Julius Wadsworth (1814-87) came to Chicago in 1836, from Middletown, Conn. He amassed a fortune from a dry-goods establishment, a packing house, an insurance business, and from investments in real estate and railroads.
The collection includes Wadsworth's memorandum of a letter to Judge Mark Skinner, another Chicago businessman. Written in Nov. 1841, during the depression that followed the Panic of 1837, Wadsworth lamented the nation's credit, which had sunk lower, in his view, than that of Texas. He urged that Illinois in particular institute a tax sufficient to pay the interest on its debt.
The collection also includes two drafts made out to Wadsworth from S. M. Engell & Co., St. Louis, on Jan. 3, 1844, and from Hamilton Gay, New York, on Nov. 15, 1844.
The collection was acquired by the Library in 2009.