1829: Calvin Sanger to Nathan Ball

This letter was written by Colonel Calvin Sanger (1768-1835), an industrialist, who was Sherborn’s first Postmaster and the town’s representative to the Massachusetts state legislature in the early 1800s. Next to his home, at 12 Washington Street, he moved his store and the town’s first post office about 1819. It was also the first site of Sherborn Academy, a private high school, in 1825. The original simple structure was expanded in the New England Federal vernacular style and an Italianate portion was added in the late 1860s. This elegantly simple structure is characteristic of New England villages with its siting close to the road.

I have not been able to confirm the identity of Nathan Ball of Watertown, Massachusetts. The name is too common and there were a number of descendants of John Ball who lived in the area.

Stampless Letter


Addressed to Mr. Nathan Ball, Watertown, Massachusetts

Sherborn [Massachusetts]
April 15, 1829

Mr. Ball
Dear Sir,


The proprietors of our academy have had a meeting and I find there is a number of them who are desirous of having you take the charge of our academy. And I have sent to the neighboring towns to ascertain the number of scholars that can be obtained. I am fully of opinion we shall be able to obtain a considerable number of scholars if you will come. If you have not engaged yourself, I wish you would not engage until I can see you, which will be in the course of this week.

Yours respectfully, — Calvin Sanger

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