Letter From William Geddes to John Geddes, February 2, 1839

Author: William Geddes

Date: February 2, 1839

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Palmyra Feb. 2nd 1839

Dear Brother [John Geddes] Yours of the 18th January was received on Wednesday last when I was on my way to our old school fellow’s Samuel Carper who lives still at his first settled residence 3 miles below Campbellstown on the Horse Shoe Turnpike and is in good health as well as his family. He had sold his store to one of Matthias Tefsemaris’[?] sons who has made out to marry a Dutch Heirefs and I had last week taken the Inventory of it and was on my way to have the Bonds signed & sealed and the bargain fully consummated in black & white and on the next day I had to try to finish collecting taxes for I was required by the Commifsioners of the County on the day following to make a final settlement. And of course to day was the first day that I could answer your letter and to day I dont feel much for the task. Tell them Yankee’s that I am enamoured with that part of the scripture which says “owe no man any thing” too much to sell my land on credit. If they want my land they must plank the ready money for if they had pofsefsion God only knows when they would pay even the first payment. I might have to sue them even for that and have to give some hungry Lawyer 5 or perhaps ten per cent to recover it and be kett [kept] out of it eight or ten years, I have too much lawing here to trust men with a chance of giving me more of it. I care little or nothing about selling that Tract but for our partnership lot I would not care provided it could be done for Cash. I am confident that that land within 5 years will be worth $20 per Acre and as I have no use for the money at present and can afford to keep it as well as any other man so that I may as well do so and have the gain myself and lofs there can be none not even if wheat were to fall to fifty cents per bushel which is a very unlikely thing. It appears all your purchasers are men who can say as many others do, that they have nothing

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and of course can lose nothing let the result of their schemes be what they may, and the man who trusts them runs all the risk in their adventures. Tell every man for the future that nothing but Cash will answer or at the least two thirds so and then you will not be pestered with such me[n] as I have mentioned. If I thought that there was that much to be made in three years by raising wheat I would be at it myself without delay. I think these men have quite other views and if they have not I would now rather wait and see what the Rail Roads may do towards raising the price of land. I suppose you will best take that trifling sum for damage and say no more about that but watch them closely and permit no further encroachments on me; not so much as to feed a horse or turn a Cart on any other part of the land. If it was not too expensive for me I would come and stand guard and prevent their setting a foot on it until I had forced them to do me justice for they and their jury are too mean; or know nothing about justice. I paid the Philadelphia Observer and rec’d a receipt of which this is a Copy

“Mr John Geddes To the Philadelphia Observer [?]

Office N.W. Corner of Chestnut & Twelfth Streets

For Subscription from May 1st 1838 to May 1st 1839

at $2.50 per Annum (advance price) $2.50

Rec’d Payment

W. A. Duff for C. B. Dungan [”]

I sent the money with John Early and he brought this receipt from which it appears the present owners only became such on the first of May 1838 and that you ought to receive the paper until the latest date on the receipt and when that arrives I will order its discontinuance unlefs you give other directions My last receipt from William Geddes for that paper says that all was paid to the first of Nov. 1837 which would leave 6

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months to be paid for and that to William which shall be done with the first oppertunity. I have paid for your paper since I was in Michigan Two dollars to William and $2.50 to C. B. Dungan and for the six months yet due William I will pay shortly and I suppose it will be $1.25 in all = $5.75 and I owed you $10. when I left Michigan which leaves me indebted to you without the Taxes $4.25. I am not afraid of your overcharging me and I want you to pay my taxes whenever they are due & not let them run for years against me (except the state tax) in that you do perfectly right in wanting to see that others pay. If you get that money from the Rail Road Company you can pay yourself for all I owe you and the ballance may lie for what is to come in the tax line. It appears to me that I am very high taxed and I think it would be nothing amifs when you pay my taxes to examine the Collectors list and see if [hole] pay accordingly. The Road Tax is scandalous; and is [hole] or three times the amount we generally pay here. Calculating that I own the 96th part of a township at the rate of 7. pr days on each part would make 720 days or dollars and as improved land must be valued higher per acre it would make the Road tax exceed 1200 dollars which is not pofsible, or my land must be an extra good tract. Please to ascertain the number of days afsefsed on that township as well as your own or either so that I can understand this matter. Land has rose these two or three years very much and considerable has been bought & sold. John Wolfersberger was offered a few weeks ago $90 Cash for his fathers old place on the North side of the Turnpike extending out to Blacks & there is not now a single stick of wood on it. He asked $95. and so did not sell. I gave him a lecture on his folly but to no purpose for when he is offered his price he asks more and of course can never sell

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Wheat is $1.60. Rye 1.00 Corn $1.00.
Oats 50 cts. Potatoes $1.00
Beef & Pork $8. pr. Cwt. The post
master at Ypsilanti charged
your last letter with 50 cts.
but I opened it in the presence
of ours and showed him that
it was wrong.

All are well

John Geddes

William Geddes