Letter From William Geddes to John Geddes, June 10, 1835

Author: William Geddes

Date: June 10, 1835

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Campbellstown June 10th 1835

Dear Brother [John] I received yours of the 27th of May on the 9th inst. and am very thankful for your mercy towards me in not scolding me about Agrippa but much rather you would have exercised your patience a little towards him: more than you have done which I think might have produced a different result, and been a good deal more creditable to you and him. I am now sorry that I did send him but still am not willing to take any of the hard feelings which are created by it: because what I done was intended for his benefit and it appeared the best chance that offered; as you a brother were bound by natural affection to do more for him than a stranger. And if he from negligence or inability has failed to improve the oppertunity who but himself is mainly chargeable with it: or the hard feelings created which were not very great for his mother and brothers were themselves unable to do any thing with him and were glad to get him away to try for himself amongst those to whom his stuborn disposition would have to bend. I was the only one that could manage him and if I had had employment for him he never would have been sent to you; which you know I have not and so I sent him: hopeing it would be for the better: but still fearing the present result from the hasty irritable temper of yourself which never was controlable but always burst out when things did not go as they should: which brought you many an enemy in your native country as you might well recollect and which was all produced by the constitutional temperament of your frame not from any malevolence in your heart or unreasonablenefs of [your] mind – with a want of being able to bear human frailty and error as a fallible creature should: in order to make himself happy and those around happy I spoke in my last and now in this; freely; as a brother; and surely you cannot but say as a loving one; for we always loved other and God forbid that I not shall ever love you or any other of my fathers children. It was my love that made me write as I did because I felt that you had done wrong and that to who – to father’s son and who had a better right to reprove you: but your brother; because you have sunk the dignity of the name and more especially disgraced yourself which not only hursts yourself but friends – which you are only pleased to call me – Friend – is not enough for brothers. I have written 30 lines 20 too much on this subject and can scarce forbear for I have but so lately as yesterday; contended with unjust unreasonable uncharitable and unforgiving brothers and received your letter at John Wolfersberger’s the evening we made a final settlement amongst them of an estate of 29 years standing and that in the midst of them: and had you not forbore I would have received an unbrotherly letter in the midst of unfeeling brothers. The estate of John Carper was that day finally settled. A settlement which all concerned feared and yet nearly all wished and notwithstanding my best exertions weare used it was with great difficulty that I accomplished it. Jno. M. Forster was our attorney’s name. He counseled Mr Carper to not come and settle but to let them go after him for a settlement: but my counsel prevailed as it should: for I had always been true to him which he knew his attorneys never had; at least only when it suited them. He came and when he called on his attorney got a lesson for his folly as he was pleased to call it.

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It was absolutely necefsary that he should come and offer to settle and pay them off: in order to save himself from the payment of interest and then he could take the money home with him and pocket the interest if he should loan it out and then let them come after him and do their worst. But a final settlement now or as soon as pofsible was the best thing that could be done if it should be at considerable lofs – an unchristian lofs and settlement it was. Old Mr Karper arrived at Harrisburg on Friday and there waited on Forster to Saturday noon and arrived at Campbellstown on Sunday He and the attorney had agreed to meet on Wednesday and accordingly we all but Him and I went up on Tuesday afternoon in the stage in order to be in time to make some alteration in our settle calculation which was made necessary by the Supreme Court striking old Mr Carper’s services: which I believe I informed you before were struck out in toto. And in the mean time despatched Adam Kettering to Chambersburg in Franklin County for Frederick Karper who said he could not come till the Monday following: we then returned to Campbellstown and again went up on that day when there was a letter received from Frederick that he would not come at all. Old Mr Carper and myself were not the least disappointed at this news for it was what we all along expected and I had went to Lebanon between times and drew the money out of the Lebanon Bank and brought it with us: so that the old man could go home in the Packet Boat at night and save himself from being sued here by those that had money coming which Forster said would be the case this time if we did not settle. For it would be a great disadvantage to them to sue him in Bedford county and which they would avoid by suing him here and of course put the trouble on him. But John Wolfersberger said he should not go home that he would fetch him Frederick and started right off. We then waited his return when he informed us that he would be here for a certainty on Thursday and that we should all meet at Campbellstown. We were then at a stand: what to do we scarce knew: we still did not believe Frederick would come: and for to go back to Campbellstown again for nothing would be too bad. The old man called on Forster for his oppinion but he said he might do as he pleased when all was thrown on me and I thought it was best to try once more which would leave them without excuse and so persuaded the old man back again for it [was] easy to persuade one that is halting between two opinions. Frederick however appeared on Friday and to work we went and wrangled to Monday night when it was bro[u]ght to a close. I had calculated from fathers papers the amount of the estate and what each one had got and what each was yet to receive and produced receipts and other vouchers that could not be disputed so that so far as father was concerned they had no chance for cavilling but were forced to submit. But with old Mr Carper the case was different he while Frederick was a minor was his Guardian and they together had rented John Carper’s land for four years for $312 or $52 to each heir from the Guardians the administrators having nothing to do with it so they were ordered to sell it by the Orphans Court and Samuel Karper as Guardian neglected to take receipts from

