Slavery – 3

2 September 1804 from Germantown – Anna McCulloh to Samuel McCulloh

Dear Sammy,

I received your agreeable letter by Mr. Simmons.  You say in it that you are all well and not one word whether I am a grandmother or not.  We have been waiting anxiously for the news for this two months past.  I shall be very glad to hear from you and to give me some account of Isabella situation as I am very anxious about her.  You did not mention my paying Doc. Wister bill when I received the money from M. Taylor or I should have done it.  But it is not in my power at this time as I have got but $60 in the house and that is not suffcient to pay this quarters rent which is due the 11 of September.  Besides supporting the family I have put up my winter wood.  It has cost $90. I should have written you by Mr. Poor but being out of town and M. Simmons told me he was to sit out a day before he did was disappointed.  If you write me before 5th of this month direct to the Care of M. Simmons as I don’t expect to be in Philadelphia before that time.

The children are getting much better of the cough.  Isaac, Elly, Ann, William and Mar have all got it.  Before we came out of town we had h___ in every part of the house, but we had not been here three days before there was a great alteration in them.  Mary C___ Hall is with us and her dear little babe with the same complaint, I think is much better than it was a few days ago. It still has very bad spells of coughing.

My troubles with Henny are renewed.  She and James have got married.  He cam and ask my consent to marry her.  I told him I should consent to no such thing while she was my servant.  He pade no attention to what I said but went the next day and got married.  There is a prospect of the groom being presenting with an heir.  They were married the 12 day of August.

Give my love to Mary till then.  Mr. Milldder has got so much better.  When he wrote last he was at the bolltanus Springs.  From Mr. Le__ has paid the debt.  We all must one day or another be tossed very sudant by breaking a blood vessel.

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 4, frame 261

Slavery 2

9 June 1804 from Philadelphia – Margaret McCulloh to Samuel McCulloh

My Dear Brother,

Your letter by Mr. Oliver gave great pleasure to Margt, the affectionate congratulations therein expressed on my safe return.  I often read and felt greatful to the Auther of them.  The kisses have long since been gathered and a purse made to hold the pocket money in my hand.

Mamma has sold Harry to Mr. Sheiffer for $65 and wishes you to let her  know if there is a girl of 14 years or about that age come under your notice.  If there has, please not to bargin with or about her before you write us.  She also wishes you to send her some money by the first opportunity.

Give a great deal of love and thanks to Andrew for his present.  His health together with all Baltimore friends has been drank with it by many.  The children all promised it excellent.  Be so good as to tell James if the shirt we have sent him fits, the others shall be made like it.  This he must inform us soon if he is in need of them.

John is a letter in my debt.  Won’t you job his memory.  With sincere wishes for the health and happiness of you and my dear sister I finish my scrawl.

Margt McCulloh

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 4, frame 233

Business Dealings – 5

5 June 1803 – Andrew McCulloh to Samuel McCulloh

My Dear Brother,

I am pleased to hear you no longer stand in need of the Carienne.  Our good cousin A P has been [tear in paper] for you and that Sister Margaret is to accompany you.  Should be very glad could I make one of the party.  But as this cannot be you will please tender my best regards and tell Isabella I hope to make her satisfied with my silence when I have the supreme pleasure of seeing her in Baltimore which I flatter myself will be this summer.

Sam you must marry the dear girl and bring her with you.  Or if you want rather bring her here and marry her.

Apropos, let me tell you before I forget, you have overlooked part of my last letter – turn to it again and you will find me to say – “and if it was not for sending out Next Spring orders, he would wish to have it till just before the fall business commences.”  And as they generally send them out before the first of August it will be customary for you to be here in all July.  Take my advice therefore and do not delay setting out for the Easter and before the 15 Inst.  If possible let it be in the course of the week.

Since writing you on the 16 alt an idea has occurred to Mr. P who desires me to communicate.  He says your going from home before you conclude on forming the connection leaves him rather in a state of suspense and uncertainty and he thinks he ought to be at liberty to guard against a disappointment by keeping a look out for another partner unless you can make up your mind sooner than you propose returning.  I replied that from the tenor of your letters I was inclined to believe you would determine in favor of our wishes.  But to satisfy him would write you.  W. Pierce speaks more favorably of the business.  Since our first conversation he has made inquires and from what he can learn is certain the establishment will suit you, especially as the engaging and planning your capital in the business, will by no means prevent you from engaging in another India voyage in case a tempting one should offer.  He has requested [page tear] sent with a good gain and taken [page tear] valuation.  They, the China & M [page tear] safe and expect to dispose of the latter soon to your satisfaction.  The bag of dice I sold for $12.

I am sorry that your fears respecting W. Knox of [unreadable] if then is an error it rests with them to prove it for I do not think we will be justified in a ____ until they do.  The discount with Baltimore Paper is harmful.  However it was unexpected & unavoidable. We shall in future guard against it.  Do not overlook our request respecting Mankeens & Silk for Mount Vernon.

