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Letter Collection of Paul Shaffrath from Seattle, 1906-1908 to His Fiance M. Louise Brown.

Shaffrath, Paul

Condition: Collectible-Very Good No Binding
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Barry Cassidy Rare Books
Sacramento, CA, U.S.A.

5-star rating

AbeBooks Seller Since May 27, 2013

About this Item

83 letters from Paul Shaffrath, along with 2 pieces of related ephemera and 2 photographs. Paul Shaffrath (1877-1961) was a long time Seattle lawyer who moved to Seattle in 1906 looking to establish himself on the West Coast. He was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States with his family circa.1885. Their home became Waterbury, Connecticut. Shaffrath graduated from Exeter Academy in New Hampshire before graduating from Yale University (1904) and Yale Law School (1906). The letters in this collection are written to Maria Louise Brown, Shaffrath's fiance. Louise Brown (1880-1939) was from Pittsfield, New Hampshire and graduated from Mt. Holyoke college in Massachusetts in 1905. During the time of this correspondence, Miss Brown is teaching high school at Presque Isle, Maine (1906-07) and West Springfield, Massachusetts (1907-08). [Approximately 100 love letters that Miss Brown writes to Shaffrath, 1906-1908, are included]. After a cross country train trip from New England to California, where his brother Max lives, Shaffrath travels up to Seattle where he makes contact with some old Yale friends, namely Donald McDonald and George Albin. Following a brief job search, McDonald introduces Shaffrath to Austin E. Griffiths. Austin Griffiths (1863-1952) at this time is the head of a small, but high profile Seattle law firm and is on his way towards a long life in the public affairs of the city. Between 1913 and 1934, Griffiths at various times served as city councilman, chief of police, judge and school board member. Shaffrath's letters give an insider's view of the workings of Griffith's office. Shaffrath writes Louise that he is quickly cognizant of the importance of the work Griffiths is doing and considers himself fortunate to be gaining such good experience. In the background of Shaffrath's letters about work is a still booming Seattle economy and he writes that a person has to be "on the Jump" to stay ahead of things. Griffiths' firm handles a wide array of cases but his specialty is working for the lumber industry in their disagreements with the large railroad companies. Before both the courts and state and federal commerce commissions Griffiths argues that the railroads are not providing enough railroad cars to support lumber industry growth and the rates being charged to the lumber industry to haul lumber are too high. The firm also handles "admiralty law" cases. One case, "the Ramsey Case" lingers at the office for almost the entire period (1906-08). At first Shaffrath does work that is only a bit above the level of that of a law clerk, but gradually his responsibilities increase. His salary is doubled, he gets his own office, and he is listed "at counsel" in some of the firms legal briefs. Other lawyers working in the office are Mr. Embree, Mr. Hendron, Mr. Congdon, and Judge Codman. Miss Linberg is the firm's stenographer. Griffiths, a workaholic, travels much for the business and also dislikes the minutia of the work world. Often Shaffrath is forced to scramble around like a valet taking care of all the detail work. Griffiths has the young bachelor over for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and involves him in the social life of his family. Shaffrath enjoys the company of Mrs Griffiths and their three boys, Tim, Burke and Francis. Also very important in the correspondence is the sense of Seattle's urban fiber and its social mores that comes out in Shaffrath's letters to Louise. Shaffrath is a downtown person. He lives in a rooming house for the first year at 714 7th Avenue, later moving to 3009 E. Spruce which is a ten minute trolley ride to the firm's office. The office is located on the seventh floor at 3rd Avenue and Cherry Street. His church, the Plymouth Congressional, is at 3rd Avenue and University Street. Some nights he works late and writes Louise from the office. He tells Louise that the office is situated in the theatre district and he can tell it is getting late because of the crowd noise. Bookseller Inventory # 12087

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Letter Collection of Paul Shaffrath from ...

Binding: No Binding

Book Condition: Collectible-Very Good

Store Description

Our store was founded in 1975 and has been in continuous operations since then. We maintain a quality selection of books, letters and manuscripts, photographs, prints and ephemera. We are open to serious collectors Monday through Saturday and suggest that you call the store before coming in. We do not send pictures or scans.

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We guarantee the accuracy of our descriptions, our secure packaging and our timely mailing. We do not send pictures or scans. Barry Cassidy Rare Books 2005 T Street Sacramento, CA 95811-6823 bcrbooks@ix.netcom.com 916-456-6307 Barry Cassidy, Owner and Operator


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