John Bailey to Edward E. O'Brien, Thomaston, 1861
This letter is addressed to Edward Ellis O'Brien, son of Edward O'Brien, who handled his father's business correspondence. John Bailey, listed as a teacher and shipbuilder in Thomaston, was sent to Georgia by Edward O'Brien to manage and oversee his lumber concerns for his shipbuilding business. As northern forests were depleted of lumber, shipbuilders turned to the virgin forests of the south as a source of ship timber. Bailey lived with his family on a plantation in the vicinity of Owen's Ferry, Georgia, where he harvested lumber to be shipped to other ports. The reference to President Lincoln provides a hint of sentiment felt by northern shipbuilders toward the war effort. The trade industry was heavily dependent on the transportation of southern imports and exports, and was to suffer greatly during the War of the Rebellion.