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April 19th 1830
Mr Robert Campbell
Mr Robt Campbell Philada 19th April 1830
It is with me uncertain, whether this letter may find you - were it not so, I should trouble you with a more general communication. I have ______ [paper torn] written this day to your Brother Hugh, to inquire how long you are likely to be in Ireland.
I have to regret, that your stay in Philada on your way to New York, was so short, and that I had not the satisfaction of laying before you my views in relation to my poor Mother's affairs, and claiming for them your attention. At that time, my Election, a a Director of the Bank of Pennsylvania was pending in the senate, and on the very evening you done me the honor to call, I had to reply to various correspondents, senators, at Harrisburg, which engrossed the whole of my time - suffice it to say, that I was elected, by an overwhelming majority, and it was the more flattering, in as much, as I never had sought this distinction.
The object of the present, is briefly to state a transaction betwixt the Misters Lanens & Clarke Alathenron and myself, in which my Mother is more immediately concerned. I have been in the habit of making Remittances yearly to my Mother, of L [pounds] 20, 25 & 30 - these sums I presumed would be sufficient for her support. I knew that my Brother Edward sent her also occasionally 4 or 5 Gunias [?]. I think you will approve. My mother is old and infirm, she is surrounded by needy & poor expectants, were it known, that
[Pg. Break] she has any money in reserve under her control, they would leave her, and she might yield to their importunities, if she did, the little intended for her use would be consumed by others, if she did not yield, bad feelings would ensue in either case, her comfort would be affected; I therefore remitted when a part, or the whole, was antier[?] hated. These reasons were stated to the Misters Mathewsons, but ever and anon, their letters placed my Mother and me in the most abject state of dependence, as though they were now feeding her from their own store. I could not bear, that my Mother should be fed by the hand of charity, from her own purse - her sons, without speaking of it to them as it merited, although, at all times, I have acknowledged their attentions, and even have been grateful to everyone who have treated her with kindness. I told them, that if they had not brought [?]_____ on my Mothers bills to charge more to charge Interest, may [?] _____ Interest if they would, whilst I invoked them by every feeling dear to man, not to suffer my Mother to want, and if they would not supply her longer in the mode prescribed, to hand my Guaranty [spelled guarranty] to any clever fellow, a shopkeeper in Nt.Stewart, that I would hold myself responsible for all reasonable debts contracted for her support - at the same time (January last) I remitted L [pounds] 30. - The balance they had against my Mother 1st Jany 1829 L [?]_____ (underlined in letter) & their acct. since which I remitted L 30. I have this moment read a letter from Clark & Mathewson, which but too plainly shows, that he has gambled my infusions, in order to prejudice the shopkeepers against me, for calling them fellows (I used the word clever fellow) and this I fear, for the express purpose of shutting every door against my Mother, the letter to gloat their revenge, by wringing my heart, through the privatious and sufferings of my Mother. (-Monstrous!) Here follows the letter "Verbatim of Literations" Let it speak for itself -
[Pg. Break] "Sir"Nt.Stewart 14th March 1830
"In consequence of your very important letter to me ("think of that, Master Brooth") and the allusions you made to my Brother we have inclosed your Mothers acct. and a bal [balance] due us of 9/10 - now Sir I write this only on your Mothers account as she will now be in the greatest distress as no fellow of a shopkeeper here will take her word or yours for payment." He also adds - "my brother considers you beneath his notice or he should reply to your observations"- (really) yours - (signed), C. Mathewson
Now, what think you of these pair of Christians - if more [?]_____ malice, and contemptible pride, can be found in the same quantity of ill arranged words, then have I neither read, nor seen anything of this world, But I must be brief. I have remitted my Mother instanter [?] L 10, this makes L 10 since Jany - Do call upon her, inquire into her real situation, and how she stands with the Mathewsons - you are on the spot, think of some arrangement, by which my little bounty to my Mother, may be safely appropriated, I'll offer no apology - you have a Mother, you are a man. "All are not men who wear the human form." I commit this care to your trust it as though it were your own, and then you cannot err. By so doing you will lay me under an obligation that never will be forgotten, and may be repaid. Very Sincerely & Respectfully Yours etc. James Gowen (In Haste) [Next to signature] PS. Keep my Mother by all means unacquainted with my feelings on this occasion, treat the thing lightly in her hearing. I know it would move her much. J.G.