Townsend, Caleb A. Correspondence, 1839-1850 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection contains two letters from Caleb Atwater Townsend in New York to his brother Eben Townsend, in Andover, Illinois, in 1839 and 1850. Caleb wrote to his brother about improvements the brothers needed to make in Andover to make the land more desirable to settlers.
Caleb Atwater (1779-1858) and Eben Townsend (1773-1853) were members of a wealthy merchant family from New Haven, Connecticut. Eben Townsend is cited in a history of Henry County, Illinois, as one of the people who "laid out" the town of Andover, Illinois. Andover was the first town established by settlers in Henry County. In 1849, a group of Swedish Lutheran immigrants arrived in Andover. The opera singer Jenny Lind funded the construction of a Swedish Lutheran church in Andover in 1851. The Jenny Lind Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
This collection contains two handwritten letters from Caleb Atwater Townsend to his brother, Eben Townsend, from the mid-1800s. The first letter was written in 1839, and in it, Caleb consulted his brother on how best to sell the land in Andover, Illinois. He wrote about putting up temporary housing for newcomers while they continued to build. In the second letter, written in 1850, Caleb told Eben that Swedish investors had been expecting them to build a Swedish Lutheran Church in the town for four months and were upset it had not been done yet.
The Library purchased this collection in 2022 with the support of the Bruce C. Creamer Fund.