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 4, frame 157, 158

Business Dealings – 4

9 May 1803 – Andrew McCulloh to Samuel McCulloh

My dear Brother,

What think you of an establishment in this place?  Feeling as I do the liveliest interest for your welfare and wishing most sincerely if possible to return you on shore, I shall without further preface proved to tell you of one in the hardware line.

Mssr. Jos. Pleasants & Co. are about to decline the business at this place and have offered their stock, stand (which one of the best) and Customers the most reputable, to Mr. John F. Poor, a young gentleman who has been sometime in their employ, and are for whom I have the greatest opinion – indeed for application to business, gentle of manner and commitment of principles.  I cannot think there is his equal in Baltimore.  But he is wanting in capital and wishes to form a connection with some clever fellow who can raise from $6-8000.  He has been conversing with me and would supposed H. Pierce would like a concern in such [an] establishment and by me to ask him.  He tells me in confidence and what he says I can place the utmost reliance on that when Mssr. Pleasants commenced business they had not so large a capital…

I have conversed with H. Pierce on the subject but he having already a concern in two dry goods stores declines forming other connections at the same time.  He observed that he had always a very favorable opinion of the hardware business believing it one of the most profitable & safe that could be carried on with the advantage of its requiring but a small capital.  I then asked him if he thought it would be a desirable establishment for myself.  He replied that in case you had not immediate prospect for engaging in another India voyage or better terms than the last he thought it worthy of your attention and recommended me write to you.  I have seen Poor.  Since he seems pleased with the idea of having a partner near his own age says he will undertake to manage the business for half the profit…

Think well on what I have wrote and let me know your determination soon.  If you should be inclined it will be necessary to engage in it on or before the 1 July the month they generally send in the Spring orders.

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 4, frame 150, 151

Family Happenings – 7

8 January 1803 – Mary McCulloh to Andrew McCulloh

Dear Brother,

As Mamma is very busy putting up her pork, she requested me to write a few lines by Wm Lennard to inform you that we sent the shirts by Wm Fridge.  But he was prevented from going as soon as he expected.  But I expect you have received them before this.  I hope they are according to your direction.  I hope James was pleased with his cake, though he has forgotten to write us.  Margaret did not forget his cake.  I wish you would send up all your old shirts that want mending by John.  Make James gather up all of his clothes that want mending and I wish you to desire John to do the same and bring them along.  I think they must be much out of repairing.

You complain much of your housekeeper.  I am very sorry that neither you or William can meet with one to suit, that you might engage one for life.  I went up to Uncle Bringhurst’s last evening to know about the feathers but neither Aunt nor Mary Anna were home.  But Mamma will let you know as she intends writing you next week.  I know Mary Ann is supposed but Aunt may want some for herself.

Wm Hall has taken a house just above Walnut Street and they are to be married next month.  You remember Mrs. Powel.  What do you think of her going to be married to Wm Ford from Witning town and I expect Maria and Mr. McMullin will be as things are ready.  the widowers are getting married fast.

Love to the two plough boys, John & James.

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 4, frame 137

Yellow Fever – 2

4 September 1802 from Philadelphia – Mary McCulloh to Andrew McCulloh

My Dear Brother,

As we have been anxiously waiting a letter from one of you and not knowing the course of your silence, I am again tempted to write you although you have never noticed the other.  We are all at button wood hall and we are only forty tons in family.  I think I hear you and W.P. say therein is fine houseful indeed.  There is, but each on have their separate apartments.  Uncle Bringhurst came out.  He says he was obliged to come because all his acquaintances had left  him and there was no business a doing, for our City never was so soon deserted.  Had it not been so it is supposed it would have been very fatal this season but several families have been so imprudent as to return and have been taken ill.  I fear we will not be able to return until after the frost.  Mama went this day week to Uncle Porters and took three of the children.  Uncle Bringhurst and myself went up with her.  I suspect her home next week.

Mr. Murdock and family are up at Wolfs and Miss Dolly is with their poor women.  I think her afflictions are most at an end.  She is now under an observation and cannot rest nights or on day.  She is confined to her bed.  Aunt Shute had a letter from Uncle Simmons.

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 4, frame 127


Yellow Fever

Background – While this post is about scarlet fever rather than yellow fever both were a constant threat, so I’ve put them in the same category.

29 January 1802 – Mary McCulloh to Andrew McCulloh

Dear Brother,

We have been very uneasy hearing such various reports of the death of my Aunt Pannell and the dreadful incident that Wm Pierce and cousin Ann has lately met with.  And your silence through it all has indused me to write to you at this time of night.  We have been anxiously waiting a letter from you and my patience is now quite exhausted as we have not had a letter from either of you.  Your silence is really unaccountable.

I shall expect an answer by the return of post giving full account of both.  It was mearly by accident that we heard of it through Mrs. Barnes.

Mamamea and the children enjoy tolerable good health at present.  The scarlet fever has prevailed much through our city and been very fatal in some families.  We have had it in our family but we were much favored with it.  Uncle Bringhurst buried one of his little ones in that fever.  As I have nothing in particular to communicate and the family are all in bed I must bid you adieu.  Give my love to James and John & William and tell him his little William has been sick but is well.

From your sincere and affectionate sister,  Mary McCulloh

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 4, frame 119