1859 · Slate Hill, PA
by Isaac Parker
Slate Hill, PA: Susquehanna Slate, 1859. General wear. Missing corner.. The item is two letters addressed to Reverend Benjamin William Chidlaw written on a finely illustrated circular. The letters are written on a single page, which has been folded in half, with the first letter written on the inside fold and the second has been pasted onto the backside. What is perhaps most salient about these letters, is the stationary it is written on. The front of this single fold stationary is from Isaac Parker's business, Susquenhanna Slate which is "Equal to the Best Welsh" and located in Slate Hill, PA. It has a beautiful black and white illustration on the top half of the page which showcases the quarry and excavation equipment used to remove the slate. On the bottom, it provides information on the quarry itself, such as that the slate is used for roofing materials and that they are the go-to slate quarry who provides materials for the US Government for roofing public buildings.
In regards to the letters themselves, the first is a letter from Isaac Parker, and in the note he states that enclosed is $15.00 to help with Reverend Benjamin William Chidlaw's mission of establishing Sunday schools out west. Reverend Chidlaw worked as a missionary for the American Sunday School Union (ASSU) which was founded in 1824, in order to fulfill its mission for the promotion of Sunday (or Sabbath) schools that would help in the early literacy and spiritual development in children. While the mission first started in Pennsylvania, it soon grew, and began to focus on providing schooling for children in other areas, such as the central west. Reverend Chidlaw was the first commissioned missionary of the ASSU to help in this endeavor. The second letter is from Petre Carter, who sent the donation for Parker to Chidlaw as Parker didn't know where to send the money. Single fold. Measures 8 3/4" x 5" (folded), 10" x 7 3/4" (unfolded).
(Inventory #: 29001365)