5 Mar 1819
I regret to hear of your and Peter's bad health. Sickness robs a man of every enjoyment but his religion-but with good health and a clean conscience a man may contend against almost any misfortune. I wish I could be with you-as I consider myself very much of a Doctor in cases not desperate of which description I hope [care?] to be. Mrs [Henry?] and her children are now here and as soon as our court is over which commences next Tuesday I expect to go with her to Saratoga + from there to Albany, when I must be on the 16th instant.
The late judgment in the Supreme Court of the United States respecting State insolvency cases - has exacted an uproar in the Country equaled by nothing since the declaration of war. Many who thought themselves rich now find themselves stripped of property to satisfy old debts, which men demand to have been discharged according to law. I anticipate a scene of confusion and litigation-where real estate has been purchased + sold by men who had before been discharged under our insolvency laws-it will now in many cases be taken from the fair purchase. The insolvents themselves are not the only persons who will suffer.
I am anxious to hear the result of the sales at Utica and how [warthon?] goods will pay confidential debts. I do not wonder that Mr. Beckman feels in trouble-and I fear he will not escape without being ruined-he ought to have nerve enough to keep the funds in his own hands until all the responsibilities which he has incurred are satisfied-it is nonsense for him to ruin himself, in vain efforts to save others who cannot be saved.
I am Dear Sir
Peter Smith Esq
Johnstown 5th March 1819