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Samuel Brown 1804 Letter Announcing Purchase of Great Saltpetre Cave

(Padgett, 1937b, p. 124)

Samuel Brown writes to his brother James:

To James Brown

Lexington Novr. 10, 1804

Dear Brother

To remain here inactive would have been as improper as to have gone without any possible prospects of success -I have therefore formed a Partnership with Mr Thos Hart purchased Kenkards [Kincaids] Salt Petre Cave & intend to go largely into the Manufacture of that Article & of Gunpowder. Our prospects are very flattering. We shall have 20 hands employed in the course of two weeks if we meet with no accident & expect to make lb 1000 per day of Salt Petre which we can exchange for half that quantity of Powder. We are offering to supply Govt & Hope to obtain the Contract. In my present circumstances it would have been very improper to have refused such offer as Mr Hart made You know his address, his industry, & management If we are not disappointed this business will enable me to enjoy your Society much sooner than I could do were I now to go in quest of a settlement on the Missis[s]ippi. More of this in my next. In the mean time I beg of you to endeavor to make some contracts for Powder. We can affored it at 37/100. Write to us if any contract offers -- John Clay can sound the Spanish March!

With affection to you both I am

Sam Brown


Source: The Saltpeter Empires of Great Saltpetre Cave and Mammoth Cave, Angelo I. George, 2001 HMI Press

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