21 August 1789 from Philadelphia – John McCulloh to James McCulloh
I have yours of the 15th and 18th inst. the first punitive, the last full of indignation. But I’ll dispatch the business first and then for that part which may be thought proper with respect to a commission.
With respect to paying over the aft to Holmes & Rainey without advice from you, you certainly would have had it in your favor to have blamed me. What would I have had to shew for such an act? The money from G Town has this moment come to hand which I shall pay according to your direction. The money arising from it Johnston Act was paid. I paid over to H. & Rainey agreeable to your letter of the 15th. I have also delivered Willm Bells Clark the bill inclosed in yours of the 18th. I do not know what to advise you with respect to your tobacco. There has been no market tho a lone one for some days past & at present but how it may be by the time yours may probably arrive, it’s impossible to tell. However if you send it I’ll do the best I can for your interest. If its of the best quality, James River, It will fetch from 4 1/2 to 5 dollars and I would advise none other to be sent here.
I’m sorry to hear of my Brother Robert’s death, but I have expected it for some time past. “How fine the years have lost, the days of mans too.” Rapped all or you and I, my dear Jamey, must ere long bid an adieu to all things here below as well as those dear friends. That has just as well as those that have long since gone before us. This thought long I order but with it in full view I praised to the most.
[In] part of my letter I mean the commission charged in my agreement and to cut the matter short as possible. If I am wrong I will retract in a moment but if I am right, I ought to be paid. Indeed it is what you have repeatedly requested me to do to change and you would present it to the house. I am sure you do not wish to wrong me but such is the strong constitution of the human mind that it cannot often reason with impartiality when its own interest is at stake. I would therefore propose to leave it to some gentlemen merchants to determine which may be done without betraying our situation by inquiring what is customary in such & such cases. But I do not think that Wm Bell or yourself does for men that you have an oppos__ of merchant money. I shall hear any reply. What you insinuate respecting our settlement when you were last in town as I concive you all together wrong here. The paper will speak. But I wish not to offend you especially as there are but two of us left now. I hope and pray we will live in amity. Nay I will sacrifice almost every p___, any consideration on the alter of peace.
But how came you to forget that which at present concerns me & most of our family most. I mean Bella Williamson’s return. In the first letter you say she will deliver it to me and she does not come & in your second you do not mention her.
Alas my dear brother, our feelings are different affected but notwithstanding what I have said above if upon cool reflection you think I ought to do all that I have done for Mr. Wm Knox & Mr. Tha Usher without the least reward whatever and act consistent with the duty I owe my family, leave circumstances out of the question. I can almost promise to abandon my claim indeed. I have it in my power to them that Mr. Knox thinks that I deserve a commission. He promised the first time in or done after you paid the company that if I charge no commission you would make me a present of a Pipe of Maderia Wine for what I done that year but it never came and you must remember that I often told you that I thought hard to spend my time and attention for nothing for a person that would not thank me for it at a future day but I shall for the present leave you to your own reflection. In the mean time I am your affectionate John McCulloh
P Since writing the above Bella Williamson has arrived safe in the evening. I have paid Eden Shatwell L624.6.10 which nears the sum I’ve from Yorktown. You here inclosed Jos Harpers note.
McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 235