Family Happenings – 15

No date – Andrew McCulloh to Anna McCulloh (In his estate papers)

Your very affectionate letter my dear Mother was duly received and now thankfully acknowledged through the politeness of friend Cressin.

Had I supposed for a moment that the Barrel with its contents could have been of welcome I certainly would not have so long delayed & deliberated in sending it.  To tell the truth I was mortified to find it only half full of apples and not a little puzzled to know how to fill it up.  The strange mixture of its contents did not by any means please me and was almost confident it would not you.  But was overruled in my opinion by the girls and much pleased to find they were right & myself so greatly disappointed.

But I am very sorry to lean by your letter to Sister Mary as well tome, that James has deemed it necessary to tease you about his expenses while living with Porter McCulloh.  If I ever gave you or him a promise or any expectation that I would bear the expense of clothing him & sending him to French School, I must ever regret having such a treacherous memory.  For I declare to you I never intended it now even for a moment so considered it, indeed it would be strange.  If I had when we could have a choice of Boys for finding them only boarding or washing and in some instances when the parents were willing to fund everything.  Since he left me, I have had two and the offer of a third lad of the first respectable to serve me and the parents to fund them everything.

But I can easily perceive how the mistake has arose and trust can explain it to your satisfaction.  Taken you spoke of the different expenses of clothing and teaching of French, at this distance of time I cannot pretend to recollect the very words, but if I am not very much mistaken and deceived the purport of my answer was that if he came to live with us we would have to board him as well as ourselves for some time.  That we could easily spare him the time and no doubt procure him a situation in some French family where he would have a much better opportunity of acquiring the language than if he remained at home with you.  That in regard to his clothing, it was customary in the retail dry goods stores for young men to have the privilege of all or any articles at prime cost – of ___ the expense of his clothes would be less with us than if he remained with you.

I was already considering an advance for him, but fully hoped one day to make me ample returns.  I could not refuse but immediately paid off every cent he owed, even a Balance against him in Akins Books.  Besides putting property to a considerable amount under his control in order to encourage and enable him to do something for himself, the greater part of which is still outstanding.

Believe me I do not mean to take any particular merit to myself for I consider I have only acted as one Brother would towards another and have merely mentioned it to you to share the difference.  There is something to be met with in the disposition of brothers.

James I believe possesses an honest principal as John did, but then the disposition of their hearts are very different.  As it is, James has no one to blame but himself – he was well aware of every circumstance attached to my business.  Thus mulish delay in speaking his mind to me in time has placed it totally out of my power.

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 6, frame 195


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