Casefile Clues

23 November 2012

An 1849 Letter in the Post Office

The United States Post Office didn't always bring letters to your home. This 1849 advertisement from a Springfield, Illinois, newspaper included the names of several area residents who had letters they could pick up in the post office.

Date: Wednesday, May 2, 1849  

Paper: Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield, IL)-

obtained on 

    Genealogybank.com

Recipients would be charted two cents per letter and had three months to claim the letter.  There are notations that some individuals had two letters waiting for them.

The person of interest was Abraham Chaney who is shown on the part of the list reproduced in the following image:

Date: Wednesday, May 2, 1849  

Paper: Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield, IL)-

obtained on 

    Genealogybank.com

If I had not known when Abraham arrived in Illinois, this would have helped me to approximate that date.

One letter is listed as being for Jno Baird or Milas James. If one of those men had been the person of interest, this list would have indicated that they were associates. That clue might not be stated in other contemporary documents.