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
Background: Exactly a year from the day of his father’s death, James W. McCulloh wrote this letter to his brother. He would have been 12 years old at the time.
13 April 1801 from Philadelphia – James W. McCulloh to Samuel McCulloh
Brother Samuel, in a letter from you some time ago, in which you mentioned there was a vacancy in one of Mr. Pierce’s dry goods stores. That you thought it would be a more suitable situation for me than where I now am. That Mr. Pierce was willing for me to fill that vacancy. Sammy mentioned it to Mr. Knox. He said he had no objections to it. I have asked Mr. Knox when it would suit him to let me go down. Having all my things ready, he says he would like me to stay until the schooner Roun returned from Cape Francais, which he thinks will be in a week or ten days and it may be two or three weeks most likely before I could leave him. But he says if it is necessary for me to go down this week he has no objections to it. Therefore I would thank you to let me know by return post when it is necessary for me to be there. I shall be guided by your reply.
Remain yours affectionately, J. W. McCulloh
NB – Sammy and Mr. Pierce’s letter return remittances in due time. It is by request of Sammy that I write you.
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 4, frame 38, 39
Background: There is nothing in the next two letters that directly states John is contemplating marriage, but with eight children at home, the youngest being 4 months it is a logical conclusion. John b. 1747 did remarry on April 8, 1790 to Anna Bringhurst, 14 months after his wife’s death. John and his second wife had eight more children. The reference to Nancy Williamson below is for Ann Williamson who married Humphrey Pierce. Her sister Isabella is the one who is keeping house for John.
7 June 1789 from Baltimore – James McCulloh to John McCulloh
I am to acknowledge yours of the 5 inst and I thank you for your acceptance favor of NYC.
I trust that you are acquainted with Nancy Williamson’s prospect of getting married to Mr. Pierce which I hope may take place. But until the thing is completed I shall still have my doubts. You see how incredulas I am in cases of this kind. Indeed, I have seen and experience so much of the uncertainty of such matters that I seldom believe until the Parson has said Grace. However if it should agree, to our present expectations, [to] take place it would be very hard to prevent her sister from being present on the occasion. Sincerely so short a time as you thought for her to stay here. Your family [unreadable] sustain any great loss from her absence.
In answer to the remr of your letter, I am really at a loss what to say. Indeed my dear Brother all cases of this kind people ought to judge for themselves. Infact there is no person that can judge so properly at your time of life as yourself. A man whose passions are intirely under command and possessing a rational understanding can always best determine for himself. Excuse me therefore D John from saying more on a subject. I am so unqualified to advise. At all events I know you will act so as to preserve the best wishes and affection of your most sincere J McCulloh
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 213