American Silversmiths

Samuel Joy Mathewson
Rebecca Brown
Nathan Fuller Mathewson


Family Links


1. Susan Green Wightman

Nathan Fuller Mathewson
  • Born: 7 Sep 1814, Warren RI
  • Marriage (1): Susan Green Wightman about 1840 in Providence RI
  • Died: 27 May 1901

  General notes:


  Events in his life were:

  • He was a partner circa 1835-1850 with Bradford Allen in Providence RI as MATHEWSON & ALLEN, listed in the 1836 city directory with a shop on the corner of Pine and Rhodes Streets.

  • Tradecard
    Private Collection
  • Letter from David Smiley
    Private Collection

    Petersboro N. H. Jany 2 1838

    Meßrs Mathewson & Allen

             Sirs I recvd yours of Dec 11 which informed me that you had recvd the Note that I left with you, and a ring

             I wish you to send me a pin the size and pattern — In Memory of with out the Chased Edge a narrow plain edge

             be particular to have a good fine gold pin made it is for a particular Friend

             I send your Sleight By the to morrow the 3d

    Respectfully Yours Etc

    Daniel Smiley jr

    you can leave the pin in three or weeks at the Brattle Street Tavern Abel Tompkins 32 Corn Hill and it will be safe

    D. Smiley jr

  • Letter from Ralph Thurston Haskins
    Private Collection

    Boston, Decr 16th 1839

    Mr Matthewson

    Dr Sir

                                  I arrived here Saturday eve Saw your brother at Lowell – have the goodness to write to me by next Cors (?) – saying whether you will be at home all this week and if I must come to P very soon on account of the Carr Case – If you go south will you not buy some few Pearl Rings &c & some of Mr. Churchill's work —


    R T Haskins

  • Letter from Edward Baker
    Private Collection

    Belfast April 16 1840

    Messers Matthewson & Allen


                                  I have sold out my stock to Mr. C. H. Baker. I find I shall not be able to pay the whole amount that I owe but I will do the best I can and pay as much as I have paper to pay with. I think I shall not be able to pay over seventy cents on a dollar – I can let you know in about a week – will do what I can. I have done near nothing since I have been here and I thought it best to wind up – and try as much as I could. Please write me and let me know if you will agree to the above and I will pay as soon as I can –

    Respectfully yours

    Edward Baker

  • Letter from Ralph Thurston Haskins
    Private Collection

    So Waterford June 18th 1844

    Mr Mathewson

                                  Dear Sir

                                                                I have asked Miss E to quit claim her right to the land and she is not willing Then again Father wants 250$ to make up the full amount due him that I was to pay for the place and what can I do about it? if there is any way that you can have a clear title to it will do any way that is right -- and if this cannot be arranged I will give up all my claim to the other farm &c if you pay the 1000 to Mr Platt -- you can sell any day & get your money again and more with it -- I expect to be in Boston again soon if time continues If you are in the city leave word what is best for you to act about this -- or write to me here when you get this --


    R. T. Haskins

    PS you will remember I was too pay $1200 for the Wm Farm but the place will not bring over 1000 if sold for Cash -- If you think best to take up Miss E's mortgage then Father will not require me to pay all the 250$ he will give way & do right by all concerned --


  • Letter from William Stoddard Nichols
    Private Collection

    Newport Feb. 3d 1845

    Messers Matthewson & Allen


                                  Please send me by the bearer two gold pencils of the size I had at $3 each -- Also two gold bracelet clasps of the size and pattern I had of you at $1.87 each, for which I will pay when I am in Providence

    Respectfully yours

    Wm S Nichols

    Matheson & Allen

    Please recollect that the clasps had glass tops for putting hair under

    Private Collection

    New York, Octo 11th 1847
    Mssrs Matheson & Allen,


                                  You will please send us 18 double Silver Pen & Pencil Cases chased hearts #772 and 6 do G. F. (gold filled?) #773

    Resp Yours;

    Fellows Van Arnsdale & Cooper

  • Letter from CURRIER & TROTT
    Private Collection

    Boston Nov 11 1847


    Your letter was duly rec'd and we have examined our circular of lost goods, and find no watch corresponding with the one mentioned in your note. We are much obliged to you for the notice taken.

