16 February 1790 from Baltimore – James McCulloh to John McCulloh
My Dear John,
I received your very affectionate & confidential letter and have paid the subject of your change of situation that attention that the subject requires. It is indeed a very momentous one to you and all your family. But for my own part, I can not pretend to form an opinion of its propriety. Whatever may take place you may rest assured of my friendship.
I would at once have promised you the money you require, had I it in my power but I am sorry this is by no means so at present at all probability. It will be so in the course of the summer if my collections are not worse in the Spring than I expect. I am just setting off for the eastern shore.
I have spoke to Nancy Pierce about the 26-1-3. She sais it was the first money she had. Should you find no further trace of it inform me and am D John Yours most affy J McCulloh
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 267
25 July 1789 from Baltimore – James McCulloh to John McCulloh
My Dear Brother,
Your letter that I received this day having the stamp of distress, but too well bespoke the dark contentment. Alas my friend my brother, a brother too whose miseries surpass what his nearest friend can suppose, fate having taken possession of all life and nothing is left but to mourn. I wish with me only to offer my mite of condolence the administration of which distress me to the soul. The cause is too grievous to admit of Balm, yet can I not resist begging of you to exercise your good understanding in endeavoring to avoid that tide of trouble which at present overwhelms you. And if possible change it to a more serious contemplation of these months which you as well as all who knew your and my poor dear girl, have so justly valued in her. She is my witness when I declare that your loss is imparable to you as will those of her family.
But for my sake D John forbare, remember your health and their future happiness. I will not tell you to forget your dear beloved Nancy [Anna]. No my Brother, I will not impose on you what I hope I shall never do myself. This would be carrying Philosophy to a degree of austerity which nothing but a hardened hear could justify. All hope is that you will guard against that melancholy which but too often takes hold of the heart of sensibility and unfits it for remaining obligations almost as strong as that by which it felt a sacrifice.
And while I say so much, don’t believe my Brother, that I wish to rend you from the noblest purposes, that of simpathy. I pray you again not to think so meanly of me. But why this caution? I well do know the disposition I am speaking of holds no reflections but those as and by affectionate temperance gleanin under whose immediate protection I hope and believe you ever lend that firmness you so much require.
Most gladly would I come to you but I am so unfortunately as but to have one young man the other is gone to Virginia so that my presence is inevitable here. I hope soon to see you. Till then farewell my most dear Brother Yours ever affectionatley J McCulloh
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 222
Background: John Mcculloh b. 1747’s first wife was Anna Todd. She died February 19, 1789, two weeks after their eighth child was born. No letter was found from John to his brother saying what happened. Isabella (Bella) Williamson is John and James’ niece, daughter of their sister Ann (called Nancy in this letter).
12 March 1789 from Baltimore – James McCulloh to John McCulloh
My Dear Brother,
I have most attentively read your two last letters and am sincerely affected by their contents and if I could by any advise or exertion mitigate your distress most gladly would. I use my endeavor to effect it, but too well I am assured of my inability.
I have spoke to Bella Williamson who will most gladly go to your relief poor girl. She is much affected by your letter. She will be ready about the middle of next week when I will endeavor to procure her most able company.
I have Wm Knox orders to send you $400 which is here enclosed – I shall send by Bell $11.30 on a/c of Nancy Williamson. I have her money but not a note for that sum. Your letter to Doctor Todd shall be attended to – and am Dr [Dear] John Yours very affeactionately, James McCulloh
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 196