Letter From William Geddes to John Geddes, April 2, 1836

Author: William Geddes

Date: April 2, 1836

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Palmyra April 2nd 1836

Dear Brother, [John Geddes] Your letter of the 12th March arrived but on the 30th its having two post mark on and marked mifsent from palmyra New York. Sawyer filed exceptions to my declaration on that estate and so shortly before the arguments Court in March that it could not be tried and had to lie over to the next in May: on the 12th of which it will no doubt be tried; that being the day fixed on. His exceptions are that I ought to have charged myself with the $1311.11 the ballance due by father on his executor Acct. and $800 which he says father collected from several of the heirs on their notes or Book accts. In defence I mean to show that father has accounted for all the personal estate in his settlements as executor and the $1311.11 be in that Acct. acknowledges to be indebted and therefore thirs [there] is no necefsity to account for it again & if he does show that father received $800 as administrator I will continue that it was through a mistake and that he had no right to do so and that they only from whom that money was collected have any right to call me in question about it. Gov. Ritner is doing nobly and as far as I have heard gives universal satisfaction to his own party. The Bank was chartered by nearly two thirds of both houses. 9 of the Jackson party in the Senate voted for it. He has so amended the School law that it has carried in all directions: even in Lebanon County four townships supported it. Viz. Londonderry Anville, Hanover and Lebanon Borough. I headed the friends of the schools against the Earlys and beat them by 9 of a majority. And I believe next year they will be defeated two to one. There is great exertions making by the Van Buren party to get the people excited about the chartering of the Monster but its all in vain. The Bank hobby horse is worn down and from all appearances it will pull down the Jackson party with it and will itself rise and be more popular than ever. The situation our 30 millions of surplus revenue is in: in the present Deposite Banks is opening the eyes of the people very much. All of them taking them on an average having 3 dollars of the surplus revenue to one of the specie to pay it with and some of them much more. One of your Detroit Banks has near 800 thousand of it!!!. Denny and his associates were pretty generally condemned and I believe that Harrison will get the undivided vote of Whigs and Antis, as well as many of the former Jacksonmen and carry this state by a large majority. I paid William four dollars this time last year for the Philadelphian which brought your Acct. up to July

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1st 1836. I will send him another years subscription with Thomas who is going shortly there. The snow is partly all gone but the ground is not yet fit for ploughing. The winter lasted from Nov. 1st to April 1st without intermifsion. Agrippa does not intend going west this spring he and Thomas having agreed on being partners in a Store and Thomas will look out a situation this summer and prepare to enter in businefs early next spring. He will go on to Pittsburg shortly and there take the steamboat down the Ohio to Louisville and then travel into the states of Indiana, Illinois, and Mifsouri but at what place he will locate he does not pretend to say. From appearances I suspect he will be married before he goes West to a Philadelphia lady: but I may be mistaken. Ann has moved to Newville and her good man is very urgent to have her money. To be in such a hurry dont augur well : especially when I am in difficulties which at the least will be an expense to the estate if no great lofs : and if I were to call on him to pay back his proportion of such expense or lofs there would hardly be such a hurry in returning it. I have concluded to hold $100 of each share to meet the expense or lofs that may be and save myself the trouble of collecting off each his or her share of any expense or lofs: let what will be thought of it. I am in much the worst situation of any of you and for that reason ought not to be pestered with complaints from any one. I am fully aware of what is my own interest and that of all concerned : and the interests of the rest only am I able to further but not my own – is that not hard very hard. Here have I not been able to leave three months at any time since fathers death now near four years. Will I be paid for all this forced neglect of my own best interests, trouble loss of time and expenses: let a one be rewarded for haveing so succefsfully resisted heavy unjust demands that was brought against the estate by no weak foes. And that with gain to the estate so far but surely with considerable lofs to myself. The land could not have been sold at the price it has been sold at sooner : for father in his will positively forbade its being sacrificed by a too hasty sale and I considered myself bound by the will not to sell in lefs than three years for the price I have taken as it is full low and I could have had at least $5 more pr. acre if had waited a month longer : but I feared I might loose the bidder if I had like Clarks have done and knew we could soon realize four times the difference in the west and pofsibly double the money in five years.

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I feel concious that I have not only sought but obtained the best interests of all consistant with my oath to execute the will according to to [sic] fathers intentions : and if all receive their money this spring : for to accomplish which my best exertions will be put forth there can be no just cause of complaints of any one. But it is hardly pofsible for me to be in Michigan as soon as you wish. If you had offered to pay my expenses to come and return on purpose its likely I would. One of our Cousins John Allen son of the Sickle maker was here lately they were all well and he says Aunt Sarah McDonald is still living and will as well as all her family John McDonald is keeping store. Aunt Polly Clokey is yet living but is very poor in purse and weak in body. How must John Sawyer feel to see so many of his nearest relations reduced to poverty in their old days. It looks a little like as if he might live to have the like fate: which he richly deserves. Samuel Sawyer is returned from Ohio where he says he was going to school last winter and expects to get $1000 from his father but will be disappointed: for he has not been able to raise $500 which I made stepmother demand of him on Acct. of the trouble he is putting me to: she having lent it too him three years ago out of Isabel McClures money. Isabel is not well and wont live much longer. April 5th I received the [covered by seal] $4468.18 on the day of the date of this letter and arrainged matters with Mr Witmer about the Bonds. He is to pay the present worth of third one shortly in order to ennable me to pay off Ann and the other two first next spring the last to remain to the time it comes due for Robert. Which will answer very well as Agrippa does not want his to next spring and I can pay the rest of you in full now when ever called upon. The following is nearly what the estate amounts to the Corn being yet unsold which I valued at $100

Due on Settlement of personal estate 1832 = $438.19 Amounts = $11128.79

proceeds of Farm in 1833 = 457.52 Thirds of 3 ys best = 570.41

do. do. 1834 = 456.01 1/2 $10558.38

do. do. 1835 = 797.73 Pa. Forster 25. Carper $20 = 58.38

and sundry others $13.28

Rec’d. from Carper’s estate = 206.56 $10500.00

Amount charged to R. G. Graydon 350. 500. = Executors charge

to John Geddes 45. Heir = 9 $10000.

of Hardmoney in 1836 = 4468.18 $1111.11 = each share

Present worth of Bonds discounted at 6 pr. Ct. = 3898.64 Recd. by you 425. or thereabouts

Balla. of personal unaccounted for in 1st Sette.= 10.96 $686.11

$11128.79 1/5 of Isabels = 198.67 = 884.78 = off $120 to meet Lawyers

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Our Accounts stand to the best of my knowledge thus Viz. 1833 I pd. you $55 in Cash $45 was charged in the will $10 I left to pay taxes and again sold my Coat at $16 and April 6th 1835 pd. William $4 then $287 of Isabels = $417. Interest on the 55 to 9th Oct. 1833 when my account was confirmed of the ballance of which you were but intitled to $15.39 and interest on the $287 for at least one year = $20.09 = in all $440 + 16 taxes = $424 It is impofsible for me to leave home before the 13th May so that if you want the money sooner you must fetch it. Have nothing to do with Bronson. All are well

To Mr John Geddes William Geddes