William Hughes assessment of Merrill Slate prospects, Brownville, 1850

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


William Hughes wrote to Adams Merrill in East Cornish with an assessment of the competition and prospects for Merrill roofing slates -- and for expansion of the business.

Hughes wrote about European slate quarries, including those in Wales, which exported much of the quality slate used for roof tiles in the United States. He suggested that, with enough capital to expand, the quarry could employ 300 workers. Hughes, an immigrant from Wales, had started a quarry in the area and transferred some of his holdings to Merrill.

He concluded that if there were a prospect of a railroad, the slate business in Brownville would benefit and could produce enough slate to ship 500 tons a month.

Merrill owned the slate company that began operations in 1846. His wife's uncle, Moses Greenleaf, had considered operating a quarry on the property before he died in 1834.

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About This Item

  • Title: William Hughes assessment of Merrill Slate prospects, Brownville, 1850
  • Creator: Hughes, William
  • Creation Date: 1850-04-13
  • Subject Date: circa 1850
  • Town: Brownville
  • County: Piscataquis
  • State: ME
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 25 cm x 20 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 131, Box 1/12
  • Collection: Greenleaf-Merrill family papers
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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