Colenda Digital Repository

Tobias I. Tobias letter books, 1815-1830. Volume 1.

Tobias I. Tobias (Tobias Isaac); T. I. Tobias & Co. (Firm); David Judah & Co. (Firm)
Three volumes comprising outgoing correspondence from Tobias I. Tobias while he was living in London, England. The letters are addressed to family members, friends, and business associates spanning the years from 1815 to 1830. Volume 1 contains correspondence dated from 1815 to 1816. The letters were chiefly to his brother Samuel, who was living in New York and regarded merchandise, invoices, debts, vendors, and family news. Several letters were also written to Simpson Samuell, probably Tobias's lawyer, who handled bills, payments, and monetary exchanges. Volume 2 comprises letters dated from 1816 to 1817 and were written to various vendors. During this time Tobias was living in New York. He wrote many letters to John Walton, who sent Tobias consignments; N. Hart concerning purchases; and A . J. Woolf. The correspondence also concerned payments due and bills of exhchange. Volume 3 contains letters from Tobias spanning the years from May 5, 1825 to October 30, 1830. The letters regard the Tobias's business in New York. The majority of the correspondence in this volume is with David Judah, an auctioneer living in Richmond, Virginia, concerning David Judah & Company. Tobias and Edward Pollack were partners in the company. The letters concerned payments to vendors, types of merchandise sold, and Tobias's consignments to David Judah. Eventually, Judah's failure to pay his portion of the accounts as described in the correspondence led to Tobias's poverty, arrest, and final dissolution of the company in 1828. Correspondence from Tobias with Manuel Judah, Benjamin J. Hooper, and Kennedy & Duchamp of New Orleans are also included. There are also letters concerning Samuel I. Tobias who traveled to Richmond to aide Judah with the account books. The merchandise Tobias mentions throughout the letter books is blankets, boots, cloth, cordage, cotton, dolls, jewelry, razor cases, shoes, and watches from vendors in England, Nova Scotia, and the United States. The last page in the volume has a chart of prices for cotton, flannel, and wool cloths; and freight shipment costs and tariffs. The leaves at the beginning of Volume 3 are alphabetical tabs. There are 12 letters on letterpress paper and one leaf of blotter paper laid in Volume 1. There are 6 leaves of letters on letterpress paper laid in Volume 2. There are two clippings regarding freight charges laid in Volume 3. Volumes 1-3 have detached covers with some loose leaves. Volume 3 has a cracked spine.; Born in Liverpool, England to Morris I. Tobias and his wife. Tobias had two brothers Samuel Isaac and Meyer Michael. Morris I. Tobias was a watchmaker. He owned M. I. Tobias & Company. Morris trained his son Tobias as a watchmaker. Tobias created pocket watches engraved with his signature: T. I. Tobias. In 1816 Tobias sailed to the United States to sell watches from the company. Eventually, Tobias, his wife Rebecca, and their children settled in New York. He became a wholesale merchant and operated T. I. Tobias and Comapny. He imported and consigned general merchandise and dry goods. Tobias later concentrated on importing wines and liquors. He married Rebecca Levy in 1807 and couple had eight children.
Physical Description:
v.1 of 3
Physical Location:
MS 56, Codex 007.1 v.1
Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica (University of Pennsylvania)