Scope and Contents
This collection of correspondence covers the years 1848 to 1849. Wilson relates to the ups and downs of the market, identifying the prices for flour, cornmeal, rye, oats, cattle, and produce. He also notes the prospects for trade with England and other European countries.
Wilson discusses the political news carried over by the officers of ships from Europe arriving in Baltimore and what he hears about ships arriving in New York. Included are comments on Prussia, the threat of civil war in France, starvation in Ireland, U. S. troops in Mexico, Asiatic cholera, and several notes about the Pope. Russia, Hungary, Austria, and South America are mentioned as well.
The California gold rush is also a recurring topic in a few of Wilson’s letters. He conveys information about the number of men and ships leaving the eastern ports with “gold fever” bound for the west coast. The arrival of two shipments of gold worth ten thousand and a million dollars, respectively, is noted.