    We remain Yours Respectfully

    Currier & Trott

  • Letter from Albert R. Cooke
    Private Collection

    New York, June 12 / 48

    Messrs Matthewson & Allen


                                  Messr S. P. Williams and J. N. Sewall have both gone by the board. Being aware of it before it could be generally known owing to some fortunate circumstances which I will Explain when I see you, it made efforts to protect any of their notes you might have had discovered. I was sorry your books were not here, but enquired at Bank & found a note of S.P.W. was due today which I have taken up under protest, which however shall not reach the other endorsers. The amount is $831.68 which you will please provide for without delay as we are in no condition to be out of it any time and shall have to make a call on you on 23rd inst. If there are other notes due before you reach here (which it is expected you will do on Wednesday) I have them retained here.

    In haste, yours

    Albert R. Cooke

  • Letter from SLACK & BROTHER
    Private Collection

    New York, July 24th 1848

                                  Enclosed we send you our note for 300 dols which we shall have to have Disct We was in hopes not to have troubled you this month but find it impossible to get allong [sic] without by getting the enclosed note Disct — you will much oblidge

    Yours Respectfully

    Slack & Brother

  • He was a partner in 1850-1853 with William Chaplin Greene in Providence RI as MATHEWSON & GREENE, with a shop at the corner of Westminster and Eddy Street.
  • He appeared on the 1850 census taken at Providence RI, listed as a jeweler.
  • He appeared on the 1860 census taken at Providence RI, listed as a jeweler.
  • He appeared on the 1870 census taken at Providence RI, listed as a mowing machine manufacturer.

  • He was issued patent number 157,967 on 22 Dec 1874



    Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 157,967, dated December 22, 1874; application filed September 24, 1874.

    To all whom it may concern:
    Be it known that I, Nathan F. Mathewson, of Providence, in the State of Rhode Island, have invented a new and useful Machine for Burnishing; and I do hereby declare that the following specification, taken in connection with the drawing making a part of the same, is a full, clear, and exact description thereof.
    Figure 1 is a top view of my invention. Fig. 2 is an end view.
    My invention, although useful in other manufactures, is more especially designed for use in connection with the manufacture of jewelry, and consists in the device hereinafter described.
    The burnishing of the work, which has heretofore been done by hand, materially adds to the expense of manufacturing jewelry, while it also proportionally delays the completion of the goods. With my improved machine a boy with but little previous training can easily perform an amount of work heretofore requiring several men.
    Upon one end of a suitable bed-plate, A, I attach two curved guides, B and B', which . receive and support a slide, C. Upon the under side of the slide C is a wrist, D, extending downward toward the bed-plate A, constructed so as to receive and hold a suitable burnishing-tool, E, which may be taken out and replaced by others of different form, as occasion may require. Through the slide G and wrist D is a hole, F, into which water or soap-suds may be caused to drop from a vessel above the machine, and will be thus conducted to the burnishing-tool. Extending through the guide B is a thumb-screw, G, having at its extremity a rest, H, against the end of which the work may be steadied during the operation.
    The operation of my invention is as follows: The workman holds the piece to be burnished against the rest H, and in contact with the tool E, which moves with great rapidity, motion being imparted to the slide G by the well-known arrangement of cam and pitman, as shown in Fig. 1.
    What I claim as my invention, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is—
    The slide G, constructed with a hole, F, for the introduction of liquid, in combination with the wrist D and tool E.

    Nathan F. Mathewson

    Walter B. Vincent
    J. T. Rich
  • He appeared on the 1880 census taken at Providence RI, listed as a locket manufacturer.

Nathan married Susan Green Wightman, daughter of Daniel Wightman and Charlotte Chase, about 1840 in Providence RI. (Susan Green Wightman was born on 26 Jan 1819 in Warwick RI and died on 4 Sep 1886.)

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