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signs her Connections. Judge my Dear Brother, How unhappy I must be under those Circumstances tho it avails me nothing, all the comfort I have is Reflecting on an Old, though Vulgar Proverb, Vez, It's a Long Lane that has no turning. I seem to be in that Identical Lane. I Cannot agree with you, in one part of your last letter, where you Say, Prudence and Industry Seldom fail of Bringing us to the attainment of the object of our Pursuit, I Presume you, as well as myself, have seen many Prudent and Industrious People, Reduced to the Greatest Misfortune, whilst the most Careless and Abandon'd have been in the most Thriveing Circumstance, don't Imagine I am not an Advocate for the Former. But much is owing to Chance, and more Especially the Road that I Have Unluckily Pursued, and must Continue, If I can't Get on board a Flagg shortly, I must and will get In a Private Ship, as I don't Chuse to be Idle on Shore. I never in ye least accus'd you of not Remitting Punctually the monies advanced me by St Wm Baker, as you seem to Hint, far from it. I am Greatly Obliged to you, for your Exactness, the last forty Pounds I borrow'd of him ye 10th December which I hope will be Remitted to him as soon as you Receive Advice of it. You say the last £50 Came a little unseasonably, I am sorry for it. But I Really Cannot Help it, as I have no Subsistance but what comes from New York, it's true I have Half Pay, which is Called two shillings pDiem, but the Government always Keeps Eighteen months arrears in their Hands, so that when we have two years due, we Received one Six months which Exclusive of all Charges will not amount this year to £17 Oaths Fees etc. Running away with the Remainder.
I have Lately Borrowed £50 of Mr Neat, which I am to pay him Interest for, as it would be Improper to bear too hard upon the disinterestd Civility of Sir Wm.
I assure you It hurts me Greatly to Reduce the Little I have in America. But its out of my Power to Redress it, and that you are very sensible of.
I hope I cannot be accused of Extravagancy. Indeed I spend Perhaps more than I can afford. But its only for the Present, my Being Employed soon will put a stop to it, Therefore seriously I must be supply'd whilst I have, and want it. If you Can Lend me money I am willing to Pay you Interest for it. If not, some of the Houses must be sold for my Subsistance which I shall be very Sorry to Part with, the sad alternative is a Jail Subsistance Bread and Water. If it deserves that Name.
Its a malancholy Subject, but strictly true, Brother. Therefore whilst you have any Effects of mine, For my Peace and Happiness, do Honour to my Creditors.
I am very Sorry to Hear my Sisters Misfortune and hope she has Intirely. Got the Better of her Illness, and Beg she will accept of my most Affectionate Regards, together with my Mother and Brother, I am Dear Sir My Comps to all Friends Your Affectionate Brother
& Most Humble Seryt
Abram Duane. I Beg you'l write by every opportunity I shall answer Cornelius by the next vessell.
TENANT'S PETITION TO JAMES DUANE.
We your Most Loyal & Dutiful Tenants Have Lived here Now Three Years & have Not been able to Raise our Bread as yet: the First year the Vermins Destroyed it the Second our Crops Froze out of the Ground & our wheat Turn'd into Drips and This year: as to this Present time there is no sign of Summer or Spring yet: whereas the snow is yet at this resent Time in Duanesburgh all over amongst us Two feet & a half deep & so hard that there is No signs of Spring: & the Winter has been so Very hard & severe Ever since the beginning of Last December that we have not been able to Clear any Land or do anything on the Land to signify and
Now when we should Look for the Season To be Preparing
Therefore We your Most Destressed Tenants Humbly Prayeth That your Honor would Take it into Consideration that whereas we Your Poor Tenants Lives in a Very hard Place of the Country Heavy Timbred & a Long Destressing & Tedious Winter: And we are over Burdened with the Penalties & Restrictions that are Laid upon us Besides as we are to Pay the Interest from the First: That instead of our Raising Any Produce of off the Land to Payou Interest We are obliged to Run our selves further in debt for our bread and other Necessaries of Life: that unless we Can be Reconsidered and Lighten'd of our heavy burden that we now Lie under we can not Stand it any Longer, and must be obliged to Leave the place and this is the General Reason that your Land is not Settled it being so heavy Timbred & upon Interest to be Paid immediately From the Time of Purchase : and this has been the Case ever since we have Lived here: there has been a great many People here To see the Land & to Vew it but when they Come to see the heavy Timber & the hardness of the Country & understand the Forms of Paymt They immediately would have nothing to do with it: there were Five Men here the 25th of March from below where it was Spring Like wether but when they Came here found a severe Winter with Snow Three foot Deep which Discouraged them as well as all others.
Therefore we Humbly Pray that your Honor: would take These The Hearty & sincere Prayers of us Your Most Destresed Tenants into due Consideration : & if you Cannot find freedom to Lighten our burdens when you shall come up in the summer we shall be obliged to Leave the Place or Else to become we and our Children intire slaves: as we are obliged to Run our Selves in Debt here and there where we
can get any necessaries to Support Life & some of us for want are obliged to Eat the seed of the Drips for bread & are Glad to have that So we Remain Your Most Dutiful Tenants: hereafter Mentioned Duanesburgh, April the 5th, 1768
As followeth To wit To James Duane Esq'
TESTIMONIAL FOR PUBLIC SERVICES.
JAMAICA, QUEENS County, Dec. 8th, 1774. GENTLEMEN:
We chearfully embrace this opportunity of publickly acknowledging in behalf of ourselves and our Constituents our most grateful sense of the arduous faithful and important Services you have rendered your Country in the present most alarming Conjunction of affairs.
Permit us to declare our hearty acquiescence in the prudent, just and well concerted measures adopted by you at the late General Congress held at Philadelphia, and to assure you that we will exert our utmost Endeavours to carry those measures into Execution.
We ardently pray that the Supreme Disposer of events, who is the Refuge of the Distressed and the assured Friend of the Benefactors of mankind, may signally reward and succeed your noble and generous Designs and efforts for the Redress of our Grievances and the Vindication of our injured Rights and Liberties.
We joyfully anticipate the pleasure of seeing your names and the names of your Worthy and respectable Brethren of the Congress enrolled in the annals of America and transmitted to the latest Generations as the Friends and Deliverers of your Country. Of beholding your Conduct and measures applauded and adopted by every City, Town and County in the British Colonies, and of hearing your just and well mer
ited Praises resounded from one End of this Extensive Continent to the other. Gentlemen;
With hearts penetrated with unutterable Gratitude and overflowing with benevolent wishes for every Blessing on you and your Posterity, we have the honour of being,
Your affectionate Countrymen and much obliged humble Servants—By order of the Committee of Correspondence in Jamaica.
Abraham Keteltas, Chairman. To Philip Livingston, James Duane, John Jay, John Alsop,
JAMES DUANE TO HIS BROTHER CORNELIUS.
When I assure you that I have spent but one Night at home since the beginning of May, and that to comply with the Injunctions of my Countrymen I have been obliged to sacrifice all domestic Happiness and my private affairs—and if you add to the account the nature of the Business in which I am engaged, I hope you'l find some apology for my Inattention to you.
I have given Mr. Gaine an order on a Friend in New York for the money you ask and directed him to forward it with this letter. In what specie it is I know not, but if Continental Currency is of so little Esteem in your Neighborhood I hope at my Request he will exchange it should my friend pay him in that Currency. Here it can be exchanged for Gold. Indeed no body would Be safe In questioning its Validity and very few I believe are disposed to do it.
I can form no opinion when the Congress will rise. Their proceedings down to the ist of August are published which