The Walbridge papers consists of 17 letters from Wells D. Walbridge to his uncle and partner, George B. Walbridge, written between November, 1851, and August, 1852, plus one letter from a business associate, Andrew Parker. During these several months, George Walbridge was resident in Savannah, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla., suffering to some degree from ill health. The letters concern the routine, but fairly diverse business interests of the Walbridges, and include commentary on the commercial climate in Buffalo, and the various rail and steam lines which connected the city with markets to the east and west.
While few in number, the letters in the Walbridge Papers are useful for providing a taste of the business climate of the early 1850s, and particularly for the importance that rail and shipping held for one another. Both Walbridges emerge as aggressive, speculative businessmen who kept an attentive eye on their extended finances and on the somewhat fickle winds of the business world.