Title: Abby H. Price to Walt Whitman, [25 March 1867]
Date: March 25, 1867
Source: Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Whitman Archive ID: yal.00378
Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Ashley Lawson, Elizabeth Lorang, and Beverley Rilett
279 E. 55th st.
My dear Walt.
Your welcome letter was duly received for which accept many thanks.
I write now in great haste to ask your assistance in behalf of Our Ruffle Manufacture and if you succeed in doing what we ask, or in getting it done I am authorised to offer you a 1000 dollar check as soon as it is done! think of that. It is only a simple act of justice that we ask either
The committee have just [revised?] the law concerning the "internal Revenue tax and "articles of clothing made by sewing from materials already having payed tax are exempted we thought our goods came under that head and rejoiced greatly but the Assesor says not so Our Manufacture bring trimmings to clothing and not clothing. Now altho we got the article patented and have tried in vain to defend the patent and put down infringers by law. The article is made in secret by unprincipled parties who do not pay any revenue tax at all, as they make no returns to the Internal Revenue Office, but are Jews working in a very underhanded way. Still we have to compete in the market with their manufacture. Our company always making fair returns each month and paying so large a proportion of the profit as tax, that in order to sell as low as those who evade the law, has left us very little scarcely enough to encourage the manufacture at all. The tax on my part the last year was quite as much as I received—
Well, what we want is to have them the ruffles exempted by the Committee before Congress adjourns either as parts of articles of clothing made by sewing or as a special article. They have exempted "step ladders" and several other things which I forget now.
You might ask it as "parts of articles of clothing such as shirt bosoms, ruffles, &c. made by sewing and of materials already paying tax" (shirt bosoms are in the law mentioned as exempted, and I think they will easily put in ruffles if you can hurry up and get at them soon enough.
You see Harland right away and tell him about it and find out who the Committee are. and I guess if you have time enough you can get it done and I shall have the fun of sending you the check! In haste to get it in to-night
A H Price
The $1000 is to pay you for a big effort and the trustees told me this morning they would gladly pay it you