Jonathan Thorne letter book 1839-1851
Collection Scope and Content Note
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This letter book (around 420 pages) contains retained copies of the outgoing business correspondence of New York City merchant Jonathan Thorne, dated between October 23, 1839, and May 12, 1851. Thorne wrote to professional acquaintances and firms about his interests in the leather industry and about his land holdings in western Michigan. Several different copyists contributed to this volume. Three loose letters, dated in 1850 and 1851, are laid into the letter book, and two loose letters are affixed to its final pages.
Thorne's earliest letters primarily concern his involvement in the leather industry in the late 1830s and early 1840s. He corresponded with companies and individuals about hides and finances. Thorne later shifted his focus to his land holdings in Berrien County and Kalamazoo County, Michigan, and discussed issues such as taxes and tenants. Though Thorne wrote almost extensively about his business affairs, he commented on politics on at least one occasion, offering his opinions about the Locofocos and William Henry Harrison in mid-1840.