|Scope & Content||
Philada 26th March 1835
Seldom have I been so steadily engaged as during the last three weeks. Time did not permit me to write more than about half a dozen letters during all that time & four of them were to you. My last of 14th inst. contained account sales of six packs beaver showing a balance of $1292.84 to credit of S. & C. subject to your drafts at one days sight. For this sum, together with the amount of your dft on F.A. Tracy & Co. you will value on us in same manner as soon as you please. After the most diligent inquiry I cannot find good nege paper of short date & unless Mr. Edgar is desirous to remit us I know no other person who is in our debt, that we could now ask to pay.
I thank you for your letters from Pittsburg. The opinion you express respecting the intention of Mr. E. not to admit of interference in winding up the affairs of the firm, exactly coincides with my own anticipations. Indeed I would be the last person to wish any person to either interfere or thwart him in his operations, provided he takes the proper course of selling out & paying off the debts. The laws & usages among merchants is to give the surviving partner a power beyond that of ext. or admt. His duty will be to dispose of the stock with the least possible delay - at the smallest possible sacrifice - & pay the debts of the firm. The balance being divided & all accounts squared he will pay over to the legal representative of D. Kyle's estate two thirds of any profits realized. The individual debts of D. Kyle he has nothing to do with - nor can the creditors of D. Kyle individually interfere with him untill [sic] all the debts of the firm be paid. Such is Mr. E's situation & such should be his course - which I hope he will adopt and settle up all in a manner which will reflect credit on him here after. [End page 1]
I have written to Maj. Stephenson relative to affairs of the family. You are aware that I am placed in a very painful position towards the estate of D. Kyle. My movements are closely watched & will be strictly scrutinized. I have advised that either Mrs. Kyle or Maj. Stephenson or both or some friend of the family should administer in order that all the personal estate should be sold. I will attend & out of my own means (so far as I am able) will purchase the furniture etc. and present it to the family. My own opinion is that all the personal estate will go but little in discharging a debt of more than $12,000 which it owes me as ext. of Wm Kyle - but should this course be taken the legal returns will be a sufficient voucher to shew that all was collected by me which the estate of D. Kyle could pay & the family will thus be exhonerated [sic] from any claims from the heirs of Wm Kyle. On the other hand I fear if the family appropriates the servants or furniture without this formality they will always be liable for the claim. Of course I expect to loose [sic] considerably by the transaction - but I can see no way of avoiding it without a violation of my duty as extr. or the deep feeling I entertain for the family. I hope you will confer with them on this matter & all that relates to it & write me very fully. Above all things an able lawyer should be employed. The above plan is one of my own without consultation with any atty. & should be submitted before it be acted on. My views are now fully before you & can be explained to any person whom you may consider interested in the event. At the same time you can use your customary discretion in keeping the details from all except my friend Sublette.
It is not probable I shall see you before your departure for the mountains. I cannot leave here before May next without great inconvenience to our business. Indeed I will not think of visiting St. Louis at all unless I know before leaving home that I can be of some service to the family - that the time for rendering that service be previously known - and that I can do all that is necessary within a week from my arrival there. [End page 2]
The lapidary has had no rest. I have called on him forty times about the stone & I hope (to get rid of my importunity) he will deliver it in time to be sent by Wm. Glasgow who leaves here within a week. I never knew so very tedious a fellow as the lapidary - but never mind - I have given him some exercise - his door bell is pulled once a day at least for the last fortnight.
Tell my friend Wm. S. that Landreth has packed up the trees & placed them (with another parcel for Col. O'Fallon) in the hands of Denman to be forwarded. Such however is the state of canals that I fear they will not have a quick passage. Mr. Landreth says that if detained untill [sic] May, they may die & both he and I have done all we can to get them off - but so far to no purpose. You cannot form any idea of the state of Market Street at present. The foot walks are absolutely impassable. Many thousand tons of Mdre [merchandise] are piled up at the doors waiting for the opening of navigations & as yet not one hundred tons have been shipped. Wm Sublette must therefore exercise patience for he cannot suffer in any event half so much as the smallest buyer now in market [?].
Your friends Messrs. Dyer & Agnew called on me. The former I have only seen a few minutes on his arrival. I hope before their return that our house will be so much improved in cheerfulness, that I can render them some attention. For some time past it has not been a place to see friends with any degree of satisfaction. Mary & Harriett are quite well & gradually becoming reconciled to their late bereavement.
No late news from home. I have not seen Hugh Reed since you left us. Mr. Baker & lady talk of visiting Europe shortly. Harriett Campbell will probably accompany them. Mr. Gill will then perhaps discontinue housekeeping. Say to Mr. S. that I will write him frequently after your departure -- but while you are within reach of me I must inflict as many letters on you as time permits me to write. We are very very busy & I again encroach on sleeping hours to make out this long tirade -- God bless you!
[Envelope - bottom]
P.S. 27th Mar: I have at length procured the stone for my friend Mr. Sublette. It is quite pretty. I will forward by first conveyance.
[Envelope - top - written later by William Sublette - says Feby but must be Apr]
Feby 11th Robert you will perceive that I have opened your letter according to your Request it is now Late in the Evening and I now mail it for your perusal. I also have written you by this mail at Lexington & Independence both. I will write to Hugh in the course of a day or two. Maj. Stephenson has just left my room.
God Bless you
Wm. L. S.
Mr. Robert Campbell
[Stamped] Phila 27 March
[Stamped] St. Louis Apr 12