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Letter from Archibald Maclaine to George Hooper
Maclaine, Archibald, 1728-1790
July 28, 1783
Volume 16, Pages 968-970


Wilmington, 28th July, 1783.

I am sorry my dear Sir, that you went away at a time when it would have been necessary for me to have had some conversations with you on the subject of your own affairs; but the common disturber of this place will not suffer any person to converse in tranquility. It is however lucky in one respect that you went when you did, as Dunbibbin came down next morning with a warrant from Judge Ashe to the sheriff to take up Brice, Cruden (?), London, yourself & Smith the tailor. This had been made out before the Judge received my letter; & consequently before he knew of Mr. London’s arrival, whose name was inserted afterwards.

The Judge I suppose acted in consequence of information from Walker, as his letter to me has these words to wit; “Mr. Hooper I suppose has made his peace, the Governor intimated as much to me when I last saw him; for which reason, and while he was here alone, & as was said, upon a short visit only, I did nothing with him; but as he has continued here some time, and others (obnoxious) arriving, I am under the necessity, to avoid the appearance of partiality, of including him. The sheriff I make no doubt will shew you my letter to him, by which you will discover my intentions. I suppose the parties will readily comply with the proposals (to keep their rooms till the Judge comes down), they are the most lenient I can take at this time, consistent with my duty.” He writes to the sheriff that Mr. London has doubtless a right to come in if he chooses it, & that there is no law to hinder him. We expected his Honor today, but the weather is so bad, he cannot venture out. Mr. London is at present at Mr. Jewkes’s. There is no doubt but he will be bailed, & I will take care to bind the intended rioters to their good behaviour.

I am extremely concerned that your name should appear in such company, & still more so that it did not happen more early, that you might have been discharged. I am apprehensive that it may injure you in Charlestown. To prevent that, I will immediately write to the Governor to hasten your certificate, & to carry the whole of his intended friendship into execution. I confess my mind is impressed

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with very grateful sentiments to this gentleman for his intended friendship to you, even before he knew how far I would espouse his interest at the election of a Governor.

Cruden (?) went away yesterday morning for Augustine with Eve. I am sorry for it, as it may occasion bad impresions of our internal police, & he must necessarily have been discharged of course.

I have had a good deal of conversation with Mr. Alexander about Mr. Burgwin’s affairs, & consequently of you. Your old friend John writes of you to Alexander in the warmest terms of approbation; but says that if Jewkes chooses to be connected with him, he cannot avoid giving him the offer, as their former dealings are unsettled, & the latter knows all his plans, &c. I see plainly that Mr. B. studies his own immediate interest; for he has given Mr. A. a pretty just character of J.; & A. appears to lament that he should be so necessary to Mr. B’s affairs. I was so explicit as to say, that I did not believe that you would choose to be connected with J’s. though A. asked me the question a second time. The partnership however will not be finally fixed till after it is known what will be Mr. London’s fate; but I am apt to believe that nothing will be concluded upon that will be agreeable to you. I will however write you fully next post, & possibly you may continue unengaged till that time.

The day after you left this, Mr. W. convened his myrmidons at what he called a town-meeting, after having in vain endeavoured to bring over the continental officers (who had all dined with him) to his party. There were not more than a dozen in the whole; all the most remarkable scoundrels in the town, & scarcely a man of any property among them but himself and J. James. The Judge’s having ordered Mr. L. ashore has been very mortifying to them; and though they propose another meeting, they generally profess doing nothing contrary to law. As the Judge is clearly against their proceedings & they have no person of influence or understanding among them, I am perfectly satisfied that they will sink into insignificance.

We are all perfectly well, but we are likely to be starved with cold in the latter end of July between the latitude of 34 & 35.

Yours very affectionately,

Will you please to add to my list two pair of candlesticks, & two pair of glass saltcellars.

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I should have told you that the Judge in his letter to the sheriff, speaks very favorably of you; and expressly says, that he has never heard of any thing against you.