According to the Genealogical and Biographical Record of New London County , Connecticut, Noyes P. Denison (1804-1875) was a grain and provision merchant, which is substantiated by the content of this letter addressed to James Noble.1 Denison and Noble were brothers-in-law. Noble married Eliza Ann Smith and Denison married Harriet L. Smith (1810-1846).2
The letter was drafted on July 13, 1847 when Denison was in Harlem. He went to Harlem to "commence in the feed business about the first of May." At the time of this letter, he had not yet been successful as the price of feed and grain was high. Nevertheless, his hopes of success had not been dashed as he felt "the prospect is as good to do a fair business here as any place I know of."
Denison also told Noble about a new business partner whom he described as a "whig Alderman in the city of New York. While his business was there and his residence is out here, he still has an interest in a bakery there but intends disposing of it." This is purely speculative, but William Vermilye Brady (1811-1870) or lawyer and businessman Morris Franklin (1801-1885) both serve as possibilities for Denison's elusive business partner.
Although, the letter to Noble began on a hopeful note, but Denison soon left the subject of business matters and wandered into personal territory. Clearly, Denison felt kinship with Noble for in the letter he lamented his loneliness after Harriet's death which occured in March 1846, one year and a couple of months before this brief.
Harriet's death found Denison solely responsible for their son, Noyes Raymond Denison.* Denison states, "Noyes Raymond is in Waterford at school [sic] I a paying $2 a week for his board," but care for Noyes Raymond was not the only difficulty upon Harriet's death. The widower was shrouded in loneliness. In what might be taken as melancholy tones, Denison further laments, "I do not know as I shall ever get married but think of it[.] I am very lonely when not engaged in business & feel the need of a companion[.] I may possibly have a companion in the course of 2 or 3 weeks & I may not[.] Of one thin however I am certain if I do marry I hope I shall get a kind woman one who will try to make my life pleasant & I shall try to make such a one happy[.]
Was Noyes Palmer Denison successful in his quest for a companion? The answer is unclear. One source states he remarried, Mary Augusta Minor (Minor) on February 17, 1861, but we know that was actually the wedding between Noyes Palmer Denison's son, Noyes Raymond Denison and Mary Augusta Denison.3 Otherwise I found no record of another marriage, but here is hoping that his quest for companionship proved successful.4 Best, Pat
1 Genealogical and Biographical Record of New London County , Connecticut: Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of many of the Early Settled Families. J.H. Beers and Company, 1905. p. 250
2Wedding of James Noble to Eliza Ann Smith foundwas in an extract from History of the First Congretional Church Stonington, CT. Richard Wheeler. Norwich 1875. They were wed by Reverend Nehmiah B. Cook on September 4, 1839. Noyes Denison and Harriet Smith were wed on December 8, 1830.
3Group Sheet found on Barbarowa Genealogy, Brookly Village Ohio.
4 Noyes Palmer Denison died in Virginia in 1875, only one year prior to his son Noyes Raymond Denison's death in 1876.