12:20 PM

Above- 1854 View of Charlestown Massachusetts
Welcome back to my blog-
I lost a bid on an Ebay for a 1850 letter sent to Linus Jackson in St Louis and ask, 
“If I don’t have the actual hard copy source, can I use this Ebay description as a legitimate information source?"
This is a good question and often when collections are sold off, the original citation is not longer good for relocating the document. I Googled and it seems ok….what do you think???

Information source
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Source" means the origin of something. An information source is a source of information for somebody, i.e. anything that might inform a person about something or provide knowledge to somebody. Information sources may be observations, people, speeches, documents, pictures, organizations etc. They may be primary sourcessecondary sourcestertiary sources and so on.

Linus Jackson’s name should sound familiar if you’ve been following along. He is the man who designed the Shingle Machine that was sold off to Bervard and then patented in 1857.

This letter clarified that Linus wasn’t just a pencil pusher before he became an agent for the Commercial Insurance Co., he was involved with building railroad cars. Per the web page Railway Car Builders of North America, it cites, The American Railway Times, 10 March 1853 for an advertisement for the St. Louis Railroad Car Manufactory (1852-1856). Linus Jackson advertised “Railroad Cars of every description, such as - Passenger, Freight, Hand and Dumping Cars.”

His brother Nathaniel Jackson wrote the letter from Charlestown Massachusetts where he is employed building railroad cars. He asks if Linus could find him and three or four of his co-workers work in St Louis. Perhaps this is a start up of the RR firm and what a treasure to see there is a connection! Linus was working in the RR firm when our unknown St. Louis Salesman was selling the shingle machine to Pompery (aka Florence Land Co] in Florence, NT.

Click on Image to Enlarge As seen by the 1850 census below- Nathaniel as a wheelwright in Charlestown Mass. and either both men (and just Nathaniel) have the skill to design the machine. They must have been close because one of Nathaniel’s son’s is named after Linus.

1850 United States Federal Census about Nathaniel Jackson

Nathaniel Jackson    Wheelwright
Estimated birth year:
abt 1810
Birth Place:
Home in 1850 (City,County,State):
Charlestown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Family Number:
Household Members:

I am looking forward to receiving the copy of Linus’ letter stating he doesn’t have any claim to the Bervard’s Patent- only 85 more days to go.....

The Letter was listed as EBay Item 120588648537 and described as;
2 pgs letter, approx. 7-3/4" x 9-7/8", datelined at Charlestown, Mass., Sept. 13, 1850, from Nathaniel Jackson, to his brother, Linus Jackson, at St. Louis, Missouri. Folded letter has red CHARLESTOWN/Ms. postmark and manuscript "10" rate. An interesting letter in which Nathaniel [Jackson], who works in a shop making rail road cars, asks his brother if he can find work for him and 3 or 4 other men in the shop. Includes (spelling corrected):
"By the permission of our heavenly Father we are all enjoying good health and hope to hear when you write, that you and your family are enjoying the same. I have not heard from Guilford since I wrote you last. Simington left in April to go to a small town back of Portland to live. He was to work on a piece of land, he was taken sick soon after, and returned to his wife's brother's in Mansfield. I do not know where my other brothers are.
I wish you to write me, after due enquiry, whether there is or will be, any opportunity of getting employment, three or four of us on some Rail Road of your knowledge in building Rail Road cars. Those men I speak of have had experience in business four or five years in the shop with me. As I do not wish to go to wheel making again, please to give me your opinion in regard to it...."
Small partial fold split, neatly repaired with archival document tape. Tear on the address panel.