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Frederick for his $52 never dreaming that he would ever be base enough to ask it the second time which he has now done for he would not agree to settle without these rents with interest since 1810 were paid interest calculated from April 1st 1810 to Aug. 7th 1833 when the last money coming to the estate was received. And it was raised by Old Samuel, John Wolfersberger A. Kettering, Frederick Karper himself and Samuel Carper Jr. each allowing one fifth. And as Frederick had a power of attorney from his brother John who he said was not agreed to the former compromise when the lawsuit with Haak’s Administrators was settled and $500 was thrown off: nor to the Lawyer’s fees $831.17. They must raise him $200 to satisfy him and it was also raised by John Wolfersberger Samuel Carper Jr. and old Sam. There Sir was brotherly love for you. Frederick who was the cause of all this was continually putting in something about religion. He it appears has a church built on his land and pretends to be quite a godly man. John Wolfersberger was over paid $811 and Frederick $200 and owed $400 to Mary Kettering’s heirs Adam Kettering having received all the rest in her life time. Samuel Karber had to receive $2273 and there was coming to Philip who died $877. But when they were done settling John Wolfersberger’s had increased to $1000 and Samuel’s was reduced $2081.81 I made a present of $20 to old Samuel which was all I done. I plainly told them father owed them nothing and as they were all relations they might settle as they could. When a man knows he has done or is right he ought to stand to it through; be the consequences what they may. But I could hardly see that old man cheated out of them rents and being mad about being kept on Monday from our Antis Meeting at Lebanon I after dinner carried off my papers Viz on Monday and told old Sam. that he must now go home and not submit to such an imposition That he could leave the money with me and I would settle with those that were willing and reasonable and let Frederick go to hell and sue and be d—d. This crazy fit of mine had a good effect for they sent after me and brought be [me] back when I again sat down to calculate how near they weare meeting when we brought it to what is mentioned above. Such a set of men you never saw and I hope neither of us shall have to do with again. There was a very large meeting of Anti’s that day: they came in wagon loads with colors flying. We will give Ritner $1000 of a majority in Lebanon county and I think there [is] not the least doubt of his election the other party being split on Wolf and Mulenberg. From all appearances he will have more than them both. I have heard nothing of our relations since my last. Ann started yesterday to Newville and Fannetsburg and intends staying 3 or 4 weeks Agrippa has not arrived yet. Thomas is in a store in Philadelphia but its not likely he will stay long. He dont receive wages to keep him he asked a loan of $50 off me the other day and I sent it [to] him. I suppose you will say that was wrong and perhaps it is but I could not refuse him since he has wrote me another with an idea in it that he may [en]list in the united states dragoons who are now recruiting here and in Philadelphia

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There appears to be too much Bell in that boy to ever do any good if he [en]lists it will be farewell Industry and Prosperity. He would like to have his money too if I could sell: and he would go west and set up Store: if he had it and would do so he would soon be done with it for he has no idea how to deal with your Yankees: or Ohio runaway Sharpers. It appears likely he will get his money too soon. James started yesterday 4 weeks and has not sent a letter yet I will send you word of him and Sawyer as soon as I hear from them. Sawyer has also an idea of setting up Store. Flour $5.78 Rye Do. $4.50. Wheat $1.10 Rye .80 Corn .80 Oats .40 it all might as well be double for there is none to be had: I sold as I always have done as soon as I could get $1.00 for Wheat. Rye 60 Corn 52 oats 28.30 [sic] I enquired about Hanna Moores works and there was none in Harrisburg but they thought $2.25 was the price. I see in the papers that the Harper’s have just published a new and complete edition of her works I have some notion of going next week to Philadelphia to persuade Thomas from [en]listing and perhaps may go to New York where I would have bought you a set if you had ordered one. Alls well

John Geddes Farewell William Geddes

of Thomas’s [en]listing [torn by seal] [any]thing in any of your letters to any person for [torn by seal] – old woman should hear in it would not do