Robert’s death – 2

Background:  Mr. Rupil below (correctly spelled as Mr. Roupell) was the father-in-law of Robert McCulloh.

10 March 1790 from Baltimore – James McCulloh to John McCulloh

Dear John,

I am just returned from the Eastern Shore where I have been for these three weeks and have now only time to inform you that your friends order for the purchase of Coffee cannot be complied with here near his terms.  In my last I desired you to sell my certificates for L9.  If you have done so let me know, if not send it to me as I can dispose of it to advantage.  I want a bushel of red clover seed.  Get it for me and send it by the first water state and you’ll oblige me very much.

I had a letter from Mr. Rupil and from my niece Eleanor.  The girls are gone over with their Aunt Brown to Ireland.  Frank is living in a state of idleness which gives much pain to them all.  As well as your most affect                                                                                         James McCuloh

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 273

Robert’s death

Background:  Robert McCulloh was the oldest son of John McCulloh b. 1721 and brother to John Mcculloh b. 1747 and the only brother to remain in England.  He died May 29, 1789.  Eleanor, Frances and Francis (Frank) were his three children.

13 October 1789 from Baltimore – James McCulloh to John McCulloh

Dear John,

I have yours covering K M James certificates.  Thank you.  The account of A Williamson should be handed to him.

I am sorry to inform you that no possible mistake can be respecting my poor brother’s death, as I have a letter from his executor, one from his daughter Eleanor and one from Mrs. Browne all of which mention it in the most pathetic style.  He has left his daughters all his property, say 2000 pounds each and Frank 10 pounds only.  This dissolution of our partnership has put such a load of business upon me that I am with my badly infirmities almost weighed down.                                                                          My dear John believe me your affectionate J McCulloh

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 244

Brotherly wrangling – 2

21 August 1789 from Philadelphia – John McCulloh to James McCulloh

Dear Jamey,

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


Brotherly wrangling

Background:  John McCulloh’s main occupation involved a business with his four brothers importing mahogany, rum, silk, china, tea and more.  John, Joseph (deceased by this letter) and Edward Pannell were based in Philadelphia.  William (also deceased) captained the family ship Prosperity.  James settled in Baltimore where he was a member of Knox, Usher and McCulloh.  It is unclear if brother Robert in England acted as a supplier to those in America.

15 Aug 1789 from Baltimore – James McCulloh to John McCulloh

Dear John,

This will be handed to you by Bell Williamson.  I am sorry that you did not deliver Holmes Rainey the bill agreeably to the paragraph in my letter.  Surely you could not mistake the hand writing.  Send it to them immediately.  I gave A McSeford an order on little York for 1.26 odd.  Mail it from him and pay it over Mssr Edin Shott & Co. for our account.

I observe what you say about commission.  I am sorry you have changed any upon this last a/c as you have not done it upon those rendered heretofore.  Indeed I could get Betty Bell to do anything.  Oppinion would be proper inanced lose the whole item myself, however as I [am] in the account I shall write you more fully and I am D John your affectionate                                                                       J Mcculloh

I have got a parcel of Tobacco upon hand that I cannot do anything with.  Do you think that it will sell in Philadelphia?

It will be no news to you I suppose to hear that our Brother Robert is dead.  This is a desperate stroke to his fancy.  I fear I shall not be long after him.  I feel a gradual decline – that must soon waste of me if I don’t mend.  At all events I am yrs much truly.

McCulloh Papers, 1773-1848, Maryland Historical Society, MS 2110, microfilm reel 2, frame 229, 230