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Letter from Samuel Johnston to Alexander Elmsley
Johnston, Samuel, 1733-1816
January 21, 1769
Volume 08, Pages 8-9

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from Saml Johnston to Alexander Elmsley, London.

Edenton 21st Janry 1769

Dear Sir

It gives me pleasure to find by yours of Septr and Octr last, both which are come to hand, that your Passage was so agreeable and that nothing has happened contrary to your expectations, what you say of the Genius of the English I believe to be strictly true and yet was it not for their particular dislike to Scotsmen which must proceed from a low Spirit of Envy, I could be pleased with their disposition in other respects, for if I am not much mistaken in my Observations on Mankind those who are at first sight somewhat difficult to be acquainted with do not make the worst friends, whereas those who are of a more pliant and easy texture of mind and readily insinuate themselves into the good Opinion of all Strangers soon grow weary of an Acquaintance which affords them nothing new and after having exhausted their stock of Compliments which has perhaps been prostituted ten thousand times before and gratified their Curiosity leave you for the first new face that offers; there appears as much difference to me between the two Characters as between a kind tender and affectionate Wife and a light gay agreeable Mistress; with the one I would choose to live, with the other only occasional rencounters—but you'll pardon my troubling you with reflections which you are much better qualified to make yourself; It will always give me pleasure to hear of your happiness and shall think myself indebted to you for your Observations on any thing that may appear new to you in that Country

I am much obliged to you for the trouble you have taken abt Jackson's Bills. The reason I suppose of my Letter's not having

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come to your Brothers hands from Charlestown is that I directed it to be sent with the first remittance and it is probable that Mr Laurens has not yet received anything from Mr Saxby. I have by different ships sent your Brother the following Bills Vizt. Edwd Clodd on John Barnard of Ipswich for £45 Sterlg. Francis Lott on George Metcalf London for £55—Cullen Pollok on Bridgen & Waller for £244 2—Hector McNeil on John Dunlop for £24 10 and now send him Young Miller & Co on John Alston & Co for £69 14 The whole amounting to £438 6 Sterlg. and shall continue to trouble him as often as I can get Bills to purchase unless he forbids me. I have had very bad success in collecting your Debts tho' made repeated applications I intend soon to bring Suit agst everybody who is able to pay.

The Govrs Expedition to Hillsborough last Summer occasioned an expence to the province of upwards of £4000 This at the last Session of Assembly afforded a pretext of emitting Notes of Credit to the amount of £20,000 which tho' they are not a tender in payment will answer the purposes and have the effect of a Currency, There is likewise an Act for the Valuation of Lands and Negroes taken in Execution much on the footing of the last. These were the only Acts of Consequence—The House behaved with great pusillanimity with regard to two Letters laid before them by the Speaker the one from the House of Representatives in Boston the other from Virginia it is true they were read but there was no order taken on them and only a Verbal direction to the Speaker to answer them. An Address to his Majesty was prepared relative to the Revenue Acts and Mr McCulloh named the Agent to present it and transact other affairs relating to the province. I was so ill as not to be able to attend the House they notwithstanding nominated me one of the Committee of Correspondence but their proceedings were so very inconsistant with my sentiments that I refused to join in it and believe the Address will never reach your side of the water.

No Alterations of consequence have happened among your acquaintance here since you left us. My Sisters join in Compts to you and Mrs Elmsley and are very thankfull for their laces which however are not yet come to hand, I hope to hear by your next of Johnny's being perfectly recovered. If you receive can Cash for me I should be glad of two Hogsheads of the best Porter if any Oppertunity to [ship to] Edenton A Vessel of Lockhart's will sail in a few weeks by which I will write to you and my other friends.