Canal and more
Johnstown 3rd April 1817
I have just returned from Albany where I confidently expected to have met you, I did suppose you would permit the survey or general to sell lands unless you were present. I purchased nothing and I think you would not have purchased much had you been present. The northern lands were mostly bid off for the state, and the western sold too high for me.
As [Storm?] A L Becker is already on the limits, I fear any effort to collect writs from him will be worse than useless, if you think it best, however, I will make the attempt. I presume I can procure a friend at Delhi to serve the papers on him. I will [infer?] a writ against Issac Becker to recover from him something for the use of the farm - he I believe has some property.
I send you the papers in the cause against [Ara?] and Ira Emmons. The original will of [writ] - the consent rule + letter of attorney must be shown to them, the copies delivered + payment demanded. If you do not see them both it will be advisable to have service made on the one that is most able to pay. Should it not be convenient to make the demands, you can authorize any person to do it, by a short power under the one signed by [Whn?] W Cady. It may be nearly in the same words with that.
The person who makes the demand must make affidavit of the service. I send an affidavit the blanks in white you will fill. The affidavit must be made before some person authorized to take affidavits to be read in the supreme court.
I have this day written to Ara + Ira Emmons to pay [writs] + make compensation for the use of the lot while they possessed it. There is little reason to hope that they will do it unless complelled.
I hardly know what to say in relation to Young, my impression is that you took from him some contract to pay [writs], did you not? There is no judgment against him. So much for business - now one word about the canal. I was formerly a heretic upon that subject, but am now full of faith that it can and ought to be made in time so that you and I if we live to a good old age may see it converse with boats loaded with the produce of the country bordering on Lake Superior. From the general government we are to expect nothing. And our own legislature are as treated by so many different motives and interests that I fear they will do nothing effectual - indeed a pitiful amendment to the ten [pound] cut is in their judgment more important than the canal.
The next election is to be a very quiet one. Clinton will be elected without opposition, and in this county I have not yet discovered that the Federalists are to have a candidate for the Senate or Assembly - indeed, we all feel vexed - some because an effort has been made to divide the county, and others because that effort was not successful. Give my respects to Mrs. Smith + Peter.
I am Dear Sir
Peter Smith Esq