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Letter written to Thomas Benbow Phillips by Thomas B Pickering, his “affectionate nephew” at Richmond, Virginia, USA, dated 29 October 1875

Tom Pickering introduced himself as John Pickering's second son, and explained that he and his brother James had settled in New York to carry out their business, which unfortunately had failed. James had become a portrait painter and Tom had become a clerk in Dun, Burlow & Co, a large firm in New York. James's two young sons had died of diptheria in the spring of 1874, his wife had become very depressed, so he had sent her off to Europe and had himself followed her last April. James was now settled in Manchester. Tom eventually left the firm and went into the Grocery business on Slaten Island near New York. He had not survived in business and had met some Captains of vessels that were trading to Brazil, who had recommended that he went there. He left New York on the schooner “Pelager” for Richmond to load flour for Rio Grande. The ship's Captain was James Bedell, they occupied the same state room, and they would probably reach Rio Grande about Christmas, where he hoped to find Thomas Benbow Phillips, his aunt, cousins and grandmother all well. He closed the letter by saying that he was looking forward to meeting all the family again, and that Thomas Benbow Phillips would hear from the Pickering family in Manchester before this letter reached him.

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