Folded letter by US Navy Surgeon David Shelton Edwards
The letter was written on 25 November 1848 and carried privately to New York City, where it was posted on 29 November. Perhaps it was carried as a favor by another naval officer going to New York City. The letter was sent unpaid from New York City to Sing Sing, New York and charged 5 cents postage due, shown in the red circular date stamp. This was the correct rate for a letter weighing less than 1/2 ounce going a distance less than 300 miles.
This letter by David Shelton Edwards, writing from the Navy Yard at Norfolk, Virginia, begins as many of his letters to his wife Harriet do: with a description of the various people he has met while there and gives news of old friends. He explains that he does not plan to be there past January but wants to see her before then.
This letter is part of the correspondence of David Shelton Edwards between the years 1835 and 1848. The 48 letters from this period held by the National Postal Museum are primarily addressed to Edward's wife Harriet; in 1830, Edwards married Harriet Eliza Henry and they had two children, William and Harriet. They kept up a frequent correspondence when his naval service kept them separated. Between 1835 and 1848, Edwards served as a Surgeon at the hospital in the Pensacola Navy Yard, Florida; Fleet Surgeon to the West Indies Squadron; and Surgeon aboard many vessels engaged in the Mexican-American War. His naval career spanned from 1818 to 1861 and his last sea cruise ended in October of 1859 after which he retired to his family home in Connecticut except for a brief time spent at New Bedford, Massachusetts recruiting for the Union Navy during the Civil War. He died in Trumbull, Connecticut on March 18, 1874.
(Keeling's) National Hotel
Norfolk Nov. 25th 1848
I intended to write you a good letter to day; but have been over to the Yard & am too late for the mail. I write this & send it on, by Mrs. Hiler - who goes on this evening
I am quite well & went to bed last night the first time since I left S. Sing & slept well. This is a very good house & we have quite a number of Naval ladies here. Mrs. Ring is here - she sends her love to you & says you must come on here - I called on Mrs Stribling & Mary - Mary looks very well but has a troublesome affect.n of the throat. & cough -
I do not believe we shall leave here before January. & I must either come on to N. York or have you come on here to see me before we leave -
they all say we will have a very short & pleasant cruise
in haste yours as ever