Item #29176 [Manuscript document] A subscription letter from the Village of Little Falls, NY showing 34 entities willing to pay for connection to the new Magnetic Telegraph system.

[Manuscript document] A subscription letter from the Village of Little Falls, NY showing 34 entities willing to pay for connection to the new Magnetic Telegraph system

[Little Falls, NY]: Village of Little Falls 1847. 12 1/4 x 8 inches. Light blue paper, creased and with discoloration at the folds. Embossed stamp upper left (paper manufacturer?). Writing in ink and pencil. Verso with single word "Telegraph" Very Good. [29176]


"For the purpose of having the New York and Buffalo Magnetic Telegraph Company Establish a Telegraph Station in the Village of Little Falls, We the undersigned...Each for himself promises and agrees to pay to A G Stony or order the sum set opposite of our respective name (and this subscription shall be binding so soon as there is Two hundred dollars subscribed) or pay such proprotion as Two hundred dollars shall bear to the whole amount of this subscription. Little Falls, April 27, 1847"

The balance of the document contains a list of residents and/or businesses willing to pay to have a telegraph station in town. The total paid or committed by those on the list (some inked, some in pencil) appears to be $157. Many are marked paid. Prices paid range from $1 to $10. Connection to the telegraph system was a big deal since it enabled business and communication in a big way when previously only hand carried letters and/or shipping by waterway were possible communication methods.

A newspaper article by Vogt (Evening Times, September 2008) provides this image of the village's history: "Beginning with the revolution that broke ties with England's king, the Mohawk Valley was referred to as "the bread basket of the American army." As such, Little Falls was the port of call for shipping the grain to Albany. Later George Washington was eager to encourage an inland canal here, the first such navigational waterway in the United States. And as the nation grew and tapped into its great resources, the village of Little Falls, formed in 1811, became a leader in the knitting industry and the marketing of cheese. In fact, because of its extensive trade here, it became recognized as the cheese capital of the United States. Adding to the luster of that notoriety is the boast of becoming America's first Board of Trade and the first to export cheese to England.

Visitors approaching this place by way of packet boat were amazed at the beauty of the gorge and the attractiveness of the quaint little village where, at first sight, was the octagonal shape of a church sitting atop a hill and always in view of the ever cursing canallers. And the three-arched aqueduct gave off the charm of a medieval province. Someone once remarked, with exceeding compliment, that Little Falls was "America's beauty spot." Here, too, we met and conquered the Erie Canal's most difficult construction."

Provenance: The estate of telegraph historian Bill Holly.

Price: $275.00