Background: Samuel McCulloh, the young man who was advised on becoming a physician in earlier posts by the date of this letter was a ships surgeon involved in his father’s trade business. Toward the end of the 1700’s, American merchant ships were being attacked by the French. That is what happened to the Ship Anna in the letter below.
9 April 1796 from Philadelphia – John McCulloh to Samuel McCulloh
My Dear Son,
Your several affectionate & interesting letters, one from St. Jago, 4 from Calcutta are all with pleasure received. I am sorry to hear that your ____ is for Hamburg, but when I reflect that he who governs the Universe manages our affairs – that every m___ ought to hush. Mr. Durrant says you must have misconstrued his instructions for the insurance was not contemplated by him, which makes ten fr difference. However perhaps its best for him the way you have taken as Indian goods will be very plenty [to] have this season.
In yours of the 29th November you mention your second disappointment at not receiving letters from your ___ by Captain Singey. Indeed the reasons why [we] did not write one, we were sure that it was impossible for him to arrive before you would sail for America or Europe.
Annexed you have the cash sales at auction for the goods you innumerate, the demand & use of those goods has considerably increased but perhaps you had best sell your foods for some such have been shipped from this for Platelles, Royals, Dowlas, Stripes & Checks.
Inclosed you have a letter from my friend Mr. Wm B____ who advises you to bring the above articles or at least as far as you can reach. You will see by the prices an___ that it may be best for you to bring home the German ___.
My Dear Samey, I need not urge you to a speedy remittance when I tell you that the Brig Anna was captured by the French & carried into Leogance on the 7th of March. You have seen and detained until the 20th of August for her Cargo taken from her & then by way of a favor permitted to depart without receiving on single farthing in ___annes whatever for her Cargo or Detention. My demand against the Republic is 4609.6.5 pounds without the smallest prospect of being paid at present and either ever God only knows.
Now for family affairs. I have had but one or two light touches of my complaint. Your mama had what the ladys call a misgoe and was very unwell for a long time. However she has recovered and we are all in good health at present thanks to him who gives all that is worthy to be received.
If there should be any peace in Europe, I would have you to remit your money to Mr. James Bell, Covenant Street, London as the Exchange is from 10-12 fr.
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 3, frame 116, 117