Business Dealings – 6

Background:  1819 saw a severe financial depression caused by speculation, sort of like what happened in 2008.

4 October 1819 – William McCulloh to Samuel McCulloh

Dear Brother,

I have taken the liberty to write this time in some expectations that the gloomy prospect which is now before me may be somewhat dispelled by your advice.  I have been sometime out of employ.  There is nothing at all doing when I left Mr. Cooper.  I have been for three months past at Princeton waiting for James and came home in hopes that there might be some situation vacant that I might possibly get, but I find that business is [a] great deal worse than when I left this place.  One thing appears to be as back as another.  I see no alternative but to go in the country and become a farmer, but still I do not know which way to go having no person competent of giving advice on that subject in hopes of which I have taken the liberty to write you upon the subject.  The family is well.

Yours, Wm S. McCulloh

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 5, frame 258

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

Business Dealings – 3

Background:  This is the last letter John McCulloh wrote before his death.

8 March 1800 from Philadelphia – John McCulloh to Andrew McCulloh

My Dear Andrew,

I wrote you some days since & am without any of yours since that time.  Mr. Bringhurst has told me this day that the gig is ready, but Mattis will not take it down for less than twenty dollars on act of something having occurred to Mr. Rogers so that he wishes not to take the coaches.  That his friend bespoke so that it is most likely that unless some unforeseen occurrence, it must be sent by water but in this Mr. Pierce must direct.  I wish you to request Mr. Pierce to take my policy to the Insurance office.  I have it made a Value policy.  I have had the one here made so without any difficutlty.

I leave this on Monday morning for New York.  I expect to return on this day week.   Remember me to all my Balitmore friends.                                             Remain your affectionate father, John McCulloh


10 May 1800 from Baltimore – Andrew McCulloh to Samuel McCulloh

… Uncle Pannell wants Mr. Bringhurst to make him a carriage (without harness) and nearly of the same fashion shape and size of that which Mr. Simmons made for Mr. Pierce some time ago.  The body to be made with a sword case to hang on steel springs and painted a handsome green, the carriage to be made with a pearch so as to go either with one or two horses.

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 3, frame 522, 597

Business Dealings – 2

Background:  Knox, Usher and McCulloh was a business firm in Baltimore and the southern link of the McCulloh family merchant system.  With the death of James McCulloh, a partner in Knox, Usher and McCulloh the partnership seemed to be ending.

9 February 1800 from Philadelphia – John McCulloh to Andrew McCulloh

My Dear Andrew,

Yours of the 2 & 6th has both come to hand & I am sorry to hear that the failure of W. Duncan has affected your Uncle Pannell & Mr. Pierce.  I observe what you say respecting the British debt due by K, U, McC.  I am sorry that Mr. P has forgot the conversation that took place in the state for in it he agreed that I should pay it as it was plain to us both that there is a sum due that Firm from your Uncle James & altho I said in my last to yu that I had paid  a part of it.  It was in this way when Mr. K was pressed by Mr. Bond on behalf of the creditors.  I told him that I could not pay any part of it, but I would lend him 300L which I did & paid it over to Mr. B & on my letters from Maryland I told him that Mr. Pannell had agreed that I should pay it which he certainly did the last day we have together.  But I make no doubt Mr. K will do what is right in the business.  As to his going down at present it is absurd  to ask him if Mr. Usher is so very sure that a considerable sum is coming to him why is he so unwilling to come here and settle the business.  Be assured that I would not do a thing that appeared improper.  It’s impossible for me to say how the ashes of the late house stands but I wish most sincerely that Mr. Usher would come up and attempt a settlement with Mr. Knox.

I am happy to hear that my sister is better.  Pray God may share her blessing to  her dear children.  It is him alone that can make us truly happy and to his guidance & care I commit you & all that is dear to me.                                                                         John McCulloh

PS. We have a number of failures in this city.  Peter Blight is the most prominent – Walter is not yet returned from Maryland so that I can say nothing about Mr. P’s gig.

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 3, frame 542, 543

Business dealings

1794 – Bill for shoes – to John McCulloh

To Francis Springer for approximately 1 years worth of work                                                    Purchased 19 pairs of shoes                 8 repaired (heals added and bound)


9 September 1795 from Richmond – Sam Swan to John McCulloh

Best boards for side boards, tops 3/8 thick                                                                                         200 feet of leban stuff, 2″ thick for hart back chairs


5 June 1799 – Insurance on the Canton

$3500 from Baltimore Insurance Company.  Mr. Pierce having obtained

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 3, frame 44, 56, 436

Brotherly wrangling – 4

24 May 1791 from Philadelphia – John McCulloh to James McCulloh

Dear Jamey,

I am favored with yours of the 18th inst from Mr. Isaac Bringhurst.  with respect to the money I have charged you with as paid for N Pearse, I am not clear as I ought to be but as I could find nothing either on my books or in her or your letters to exta ___ it, I thought that if it had been paid she could account for it to satisfaction.  She has not wrote me on the subject.

But that part of your letter puzzles me to understanding where you say “I find you still charge me with Robinson on Feruson & several on Burston after I have so often told you that I won’t allow them.”  How am I to understand this.  I have stated to you clearly that you  had in your present a/c a credit on my book previous to our settlement of 88 and again in Knox U & McCulloh assessment of April 15, 1790.  I am charged with the same sums if you mean that I should not allow these sums in Knox U and McCulloh a/c.  I have no objection only point out with whome I am to account for them.  But surely it cannot be your meaning that I should be accountable to both James McCulloh & Knox U & McCulloh for the same moneys.  Were you here I could converse with you in a moment that this is the case.

And as to the rent of the Germantown place you can find if you’ll examine that the paper stated up to the 9th of March last and it has been rented all a long at L30 and has made only L40-13-3.  Where did you expect necessary repairs, lower feet expense of Whitnessess & taxes would come from?  Is it possible that you think I am attempting to impose upon you?  If you do for peace sake do impatronize another agent for I assure you I omit the business confidence is lost.  When ever you give me the frequent explanation to double charge, I will make out the account as you may direct.  Bella Williamson sets out for Bath tomorrow by whom I send you this.

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 327