Smithfield Preston Foundation
Papers, 1784-1881, n.d., Ms1997-002
January 16,1823 -- letter from Francis Preston in Greenfield to James McDowell
Greenfield Jany 16, 1823
My D Sir
I got here the night before last and was detained yesterday with the most painfull headache. Last night Major ---- arrived from Richmond giving me the afflicting intelligence that the Generals negroes were sacrificing at ---- under their ----, and that he was apprehensive that Settle Creek would be sacrificed also, and doubtfull whether it would sell, of course the first payment will not be made and the executive will issue for the whole amount, to the ruin of us all. This direfull picture has prostrated me, and destroyed all my energies, but I have determined to push on straight down thinking it unnecessary to go by your house as I could not see what you could do by going,. I sometimes had a thot of going that way and by Bills the great cattle seller to try to borrow money, but concluded it to be a desperate chance.
I therefore will hurry on and see the chance of selling Little Creek and making the first payment, at this time there is about $8000 in but how in the name of God $16000 is to be got against the first of next month I am at a loss to know.
Is there a chance of borrowing anything in your country. I could give Landed Security a personal, ---- truth will be any security for any reasonable amount, If any chance exists pray do what you can for me, or I am ruined. I cannot proceed any further on this depressing subject.
I forwardedd the letters sent by me to you. The sick at home were recovering but in both instances I thought slowly, to leaving then under such circumstances was most afflicting indeed.
Give my Love to Lester believe me to be your friend.
I forgot. I came by Genl Cloyds but he had just left home for Richmond. It is one of my objects by going the South side of the river to meet him, and I do think if I had met him at home I could have done something, he has money and wants to put it out.
Write to me in Richmond
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