Text of a letter in the Juniata College Treasure Room
Richard Smith to John Cadwallader
Sunbury 1st May 1791
My dear Sir
Tis late at night & I have been visiting ergo I shall not write either much or correct. Thos. Dwyer has just come to town & means to set off tomorrow morning before I get up. I cannot let this opty slip without writing to my Friend, altho my letter must be full of Emptyness as there is very little stirring here, except that we have two Lawyers from the City that have settled here, besides Walker & Mr. Chas. Hall who are expected here every day. The Lawyers from the City are Mr. Saml. Young who studied with Ingersol, & Mr. Danl. Levy. They cut many capers, but as I am no flatterer I cannot praise their Exploits. Their legal knowledge I have had no opty of judging of. Capt. McCurdy from the Western Territory has brought his wife to this place. He is a very merry —– indeed, but as I came here to study & not to frolic I so not see much of his Humour. I am reading very hard in hopes to qualify myself to go & live with you in the Spring. Two Lawyers in one place do much better than one. It gives the pltf. his Choice & it is necessary that each party shd. have an Atty. on the spot. Whether I shall be capable of practicing in the Spring or not is surely doubtful, but I may believe I may safely say that I deserve to be qualified as I have paid unwearied attention to it, even injured my Constitution with close reading. If I have not capacity to learn I am to be pittied, but still I hope I shall be fit to practice in the Spring & live at Huntingdon & enjoy your good Company. Directly after the May Court I am to go to Lancaster to live with Charles. If I do not hear from you before pray write to me there.
I have not yet had an opportunity of renewing the Lease with my Tenant in Woodcock Valley. If the Tenant shd. be uneasy about it, I must beg of you to pledge my Honour to him, that if he goes on as a good Tenant shd. he shall not have a hard Bargain of it, & if he should make any necessary improvements he shall be allowed what is just & equitable for them. For tis a Rule with me that in every Bargain I make that it shall be an Object with the person I bargain with to observe it.
On the place that my Father gave to Charles, adjoining mine, last Fall, there is a stack of Hay that my Father gave to me before he made the Conveyance. If you or Mr. Henderson shd. want it I beg of you to take it, but if you shd. not & any other person will buy it will you let them take it for what it will bring.
I wrote to Mr. Galbraith, the last time I wrote to you, about an order drawn in my favor by Mr. Kidd on Mess. Logans, which order I left with a Letter of Advice with Mr. Galbraith who said he would endeavor to get the money. I must beg of you to speak to him the first time you can & desire him to send the Order back here to Mr. Kidd, if Logan will not pay it at once or very soon indeed. For Logans Bail has been here & says he will pay it if his principal will not.
I have heard that Mr. Stille is now married to that amiable Girl we used to talk about last summer. So you see Fortune is not always a good observer of the Natural Fitness of Things.
Remember me kindly to Henderson, Elliot, Patton & others & thus concluding a good nights Rest to you is the Prayer of
Your Friend Richd. Smith