, 1836 SFL signed by Thomas
(Shepherd Tom) Hazard

To J. Davis & Son in Wickford, Rhode Island
Letter concerns a new high quality wool obtained by Mr. Hazard

(Scroll Down for Background Information, History & the Full Letter Text)  

The Stampless Folded Letter (SFL) above was sent to J. Davis & Son at Wickford, RI on March 23, 1836 from Thomas R. (Shepherd Tom) Hazard in Providence, RI. The Cover bears a red Providence March 23 CDS. There is a red script 6 at upper left indicating 6 cents due. This rate was set by the Postal Act of April 9, 1816 (effective May 1, 1816) which set the rate for mail traveling less than 30 miles at 6 cents.

Mr. Hazard has just returned to Providence from Boston, where he evidently bought a large quantity of wool. He states that it is the best quality wool that has ever sent to Mr. Davis & Son. He also talks about having ordered an additional quantity of "Mogadore" wool, which he claims is the highest priced and finest wool he has ever bought.

I found several references to a "Mogador" weave made up of 50 percent wool and 50 percent rayon. As rayon was not a known fabric at this time, the Mogadore Wool referred to in the letter was possibly of a very fine weave, which could be easily woven with cotton or another material to make a quality cloth. There is also a port town in Morocco formerly known as Mogador (now Essaouira), which was noted for fine quality wool. Thus, Mogador might have evolved as a reference to any very fine wool.

Thomas Robinson Hazard was born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island in 1797. He was the second son of Rowland and Mary Peace Hazard. He was educated at, the Friends' school in Westtown, Chester County, Pennsylvania and then worked in his father's mill in South Kingstown while also farming and raising sheep. (He was known as "Shepherd Tom.")  In 1821, he went into business on his own and established a woolen mill at Peacedale, RI.

In 1836, Thomas purchased an estate in Portsmouth, RI, which he named Vaucluse. He married Francis Minturn in 1838 and retired from manufacturing in 1840. After his retirement he took up writing. His subjects included such diverse topics as capital punishment, African colonization, political essays, religious persecution, medical instruction, and sheep farming. One of his better known works was a collection of South Kingstown Folklore called The Johnny-Cake Papers of Shepherd Tom originally published in 1888 and reprinted in 1915. 

Thomas Hazard was heavily involved in the spiritualist movement and after the death of his wife he wrote many articles on the topic and hosted frequent sťances at his home in Portsmouth.

Thomas Robinson Hazard died in New York City in 1886. Francis Minturn Hazard died in 1854. Thomas and Francis had 5 daughters and 1 son.

The only J. Davis I could find in genealogy records that fits the time period and area was a John Davis born in North Kingstown, (Washington County) Rhode Island in 1791.

NOTE: I have acquired the 1915 reprint of the 1888 book "The Jonny Cake Papers" written by Thomas Hazard, with an introduction and bio by his grand nephew Roland G. Hazard, the grand son of Thomas' brother Roland. I have added Roland's Bio of Thomas R. Hazard on separate pages.

The Complete Text of the Letter Follows Below:
  Prov. March 22, 1836
Messrs I Davis & Son
                             I have just returned from Boston & have ordered to you about 8000 pounds of by far the best wool I have ever sent you -- being much finer & better picked than any I have ever before had --
    I have also ordered you by Mr. Gerild about 3000 pounds of Mogadore for which I paid 18 cts & is the dearest wool I have bought for years -- I hope when you come to work it you will not find it necessary to put in as much as we agreed -- Please weigh the Mogadore after it is colored to ascertain how much it wastes -- The picked wool is so fine that if you make the rolls as small as they will run it will readily make yarn. Three runs to the pound which will fill 4 yards. Please send an invoice to New York of all goods finished -- & if a packet does not sail soon from Wickford you may ship 20 bales by Prov first packet of Union Line provided you will deliver them on board at 12 cts pr bale. 
                                                                                 Yours very respectfully,
                                                                                  Thomas R. Hazard

See Also:  

  The Hazard Family History 
1843 Isaac P. Hazard Letter 
A Full Size Multi-Invoice Form 
Full Text of One Invoice 
History of Carolina Mills 
Intro to "Jonny-Cake Papers"
Bio of Thomas Hazard by
Roland Gibson Hazard II - 1915

Postcard - Hazard Memorial Hall 
Postcard - Hazard's Castle 
Explanation of Postal Rates

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Hazard Family Letters I

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Hazard Family Letters III

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