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Robert E. Lee Sundries Receipt – dated March 1870

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Old 04-23-2007, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 33
Default Robert E. Lee Sundries Receipt – dated March 1870

Robert E. Lee Sundries Receipt – dated March 1870

I would like to tap the wealth of knowledge in this group for some comments regarding what appears to be a receipt for “Sundries” bound for Natchez on the Robt. E. Lee, in March of 1870, (before the big race in July).

I bought this document from a book and documents dealer in New Orleans. (I have very little invested in this so all thoughts are welcome.)

The receipt is on lined paper, approx. 5 x 6 in., ragged on the left side. It appears to be somewhat informal.

The text is as follows (as best as I can translate):

New Orleans March, 22 “ 1870

Received in good order on board
the steam boat Robert E. Lee
bound for Natchez Missi –
One box Sundries Mar 16 (possibly Mark)
Joseph Real Natchez

There is an over signature in pencil that I cannot entirely make out –
Hat. . .

I have several obvious questions:

1) Is this likely to be genuine? (The dealer was reputable. He indicated that this piece had circulated in New Orleans for some time. . . . And no, I do not believe everything I am told!)
2) Was this receipt from the famous racer?
3) The lined paper caught me off guard, was that common in 1870?
4) I know that “Sundries” basically means unspecified or miscellaneous objects or contents. (the Natchez Courier carried advertisements during this time from merchants reporting having received new boxes of "Sundries" from steamers, usually patent medicines, small jewelry, fishing line, etc., etc.) Might a box such as this have been checked in with a purser as a parcel, rather than as freight with a more formal bill of lading, etc.?
5) Any other comments or observations appreciated.

If this has any provenance, I plan to frame it below a print of the Robt. E. Lee for my collection. I read the messages from this group almost every night. The collective experience, knowledge, and the commraderie of this bunch make this my favorite spot. I have had the pleasure to meet some of you. I look forward to your comments and observations.


Ed Jones

P.S. I found this inquiry on Joseph Real on an Adams County Geneology Site

I am searching for an Elizabeth Macklin or Mackin who was married to
Joseph A. Reale about 1873. From newspaper articles the name Reale is at
times spelled REAL. Joseph Reale had 4 children, 2 sons, one died
without marriage , the other never married. One daughter married and took
the name Campisi, did not bear children. The last family member died in

Any information on Elizabeth and her family would be appreciated.

Sal Reale
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Last edited by wedjones; 04-23-2007 at 07:57 PM.
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