New Life for a Dead Letter
Jul - 04 - 2009
Until last week, it hadn’t occurred to me that the Dead Letter Office in Washington, D.C. might hold some long lost correspondence concerning Fin Button. I’d passed it over in my research because the office wasn’t established until 1825, long after the golden age of Fin’s career, and the overwhelming bulk of letters that end up there are destroyed.
You can imagine my surprise then when I received a call from a rodentially-voiced clerk of the office who reported that in the process of searching for a hidden supply of doughnuts he chanced across a brittle and yellowed letter bearing the initials “FB”.
Though the clerk could not explain the existence of a letter in his file cabinet that predated the office by fifty years, he was kind enough to send it to me for further study. Upon my own inspection I was delighted to learn of its authenticity, yet somewhat saddened to know that its intended audience had never set eyes upon it.
The letter (dated Christmas Day, 1775) has been carefully transcribed and it is presented on the Letters to Peter page so that you may read that which Peter LaMee, regrettably, could not.