Letter From William Geddes to John Geddes, October 7, 1833

Author: William Geddes

Date: October 7, 1833

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Campbellstown Oct. 7th 1833

Dear Brother, [John Geddes]

I have made one more unsuccessful attempt to sell Fathers farm and have delayed writing this letter in hopes that I might still sell by private sale. The day I had fixed on for the sale by public vendue was the 21st of Sept. and it proved to be a very rainy one which prevented purchasers from coming any distance and in fact prevented those near at hand save one who was made very easy about buying because there was none to bid against him. I tried in vain to get him to make me a liberal offer. I learnt since that he had some idea of purchasing a plantation in the lower part of the county which was advertised for sale, at least he wanted to see which could be bought the cheapest but he has failed there also they refused to strike off too. Philip Gruber was offered by Ulrich 65 dollars cash per acre for his and would not sell and I ask but 60 the one half cash and the widow’s third as good as such except that it need not be paid for some time, so that 1/2 1/3 would be cash which would leave but one sixth to be paid in gales [periodic payment of rent] in four years. The terms are middling hard but father has made them so and I cannot alter them. The principal objection is the widow’s thirds which objection I tryed to soften by allowing the purchaser after the death of the widow the privilege of paying the third in three yearly payments without interest. I want to sell if possible and will probably take 55 rather than not sell and be pestered with taking care of the farm longer. I am prevented from attending to any business of my own by fathers Estate for I cannot leave home for any

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lenght of time for James is wholly unfit to attend to such affairs. I would still be more a[n]xious to sell if it was not impossible that I can leave this country for some time until the Estates are settled up which father was engaged in and that may be two or three years yet. I have got rid of at last that damnable 15 years lawsuit. I endeavored with all my might to get a trial at Lebanon after the decision of the Supreme Court in our favour – I plead with our attorney to come on and put an end to what he had been already too long engaged in; I threatened him if he did not I would employ others that would and more that we would settle the case among ourselves at any and every sacrifice sooner than that we should be cursed with it any longer. but all to no purpose and we finally settled the matter against the will of both attorneys – in fact all the lawyers in Lebanon wanted to persuade Wolfersberger that he was very foolish in settling with us. The heirs of John Carper agreed all but Kettering to lose 500 dollars of the money and the administrators their pay for their services. At first I said if the heirs of J. Carper would agree to settle I would throw in father[’s] pay for his services but Kettering refusing I then said I would not but would hold father’s back to meet any expense or demand that might possibly be made against me as his executor and seeing also we as administrators of the Estate of J. Carper were losing too much according to what they heirs were. I then said I would not be willing to lose more than one of the heirs which I was willing to lose the heirs will lose little

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or nothing if we take nothing for our trouble. To give you a full history of the matter would take too long and would still be imperfect until after we have made settlement with the heirs which we expect to do between this and New year unless we cannot agree the consequence of which will be another or perhaps a lawsuit for each heir, but to avoid which I will make some further sacrifices. That we will disagree is a dead certainty for you know what a mean ungenerous pack of blockheads we have to deal with. Beside that father the acting administrator who knew how matters rested between the heirs is no more and I you well know from father’s disposition of keeping matters to himself am pretty much in the dark and am yet the only one who must [hole] in fact can the matter [smudge]. I have escaped the mightiest [hole] but there is still that back which will puzzle me [hole] through with but I will meet it the best way I can. I filed an account on fathers personal estate in August but the Court put it off till next term a copy of which you can have if you wish it as soon as the Court shall act on it. I ask John Wolfersberger if he knew how much of the Estate of Carper came into his fathers hands and he said he did not and Samuel Carper (Old Sam I mean) said the same of himself. As you call such men administrators how am I to get along with such men when I show them from fathers papers what they did get will they believe me no notwithstanding the[y] have or had firm faith in fathers integrity When a man’s pocket is touched he begins to cavil [?] All is well – more when I have fewer battles to fight.


John Geddes William Geddes

(John Sawyer recovered)

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$4655.85 money contended for


4155.85 money received by J. Carper Admr.

Campells Town October 7 25