John Murray Forbes to Edward Cunningham, September 28, 1857, in Sarah Forbes Hughes, ed., Letters and Recollections of John Murray Forbes (2 vols., Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1900), 1: 167-168.
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Boston, September 28, 1857.
MY DEAR EDWARD, -- We are in such a crisis here as only those who went through 1837 can conceive of. J. K. Mills & Co. and many stronger houses have gone, and other large ones on Milk Street only exist by sufferance, and many large manufacturing companies are in the same straits.
New York Central Railroad has run down from 87 to 55, and Michigan Central from 95 to 45, while the weaker concerns are clear out of sight – Erie 10, Southern Michigan 10-15.
Having taken in sail, not expecting a storm, but out of pure laziness, I am very easy unless other people swamp me; but I don’t believe W. Appleton’s note indorsed by W. Sturgis would bring $100,000 here within forty-eight hours, at three per cent. per month, -- such is the panic.
. . . Tell B. the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad seems very snug for a month or two to come, and Joy is sanguine that it will do a fine business when the crops begin to move east.
J. M. F.