Joseph Fawcett, Franklin, Missouri
Washington, Nov. 2, 1834
My Dear Pa,
I hope you will have received, ere this reaches you, a letter dated about the 8th of last month – to which was annexed a receipt from T. C. Rockhill &co of Phila. for $100 paid on John Millers a/c.
Yesterday I received a letter from John McMahon, containing these words “I have at last the pleasure of informing you that the anticipated partnership between your Brother, Col. A. Beirne & myself was entered into last night, we are to furnish him with a capital of $10,000. he paying us interest on ½ that sum at the rate of 6 per.ct. for which he is to receive ½ the profits of the concern, he will go into business in the southern part of the state early in Jany. or February. it is our wish that you should make your arrangements so as to be here by the 15th. Decr. at farthest. I shall feel myself bound to fulfil my engagement with you agreeable to the terms proposed, should no accident happen to our concerns that would render it out of my power to fulfil my promise, let me hear from you soon. the Boys are all well” &c.
To which I gave to day the following in answer: “Your letter of the 16th ulturis met yesterday a most welcome reception from the subscriber—for many days back I had considered its contents, whether for or against me, as of primary importance. I had already planned many intersting [sic] structures, which awaited the receipt of said letter for their confirmation or anihilation – Believe then, my son, that it is with joy I accept the proposal to change my abidence from this Hot Bed of sycophancy & dependence to a field in which I shall delight to dwell, where I can once more breathe the breath of Independence & comfort – where I may dare to encourage the whisperings of Hope -- & where I may exert myself to deserve better days. I am aware that it is much easier to make fine promises & form good resolutions, than to fulfil them – but I venture to declare this much, that, it is plain, even on the most selfish principles, the most direct means of promoting my interest is to strive zealously to advance yours – and, therefore, leaving out of consideration every thing like gratitude or ordinary friendship, I can promise every thing for you that within me lies. It will not, most probably, be 1st of December – on account of my pecuniary affairs – but then, I will start if I have to borrow a shirt.”
If our means & my time allowed of it I should like much to see for myself how you all are now situated – but I have neither money nor the time at my disposal – it will be tug & pull for me to pay some Bills that I owe here & my expenses by the most direct route – indeed, unless the Department is more favorable to me than I have a right to expect, I shall probably have to go away in debt on old scores or borrow part of the necessary amount to pay my expenses in travelling. When Ellison was here two or three weeks ago he made me promise, if I went to Alabama, that I would go through Philadelphia by the way of Pittsburg or Wheeling – but the selection of my route must depend on expedition & cost.
I fear that I shall have to remain in service to the last day & then take the most direct route on account of the indisposition of the Department to favor me – but this is not yet certain.
I shall write you again on my setting out.
My love to Ma, Jane & all,
your affectionate Willis.
If it should be necessary for me to borrow a little, I shall have no difficulty in doing so – as I have made some friends here who would not hesitate in such a case.
I got a letter from Ellison day before yesterday in which he says “Curt is thriving”