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Title Letters Received by John Perkins Cushing
Reference L144, box 1, folder 3
Library Boston Athenaeum
Collection Papers of John Perkins Cushing and Family, 1803-1864
Date 10 Jun 1827 - 08 Mar 1838
Description The first letter is from an aunt thanking Cushing for sending certain China goods to her as gifts from Canton. The second letter is from J F Perkins (probably Jane Frances Perkins, the wife of Cushing's cousin Thomas H Perkins Jr.) giving advice on which route Cushing should take on an upcoming tour of the east coast of America. The third letter is from an anonymous acquaintance warning Cushing against a young lady he has met. The fourth letter is from J F Perkins giving Cushing family news and scolding him for not coming to see them. The fifth letter is from Adeline Wells ordering furnishings 'in the Chinese style' for her boudoir. The sixth is from hong merchant Howqua confirming a delivery of tea. The final four are from merchant Chutang Ahoo confirming deliveries.
Document Type Correspondence, Manuscript
Theme(s) Trade and Commerce; Social Life
Keywords tea, goods, commodity, advice, trade, gifts, merchant, visit, tour, society, friends, family, chinoiserie, tobacco, mulberry seeds, business
Countries UK; China; USA
Places Exeter; Norfolk; Richmond; Baltimore
Ports Guangzhou, China; Boston, USA; New Haven, USA; New York, USA; Philadelphia, USA
Company Bryant, Sturgis and Company
Ships Luconia, Emily Taylor, Commerce, Oneida, Roman, Monsoon
People Howqua
Additional Information

John Perkins Cushing (22 April 1878 - 12 April 1862) was a merchant and philanthropist from Boston. Early in his life he became a clerk in the mercantile firm of Perkins and Company, established by his uncles James and Thomas Hannasyd Perkins, for carrying on trade with China and the Pacific Northwest. In 1803, aged 16, he accompanied Ephraim Bumstead, the eldest apprentice in the company, on a voyage to Canton. Bumstead was taken ill and obliged to return home, and Cushing was left to carry on the business in China. He did so well that Thomas H Perkins allowed him to stay in Canton as resident agent. He remained there for nearly thirty years, amassing a colossal fortune. He came back to Boston in 1830, broken in health, and married Mary Louise Gardiner. They had five children. Cushing spent his last decades at their estate outside Boston, contributing to charities and living very modestly despite his huge wealth.

Please note that some of the metadata for this document has been drawn from the Boston Athenaeum catalogue.

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