James L. Hunt on keeping job, Newburyport, 1845


James L. Hunt wrote to his parents in Bath to tell them that although he had planned in November to leave his job at Russell & Walker foundry in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he had worked since July, he was still at the same job.

Hunt, who was about 19, wrote that as soon as the company found out he was planning to leave, they offered him a job working evenings if he would stay. He wrote, "I almost wish now that I had gone for I have got almost sick of working here for they have nothing as it should be to work with."

He described some of the work they did at the foundry and the problems among some of the workers, including his friends Seth and Cyrus.

He also wrote about a man who was killed by jumping or falling from a rail car while trying to avoid the sheriff who was seeking him for non-payment of debts.

He asked if his parents had heard about the new system of writing called "phonography." He included some examples at the bottom of the page. It is a type of shorthand.


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