Have not been to New York
12 April 1819
I have not been to New York. The last mail brought me a letter from Mr Williams written after his return to [Cadsan?]. If the [necessary] proof to share that [Vangebo?] knew you + [Vern Santroad?] were not partners. When the contract was made upon which you are prosecuted - can not otherwise be obtained - you will have to employ some [certain] man to go to New York + hunt after evidence. I have received a letter from Peter upon the subject + have written to him directing his attention to some enquiries.
I presume Mr Beckman defends the cause for you and if so - Ask him if the Supreme Court would not grant an order to stay proceedings until [Vangebo?] should permit you to examine their words - or produce them in Court on the trial? I do not know of any case in which the [unreadable] have done this, but it appears to me a mode of getting at the [unreadable] of the case which the Court have the power to accept, and one will calculated to prevent the necessity of resorting to a bout of [chicanery]. So many find a case in [D Cains = S2]. Jackson vs. [Waggoner] in which the Court have done some like this. These can [however] be no use in application unless you suppose [Vangebo?] have entered in their books the names of the names of the partners in the firm + that your name is omitted.
Do let me know what defect you suppose there was in the motive of nonpayment of the $10,000 notes. I wish I could spend this afternoon + tomorrow with you and enable you to smile misfortune out of countenance - but I feel that my promise to administer consolation would prove far less efficient than the execution of your own mind would be on a cool dispassionate view of your situation. You cannot recall the dead, and if you could you would not dare to do it - it is in vain therefore to feel an unceasing regret for their departure. The acts which the living have done, can no more be recalled that the tombs can be opened by grief. What then shall a pious Father do whose children have curiously or wantonly offended? Shall he forgive them and thereby prove that he has regained the bright image in which man was first erected. Shall he never [upbraid them] for their offenses nor even mention their faults but in a mild and affectionate whisper + with a view to caution them as to the future? How would Philosophy + Religion answer these questions?
March has with us been a terrible month. And April thus far has been almost as tempestuous. Our roads at present are next to impassible, and notwithstanding Doctor His prayers for a mild season and a good seed time we can yet do nothing towards farming.
Shall you be at the Charlotte Patent this Spring and [unreadable] able to see Merrill. If he does not pay or confess judgment it will be necessary to make enquiry for Frederick Miller the witness to Merrills contract.
I am Dear Sir
Peter Smith Esq
Johnstown 12th April 1819