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Robert Morris As He Struggles To Pay His Bills, Vows: ÒThey come rather thick on a distressed man, but they shall be paid.Ó

Robert Morris

Librería: The Raab Collection (Ardmore, PA, Estados Unidos de America)

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Five of the men deeply involved in the ruinous land speculation are mentioned in this one letterAs the financier of the Revolution, Morris was used to grand enterprises. After the war, he believed strongly in the future of western expansion, and by 1787 became involved in real estate speculation in the western lands. Morris soon plunged in in full force, along with Pennsylvania Comptroller John Nicholson, with whom he joined to form the North American Land Company in 1795. Morris became the largest private property owner in the United States at that time, owning or holding a controlling interest in eight million acres in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Georgia. He also bought land in the then-being-built District of Columbia. To make all of these purchases, Morris borrowed money from every institution and individual he could convince to lend, and placed much of the land under mortgages. As a second stage of MorrisÕs plan, he intended to survey and improve large tracts of the land and then to sell the parcels to settlers. This was also an expensive undertaking, and Morris had exhausted his resources to buy the land, so he borrowed even more. By 1797 he could not pay his mortgages or creditors; he could not even leave home because of the sheriffs camped outside waiting to serve him with legal papers. He evaded them for quite a while, but time ran out and he went to debtor's prison in February 1798, fated to remain there until 1801. While there he had few visitors, no offers of aid, and also found that almost everyone took advantage of his helpless position who could possibly do so.William Cranch was the nephew of John and Abigail Adams, and an attorney. An unsuccessful speculator in these lands himself, he represented Morris in many of his acquisitions, and before U.S. Government agencies that were selling Morris land, trying to either get Morris to pay for contracted-for lands, or pay the taxes on due on them. He signed for Morris and received many of the bills. In 1801 his uncle appointed him to the Federal bench, where he remained all his life. Charles Young was a business associate of Morris who sold him goods but was deeply embroiled in imprudent land investments himself. The N. Young mentioned must have been his son or brother, acting on his behalf. Young ended up in bankruptcy, pleading for Morris to help him save his furniture. He was put in debtorÕs prison before Morris. The Deakins family were principals in the Bank of Columbia, and William Deakins was involved in real estate transactions in the new District of Columbia. There were land transfers between the Deakins and Morris at the time in question. Their affairs were in such a mess that a lawsuit over the ownership of some property ended up before the U.S. Supreme Court.In 1796, Morris was in the last stages of being able to pay some of his bills, and spent his life essentially juggling funds as fast as he could. Autograph letter signed, Philadelphia, July 12, 1796, to Cranch, saying that he had paid some of his bills, put others in the queue, and would discuss the future when they met. He also showed the impact this was having on him personally. ÒYours of the 8th inst. is here and the drafts of $1500 & $400 accepted, one of $1000 was paid yesterday. They come rather thick on a distressed man, but they shall be paid. I shall be with you myself to look into accounts, & that speedily, when on the spot we can talk of all things necessary to future operations. Tell Mr. Deakins that Mr. Nicholson will bring with him the needful to relieve his advances to Mr. N. Young.Ó. N° de ref. de la librería 10714

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Título: Robert Morris As He Struggles To Pay His ...

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The Raab Collection buys and sells rare important historical documents, bring to its endeavors a passion not only for the manuscript but the history behind it. We've built important historical collections for institutions and historical enthusiasts. Our pieces have found homes in many major institutions devoted to preserving history.

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