DANIEL SPENCER GILMAN COLLECTION
WRITTEN BY DANIEL SPENCER
Lowell April 16th 1848
[To Moses, Jr.]. Your favor of the 5th Inst. I did not receive till last eve, therefore embrace the first opportunity of replying. I have not found you a Situation for I have made no effort to do so having come to the conclusion that most people wish to first see, & then purchase; likewise a situation I might fancy, you would not. You ask my opinion &c, which I will endeavor to give. In the first place if you wish to get into a dry goods in Lowell I think it quite probable you might do so but I also think your wages would be rather small & I furthermore think that a Clerkship in a Lowell rag shop is not a very promising situation in the way of advancement in salary, for about nine out of ten of our Dry Goods Dealers fall through the bottom every three years. However I may be mistaken. In a grocery store I think you might obtain employment & pretty fair wages, but the work is quite laborious. A retail Hardware Store would be a very good situation if you could obtain it. A place in an Auction & Commission House would be a pretty good chance & I think were you here to watch your opportunity you might in time get such a chance, perhaps you might get a situation in a restorator if you liked. And now to sum up the whole. Dry Goods light work small pay, yet pay quite as good as you would get in any Country Store. You must also wear fine cloth which would have a tendency to reduce your profits. Grocery hard work & fair pay after you got little used to it. Hardware chance slim. Auction good but a situation does not offer every day.
A man was wanted the other day to drive a Beer Wagg[on] at $18 per Month. Work pretty hard & the place is now supplied. A peddler’s situation without doubt you might obtain. You say that work does not agree with your disposition. If this is the case & you are determined not to work at any rate you had better remain where you are for if you should fail in getting a situation here to your liking, it would cost you far more to live here than in the Country. But if you are disposed to work I think you can get employment without working for any Old Fox. And now if you seriously think of coming this way I will give you a few words of advice (although advice uncalled for is said to stink). If you come, come with the determination to stay & if you cannot do as you would do as you can. Get acquainted with the place & its people, which will serve to introduce you to some business more adapted to your taste than the one you are or may be employed at.
I have said nothing of Boston & other places for I know but little of them. I was at Manchester last week & partially engaged to go to work there this summer for the man I worked for last fall. If I go I shall probably go next week & if you conclude to come perhaps you might as well stop & see Cousin Titcomb who lives on Lowell Street, & if I am there I will try & get leave of absence & I will do the best I can for you in the way of employment, unless you should think it best to become a genteel Loafer; in that case I should be at a loss how to proceed. If I could know what time you would come I would endeavor to meet you. (...)
Yours ever D.S. Gilman
One thing more which I like to have forgotten but which is of no less
importance on that account. I.E. a line of recommend. This to you may seem
of slight importance but if you should wish to try your luck in Boston
you would find if far otherwise. A line from Pettes & Sweet
certifying to your trustworthiness & honesty might prove valuable
& can do no harm. For a Merchant it is highly necessary that his Clerks
should be men in whom he can place implicit trust & confidence