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Letter from Archibald Maclaine to George Hooper
Maclaine, Archibald, 1728-1790
February 04, 1784
Volume 17, Pages 127-128

-------------------- page 127 --------------------

Wilmington, 4th Feby. 1784.

My Dear Sir:

I wrote you a few lines two days ago by post, in answer to your two letters by Dickinson. Every thing that you wish shall be done when your brother arrives.

My letters to Cochran & Winslow, Mr. Rowan & Mr. Hogg (who is now at Fayetteville) would arrive before your messenger, & will I think have such an effect, that I am persuaded you will succeed. I have no doubt but Mr. Hogg & Mr. Rowan, with Armstrong, if he is there, will be able to remove all difficulties. I also wrote to your brother on the same subject & I conclude he will throw his weight into the scale.

I have at last seen Mr. Grimke's charge, & am pleased that it has had such a good effect; but he is not a Burke. He has attempted that for which he is by no means qualified, and which is in itself improper on the occasion.

I do not know what Mr. Burgwin's schemes are; and between ourselves I question whether he knows himself. That he should stay in Charlestown when he thought he could not come here in safety, was not only natural but proper. That he should think of disposing of his whole cargo there, is to me astonishing; as it not only renders ineffectual the purposed scheme of establishing a trading house here, but impedes the collection of his debts and the settlement of his old accounts, which were undoubtedly his grand objects: But the ways of J. B. like those of J. are inscrutable and past finding out. Since he received my letter inclosed to you by Stephen's clerk, there is not a line from him; so that it is not known what change it may produce.

The weather you may suppose has been as severe here as with you; but I think it was full as cold, & more uniformly so four years ago. We have had no northern mail for three weeks. Albemarle sound has been frozen, which has prevented any person passing; for it is not strong enough to bear any considerable weight.

-------------------- page 128 --------------------

I suppose your firewood & house rent, with the expensive dresses necessary for a lady in Charlestown will consume all your profits; for though rent is considerably raised here, it is still a mite compared to your rates. What vast advantages does your trade hold out (I mean barely retailing goods) which can support such a great expense?

Mr. Alexander has taken his passage for Charlestown, & expects to sail in two days, if in that time letters from thence should not prevent him. Should he go he will deliver you this.

Will you oblige me with a new almenack, & a British register, if any are arrived for the present year? And let me know what I must pay for Miller's paper, which I wish to have. That published at New Bern is not worth having. You never think of sending me any new publication, though you know how much I like such things; nor have you said a word since November of the sterling stuff which you intended for my own drinking.

I take it for granted that Kitty will make but a very small figure beside her sister-in-law; for I conclude that the latter is returned in all the brilliant elegance of the mode, & must necessarily totally eclipse such a domestic animal as your spouse. Unless Kitty can console herself with mental reflection, she must be in a state of utter mortification. Let her know how much I compassionate her deplorable situation. I feel it the more as I am not able to provide such a number of guineas as you sometime ago told me would be necessary to keep up her state with proper dignity.

Yours affectionately,

There is not an ounce of salt peter in this place, and I expect my hogs every hour.

5th Febry.

I am very unwilling to trouble you with trifling commissions, for more reasons than one; but my niece cannot find lining for the cloak you sent for her except at Blount's and he sells so extravagantly high that there is no purchasing from him. If you have not what is proper yourself, probably Mr. Burgwin may be able to send me 5 yards of white sarcanet or 6 of persian. I have already wrote to him for a few articles.

A. M.