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Could This Be A Letter From 'The' Johns Hopkins?

 
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Canada
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Posted 12/30/2020   5:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Casey Magoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I have a stampless cover from 1854. The addressee is Edwin H Webster, who was a pretty prominent lawyer with military and political ties, Google tells me. The letter inside is from a John or Johns Hopkins from Havre de Grace Maryland. I don't know a lot about US history or if this can be tied to this man or not. Could it just be someone with a similar name who is also a businessman at the same time in the same City? Any leads would be appreciated. He mentions the names Thomas, Sullivan and Coleman.




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Edited by Casey Magoo - 12/30/2020 6:06 pm

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Posted 12/30/2020   6:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Johns Hopkins signature:


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United States
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Posted 12/31/2020   07:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think this is an authentic ALS of "the" Johns Hopkins. The letter appears to be entirely in one hand and to me the convincing evidence is the way he makes the "k" in the word "backed" about halfway down. Congrats. I have Hopkins on a RR stock cert but an ALS is a step up.
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Posted 12/31/2020   1:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Casey Magoo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for keeping my hope alive. There are other people at the University researching his past right now, and I'd like to get ahold of them if I can be of any help. I know there is a letter written to Abe Lincoln in 1862 that has a slightly different signature. Eight year difference. I have a pdf of it and the writing is easy to read. There are words broken in half at the end of a line in both letters. Maybe that was very common. Back to my research...
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Posted 01/04/2021   11:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The signature is all wrong. Possibly it might be written by a secretary either as dictated by Hopkins or as a file reference copy of a letter that Hopkins wrote.
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Posted 01/04/2021   5:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Casey Magoo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I sent a jpg of the letter only to the University. They have a page where they request any kind of archival information you may have to 'donate' to them. I don't know if the right set of eyes will see this in their inbox any time soon. I was only able to include one attachment, so the cover bearing Edwin H Webster's name is not included. Hopefully they can make a connection to the other people named in the letter. It has been very interesting digging into this. It was revealed only last month that Hopkins was indeed a slave owner in the 1850s and now they are scrambling to prop his name back up again.
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Edited by Casey Magoo - 01/04/2021 7:24 pm
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Posted 01/04/2021   10:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Will be interesting to watch how this plays out. I wouldn't place a bet against Funcitypapa.
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Posted 01/04/2021   10:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The signature that I posted is authenticated and the two when compared are were not done by the same signer.
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Posted 01/06/2021   6:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Casey Magoo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have not heard anything back from JHU officials. I will just hang onto this as a curiosity. I've already moved on to a bigger project...
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Posted 01/15/2021   10:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Reedededge to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
His name was Johns Hopkins, not John Hopkins. Aside from the fact the signature looks nothing like rogdcam's image, there clearly is no S after John on the ALS. I'm not a signature expert, but I would be skeptical on this one.
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Edited by Reedededge - 01/15/2021 10:54 pm
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Posted 02/03/2021   4:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To add even more coffin nails to kill any hope that this cover might be from THE Johns Hopkins, the 1870 Federal Census shows a man named John Hopkins (note John spelled without an s on the end) was born in Havre de Grace in 1810 and was still living there in 1870 with his family that included a son also named John (no s) Hopkins who was born in 1840. This letter was sent from Havre de Grace which is in Harford County up near the Pennsylvania border. John Hopkins was a tax collector and so would be likely to be writing such business letters to many different attorneys on a regular basis. THE Johns Hopkins who is famous was born in Crofton, Maryland which is in Anne Arundel Country which is in Central Maryland, to the east of Washington, D.C. The distance between Crofton and Havre de Grace on today's highways is about 60 miles but back in the mid 1800s it would have been greater and likely would have taken at least a day if not two to get from one to the other. They are not near each other. So, taking this into account, along with the already pointed out evidence that the letter is signed John, not Johns, and it defies reason that Johns Hopkins did not know how to spell his first name, and the fact that the signature in this letter looks nothing like Johns Hopkins' signature, and finally that this letter is from Havre de Grace where John Hopkins lived at that time, there is no way this letter could be from THE Johns Hopkins.
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