11:43 PM


above: Capital, ca. 1848. Collection of Matthew R Isenburg

Welcome back to my blog....As I mentioned in the last posting I've been reading Congressional Bills online and submitted a request to find one document. It's just a letter, a request from some citizens in Paducah, Kentucky (aka a piece of ephemera).

So, here is how I dotted my I's and crossed my T's. Just remember, when submitting a request be clear and ask one question. 

I wrote the National Archives & Records Administration

Hello,
The LOC [Library of Congress] has directed me to your office to obtain a copy or scan of a petition. Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1854-1855

FRIDAY, January 12, 1855.
"By Mr. Boyd: The petition of citizens of Paducah, Kentucky, that
Glover and Mather be remunerated for losses sustained by them on
account."

I am researching the mail contract for Glover & Mather and I think this letter explains why their contract was cancelled.
Thank you for your assistance,
Elizabeth Isenburg


The Legislative Archives responded with some surprisingly good news. The record was missing, but the wonderful man at the Archives found 20 pages that will give me better insight. He wrote:

Dear Ms. Isenburg:
Thanks to the American Memory project of the Library of Congress (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html , pages 176-177 of the House Journal are online for January 12, 1855, and I could see the reference to the receipt of the petition and its referral to the Committee on Post Office and Post Roads.
Some decades ago after House records had come to the National Archives in 1946, archivists organized the mass of materials to make them accessible to researchers.  As part of that organization, I looked under the category HR33A-G16.36 (Petitions from the 33rd Congress referred to the Committee on Post Office and Post Roads concerning "payment of indemnities for losses sustained in relation to contracts for the transportation of the mail, December 13, 1853 - February 21, 1855).  Regretfully, the Paducah petition was not there, leading me to think that it is no longer extant.
However, in looking through the three folders in question, I located something else that may well address your concern:  a petition of William R. Glover and T. W. Mather for relief in relation to a mail contract upon the Ohio and Mississippi rivers forwarded to the committee on July 26, 1854, by Representative Breckinridge.
It is 19 legal pages (plus information on the back of the 19th page).  We can provide you with electrostatic copies of the Glover-Mather petition at 75 cents per page for what amounts to our minimum charge for mail orders.