Winsor, Samuel L.

Samuel L. Winsor Letter (1850)

Scope and Content:

One letter written by Samuel L. Winsor in Duxbury, MA to his brother, Capt. Daniel L. Winsor in New Orleans, LA on April 30, 1850.  The letter refers to the recent fire that consumed the home of Gershom Bradford Weston as well as a speech delivered by Daniel Webster (“Seventh of March Speech”).  It also discusses Samuel L. Winsor’s intention to leave Massachusetts for the gold rush in California.

Biographical Information:

Samuel L. Winsor (b. 1816) was the son of Nathaniel Winsor, Jr. (1775-1859) and Hannah Loring (1780-1850) of Duxbury, MA. Like his father,  Samuel was a well-known wood carver of figureheads for ships.  He departed for the gold rush aboard the ship Cherokee bound for Panama.  From Panama he sailed aboard the Oregon for California, arriving on May 20, 1850.  Samuel L. Winsor became a merchant in San Francisco, selling building materials, preserved meats and other goods.

Capt. Daniel Loring Winsor (1804-1882), the brother of Samuel L. Winsor,  was a ship captain and agent for Magoun and Son of Boston. He married Sally Bartlett Sampson of Duxbury and the couple had two children – Georgianna Lloyd Winsor (1830-1840) who died of paralysis at age 11; and George Lloyd Winsor (1843-1919).  Daniel Loring Winsor’s family spent part of each year in New Orleans, the remainder of the year was spent at their house on Washington Street in Duxbury.  This house is now the 1803 Winsor House Inn.

Gershom Bradford Weston (1799-1869) was the son of Ezra (King Caesar) Weston, II and Jerusha Bradford.  He was raised in the “King Caesar House” now owned by the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society.  In addition to working with his father at the Weston shipbuilding firm of E. Weston and Sons, he was also a prominent politician and social reformer.  He was a member of the Whig party and later, of the Free Soil and Republican parties.  He served the Massachusetts State Legislature as a Representative from Duxbury (1828-1831; 1868-1869) and as a State Senator (1832-1833).  In 1852 he was the Free Soil candidate for Congress.  He was married first to Judith Sprague (1796-1845) of Duxbury with whom he had 11 children; he was married second to Deborah Briggs Brownell (1822-1907) of Little Compton, RI with whom he had one son. His house on what is now St. George Street burned in 1850.  After rebuilding it, Weston sold the property to George and Georgianna Wright and the property was known for many years at the “Wright Estate” or “Pine Hill.”

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