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Letter from Archibald Maclaine to George Hooper
Maclaine, Archibald, 1728-1790
October 08, 1783
Volume 16, Pages 984-986


Wednesday Evening, 8th October, 1783.

My Dear Sir:

Mr. B. Smith leaving town in the morning, and purposing to set off the day following, I would not omit such a good opportunity of writing you. I shall be here two or three days, longer, as the court is now sitting, which has been somewhat retarded by the storm yesterday. It was very severe, & has raised the tides very high. I could not without singular satisfaction reflect that Kitty was safe in Charlestown.

Shall I hail you and your brother citizens of South Carolina? I wish your application at an end, though I have little to fear, as the rulers in your State appear to study their own interest.

Yesterday evening Mr. Gautier (who I believe has agreed for the purchase of Mr. McGwire’s estate) applied to take the oath of allegiance. The court wisely doubted their power. Such is the consequence of being governed by fools.

Mr. London is now at Mr. McGwire’s till the county court is over. Walker endeavoured to bring down people from the country to drive him and Brice away; but I believe not a man is come for that purpose. Brice is at Tom Craike’s.

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We are told that Governor Martin has received official notice of the definitive treaty, & that there were rejoicings at Salisbury (where he then was) on that account.

Mr. Smith has been very earnest with me to let him know what I would take for Oak park. I have told him in express terms that I did not intend to part with it; that if I did it would be for some evident and immediate advantage, and with a view of making provision for your family. I confess I think it would be madness to sell it now, especially to one who I believe could not with convenience pay down a sum that would be of immediate advantage to you. I am well assured that I shall not at present procure such a price for the place as will make amends for what I should lose by selling it so soon. If it is possible to keep it, without great disadvantage, I wish to do it. At all events, if I do dispose of it, I should have some signal advantage in so doing. I have no idea at such a time as this, to sell upon credit, even if the interest should be regularly paid. I am therefore for waiting a year or two, when if I do sell, I may certainly sell for a higher price, or at least get better payments. Mr. Smith boasts of the good bargains he has got from Mr. Hogg, the land & ferries for £1800 sterling, to be paid by instalments in four years. He may indeed boast of it for it is certainly worth twice that sum. Having been pressed by Mr. Smith perhaps with too much earnestness, considering that I had declared an unwillingness to sell, I have wrote him that if I could be prevailed on to part with my plantation, I could not think of taking less than 6000 guineas for it, and at least one half of that sum paid down. Perhaps a year or two years credit for the remainder.

I am told that Mr. McGwire is to have for his plantation lands and stock above £3600 sterling. I believe there are above 60 negroes. £2000 of this is to be paid immediately, and the rest secured at the end of two years, with interest at 6 p ct. and no conveyance nor even possession to be given till the first payment is made and the rest secured. This is a great bargain; but it must be considered that the proprietor intends to leave the State, and will receive all the money in England, without further trouble.

The blankets you sent me last year are too small, and I want for my negroes. There is none here worth having, & perhaps I may be disappointed. I dislike sending to you for necessaries, because

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it is inconvenient to make payment, & here I can do it with ease, but if you do not hear of my arrival at Wilmington soon, I must trespass once more for 8 pair.

Jack Bradley says there were a parcel of letters at a house near the exchange of Mr. Iredell, that they came from Augustine, & that there was so much postage upon them, that he had not money to take them up. I cannot comprehend this; but if you can get the letters I am sure you will do it.

Yours affectionately,