[CHICAGO HISTORY - CHICAGO FIRE]. MANUSCRIPT LEDGER of D. Clark and Company, Chicago, 1849-1873.
4 volumes, tall 4to. Approximately 260 written pages comprising inventories, expense accounts, account descriptions, fair copies of correspondence, and pencil architectural renderings. 3 volumes in original roan-backed marbled boards, 2 with manuscript labels to upper covers; one in original reversed calf decorated in gilt and blind.
A group of four manuscript ledgers from D. Clark and Company, Chicago, 1849-1873, owned by George Ligare and various partners, whose primary business appeared to be the sale of lumber. In addition to the financial accounting records for the company, the ledgers include numerous fair copies of letters sent by the firm, most pertaining to the usual course of business, including FIRST-HAND ACCOUNTS OF THE CHICAGO FIRE.
George Ligare (1821-1901), merchant and voyager, was born in Winchester, England. Before his arrival in the Midwest, he served as an officer in the Third Ceylon Regiment in the British army, and spent considerable time in the East Indies. He arrived in Mackinaw in 1844, and spent that summer in the vicinity of the Fox and Wolf Rivers. He arrived in Chicago in the fall of 1845 and began working with lumber dealers; he ultimately went into business for himself, opening a lumber yard at the corner of North Water Street and Dearborn Avenue. He subsequently entered into a partnership with lumber manufacturer Darius Clark, opening a lumber yard at the corner of Market and Madison Avenues. He took on various business partners through the years, and in 1876, he purchased property in Glencoe, including "Maple Lodge," a residence first built by Walter S. Gurney.
"I HAVE BEEN TO LAKE SUPERIOR AND RETURNED JUST BEFORE THE FIRE. AWFUL TO BEHOLD"
In a 17 October 1871 letter to Rufus G. Beardslee, Ligare writes: "I have been to Lake Superior and returned just before the fire. Awful to behold." He comments on the rapid rebuilding of the city following the fire in a 12 December 1871 letter to Dr. Hiram Gale: "If you want to see the Chicago ruins you will have to come soon for they are being cleared away and new buildings going up pretty fast."
The ledgers also include fair copies of letters relating to an 1867 journey through the Rocky Mountains, the firm's early investment in a Colorado silver mine, and Ligare's Glencoe residence.
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